July 19, 2014, Constitution Club New Delhi
Chair: Dr. Lokesh Chandra, Ex Member, Rajya Sabha & Former Chairman, ICHR
Speakers: Dr. Bajrang Lal Gupta, Eminent Thinker & Economist, Sh. Prabhu Chawla, Editorial Director, The New Indian Express, Shri Shahid Siddiqui, Editor in Chief, Urdu Weekly, Nai Duniya
India Policy Foundation has organised a seminar on 'India in Transition: A Paradigm Shift' on July 19, 2014 Dy. Speaker Hall in the Constitution Club. Two books -- Western Media and Indian Democracy and Samajik Kranti ka Darshan -- were also released on the occasion. One book is on the onslaught of Western media against Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he was prime ministerial nominee of the BJP.
Initiating the debate, Shahid Siddiqui, editor of the Urdu weekly Nai Duniya said that the problem is that the Western media looks at India from the perspective of Westernised elite of the country. Here in lies the problem. There is a need to understand that the value system of India is entirely different from the West. Besides that, the country has been unable to come out of the colonial mindset of the British era.
Speaking further, he said that the country failed to make the West understand India and they were just highlighting country's weaknesses and all good things were being hidden. There is no problem in international interaction but we must not ignore our culture, language, literature and identity which are our strengths.
Speaking on the occasion, Honorary Director of the India Policy Foundation, Prof. Rakesh Sinha said that earlier the opponents of the RSS and the BJP used to work hard to counter-argument but now due to intellectual lethargy, they are adopting a short cut to abuse any ideology. The Hindu and Jansatta newspapers published an appeal made by some people not to vote for Narendra Modi. Similarly 19-member team of The New York Times published an editorial opposing Modi.
Senior journalist and Editorial Director of the The New Indian Express, Sh. Prabhu Chawla said that the aforesaid appeals have been rightly analysed in a well researched book which said that the thinking process of Indians have changed, therefore people of the country ignored the appeals made by these intellectuals. We will have to get rid of this engagement with whether the Western media supports us or opposes us. We must have to preserve our society, culture and civilisation instead of looking at the West. He also talked about FDI in the country. He told the audience that policy on the FDI must not be followed mindlessly. FDI in such areas that can impact Indian indigenous industries must be avoided.
He said that India is still a golden goose, however, it is only poverty that rules the roost today. Speaking on education, he said that around $7 billion is spent by the students getting education in foreign universities which is more than the money spent on education budget of the country. Time is to rely on our strength and the future generations must embrace modernity in life but without leaving the essence of the Indian culture.
RSS thinker Dr. Bajrang Lal Gupta said that, "the country has been functioning on the background of separatism but now we need an integral thought and holistic approach for the country. We have seen Nehruvian economy, WTO model and also Dr. Manmohan Singh's economic policies but sustainability is missing everywhere." He further said, "we are afraid of the intellectual terrorism of the West. We will have to come out of it. Intellectualism cannot be a slave to money and power."
Former ICHR chairman Dr. Lokesh Chandra said that Europe is trying for Europeanisation of the world from the past 200 years and all such attempts are a part of it. Now the attempt for the Americanisation of the world is being made and it has started from India. There is a need to understand that China, Japan and Korea did not allow Westernisation, and yet they are doing well. Behind the success of Modi, there is a cry of centuries and hope for the future. He has attempted to revive Indian dresses, languages and political terminology. He revived rivers like the Narmada, the Sabarmati and the Saraswati. We must follow our tradition, culture and civilisation with pride to make the nation strong.
The programme was conducted by Prof. Avanijesh Awasthi and the vote of thanks was delivered by Sh. Gopal Agarwal.