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Facebook (11) | Videos Posted by Satish Kumar Bhandari: Gujarat the State of our Vision

Facebook (11) | Videos Posted by Satish Kumar Bhandari: Gujarat the State of our Vision

Editorial 'BOOK BURNING & GURU BASHING' in LAW ANIMATED WORLD, 31 August 2010 issue

are considered two awful crimes – in the language of believers, abominable sins – which no civilized society can or would tolerate. The first of these, usually carried out in public, is generally motivated by irrational moral, religious or political objections and leads to the danger of loss of cultural heritage and is symbolic of a fascist regime. This editor vividly remembers the incident of burning down, a decade or two ago, precious volumes of ‘Encyclopaedia of Marxism, Socialism and Western Society” of the Osmania University Library by some anti-communist goons on the mistaken notion that they were Marxist propaganda material; on the contrary, they contained some of the most enlightening intellectual critiques of Marxism and their loss is still irreplaceable for the library. This editor had then presented a protest petition to the authorities signed by about a hundred intellectuals, considerable number of whom happen to be the leaders or espousers of the current separatist movement in this State in which such detestable acts have now begun to be taken up with impunity and go without any sort of indignant protest. Are we being rushed into an Orwellian horror society with its ‘memory holes’ and ‘thought-crimes’? Better heed Henrich Heine’s warning: “When they burn books, so too will they in the end burn human beings.” The second of these is at once revolting to human conscience anywhere in the world, especially in our country which venerates teachers as gods, on par with parents. Again these tormentors of the mentors, once again on detestable pleas that they belonged to other regions though some of them got settled and naturalized in the same region, have gone without protest in a movement led by eminent professors. A university is meant to be a sanctified sanctuary for intellectual preoccupations and should never be converted into a centre of storm-troopers. The recent incident of teacher-bashing, marring the image of the same University, also reveals the intransigent infringement of fundamental rights to equality and points to the practice of discrimination by birth so caustically castigated by our Constitution. All this may even be an indication of degeneration that set in such movements, which generally leads to their decline and fall, or in the sad case of their success, to the ushering in of a much-dreaded totalitarian regime §§§

Editorial 'SIXTY THREE YEARS' in LAW ANIMATED WORLD, 15 August 2010 issue

of transfer of power, we enjoyed or suffered, need profound introspection. Whether we are truly independent is the real question – if independence means mere political identity, may be we are largely independent. But as it encompasses socio-economic justice too, we need to be alarmed. Kudos to independent India, it is said: India is one of the ten fastest growing economies in the world. India has emerged as one of the front-ranking nations in the world in information technology, missile technology, and in many other areas. Despite all the hardships, and braving all the challenges in these sixty-three years, India is standing in the world with her head held high. India’s stature in the world has gone up… The world is now recognizing India: 1) as the world’s largest democracy; 2) as an emerging global economic power; 3) As the confluence of a modern nation and an ancient civilization; 4) As a powerful country, dedicated to the ideal of peace.” But listen to Soutik Biswas, of BBC: “Impressive growth figures are unlikely to stun the poor into mindless optimism about their future. India has long been used to illustrate how extensive poverty coexists with growth. It has a shabby record in pulling people out of poverty - in the last two decades the number of absolutely poor in India has declined by 17 percentage points compared to China [decline by some 45%]. The number of Indian billionaires rose from 9 in 2004 to 40 in 2007, … higher than Japan [24] and France and Italy [14 each]. When one of the world's highest number of billionaires coexist with … the world's "largest number of homeless, ill-fed illiterates", something is gravely wrong.” Also, “India-wide, more than 43% of Indian children under five are malnourished, a third of the world’s total. Over 35% of Indians are illiterate and over 20m children out of school. For all its successes, including six decades of elections and a constitution that introduced the notion of equal rights to an inequitable society, India’s abiding failure is its inability to provide aid and economic opportunity to millions of its impoverished citizens” [Economist]. And that is what causes so much strife and violence in the society though Manmohan’s exhortation that ‘Violence does not benefit anyone’ may sound true and pious. And, unless we address and resolve the root cause, eliminate poverty, ill-health, illiteracy, inequality, and above all corruption, the violence will never even lessen, let alone abate, nor will we be in a position to walk the world with our heads high as free, prosperous and just citizens of the global community §§§