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Vol. 77 No

8

NOVEMBER 2013

Rs. 20/month

THE RADICAL HUMANIST (Since April 1949) Formerly : Independent India (April 1937- March 1949) Founder Editor: M.N. Roy

Vallabhbhai Patel: India Without Sardar Patel —M.N. Roy Disruptive Innovation of Democracy —Uday Dandavate Nehru Vs Patel —Kuldip Nayar Socialist Programme of Obama Led to “Shutdown” —K.S. Chalam Support of Social Mechanism on Women Issues —Ashwinkumar N. Karia Illeffects of Caste & Blind Faith —Sudhesh Korde Humanist Movements and Their Role —Gumma Veeranna Human Rights in Ancient Indian Philosophy —Dipti Shukla A Small Girl in Bamboo Grove — Dipavali Sen

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Indian Elections: A Meaningless Facade (Editorial Comment) —Rekha Saraswat


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This Month's Contributors

M.N. ROY Founder Editor (page 3)

REKHA S. Editor (page 2)

KULDIP NAYAR New Delhi, India (Page 9)

UDAY DANDAVATE San Francisco, U.S.A. (Page 6)

K.S. CHALAM Hyderabad, A.P., India (Page 15)


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The Radical Humanist

www.theradicalhumanist.com

Vol. 77 Number 8 November 2013

Contents

Monthly journal of the

1. From the Editor’s Desk: Indian Elections: A Meaningless Facade —Rekha S. 2 From the Writings of M.N. Roy: Vallabhbhai Patel; India Without Sardar Patel 3

Indian Renaissance Institute Devoted to the development of the Renaissance Movement; and for promotion of human rights, scientific-temper, rational thinking and a humanist view of life. Founder Editor: M.N. Roy Editor: Dr. Rekha S. Contributory Editors: Prof. A.F. Salahuddin Ahmed, Dr. R.M. Pal, Professor Rama Kundu Publisher and Printer: Mr. N.D. Pancholi Send articles to: Dr. Rekha Saraswat, C-8, Defence Colony, Meerut, 250001, U.P., India, Ph. 91-121-2620690, 09719333011 E-mail articles at: rheditor@gmail.com Send Subscription / Donation Cheques in favour of The Radical Humanist to: Mr. Narottam Vyas (Advocate), Chamber Number 111 (Near Post Office), Supreme Court of India, New Delhi, 110001, India n.vyas@snr.net.in Ph. 91-11-22712434, 91-11-23782836, 09811944600 Please Note: Authors will bear sole accountability for corroborating the facts that they give in their write-ups. Neither IRI / the Publisher nor the Editor of this journal will be responsible for testing the validity and authenticity of statements & information cited by the authors. Also, sometimes some articles published in this journal may carry opinions not similar to the Radical Humanist philosophy; but they would be entertained here if the need is felt to debate and discuss upon them.

—Rekha S. 1

2. Guests’ Section: Disruptive Innovation of Democracy; P.V. Narasimha Rao:The Man who made History; Modi's Mataphor 'Namo' violating election code —Uday Dandavate 6 3. Current Affairs’ Section: Nehru Vs Patel; Was a New State Justified?; A New Beginning —Kuldip Nayar 9 Socialist Programme of Obama: “Shutdown”; Emerging dimensions of Disaster Management Who needs Article 371-D? — K.S. Chalam 15 4. IRI / IRHA Members’ Section: Support of Social Mechanism on Women Issues —Ashwinkumar N. Karia 19 Illeffect of Caste & Blind Faith —Sudhesh Korde 21 Humanist Movements and Their Role —Gumma Veeranna 23 5. Professors' & Students' Section: Human Rights in Ancient Indian Philosophy —Dipti Shukla 26 Education in Bengal: “A Paradise Lost”? —Arkoprobho Roychowdhury 29 A Critical Response: Provocation For The Youth —Tarun Patnaik 31 6. Book Review Section: A Small Girl in Bamboo Grove — Dipavali Sen 33 7. Humanist News: 35


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NOVEMBER 2013 in a democratic system? Most of us do not go to vote and enjoy the leave with friends in various kinds of recreation. Will they be any different? And if they go to vote will they stay away from mob mentality and individually use their commonsense in judging the capabilities and genuineness of the contestants? And, in the first place, are they even matured enough to make such judgments? Each class in our society has reared up its progeny in a unique manner to survive in this new world. In the social and economic spheres youth from the upper class (industrialist or agriculturist) have learnt arrogance, impatience and ruthlessness to get their ancestors’ egotistic status back in this so called socialist-democratic society. In the political sphere they are the bahubalees, leaders with money and strength. Off-springs of the middle class have learnt the art of maneuvering, bribing, compromising and influencing people and circumstances to their benefit to rise high in life at a fast pace. In politics they form the band wagon of followers swaying and swinging from one group to another in their own interests. Children of the poor classes have seen so much disparity through the new technological communication channels that most of them have left their abodes for greener pastures in far off lands ready to involve in any and all kinds of activities to follow in the footsteps of the other two classes as soon as possible. In politics they constitute the main mob which comes in countless numbers to cheer for its own leaders and to jeer at all the others. They constitute the largest group of daily wagers inside and outside the political parties. In this scenario where we elders have taught them and brought them to what they are today, totally soaked and divided into casteist, communal, religious and class-wise chasms how are we expecting them to behave any differently and change the destiny of our country? —Rekha S.

From The Editor's Desk:

Indian Elections: A Meaningless Facade are high from the 40 % of Expectations the Indian voters (33 crores of the 79 crore total estimated)—12 crore who will be the first time voters and 21 crore who will be between 19 to 32 years of age. Who are these first time voters? Young children between the age of 18 and 23 from lower class, middle class and upper class families! Most of them are students in colleges coming both from the rural and urban areas. It is expected that these young ones will use their brains and reason and will take impartial decisions in choosing the right contestants from amongst the whole lot and will cast their votes for the honest, righteous leader dedicated towards the public welfare. But how would the young ones suddenly realize on becoming 18 that what their parents and elders have been doing so far and how they have been behaving during elections was not a conscious decision of their minds and reason? And that they have a better sense of judgment than the older ones in their families and surroundings? One needs to remember here that when Jane Cowen-Fletcher used the oft repeated African proverb that “it takes a whole village to raise a child in her book ‘It Takes a Village’ in 1995 and when later on Hillary Rodham Clinton quoted it again they were reminding us that children do not grow in a vacuum. May it be a village or a city today’s young ones are a product of yesterday’s rearing up which has been done by us parents who are seeped deep in the undemocratic value system of our patriarchal society. Will they as new voters behave any differently from their creators? A very doubtful proposition it is! Will they go to the polls dutifully and compulsorily and miraculously enhance the voting rate from 59.7% of the last time to at least 80% this time? Have they been able to realize the importance of the election process as such 2


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From the Writings of M.N. Roy: [Following are two articles, written by M.N. Roy on Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel- one on the occasion of the celebrations of Sardar Patel’s 74th birthday and another after his death, published in The Radical Humanist in December 1950. It would give the readers an idea about how Roy would have reacted upon the present debate on the legacy of Sardar Patel.]

Vallabhbhai Patel 74th birthday, nationalist India Onhashisdone homage to the man who has been correctly described as the master-builder of her destiny. In view of what he has done for the nation, if not for the people, it is natural for nationalist India to be reluctant to face the problem of doing without him. But it is idle to play the ostrich game, Sardar Patel is 74 years old and not in the best of health. I sincerely join in the prayers that he may live for many years more; but knowing that even God, if he existed, could make no miracle. I cannot silence the question – What will happen to India when the master-builder will go, sooner or later, the way of all mortals? Recently, an American visitor asked me the question, and he bracketed the Sardar with Nehru, I could not answer except to say that Patel might well exclaim, après moi, le deluge. I am afraid, that might be the case, if medical science also fails to make miracles. But being a believer in the endless potentialities of science, I hope that it might succeed where God might not, as in the case of the Mahatma, all whose prayers could not save him from the assassin’s pistol. And don’t run away with the idea that the Mahatma did not care about what happened to the mortal coil of his soul. He wanted to live 120 years, and believing that nothing happens in this world except by the grace of God, he must have prayed for that long life. If God could not grant the prayer of his prophet, there is little chance of

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his listening to the supplications of less pure souls who wished Sardar Patel a long life on his 74th birthday? It is easy enough to pay tribute to a successful man. But it is much more difficult to carry on the work he will leave unfinished when he has to listen to the call, not of God, but of dying cells. Nationalist India was fortunate to have Sardar Patel to guide her destiny for a generation. But her misfortune is that there will be none to take his place when he is no more. He has been trying his best to rear up a group to succeed him. Notwithstanding his great achievements in all other respects, he has not been successful in training up an heir-apparent. That is a misfortune common to all great men. When the future is bleak, one naturally turns to the past, and Sardar Patel can be proud of his past. His accomplishments have not been fully appreciated by any among those who sang the chorus of adulation on his 74th birthday. The more important of them can, therefore, be mentioned as the token of my respect for the man who would never be my ideal. In 1938, Subhash Bose could have made history, for good or evil. His weakness plus the Sardar’s iron will, frustrated his ambition and saved the Gandhist Congress. At the Tripuri Session of the Congress and the A.I.C.C. meeting in Calcutta, when the people’s tribunes were in a flutter, the Sardar sat on the dias – a figure of granite, confident of strangling the ambitious upstart with the purse-strings that he held. The picture was reminiscent of that of Stalin when the latter walked up and down in the background of the platform, smoking his pipe with a grim but cynical smile, when a Trotsky or a Zinoviev was frantically fighting for his political life with the weapon of oratory. The analogy is suitable in neither case. Neither did Subhash Bose ever reach anywhere near the grandeur of a Trotsky or even the impetuosity of a Zinoviev; nor is Sardar Patel to be compared with Stalin. The latter has shaped his destiny with his own hands, whereas, but for the decrepitude of


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NOVEMBER 2013 I any case, the fact is that there is none in the Congress to replace the Sardar. Therefore, on his 74th birthday, the thoughtful patriot should have been more anxious than prayerful. I remember that at the time of the Haripura Congress in 1937, a prominent non-political Gandhist wrote an article to speculate what would happen if the Mahatma preferred Samadhi to this world. Those who indulge in a similar speculation on the 74th birthday of Sardar Patel, pay the highest tribute to him. I am one of them.

British Imperialism, Sardar Patel might have died in prison. Stalin fought every inch of the way to his present position. To Sardar Patel power came as a gift and thereafter he had no rival. His greatness is that he could avail of the opportunity. Lesser men might have failed. I claim no inside knowledge, but believe that I am not far off the mark when I say that but for the realism of the Sardar, the Congress might not have agreed to partition, and consequently plunged India into an indefinite period of civil war. On that issue Sardar Patel proved himself to be greater than the Mahatma, who had declared that India could be partitioned only over his dead body. Could Sardar Patel have had his way also on the Kashmir issue, India would not be today spending fifty per cent of her revenue on military budget. I do not know what was Sardar Patel’s attitude to the Kashmir issue; but I am inclined to believe that it was as realistic as his attitude towards partition. Nevertheless once the dice were cast by the gambler’s megalomania, the Sardar had no choice but to play the game; but one could be sure that he loathes the stupidity clothed in the glamour of popular heroes. The integration of the States is the least of the Sardar’s achievements, although it is rated so very high. After the departure of the British, the princes were like helpless orphans. They had no option but to bow in their fate, and the Sardar certainly made it easier for them by his generosity at the cost of the Indian people. All this talk about bloodless revolution is sheer nonsense. It is equally an exaggeration to compare the Sardar with Bismarck, although there may be much in common between the two men. If the de facto leader of Indian nationalism is to be compared with any personality in European history, Machiavelli would be a more appropriate choice. How then can Sardar Patel be a follower of the Mahatma? And I believe that he is, as sincerely as anybody else. The explanation is that Machiavelli was not a rogue, and the Mahatma was a shrewd politician.

India Without Sardar Patel is two weeks since the virtual leader of Itnationalist India passed away, leaving vacant a position that he had held for thirty years. His death is in fact a greater loss than that of the Mahatma. The latter is honoured as the Father of the Nation. What India is today, however, is rather a creation of Patel than of his master. This statement about Patel’s role in the drama of the contemporary history of India is, of course, subject to the doubt if the credit of having made the history of his time could ever be conceded to any single man, however great. In the case of Patel, the claim to the credit can be more plausibly disputed. The fact, nevertheless, is that, if the Mahatma was the Father of the Nation, it was his great disciple who conceived the idea of organizing a totalitarian party as the instrument for the establishment of an authoritarian State, both behind democratic façades. Having successfully served the purpose of attaining power, very largely as a gift of decayed Imperialism, the former is threatened with disintegration in consequence of the struggle for the distribution of the fruits of an easy victory. And the possible disintegration of the party will impair the solidarity of the Government and reduce its chance of retaining the monopoly of power after the coming election. The measure of the loss of Sardar Patel is to be judged in the light of these facts. It is difficult to

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imagine how in his absence the disintegration of the Congress will be arrested. No other leader commands the requisite control of the party machinery. None can have his authority, derived from the confidence of the powerful business community and the consequent control of party finance, and the power to distribute patronage which commanded the submission, if not loyalty, of all ambitious party members. Therefore, Sardar Patel was the dictator of the party in power, and as such dominated the Government, though formally occupying the second place. The immediate consequence of his death may be a recrudescence of the crisis which was tided over at Nasik by his skilful manipulations, backed up by the power to crush any group or individual who dared cross his will. By championing the most blatant form of Hindu nationalism and cultural reaction, the Mahasabha and the R.S.S. might become a serious rival to the Congress in the coming election. To regain the confidence of communalist Hindus, therefore, was the condition for winning the election. Sardar Patel knew that a vast majority of Congressmen had discarded Gandhism except in profession; that an exponent of reactionary Hindu nationalism like Tandon would be elected as the next President of the Congress, defeating an orthodox Gandhist or democratic rival, even if the latter was sponsored by the Working committee. For these reasons, he backed up Tandon’s candidature against a Gurubhai who was the Prime Minister’s nominee. The manoeuvre of getting Tandon elected as President regained for the Congress the support of aggressive Hindu communalism, prejudiced the chances of the rival in the next election, and thus ensured Congress retaining power thereafter. But Tandon’s election was a defeat of the Prime Minister; and the Nasik Congress met in a tense atmosphere of crisis. Again the all-powerful boss of the party machinery pulled strings from

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behind, and the delegates who had voted against the Prime Minister in the presidential election declared their confidence in him. It is an open secret that there was little of agreement and harmony between the Prime Minister and his deputy. But however much the latter might dislike the chief’s ideas and disapprove of his policy, he knew that in the coming election Congress could not do without Nehru’s popularity. He also knew that the latter’s international reputation gave him the opportunity to consolidate a totalitarian State behind a democratic façade. Therefore, he tolerated Nehru’s foreign policy, taking at the same time all precautions against its doing any irreparable harm. The delicately balanced relations inside the party and the Government will be upset in the absence of the hand which held it. There is none who can replace Patel as the super-boss. The result might be a blessing in disguise – Nehru becoming the virtual as well as the titular leader. But in that case, Hindu communalism and chauvinist nationalism will most probably revolt against the Congress, and its chances in the next election will be seriously prejudiced. Inside the Congress, the conflict between the President and the Prime Minister will break out in the open; the crisis will come ahead on the issue of selecting candidates for the election. In short, soon after Patel’s death, all his thirty years’ work may be undone. The religious influence of the Mahatma survived his physical death, to be remembered, if not to guide. There is nothing like that in the case of Patel. Therefore, his influence on Indian politics will not survive his physical death. That might again be a blessing in disguise; but immediately, nationalist India, without Patel, presents such a depressing perspective that well might he have exclaimed on his death bed: “Apres moi le deluge” – After me, deluge. [The Radical Humanist December 13, 1950]


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NOVEMBER 2013 intelligentsia about the significance of Anna Hazare’s emergence on the national scene as a catalyst of disruption in the political space. His detractors scoff at him for simplistic thinking, lack of long-term vision, and for his inability to grasp complexity of making a democracy work. When a group led by Arvind Kejriwal decided to pursue electoral battles to bring about change, Anna himself dissociated from this option and instead decided to stay focused on grass root level outreach to educate and inspire youth to participate in nation building. The parting of ways between Anna and Arvind Kejriwal was touted by the skeptics as dissipation and disintegration of the movement. No matter where one belongs in relation to one’s opinion of Anna Hazare or Arvind Kejriwal, one fact remains- that citizens of remotest parts of India have watched with great interest the upsurge of popular protests in Delhi. The ripples of the events in Delhi have resonated with masses in remotest corners of India. The restlessness and eagerness witnessed during these protests is a perfect opportunity for those of us who feel stifled by the Congress Party and BJP’s machinations of reducing our electoral options to electing Mr. Modi or Mr. Rahul Gandhi as a Prime Minister. One aspect of the protests in Delhi was significant- established political leaders were either absent or were driven away by the protesters when they tried to join the bandwagon. It is clear that people are craving for a future that does not involve parties and leaders who have a vested interest in preserving the current corrupt system. People in the streets were particularly appalled by near unanimity amongst the political parties in bringing to the parliament a bill that overturned Supreme Court judgment disenfranchising criminal politicians. For many of the progressive individuals who are involved in grass root level movements and institution building, Delhi elections provide an opportunity to demonstrate to the established political parties, that when offered a choice, masses are ready to dump the politicians who

Guests' Section:

Disruptive Innovation of Democracy —Uday Dandavate

W

hile Congress Party of India and the BJP are preoccupied guarding their own turf and aiming to encroach rival territories during the forthcoming elections to Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram state assemblies, the true importance of these elections will be revealed by the ripple effect they could cause leading up to the Lok Sabha elections early next year. Studying the emerging patterns of election results of state assembly elections over the past two decades it becomes clear that issues of governance and regional identity increasingly influence endorsement or rejection of the party in power by the electorate. The BJP has already discovered from the recent Karnataka assembly elections that the Modi factor was not able to salvage the reputation of a government sullied in corruption- issue of governance in their own state was more important for people of Karnataka than the Gujrat model marketed by Mr. Modi in Karnataka. If this pattern were to hold true voters of Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram should be expected to vote based on the performance of their respective governments and along issues of identity playing out in the respective region. However the election in Delhi is promising to be a different situation. Since 2011 Delhi has been at the center of global media attention due to various spontaneous protests by citizens, reminiscent of the Arab Spring. Be it the Lok Pal movement or the spontaneous outrage against the rape of Nirbhaya, it is clear that citizens are increasingly getting frustrated by established political parties. They are taking to streets to affect change through spontaneous mobilization. There are differences of opinion amongst

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have been party to building a corrupt system of that does not include either the Congress or the governance. Recent opinion polls indicate that, BJP. My request to the progressive forces is to with two more months to go, Delhi election is work for the defeat of both the Congress and the likely to see emergence of Aaam Adami Party BJP and help people gain confidence in with significant presence. The support for the experimenting with new possibilities. Let Delhi party is growing amidst Delhi voters. It is going elections be the catalyst of change that we all to spoil the prospects of both the Congress and want to see in the long term. It is a perfect BJP. If elections were held today the party would moment for “Disruptive Innovation” of win 18 seats in a 70-member house. This democracy in India. support to the AAP has grown significantly within a month of two polls and will very likely change as the campaigns of all the three parties gain momentum over the next two months. Additionally, largest percentage of voters want Arwind Kejriwal to be the Chief Minister of Delhi, followed by Vijay Goel of BJP. Congress party candidate Shiela Dixit is trailing behind both Kejriwal and Goel. Another significant opinion poll conducted nationally suggests that Congress party will face a historical route if Lok Sabha elections were held today. Though the BJP would emerge as the largest party, the regional parties together will be the largest block in the Parliament. Both these polls are indication of simmering discontent of masses against the established national political parties. No matter how the parties spin their media messages, no matter how last minute government largesse is dished out to people, the nation is ready for change. The nation is ready to test the untested and established political parties should have reasons to be afraid. What are the implications for those of us who want to reject the corrupt, dynastic, top-down model of the Congress party and the Hindu Nationalism packaged in unsustainable development offered by the RSS? Delhi elections offer an opportunity to unsettle the applecart. It provides the opportunity to clear the way for people’s juggernaut. It’s time to look closely at every candidate for his or her individual merit rather than to vote for minions of the two dictatorial leaders. It is time to make a statement that there can be a future alternative 7

P.V. Narasimha Rao: The Man who made History was watching Shekhar Kapoor’s Ihistorical television serial last night, which depicted the events surrounding demolishing of the Babri Masjid by Kara Sevaks in Ayodhya. What caught my attention were the personality of the then Prime Minister Narasimha Rao and his role in the entire turn of events. Narasimha Rao was a unique personality in Indian politics. His rise from a member of the legislative assembly in Andhra to a full-term Prime Minister of a minority Congress party was a meteoric event. His career spoke a lot about him as a person, a politician, and a philosopher. He spoke 16 languages fluently. Natwarsingh, a former Foreign Minister said of him, “Unlike Nehru his knowledge of Sanskrit was profound. Nehru had a temper, PV a temperament. His roots were deep in the spiritual and religious soil of India”. Narasimha Rao achieved what Kamraj, Morarjibhai Desai, Yeshwantrao Chavan, Pranab Mukherjee, or Sharad Pawar could not achieve. He became a full-term Prime Minister and actually exercised his power as a Prime Minister of a party that has only allowed member of Nehru-Gandhi to yield real power in the government. Unlike Mr. Manmohan Singh, who has accepted his subservient position to Mrs. Sonia Gandhi and now to Mr. Rahul Gandhi, PV Narasimha asserted his authority as a Prime Minister and maneuvered Sonia Gandhi out of the power equation. It becomes clear that with his knowledge, wisdom and grass root level understanding of the political process,


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Narasimha Rao, knew how to catalyze flow of events as he wished. He was able to turn the economic thinking in the government from socialist to capitalist path. He was able to keep his minority government in power for a full term by manipulating support for various legislations. Some people called him a Chanakya of Indian Politics. As I was watching Narasimha Rao’s role, as explained by the documentary made by Shekhar Kapoor, I saw two perspectives presented about his role, one by Arjun Singh who said Narasimha Rao had locked himself in a room and was inaccessible throughout the time the Masjid was being demolished by the Kar Sevaks, the other version provided by the then Home Secretary suggests that all throughout Mr. Madhav Godbole, the Home Secretary was directly reporting the turn of events to Mr. Narasimha Rao. Regardless of which version is true, the fact remains that the Babri Masjid was brought down under Mr. Narasimha Rao’s watch. A person of demonstrated observation power, political acumen and ability to catalyze events let history take a new turn under his watch. The question in mind is- Did Narasimha Rao, while turning India from Socialist to capitalist path, also set in motion consolidation of Hindu Nationalism under the BJP?

metaphor RSS is playing out is- "Narendra Modi is Shiva", popularization of the name NAMO creates association of 'hailing of Narendra Modi' with chanting of 'Om NAMO Shiva'. Juxtapose this with the chant of Vande Mataram Modi ends his speech with. Historically Jan Sangh resorted to singing Vande Mataram instead of Jana Gana Mana as a national anthem a explicit symbolic assertion of Hindu identity and as a retort to the opposition to this poem by some of the staunch Muslims in early days after India attained freedom. When Anna Hazare gets the audience to say Vande Mataram, and Bharat Mata Ki Jai it conveys the aura of a man who served India in the army and by fighting corruption. On the other hand, when Narendra Modi resorts to fanatical chanting of Vande Mataram at the end of his speeches, it carries an undertone of the historical symbolism of Hindu Chauvinism promoted by the RSS. It is just as Swastika in India means one thing and when used by Hitler it means another. This is not just a matter of my perception of RSS, but it is another example of a media savvy Narendra Modi manipulating public perceptions and consolidating the RSS base around its mission of Hindu Nationalism. Metaphors are scientifically proven aspects of human cognition. This issue needs to be taken up urgently with the Election commission of India as a violation of election code. Who can do Modi's Metaphor 'NAMO' it? violating election code My white paper is available at: have been a keen student of a linguistic http://www.scribd.com/doc/177921687/Desi phenomenon called metaphors. While gning-With-Metaphors studying literature on metaphors I have realized the hidden power of metaphors in political discourse and campaigns- which led me to an [Uday Dandavate studies people, cultures and alarming realization that Mr. Narendra Modi and trends worldwide and inspires people centered the RSS are manipulating public perception by innovation strategies. He heads a design branding himself as NAMO. I have read several research consulting firm, SonicRim in U.S.A. He blog posts and comments on various social fora writes and speaks on topics related to people that end with Om NAMO Shiva. This is definitely a centered design and innovation in international and conferences. manipulation of religious sentiments. My study journals uday@sonicrim.com of metaphors in language confirms that the

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Current Affairs' Section:

Nehru Vs Patel — Kuldip Nayar interests would have been served India’s better if Sardar Patel, in place of Jawaharlal Nehru, had been the country’s Prime Minister. This hypothetical possibility had been voiced by Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi at a poll campaign for the Bhartiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate in the 2014 parliament elections. Of all the leaders, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Nehru’s friend, guide and philosopher, came to the same conclusion after watching Nehru as an administrator. Azad was in Nehru’s cabinet and saw him from close quarters. Azad told his secretary, Humayun Kabir, that they should have made Nehru the country’s president and Patel its prime minister. Kabir and I were close friends. He recalled Azad’s observation when Kabir was the education minister in the Nehru cabinet. By no stretch of imagination, Azad can be linked with Patel or his philosophy. During the national struggle, both ardent participants, were poles apart and made no secret of their stance. Patel was a pro-Hindu but strictly adhered to pluralism. Azad was secular through and through and boldly faced the charge of “Hindu show boy” that the Muslim League made against him. He did not flinch even for a second to say publicly that the formation of Pakistan would be injurious to the health of Muslims. He would say before partition that the Muslims could walk proudly in the country with their heads held high that they were equal partners, even though they were fewer in numbers. Once India was divided on the basis of religion, the Hindus would tell the Muslims that you had taken their share and should, therefore, go to Pakistan. Patel may not have commented on pluralism in unequivocal term in which Azad did. But I recall that when after partition I sought shelter in Delhi, journeying from my hometown Sialkot, part of Pakistan, I heard Patel warning Pakistan against the exodus of Hindus. He said

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that India would send out the Muslims in proportion to the Hindus ousted from Pakistan. It was a strange logic of pushing the innocent Muslims living in India for the sins of Muslims in Pakistan. Even after 67 years of division, this approach has not been disowned either in India or Pakistan. Pakistan has ousted practically all Hindus. But the Muslims are around 18 crores in India. When there is a tension between the two countries, many Hindus refer to Muslims as Pakistanis. Little purpose will be served in pursuing this point because the wounds of partition are far from healed and the people in both the communities continue to be exploited in the name of religion. Left to Patel, he would have had an exchange of population before accepting partition. Nehru was different. He did not mix religion with politics or the state. The distance in separation in their approach made Mahatma Gandhi, who led the war of independence, to nominate Nehru as his successor. The Hindu-Muslim unity was a matter of faith with Gandhiji, not part of the policy. Gandhiji and Patel came from the same state, Gujarat, ate the same food and represented the traditions of the state in many ways. Yet Gandhiji preferred Nehru to Patel. Gandhiji knew that Nehru even dreamt in English and that he was too much engrossed in world affairs. But Gandhiji also knew that Nehru would interpret his philosophy of Hindu-Muslim unity more faithfully and employ such methods to implement it that respected scruples and were non-violent and fair. Patel’s biggest achievement is that he got 540 odd princely states integrated to the Indian Union. Hats off to him for what he did. But he believed in the ends, not the means. Some states volunteered to join the Indian Union. But some of them showed resistance. Patel’s secretary, V.P. Menon, had no compunction in admitting in his memoirs that the show of force brought round even the most recalcitrant. The typical example is that of Travancore. It announced its independence and initiated the


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process of seceding. VP had an extra man in khaki when he went to the Travancore maharaja. He signed the instrument of accession. He explained subsequently that he did not want his family to suffer and spend years in jail. Gandhiji was also confident that his secular ideals would be safer in the hands of Nehru. This was proved when Patel refused to release Rs. 64 crore to Pakistan. This sum was part of assets which India had agreed to transfer while agreeing to the partition details. Patel argued that how could he release the money when India and Pakistan was engaged in a war over Kashmir. Gandhiji had to go on fast unto death to make Patel relent. The extremist Hindus had vitiated the atmosphere of amity over the sum of Rs. 64 crore. The society was sought to be polarized. They criticized Gandhiji again and again for being anti-national and anti-Hindu. The RSS, the fallout of Hindu Mahasabha’s philosophy of Hindutva, hatched a conspiracy and shot Gandhiji dead. Patel was quite right in banning the RSS and blaming it for disturbing the atmosphere of secularism. Once again the slant of Patel towards the RSS made him withdraw the ban once the organization changed its character to become a cultural organization. This was only a smokescreen behind which the RSS used the BJP for its political activities. Modi is its candidate. In fact, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat has openly said that the outfit would be participating in politics. Nehru has many a time exposed its duplicity. When Azad thought Nehru’s suitability for the office of President, he was confident that the communal forces had been crushed. He commended Patel’s quality of being pragmatic and practical. Azad had come to have full faith in Patel’s secular aptitude. That Modi is using Patel’s image for polarizing the society is unfortunate. Practical as Patel was, he would have understood that India’s destiny lay in a democratic, secular polity. He, as prime minister, would have deepened its foundation more firmly than Nehru.

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Was a New State Justified? Congress president Sonia Apparently, Gandhi, who okayed the creation of Telangana for formal decision by the cabinet, did not anticipate angry reaction of the rest of Andhra, called Seemandhra. When there is blackout, no water supply, no transport, no fuel and powerless mobiles, the mood in Seemandhra is that of now or never. The centre could have gauged the sentiment by proceeding with what the constitution says. It is laid down that the state assembly should be consulted. True, in the house of 294, the Seemabdhra’s 179 members would have stalled a resolution on the creation of Telangana. But then the constitution says that there should be consultation, not concurrence. The exercise would have enabled to foresee the extent of aggressiveness which even intelligence agencies failed to report. Probably, the anger in Telangana was no less when it was up in arms. Yet the centre had resisted the state’s bifurcation although the agitation was at its fieriest during the days of Chenna Reddy, once the state’s chief minister. The then Congress president, K. Kamaraj, from the south had his ears to the ground. Sonia Gandhi, sitting at New Delhi, is not familiar with the ground realities of the state. Was it necessary to divide Andhra Pradesh? This was the first linguistic state. The States’ Reorganization Commission that followed the creation of Andhra Pradesh recommended the creation of Telangana. Yet the centre stuck to a united Andhra Pradesh in the larger interest. The Telugus enthusiastically welcomed the creation of Andhra Pradesh because the Telugu-speaking areas were retrieved from the Madras Presidency and amalgamated with Andhra Pradesh. The question that remains unanswered is why so much hostility has come to surface when Telangana is constituted. After all, it is going to be part of India. Ambitious politicians are responsible for cultivating hostility. There can be fear that Telangana is more or less the old state of Nizam where


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razakars (armed men) were ruling the roost. But the state is strong enough to curb such a tendency. Also the Nizams encouraged razakars and dreamt of joining Pakistan. Politicians eye the loaves of office that a new state would create. That greed may be the reason why state chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy has not resigned even when he is for a united Andhra Pradesh. Had he resigned it would have come as a jolt to the Congress high command and probably things would have taken a different turn. Indeed, the Congress has in mind the next elections where it expects to sweep Telangana. It is tragic that politics has held its sway over the interest of the people of Andhra Pradesh. Its bifurcation would create problems for both the states like water disputes because River Krishna flows into both the proposed states. It is still not late to annul the decision. Probably, the services of Congress-vice-president Rahul Gandhi would have to be harnessed. If he could undo the ordinance to shield the convicted politicians and force the union cabinet to rescind its decision he would be able to undo the division of Andhra Pradesh as well. Indeed, it was ridiculous to introduce in parliament a bill to overcome a Supreme Court judgment that the MPs and MLAs will cease to be members of the respective houses and disqualified the moment they are convicted. The bone of contention between Telangana and Seemandhra is Hyderabad. The proposed bifurcation will have Hyderabad as their joint capital for 10 years. Why not permanently? When Punjab was divided, it was announced that both Punjab and Haryana would have separate capitals and Chandigarh would be a union territory. The two states found that a joint capital was useful and convenient. So much so, the lawyers of both the states opposed to the centre’s proposal to have a separate high court in Haryana. The proposal had to be withdrawn. The argument that Seemandhra does not touch the border of Telangana where Hyderabad is located is not convincing. Both states open in the other states. All belong to the Indian nation.

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Why then the opposition to have Hyderabad as the joint capital? It is, however, unfortunate that government servants of the proposed Telangana have threatened that Seemandhra’s government servants must have their own setup in Hyderabad itself. Such tendencies must be curbed with a strong hand because they impinge on the country’s unity. The centre has also closed its eyes on the renewal of demand for the creation of other states. Vidarbha, Gorkahaland and some other states in the northeast have again begun agitating after the announcement of Telangana. The state governments are helpless when the centre announces Telangana without bothering about repercussions. It is not understandable why New Delhi has created another problem when it is already reeling under deteriorating economic conditions on the one hand and uneasy burdens with China and Pakistan on the other. Maybe, the announcement of Telangana is meant to divert attention from other pressing problems the country is facing today. This is perhaps the Congress way of tackling them. The government has done well in resisting the demand for the appointment of another States Reorganization Commission. It would have opened a Pandora’s box. I recall the passions aroused when the commission was appointed. There were so many claims which were equally conflicting that it was difficult to arrive at any decision which ultimately the commission made. The commission made two points as back as in 1985 when it submitted its report. Both points are as true today as they were then. One, whether the states are reorganized or not they will continue to be an integral part of the Union which is the real political entity and the basis of our nationhood. Two, the constitution recognizes only one citizenship for the entire people of India, with equal rights and opportunities throughout the union. The proposed state of Telangana is, no doubt, a wrong decision. Yet the 28th state, if constituted, will keep in mind that the citizenship is one, with equal rights.


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Signs of Fundamentalism is rearing its ugly head Fundamentalism once again. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has openly said that it would take part in politics. On the other hand, even the liberal Jammiat Ulma-i-Hind has talked about the Muslim vote. The impending parliamentary elections may be compelling the political parties. Yet the polarization they are trying to effect is telling upon the co-existence of the Hindus and the Muslims, something which they have come to accept. Take the RSS first. Apparently, it is not happy with the working of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), its political wing. The RSS had its way in imposing the Hindutva poster boy, Guajrat chief minister Narendra Modi, as the BJP’s candidate for the office of Prime Minister. Maybe, the RSS is upset over leaders like L.K. Advani, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley who are seen as the liberal elements in the BJP. By entering politics, the RSS is going back on the undertaking it gave to Sardar Patel, Union Home Minister, after partition of the country. The RSS promised and wrote in its constitution not to participate in political activities. This was the price it paid to have the ban lifted following the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi. Nathuram Godse, the assassin, was found having links with the RSS. True, Patel, known for his pro-Hindu views, did not think that the RSS had a hand in the Mahatma’s murder. He said so in his letter dated January 27, 1948, to Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Yet Patel believed that the Sangh’s “violent” ways had contributed to the climate in which the Mahatma was killed. The then Sangh chalak, Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar, pleaded not guilty. Nor did his telegrams to Nehru and Patel, expressing shock over the murder, make any difference. The Sangh had to specify in its constitution that it had “no politics” in mind and would remain “devoted purely to cultural work.” Yet the ranting by Mohan Bhagwat, the RSS chief that it would directly participate in politics is the violation of the promise given to Patel. However, 12

this is one case which the Election Commission would have to ponder over. How can a cultural organization jump into the political arena? Even if the RSS changes its constitution, how justified is it when it gave an undertaking to the central government to have the ban lifted? Take the statement of Mahmood Madani, chief of Jammiat Ulma-i-Hind. He asked the so-called secular parties not to invoke bogey of Narendra Modi to create fear among Muslim voters. He said that the parties should instead seek votes “on the basis of promises fulfilled during their tenure and the promises they would make through election manifestoes.” I have no exception to the statement Madani made except his invoking the phrase of “Muslim vote.” There is no Hindu or Muslim vote, but only the Indian vote. What holds good for one community holds good for the other community. To single out the Muslims is exactly what the RSS does for Hindus. And I have not been able to comprehend Madani’s love for Modi. He should have said in the same statement that his remark should not be misunderstood and that he was opposed to Modi’s parochial politics. In fact, he let the Congress and Samajwadi Party too off the hook. The Congress got the opening and said: “We do not make strategy keeping in mind any individual. Our strategies are with regard to the policies and programmes of the party.” However, this self virtue does not convince anyone. It is a fact that the Congress has decided to attack Modi alone. And this can be seen in the manner in which the union ministers are taking turns to criticize Modi. It is unfortunate that the Congress has not raised any substantial issue like development and has played into the hands of Modi who has converted the 2014 polls into a presidential form of election. He, instead, is talking about development and covering up his Hindutva ideology. The Achilles’ heel of the Congress is non-governance as well as the incumbency factor. I wish there had been early elections so that the new government would have planned something for the country for a


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long tenure. But the six months between now and the elections will be without any serious work. Ministers will be only crossing the T’s and dotting I’s. Consequently, the economy is going haywire. If the ventures in the private sector can register a phenomenal growth, why not then the public sector undertakings? Yet the worst is what the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the BJP are doing at Ayodhya. They were responsible for the demolition Babri Masjid and the killing of hundreds of Muslims. They are trying to create a similar atmosphere by wanting to stage a rally which the state government has rightly banned. I wish the two parties were to show the same verve in getting justice for the Dalits, who are Hindus but undergoing all indignities and humiliations. They are not getting their due even in law courts. The recent case is that a Bihar village, Laxmanpur, where the members of Bhoomihars (the landlords) killed 58 Dalits, including 27 women and 10 children. An upper caste judge has released all the 16 accused on the plea that there was no evidence. It is a travesty of justice. The lower court had sentenced the accused to life imprisonment. If the High Court judge did not find any evidence he could have constituted a special investigation team (SIT) to work under its supervision to hold a fresh probe. The result of his judgment is that the Dalits have migrated from the village where they and their forefathers lived for years. What has happened at Laxmanpur is the fate of Dalits all over the country. The equality before law, enshrined in the constitution, is a farce. Attention is now focused on the Supreme Court where an appeal has been filed against the High Court judgment. The Supreme Court would do well if it were also to look into the functioning of the Bihar High Court which is dominated by the upper caste.

shed the debilitating baggage of the past and focus more on the future, when opportunities, rather than challenges, define the relationship between two proud and sovereign nations.” His meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is an evidence of his ardent desire to make up with India. Hostility between India and Pakistan is so proverbial that any movement towards lessening it comes as a relief. The meeting between the two may not have spanned the distance between the two countries. Yet it has broken the ice and it is a good beginning. The skeptics are hard to please, particularly when Nawaz Sharif did not assure Manmohan Singh on the terrorist training camp in Pakistan (they number around 30). The meeting is a step forward. Both Prime Ministers were under great pressure from their domestic lobbies of opposition. Still they stood the ground and met for an hour. Both should be complimented in preferring a dialogue to the cancellation of the meeting which would have damaged the prospects of peace. I have not been able to understand the logic of those who have opposed the meeting. Is there any other option? Both sides can defer the talks, but they have to engage themselves sooner or later. And the outcome of the meeting has been positive. Both Prime Ministers have rightly pinpointed the priority: To firm up the ceasefire on the Line of Control (LoC). The agreement reached in 1993 on the ceasefire has stood the test of time for a decade. It is unfortunate that the Taliban could penetrate in Jammu and Kashmir and kill five Indian soldiers. Now that the two Prime Ministers have directed their respective Director General of Military Operation (DGMO) to meet and work out arrangements to ensure the ceasefire is not impaired. The two DGMOs should also find out why the violation took place in the first instance. A New Beginning True, the Taliban, not the Pakistan armed forces, n his reply to my letter, Prime Minister did it. But how did the Taliban come to use the Nawaz Sharif has said: “I look forward to Pakistan territory to shoot their way into India? a time when Pakistan and India will be able to Some connivance by some is obvious. The

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Taliban menace, which has made practically every place in Pakistan unsafe, has to be met squarely. Chief of Army Staff General Parvez Kayani has declared that the Pakistan army would stay in Swat, part of Northern Waziristan, near the Afghanistan border. At the same time, he has differed with Nawaz Sharif on talks with the Taliban. He should recognize the fact that the entire region has come to be threatened by the resurgence of Al-Qaida, directing the Taliban. The situation may get aggravated when the Western troops withdraw from Afghanistan next year. Already the Al-Qaida is recruiting young men and training them for strikes after the withdrawal of troops. I have my doubts about the capability of the Afghanistan army and the police, trained by America, to withstand the Al-Qaida onslaught. I think that the Al-Qaida’s ideology of fanaticism has not been properly spelled out before the Pakistan public. The country has had a taste of it when the Swat Valley was occupied by the Taliban for some time. The music shops were closed and so were the education institutions for girls. The veil was compulsorily imposed and the general expectation was that women would stay indoors. And there was not even an iota of free expression allowed, much less the liberal thought. Madrasas and mosques in the region have become the breeding ground of the Taliban and their ideology of fundamentalism. I cannot understand why some Muslim countries are financing them. The outcast Libya is reportedly supplying them with arms. The Muslim countries seem to have forgotten the Arab Spring when the youth and liberal elements came on to the streets to confront the fundamentalists. At that time, every Muslim country began chanting the mantra of democracy. The fundamentalists were able to create division in the ranks of students and defeat the demand for democratic regimes.

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The Al-Qaida’s fundamentalist ideology can revive the spirit of Arab Spring. I wish Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh and Nawaz Sharif had discussed the resurgence of Al-Qaida. Both India and Pakistan, particularly the latter, have to ponder over the vacuum created after the Western forces quit. If combating terrorism is a priority for the two countries, the Al-Qaida and its instruments of tyranny, the Taliban, should be on top of their agenda. In fact, the Taliban in the shape of mujahideen are already operating in India. The situation is still under control. But the birth of Hindu Taliban should be a point of concern for India. I wish the two countries would realize the gravity of the situation and discuss a joint action. New Delhi should be able to anticipate the situation it could face if Islamabad goes under or functions at the behest of the Taliban. Even Kenya and Nigeria have not been able to escape the Al-Qaida’s fury. Peshawar, the capital of the North Western Frontier Province, has been a target three times in the last week, killing roughly 200 people. Pakistan is still not coming hard on Lashkar-e-Toiba. Hafiz Sayed, its chief, is leading prayers at the government-controlled Gaddafi Stadium and inciting people against India. Nawaz Sharif, when asked by Manmohan Singh about action against the terrorists who struck in Mumbai on 26/11, said that the case against them in the court would progress now that the Pakistan’s judicial commission had visited India. Against this backdrop, the diatribe by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi against the Congress and non-BJP governments was in a bad taste. He depended on a Pakistani anchor’s prankish remark that Nawaz Sharif compared Manmohan Singh to a ‘dehati (rural) woman’. No such remark was made as it turned out to be later. Modi, aspiring to be the country’s Prime Minister, should be cautious in what he says. But then he gets lost in his demagogy.


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Socialist Programme of Obama Led to “Shutdown” —K. S Chalam

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he American traditions of democracy and development are based on liberty and inequality as an incentive to obtain efficiency in the economy. The political process is a game played by the corporate houses numbering about a dozen mostly the Jews and Anglo-Saxons. The history of these groups some insiders tell us, is such that that they keep on moving from one site to another depending upon the opportunities and alacritous prey. Therefore, there is no guarantee that they would make the US hospitable for the people or settlers. This statement by some of the locals was made out of frustration on the present impasse in America without regard to the consequences. The Democratic Party under the leadership of Barack Obama has considered that providing free and affordable medical aid is a minimum that a democratic modern nation could do to their citizens. This is termed by the opposition Republicans who come under the above category of detractors, called the ‘Obamacare’ as Socialist agenda. They wanted to reduce the budget for health care and provide more business to corporate insurance companies. This led to the present shutdown in America making 8 lakh employees out of work. It is fascinating to note that Andhra and America are sailing in the same boat of furlough. Furlough is a concept of unpaid leave of some employees due to unforeseen circumstances. It is sentimental politics in Andhra and deep political and economic crisis in America that led to the impasse. I was in Chicago Airport waiting for our flight to Hyderabad watching Obama address to the budget session telecasted live. As the fiscal starts from October 1st in the USA, I have anticipated that the Congress would clear the budget and provide funding for ‘Obamacare’. The Congress was also obliged to raise the debt ceiling to avoid humiliation of 15

default on debt obligations by 17th October. Strangely, by the time I reached Hyderabad, the Indian Cabinet cleared the Telangana resolution and America declared federal shutdown. The federal shutdown is a process of stoppage of government activities when there is a funding gap or failing to pass legislation for government operations. This has happened several times before and the present crisis, however, is due to a standoff on Health care Act between the Republicans and Democrats. The budget process in the USA is a very long and complicated procedure involving several stages of discussions and lobbying starting from the month of February to reach a consensus by October every year. We have a different mechanism and evolved ‘vote on account’ to avoid such uncertainties. President Obama was very clear about the welfare schemes and according to the conservative Republicans (particularly the cynical Tea Party group), he is adamant to reorient his socialist programme. In a capitalist country like America, it is strange to notice, provision of medical aid is a socialist programme to invite the fury of Republicans. Socialism and Communism seem to be prohibited in public discourse in USA ever since Ku Klux Klan tirade against the ideas and democrats use welfare programmes as entitlements of citizens. The present deadlock in the US between Republicans who control the House of Representatives, and Democrats is on the public health care system. It is ridiculous that an advanced country like America is not in a position to provide sufficient health care to its population in the twenty first century compared to others in the OECD club. Realising the need for health care to the poor and uninsured, Obama Government passed the ‘Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’ in 2010. Now the Republicans wanted that the Act be repealed and the budget allocations reduced for health care. The Democratic Party and Obama took a firm stand on this and said that it is non-negotiable. This led to the present


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stalemate and shutdown. People of India and those who talk about the efficiency of the Medical system in America do not tell us how the system functions. No doubt, it is one of the best in the world for the rich and those who can afford the cost. But for the average American and the poor African-American, Hispanics and others it is life threatening. There are studies in the US that have estimated the per capita cost is the highest in the world at $ 7000 while it is only $ 3165 in France. Health care business, yes it is a big business, is for profit service involving 17 per cent of GDP now. There are two types of health care systems in US, one Medicare for those who are above the age of 65 and few others and two, Medicaid is a means tested health and medical service provided to low income groups. The federal government gets revenue from payroll taxes at 2.9 per cent of wages and other sources to fund the schemes. Then where is the problem? The services are not directly provided to the enrolee or insurer. The splendour of freedom to choose in capitalist system is so cosmic that it has created a middleman called the Insurer or Medicare Contractor. The experts advocate that competition among the contractors would reduce the cost of service and is cheap. This is very fine. But, T.R Reid in his “The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper and Fairer Heath Care”, assessed that 7.0 lakh people go bankrupt and 45000 die annually from curable diseases because they were either uninsured or underinsured. It is estimated that a single emergency trip costs about $ 100000 and an MRI test $ 1000, while it is $ 105 in Japan. The charges include administrative, marketing, customer service, billing and may be lobbying costs. Thus, the argument that private insurance reduces cost of health care has turned out to be a myth, rather an academic folklore. The crisis today is due to the high costs of health care and lower rates of recovery. It is reported that the private insurance companies have a $2.8 trillion annual business and would be doubled by 2018.

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The expenditure on prescription drugs would cost $ 453.7 billion or 4.5 trillion by 2018. It is projected by scholars that the per cent of GDP spent on health and medical services would go up from 16.2 per cent in 2007 to 20.3 by 2018. The projections are based on figures during a recession period might increase when the economy comes out of the bust. Thus, the medical and health care business is very lucrative for the corporate houses that deal with Insurance, Pharmaceuticals and related interests. Health insurance became major item of public expenditure as Health care constitutes 26 per cent of a budget of $ 3770 billion in 2013. However, it is this amount that seems to have made the lobbyists to stall the Congress. The Republicans argue that public provisioning of health care interferes with the freedom of the citizen and therefore withdraw the 2010 Act. The hidden agenda is that by doing so it would increase the business of the corporatist, while the democrats feel that it pinches the poor. As one American commentator states that the US Chamber of Commerce has turned out to be Multinational Chamber of Commerce and have no qualms that they would shift their offices elsewhere like out sourcing the ICT services to reduce costs. The ordinary American wants a nationalised and single payer healthcare system without the middleman/ insurer as in developing countries. There seem to be a breakdown of Constitutional democracy with the imperfect Presidential form of Government. The system relies heavily on the authority of the President while the legislature is always divided on party lines. It is said that there is no democratic principle to resolve disputes between executive controlled by one party and legislature roughly by another (as it happened now). The two dominant parties are ideologically and ethnically divided might confront and hasten the collapse. This seems to be imminent in view of the internal contradictions of the economy that is encountering the famous ‘law of falling rate of profit’ for quite some time. It is estimated by


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some economists that the rate of profit between 1950 and 1970 declined by 50 per cent, from 22 per cent to 12 per cent. Whether one agrees or not, Marx argued that the twin evils of ‘high unemployment and higher inflation and low real wages’ would lead to crisis in the system. But, it did not happen as predicted by Marx and sarcastically remarked on this prediction by Lohia and others. But, the situation now needs reconsideration in view of the fact that how the labourers of one region are induced with higher wages while others in different regions exploited through BPO and other techniques. It was also possible to keep the constant capital and technology under check with innovations like weightless goods, mystifying the economy with share market, co-opting the middle classes particularly the intellectuals to fabricate stories of success etc. This also brings to focus the need to examine the crisis in capitalist system from alternative approaches as scholars like Michael Heinrich (Monthly Review, April 2013), found that the falling rate of profit and other predictions in Marx were edited by Engels and needs reappraisal. Whatever may be the predictions of Marxists and others about the collapse or survival of the capitalist system, the present crisis in America and Europe and the theories advocated by them for LDCs need a re-evaluation. We do not know what the Columbian economists say on this. Are the Indians listening?

Emerging dimensions of Disaster Management recent Phailin super cyclone that Thecreated havoc on the East coast of India was tackled with ease by government agencies. There was little causality probably limited to around 20. We must congratulate our Disaster Management agencies like the NDMA, IMD and Revenue department of state governments in making the incident one of their routine tasks performed with alacrity. This has attracted the attention of the so called advanced countries including the UK, USA where hundreds 17

are killed in a recent cyclone. The PM met the functionaries of NDMA on 28th October and assured that some amount in each department of the government would be earmarked for disaster management. This augurs well for the country. We had an opportunity to interact with some DGs of IMD in our official work in Delhi and learned that the job of a scientist in the division is very challenging given the resources. However, our experts excelled in the art of prediction by changing the methodology, using data of 30 to 100 years of observations and with the support of satellite communication. Andhra University being on the East Coast is one of the earliest to have started an independent Department of Meteorology and Oceanography contributing to the knowledge base on forecasting. Now our scientists are able to predict exactly when and where the cyclones strike our coast. But, the post-cyclonic relief, rehabilitation and management seem to be under criticism. Cyclones and super cyclones are not new to the people of East Coast as they have been experiencing the harsh conditions from time immemorial and acclimatized themselves to such disasters. It is noted in some of the research studies (Odissa) that the Fishermen of East Coast are more knowledgeable than the so called civilized Europeans in the Science of Oceanography and developed indigenous techniques during ancient past. Some of the remnants are preserved in the Naval Museums with little attention paid by our historians. The present torrential rains and heavy loss of life and property not only in our Coastal districts but in Telangana and Rayalaseema regions of the state call for a rethink on our cyclone preparedness and the approaches to mitigate disasters. The present disaster management method to lessen loss of life and property seem to be short of latest developments connected to our situation and conditions. It seems the NDMA and other agencies are geared to diminish the impact of cyclones and not prepared enough to tackle the


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issues that arise after touches like floods, landslides etc. It is reported that the causalities during the post-cyclone scenario in the state is gone up to 50 and property worth Rs 3500 crores lost. The infrastructure, particularly road and Rail links got devastated and passengers stranded at different places undergoing colossal suffering. It is a regular feature on our East Coast that needs to be addressed wholly to protect not only precious lives but the livelihoods that sustain life and living. Disaster is defined as the occurrence that causes wide spread destruction and distress. It is divided in to manmade and natural. It is now difficult to demarcate between the two as most of our wicked human activities in pursuit of wealth and luxurious living are resulting in erosion of natural resources leading to sudden outburst due to imperious environmental load. Experts have identified around 60 categories of disasters spread in to areas like space, ocean, land, technology etc for the World Congress on Disaster Management in Hyderabad to be organized next year. The Government of Andhra Pradesh in consultation with the NDMA has done an exercise on mitigation plan. Yet, the present floods and storms have resulted in loss of crops in 29 lakh acres and 2176 tanks, 9000 kms of roads damaged as per preliminary estimates. This brings us to the basic facts relating to the environmental capacity of the East coast and its subsequent wreckage. Nature has developed its own protective system and people living on the coast have also equipped themselves with traditions and customs that relate to their environment. Fishermen living on the coast knew the importance of Mangroves, a salt tolerant plant that remained as a protective stratagem. The Colonialists brought Cashew and planted on the coast to arrest soil erosion along with other plantations to reduce the intensity of cyclones. Our modern policy makers found that they are outdated and useless techniques that seize precious wealth and therefore advanced western models of

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development. They prescribe methods perhaps on the basis of their study tour of Amsterdam or Rotterdam to replicate in India. The industrial, refinery, recycling, trade and other activities are prescribed on the coast sitting in a land locked place like Delhi without perceiving the consequences in a tropical country. The damage done to mangroves as per the latest Forest Survey Report is the greatest on the West coast particularly Gujarat coast and on the East coast, Andhra Pradesh. It is reported that we had 495 Kms of mangroves in 1987 and they are reduced to 354 kms by 2005 and may be a lesser amount by this time after several SEZs planned on the coast. The consequence of this is experienced with surge in intensity of cyclones and floods. We could discern this from the data that show reduction in causalities while the value of physical damage increased from Rs 765 crores in 2003-4 to Rs 10000 crores in 2006-7. It seems, the mandate of NDMA or the wings of disaster mitigation units of state governments have limited jurisdiction in the formulation of development policies. If it is not possible to provide a proactive role to NDMA and other mitigation machinery, why not they be instructed to conduct and or coordinate research for alternative sources of reclamation of resources? For instance, Rice Research centers are working on varieties that can survive in flood water; DRDO must be working on technologies that survive in floods, identifying vulnerable areas and sincerely rehabilitating the inhabitants etc and propagate them. NDMA is not averse to original ideas. I have a curious experience with the organization. I sent a proposal through National Human Rights Commission ( as SR) when Heat waves in Andhra Pradesh killed hundreds in the month of May-June to consider it as a natural disaster to enable governments to give calamity relief to victims. It was forwarded to the Prime Minister and the GoM seemed to have considered its inclusion under National calamity and the same was communicated to me recently.


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IRI/IRHA Members' Section:

Support of Social Mechanism on Women Issues —Prof. Ashwinkumar N. Karia provisions relating to violence Legal against women are not implemented properly. A systematic investigation into this problem reveals that it is due to the ineffective functioning of the ‘social support mechanism.’ Social support mechanism includes emotional support on the one hand and physical support on the other. According to Caplan (1976), social support may be any input, directly provided by an individual or group, which moves the receiver of that input towards goal attainments.’ It is an action that functions to assist the focal person meeting his personal goals or in dealing with the demands of any particular situation. In this paper, there is an attempt to examine the role of the social support mechanism at the various stages of the implementation of the legal provisions meant to redress the grievances of rape. At the time of commission of the offence: When an incident of rape happens, generally the public doesn’t come forward to help the victim. This temperament has developed due to fear psychosis. The support expected from the public gets subdued on account of conflict between the personal value system and the societal value system. For this reason, the public behaves in a self-centred manner. The witnesses who are expected to support the police keep away. At the time of lodging F.I.R.: It is a matter of common experience that the cases relating to domestic violence, sexual harassment, dowry deaths are suppressed on account of various socio-psychological and cultural reasons. Very few F.I.R.’s are lodged in police stations. In case the rape victim happens to be an unmarried girl, her parents hesitate to report the matter in the police stations. Neighbours, relatives, friends,

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do not give advice, as it is considered to be a personal and sensitive issue. The eye witnesses do not come forward to give evidence as they do not want to be drawn to police station and court time again and again. Police sometimes behave very rudely with the persons who go to the police station for lodging a complaint. Sharan writes, “The incidents of humiliation, sex torture and gang rapes inflicted upon Maya Tyagi of Bagpat, Brij Bala of Lucknow, Sheela Devi of Dabwali, Mathura of Mumbai and Rameezabee of Hyderabad have shown the brutality and lawlessness of the cops which could be matched only with the criminals whom they are supposed to prosecute.” Investigation stage: Due to political interference and pressure from senior officers, police investigation is conducted in a casual manner. Even if the police want to conduct the investigation seriously, they do not get support from any section of the society. On the other hand, opposite political parties make it an issue for political gain. The mass media publicise the incidences as sensational news items. Sometimes such untimely publicity hinders the smooth conduct of inquiry. The trial: The court is expected to declare its judgment as per law. There are several loop-holes in the legal provisions, and lawyers and judges have vast scope to interpret them either way. The court sometimes does not bear in mind the human psychology and behavioural probability while assessing the victim’s version. In short, our judicial system does not function effectively on account of various lacunae in providing justice to the victims. Conclusion: Necessary changes in the patriarchal system are essential. Social scientists, social workers, politicians, police officers, legislators should sit together and suggest changes in the present value system. Emphasis has to be given to mutual love, cooperation, affection, etc. Hasty decisions with regard to modification in the prevailing women’s laws should not be taken until internalization of


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the people is achieved. This process could be achieved in the right perspective if the people are made to develop their human factors, such as awareness, perception, and attitude through the need oriented motivating factors. Development of human factors should be oriented towards protest against harassment and violence. When bills are placed in the Parliament for passing legislation, wide publicity

should be given to seek public opinion on the basis of which further discussions could be initiated for necessary modifications. [Prof. Ashwinkumar N. Karia is the former Principal, Law College at Palanpur. This paper was presented by him at a National Seminar on Human Rights, organised at R.G. College, Meerut, on 30th July 2013.]

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Illeffect of Caste & Blind Faith —Sudhesh Korde I meet someone who is not When known to me but known to the people whom I know, the person immediately asks which caste I belong to? I am a human being first. I should not be asked this question. And I point blank tell him that he should not do so. Is it not sufficient for me to be a normal human being? I tell him that the people like him are dividing all among themselves on the basis of castes. As such there is no base supporting this argument of different castes. Even in Vedas, I am informed, there is no menton of catses in this way. Through the centuries India has been divided by these groups, which is based totally on castes. Our so called Rishi’s also advocate on these lines, which is really very dangerous for the people. There are so many Godmen in India, who are all the time surrounded by yes man, who preach to remain cool, not to get angry, not to go after wealth and live in ashrams, restricting the people in one form or the other. But in true sense they themselves never follow what they preach. Instead they gather wealth, get angry if questioned and restrict entry in their ashrams. They are supported by politicians and political parties. These so called Godmen take advantage of the weak minded people by hammering them with wrong things and messages, even threatening them. People do not analyze and think why they should respect the Godmen. Most of the people of India have got the mindset of slaves, which has been existing since centuries and continues even now. They are responsible for creating havoc in the minds of people. Their comments are also inflammatory and dividing the people with double standards. Take the recent case of a girl in New Delhi, who was attacked and raped by six people in the bus. The 21

so called unscrupulous Godman Asharam, advocated that she should have recited the name of God, who would have come to her rescue and would have saved her. How God was going to help when she was attacked and raped? If that is the case why God sent those people to attack and rape her in the first place? If one has to believe God to come to the rescue then why he is not restricting these bad people? Asharam is well supported by all the political parties and the politicians. A person like Asharam takes the disadvantage of the weak minded people by hammering them with wrong things and messages, even threatening them. So called unscrupulous Godmen like Asharam are responsible for creating havoc in the minds of people. Their comments are of inflammatory nature. Recently a minor girl has filed FIR against him, accusing him of sexual molestation. The police came with summons but instead of him receiving it, it was received by some other person from his ashram. He is asked to remain present before the police before 30th August 2013. Instead of that he still wants more time and cannot appear on this date. Even the political parties are trying to cover up the case. Our political parties have gone arrogant and are insensitive towards such incidences. All political parties wants immunity from everything so that no one can dare to file case against them. Indian people do not allow themselves to work freely in all fields of intellectual or economic activity where there is more scope of improvement and progress. Castism among the people of India restricts them from moving away from customary beliefs, which hampers them from friendship, fraternity, mutual respect, etc. in the minds of people. Old tradition still exists. This customary belief plays negative role in inculcation of positive values like liberty, equality, fraternity, etc. The people of India are pessimistic by nature, which restrains them from developing a better outlook towards life. They think of having better opportunity in the other world, that is heaven.


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But this is not true They think that this world is mithya and they continue to move away from the stark realities of this life. This hampers their progress. Because of this one can say ‘An average Indian is a dishonest person’. We need to imbibe the character of brave person, virtuous and with an individual will to realize his or her true potential and to shun the old pessimistic outlook and move on with a positive outlook. The Indian culture and philosophy suggests attainment of heaven as the sole objective to the Indian people. This objective takes the people away from reality of life. The truth is bound by the institution of religion. They think that God, whose identity takes form only in the mind, will actually help them. And they begin to believe in the falsity of the real world. The people in power dominate religious institutions and use the same ideology to enslave the masses keeping them ignorant about the truth to preserve their own social status, authority and material gains. Laws of inequality which are inherent for thousand years, have developed castiesm, which gives rise to untouchability which are then nurtured by religious values. This religious mysticism has been awarded with selfishness. An individual, who is religious minded, strives for his own sanctity and transcendental life. This selfish motive is based on illusionary concepts, such as self aggrandizement. Secularism, broadmindedness and individual freedom have no importance to these religious minded people. We can very well exemplify this by comparing with some of the western countries, who they kept religion out of politics. They

consider democracy, fundamental rights of man, fraternity, people’s republic etc as more important. On the other hand, Indian people are blindfolded and they first follow thieir religion then think of their rights and republic. Most of the Indian political parties, who have ruled and those who are in the opposition, take the path of religion, moving away from the factual experiences. An illiterate man, scared, confused and bewildered thinks of God as the source of all these events occurring on this universe and in his life. This is absolute ignorance or lack of education and an ortodox mind-set. Science has proved the cause of rainfall, blowing of wind, sunrise and sunset, solar & lunar eclipse and why and how man's body gets diseased, etc. etc. The society in which the pace of creation of knowledge is slow or where society has regressed in the field of gaining scientific knowledge, the social mind is removed from the reality. Beauty of the universe is intrinsic. Knowledge is beautiful. Let us unearth this vast knowledge and create space and freedom for the same on the basis of facts and not myth. We have yet to unearth one hundred percent knowledge available on this universe. It is a continuous process, which will last for centuries and is never ending. And so being a humanist with a scientific outlook I oppose being recognized on the basis of caste. [Mr. Sudhesh Korde belongs to a Radical Humanist family and keeps engaged in humanist activities to the extent he can in his physically challenged condition . He is a B.Com, D.B.M. and M.B.A. (Finance). He can be contacted at sudhesh1959@gmail.com, Mob.: 09879545389]

"If democracy is considered to be the best form of government, it must be shown to be the most reasonable proposition, and this can be shown to be so if the people who are to govern themselves learn to be conscious of their reason as their supreme and innate distinction, and to apply it in the shaping of their own destiny. The solution of the crisis of our time depends on a valid sanction for a voluntary spontaneous morality. All other sanctions have failed to achieve this, let reason, scientifically and soberly defined, have its chance....." [From Ellen Roy's Inaugural Address delivered at the fourth All India Convention of the Indian Rationalist Association held in Meerut during January 28-30, 1955]

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Humanist Movements and Their Role —Gumma Veeranna is a philosophy in which Humanism freedom, dignity and safety of the individual is of prime importance. It does not believe in God or supernatural power. Hence it is always secular in nature. All religions are non secular since they believe in God and supernatural powers. Man is considered as a tool in the hands of God. As such, all religions are anti-humanistic in nature. There are a number of movements working based on different philosophies. Communist movements are based on Marxist philosophy in which economic determinism is the basic reality in the society. It means that the economic conditions of the society only will decide the fate of other conditions including political, social and cultural conditions of life. History has proved this economic determinism as wrong. We are witnessing the domination of political power over economic power. We cannot underestimate the religious power which is dominating both the political and economic powers. In fact Marxism advocates dictatorship of the proletariat. Marxism divides people on the basis of economic classes and this is against the ideology of humanism. Humanism rejects all such kinds of irrational divisions including caste, creed, religion, region, race, sex, color etc. There are many other movements working for the development of the weaker sections of society. They include Dalit movements, feminist movements and reformist movements. There are some progressive elements in those movements. But what is lacking is the comprehensive outlook based on modern science. Radical Humanism is the only philosophy which is developed on the basis on modern science.

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Rationalism, atheism, secularism are parts of it. Physical realism is its philosophy. The modern form of materialism is called physical realism. The universe is made up of matter which can neither be created nor destroyed. It is evolving continuously with its intrinsic laws. There is no role of any other agency required for the existence and continuation of the universe. The universe is law governed and it follows specific laws. Thus, we name it as determinism. There is no single incidence to prove that determinism is false. M.N. Roy in his book Science and Philosophy described “Matter is an objective category. Self-sufficient objectivity is the ultimate reality. Therefore matter is the only reality. It is ontologically real. Its epistemological reality logically follows�. He also stated that space is being and time is becoming. The laws of being are laws of strict causality, where as the laws of becoming are laws of probability. Probability is the dynamic view of determinism. Our attitude towards the world is formed based on our understanding of the universe. Our capacity to solve our problems depends on our attitude. Hence clear understanding of the philosophy of humanism is of primary importance to all the humanists. There is a revivalist movement dominating the psychological atmosphere of the country. All Hindu Gurujis, Swamijis, Maharshis, Babas and mathajis are advocating religious fundamentalism in the name of ancient Hindu culture and Sanatana Dharma. Organizations like R.S.S., V.H.P. and Bajrangdal are some of the implementing agencies of the ideology called Hindu Dharma. It is nothing but Varna Dharma existing in the form of some five thousand castes in India. In view of the above circumstances the goal of the humanist movements shall be to enlighten the people on similar lines of Renaissance movement which has radically changed the world view and the quality of life in European society during 15th and 16th centuries.


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It is necessary to discover the glorious ideas and valuable features of culture and philosophy of ancient India. Unfortunately, importance was given to mountainous heap of illogical ideas in ancient literature leaving the glorious ideas and philosophies aside. All insubstancial and stagnated ideologies are mistakenly cherished and celebrated even today as our heritage. So, one of the tasks of the humanist movement shall be to rescue the positive outcome and abiding contributions of ancient thought. There are truthful and valuable ideas and concepts developed by Charvakas or Lokayathas, Jains and Buddhists in ancient India. Charvakas are considered as the pioneers of materialism in the history of India. They rejected Vedas and developed naturalism on rationalist and atheistic views. They condemned the idea of God and supernatural powers including heaven and hell. They opposed the priestly culture, irrational customs and their exploitation. Similarly Buddhism has played a vital role in bringing the humanist values such as truth, freedom, equality and non-violence in society. It opposed the Brahminical domination and their exploiting nature. It is the only humanist philosophy in ancient India which lasts for nearly thousand years and stood as beacon of light to the entire world. After the downfall of Buddhism, Indian intellectual life made no room for rationalism and thus precluded the possibility of the eventual development of scientific thought. Among “Shad Darshanas� Sankhya philosophy developed by Kapila, Vaiseshika philosophy developed by Kanada and Nyaya darshana developed by Gowthama spread some concepts about truth, knowledge and logic in ancient India. The role of humanist movement shall be to dig the ancient ideologies and bring to light the great contributions made by the ancient philosophers. Another task of humanist concepts and movement is to write the history of Indian philosophy. Generally in the name of philosophy religion and theology are taught to the students. 24

The history of philosophy is entirely different from the history of religion. India has been one of the pioneers of human culture in earlier periods and subsequently she lagged behind. At present Indian society is completely influenced and dominated by irrational concepts and traditions. In the name of ancient culture and philosophy all kinds of nonsense and superstitions are spreading in the society. Rationalist ideas are essential to eradicate blind beliefs in all walks of life. Rationalism is the means and humanism is its goal. Rationalist Press Association of Britain, in the year 1899, defined rationalism as the mental attitude which unreservedly accepts the supremacy of reason and aims at establishing a system of philosophy and ethics verifiable by experience and away from all arbitrary assumptions or authority. In Andhra Pradesh Rationalist movement is running on humanist lines since 1979, under the able guidance of Sri Ravipudi Venkatadri, a veteran radical humanist since 1949. He wrote nearly 80 books on different subjects including Rationalism, Atheism, Marxism, Secularism and Humanism. There are many organizations in Andhra Pradesh like Atheist Center, Vijayawada, Atheist Society of India, Visakhapatrnam, Manava Vikasa Vedika, Hyderabad working to eradicate caste system and other inequalities in the society on rationalist lines. But there are some philosophical differences between them. Federation of Atheist and Rationalist Associations [FARA] worked for some period and finally failed due to various reasons. Many organizations are limited in their approach. Some oppose superstitions, miracles. Some associations oppose only caste system. Comprehensive approach is lacking in them. Science and technology are developed but the scientific temper among the people is not developed. The religious leaders are making use of the technology for spreading their


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ideology and culture. Unfortunately the electronic media and the print media are supporting religion and religious blind beliefs. Without the support and help of the media it is not possible to reach the common people. The voice of rationalists and humanists is not reaching the people since they are not given proper opportunity in any television channel. Almost all channels are dedicated to spread the ideas of religions, politics and entertainment. No channel is giving importance to science and philosophy. This situation shall have to be changed. Humanism believes that man is the maker of his own destiny and he is not subordinate to any God or supernatural power. The progress of any society shall be measured on the basis of the freedom of the individuals who constitute the society. So the change in society will be possible through the change in the individuals. Man acts according to his knowledge and belief. Unless the attitudes of the individuals are changed radically no radical change will take place in the society. Therefore, Philosophical Revolution or Cultural Revolution is the pre-condition for the Social Revolution. Hence, it is the fundamental activity of the humanist movement to strive for such ideological revolution. Spiritually free individuals only are capable of building the

society on humanist values. Let us wish that all intellectuals and freedom lovers will unite and work together for such great philosophical revolution in the country. Gumma Veeranna retired as Additional Director of Treasuries and Accounts Department, Government of Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad. He is an active Radical Humanist and Rationalist since 1980. At present he is the president of A.P. Rationalist Association and vice president of R.A.I. He is an author and translator in Telugu. His works include Rationalism – Revolution in Ideas, Rationalism and Marxism, Rationalism-Misconcepts& Misunderstandings. ‘Indian Culture and Philosophy' was published by Potti Sreeramulu Telugu University, Hyderabad during 2008. He translated V.M. Tarkunde’s book Radical Humanism’ into Telugu which was published by Telugu Academy, Hyderabad during 2005. His articles on rationalism and Humanism are regularly published in Telugu Daily News papers like Eenadu, Vaartha, Andhrajyothi and Sakshi and ‘Hetuvadi’ (Rationalist) Telugu Monthly. He is doing research work on ‘The Writings of Ravipudi Venkatadri – Rationalism and Humanism’ at Potti Sreeramulu Telugu University.Mob.9866681927 gummaveeranna@yahoo.co.in]

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Professors' & Students' Section:

Concept of Human Rights in Ancient Indian Philosophy —Dipti Shukla this article I am trying to analyse the Inphilosophical basis and contents of the concept of human rights in ancient Indian philosophy. By the term, ancient Indian philosophy, I intend to deal with the Vedic period, which is the foundation of Indian philosophy. Preface: There are an innumerable number of living beings in this complex and huge world, some of them are sub or semi conscious, whereas some are having super consciousness. The human being is considered to be the most developed living being, who has faced and learnt to deal with diversified and complex situations in life. In fact, he is the only living being, who not only creates, reacts, interacts but also tries to sort out the adverse conditions of life. Though, he is very much part of Nature like any other creature, yet he makes efforts to evolve himself as its master. His concept of the world is a little bit different from others who only exist in it to survive. He tries to reorganize it to his liking because he desires to live in an ordered and well defined system. He wants to enrich his own identity alongwith recognising his membership in his society. He is the being, who has developed a moral domain where he has to follow certain norms to become part of society. In this moral kingdom, certain issues like rights, duties, participation, co-operation, obligations etc. are raised for which he is accountable. In the present scenario, human rights are considered to be the most important questions regarding human life. The Concept of Human Rights: We can define Human rights as rights inherent in all human 26

beings, without considering their nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, or any other status. All human beings are equally entitled to claim their rights without any discrimination. These rights are essential for the existence of human beings. These are all interrelated, interdependent and indivisible. The improvement of one right facilitates advancement of the other. Likewise, the deprivation of one right implies negative effects on the others. Philosophically speaking, Human Rights are certain moral guarantees given to human beings by the society to live with an respectable status. The Concept of Human Rights According to Indian Thinkers: The human life is a combination of individuality and society. In ancient Indian culture, life is governed by certain moral bindings which are known as purusharthas and ashramas. To be a human being one has to follow these rulings. Apart from this, the concept of equality, participation, harmony, universal brotherhood are the principal factors for him which are firmly supported as basic human rights. Let’s start with them in an order. The key thought of Indian philosophy is to establish universal peace and happiness among the entire fraternity by believing in and following the dictum of Vasudhaiva Kutambakam which means that the whole world is integrated as a family. And so all the family members are supposed to take care of one another. Thus, the basic requirement of life desired by the mankind is: “Sarve Bhavantu sukhinah sarve santu niramaya! Sarve bhadrani pashyantu ma kashid dukh Ma Kaschid Dukh Bhagbhavet — shantipath” —(May all living beings be happy and healthy! All persons may have their well-being; none of them should be in pain). The very concept of human rights in Indian Philosophy is built around these human values. The concept of Rta, a universal cycle of nature,


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supports a moral order. There is no conflict between human rights and duties governed and directed by the Ultimate God Himself. Dharma is the code of life where human rights are secured. Human Rights are inseparable from positive human values which are considered to be essential for existence of a human being according to the Indian thought. All these values are to be practiced in order to establish peace and progress in all spheres of human existence and once we practice human values as depicted in our tradition, there would be no occasion where we would violate human rights. The more we practice these values, the more we protect human rights. Classification Of The Concept Of Human Rights: We can classify human rights in three parts. Individual Rights; Collective Rights; Economic And Social Rights. Individual Rights: Individual rights are essential to maintain the dignity of the individual. Dharma is considered as the leading principle which shapes life in an ideal form. Dharma, as a concept is a systematized philosophy of human rights. Individual rights can be further divided in different parts according to their usage and importance. a) The right to life—the prayer to live hundred years affirms the right to life. It should be healthy in both the directions, that is, physically as well as mentally. The desire to proceed from non-eternity to eternity is begged by the seers from the Almighty. Physical fitness is one of the major desires. “ashama bhavatu nastanu!” va.san.29.49— (My body should be as strong as iron). Apart from individual strength there should be a collective effort to save our lives.— “puman pumans paripatu vishvatah”— (Men should protect other human beings from all four corners)

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Let us begin with the —1st sentence of the Preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights where family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world. Similarly, the concept of family was strongly supported in Vedas, where not only sons but daughters were equally recognized. “mam putra shatruhano atho me duhita virat” rigveda 10.159.3—(Let my sons be able to kill their enemies and my daughters be super beings) b) Equality —as framed in article 1 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) implies that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. The same is shown in the following prayer where the concept of fraternity was established by Vedas to provide the individuals with equal rights. “ajyeshtauso akanishitauseta sum bhartra asaubhagaya” —(No one is higher and none is lower in any respect, all of you make efforts to progress together like brothers) rigveda 5.60.5 “samano adhava pravtamanushye”—(All persons have same rights to behave) rigveda 2.13.2 c) Freedom of expression— is equally essential for mental development which is accepted by the Vedas: “rucham no dheye bramanashu rucham rajasu naskrishi; rucham visheshu shudreshu mayi dheyi ruche rucham” va.san.18.48 — (You are free to do whatever you aim at whether you are a Brahman (teacher), Raja (the ruler), farmer or businessman. You are free to choose the type of work you like to do.) Collective Rights: Vedic mantras never stop at recommending individual well-being. All the living beings should be protected and developed as a whole. Whole mankind has the right to progress. a)) The rights to development—is fully supported by vedic rishis: “mahyam nagantam pradishashchatrasah” rigveda 10.128.1— (Each and every person may have such strength in


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himself, physically as well as mentally, that all from the four directions may bow their heads before him.) “yathemam vacham kalyanimavadami janebhya; Brahmarajnyabhyam shdraya charyay cha sway charnaya cha” va.san.26.2— (May I speak such language that I may extend and expend good knowledge among all castes and creeds.) b)—Self-determination is also pleaded by Vedic mantras and the desire to have a better future is distinctively there. “sarva asha mam mitra bhavantu” atharva 19.15.6— (May all the desires be my friends.) Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: a) The rights to work— the Vedic culture fully directs human beings to act in an ethical manner; the ways to earn your livelihood should be pious and honest; the money earned by evil means may not lead towards bliss. “Akshairma deevya krishimitkrishyasya Vittamramayasya bahumanyamanah” Rig-Veda 10.24.13—(O man! do not gamble, work in a pious manner like agriculture and whatever money you earn be happy and satisfied with that.) b) Social security— Mutual harmony and family bonding is equally important for human life. Therefore, they have supported every phase of life. “yatha naidinada sarve sagare yanti sanssthitim” “taethevashramin sarve grastham yanti sansthitim” Manu 6.90— (As rivers get their ultimate destination in oceans, human life gets its culmination in family life.) “jaya patye madhumatim vacham vadatu shantvam” atharva 3.30.2—(Wife is supposed to speak in a polite manner with her husband ) c) Education— for them is medha in human beings, which is different from a simple animal functioning. The Yagyopaveet (wearing of holy thread is one of the fourteen sanskaras of human life . The desire to attain Medha is clearly

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shown in: “Medha me eindro dadhatu medham devi saraswati; Medham me ashwenovubhadattam pushkar srajau.” apastamb mantra 2.6.2.— (May God Indra bestow reasoning, Goddess Saraswati may give medha and may I be graced by medha by both the ashwinas.) Conclusion: It has been tried to establish here that the doctrine of human rights which is considered to be the moral status of the contemporary geo-political order was propounded by the earliest Indian thinkers from the Vedic period, and it serves till today as the foundation of Indian philosophy. May all the brahmanas be full of knowledge, kshatriyas be warriers, cows be full of milk, horses be fast runners, ladies be with richness, cultured and healthy youth may take birth, bestowed with rich and healthy fruits and grains…..va.san.22.22 There are three major constituents of any society —the individual himself, the other people in his society or group and the world as a whole. Thus we can firmly establish that in ancient Indian thinking, there is a perfect equilibrium among individual-self, the self of others and the whole cosmos by saying: aham brahamasmi, tat tvamasi sarvam khalividam braham (myself is Brahman, so the others and the whole cosmos is nothing but Brahman himself, The Eternal Truth.) The individual self is fully potential of having traits of ultimate reality, the same is with others and the whole world is nothing but Brahma himself. And this fact is supported by the seers. [Dr. Dipti Shukla is Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy at R.G. [P.G.] College, Meerut since the last thirty years. Her areas of interest are existentialism, spiritual humanism and Shankar Vedanta. She is an author of innumerable research papers and articles published in reputed Indian journals.]


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Education in Bengal: “A Paradise Lost”? —Arkoprobho Roychowdhury “Where the mind is without fear And the head is held high Where knowledge is free....” — Rabindranath Tagore t is with shame that every man must recount Tagore’s vision of education as civilization today stands witness to abominable cases of educational anarchy in Bengal. The state of Bengal has, since the rebirth of intellect in India in the 19th century, boasted of innumerable prestigious educational institutions, brilliant and dedicated faculty as well as students of a genius and a merit remarkably outstanding, and this glory has lasted all along the years of colonialism into the postcolonial and postmodern era. The then state of affairs had rightly led Gokhale to remark, “What Bengal thinks today, India thinks tomorrow.” But the present sacrilegious state of affairs in the field of education is bound to put a frown on the face of every reasonable citizen, and resonate in his heart a deep pain and hatred for the vandalism. It is not statistics, but the present condition that is the biggest evidence to the ever-increasing seriousness of the situation. The socio-political pandemonium in Bengal has been a key factor in bringing forward considerable chaos in education. With ill winds from the political scenario over the years, the obvious consequence has been the over-politicization of day-to-day affairs in educational institutions thereby bringing into it acts of blatant violation of prevalent norms, which include the widespread use of violence which has long been a common spectacle in

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Bengal politics. The ruthless campus violence often does not spare even the faculty, and over the past two years such cases have become more and more frequent, be it Raiganj University College, Majdia Sudhiranjan Lahiri College or the recent turmoil in Dr. Meghnad Saha College, Itahar, where a severe case of political violence occurred over the confiscation of the answer-sheet of a local leader’s wife as she was cheating, thereby seriously compromising the Principal and other faculty members. Even the prestigious Presidency University has not been spared, as earlier this year a political rampage occurred which wreaked serious havoc to the institution including the famous Baker Laboratory. Descending further down the hierarchy, one shall be astonished to find that politics and subsequent strife over the years has not spared even the grassroot levels of education. The election of governing bodies in the primary, secondary and even higher secondary schools is nowadays an irony on the part of political parties which often tolerate no opposition. Political identity presiding over educational qualifications has led to the rise of many inefficient politicians as heads of governing bodies of the institutions. And the subsequent inefficiency that follows can easily be understood. But, though it sounds odd, it is the recent non-political educational violence that is perhaps more alarming. We have witnessed a fearsome incident in Christ Church School, Kolkata- a rampage, an utter devastation caused by none other than the parents of the students. And it was the Headmistress, Mrs. Helen Sarkar, who was arrested first! And more than 48 hours passed before the first hooligan was arrested! And the aftermath! Fifteen days of closure with a note of uncertainty all along, and to top it up, innumerable terrorized school-children. An almost similar issue was witnessed in Belur Ramakrishna Mission Shilpamandir as devastation similar to that in Christ Church


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School was carried out over the death of a student. It is sad to say that the above instances of defiling of educational institutions are more than enough to terrorize any sane citizen. Moreover, what about the younger generation, among whom many are aspiring for a teaching profession? Would they not be terrorized as well? It is my humble request to all citizens to call for a rebirth- a rebirth of perception free from all dogmas and regimentations. The time has come to think how far the boast we make of our so-called “progress” is truly supportive of the genuine advancement of civilization itself. Today’s instances of unabated anarchy in education have brought us, even in this age, amidst a situation of “two steps forward, three

steps backward”. The moment calls for exemplary punishment for the miscreants so that anyone else, before any such act of vandalism, thinks twice. It must be seen that from henceforth the sanctity of education, untampered, brings forth a note of assurance in the heart of every student, every teacher, every guardian- and which is more, every man, for only then can Bengal be saved from becoming, to quote V.S. Naipaul, ‘an area of darkness”. [Arkoprobho Roychowdhury is a student of English Honours in Serampore College, West Bengal. He may be contacted at C2, Ashirbad Apartment, B.M. Paul Road, Chandannagar, Hooghly, West Bengal, 712136 arko.bublu@gmail.com]

Letter to the Editor: September 2013 Issue of The Radical Humanist— My Comments: Respected Madam, Sorry to be so late in my response. Your editorial is a special treat. Ideologies like religions can make good men do evil deeds. The Bhagavad Gita exhorts and justifies killing of one’s kinsmen. It needed Lokayatika Charvak to point out the evil of the Mahabharata war. The Mahabharata gives a place of honour to Charvak who was a leader of a reputed Brahmin Group (Brahmins who shunned gifts and practiced the value of non-violence). What we need is a criticism-tolerant value system, not ideologies which often lead to fanaticism. S. N. Sukla is a favorite author of mine. His article is superb. In Pages:34-35 of the R.H, there is solid information about genes. Information about women’s equality day and religious people (P:38-39) are revealing and educative. This issue serves a rich repast. Regards, Yours faithfully, Bhagabat Prasad Rath, bagwat_prashad@rediffmail.com Ph:- 06856-235092, www.samalochanal.blogspot.com, www.samalochana.blogsome.com

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A Critical Response to "A Provocation For The Youth" —Tarun Patnaik [Following is a response to Mr. Uday Dandavate’s questions published in the above mentioned article in October 2013 issue of The Radical Humanist.] s to the question of choosing between mindless exploitation of natural resources and sustainable development it is logically and rationally answerable but there are practical constraints to it in terms of what in reality nations are doing and the political classes' practical constraint as they too are intellectually dominated by the business interests and international politics is burdened with power motivations and callous considerations added with short term vision and absence of long term welfare considerations from the public consciousness. The political choice of a responsible nation based on civic ethics is very clear but the strategy to realize the goal and pursue the path shown by that choice is a intellectual challenge. We do not want to mindlessly exploit natural resources causing environmental degradation. We want responsible and sustainable development at the same time we want to offer the youth of this country a field of expanding opportunities. Now this question is no more political; this is a question of strategy and management. What is the development model that is responsible and sustainable yet offering expanding opportunities for economic growth? Now usually an economy depends on exploiting natural resources that are non-renewable for its growth. This question has to be looked at in the domain of public management. A sound management strategy has to be formulated for Management of Agriculture, Supply Chain, Urban Centres, Public transport, Public Services, R&D and innovation, better choice of Products

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and Technology. We need to have a sound policy for appropriation of initiatives by public and private. We propose a strategy for social justice that is radical and risky. We need to alienate the people from their caste consciousness. Eradicate the caste consciousness by uprooting it through alienation of the individual from his cultural, social inheritance. This can be achieved through cultural reconstruction by establishing new traditions and customs that are socially just. A fresh mind set has to be built through social re-engineering. No doubt there will erupt social tension but we need to steer through the transient phase towards stability of a new psyche. The alienation from past must find its destination in a more comfortable and stable society. It does not mean we will give way to western values, we will still maintain our eastern spiritual and traditional values minus the caste consciousness. In India caste means class. It means social hierarchy. To flatten the social status to a plain level we must remove the hierarchical system of thought. Sure it will take time but it is necessary and the intermediate phase will have its social tension and political and power competition. For centuries caste system has sustained the economy and division of labour. Now that has to go. The question over what can replace the caste system yet have necessary division of labour for a well functioning economy is a challenge we need to address. The answer may not be less than revolutionary. The solace comes from the fact that the intermediate phase shall be transient. It will be temporary and will have a stable end. The mud in our mental pond shall settle at a comfortable new and just destination. How shall we go about doing this? It will not be through force or violence, or any kind of threat or oppression. We shall do it through ideas and initiation of new customs. The Ganesh Chaturtthi started by the late Bal Gangadhar Tilak in Maharastra is a fantastic and concrete example of social engineering to bring unity and


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conscious change although it led to strong polarization of religious groups finally. Only the method may be taken as an illustration. Our initiatives should be similar. The initiatives need to be innovative, radical and capable of popular acceptance. They must get sufficient political support and a degree of consensus. It needs to be debated and discussed. The political choice to bring down the hierarchical caste system must be made at various levels. Hindu fanatics may oppose such radical visions. But social justice has no other alternative path to get realized. Hierarchical caste system will propagate an unjust and oppressive society that is psychologically violent in our day to day lives. So high time the political choice and necessary initiatives and actions be taken. We need to think about the difference between individual liberty and materialistic consumerism. If there is choice, is a human being psychologically tied to consumerism? Or

can we put a break to consumerism without curtailing liberty and independent choice? Can Responsible living be a sustained and popular value that will obstruct consumerism? In today’s era of revolution in communication system, there has to be a counter attack on consumerism by the superior value of Responsible living. The civilization has to make a choice between Responsible living and unsustainable and destructive attitude and choice for consumerism. Again this needs to be the political choice and a marketable proposition. So in this competition of two attractive values, in the choice of Responsible living lies the salvation for perpetuating human civilization. [Mr. Tarun Patnaik an IITan from Kharagpur and MBA has been since the last 20 years researching on Education, Humanism, Global economies and politics. tarunpat1971@gmail.com]

Important Announcement For the Members of Indian Renaissance Institute, (IRI) The biennial conference of Indian Renaissance Institute, (IRI), will be held on Saturday & Sunday – 30th November & Ist December 2013 at Gandhi Peace Foundation, New Delhi. The timings will be between 10 a.m to 5.00 p.m on both days. Agenda of the conference will be sent by post and uploaded on the RH webportal shortly. This notice is being sent in advance to enable the members to make arrangements for their travel to & fro Delhi. Those who require accommodation may inform the undersigned as soon as possible to reserve their beds in advance. The charges of the accommodation will be around Rs. 250/- per bed per day. You are requested to make it convenient to attend the conference. —N.D. Pancholi, Secretary, IRI, (M): 9811099532; Ph: 0120-2648691, ndpancholi44@gmail.com

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Book Review Section:

A Small Girl in Bamboo Grove —Dipavali Sen [BOOK: Bulbuli’s Bamboo, by Mita Bordoloi, illustrated by Proiti Roy, published by Tulika Publishers, Chennai, English, paperback, pp 24, price Rs 135] ow can one review a 24-page picture book, that too for RH? I wondered myself but could not resist my impulse. For, this may seem to be a simple picture book for children or neo-literates but is actually of much wider significance. It relates humanity to the ecology and carries a message about that relationship. Bulbuli is a small girl of the north-eastern parts of India. She lives in a bamboo house in a bamboo grove. She sleeps on a bamboo bed, next to which is a bamboo bench upon which she sits as she gets up. Sitting on it she drinks her hot soup made with tender bamboo shoots. Then she lifts up the bamboo mat and looks out of the bamboo window. Outside the bamboo window there is a veranda with a bamboo mat on it. She goes out and stands on it and looks at the bamboo grove in the midst of which her house stands. A big bamboo ladder joins the veranda to the ground. Now Bulbuli climbs down the ladder, goes up to the bamboo fence around her house and opens the bamboo gate, and steps out. She runs across a bamboo bridge over blooming bamboo orchids. She rows a bamboo boat to go to the world outside. When she comes back, she gets down from her bamboo boat, walks across the bamboo bridge over blooming bamboo orchids and slips through the bamboo gate in the bamboo fence that goes around the bamboo grove outside her bamboo house. She then drinks hot soup made with tender bamboo shoots, climbs into her bamboo bed and falls asleep, “to dream bamboo dreams”.

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Thus from the time she gets up to the time she goes to sleep, she is connected to bamboo. In a rhythmic, cumulative style, echoing the sound ‘bamboo’ again and again, the book highlights the importance of bamboo in Bulbuli’s world. Good old bambuseae! As the book informs at the end, bamboo is not a tree but a kind of grass, one of the fastest growing plants on earth. It is long-living and evergreen. The air around a bamboo grove is fresher and cleaner than around other trees. It has medicinal uses as it can fight germs. Bamboo shoots make delicious soup, curries, vegetables and salads. It can also be used as fodder for farm animals. Innumerable objects, both useful and beautiful, can be fashioned from bamboo. (I personally have an exquisite set of bamboo ornaments crafted by a women’s organization in Karnataka). In South Asia, South-East Asia and East Asia, the versatile bamboo is of great eco-cultural significance. But the book is not just about bamboo. Bamboo is as symbolic as Bulbuli is. Man is part of the natural environment, woman even more so! In Sanskrit texts, the woman is referred to as Prakriti or Nature. Traditionally, the earth has been regarded as a ‘goddess’ or ‘mother’. Up till the colonial rule, there had, in fact, been a certain ecological balance in Asia, South Asia and South-East Asia. Pre-colonial society was in harmony with its environment. Industrial Revolution in Britain ended all that. The railways slashed at the terrain with their steel. However in some parts of India there is still a lot of green. Many lives are still woven around nature and all that she provides. But in urban lives the connection with Nature is definitely dwindling. Ever since the Industrial Policy Resolution of 1956 and the Second Five-Year Plan, India had continued to de-link herself from Nature. City girls of Bulbuli’s age are surrounded by concrete and steel, glass and plastic, barring a few potted plants for décor. For them this book will provide a glimpse into another, greener world. For adults, it should be a reminder, or even a


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warning. Even Mother Nature cannot be endlessly bountiful. Mindless exploitation of natural resources will damage ecological balance and jeopardize the survival of humanity. The book thus has a message. Mita Bordoloi, the USA-based author, who had spent her teenage years in north-east India and is a passionate environmentalist, writes for both children and adults. She has put across her message very subtly through the evocative depiction of Bulbuli among the bamboos. Proiti Roy, the Chennai-based illustrator, has beautifully created the green that permeates Bulbuli’s world. Without her illustrations, this book may not have been so effective. Intellectuals like Mahesh Rangarajan have been

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writing on Indian polity, ecology and landscape. So are activists like Sunita Narain. But a book like this may go a longer way in creating awareness, if not in adult then at least in children. That is why I thought I will tell RH about Bulbuli. [Ms. Dipavali Sen, from Delhi School of Economics and Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics (Pune)has taught at Visva Bharati University, Santiniketan. She teaches at Sri Guru Gobind Singh College of Commerce, Delhi University. She is a prolific writer and has written creative pieces and articles for children as well as adults, both in English and Bengali. dipavali@gmail.com]


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Humanist News Section: I

Rationalist Subbarao Marideni is no more: Mr Subbarao died at the age of 81 in Hyderabad. He was an ardent rationalist, skeptic and atheist in Andhra Pradesh. He edited monthly magazine Rationalist Voice from Hyderabad for two decades. He retired as post master and led a simple life. He travelled abroad to Australia. He published few booklets in English and Telugu about rationalist thought. He fought against Satya Sai Baba and other fradulent babas, Mathas. He propagated against superstitions and participated several local and All India conferences. His house was place for people like late Premanand. He was a regular participant in Gora's Atheist Center camps and meetings. Invariably Subbarao used to organize sales of books, magazines at the conference venues. Couple of years ago he was arrested for selling and keeping a publication brought out by Mr Kranti Kar of Khammam. —News sent by Innaiah Narisetti II

Respected Honourable Dr. Kamlaji, Namaskar We, the representatives of the civil society and rights defenders of Gujarat, with great distress and anguish, wish to bring to your notice the dismal state of affairs in Gujarat. Our colleagues, Rohit Prajapati, Trupti Shah, Amrish Brahmbhatta and Sudhir Biniwale, are, along with the people of Kevadia area, engaged in a struggle against the notification of the Kevadia Area Development Authority (KADA) which is certain to adversely affect the lives and livelihoods of the people of the area, snatch their lands and homes, farms and water bodies and turn all these into a tourism project! Our colleagues were on their way to the protest venue in Kevadia when the police started to follow them. They have since been confined to the campus of the Rajpipla Social Service Society and are not allowed to move out of there. Other colleagues in the villages have also been ‘rounded up’ and have been taken away by the police. This is a non-violent protest in favour of the Adivasis whose lives and livelihoods the Government of Gujarat is hell-bent on destroying. We are on the side of the Adivasis and have joined forces with them to save their lands and their way of life. Such steps to stymie the voice of protest is indicative of a state of emergency, although undeclared, and points to severe erosion of civil liberties and human rights. This is a clear and flagrant violation of our democratic and constitutional right to free expression of our opinions and dissent. We take this very seriously and urge you to treat this matter with utmost seriousness as one more case of breach of human rights in Gujarat. —Gautam Thakar, Mahesh Pandya, Jimmy

The Civil Society Delegation C. Dabhi, Rajnibhai Dave, Persis Ginwalla, appeals to The Governor of Gujarat, Raju Deepti, Deepti Raju Dr. Kamla Beniwal, against the Human Development and Research Center, St. Xavier’s College Campus, Navranpura detension of activists without Ahmedabad charges at Kevadia 35


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III Statement Presented To The Hon’ble Court By A Conscientious Gandhian Civil Disobedience Activist— Bhagawat Prasad Rath: Honoured sir, Ancient India gave the highest place of honour to its judiciary. They were the incarnations of Dharma. What Dharma is, the Mahabharata presents vividly. Dharma is that which leads to the welfare of the common man (Dharanath Dharmam…). Our constitution gives us the fundamental right to life and as a corollary, the right to healthy lively-hood. Dharma is to a great extent embodied in the constitutional rights mentioned in the constitution. Camus, a leading European thinker of France asserted that 20th century has rationalized murder. Vedanta Company, like a predatory Dinosaur descended in this region spreading consternation and dismay among the sons of the soil, the Adibasis. The Supreme Court saved Niyamgiri and thus protected the culture and lively- hood of the Adibasis. Vedanta’s kiss of death-giving pollution also menaced the Ryot colony of Rayagada town in the past. The railway lands bordering the Ryot colony became the dumping yard for the much-needed coal used by the Vedanta factory. Hundreds of trucks transported coal from the railway dumping yard making life hell for the people of the Ryot colony by forcing them to breathe the foul wind that contained immense number of coal dust particles. These particles, entering the lungs of the young and the old, created panic among the people. There loomed the possibility of slow and silent death amongst the people of the Ryot colony. How dangerous the situation was can the gauzed by the report of an international group of scientists attached to the World Health Organizations. It became the Dharma of conscientious citizens like me and my colleagues to mobilize the public of Rayagada town and present our grievances in a polite manner to the patriarch of the present

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society, the collector. The truck owners opposed our move. The leaders of the truck owners association are amongst the power elite of Rayagada town. Lower- level bureaucrats, by and large, supported the truck owners who formed a ring of vested interest that opposed the efforts of the harassed people of the Ryot colony seeking justice. When the protectors of people turn into predators, what should a conscientious Dharma loving citizen do was the question that troubled me and my colleagues. The rise of corporate power awash with wealth and the dire need for money of the political leaders who fight in money-flooding-elections have brought democracy in India to a perilous precipice. In addition to the money power which can purchase the best brains of society, the power elite have muscle power that intimidates human rights activists environmentalists and social activists who head the civil society. The citizens suffer because of the industrial mafia, the political mafia, the drugs mafia and the contractor mafia. Love of money is corrupting the middle class intelligentsia. The media and bureaucrats succumb to money and muscle power. The police is adept in clinching cases, false and true, on civil rights activists. After the Maoist violence, the police have become brutalized and their guns are often turned against independent social activists. I and my colleagues are struggling to keep the civil society of our area (Ryot colony) free from the influence of different mafia groups and moneybarons. During the election, previous to the recent-most one, the candidate K. Namo Sankar, who stood second in polling votes, had to leave his house on the pre-poll night and take shelter in my guest house. Some antisocials, not finding him in his house, congregated outside my house. Fortunately good sense prevailed and they dispersed with out causing any harm. That night, a reputed journalist and social activist belonging to Bolangir town, Rabi Sankar Pradhan, was my guest and was a witness to the unsavory scene of a mafia gang trying to kidnap


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or intimidate a popular candidate. K. Namo Sankar is a co- accused in this case. Our efforts led to the end of such undesirable mafia activities in Ryot colony. I some times issued pamphlets in Oriya and Telugu to mobilize people against atrocities on women and the vulnerable sections of people. So, when like a tsunami, the dumping and transportation of coal made life miserable and horrendous for the inhabitants of Ryot Colony, I and my colleagues wrote to the collector for an interview, hoping to convince him of the rightness of our cause. But lower-level bureaucrats, amenable to the influence of political leaders and the truck owners did not allow it to happen. We had hopes that the Collector would understand our grievance and take action. So, to have a meeting with the collector, we decided to resort to a road-blocking agitation. The leaders and lower-level bureaucrats, indulged in dangerous communal hatred generating activities to thwart us. They incited Dalit-women to prevent our road-blocking agitation. After getting information of this ‘divide and rule’ game and conscious of the long term effects of such a nefarious move, I dashed a few panicky letters to the chief-minister, the chief secretary and a host of other key officials of the state. Thank God, some sensitive soul at the higher level became active and nipped this possibility in the bud. The move to create another Phulabani at Rayagada (Dalit- Non-Dalit confrontation) came to a close. Our just movement got support from all parties of Ryot Colony. A leading member of the Rayagada bar Shri Nilakantha Das sat with us and boosted our morale. Women folk of Ryot colony were present in the agitation in large numbers. After 3 hours of peaceful sitting on the road, we received an invitation from the collector. We suspended our agitation immediately and met the collector in the evening, at the time fixed by him. Our hope of getting a fair deal from him proved to be correct. He assured us of immediate action and kept his

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word. When I asked why he did not invite us earlier as that would have prevented the roadblocking agitation, he remained silent. In these dark days when politicians and bureaucrats are failing the people of India, the judiciary, because of its independent constitution- based stand, has won world-wide laurels, the Mahabharata in one of its ending verses (slokas) says, “you should not give up Dharma even if your life is at stake”. Another verse of the Mahabharata says, “The wise man (PRAGNA) should accept dishonor as nectar and shun honour as poison”. When the state Sahitya Academy wanted to honour me as a man of literature, I cited this verse and humbly conveyed my refusal to accept the honour. Honoured sir, the great states man Edmund Burke said “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men remain silent.” The time has come for good men to declare like H.D Thoreau, the great American Guru of Gandhiji”, this is the time for everyman to prefer jail-going as the state is the culprit.” Ibsen, the great dramatist, has shown in one of his plays how the state elite become the enemies of people? Today, political parties have become fiefdoms (personal zamindaris) of benevolent dictators. Only the judiciary stands between chaos and democracy in India. I cannot close my statement without narrating two evils that jeopardize life and living at Rayagada. Whenever any minister visits Rayagada, powerful detonators are exploded to welcome them. My friend, late Joseph Bara, a great journalist of Rayagada town, once told me, “I am a heart patient. Every time a detonator explodes, my heart misses a beat. I feel like choking”. Through this type of welcome, the local leaders of political parties blow a lot of unhygienic wealth in smoke and endanger the lives of heart patients and infants. (There are two crore heart-patients in India). The second issue that highlights the unethical practices of the power elite is the proliferation of


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liquor shops in Rayagada town. A magazine writes that thirteen wine shops are functioning in just two kilometers length of the main road (Jaykaypur Rayagada road). What type of ideal are we presenting to the younger generation? People imitate what the others, particularly the elite of society, do. Our elite of present society are predators (Einstein). The liquor policy of the state is accelerating the criminalization of society. Povertizing of the state takes place because of selling the underground minerals at throwaway prices and polluting the water, air and soil of big areas, inhabited by the Adibasis. As the U. N. sponsored Brundetland Commission reports, this sorts of destruction of the natural resources that hurts the future of the next generation, cannot be called sustainable development and should be condemned in strong words. I oppose every measure of the state and society that hurts the short term and long tem interests of people. I shall be completing 81 years in Dec. 1913. For the last two decades I have been researching on the problems not only of humanity, but living beings as a whole. In the past I was fortunate enough to act as the chief editor of the international- level magazine VIGIL, the mouth piece of the premier Gandhian organization of India, the Sarva Seva Sangh. Come what may, I can not betray my ideals of Gandhian socialism and remain aloof from society when evils menace its existence.

Inspired by the Bhagvad Gita I decided to spend part of my property for the cause of the poor. I wrote to the president of the bar association to guide me in providing legal assistance to the poor languishing in jails because they cannot afford engaging lawyers or paying nominal fines. (Copy of the letter is enclosed) Undoubtedly, I took part in the civil disobedience movement that prevented vehicles from running freely along the Rayagada highway. I apologize to the public for causing inconvenience to them. I am prepared to accept any punishment that is my due because of this breaking of the law of my motherland. Thus spoke Noam Chomsky, the greatest intellectual of the world, ‘the examination of the history of social and political dissent demonstrates that there have been “a number of otherwise loyal, upright, law-abiding citizens who believed that they had been driven by their conscience to break the law over certain specific issues.” (The Hindu 11.12.2005) With profound regards, Yours humbly, Bhagabat Prasad Rath, Roith Colony, 3rd Line, At/PO/Dist.- Rayagada-02 Ph:- 06856-235092 E.Mail. bagwat_prashad@rediffmail.com www.samalochanal.blogspot.com www.samalochana.blogsome.com

Dear Friends, Your article for the RH should be emailed to: rheditor@gmail.com. Or it may be posted at: C-8, Defence Colony, Meerut, 250001, U.P. A passport size photograph, a small bio-data and a note whether it has also been published elsewhere or is being sent exclusively for the RH should be attached with it. — Rekha S.

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—THE RADICAL HUMANIST SUBSCRIPTION FORM– The Manager,

The Radical Humanist C/o Mr. Narottam Vyas (Treasurer) Chamber No. 111, (Near Post Office) Supreme Court of India, Delhi-110001 Dear Sir, I/We wish to be enrolled as subscriber/s for The Radical Humanist for a period of one year/two years/three years/life. Name........................................................................................................... Address........................................................................................................ Phone No..................................................................................................... E-mail.........................................................................................................

— THE RADICAL HUMANIST SUBSCRIPTION RATES— In SAARC Countries: For one year-Rs. 200.00 For two years-Rs. 350.00 For three years-Rs. 500.00 Life subscription-Rs. 2000.00 (Life subscription is only for individual subscribers and not for institutions.) Cheques should be in favor of The Radical Humanist. For outstation cheques: Please add Rs. 55.00 to the total. In other Countries: Annual subscription (Air Mail) $ 100.00; GBP 75.00 Note: Direct transfer of subscription amount from abroad may be sent to: SWIFT Code: CNRB0000349, MICR Code: 110015012 in the Current Account Number 0349201821034 at Canara Bank, Maharani Bagh, New Delhi, 1100014, India. Cheques and money transfer details from abroad may be sent to: Mr. Narottam Vyas (Treasurer), Chamber No. 111, (Near Post Office) Supreme Court of India, New Delhi-110001, Ph. Chamber 91-11-23782836, Res. 91-11-22712434, Mob. 09811944600

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This Month's Contributors

SUDHESH KORDE Ahmedabad, Gujarat (Page 21)

GUMMA VEERANNA Hyderabad, A.P. (Page 23)

DIPTI SHUKLA Meerut, U.P. (Page 26)

TARUN PATNAIK

DIPAVALI SEN Gurgaon, Haryana (Page 33)

Rayagada, Orissa (Page 31)


Post Office Regd. No. Meerut-146-2012-2014 RNI No. 43049/85 To be posted on 10th of every month At H.P.O. Meerut Cantt. RENAISSANCE PUBLISHERS PRIVATE LIMITED 15, Bankim Chatterjee Street (2nd floor), Kolkata: 700 073, Mobile: 9831261725 NEW FROM RENAISSANCE By SIBNARAYAN RAY Between Renaissance and Revolution-Selected Essays: Vol. I- H.C.350.00 In Freedom’s Quest: A Study of the Life and Works of M.N. Roy: Vol.Ill H.C.250.00 Against the Current - H.C.350.00 By M.N. ROY Science and Superstition - H.C.125.00 AWAITED OUTSTANDING PUBLICATIONS By RABINDRANATH TAGORE & M.N. ROY Nationalism - H.C.150.00 By M.N. ROY The Intellectual Roots of Modern Civilization - H.C.150.00 The Russian Revolution - P.B.140.00 The Tragedy of Communism - H.C.180.00 From the Communist Manifesto - P.B.100.00 To Radical Humanism - H.C.140.00 Humanism, Revivalism and the Indian Heritage - P.B. 140.00 By SIVANATH SASTRI A History of The Renaissance in Bengal —Ramtanu Lahiri: Brahman & Reformer H.C.180.00 By SIBNARAYAN RAY Gandhi, Gandhism and Our Times (Edited) - H.C.200.00 The Mask and The Face (Jointly Edited with Marian Maddern) - H.C.200.00 Sane Voices for a Disoriented Generation (Edited) - P.B. 140.00 From the Broken Nest to Visvabharati - P.B.120.00 The Spirit of the Renaissance - P.B.150.00 Ripeness is All - P.B. 125.00 By ELLEN ROY From the Absurdity to Creative Rationalism - P.B. 90.00 By V. M. TARKUNDE Voice of A Great Sentinel - H.C.175.00 By SWARAJ SENGUPTA Reflections - H.C 150.00 Science, Society and Secular Humanism - H.C. 125.00 By DEBALINA BANDOPADHYAY The Woman-Question and Victorian Novel - H.C. 150.00

Published and printed by Mr. N.D. Pancholi on behalf of Indian Renaissance Institute at S-1 Plot 617 Shalimar Garden Extension I, Sahibabad, Ghaziabad-201005 Printed by Nageen Prakashan Pvt. Ltd., W. K. Road, Meerut, 250002 Editor-Dr. Rekha Saraswat, C-8, Defence Colony, Meerut, 250001


Editor: Rekha Saraswat