IDEAL, IDLE OR IDOL INDIA? Every Indian has his own idea of ​​India. Pseudo-nationalists would have us believe that India is now an ideal country. Never mind that 400,000 citizens left the country last year in search of greener pastures and greenbacks elsewhere. The “Idea of ​​India” was the theme of a seminar held on Saturday August 27 at the Nehru Yuva Kendra, Lucknow. It was the brainchild of Magsaysay scholar and social activist Dr. Sandeep Pande. There were 200 participants from all the heart of Hindi. It was introduced by Sri Anand Vardhan Singh, a senior journalist, who runs a popular news channel “The Third Eye”. The main speakers were the young arsonist Kanhaiya Kumar, Sanjay Singh, AAP Rajya Sabha member, and Sri Deb Prasad Ray, former Lok Sabha member from Jalpaiguri, Bengal. Several other MPs and current or former MPs also shared their idea of ​​India with particular reference to Hindu-Muslim unity. Ray has done a thorough analysis of how modern India came into existence. It was based on his ‘My Idea of ​​India’ booklet which was distributed to all attendees. India has had a glorious history of its struggle for freedom. It was important to know this story to counter the ducks that are spreading today in the name of “Hindi, Hindu. Hindustan”. How can we call India an ideal society or a democracy? “Freedom House”, an American institution, describes us as “partially free”, while Sweden’s V-Dem Institute has described the country as an “elected autocracy”, he said. Tracing our history, he said that even before 1857 there had been several other revolts across the country. They were the expression of sub-national aspirations. India was then divided vertically into religious lines and horizontally into caste lines. Long before management gurus invented SWOT analysis, Mahatma Gandhi converted India’s weaknesses into strengths. We were a poor country with widespread hunger, so he resorted to hunger strikes. We couldn’t cope with the military power of the British, so he opted for non-violence. The current communal divide dates back to 1909, when British rulers established separate electorates for Hindus and Muslims. At that time, neither Gandhi nor Nehru were on the scene. It was Maulana Azad who opposed this division. We must respect pluralism and go beyond mere tolerance to accept the other, as advocated by Swami Vivekanand. Even subnational aspirations in various states, seeking to promote their language and culture, were not parochial. It was part of India’s plurality, he said. Jawaharlal Nehru had very wisely said that India was not a crucible where individual identities were lost, but rather a salad bowl where each element retained its uniqueness, the total being greater than the sum of its parts. It was Nehru who coined the phrase “Unity in Diversity”. Going back in history, Ray said even the word Hindu is derived from foreign languages ​​like Persian and Greek and then used to describe those who live beyond the Indus River. The country’s oldest text, the Rig Veda, does not refer to any country or geographical region. In 500 BC, King Magadh Bimbisara used the term “Sorosha Mahajanpadas” (meaning 16 provinces) to describe the land. The Manusmriti called the territory Aryavarta. During the reign of Emperor Ashoka, it was known as Jambudwip, as found on various inscriptions. It wasn’t until the first century BC that King Kalinga Khararela started using the word “Bharat” to describe the subcontinent, Ray said. It was a geographical region, a country, but far from being a nation. Since there was no sense of nationhood, the British could easily rule the country. During the 1857 War of Independence, the East India Company had 300,000 soldiers, of whom only 26,000 were whites. The remaining 274,000 were Indians who saw no harm in suppressing their countrymen. Ray said it was on the basis of Mahatma Gandhi’s freedom struggle that the idea of ​​an Indian nation gradually evolved. This history lesson must be taught to all those overzealous patriots waving tricolors and shouting “Bharat Mata ki Jai”! Attendees were eager to hear Kanhaiya Kumar, the new star in the sky. He did not disappoint. He said he would share his personal experiences as well as his aspirations since joining the Congress party. He felt it was not a Hindu-Muslim divide; rather, it was a battle of perception between half-truths and reality. Today, perception is presented as truth. Half-truths and lies confuse people. They are not spoiled for choice; they are unable to make a clear choice. Speaking as a congressman, he said that today those who glorified Godse before will now pay their respects to Rajghat. Take a picture of the AAP in Punjab who removed the Mahatma’s pictures from government offices; they would rush to Rajghat to defend their alcohol policy, he said. He recalled that as a child he had seen a magician turn a piece of paper into a banknote. The opposite is true today with the BJP government converting our currency to a piece of paper, with the US Dollar now trading at Rs 80/-. This is why the government’s publicity brigade spends millions of rupees trying to explain the runaway inflation and the falling rupee. This government is indeed a “twin engine sarkar”. Both engines also only have two bogies attached. It is not necessary to specify who these 2+2 are. That’s why they couldn’t even tolerate such an efficient minister as Nitin Gadkari. Sanjay Singh said today’s TV debates are like slingshot matches, spitting hate. It is ironic that corporate tax is being cut from 30% to 22%, while essential products like milk and flour were brought into the tax net. He claimed that this government was determined to sell all the country’s assets accumulated over the years – be it ports, airports, railways or UAPs. Even the Agniveer program is another example of government abdicating responsibility. He further stated that we should not fight with religion; just as Mahatma Gandhi was a deeply religious person, but fully committed to secularism and pluralism. Now is the time for all political parties to put aside their differences, to work for India’s second freedom struggle, he said. Therein lies the enigma. Politicians pay tribute to opposition unity in closed rooms. When they go out, they tear each other apart like dogs and cats. If this continues, our idea of ​​India will remain a mirage. Majoritarianism will turn us into a melting pot, with a shrewd alchemist at the helm. So much for Nehru’s salad bowl! I dare say that what politicians cannot do, we conscientious citizens must, through both individual and collective efforts. Let us never lose hope, for then perception and all other battles will be lost. (I too had presented an audio graphic which I will report separately). So what is our idea of ​​India today? Is it an irreproachable ideal society? Is it Idle, because salon critics limit their social engagement to messaging on social media platforms? Is it an idol that has replaced reality with mere perception? Every Indian must answer these questions. The author was invited to participate in this seminar in his capacity as animator of the Indian Catholic Forum. Like this: Like Loading…


[ad_1] IDEAL, IDLE OR IDOL INDIA? Every Indian has his own idea of ​​India. Pseudo-nationalists would have us believe that India is now an ideal country. Never mind that 400,000 citizens left the country last year in search of greener pastures and greenbacks elsewhere. The “Idea of ​​India” was the theme of a seminar held…

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