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Contents IN SO MANY WORDS Foreword From the Editor The President’s Review

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GUEST ARTICLES The Fallacy of the Efficiency Premium Dr. Amarendra Das Gandhi- The Integrity and Timelessness of his ideas Sourav Poddar BEING POLITICALLY CORRECT The Vulnerable Indian Akshita Goyal A Fine Balance Sreya Mallika Datta Path to Perennial Peace Anshuman Kamila Taking the Aam Aadmi by surprise Aranyak Saikia COOL HEADS, WARM HEARTS Ideas for Sustainable Corporate Social Responsibility Anoothi Kumar नरे गा: मरे गा या जियेगा Chandan Chintu

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MISCELLANY On Education: The Gandhian Way Noma Nazish Music as a causal factor for crimes Radhika Agarwal Why did we hang Kasab? Malvika Srivastava TRAVELLING AS A PART OF EDUCATION Of People and Places- sights and sounds that moved me on my first trip to Jammu and Kashmir on June ‘13 Oishee Kundu Reflections on ‘the Roof of the World’ Sagar Wadhwa FURTHER READING Guha’s Gandhi: Glimpses of Gandhi Before India Tathagata Datta

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FOREWORD A SLIVER OF SATYA There are times I wonder if Satya isn’t a pretentious name for the Gandhi Study Circle journal. What do you think?

spewing up issues of discipline? Can we celebrate Harmony in an orgiastic fashion? Should we murder harmony with Harmony?

I wonder, at the same time, if the name of a magazine matters at all. To what extent does it guide the authors who write for it? Do we have to be ‘satyagrahis,’ for example, in writing for Satya?

Admitted, we are living in contrary times. But we are in St. Stephen’s still. Stephen, lest we forget, was a martyr for truth! And Satya is a St. Stephen’s publication!

Shouldn’t we? Again, what do you think? Now I ask myself- why do you write at all? When you write, are you, truly, free from the vanity of seeing your name in print? Can you say, with your hand on your heart, that you write like mothers giving birth to babes? They don’t have their names inscribed on the foreheads of the children they bear in pain. Life and truth imply each other. But writing? Is it really a pursuit of truth? Truth, I am told, is powerful. What, again I ask, is the genius of that power? (Do you think I ask too much? If you do, you need to tell me.) How do I experience and honour that Truth? In what I write? Especially, for Satya? I can, as Gandhi would say, if I become the message; if I am what I write. Or, at least, I seek to be what I write. But, then, can I claim, in truth, to seek what I write unless I am a seeking soul? Can anyone seek only for the sake of writing? (I know there are those who seek for the sake of seeking. Thank God, they don’t write!) Recently I had a painful date with truth. Irony of ironies, it was on account of Harmony! Can you imagine “Harmony”

Breaches of discipline were reported to me. Discipline, unlike harshness, is a function of love. And where there is love there will be truth too. Love without truth is lust. It is the love of the wolf for the lamb. Or, the murderous hate that masquerades itself as patriotism or love for the country. Or, worse still, the disciplinary action that punishes others for one’s own failures. Now, if there is a breach of discipline, there has to be ‘disciplinary action’. But the painful question is this: who is (or, who all are) to be punished? Only the offenders named? Truth to tell, I felt as guilty as the ‘offenders’ standing before me. I saw my own failure reflected in their down-cast eyes. Our eyes did not meet; for we knew we were –indeed the College as a wholeguilty. Let me explain. The truth of the offense in question (never mind the specifics of the offense) is that it was engendered by a certain ambience (not wholly, of course, for not everyone did what they did). That ambience was the product of assumptions that are held in common by most of us, actively or passively. (Passive smokers, remember, are


at serious risk too!). A festival, we assume, has to be like this and that. Certain things are, and will be, ‘done’ in festivals. Certain things should not matter if done in festivals. Also, young people will do such things. Festivals are festivals, after all!

institution, must maintain and the stereotypes we entertain, there is a disharmony. And that ‘disharmony’ will perforce come to light through Harmony.

So we have certain notions (strange it is that we do not ask how these notions come into being, how they are popularized and who popularizes them, how sensible these notions are… ) about the menu of these festivals. Festival menus become a fetish, totally insulated from rational scrutiny. The more free-thinking a person claims to be, the more dogmatic he/she becomes about them! For example, how can there bema Harmony without a DJ Night? And in “DJ Night” isn’t “night”more important than anything else? It stands to reason that “DJ Night” has to be at night. And the later in the night it is, the better “DJ” it will be. (We are strictly logical in all these; else why do we learn symbolic logic at all?)

What do you think?

Now, given the Dionysian (I avoid the word ‘bacchanalian’ altogether) aura some among us ascribe to DJ Night, should it be denied its ritualistic (or as the Greeks would have said ‘orgiastic’) genius? Once Dionysus is enthroned as the presiding deity, why should Apollo have anything to do with the scene at all? I too was part of the truth that pricked my heart as I wrestled with ‘matters disciplinary’. The truth is that between the discipline that we, as a self-respecting

So, there is a need to re-visit “Harmony”.

Can Harmony be celebrated through unlawful indulgence? Especially, if it is Stephanians who are seeking and expressing that harmony? Has enjoyment to be, perforce, orgiastic? Should we rise or sink through harmony? Should the man or the beast in us be in control? Animals are not known to have ‘festivals’. Festivals are uniquely human. If so, isn’t there a logical contradiction in our deeming festivals to be alibis for behaving worse than animals? So we need satya. But satya cannot afford, any longer, to remain only as the printed word. It has to be a way of life: the way we celebrate our life together as Stephanians. Let Truth have its free play. Let us live the Truth. And have the courage to tell it too. I commend Satya 2014 to all Stephanians. Revd. Dr. Valson Thampu March 2014


FROM THE EDITOR More than half a decade ago, India Today conducted an opinion poll on who India thinks comprise 60 greatest Indians. Surprisingly – for whatever reason you might think, I have my own – Gandhi ji came third. Surely, this is no feat for the Father of the Nation. Gandhi ji possessed the aptitude to test his powerful intuition against the touchstones of love and reason and transform those beliefs into unshakeable convictions. From being the half naked fakir to becoming the spiritual leader-cum-political lodestone of millions of Indians as their Mahatma, and then resigning into a cocoon as a dejected sparrow – the man may have traversed peaks and troughs in career, but his moral certitude was infallible throughout. SATYA signifies this aspect of Gandhi ji’s multifaceted personality. One will notice that every write-up placed herein is a mirror reflective of the author’s heartfelt and unwavering article of faith. This is a common thread that binds the contents of this Journal – which forays into diverse fields and genres – as a unified monolith. And may I venture to claim that SATYA holds the light of hope for the future of our country – for a firm belief and a definite purpose is the veritable origin of a great enterprise, even a country. Our guest writer, Dr Amarendra Das, is a Gandhian by word, wisdom and work. From fighting social ills such as untouchability in his native place to advocating review of popular conventions of society, he practices what Gandhi advised – think global, act local. We are privileged to publish his article, and thank him wholeheartedly for his contribution. Our writers this year hail from a wide canvas of streams and have explored a broad range of themes. We are indebted to them for adding much meaning and meat to our journal. We are grateful to our Principal, Revd. Dr. Valson Thampu for taking great interest in finetuning this Journal to its current finesse and for writing the foreword, setting the tone of the journal. Our Staff Advisor, Dr. Rohit Wanchoo has been a formidable pillar of support for the Journal and we would like to express our gratitude to him. My personal thankfulness is due to my proactive and punctual colleague Oishee for her immeasurable contribution to this edition of the Journal. Our President, Benjamyn, has been an epitome of dynamism and a driving force behind our endeavours. In closing, I invite readers to take a plunge into this vibrant assortment of literary pieces. And as you flip through these pages, I pray you imbibe two things – hope and faith – because in the end, only these matter. Anshuman Kamila

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THE PRESIDENT’S REVIEW Big changes begin with small steps. The Gandhi Study Circle (GSC) had a very eventful year. We took it upon ourselves to reflect on our impression of Gandhi and shifted our focus on events that would help spread the ideas and interpretation of Gandhian belief among today’s youth. GSC joined Facebook this year. Come August and the new college session, The Circle began its events with a leadership workshop conducted in association with Youth Alliance- Footprints. This workshop helped the students realize their inner potential and helped us a lot in preparing for the year with renewed enthusiasm. The 2-day Regional Studies Conference was held on the 19th and 20th of September. Eminent speakers like Ms. Neera Chandoke and Prof. Sudha Pai discussed and debated ideas pertaining to issues of succession rights, rise of regional parties, etc. The second day witnessed an engaging panel discussion on “Are Government Supported Counter-Insurgency Movements Justified?” and was followed by a talk by Dr. Namratha Goswami on “Origin of Insurgent Movements”. Conducted along this conference was a crowd-pulling Charkha workshop organized by the Gandhi Bhawan for the College students. This conference saw participation from students from outside the College as well. We conducted an interactive discussion session with the renowned social scientist and newly turned politician Prof. Yogendra Yadav on “The Idea of India in the 21st Century”. We organized the GSC Online Photography competition- Insights’13 which was conducted with the help of the Photography Society of the College and saw huge participation from across the country. The Online Case Study Competition and Online Essay Writing Competition- ‘Rachnaa’ proved that nothing constraints the Gandhi Study Circle of today in its endeavor to get the message of Gandhism across to a wide audience. Our Quiz Program was another step in this direction and tested the participants on their knowledge and awareness of current affairs. This year, we also saw the formation of the Study Circle Group within the society. The Study Circle Group undertook monthly readings of chapters from the book Gandhi Before India by Ramchandra Guha. With online campaigns and movie screenings, the Society played its role in spreading Gandhi’s ideas in the College. The final event for this year was the Mock Parliament that was conducted on the 29th and 30th of March 2014 and saw students from different schools and colleges present their views and arguments on issues of national and social relevance. Fighting all odds – general skepticism, sponsorship and the water-tight class schedule of Society members- we’ve come a long way and we’ve definitely learnt a lot with all the hardships and disappointments. The Society is trying its best to stick to its founding Gandhian ideas especially to uphold Truth and bring about a positive change to the College in all ways possible. We are a small society- we accept that- but that is not a measure of our capabilities. To quote the Mahatma himself: “If I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning”. With the new found enthusiasm, the Society is bound to gain momentum and continue on its grow path. It’ll keep re-discovering and re-inventing itself over and over and evolve into an active society that stands firm in to its core beliefs and in tune with the changing times.

Benjamyn Mathai 6|Satya 2014


THE FALLACY OF EFFICIENCY PREMIUM Dr Amarendra Das1 The briefing paper published by OXFAM titled ‘Working for the Few: Political Capture and Economic Inequality’ on 20th January 2014 has pointed out the growing inequality and concentration of wealth with a few people across the world. Some of the major findings of the study are as follows: (1) almost half of the world’s wealth is now owned by just one percent of the population, (2) the wealth of the one percent richest people in the world amounts to $110 trillion- that’s 65 times the total wealth of the bottom half of the world’s population, (3) the bottom half of the world’s population owns the same as the richest 85 people in the world. The finding of the OXFAM study raises eyebrows of common people across the globe. The Occupy Wall Street Movement in the USA last year had loudly voiced against the concentration of wealth with a few riches. The textbook knowledge of economic theories tells us that all factors of production should be paid according to their marginal productivity. Based on these arguments, we can deduce from the findings of OXFAM study that the efficiency of the richest 85 people of the world is equal to the 1Dr

Amarendra Das is a Lecturer in the Centre of Advanced Study in Economics, Utkal University and is currently (as on February 2014) on deputation to the Fourteenth Finance Commission of India as Deputy Director. The views are of a personal nature and do not reflect those of the institution that the author works at.

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efficiency of the half of the population of the world! Can it be possible? Did these 85 people toil more than 24 hours and 365 days of a year? Did they work alone to amass so much of wealth? Did they have so much of capital of their own to invest which generated this much of profit? The answer is ‘no’ for all these questions. The basic courses of economics further teach us that in a perfectly competitive market or even in monopolistic market, no firm or entrepreneur will be able to earn a supernormal profit in the long run. ‘Supernormal profit’ is the profit which is over and above the minimum reward for the entrepreneur to keep herself in the business. If any firm/entrepreneur earns a supernormal profit, other entrepreneurs will be attracted to that business and thus each business owner will earn a bare minimum level of profit. If economic theories are correct, how could 85 entrepreneurs accumulate so much of wealth? Economists may counter argue that in real world a perfectly competitive market doesn’t exist. But we are also aware that in many of the advanced and developing countries the national government appoints Competition Commission to ensure that no firm behaves in a monopolistic manner. The economist may further contest that in the long run, the supernormal profit of the few entrepreneurs will vanish and the profits will be distributed evenly among people. In the same vein, the income of the people in the lower rung will rise and there will be convergence in incomes. But how long is the ‘long run’? As John Maynard Keyenes puts it, ‘in the long run we all are dead’. Moreover, from the developed countries’ experience, we don’t witness any convergence story. Thus, it seems difficult to get an opposite justification for our


unrealistic economic theories and the heap of wealth with a few. Most of the economic theories are partial equilibrium analysis. In all these economic theories we are taught that the entrepreneur always seeks to maximize her profit by raising the price or minimizing the cost. Even if the producer increases the price, rarely is the profit shared among the workers. Paul Krugman in his article titled ‘The Undeserving Rich’ published in The New York Times and reproduced in The Hindu on 21st January 2014 had pointed out that ‘since 1970s, real wages for the bottom half of the workforce in the US have stagnated or fallen, while the incomes of the top 1 per cent have nearly quadrupled (and the incomes of the top 0.1 percent have risen even more)’. Coming to the second option of minimizing cost, how does the entrepreneur do that? The entrepreneur desires to pay as less as possible to the labourer, to the financial capital owners and input suppliers. If possible, the entrepreneur also gathers some courage to flout all rules of the country such as environmental standards, evade taxes, smuggle some inputs, and so on. The entrepreneur never minds all these things because she has been taught that maximization of profit is the sole goal of an entrepreneur. Maximization of profit means more income and more welfare and social status. Students of economics or the managers-inmaking are never taught a single theory which seeks to maximize the welfare of all input suppliers (labourers, raw materials, owners of finance and other services), and society at large. The general equilibrium models never maximize the welfare of all stakeholders. Worse is the fact that general equilibrium models only give the in8|Satya 2014

determinant solution. However, the general assumption in the economic theory is that once the income of the people rise, based on efficiency principles this will be automatically transferred to poor people through taxation. But in reality this happens only as a formality. Government rather provides free land and tax holidays and preferential power and water connections to woo the foreign and domestic private investors. The real transfer of income seems rather regressive. If the maximization of profit by an entrepreneur does not maximize the welfare of the society, why should we teach such courses? Are we not creating social evils through the romanticized economic models? What is the meaning of one entrepreneur living in a 27-storied building amidst a sprawling slum where all input suppliers dwell? The ‘incentive for the efficiency’ argument cannot justify such a high level of profit extraction. While discussing about efficiency, economists provide many terminologies such as labour productivity, capital productivity, total factor productivity (for measuring the contribution of technology), X efficiency (for managerial efficiency) and so on. When it comes to rewarding the efficiency, the largest share goes to the managerial efficiency, followed by technology, capital and labour. The argument provided here is that it is the skill and risk taking behavior that gets rewarded most. Can the manager produce output without labourers? Yes, with a few skilled labourers and machines the manager can produce output and maximize profit. In that case, does the entrepreneur reward the financial capital owners? No, the savers of the country do not get a share of the profit with which the entrepreneur maximizes her


income. Neither the laborers, nor other input suppliers get a share of the profit earned by the entrepreneur. When the output of a firm increases, it is not that the manager alone works. All laborers work unrewarded for extra hours to increase the output. So why shouldn’t the laborers get a share in the pie of the firm? In a capitalist economy, it is the concentration of capital that leads to concentration of income and wealth with a few people. Why shouldn’t the ownership of capital be distributed among many? For example while setting up a firm, the land is forcibly acquired from many landowning households. Instead of paying them a price for the land, the landowners can proportionately become the shareholders of the new firm. But this is not likened by the capitalist class. We need to have a serious relook at our economic policies and economic theories. The economic theories should provide ideas on how to maximize the welfare of the society at large, not the profit of a few entrepreneurs. Similarly, the economic policies should create an environment for the rise of all sections of society. Otherwise it will not be too late before we witness a spike in the frequency of social disturbances.

GANDHI- THE INTEGRITY AND TIMELESSNESS OF HIS IDEAS Sourav Poddar2 “It’s generally foolhardy to write about Gandhi, not only because you are never certain you’ve got him right, but because you are almost sure to have him wrong. There is a lack of plain argument in his writing and there is an insouciance about fundamental objections, which he himself raises, to his own intuitive ideas. The truth of his claims seem to him so instinctive and certain that mere arguments seem frivolous even to readers who disagree with them. Being trained in a discipline of Philosophy of a quite different temperament, I will try to not get distracted by the irritation I sometimes feel about this.”3

INTRODUCTION I began with this quote, for a specific reason. In a lot of ways I felt the same about Gandhi. So much had been written about Gandhi and so many interpretations had been given to his ideas that to choose a flow of argument really became difficult. Gandhi has been labeled with so many names – from ‘Mahatma’ to ‘shrewd politician’, ‘visionary’ This was presented by Sourav Poddar as a term paper on the course “Gandhi and the Critique of Modernity” while he was a Fellow with the Young India Fellowship Programme (Batch 2012-13). He can be reached at sourav.evr18@gmail.com 3 Bilgrami, Akeel , “Gandhi, the Philosopher”. 2

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to being ‘delightfully vague’, ‘Bapu’, ‘misplaced idealist’ – in fact too many to count. I believe from different perspectives, all of them might be true for Gandhi, especially when Gandhi’s actions and the motives behind them are analyzed. A man with a gun, prone to violence, might not kill or harm, if not under a veil of anonymity. This cannot allow us to conclude that the violent man is now a reformed person. Actions always have a context associated with it. While judging the action, a fair judgment cannot be passed without including the context. To analyze the actions of Gandhi and the motivations behind them and to make fair conclusions about it, one needs to delve into a historical study of his lifetime. I do not intend on doing that. Actions stem from the ideas that a person embodies. And this too is a sufficiently complicated process. A person takes an idea from a source – let’s call it the fountainhead (though fountainhead signifies the original source the fact is we might never which is the original source; a safer bet is to look at the etymology of the word used to express the idea) – tests the veracity of the idea by applying it to the time and context which surround him and then reform it continuously so as to make it potent. This, I believe, was at least true for Gandhi. If I have to make directional plan of this, it would look something like: Fountainhead -> Idea Borrowed -> Tested in a small context -> Idea Accepted -> Applied in a larger context I would like to pick up the main ideas of Gandhi namely – Truth, Satyagraha and Non-Violence. I would like to analyze what meaning they held for Gandhi, how through his ‘experiments’ he kept evolving them and the unity in all his ideas. Finally I

would like to make an argument that if given the proper context then Gandhi’s ideas are relevant even today. "I would like to say to the diligent reader of my writings and to others who are interested in them that I am not at all concerned with appearing to be consistent. In my search after Truth I have discarded many ideas and learnt many news things.... What I am concerned with is my readiness to obey the call of Truth, my God, from moment to moment, and therefore, when anybody finds any inconsistency between any two writings of mine, if he still has any faith in my sanity, he would do well to choose the later of the two on the same subject.”4

TRUTH, SATYAGRAHA AND NON-VIOLENCE “I do dimly perceive that whilst everything around me is ever changing, ever dying, there is underlying all that change a Living Power that is changeless, that holds all together, that creates, dissolves and recreates. That informing Power or Spirit is God. And since nothing else I see merely through the senses can or will persist, He alone is. And is this power benevolent or malevolent? I see it as purely benevolent, for I can see that in the midst of death life persists, in the midst of untruth truth persists, in the midst of darkness light persists. Hence I gather that God is Life, Truth, Light. He is Love. He is the supreme Good. But He is no God who merely satisfies the intellect, if He ever can. God to be God must rule the heart and transform it…This can 4

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M.K. Gandhi, “Harijan”, 29th April 1933, Pg 2.


only be done through a definite realization, more real than the five senses can ever produce…”5 During Gandhi’s incarceration in Yeravda Prison in 1930, he wrote a series of letters to the Satyagraha Ashram in which he tried to explain the underlying principles on which his beliefs were based. And in this he first picked up the concept of Truth. The Sanskrit word for Truth is satya which itself derived from sat which means ‘being’, like Gandhi says in the above quoted passage that everything around us is impermanent except a Living Power which is changeless. This is the ‘being’ because all else that is alive today maybe dead tomorrow and even the dead may take different forms. That’s why Gandhi says God is Truth. Devotion to this Truth, will lead us to true knowledge, because this Truth encompasses all knowledge. Satchinananda, another term used for God, is made of three words – sat (Truth), chit (knowledge) and ananda (bliss). So, God is which combines Truth, knowledge and bliss. When you devote yourself to the pursuit of Truth, true knowledge happens and in that state there is bliss and you know God. But due to vastness of this Truth (that encompasses all knowledge), it is a herculean task (maybe impossible) to ever attain this Truth in its totality. So, the truth that we hold on to is just a small portion of Truth – the Absolute. And so what may appear truth to you might appear untruth to the other and vice-versa. “Where there is honest effort, it will be realized that what appear to be different truths are like the countless and apparently different leaves

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From Gandhi’s article ‘On God’.

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of the same tree.”6 Having to a certain degree covered Gandhi’s conception of Truth, it’s time to move on and explore the concept of Satyagraha. Satyagraha literally means “holding on to Truth”. Gandhi believed that evil existed because people supported it. “Holding on to Truth” means withdrawing support from what is wrong. His belief was that if enough people withdrew from supporting evil, then evil would collapse for lack of support. Many researchers on Gandhi say that this method was born out of the crucial event in Gandhi’s life when he was thrown out of a train in Maritzburg station in South Africa because of the ‘non-white’ color of his skin. In the preface to the Vintage Spiritual Classics Edition, Eknath Easwaran writes “But there are times in human affairs – sometimes in a profound external crisis, sometimes for no apparent reason at all – when superficial awareness is torn open and a channel into deeper consciousness is laid bare.”7 In the cold winter night, Gandhi could have turned back to India, but instead at that crucial moment he decided to cling to the truth and suffer the consequences in trying to root out the evil of racial prejudice for the benefit of all parties involved. The idea of satyagraha was simply that if suffering existed then make the suffering visible. Sooner or later the inflictor would turn to sympathy because Gandhi believed that deep in everyone was embedded a common sense of humanity. In reaching the method of Satyagraha the definition of Truth was important, Satyagraha becomes M. K. Gandhi, “From Yeravda Mandir” (Ashram Observances),Translated from Gujarati by : Valji Govindji Desai First Published: December 1932 7 Eknath Easwaran, Preface to the Vintage Spiritual Classics Edition of the “The Essential Gandhi: An Anthology of His Writings on His Life, Work, and Ideas” by Louis Fischer. 6


important because of the importance Gandhi places on Truth and with that came the strength and righteousness to fight for it. Non-violence comes from the Sanskrit word ahimsa which means the complete absence of violence in word and even thought as well as action. “Ahimsa is unconditional love; satyagraha is love in action.”8 In the aspect of Gandhi’s Non-Violence I like Akeel Bilgrami’s interpretation of it in his essay ‘Gandhi, the Philosopher’. Violence, Bilgrami says, can be interpreted in many ways and has many sides. Nonviolence being the negation of all violence had only one side and is indivisible. Bilgrami argues that non-violence for Gandhi does not come due to modesty from non-attainment of Truth. Simply put, it is not enough to not commit non-violence, but equally important not to bear hostility to others or even to criticize them. One is free to not follow what his/her conscience does not permit, which does give room to moral judgment but it is not the point of moral judgment to criticize. According to Gandhi, criticizing someone will only make him defensive about his stand and will alienate the person from you. I think Gandhi knew that he was walking a very thin line. He wanted non-violence as a method to last, not just in the context of national freedom movement but in the larger context of the betterment of humanity. That’s why he rigorously tested his ideas in the smaller settings of the Ashram he set up and then in larger national context. And whenever his followers deviated from the path set by him Eknath Easwaran, Preface to the Vintage Spiritual Classics Edition of the “The Essential Gandhi: An Anthology of His Writings on His Life, Work, and Ideas” by Louis Fischer.

during any mass movement, he called off it off instantly. When a civil-disobedience movement was launched as a mark of protest against the Rowlatt Act of 1919, reports of Gandhi’s arrest led to riots in Bombay and Ahmedabad. Gandhi immediately called off the movement in sympathy because Gandhi believed that deep in everyone was embedded a common sense of humanity. In reaching the method of Satyagraha the definition of Truth was important, Satyagraha becomes important because of the importance Gandhi places on Truth and with that came the strength and righteousness to fight for it. ‘I realized that before people could be fit for offering civil disobedience they should thoroughly understand its deeper implications. That being so, before restarting civil disobedience on mass scale, it would be necessary to create a band of well-tried, pure-hearted volunteers who thoroughly understood the strict conditions of Satyagraha. They could explain these to the people, and by sleepless vigilance, keep them on the right path.’9 That’s why I believe he put so much extensive efforts on documenting his ideas and what he called his ‘experiments’. Adhering to Non-Violence becomes easier when one considers himself to be a Satyagrahi because he who is a Satyagrahi will suffer willingly for what he believes is a good cause and in that he will become stronger rather than by resorting to violence.

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An Autobiography or The Story of my experiments with truth’, M.K. Gandhi, Navajivan Publishing House, Part V, Chapter 33, p.392. 9


CERTAIN IMPLICATIONS Gandhi’s ideas cannot be looked at in isolation. Satyagraha if seen in isolation from the concept of Truth and non-violence is not Satyagraha. In this paper I will not try and attempt to analyze larger historical and political events under the lens of Gandhi’s ideas. But I will look at the smaller events that we read in the newspapers daily. I have grown-up in the state of West Bengal and have often seen the state paralyzed due to strikes and protests. I have seen a woman leader from the state, hold the central government to ransom over every other non-populist policy. So often the trade unions have done the same with their companies. Will these be derivatives of Gandhi’s methods? For Gandhi, any noncooperation movement was not to force the British to give in to his demands. But it was a method to get the British to accept that there was a problem with their policies and then to bring them to the point of negotiation. And negotiation is miles away from coercion. “I shall hope against hope, I shall strain every nerve to achieve an honorable settlement for my country…it was not making British people directly suffer, it was suffering…I do know that you [British] will suffer, but I want you to suffer because I want to touch your hearts, and when your hearts have been touched, then will come the psychological moment for negotiation”810 It is very important to draw a line between Satyagraha and coercion. Because a lot has been achieved in through protests and fasts Speech delivered at the plenary session of the Round Table Conference, London, 1931, C. Rajagopalachari and J.C. Kumarappa, The Nation’s Voice, Chapter 11, pp. 78-79.

and not all of them can be considered as to be for the good of the nation. Maybe that is why Gandhi stressed on having the feeling of love even for your opponent. It might sound namby-pamby (the word used by Akeel Bilgrami in his essay ‘Gandhi, the Philosopher’) but I believe this sentiment is important for the validity of Gandhi’s methods. If you are only worried about your own good, then Satyagraha can be used for coercion because you are blinded by your own needs. But if you are concerned about your opponent’s welfare then you will negotiate to find a common ground for the welfare of both yourself and your opponent.

SELF-RULE I also want to delve into the idea of ‘selfrule’ that Gandhi propagated. This is very important for some of instances that I want to analyze. Gandhi never talked about independence of the nation without its people becoming independent and selfreliant. ‘The outward freedom…that we shall attain will be only in exact proportion to the inward freedom to which we may have grown at a given moment.’11 ‘Self-government depends entirely upon our internal strength, upon our ability to fight against the heaviest odds... I have therefore endeavored to show both in word and deed that political self-government… is no better than individual self-government and therefore is to be attained by precisely the same means that are required for individual self-government or self-rule.’12 But is this idea of self-rule rooted only at a governance level? I don’t think so. For Gandhi it came down to a much more

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Young India, November 1, 1928 Mahadev Desai, With Gandhi in Ceylon, chapter 14, p. 93. 11

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fundamental level. How can the subject ask the ruler to rule according to his wishes if the subject is dependent on the ruler for his basic needs? “Non-violence cannot be taught to a person who fears to die and has no power of resistance. A helpless mouse is not nonviolent because he is always eaten by pussy. He would gladly eat the murderess if he could but he ever tries to flee…We do not call him a coward because he is made by nature to behave no better than he does. But a man who when faced by danger behaves like a mouse is rightly called a coward’13. ‘…The nation as a whole has never been and never been claimed to be non-violent…And what is decisive is that India has not yet demonstrated the non-violence of the strong, such as would be required to withstand a powerful army of invasion. If we had developed that strength, we would have acquired our freedom long ago…”14 I disagree with a lot of Gandhi’s critique of Modernity in the Hind Swaraj. But a bit of what he predicted did turn out to be true. Industrialization, use of machines in major aspects of daily life shifted the centre of power to cities. Cities became much more attractive. India has seen a constant rise in the number of migrants from villages, coming into its cities every year. Farming was no more a preferred option. Migrants in the city had to look for jobs rather creating livelihoods for themselves. Dependency was shifted to the state machinery and the bureaucracy. When it failed the people, there was no option left but to appeal, then to complain, and then to appeal again. A ruler needs the co-operation of the ruled 13 14

Harijan, July 20, 1935 Harijan, July 19, 1942

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for the enforcement of his rule. Like in a team, a leader needs the acceptance of his team to lead. Over-dependency on the ruler creates apathetic rulers, dictators and tyrants. A leader (Gandhi would never use the word ‘ruler’) in an idealized state, would consider his job to be in service of his followers. When dependency becomes the mode of acceptance of power, service cannot happen. When people become independent, i.e. rely on themselves for their needs then service, i.e. performance of one’s duties, becomes the only mode of acceptance for the leader. This is when the concept of Satyagraha and Non-violence emerges in full force, and non-cooperation makes sense. I will keep suffering the wounds you inflict on me, and bear them proudly; I will not back down from my rights and will not accept your alms to appease me. Until and unless you realize that you hold no power over me except the power of crushing me, I will keep ‘holding to my truth’. My struggle will continue until you realize that only through the completion of your duties towards me can you gain my acceptance. By observing Non-violence in thought and action, I will not seek to force you to give in to my demands but to seek a common ground which could lead to the betterment of both our plights. (Emphasis added to denote change from third person to first person) Only through this, as Gandhi often pointed out, can transformative change happen. That’s why often I have been led to believe that social entrepreneurship can possibly lead to this wave of change.


CONCLUSION - INTEGRITY IN GANDHI’S IDEAS Do you see the integrity of Gandhi’s ideas? That’s why Gandhi’s ‘experiments’ are so crucial. An idea taken when not fully evolved, can lead to disastrous results. I wonder what would have happened if Gandhi had not documented all his ‘experiments’ or if he was assassinated mid-way. And why should we even consider that Gandhi was fully able to evolve his ideas? “I hope and pray that no one will regard the advice interspersed in the following chapters as authoritative. The experiments narrated should be regarded as illustrations, in the light of which everyone may carry his own experiments according to his own inclinations and capacity. I trust that to this limited extent the illustrations will be really helpful…I hope to acquaint the reader fully with all my faults and errors. My purpose is to describe experiments in the science of Satyagraha…”15 Let’s just not reject this as fake modesty from Gandhi but actually consider this as an appeal to try out these ideas before rejecting them. I see the application of Gandhi’s ideas in a lot of spheres. But what happens when a super-power nation attacks a weaker nation and disturbs its stability. The latter’s suffering is laid bare in front of the international community but because a lot of the international community is dependent on the super-power, voice is not raised. We have seen it happen. How will Gandhi’s idea of Satyagraha and Nonviolence apply in this context? Frankly, I do

not know. With the constant threat of nuclear weapons that countries have piled up what other option do we have? That’s why I believe that violence being not an option, our own ‘experiments’ with Truth, Satyagraha and Non-Violence are required. What I have attempted to bring out from this essay can be summed up with the following lines – “In today’s language, Gandhi gave us the basis for a technology of peace. He gave us tools for resolving conflicts of all kinds, which anyone can learn to use. But it is urgent to understand his message that nonviolence is a way of thinking, a way of life – not a tactic, but a way of putting love to work in resolving problems, healing relationships, and generally raising the quality of our lives. We don’t begin on the grand stage he acted on; he did not begin that way himself…His nonviolence is not a political weapon or a technique for social change so much as it is an essential art – perhaps the essential art of civilization. In other words, nonviolence is a skill, just like learning to read. Love is a skill. Forgiveness is a skill. The transformation of anger is a skill.”16

Eknath Easwaran, Preface to the Vintage Spiritual Classics Edition of the “The Essential Gandhi: An Anthology of His Writings on His Life, Work, and Ideas” by Louis Fischer. 16

‘An Autobiography or The Story of my experiments with truth’, M.K. Gandhi, Navajivan Publishing House, Pg. xiv. 15

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THE VULNERABLE INDIAN Akshita Goyal17 India, the multi-hued democracy, now leaping onto higher ladders of economics growth was known for its diversified yet unified society. India has given birth to great men and women who changed the ideologies of the world. They treaded the paths of 'social sympathy' and taught the world the exact meaning of 'identity'. I am reminded of the great Mughal emperor Akbar who introduced Din-e-illahi i.e. The Religion of God. Manuscripts written during that time are testimony to his staunch belief of religious tolerance. When Akbar allowed Hindus to worship in their temples during Muslim reign, his son Salim asked why he did so. The king responded: "My son, I love my own religion...the Hindu also loves his religion. If he wants to spend money on his religion, what right do I have to prevent him...Does he not have the right to love the thing that is his very own?” Not only this, he helped his Christian subjects to enjoy full freedom in his empire. On the Fatehpur Sikri, it is transcribed, “Jesus, the son of Mary, said: This world is a bridge. Pass over it, but build no houses on it. He who hopes for an hour may hope for eternity." Such men teach us that when tolerance prevails, societies flourish but when this tolerance ceases to exist, harmony is nowhere to be seen. Despite this, we have 17Akshita

Goyal is a final year student of B.A.(Hons.) Economics at St. Stephen’s College, Delhi. She can be reached at akshita.ma@gmail.com

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allowed religion to merge with politics which has divided us beyond imagination. Over time, the fissures in the social framework have been widening. The different castes have formed their own groups and are now asserting their identities which they have created themselves. Huntington, in his seminal paper 'Clash of Civilizations: Remaking of the world order' claims that each human is a part of a civilization. That is what forms his identity. However, Amartya Sen trashes this view by saying that identity of an individual is essentially a function of her choices, rather than the discovery of an immutable attribute. Prof. Sen couldn’t have put it more lucidly! Unfortunately, the essence of identity has metamorphosed into selfhood! The selfhood that demands each individual to demarcate the caste, region, gender and religion he belongs to! All our differentiating identities are actually subsumed in humanity. The extremist notion of we can't love what we are unless we hate what we are not has created fault lines which are now turning into battle lines. Symbols of identity are getting bolder and darkened. India was initially considered as an amalgam of numerous religions in different regions. Now these regionalist divisions seem to have deepened the political tiffs. Political Parties are no more the representatives of the people; rather they are agents of religious fundamentalism. Bahujan Samaj Party for the Dalits, Shiv Sena for the Marathi Hindus, BJP for the Hindutva followers and the list goes on. Where are we heading to? Do you not have a sense of déjà vu? Viewing all this, I remember our history episode when India was a union of independent princely states and Sardar Patel went to each and every kingdom requesting them to join hands. We


are not very far from that divided India. Let me quote an instance from the headline of every newspaper in India: the partition of Andhra Pradesh to form the 29th state of our nation - Telangana. The reason for this was lack of developmental focus on one part of the state. So, the solution of backwardness is dividing backyards? What do we gain out of making more and more boundaries? Do we not know that strength lies in a bundle of sticks and not some scattered single sticks? Region, religion, caste, creed and sex are few of the parameters on which we are basing our identities blindly. We seem to have completely ignored the overarching concept of the 'Great Family of Man'. This refers to the belief that in the end, we are all brothers and sisters and this fact can't be falsified. Nevertheless, I see a stark silver lining here. It is out of the shambles of the old that the new era is born. I have, like many other optimists, a bright vision of Incredible India. We as Indians have an innate sense of belongingness which has momentarily got suppressed but can't be succumbed to. Our identity lies in our diversity: we believe in the homogeneity of our seemingly heterogeneous cultures. All for one and one for all! Today we are vulnerable Indians but I see the writing on the wall: "The Inseparable Indians!" However, to see the sunshine we have to go through the gallows of darkness. Each one of us must do our bit. Let us learn to think the way Rumi wants us to: Like a sculptor, if necessary, carve a friend out of stone. Realize that your inner sight is blind, and try to see a treasure in everyone!

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A FINE BALANCE Sreya Mallika Datta18 “Scolded by mother, thirteen year old girl commits suicide!” scream the headlines, splashed in bold across the front page of a leading daily. In the very same paper, one would not be surprised to find a headline such as “Unable to repay debts, farmer commits suicide” tucked into an insignificant corner of an insignificant page. While the former news item may seem more “palatable” in a rather morbid sense, the latter, more serious item and one which presents an issue worthy of a broader debate, seems to get lost between the pages of sensationalism. Where the main task of the media is to “sell” news rather than to supply it, sensationalism has become the sub-text of every news article we read or every broadcast that we watch on television. Starting from the positioning of a news item in a paper to the way in which it is often blasted out of proportion so that it appears racier - sensationalism is rather easily identified today. However what is more pernicious and unnerving is the fact how certain media houses or newspapers misrepresent facts blatantly and without any compunction at all. Following the deplorable violence at Presidency University, Kolkata which took place not even a year back (initiated by a mob of criminals bearing flags of a certain political party,) I was asked, by a wellknown media house, to write an article on 18Sreya

Mallika Datta is a second year student of English (Hons.) at Presidency University, Kolkata. She can be reached at sreyamallika.datta@gmail.com


the measures I would like to see implemented to end violence on campus. I was warned to be strictly “apolitical” in my write-up. With utmost care, I wrote an article that I believed was as near the truth as possible and one which was not influenced by the views of any group in campus. Sadly, when the article was ultimately published, it bore little semblance to my original piece. In a bid to be “apolitical”, whatever that might mean, the newspaper had successfully managed to completely crop out essential details citing a “space crunch”. A sentence which read as: “The need of the hour is to request whichever government is in power to go beyond the boundaries of its own concerns and concentrate on the politics of humanism and not the politics of colour” was edited to read as “No matter which government is in power, political parties must learn to spare the centres of learning”. I will leave it to the reader to decide the extent of the clever “editing” at play by the newspaper, where the phrase “politics of humanism” was scrapped in an over-zealous attempt to emphasize that there should be no politics, in any form, within the campus. What the newspaper perhaps did not realize was the fact that even a supposedly “apolitical” view is a political one, as no idea can be isolated as an “apolitical” one. In fact, editing my article to present a supposedly apolitical view was a political move in itself! If we consider the word “politics” etymologically, its approximate meaning would stand as “of, for or relating to citizens”. Any form of dialogue, debate or voice that concerns the citizens or an individual in a social situation is political. Using the author’s name without publishing the author’s original view along with it is nothing short of defamation as the author’s credibility is challenged. If this is the way 18 | S a t y a 2 0 1 4

media has evolved today, then it is perhaps more dangerous to speak out than not speak at all. Somewhere between truth and profanity, the media has become the new kaleidoscope—it presents “facts” in such myriad ways and so many different colours that it is hard to fathom their essence and assess whether their representation has been true to a particular situation or not. Caught in the midst of larger interests, can the media save itself from toppling off the tightrope?

PATH TO PERENNIAL PEACE Anshuman Kamila19 Every now and then people on either side of the L.o.C. read about cease-fire violations and incursions of ‘enemy’ soldiers. Such incidents are alarming – especially for those staying close to the borders. Things took the ugliest turn in the recent past when skirmishes along India’s border with Pakistan set off vehement discussions at the UN and bilateral forums. And the usual politicking interspersed with diplomacy followed – ‘cannot be business as usual’, and stuff like that. Adding to it were chiefs of Army and Air Force, both talking tough on getting our belligerent neighbour to ‘comply through alternate means.’

Anshuman Kamila is a final year student of B.A. (Hons.) Economics at St. Stephen’s College, Delhi. He can be reached at kamila.anshuman@gmail.com 19


Let us analyse why unpleasant things recur along the unfenced fences. There is deeply entrenched suspicion, hatred between masses of both countries and a glaring level of trust deficit. A soldier is drawn from the average person of any country and is bound to harbour identical feelings for his gunbrandishing counterparts. There is a delicate balance between restraint and retaliation when such cross-border fire exchanges have continued for long decades now. The tipping point comes when there’s the smallest of incidents at some border outpost and anger erupts – trigger-happy soldiers leave no stone unturned to return fire; they shouldn’t! Also there are reports of soldiers’ crossing over and beheading some civilians and/or soldiers as a gruesome silent war tactic. I write as a quintessential Indian, ignorant of the stockpile of firepower that Indian armed forces possess, unknown to the hazy nitty-gritty of Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) and with a disregard for fruitless peace pacts. I suggest a threefold proposal to bring about a coveted level of inter-country faith and friendship which clearly the governments haven’t been able to give us: 1.

MUTUAL TRADE: One is aware that Pakistan is yet to grant India the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status. But also it is well known and celebrated that we now have an Integrated Check Post at Attari. Let’s stop expecting government-level delegations to break the ice between business communities. Our business collectives are mature enough, with sound knowledge of pecuniary considerations (comparative advantages and matters of trade not being a zero sum game). They can themselves coordinate an enhanced

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level of trade among the countries. As trade flourishes, there’ll be interdependence among neighbours which will be a stabilizing factor in bilateral relations. Much like the Communist Party of China believes that higher trade flows between India and China will inevitably culminate in greater friendship and mutual concern. Of course, the respective governments have to provide a conducive climate for commerce – but corporate level initiatives can act as a stimulant to greater government cooperation in trade. 2.

POLITICAL DELEGATIONS: The basis of all diplomatic initiatives and instruments is a heightened level of people-to-people interaction. And this can be brought about if political leaders and statesmen from either side make visits across the border, carrying the message of friendship, peace and goodwill. The examples of Shri Sukhbir Singh Badal (Deputy CM, Punjab) and Shri Nitish Kumar (CM, Bihar) {the latter perceived being engulfed in the warmth of ‘sadbhavna’ wherever he went in Pakistan} springs to mind as prominent examples. Both of them in fact invited delegations of similar genre from Pakistan to India. Also, our inimitable veteran parliamentarian Shri Lalu Prasad Yadav was eulogized in one of Pakistan’s legislative bodies, as an adroit manager of the railways. Shri Mani Shankar Aiyar (Congress MP, Rajya Sabha) claims to be more famous as a public figure in Pakistan than he is in India. There is much hope in such gentlemen making trips to Pakistan to bridge the yawning gap between Indians and Pakistanis.


3.

YOUTH-LEVEL INTERACTIONS: An undergraduate from a premier college of the country came back from South Asian Economics Students Meet 2012 with boundless joy. She befriended her contemporaries from Pakistan and was immensely happy noting that the youth does not share the ill-will that citizens in general do. It is an established fact that the youth have an optimistic bent of mind, and are very willing to keep sour things of the past in abeyance while marching ahead on the path of prosperity through friendship. More of such consultative and interactive sessions should be promoted. ‘Aman Ki Asha’ program of the TOI brought together students from Pakistan and India for a two-day fraternizing session in February 2012. The zeal for friendship, the hope for joint-progress must be tapped before the bitterness of border firings stir poison in ties between the youth of the neighbours.

It is amply clear that calculated, strategised diplomacy isn’t taking us further on the path of friendship. Third party mediation is largely out of the current consideration. The only visible and viable way forward is scaling up of efforts at levels other than the governmental. I suggest the above elaborated plan for consideration and implementation by intellectuals and implementers.

TAKING THE AAM AADMI BY SURPRISE Aranyak Saikia20 The recent spectacular show by Arvind Kejriwal led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has taken most political pundits by surprise. Barring one poll survey, all poll surveys completely underestimated the AAP’s performance, which was further highlighted in the statements and comments of political leaders in other established parties, which ruled out any competition by the AAP. However, one needs to understand the significance of this win not only in terms of the number of seats in the assembly elections, but also in terms of the greater issues that this electoral win has raised. To begin with, the AAP has been the first party to set corruption as its main agenda. While regional parties strive to protect the identities of the states, and parties like SP or BSP cater to certain castes or communities, and parties like the Congress or BJP bank on not only community specific politics, but also development-centered politics, the AAP has taken up the sole issue of corruption without the divisive nature of communal or caste based politics. Corruption is universal to the Indian scenario and is one of the few issues which is not tainted by the colour or caste or community. This remarkable feat is similar to the rise of the Green Party in Europe whose sole agenda is environment protection. Aranyak Saikia is a second-year student of B.A. (Hons.) Economics at St. Stephen’s College, Delhi. He can be reached at aranyaksaikia@gmail.com 20

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Secondly, the success of the party can be attributed to the presence of new and ‘politically-inexperienced’ faces in the ranks of the party. The presence of such faces gave hope to the aam aadmi that political wins are possible for anyone who has a vision. This has indeed taken the common man by surprise.

and economy. Many experts have expressed doubts over the feasibility of many of the reforms the AAP government has promised in its manifesto. These doubts stem from the undeniable fact that the governance structure in India is highly rigid, and any reform measure takes a long time to make its way through the system.

Thirdly, while many of the issues raised in the manifesto are basically those that the Congress and BJP have been raising for years but have failed to deliver, the AAP’s principal source of success on this front has to be due to its ability to project corruption as the sole reason for the lack of the country’s development all these years. Therefore, a party whose sole motive is to weed out corruption can only deliver on those promises. This can be a very logical way of reasoning among the voters indeed.

In the meantime, the party must refrain from the tempting world of Indian politics which can dent its image and make it impossible to win another election, as has happened with a number of political parties in the past. Breaking the electorate’s trust can be death blow to the party.

However, one must keep in mind that electoral wins and delivering governance are two separate things. The AAP has recently come under a string of criticism for undertaking a number of populist measures such as 700 liters of free water and subsidized electricity that have the potential for increasing the financial burden on the exchequer. While such criticism may have ground, it’s important to analyze the AAP government’s performance over a longer period of time, rather than just over 48 hours of assuming office. At the same time, the government must also understand that many of the measures it plans to undertake to weed out corruption have a high gestation period, thereby requiring the government to have tremendous patience in achieving its desired objectives. Any attempt to rush through the entire process can be detrimental not only to the party’s future electoral prospects, but also to the fundamentals of the country’s governance 21 | S a t y a 2 0 1 4

This is all too well-known among the Assamese electorate which voted the AGP out of power for breaking people’s trust. The party is practically non-existent now. At the same time, AAP must maintain its image of moving beyond the quagmire of caste or community politics. It should avoid undertaking measures that are seen as favouring one community over others, in the name of appeasement politics. The dharna by Kejriwal on the issue of granting full powers over the Delhi Police is a political blunder in the minds of many, including some AAP workers. Kejriwal should keep in mind that people’s faith in him shall remain as long as his faith in the system of governance remains intact. Strikes and protests not only reduce his government’s credibility, but at the same time give rise to unwanted antisocial practices, such as the vigilantism propagated by the likes of Somnath Bharti. Thus, it’s imperative that the Aam Aadmi Party learn from its mistakes and strive to deliver its promises while the balancing the needs of the state. These steps would go a long way in heralding a new era of Indian politics, which the party promises to bring.


IDEAS FOR SUSTAINABLE CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY Anoothi Kumar21

ABSTRACT Corporate Social Responsibility, as it exists today, is inherently unsustainable. In India, corporate objectives for higher profits in times of economic growth and rising aspirations of the middle class on one hand, and growing societal disparities on the other, combine to create immense pressures, both for and against the practice of CSR. Most companies today adopt CSR practices that address multiple social agenda. While such models of social responsibility support worthy causes and create benefits, they do not maximize potential benefits to society. For companies too, they do not add any significant economic value. For a CSR strategy to be truly sustainable it must be both long lasting and non-exploitative, for which it is necessary that economic and social goals of a business converge. Instead of spending money on vaguely related ventures in the name of CSR, utilizing core competences (expertise, research capability, reach) along with the Anoothi is a final year student of B.A. (Hons.) Economics at St. Stephen’s College, Delhi. She can be reached at anoothi.kumar@gmail.com 21

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financial resources will make CSR more relevant to the firm and hence more sustainable. This could be in the form of improving quality of institutional infrastructure, or increasing long-term demand for services, as well as the talent needed to provide them. While studying the CSR strategy of companies in India, what emerged was that most companies followed a “four thrust area” strategy where they focussed on education, health, employability and the environment. In fact, the Guidelines on CSR given by the Government suggest a list of activities that businesses could undertake as a part of their CSR, and most companies have, in fact, chosen one or a few of the suggestions without a paradigm shift in the conception of CSR from philanthropy to competitive advantage, for a business is required to optimize social returns. The Indian corporate scenario is today is a vibrant and diverse multitude of businesses. Yet, the CSR programs of most businesses follow a “four thrust area” strategy, where companies across the board tend to focus on education, healthcare, employability and the environment, without paying any heed to their business strategy and how CSR fits into the overall larger vision of the company. If each company leverages its core competence in line with the economic principle of comparative advantage, a diffused and unfocussed expenditure program can be targeted and contextualized over time. A critical assessment of current CSR strategies showcases several opportunities for a shift to this approach. Based on its experience in European markets, Tata Motors could participate in Indian institutional development. The horizontal


integration of a conglomerate such as Mahindra Rise would allow Mahindra and Mahindra to expand its emergency services program using its synergies in the design and manufacture of vehicles. India’s IT companies, despite being in the same industry with overlapping customer base, have distinct core competencies and are well positioned to apply their technology and expertise to solve societal problems in India. A thrust on IBM’s Smarter Cities, Wipro’s Mission 10X, and Infosys’ digital empowerment program are unique initiatives based on relative strengths, tailored to the needs of the community and the goals of the business. The plantations associated with Café Coffee Day, rural infrastructure projects by Larsen and Toubro, knowledge management and medico-marketing by Ranbaxy, rural access to clean fuels and a HIV/AIDS awareness campaign by Hindustan Petroleum, and cultural initiatives by Fab India: each analysis presents a new argument for undertaking CSR that is aligned to longterm corporate vision, and strategically integrated with business plans, making CSR a long-term commitment, rather than a short-term campaign.

I. INTRODUCTION Corporate philanthropy, as it exists today, is in a “no-win situation”. Due to the Government mandate, many in the corporate involuntarily engage in virtually any kind of charitable activity. A strategy such as this will undoubtedly be unsustainable due to the inherent conflict of interests in it: critics continue to demand greater and greater levels of “Corporate Social Responsibility” as a moral obligation of rich businesses, whereas investors and shareholders continue to see it as something 23 | S a t y a 2 0 1 4

that eats away immediate short run profits. The more companies ‘donate’, the more is expected of them; and such philanthropic expenditure is very hard to justify to business investors who are concerned with profit maximization. In a society like India, corporate objectives for higher profits in times of economic growth and rising aspirations of the middle class on one hand and the growing societal disparities on the other, combine to create immense pressures, both for and against the practice of CSR. Most companies today adopt CSR practices that address multiple social agendas education, healthcare, environment, culture, sports etc. Such an unfocused approach results in diffused spending. It reflects the personal beliefs and values of the current business leadership, or is undertaken to primarily generate goodwill among customers and clients. While it is true that such models of CSR support worthy causes and create benefits, they do not maximize potential benefits to society. For companies too, they do not add any significant economic value. In being tied to short term practices, purposes and people, CSR the way it is practiced today is hence unsustainable. To induce sustainability into philanthropic initiatives, we need a paradigm shift from perceiving CSR as mere goodwill generation, to what Michael Porter and Mark Kramer call “competitive advantage of corporate philanthropy”. The paper is structured as follows: Section II explains the rationale behind using core competence as CSR (and confronting the argument that genuine CSR should not be linked to business), Section III outlines the time horizon of sustainable CSR, Section IV critically appraises the CSR strategy of


several top Indian companies in the light of a new approach, Section V charts the path ahead, and concludes.

II. CORE COMPETENCE AS SUSTAINABLE CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY For a CSR strategy to be truly sustainable, it must be both long lasting and nonexploitative. It cannot be altruistic or predatory: neither sacrificing the economic goals of the business to its social responsibility, nor vice versa. It is only the convergence of the economic and social goals (non-exploitative), in the context of the ultimate long-term objective of the business (long lasting), that will result in a CSR strategy that is a core component of company policy, and is hence sustainable. Those comprising the corporate control not just financial funds, but also have expertise, research capability and a targeted reach (of business to society, which comprises both their market and their input base). This translates into their core competence. The know-how of corporate leaders (in their own domains specifically), their clout, connections and their presence across regions could help in the creation of long term benefits for all stakeholders. Instead of spending money on vaguely related ventures in the name of CSR, utilizing this core competence along with the financial resources will make CSR more relevant to the firm and hence more sustainable. It could improve both long-term demand for services, and the talent needed to provide them. Corporations are often wary of the adoption of such a context-focused approach, and try to keep CSR distinct from their business, so 24 | S a t y a 2 0 1 4

as to not send out wrong signals to the community. However, applying the distinctive strengths of a company to maximize social and economic value is in the best interests of all stakeholders. This approach is a powerful way of building shared value, whereby competitive advantage of the firm will create optimal social benefit. The economic rationale behind the allocation of social responsibility strategies is the notion of comparative advantage, where a company should undertake that project where its opportunity costs of are lower than that of all others. This principle, which forms the foundation of the theory of international trade, endorses the idea that even if one firm has the absolute advantage in the provision of all services, its comparative advantage depends on relative opportunity costs of labour time and capital value.

III. THE TIME HORIZON OF SUSTAINABLE CSR A sustainable CSR strategy would be one that is integrated with the long-term vision of the business. To make the division clearer, we explain the time horizon in which such a strategy must play out. SHORT RUN: In the short run, a business is perfectly liable to undertake CSR strategies that match either the need of the hour, or the vision of the current leadership, or both. This could include disaster relief management and initiatives by current leadership in their topical and geographical areas of interest.


MEDIUM AND LONG RUN: In the medium and long run, CSR will be sustainable if it converges with business interests. It must not depend on short term stimuli, but should leverage core competence to carve out a niche for itself in the sphere of social impact. Environment: Aspect of CSR

A

Unique

Common

Besides a focus on the thrust of core competency, all companies, irrespective of their sector or specialization, could undertake CSR to redress the damage that their activities inflict upon the environment, and take steps to limit further damage. This could include reduction in carbon emissions, efficient and environment friendly waste management, energy saving strategies, smart building techniques and water efficiency. Reducing pollution and waste can lead to a more productive use of resources and help produce goods that consumers value, thereby benefiting both the environment and the business.

IV. AN ANALYSIS OF CURRENT CSR STRATEGIES AND ASSESSMENT OF SUSTAINABILITY While studying the CSR strategy of companies in India, what emerged was that most companies followed a “four thrust area” strategy where they focussed on education, health, employability and the environment. In fact, the Guidelines on CSR given by the Government suggest a list of activities that businesses could undertake as a part of their CSR, and most companies have, in fact, chosen one or a few of the suggestions without paying any heed to 25 | S a t y a 2 0 1 4

their business strategy and how CSR fits into the overall larger vision of the company. The approach outlined above can be easily applied in the Indian context. To substantiate further, we present an analysis of both some of the most sustainable and some of the most unsustainable CSR strategies followed by Indian firms across sectors, and give solutions that could make CSR more sustainable for each of them. 1. AUTOMOBILE SECTOR IN INDIA The automobile sector in India is one of the best examples of the opportunities to undertake sustainable CSR in line with the corporate vision. It also showcases some of the best examples of what should or should not be done under the CSR umbrella. We look, in particular, at the CSR strategies of three giants in the sector. TATA MOTORS As India’s largest automobile company, Tata Motors currently works on four thrust areas: employability (primarily for women), general education, health (preventive and curative) and environment (alternative fuels technology; electric and hybrid vehicles). While a large business like Tata Motors is doing much good by working on education and public health, it can do even better by reorienting its focus away from such areas which are not its core strength, and instead direct its CSR energy and funding towards strengthening its scrap car initiative. It is important to note that CSR is not limited to communities, markets and input sources, but also extends to institutions. With its well established technical expertise in this domain, due to the ELV regulations


in the European market22, Tata, as an industry leader, can play a key role in setting up specialized scrap car collection, treatment, and dismantling and recovery infrastructure in India. The Indian government is working to develop EU-type regulations in anticipation of several old cars being scrapped in the future, and by participating in Government consultations, Tata Motors can build critical institutions relevant in the long run. The Four Thrust Areas that Tata Motors currently works on are important, but not significantly relevant to the Company’s business vision. As stated above, a divergence in the business and social visions of a corporation make the foundations of CSR weak, and do not guarantee sustainability. MARUTI SUZUKI As an automobile company, Maruti Suzuki’s CSR initiatives center around the theme of making Indian roads safer. Under the National Road Safety Mission the Company trains people in safe driving practices. Institutes of Driving and Traffic Research (IDTRs) lay down scientific driving tracks and advanced simulators that replicate Indian driving conditions. It works in a focused manner to develop the driving skills of tribal youth (in Gujarat) and offers technical training to strengthen their employability. Some two hundred Maruti Driving Training Schools (MDS) across the country provide comprehensive training on international lines. Cumulatively, these In the European markets, the scrap car issue is driven by the End-of-Life Vehicle (ELV) Directive which mandates that a maximum of 5 percent of the vehicle weight becomes waste to landfill. Tata Motors meets EU product design requirements on ELV. 22

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initiatives have trained over 10 lakh people in safe driving. By taking up road safety as a focused CSR initiative, Maruti Suzuki has been able to concentrate its energies on various aspects of a particular social problem. This specific CSR ties in with company strategy in the long run because safer roads and greater number of people with driving skills (particularly women) will boost the demand for the products of the Company over time. MAHINDRA AND MAHINDRA M&M is India’s premier utility vehicle company. As a part of the conglomerate Mahindra Rise (that focuses primarily on automobiles), the business has a widespread CSR program. Ranging across education (Nanhi Kali scheme, Pride schools), health (workshops on dental care, hygiene, Lifeline Express, Call 108), culture (theater and film festivals, Lucknow festival) and sports (community basketball, football leagues), Mahindra’s CSR supports communities through a range of social initiatives. However, as a brand with relative strengths in automobiles, equipment and components, Mahindra’s CSR strategy is unaligned to its core competence. While investing in culture and sports are commendable initiatives, they do not leverage the particular expertise that Mahindra has. Investment in aspects of Indian culture and heritage can be easily left to companies such as FabIndia who position their brand in relation to indigenous crafts. Even in education, Mahindra should ideally invest its resources in specific areas of Technical Education and Engineering, or focus on R&D in aerospace and automobiles. The same applies to the health initiatives such as dental and hygiene


camps. On the other hand, using its strategic synergies in design, manufacture and service, Mahindra can expand its emergency response system which is in line with its expertise. The business, which is horizontally integrated across utility vehicles, medical equipment and communications technology (Mahindra Satyam), could continue to provide emergency ambulance services in relatively inaccessible areas. By 2009, 2,600 ambulances-on-call reached 147 million people, saved 40,000 lives, and employed 8,500 people. Such efficient use of their competitive technical expertise and integrated system of automobile design, manufacture, and service, has helped reduce response time, and save lives. In this process, Mahindra could reach out to more sophisticated consumers of their products (vehicles that are rugged and reliable, working well on both paved and unpaved roads) such as hospitals and fire stations. The three CSR strategies elaborated upon show that even within the same sector, despite overlapping customer base, companies have distinct core competencies., which gives firms the freedom to choose the CSR strategy that they are best placed to pursue in the long run. 2. DABUR: FMCG Dabur’s CSR strategy integrates the business vision with its social responsibility. The medicinal plants project is an initiative that would create local partnerships, benefitting both the community and the company. Further emphasis on, and expansion of similar projects is recommended. Considering that most of the products of Dabur have natural inputs, 27 | S a t y a 2 0 1 4

initiating greenhouse facility and organic farming can help it to create rural employment, and at the same time obtain inputs in a cheaper and more sustainable way. Sustainable sourcing of inputs can help it to manage a core business risk by ensuring security of supply in the long run. The company could tie up with local communities whereby the communities are empowered with training and skills to manage plantations and their indigenous knowledge of herbs and plants is used to Dabur’s advantage. Investing in apiculture and horticulture can further help it obtain primary inputs for its popular products like Dabur Honey and Dabur Gulabari. Since most of Dabur’s products have packaging that is discarded at the time of use, Dabur should engage in responsible packaging by using recyclable materials and non-toxic inks. This will not only reduce its own cost of packaging but will also help contribute towards a cleaner environment. 3. INFORMATION INDUSTRY

TECHNOLOGY

The Indian IT industry is another example of the opportunities for distinct core competencies within the same industry. IT companies are well positioned to apply their technology and expertise to solve societal problems in India. IBM, for example, has a worldwide campaign on Smarter Cities, where it uses its technology to create more sustainable and efficient cities that use technology for traffic management, waste management, conservation of electricity and so on. It works with OMRON to provide ‘smart solutions’ that lower energy use, and increase efficiency in transport operations. Their ‘Virtual Routing Planner’ presents digitalized road map information on best


routes to optimize speed and carbon emissions. Such a strategy will go a long way in creating shared value at every level of the supply chain in India, and will be in line with the core competency of IBM, replicating what is being done at an international level. Wipro on the other hand, leverages technology in its Mission 10X, to develop transformative academic leaders by empowering engineering faculty with innovative teaching techniques. This focus on engineering education not only works on improving employability of young Indian engineers, but also shores up supply of potential recruits for the Company, resulting in the convergence of the economic and social objectives of Wipro. Another possibility would be the creation of a system of industry mentors to build student potential. Infosys, through the Infosys Foundation, undertakes CSR initiatives in the domains of healthcare, education, culture and destitute care. These range from the construction of hospitals and school toilets, to sponsoring art exhibitions and rehabilitation of street children. As opposed to the current approach, Infosys could align its CSR with its business better by increasing its focus on digital empowerment as a means of fulfilling social responsibility. This could include development and application of softwares for such learning, vocational training in computer skills and computer awareness programs. Provision of PCs to students in rural and semi-urban areas will expand the reach of the digital network and may also create future demand for the company’s services.

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4. CAFÉ COFFEE DAY: BEVERAGE By focusing their CSR on contextual conditions most important to the coffee industry, CCD leverages its expertise to create mutual benefits for both the society and the company. Their initiatives like sustainable farming, conservation of biodiversity near coffee plantations, and vocational training to coffee growing people helps them to create a skilled, empowered and environmentally sensitive coffeegrowing community which in turn ensures a sustainable source of quality raw material. CCD has also taken a unique CSR initiative by introducing “silent brewers” in some of its joints where it employs speech and hearing impaired people. While it contributes to the social cause of mainstreaming the specially-abled category, it also builds a brand image by influencing customer experience in the closest possible manner (unlike normal advertising where the customer cannot relate to, or misses out the chance to witness the impacts of CSR). However, a part of the CSR strategy is diffused. This involves investing in education, arts, sports and culture which are nowhere related to CCD’s business model. These initiatives cannot survive in the long run. The company could make its CSR initiatives much more focused by investing in loan programs for coffee-growing communities and providing coffee farmers access to carbon markets as a part of strengthening its backward linkage. At the front end, as a leading beverage company, it could invest in environment friendly ways of delivering its service and product. This would involve investing in recyclable and reusable coffee cups and water saving technology (say mechanical dishwashers with high pressure spray arms).


5. INFRASTRUCTURE CONSTRUCTION: LARSEN TOUBRO (L&T)

AND AND

L&T is India’s largest engineering and construction company. The main focus of L&T’s current CSR strategy is health: ranging from medical services and eye care to HIV/AIDS. L&T also invests in combatting malnutrition among children and providing vocational training. As an infrastructure and construction company, L&T should build its CSR strategy based on its core competence. One possible CSR avenue for L&T could be the construction of night shelters and rehabilitation of the urban homeless, who often work as daily wage workers on construction sites. In rural areas, developing infrastructure such as roads will allow easy sourcing of raw materials from interior areas, and will also connect there to urban markets. Training tribal youth in manufacturing dry fly ash bricks might be another possibility. Connected to its core business of construction, it will result in skill empowerment of rural unemployed and hence help them secure work. Construction of water check dams and bore wells in rural areas will benefit the community and also enhance input sourcing, thus creating avenues for sustainable CSR. While a focus on medical services may be a short term CSR strategy for L&T, it would not be sustainable in the long run, in case of leadership change or a shortfall of CSR budget. 6. RANBAXY INDUSTRY)

(PHARMACEUTICAL

Ranbaxy, given its strengths in knowledge management and medico-marketing has a very focussed CSR strategy that leverages its 29 | S a t y a 2 0 1 4

core competence. It focuses on rural health through the Community Healthcare Program that provides underprivileged communities in remote areas access to required medicines. One such example is its anti-malaria project. This goes a long way in familiarizing people with the company’s products and building sophisticated consumers in the long run. Even their spending on education is not generalized education spending, but focuses on increasing skills and knowledge on which the firm is particularly reliant. Through research scholarships in the field of medical sciences and pharmaceutical sciences, they encourage innovation in medicine which is the crux on which their business thrives. This in turn determines their future survival as a leading pharmaceutical company with continuous challenges in combatting emerging diseases. Such a CSR strategy is not short term philanthropy, and is integral to the future goals, inputs and opportunities of the firm. By creating new markets for their product, and also strengthening their foundations of research, the company’s CSR creates benefits not only for society, but the company as well, making it an extremely sustainable proposition. 7. HINDUSTAN PETROLEUM CORPORATION LIMITED (HPCL) HPCL currently undertakes CSR projects under five different themes: Childcare, Education, Healthcare, Livelihood and Community Development. Under childcare, the company runs programs like Bal Haq (Child Rights), Muskan (Care of Slum Children), and Child Line (rescue of children in distress); for education: Unnati (Computer awareness), Nanhi Kali (girl child), ADAPT (for children with special needs), and Akshaya Patra (mid-day meals for children in government schools); for


healthcare: Navjyot (facilities at rehabilitation centers), Wockhardt (in rural areas) and Sushrut Hospital. Project Smile works on employability for youth in urban slums, and Jal Tarang for rain water harvesting. While the five focus areas of the current HPCL CSR strategy are critical areas that require attention from the corporate and citizen community, HPCL, being a petroleum company has no evident advantage in dealing with these issues. To make such a huge expenditure on CSR year after year, it must be that the benefits from pursuing such a program be in line with the costs of undertaking it. Two current projects of HPCL, however, leverage its core competence in CSR policy. The community kitchen program, “Rasoi Ghar”23, aims to make cleaner fuel accessible to rural women and improve their health, hygiene and safety, while reducing deforestation. The concept of the Rasoi Ghar is a strategic component of the HPCL effort to extend LPG use throughout rural households in India, simultaneously creating a potential market for their product. Under the Rajiv Gandhi Gramin LPG Vitran Yojana, free LPG connections without security deposit are provided to BPL families. Another viable avenue for CSR investment The Rasoi Ghar is a community kitchen centrally located in a target cluster of a selected village, allowing several villagers at a time to cook their daily meals safely and quickly. Each rasoi ghar is equipped with an adequate water supply, a coking slab, basic utensils and a minimum of two stoves connected to replaceable LPG cylinders. 23

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by HPCL is “Suraksha” - efforts at awareness creation regarding HIV/AIDS among truckers. Truckers are considered to be high risk population, and HPCL, with petroleum stations along different highways and roads across the country, is suitably placed to dispense such information. By setting up clinics for the diagnosis and treatment of STDs and HIV, and provision of condom vending machines at petrol pumps, HPCL could educate and bring about behavioral changes in the adoption of safe sex practices. Such an initiative would minimize threat for a large and vulnerable population of truckers as well as their families, who are direct consumers of petroleum products. 8. FAB INDIA Fab India is an example of a company whose CSR is embedded in its business model. As India's largest private platform for products that are made using traditional techniques, it links over 80,000 craft based rural producers to modern urban markets, thereby creating a base for skilled, sustainable rural employment, and preserving India's handicrafts in the process. Along with this, the company uses inputs like organic dyes which they source from small and marginal farmers. The entire business is centered around the indigenous craftwork culture of rural India (from weaving to hand block printing), allowing perfect product differentiation. This makes consumers willing to pay a social responsibility premium in terms of higher price. This enhances the company’s brand image and profitability, while adding social value. A company like Fab India, whose business thrives on traditional Indian culture, could invest in art and culture as part of their CSR, in the form of art exhibitions or cultural festivals, that would


provide recognition to marginalized communities involved in traditional art, alongside developing a taste among people for the same. This will expand the company’s potential customer base and increase demand for their products.

V. THE ROAD AHEAD To begin with, firms must clearly differentiate their short term and long term strategies for CSR. Rather than delegating CSR to a public relations department, it must be closely integrated with the business. The same level of policy planning must be adopted in CSR strategy as in business strategy. Monitoring results for impact evaluation will boost both employee and shareholder confidence in the CSR strategy. One size does not fit all. Going beyond the conventional, to adopt and practice social responsibility that the business believes in, will empower both the business and the community that are partners in economic growth and development. Strategically designing CSR policy to make it a win-win, will make it sustainable, and contribute in making the world a better place to live in not as a short term campaign, but as a long term commitment.

नरे गा: मरे गा या जियेगा चंदन चचंटू Chandan Chintu is a final year student of B.A. (Hons.) Economics at St. Stephen’s College, Delhi. He can be reached at chandanias7@gmail.com

आि दे श में िहााँ दे खो एक ही शोर है , कक नरे गा में 2,00,000 करोड़ रुपये डूब गये। ये तो होना ही था। िब भी आप आधे अधरू े मन से और आधे पैसों से काम करें गे तो यही होगा। वर्ष 2005 में िब दे श के अतत मेह्नती

सामाजिक

कायषकताषओं

ने

अपने

पपछ्ले 20 वर्ों की लगन और मेह्नत से गरीबों, असहायों, पवकलांगों , ग्रामीण और महहलाओं को उनके अचधकार और इज़्ज़त की जज़ंदगी हदलाने का कदम उठाया, उस वक़्त हर गरीब की िुबान पर ससर्ष एक ही नारा था,“हर हाथ को काम दो, काम का पूरा दाम दो।” “प्रधानमंत्री रोज़गार योिना”,“स्वणष ियंती ग्राम स्वरोज़गार योिना”,“हुनर से रोज़गार तक”,“स्वणष ियंती शहरी रोज़गार योिना” आहद।सरकार अंततः झुकी और दे श के गरीब ग्रामीणों के हाथ में रोज़गार के सलये योिना नहीं बजकक एक ठोस सशक्त

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कानून आया। नरे गा में 100 हदन की गारं टी

भला, हकका काम, समट्टी काटने का काम,

रोज़गार का हक़ है , कानून है , िो इसे

सड़क

योिनाओं से अलग करता है ।दे श में ककतने

मत्स्यपालन, इंद्रा आवास, वक्ष ृ ारोपण, नहर

रोज़गार के सलये योिनायें चन ु ावों की तरह

का तनमाषण और न िाने गााँव के पवकास के

आती रहीं और चली गयीं, िो कक ससर्ष

सलये ऐसे दिषनों काम। ऐसा लगा िैसे गााँवों

सरकारी बाबुओं की दया और दृजटट पर हटकी

को कर्र से िन्नत बना दें गे। कर्र से सब

रहती हैं।“सरकारी ऑकर्स में जिसकी िान-

के हाथों में रुपये की ताकत आएगी। भूख,

पहचान हो ज्यादा , उसको उतनीसरकारी

गरीबी, लाचारी, पलायन, शोर्णसब खत्म हो

योिनाओं का समलेगा र्ायदा.”

ियेगा, घर के बड़े काम करें गे, बच्चे ससर्ष

100 हदन का गारं टी काम, काम नहीं समला तो बेरोज़गारी भत्ता, हदकली-बॉम्बै अब कहीं की ठोकर नहीं खानी पड़ेगी। घर से 5 ककलोमीटर के अंदर में काम।काम में 33% महहलाओं कोऔर 3% पवकलांगो के सलये आरक्षण। APL, BPL, िातत, धमष सब कुछ भल ु ा कर सभी वगष के 18 वर्ष से अचधक

तनमाषण,

डैम-पोखर

बनाना,

स्कूल िायेगें। हर सप्ताह पैसा पासबुक मे आ िायेगा। कोई मशीन नहीं,कोई ठे केदार नहीं,कोई भी सरकारी अफ़सर की गाली नहीं सुननी पड़ेगा। पूरी मेह्नत से काम करें गे, अपने दे श का ऊाँचा नाम करें गे। टाईम पर पैसा समलेगा, एक बार कर्र से गााँवों में दीवाली, दशहरा, होलीसब के साथ मनायेंगे।

उम्र के लोगों को काम।इतना ही नहीं, िहााँ

लेककन हुआ क्या? 2005 मे िहााँ खड़े थे,

पर काम होगा, वहााँ पर अलग से चार और

आि 9 साल बाद भी वहीं खड़े हैं। आि भी

सुपवधा। सुन के मज़ा आ ियेगा!काम करते

बड़े शहर की, दर-दर की ठोकरें खाने को

करते थक गये तो आराम करने के सलये

मिबूर हैं। शुरुआत में सरकारी अर्सर घर

छायादार टें ट, पानी पपलाने के सलये अलग

पर आये, िॉब काडष बनाया, सब लोग का

से मिदरू , र्स्ट-एड और दवाई अलग से,

र्ोटो भी सलया, पासबक ु भी खोल हदया, पर

और साथ में िो महहलायें काम पर आयेंगी,

9 साल हो गए और एक बार भी काम नहीं

उनके बच्चों की दे खभाल के सलये एक और

समला है , िॉब काडष पूरा खाली हैं, आधा

मज़दरू अलग से, ताकक वो अच्छे से काम

िॉब-काड़ष

कर सकें, काम पर आने-िाने का भाड़ा भी

मखु खयािी के घर में है । दे श को समस्याओं

अलग से। काम भी वही जिससे हो गााँवों का

ने िकड़ सलया है । अगर सदी-खााँसी होतीतो

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चह ू ा

खा

गया

है ,

पासबुक


दवाई दे कर ठीक भी कर सकते थे, मगर

जिनके सलये काला अक्षर भें स बराबर है , िो

नहीं, ऐसा िकड़ा है कक दे श को केंसर हो

अपने साईन में चचत्र बनाते हैं, या दोनों

चक ु ा है । इतना बड़ा और ताकतवर दे श,

हााँथों से अंगूठा लगाते है , वो ऐपसलकेसन

प्राकृततक संसाधनों का धनी हहंदस् ु तान अब

क्या खाक़ सलखेंगे? और अगर गााँव के ककसी

बस

हैं।

दसवीं पास लड़का को 5 रुपैया दे कर

2,00,000 करोड़ रुपये आखखर डुबे कैसे?

सलखवा भी सलये, ऐपसलकेसन दे ने नरे गा

आखखर ऐसा क्या हुआ? वर्ष 2008 में नरे गा

ऑकर्स

को महात्मा गांधीिी के नाम से भी िोड़

को दे खते ही आप बोलेंगे परणाम सर।

हदया गया, नरे गा बन गया मनरे गा, लेककन

आपको इज़्ज़त से कुसी पर बैठायगें । आपकी

बापु का नाम भी इसे बचा न सका। 1947

र्ररयाद को सुनेंगे, आपके ऐपसलकेसन को

के पहले बापु के हाथ में बहुत कुछ था,सत्य

पुरा पढ़ें गे और आप बहुत दरु गााँव से 10

और दे श के सलये अनशन करते थे, सब कुछ

ककलोमीटर पैदल चल कर आये हैं , आपसे

स्वीकार हो िाता था, लेककन आि अनशन

चाय–पानी, पान खाने के सलये भी पुछेंगे।

क्या, आत्म-हत्या भी कर लें तो लाश को

कर्र आपके ऐपसलकेसन को साईन कर के

दे खने वाला भी कोइ नहीं है । अब अनशन

आपसे नरे गा के काम के सलये इस तारीक़

बन गया है र्ैशन। नरे गा को दे खकर ऐसा

को पहुंच िाने के सलये गुिाररश करें गें। और

लगता है कक इसे ऐसा बनाया गया है कक

कर्र आप खश ु ी-खश ु ी अपने गााँव वापस आ

कैसे लुटा िाये? नरे गा का पहला लाईन-

िाते हैं कक आपका काम बन गया, अपने

“काम मांगने से काम समलेगा, काम बोलकर

पररवार

नहीं,

मतलब

सरकारी सहायता समल गई। अगर आप यह

ऐपसलकेसन सलख कर। यहीं पर नरे गा समहट्ट

सोच रहे हैं, तो समझ लीजिये कक आप

में दर्न हो गया, सब कुछ खत्म हो गया।

बहुत बड़ी भूल कर हदये, आप भ्रम में हैं।

जज़ंदा

है

कागज़

और

पर

सांसे

सलख

चल

कर।”

रही

हमारा भारत िो गााँव में बस्ता है , िहााँ के अचधकांश लोग सलखना–पढ़ना नहीं िानते,

चले भी गये, तो सरकारी अर्सर

के

पेट

भरने

के

सलये

आपको

यहााँ तक कक आपकी मानससक जस्थतत भी सही नहीं हैं ।आप इस दे श को नहीं िानते।

जिन्हें तकदीर ने स्कूल िाने नहीं हदया,

आप दरवाज़े पर खड़े होकर बोलेंगे- परणाम

िन्म से आि तक पेट भरने के सलये ससर्ष

सर। सन ु ते ही िोर से चचकला कर बोलेगा,

दस ु रों

“क्या काम है ?” सर नरे गा का ऐपसलकेसन

के

सलये

मिदरू ी

33 | S a t y a 2 0 1 4

करते

रह

गये,


दे ना हैं। अंदर बुलायेंगें ये तो आप भुल

िो मांचगये सब समलेगा वो भी ओन-लाईन।

िाइये।

से

रोड़, नाला, सड़क, नहर, पोखर, सब बन के

ऐपसलकेसन लेगा। 5 लाईन के ऐपसलकेसन

तैयार हैं , वो भी टाईम पर, वाटर लेबल को

में पच्पन गलती तनकालेगा। बोलेगा “अगला

राइज़ करने के सलये, गााँवों को सख ु े से

महहना आना, अभी कोई काम नहीं हैं।“

बचाने के सलये एक करोड़ से भी आचधक पेड़

तनकलते समय चपरासी को बोलकर, चाय-

लगा

पानी का पैसा अलग से मांगेगा। सरकारी

सलयेडम ै बन के तैयार हैं । परू े गााँव में

कुसी पर बेठते ही अर्सर को लगता है ,

इंफ्ररास्ट्क्र ्र

अम्बानी बन गये, “कर लो दतु नया महु ि में ”।

खाका तैयार हैं। लाखों, करोड़ों रुपये मिदरू ों

“कर लो दतु नया मुहि में ” बहुत अच्छी बात

में बट चक ु े हैं। डेव्लपमें ट और ग्रोथ का पुरा

है , लेककन “कर लो दतु नया मुहि में और

ग्रार् और स्टहटजस्टक्स भी तैयार है । लेककन

गरीब िाये भट्टी में ”, ये सही नहीं हैं।

“ससर्ष कागज़ पर।”

“नरे गा ने बहाई रोिगार कक गंगा, अब ना

सरकारी र्ाईलें सि-धि के दक ु हन की तरह

रहे गा कोई भुखा और नंगा।”“अब न कोई

तैयार है , गााँवौं मे 1,00,000 करोड़

भुखा

पेट

ऐसे्सयानी संपजत्त भीतैयार है , माइग्रैशन

भरे गा।” “मन् ु नी- मतु नया सब स्कूल िायेंगे,

भीकम हुआ है , BPL के लोग भी घट गये

बड़े नरे गा से घर चलायेंगे।” इस तरह के

हैं ,पचषससंग-पावर भी बढ़ गया है । गााँव,

नारों ने तो समहट्ट के दीवारो को भी रं गीन

शहर बन गये हैं, लेककन ससर्ष कागज़

कर हदया था। आि कल हमलोग पारदशीता

पर।मस्टर रोल में सभी मिदरू ों कक एन्ट्ी है ,

की

आचधक

पासबुक से हरे क सप्ताह पैसे भी मिदरू

पारदशीता यानी ट्ांस्पेरेंसी आपको कहीं नहीं

तनकाल रहे हैं, सब सच है , लेककन “ससर्ष

समलेगी 7 हदन के अंदर R.T.I. का िवाब

कागज़ पर।” र्ाइलों कीसंद ु ताष, मैन्टे नन्स

दे ना कम्पकसरी है । सब कुछ ओन-लाईन

और

क्रीऐटपवटी को दे खकर तो यही लगता

हदया हुआ है । कौन सा प्रोिेक्् चल रहा है ?

है ,

कक

कहााँ चल रहा हैं? ककतने लोग काम कर रहे

एम.एर्.हुसैन बैठे हुए है ।नेतािी ने नारा

हैं? बिट ककतने का है ? ईंिीनीयर कौन है ?

हदया था- “तम मझ दो, मैं तम् ु ु े खन ू ु हें

मखु खया कौन है ? पोस्ट-ऑकर्स कहााँ का है ?

आिादी दाँ ग ू ा।” चन ु ाव के पहले आि के

बाहर

से

मरे गा,नरे गा

बात

करते

ही

सब

है ।

34 | S a t y a 2 0 1 4

अपने

चपरासी

गररबों

नरे गा

से

का

हदये

गये

हैं,

यानी

सरकारी

बाढ़ की

से

बचने

बुतनयादी

औकर्स

मे

के

ढांचक े ा

का

सारे


नेताओं का नारा हैं - “तुम मुझे वोट दो, मैं

है , और उस प्रोिेक्ट के नाम पर पैसे उड़ाए

तुम्हारी

के

िा रहे हैं, लुटे िा रहे हैं। पासबुक ककसीभी

अपनी

मिदरू के हााँथ में नहीं हैं, लेककन सभी

गरीबी

बाद,“तुमने

समटा

मुझे वोट

दाँ ग ू ा।”

चन ु ाव

हदया, मैंने

गरीबी समटा ली।” िनता िाए भाड़ में । ऐसा कह्ना बहुत बड़ी गलती होगी कक नरे गा में कुछ भी काम नहीं हुआ। दे श के कई राज्यों के कुछ जिलों के कई गााँव िहााँ मिबूत मिदरू संगठ्नकाम कर रहे हैं, िहााँ के ग्रामीण थोड़ा बहुत भी पढ़े -सलखे हैं, िो अपना हक़ िानते हैं , िहााँ के सरकारी बाबुओं ने सरकारी खिाना के प्रतत थोड़ीसी भी मानवता हदखाई हैं , वहााँ काम अच्छे हुए हैं। लोगों के हााँथों मैं पैसे आये हैं। एक अच्छा काम िो नरे गा ने ककया, जिसके सलए नरे गा तारीर् के हक़दार है , वो यह की गााँव के ऐग्रीककचर लेबर की मज़दरू ी दोगन ु ी हो गयी हैं, बागेतनंग पावर बढ़ गयी है । महहलाऔं की भी मिदरू ी मे इज़ार्ा हुआ है । मगर बाकक िगह जस्थतत बहुत ही भयावह है , खतरनाक है । हमारे टै क्स-पैयर लोगों के पैसे कचरे के भाव लुटाए िा रहे हैं। सब सााँठ-गााँठ का खेल हैं। िॉब-काड़षमें एक भी हदन की एन्ट्ी नहीं है , मस्टर रौल में सब नाम पर एक ही अंगठ ु ा लगा हुआ है, एक ही सड़क, एक ही डेम, एक ही प्रोिेक्ट को कई बार ससर्ष नाम बदलकर दोबारा से र्ाइलों में हदखाये िा रहे 35 | S a t y a 2 0 1 4

पासबक ु ों में र्ुलएन्ट्ी है । मखु खयािी, पोस्टमास्टर

साहब,

इंिीतनयर

सर,

नरे गा

पदाचधकारी, ग्राम-साथी, वाडष सदस्य सब में बहुत ही याराना है । मिदरू ों के पास-बुक में र्िी साईन कर, अंगुठा लगा कर पैसा तनकालते हैं, DCT करते हैं। डायरे क्ट कैश ट्ान्सर्र नहीं बजकक डायरे क्ट कैश टे कऑवर कर लेते हैं। नरे गा और मिदरू ों के पैसों से अपनी जज़ंदगी शान चला रहें हैं। ससर्ष

5,000

रुपये

वेतन

पाने

वाले

मखु खयािी बोलेरो और स्कापपषयों में नहीं घम ु सकते,

खरीद नहीं सकते|

इतनी

उनकी

औकात नहीं। लेककन नरे गा ने ये भी सच कर हदखाया है । आि गााँव की सड़कों पर जितनी महगीकारें दौड़ रही हैं , सब नरे गा का पैसा है । सरकार कहती है गरीब लोगों के हहत के सलये उन्हें आधार काडष चाहहए, मगर मेरे दे श के गरीब ककसान को “आधार काडष की नहीं, उधार काडष की िरुरत है ।” क्या करें ? क्या ककया िाये? क्या है उपाय? आि नरे गा उस मोड़ पे खरा हैं, िहााँ खोने के सलये और कुछ बाकक नहीं है । कैसे इसमें सध ु ार लाया िाये, एक से एक एक्स्पटष , मिदरू संगठन, सामाजिक कायषकताषओं की


राय सरकारी नज़र को तालाश रही है । राज्य

तक माईग्रेसन यानी पवस्थापन खत्म नहीं हो

सरकार

योिना

सकता। गााँव के मिदरू ों में इतनी कौशल

समझकर, सोतेला व्यवहार करती है और

और शजक्त है , कक वो नरे गा में सरकार के

केंद्र सरकार ने भी इसे आाँख मंद ु कर राज्य

द्वारा तनधाषररत 8 घंटे का काम ससर्ष 2 घंटे

सरकार की गोद में छोड़ दी है । 9 साल बीत

में ही कर लेते हैं। ये इस दे श के मिदरू ों

गए, लेककन दे श के अचधकांश ग्रामीणों को

की ताकत है ।ग़हृ मंत्रीिी का ये बोलकर हाथ

इस महत्वाकांक्षी पररयोिना का क,ख,ग, भी

झाड़ लेना कक नरे गा के र्ंड खाली पड़े हैं ,

पता नहीं है । काम कैसे समलता है ? काम

क्योंकक लोग अब काम नहीं मांगतें इससलए

नहीं तो बेरोज़गारी भत्ता कैसे समलेगा?

नरे गा को अब बंद कर दे ने में ही दे श की

ककतने पैसे समलने चाहहए? िॉब-काडष कैसे

भलाई हैं गलत है । ये तो वही बात हुई-

बनेगा? पोस्ट-ऑकर्स में खाता कैसे खल ु ेगा?

जितना लुटना था लुट सलया, अब नरे गा को

कुछ पता ही नहीं है । प्रचार और पवज्ञापन

बंद कर दो। “अब और लुटने की जिद्द न

बबककुल न के बराबरहै । NGO को टें डर दे ते

करो।” ग़हृ मंत्रीिी आप ये पता कीजिये कक

हैं, गााँव-गााँव िाकर लोगों के बीच नक् ु कड़-

लोग नरे गा में काम क्यों नहीं मांग रहे हैं?

इसे

केंद्र

सरकार

की

नाटक कर लोगों को सरकारी सुपवधाओं के प्रतत िागरुक करें , लेककन नहीं- एडॉब र्ोटो शोप करते हैं ।दो गॉव में नाटक करे गें, बैक्ग्राउन्ड बदल के 20 गााँवों का र्ोटो हदखाएगैं। आखखर पवश्वास

ककस पर करें ?

सरकारी अर्सरों के वेतन को सम्मान िनक करना पड़ेगा, ताकक वो भ्रटटाचार से बचें , और नैततक बनें।

पहली बाततो ये काम कैसे मांगे, उन्हें पता ही नहीं; दस ु री हदक्कत- अगर काम समल भी गया तो कभी भी वक़्त पर पैमेंट नहीं होता और तीसरी बात- मिदरू ी तो बस इतनी कक वो काम नहीं कर रहा बजकक मुफ्त मे काम कर भारत सरकार पर ऐहसान कर रहा है। अगर सच में दे श की और गााँवों की जस्थतत मिबत बनाने का इरादा सरकार का है , ू

4000 रुपये के वेतन से “सारे िहााँ से माँहगा

अगर इरादें सार् हैं , हौसले बुलंद हैं , कर्र तो

हहंदोस्ता हमारा” में खद ु कीदाल-रोटी भी नहीं

पवश्व की यह सबसे बड़ी रोिगार योिना से

चलती है ।न्यूनतम मिदरू ी िो सरकार दे ती

अच्छा और बेहतर पवककप कुछ भी नहीं।

है , उसे वक़्त की मांग और बाज़ार के दाम

नरे गा को कर्र से परू े हदल से, नेक इरादों के

से िब-तक बराबर नहीं ककया िायेगा, तब-

साथ, परू ी ताकत से, सम्मान िनक वेतन

36 | S a t y a 2 0 1 4


और मिदरू ी के साथ पवकास की राह में आगें बढ़ाएाँ। गााँव की सारी बबमाररयों का बहुत बड़ा इलाज़ नरे गा ही है । नकस्ली समस्याओं का भी समाधान पवकास सेही मम ु ककन हैं, उस पवकास की ताकत नरे गा में है ।

हं गामा

करना

हमारा

मकसद

नहीं।

कयोंकक- “हम हमारा हक़ मांगते, नहीं ककसी से सभख मांगते”

puts it, education is “the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another”. Mahatma Gandhi had an all-encompassing perception of education. "By education, I mean an all-round drawing of the best in child and man in body, mind and spirit." It is therefore clear that Gandhi had a holistic approach towards education which was not circumscribed to reading, writing, and arithmetic. He looked at education from the societal perspective instead of considering it solely individualistic.

िय हहंद, िय भारत !!

Education not only etches out the new generation, but also showcases society’s fundamental hypothesis about itself and the individuals which constitute it.

ON EDUCATION: THE GANDHIAN WAY

“The real difficulty is that people have no idea of what education truly is. We assess the value of education in the same manner as we assess the value of land or of shares in the stock-exchange market. We want to provide only such education as would enable the student to earn more. We hardly give any thought to the improvement of the character of the educated. The girls, we say, do not have to earn; so why should they be educated? As long as such ideas persist there is no hope of our ever knowing the true value of education”.

Noma Nazish24 Education is one of the most crucial investments a nation can make in its citizens and its future. It is only with the advent of education that people would be able to boost economic growth through human capital formation, improve living standards, curb poverty, promote gender equality and ensure transparent and good governance. Education is also significant for rooting out social epidemic such as corruption. Thus, it is the utmost responsibility of a society to impart education to its people. As G.K Chesterson

Noma Nazish is a final year student of B.A. (Hons.) English at Maitreyi College, Delhi. She can be contacted at dj.luvlinkin@gmail.com 24

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Hence, Gandhi’s model of education was a paradigm of his perception of an archetypal society composed of small, self-reliant communities with his ideal citizens being industrious, dignified and benevolent individuals living in cooperative communities. Equity, social justice, non-violence, human dignity, economic well being, and cultural self-respect are certain fundamental principles that are an integral part of Gandhi’s educational philosophy. All of


these can be subsumed into the broader, umbrella term of Swaraj. His experience in South Africa greatly altered his outlook regarding the role of education in political struggle. However, it was only when he was in his mid-thirties that he began to assail the system of English education. He criticised it vehemently by writing that “to give millions a knowledge of English is to enslave them … that, by receiving English education, we have enslaved the nation”. Gandhi had not only shunned imperial education but also put forward a radical alternative. Gandhi emphasized on the need for a machine-less society and he developed his ideas on education based on this notion. Introduction of productive handicrafts in the school curriculum was at the nucleus of his outline of the education system. It implied a primal restructuring of the sociology of school knowledge in India, as the knowledge of production processes involved in crafts like spinning, weaving, leather-work, pottery, metal-work had been associated with the lowest stratum in the hierarchy of the caste system. Traditionally, Indian system of education had accentuated skills such as literacy and acquisition of knowledge of which the upper castes had a monopoly. The reason for his proposal to introduce productive handicrafts into the school system was to make students selfsupportive, to enable the schools to generate resources from within for imparting education to children. It was also to make them financially independent as Gandhi wanted to avoid their dependence on the State which he felt would mean interference from the Centre. Above all, Gandhi valued self-sufficiency and autonomy. These were extremely central to his vision of an 38 | S a t y a 2 0 1 4

independent India which comprised of autonomous village communities. It was the combination of swaraj and swadeshi. Mahatma Gandhi wanted to inculcate love for manual work among the schoolchildren. He was of the opinion that manual work should not be considered inferior to mental work. He perceived that schools which were founded on productive work were carrying out education of the whole being – mind, body and spirit. He didn’t want to transform students into pedantic wretches. Thus, he urged students to engage in vocational and functional education as well. The objective was to enhance creativity and productivity of the students as Gandhi wanted to make Indian villages self-sufficient units. He emphasised that vocational education should increase the efficiency within the students who will make the village a selfsufficient unit. Through education, Gandhi also wished to engender morality and ethics among the students by imparting moral values and virtues such as truth, honesty, non-violence, charity etc. to illumine their character. As Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Intelligence plus character, that is the goal of true education”. Mahatma Gandhi was also a staunch supporter of women’s education. He advocated equality of status between men and women in society and strived for women empowerment. He vehemently opposed Purdah system and widowhood. He wanted to liberate women from social serfdom. He backed education for women to help them attain equal status as men. One might hit upon the question as to why are we talking about Gandhi’s ideals and perspectives in this eon? The answer lies in


the germaneness which the Gandhian model of education holds even in the present times. If we closely observe India in 21st century, the country is still marked by social evils such as exploitation, violence, insecurity, poverty, hunger, and disease. It is evident that the gap between the affluent and the poor strata of society has widened. Only a Gandhian model or some modification thereof holds out some hope for the betterment of the society. Coming to education, over 400 million people in India still do not have any access to something as fundamental as proper education. For them, the respite lies in a Gandhian model as it requires minimal capital outlay. Gandhi’s ideas on education are founded on certain eternal principles, which are not going to lose their fundamental relevance in the years to come. His model of education is based on action, problem-solving, and practical activity, rather than relying on solely acquisition of theoretical knowledge. It is also perfectly valid in the contemporary era as well. An integral education, which allows the whole being of a person to develop, an education which focuses on character-building and cultural identity, is once again, obviously desirable. However, the Gandhian model requires a built-in mechanism of absorbing or confronting the newer technologies that are emerging each day. Therefore, it is absolutely essential to incorporate his ideals in the present time by deriving new ways of interpreting, understanding and imparting the perennial values that Gandhi advocated and lived by. As former US President John F. Kennedy who had rightly put it “Our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education”.

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REFERENCES  Barry Burke ‘Mahatma Gandhi On Education’ Source: infed.org  ‘What were Mahatma Gandhi’s views on education’ Source: preservearticles.com  Chadha, Y. (1997) Rediscovering Gandhi  Kumar, K. (1994) ‘Thinkers on Education’ Volume 2, Paris: UNESCO.  Gandhi On Education: collection of quotes from the National Council for Teacher Education

MUSIC AS A CAUSAL FACTOR FOR CRIMES Radhika Agarwal25 The first part of the paper elucidates the powerful effects that music has on the environment in general. The second part of the paper studies instances of negative impact of certain musical lyrics and styles, and the cases where musicians have been convicted for inciting people to commit Radhika Agarwal is a fourth-year student of B.A. LL.B. (H) at NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad. She can be reached at radhika.twin@gmail.com 25


crimes. The third part of the paper analyzes the ‘Stop Murder Music’ campaign. The paper concludes with the researcher’s analysis of whether criminality can be attributed to certain styles of music.

PART I: THE POWER OF MUSIC “Music is a moral law. It gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, a charm to sadness, gaiety and life to everything. It is the essence of order, and leads to all that is good, just and beautiful.” –Plato For long, scientists have been conducting research on the healing quality of music and the impact that it has on the body tissues, especially the brain cells. In certain parts, it is also viewed as a kind of therapy. There are several historical examples of the healing effect of classical music all over the world. The oldest medical document in history, the Ebers Papyrus which dates back to 1550 B.C. contains incantations that were used to revive people in sickness.26 Music was also called ‘the physic of the soul’ by Egyptian priests who used the same to cure nervous disorders and to help alleviate pain during childbirth.27 The Greek, Indian and Mesopotamian civilizations were also aware of the healing property of music.28 In India, music therapy was used to restore balance in the body, because lack of harmony was believed to be the cause of illness.29 The great philosopher and freedom fighter Mahatma Gandhi himself believed in the 26http://www.fountainmagazine.com/Issue/deta

il/Music-of-the-Spheres (last accessed October 1, 2013) 27 Id. 28 Id. 29 Id.

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healing power of music, and tried to bring about peace and harmony through devotional hymns. Being a disciple of Lord Rama, his favourite hymn was Raghupati Raghava Raja Ram. According to Gandhi, “One great stumbling block is that we have neglected music. Music means rhythm, order. Its effect is electrical. It immediately soothes… teaching mass music.” Experiments were also conducted on plants and animals to ascertain the effects of music. It was observed that plants grew better when exposed to western Classical music and traditional Indian music.30 Even cows were observed to produce more milk after being exposed to certain slow music.31 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s music32 in specific has been believed to enhance intelligence in a person, although this effect has been found to be temporary.33 The well-known physicist Albert Einstein who was an ardent fan of Mozart’s music was also known to be a violinist. He was known to travel always with his violin, which he fondly called ‘Lina’.34 The scientist

Id. Id. 32 The particular composition of Mozart ‘The Sonata for Two Pianos in D Major’ (1781) is available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tT9gT5bqi6 Y (last visited October 1, 2013) 33 The debate on the Mozart effect can be viewed at http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20130107can-mozart-boost-brainpower (last visited October 1, 2013) See generally http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/m usicians-spot-mistakes-more-quickly-and-moreaccurately-than-nonmusicians-8849068.html (last visited October 1, 2013) 34 See generally http://www.openculture.com/2013/06/the_mu 30 31


Brian Foster has attributed Einstein’s search for unification and beauty in his understanding of the universe to the physicist’s musical mind.35 “If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music. I get most joy in life out of music.” – Albert Einstein

PART II: VIOLENCE INCITED THROUGH MUSIC "Give me control over he who shapes the music of a nation, and I care not who makes the laws". – Napoleon Bonaparte The power of music cannot be undermined. It has already been established that music has a very powerful positive impact on humans. However, there are certain musical styles that have been criticized for having a negative impact on people. Rap music, for instance, has been condemned for causing immorality in teens.36 Musicians have also been sued in international courts for inciting widespread violence through the content of the music composed by them. Three Kenyan musicians- Kamande Wa Kioi, Muigai Wa Njoroge and John DeMathew- were charged with hate speech and allegedly believed to have been responsible for inciting ethnopolitical violence through their music, during the post-election stage in 2008 in Kenya, where 1300 people died.37 The lyrics sical_mind_of_albert_einstein.html (last visited October 1, 2013) 35 Id. 36 http://www.ultimateguitar.com/columns/junkyard/does_music_cau se_immorality_in_teens.html (last visited October 1, 2013) 37 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa18712858 (last visited October 2, 2013)

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written in Kikuyu language were found to be in support of the Kikuyu politician and Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta.38 The National Cohesion and Integration Commission that brought charges against the musicians and radio broadcaster Joshua Arap Sang who worked in the radio station where the songs were aired, said that the songs of the accused musicians contained references to the mythology of Kikuyu and were “insulting and threatening” (alleged to be causing discrimination between the Kikuyu and Luo communities).39 The Chairman of the Commission, Mzalendo Kibunjia further opined that “I'm worried about the possibility of many, many more songs coming out in different languages also intimidating, insulting, threatening other communities, using metaphors considering that every time we have elections in Kenya we do two things for sure: We kill each other and also we kill our economy.”40 On the other side, Gichuki Kingara, the lawyer who was representing the musicians said that it was wrong for courts to apply a “criminal interpretation to artistic 41 works”. The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in 2008 indicted musician Simon Bikindi42 for incitement to genocide.43 Bikindi’s songs were urging

Id. Id. 40 Id. 41 Id. 42 The Prosecutor v. Simon Bikindi, Case No. ICTR-01-72-T available at http://www.unhcr.org/cgibin/texis/vtx/refworld/rwmain/opendocpdf.pdf ?reldoc=y&docid=4935248c2 (last visited October 1, 2013) 38 39

43

http://justiceinconflict.org/2012/07/25/music-


Hutu solidarity against Tutsis and were played and broadcasted by Radio Television Libre des Mille Collines during and even before the 1994 genocide. The Court came up with the approach that songs could be viewed as actionable speech, and that the creation of the musicians could be subjected to criminal responsibility.44 In contrast to the approach adopted by the ICTR, the International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia does not apportion criminal liability to musicians for ethnic cleansing.45 Popular music has been viewed by some as threat to national security and popular musicians as powerful political actors.46 There are quite a few instances of state action being instituted against popular musicians.47

PART III: ‘STOP MURDER MUSIC’ CAMPAIGN Peter Tatchell is the founder of the ‘Stop Murder Music’ campaign48 which is targeted against reggae and dancehall (both are music genres that originated in Jamaica in the 1960s and the 1970s respectively) artists, whose songs have been found to contain explicit homophobic lyrical

on-trial-genocide-and-musicians/ (last visited October 2, 2013) 44 Id. 45 Id. 46 Thierry Cote, Popular Musicians and their Songs as threats to National Security: A World Perspective , The Journal of Popular Culture, Volume 44, Issue 4 (4th August 2011) available at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.154 0-5931.2011.00860.x/pdf (last visited October 1, 2013) 47 Id. 48 See generally http://sta.uwi.edu/crgs/november2009/journal s/akimadelarcher.pdf (last visited October 1, 2013)

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content.49 As a result of heavy campaigning by Tatchell (who also founded OutRage!the British gay rights group), the Buju Banton concert which was to be held in Manchester in September 2004 was called off by the police.50 A similar incident happened when Beenie Man’s concert in Hackney, London was called off.51 A song of his was found to contain the following lyrics-“I’m dreaming of a new Jamaica, come to execute all the queers.” This was seen as dangerous musical content and he was interrogated by Scotland Yard’s detectives.52 This also led the Metropolitan Police and the Crown Prosecution Service to consider legal action against Beenie. Beenie later apologized for disturbing the sentiments of society through his songs.53 Campaigning by OutRage! has led to the calling off of corporate sponsorship for dancehall albums. Sponsorship has been refused for those artists who ‘incite violence through their performances and lyrics” unless they issue an apology for the same.54 ‘OutRage!’ was also going to protest against Eminem’s concert in Britain in 2010, alleging that his rap songs contained homophobic lyrics, leading to incitement of violence and hatred towards the gay community.55 It was only after the rap artist

http://www.spikedonline.com/newsite/article/1998#.UksMrtKnqp d (last visited October 1, 2013) 50 Id. 51 Id. 52 Id. 49

53

http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2004/aug/04 /gayrights.arts (last visited October 1, 2013) 54 http://www.spikedonline.com/newsite/article/1998#.UksMrtKnqp d (last visited October 1, 2013) 55 http://outrage.org.uk/tag/stop-murdermusic/ (last visited October 1, 2013)


struck a deal with the gay rights activists saying that he would refrain from using lyrics suggestive of hatred towards the gay community that he was allowed to go ahead with his performance without any threat of protest.56 The ‘Stop Murder Music’ campaign negotiated the Reggae Compassionate Act in 2007 to ensure that reggae artists would not incite any violence against the gay community.57 The artists Beenie Man, Sizzla and Capleton signed the petition, pledging no prejudice in their music. “This is a giant leap towards restoring peace, love and harmony to reggae music. These performers are sending a clear message that lesbians and gay men have a right to live free from fear and persecution - both here in the UK and in Jamaica.”Dennis L. Carney (Vice Chairman, Black Gay Man’s Advisory Group)58 Tatchell, who played an important part in negotiating the Act, condemned the other artists (Buju Banton, Bounty Killa, Elephant Man, TOK and Vybz Kartel) who had not signed the Act, saying that “These artists have openly encouraged the murder of lesbians and gay men, which is a criminal offence in every country... [They] are the moral equivalent of neo-Nazis and the Ku

See also http://www.advocate.com/news/dailynews/2009/12/28/eminem-censors-self-keepaway-protesters (last visited October 1, 2013) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article1238269/Eminem-play-gig-years-UK-agreeingdrop-homophobic-lyrics.html#ixzz0oCTX6mgE (last visited October 1, 2013) 56 Id. 57

http://www.theguardian.com/music/2007/jun/ 14/news.rosieswash (last visited October 1, 2013) 58 Id.

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Klux Klan.”59 He further said, “It is a worldwide campaign urging the music industry to cancel these five singers’ concerts and their records, sponsorship and advertising deals.”60

CONCLUSION The researcher has tried to explore the link between music and crime and has used various examples to show how judges and activists have viewed music as inciting violence. The ICTR was the first international criminal forum to view songs as actionable speech, and to subject the same to scrutiny by the Judiciary. However, if one was to condemn certain genres of music and lyrics as tools for inciting violence and hate crimes, then for musicians, their very fundamental right of freedom of speech and expression is at stake! The critics of the ‘Stop Murder Music’ campaign have also raised the issue that the Campaign is a restriction on freedom of speech and expression.61 It is accepted that most Constitutions in the world, even the Indian Constitution, guarantee freedom to speech and expression as a Fundamental Right, with restrictions being imposed on certain grounds such as national security and integrity. These restrictions should be reasonable.

59

Id.

60

http://www.bluesandsoul.com/news_item/176/ stop_murder_music_campaign (last visited October 1, 2013) 61 See generally http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ps18zrGDn0&list=PLkYeSRMFj43Xy070JtXB2Q7 8hnd-lh7_m&index=1 (last visited October 1, 2013) http://www.soulrebels.org/dancehall/v_article_ 056.pdf (last visited October 1, 2013)


Moreover, it is incorrect to condemn the music of artists, saying that they are solely responsible for the crimes that occur in the region where they are heard. Every person has the right to express his or her opinion, and this expression can be in any formwritten or oral. Even an artist can use his music to express his views about certain things. While it has been shown that music can have a very powerful impact on humans and listening is one of the ways in which a person learns, music cannot be solely blamed for a person’s actions. In the end, it is also a number of social factors which shape the personality of humans. If the lyrics of a song contain bias against a certain section of the society and the region where it is played witnesses violence against that section, it has to be seen whether the people committing the crime were already prejudiced. It is possible that the other factors, such as culture, family, and geographical history of the place play a greater role in driving a person to commit crimes. The researcher has come to the conclusion that while music can play a very strong positive or negative role on the psyche of a person, it is incorrect to apportion criminal liability to musicians. It is not solely the music, but the time, place and people in front of whom it is played. If it is played in front of vulnerable groups of people, who have a pre-existing bias against certain other ethnic groups, it may aggravate the prejudice. Moreover, since in crime, mens rea needs to be proved to convict a criminal, it has to be shown that an artist actually had the intention to move the listeners to commit violence. This often becomes difficult, because lyrics can only be an expression of the artist’s personal views.

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Certain genres of music however will be endangered if there are absolute restrictions on their performance. This will be detrimental to creativity in the music industry.

WHY DID WE HANG KASAB? Malvika Srivastava62 “An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.” -M.K. Gandhi You may call me crazy if you so wish it, but I was unabashedly overcome with grief on hearing the news of Ajmal Kasab’s execution. While most people exulted with joy, I lamented the loss of people’s sense of judgment and the birth of their foolishness. I was led to the realization that the ‘janta’ is no less than a sobbing two-year old, who can be easily pacified by the tiniest source of distraction. The idea that I am trying to highlight, is that, sending Kasab to the gallows has served no purpose whatsoever. It was just another clever trick employed by the government to placate the aggrieved citizens of our nation and the very fact that the people are actually falling for this trick is almost amusing. To begin with, hanging Kasab has in no way provided justice to the victims of the horrific attack. It has not and it never will heal the wounds that the victims’ families have suffered. The loss is an irreversible one and to believe that Kasab’s execution was a tribute to those who lost their lives is an Malvika Srivastava is a first year student of B.Sc. (Hons.) Physics at St. Stephen’s College, Delhi. She can be reached at malvika99@hotmail.com 62


appalling instance of a superficial examination of a situation that calls for a closer and a more profound inspection. Secondly, this move has not helped in countering terrorism. Regular blasts in the country substantiate this fact. We can very well infer from experience that capital punishment has not assisted in curbing the growth of the treacherous tree of terrorism. It needs to be realized that sporadic hanging of a terrorist will not aid in creating the much needed sense of fear in the minds of the outlaws. The only way to tackle such a problem is to completely eradicate it from its roots. Merely plucking a leaf does not render a tree lifeless. The security forces need to be strengthened and the men on duty need to pull up their socks and upgrade their vigilance strategies. Only then can we hope to ameliorate the present state of affairs. Martin Luther King, in his book Stride Towards Freedom: The Montgomery Story said, “Violence as a way of achieving (racial) justice is both impractical and immoral… it seeks to annihilate rather than convert.” Hence, the hasty application of brute force without careful thought can turn out to be counter-productive. It can sow seeds of abhorrence in the hearts of the acquaintances of the convict and give them an argument to support their cause. This may further generate the urge to take revenge and ultimately set in motion an inescapable vicious cycle. Coming back to the question of conducting a deeper and perhaps, a more meaningful examination of the situation at hand, we must begin by asking ourselves, why anybody in their right mind would agree to carry out mass murder and genocide, when they are well aware of the dire consequences that they would have to face. Keeping in 45 | S a t y a 2 0 1 4

mind the typical human tendencies, a possible answer to this question would be that they believe the benefits obtained will outnumber the adverse repercussions. The only other possible explanation would be that they are not in their right minds. In both the above mentioned cases, we see that the person of interest is disillusioned. His mind has drifted away from the right path. And if such is the case, he needs to be led to the right path, awakened from his deep slumber and required to be shown the true meaning of life. We must not forget that there is a virtuous soul concealed in each one of us that is waiting to be freed from the vices of everyday life and awarding a death sentence to someone in such a state of mind is certainly nothing short of a short cut. So, in situations like this, you may ask, if not execution, then what is to be done? Should the defaulters be left free? In my opinion, when we see no way out, we must turn to the ideals of the founding father of our nation- Mahatama Gandhi. When all else fails, it is love, compassion and feelings of brotherhood that come to our rescue. Probably, providing another chance to start anew can induce a change in heart, remove the veil of disillusionment and extinguish the fire of hatred. This can further initiate a ‘domino effect’ and reform other souls as well. Perhaps it is the unrealized potency of kindness and reason that is the key to the deadlock of terrorism. It seems appropriate to conclude by quoting the words of Gladys Staines who forgave Dara Singh, the man who torched to death her missionary husband Graham Staines and their two young sons while they were asleep in a van. “It (forgiveness) opens up the channel of healing in our lives. Instead of bitterness, we have love and healing and


peace. It also releases the person to be forgiven.”

OF PEOPLE AND PLACESSIGHTS AND SOUNDS THAT MOVED ME ON MY FIRST TRIP TO JAMMU AND KASHMIR IN JUN ‘13

students- getting to know their lives; learning about their aspirations and telling them mine. I liked the conversations shared with the teachers and villagers in Khari. They told us about the times of militant conflict- when they were scared of both the militants as well as army personnel. We spoke about the WHAM (Winning Hearts and Minds) measures of the Indian Army, the benefits of ‘aman’ (peace) etc. However, on a personal note, I did not reach out 100% to anyone (the economist’s belief in laissezfaire – ‘let it be’) and they did not reach out to me either (because they were shy?). Until...

Oishee Kundu63 #01 The first thing I noticed about Jammu and Kashmir was that it really wasn’t the hell that the media usually paints it as. It was a beautiful place, with people busily engaged in making a living, children scaling hills and hillocks to reach their school and terrace farming where maize was being cultivated. But all wasn’t well. We (the team from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi) were a part of Operation Sadbhavnaa mission of the Indian Army to bring in national integration by making young people interact across the country with the disturbed regions of India, and we were briefed about how to conduct ourselves. We were told to exercise caution about what we speak, not to ask uncomfortable questions or say stupid things. Of course, we had the good sense to make the best of the opportunity granted to us. I enjoyed interacting with school and college Oishee Kundu is a second-year student of B.A. (Hons.) Economics at St. Stephen’s College, Delhi. She can be reached at oisheekundu@yahoo.co.in 63

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On my third day there, when we were walking after our interaction at a madrassa, one old gentleman greeted me. I forgot the ‘aleikum assalam’ and instinctively did a ‘namaste’. He didn’t flinch and nor did I register my ‘slip of tongue’. We did not speak about militancy, army and aman. We talked about the weather, the crops, his rheumatism and my studies. He spoke to me like I was his favourite granddaughter. I talked to him like I had known him forever. When I had to rush off and join my party, I touched his feet. He blessed me with a ‘khuda hafez’ (may God protect you). Later I realized why I felt so happy about that spontaneous interaction- we had accepted each other for who we are. #02 Spending over a week with officers and jawans of the Indian Army was an exciting experience. We listened open-mouthed to stories of counter-insurgency ops (operations) that they had taken part in, how they spend their days in the field and the immense sense of pride and honour they experience in doing their duty. My respect


for the uniform increased manifold. Up close and personal, I discovered them in a different light. After interacting with us and bidding us farewell after our visit to the LC (Line of Control) on the last day of the trip, an officer of 3 Naga Regiment shared a few quiet words with the officer from 23 Rashtriya Rifles who had been conducting us throughout the trip. I admit I eavesdropped, but what I overheard moved me to tears. “Sir, yahaan leave easily milta hai?” (Sir, is it easy to get leave here?), the junior of the two asked the other. The senior officer shrugged and smiled in response. Amidst all the tension and fear, in a place fraught with dangers, at a post where one must be ever vigilant and ready to return fire with fire, the first topic of discussion between colleagues was ‘leave’! I realized the sheer courage and determination that these brave hearts possessed- the strength to stay focussed on their task, while their family and friends waited for their safe return. A military man is an extraordinary man. He is a son, a brother, a husband, a father and a soldier. He smiles in adversity, ignites hope in the hearts of his countrymen and gives sleepless nights to his enemy. He enjoys everyday things too- chilled beer, long motorbike rides; he can talk ceaselessly about hours spent at Café Coffee Day or his favourite movie. But once in uniform, he is alert and attentive and most importantly, aware of the mantle he carries on his shoulders. We as a nation can never thank them enough. Jai Hind! #03 Visiting the temples of modern Jammu and Kashmir was the most wonderful and awe47 | S a t y a 2 0 1 4

inspiring part in the entire 10-day programme. The Baglihar Dam, with its ability to tap natural resources into producing electricity; the Banihal tunnel with its promise to connect Banihal and Qazigund via rail; the Jawahar tunnel which provides round-the-year connectivity between Jammu and Srinagar and the numerous sites where road construction was taking place encouraged me to think of Jammu and Kashmir as any other Indian state, competing hard to achieve its potential. In Srinagar, we saw scores of tourists from all parts of the country, mingling with the locals and enjoying the fabled ‘Paradise on Earth’. While the hills get hidden in the dark due to the low population density in the hilly regions, the roads light up with a caravan of vehicles, moving men and materials- trading, growing and making a better J&K. As the sarpanch of Trenna (a village in Nachlana, Jammu) rightly pointed out, “People now have things to do rather than take up arms against the country”, which made the economist in me rejoice. Poetic words and vague stuff like ‘national pride’ cannot achieve what a few good investments can.


REFLECTIONS ON ‘THE ROOF OF THE WORLD’ Sagar Wadhwa64 On January 12th, 22-year-old Tsering Tashi walked into the main square of Amchok township, a historically Tibetan area of China’s Gansu province, and set himself on fire. As he lay in the road engulfed in flames, he somehow brought his hands together in a gesture of Buddhist prayer and called out the name of “Gyawa Tenzin Gyatso” — “His Holiness the Dalai Lama.” On Dec. 19, Tsultrim Gyatso, a monk of Amchok monastery near the sprawling monastic town of Labrang Tashi Kyil in the ethnically Tibetan area of the Chinese province of Gansu, set himself on fire. The 43-year-old monk left behind a handwritten note that serves as his last political testament. The note calls for Tibetan unity and the return of the Dalai Lama to his homeland. Including this latest self-immolation, since 2009, 125 Tibetans have set themselves on fire. All of them have expressed the same refrain: freedom for Tibet and return of the Dalai Lama. These and many more stories like this show clearly the current situation in Tibet. But when I started my journey for Dharamsala through the Gurukul Program last summer (2013), I knew very little about this group of refugees and knew even less about the political situation and freedom struggle of their country, namely Tibet. And only after 64Sagar

Wadhwa is a final year student of B.A. (Hons.) Economics at St. Stephen’s College, Delhi. He can be reached at sagar.wadhwa@gmail.com

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living there for a month I realized that our freedom is something we have taken for granted. For many of us, freedom has been free while others are paying the cost for it. It’s been over 50 years now that Tibetans have been living in India. Many eyes have grown old waiting to just see their homeland, the omnipresent prayers still ask for a free Tibet where they are free to express themselves, openly worship His Holiness the Dalai Lama and live without the fear of being attacked anytime. Now, their struggle is also against a country against which any country will think twice before raising a war i.e. China. No matter how much tempting it is for the Tibetans to fight with arms with the Chinese, it hardly makes sense for them to do this as China will be very pleased to take up this opportunity to wipe the Tibetans off the face of the world. But this is not the only reason why Tibetans don’t attack the Chinese (in whatever way they conceivably can). It has also to do with the philosophy of the religion which has become their identity – Buddhism - which teaches having compassion towards even the worst of one’s enemies. And this was a test, also for The Dalai Lama who was in a constant dilemma between the demands by the youth for violent struggle and his own commitment to the principles of Buddhism. Finally he decided to follow his path of non-violence which has kept the Tibetan cause alive even today. Also, on the self-immolations in Tibet, neither Buddhism nor the Dalai Lama approve of them. Not only are these loss of precious lives, they also seem to have a very limited impact on the hard hearted Chinese who hardly care about a Tibetan life or even a Chinese life for that matter. The Dalai Lama has also urged people not to take


these extreme steps and rather resort to the path of non-violence and peace just like Gandhiji did. Though the road of independence looks difficult, Tibetans all over the world are still full of hope regarding their independence. Everyone is contributing in whatever way they can. Many Tibetan writers are emerging who are spreading the stories of plight of Tibetans currently in Tibet among fellow countrymen and people across the globe. Many young groups like Tibetan Youth Congress and Students For Free Tibet are joining their hands to use every opportunity to show the world what atrocities Tibetans are facing under China. And though many countries support the cause of Tibet on humanitarian grounds but none of them is willing to openly stand by their side for obvious reasons (no country can afford to make China its enemy today). But, still the sheer belief and optimism keeps the Tibetans going. Although His Holiness Dalai Lama is majorly responsible for giving the Tibetan freedom struggle the form it is in today, he has also made every effort to make sure that this fire does not end with his life. In 2011, he detached himself from the political leadership and confined himself only to the spiritual leadership. He wants Tibetans to learn to rule themselves and that’s why general elections were held to set up the first ever democratically elected Government-in-exile in Dharamsala in 2011. The Tibetans call it the ‘Central Tibetan Administration’ (CTA) which is headed by the first ever Prime Minister-in-exile (called Sikyong) – Lobsang Sangay, a Harvard Graduate. This government-in-exile is in its initial years but the enthusiasm of the members shows that it has huge potential.

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Mr. Lobsang Sangay had mentioned in his speech to us, ‘Though we would like India to contribute more, there is no denial of the fact that no other country can do as much for them as India has done.’ And they also reciprocate in all the possible ways. Whether it is by keeping meditation center free for Indians or writing ‘Thank You, India’ on the walls of the Tibetan schools, the kind of respect we (as Indians) get from them is overwhelming. And it is also amazing how a religion which evolved from India and spread to Tibet is now coming back to India through them. The Dalai Lama also calls Indians as his ‘gurus’ and he as ‘chela’ but now the guru-chela relationship has reversed now. The beautiful monasteries, nunneries and meditation centers attract thousands of people who want to explore more about life or simply, more about themselves. This was also put nicely by a veteran in Buddhist philosophy, Geshe Lhakdor that the relationship between India and Tibet is neither political nor economic; it’s purely a spiritual relationship. Tibetan freedom struggle is as much important for India as it is for Tibet. When Tibet was an independent nation, we needed to spend a nominal amount for guarding our north-eastern borders. Now a huge proportion of our budget is going only to protect these states from Chinese incursion which has become one of the major challenges for us – a military liability, a blot on our territorial integrity and sovereignty. China has become a threat for India, even bigger than Pakistan and as the former Foreign Secretary of India, Mr. Lalit Mansingh, rightly put it, “Pakistan was our yesterday…today, we need to focus on China and India-China relations cannot improve unless Tibet issue finds a solution.”


GUHA’S GANDHI GLIMPSES OF GANDHI BEFORE INDIA Tathagata Dutta65 Ramachandra Guha’s latest work Gandhi before India presents a vivid portrait of Gandhi and the world he lived in, a milieu which comprises of coastal culture of Gujarat, High Victorian London, and colonial South Africa. Guha’s work argues that Gandhi’s ideas were fundamentally shaped before his return to India in 1915. Guha, unlike many historians did not restrict himself to the ‘Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi’ to draw his version of Gandhi. Guha’s search for new archival materials took him across four continents. Guha’s brilliance lies in the fact that his search took him to places where Gandhi himself had never traversed. Guha did not fail to notice Gandhi’s correspondence with John Cordes, a German who became a member of Gandhi’s Tolstoy Farm. These letters between a Christ-loving Hindu and a Hindu-loving Christian escaped the attention of the editors of the ‘Collected Works’, for they lay in a private home in the town of Haifa in Israel, a country with which India had no diplomatic relations for decades. Gandhi before India explores Gandhi’s experiments with Tolstoyans and vegetarians; his friendship with radical Jews, heterodox Christians, and devout Tathagata Dutta is a first year student of B.A. (Hons.) History at St. Stephen’s College, Delhi. He can be reached at tathdutta@gmail.com 65

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Muslims. It also does not fail to unravel Gandhi’s failures as a husband and father. Guha also breaks the myth of the ‘Mahatma’ and how it compelled his sister Raliat to claim decades later how “Gandhi was considered a clever student in his class…He always kept first rank” However his results from Kattywar High School give a somewhat different picture. The book also draws the reader’s attention to Gandhi’s failings as a lawyer in India and subsequent success as a publicist and political campaigner in South Africa. The book also gives a rare picture of the court intrigues of princely courts of Porbandar and Rajkot. Guha also does not fail to mention how Gandhi did not fail to criticize his mentor, G.K. Gokhale for his indulgence in luxury, in particular his decision to travel in a private carriage. This somewhat explains why decades later Sarojini Naidu had joked “it is a costly affair to keep Gandhiji in poor conditions.” Guha articulates extensively about the influences which shaped Gandhi. He brings out Raychandbhai’s influence on Gandhi and his inspiration from the American activist Henry David Thoreau. Guha also highlights Gandhi’s ‘passive resistance’, the origins of which lay in the boycott by ‘Nonconformists’ of schools that indoctrinated their pupils in the teachings of the Church of England. Above all, Gandhi before India tells the dramatic story of how Gandhi inspired the devotion of thousands of followers and mobilized a cross-class and inter-religious coalition of Indians away from India to fight against a brutally racist regime, without shedding a drop of blood. This deeply researched and beautifully written book is a must read for all those who want to better appreciate the ‘Father of the Nation.


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Satya 2014  

Annual Journal of the Gandhi Study Circle ,SSC

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