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Rootless Politics
Article appeared in Indian Express and The Financial Express on Sunday, 6 December ‘09
Indian constitution rooted to Western notions of democracy... alternative?
By: Kane | 07-Dec-2009 So western democratic model has been used but there are major elements in it that
has Indian characteristics embedded in it. In that sense it is a very Indian document. The collective knowledge of
humanity can not be catagorised to be Indian, Bristish, American of Russian etc. The democratic principles of
Universal suffrage, one person on vote, majority rule while protecting minority right can not be said to be just
western values. The protecting of under-privilaged in the directive principles of state policy is one such typical
Indian roots in our constitution. Besides, for Cuba and China etc. communism is also foreign. It was developed
in the Industrial revolution societies of Europe. So I find this topic and its explanations rather banal, as Indian
constitutional democracy is as Indian as Chinese communism is Chinese. Its not about where they originated
(as all this is part of the human collective knowledge) but how we adapt it. Don't repair what is not broken!
Dangers of generalizations
By: Alok Bajpai | 07-Dec-2009 The article is a specimen of the danger in academics in which by using some
stray, out of context, arguments we try to proclaim 'Truth'. The prophets of doom for India's democracy are not
new.They often emanate from time to time in different shades.My advise to the compositor is to give a thought
to Indian National Movement. When mass-consciousness is emotively eulogized and literary moods are thrived
in analyzing the complexities of the society, the result may not be better than this article.
Professor Emeritus
By: D" Prithipaul | 07-Dec-2009 S.S. is right. Only he overlooks the malaise built in the 1950 Constitution by
its neglect (cf. Art 45) of a national education based on the traditional values of the nation, a need that ought to
have been felt by the leaders, mainly of the Congress Party, especially after an eclipse of the indigenous civilisation
during a millenium of alien rule. The educational example set by Tagore went unperceived. So was the idea of
Mahatma Gandhi in his urging for the reconstruction of a national pedaqogical curriculum. There was no
proponent of an original, truly national, content in the three levels of scholastic learning, among the writers of
the Constitution. That is why, with the British form of education being left untouched, India has been ruled by a
rootless middle class which apes everything western. Nehru set in motion this ape-ism and he used his popularity
to entrench the alienating process. With the rise of English as the national language India has become a part of
greater America.
Rightly said
By: Devendra Patel | 06-Dec-2009 Very rightly said, Indians are proud of adopting everything. As a result,
our constitution is like prostitution where everything nice is available but not able to protect its own roots.
As a result, we have produced seculars which are attacking our own instituions of culture.
"Rootless Politics"
By: Ravindra K. Jain | 06-Dec-2009 An excellent analysis and exhortation. Please refer to my article: 'Diaspora
Trans-nation and Nation' being published in Sociological Bulletin (from India) of February 2010. You would find an
echo in my valorization of Tagore as the exemplar of patriotism (rooted in vernacular and trans-nation) rather than
nationalism of the imitative western sort.
Chinks in Hygiene and civic responsibility
Article appeared in Indian Express and The Financial Express on Sunday, 8 November ‘09
Hygiene on War Footing
By: K R Udayakumar | 09-Nov-2009 I commend Shombit Sengupta for smacking our heads to tell us that as
a nation, we have paid scant attention to our terrible hygienic practices. His suggestion of creating a mnistry for
hygiene and civic responsibility is a great one. I would simply add that the PM should give that ministry a high
priority, and appoint a cabinet level minister who is a solid go-getter; someone who will be able provide
leadership on a war footing. This area is clearly ripe for a govt - private enterprises partnership.
Companies that join the effort should be provided tax breaks and such. We cannot delay this task any longer.
Development Engineer
By: K R Udayakumar | 08-Nov-2009 This is an excellent article by Shombit Sengupta. His suggestion that a
separate ministry be created to focus on hygiene is especially praise-worthy. However great our advances might
be in other areas, unless we get our house in order with regard to hygiene, we are in negative territory.
This might be an area where the govt. can partner with successful private companies to combat unhygienic
practices on a war footing. That calls for strong and dedicated leadership. It is indeed surprising that even
after the movie "Slumdog Millionaire", there is no willingness to take up cudgels on this issue.
Hygiene And Civic Sense
By: Niranjan | 08-Nov-2009 Yes, we Indians lack in the two very much. On one hand the govt. Is too busy
raking in tax money and spending it mostly on their on royal life style or busy building statues and monuments
while the real poor people suffer indignities of defacation in the open. It is really a sad story that such a simple
task of building clean, hygienic toilets are not given priority. Also, scarcity of water is one other major factor
contributing to the lack of hygienic conditions.
Gender Bender
Article appeared in Indian Express and The Financial Express on Sunday, 21 March ‘10
By: Kapil K Kella, Ahmedabad,
Mr. Shombit 'Gender Bender' in Sunday Express was a class piece of writing! Examples were mind-opening
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