OUR MISSION AND THE ROAD AHEAD
By Justice Janardhan Sahai, Judge, Allahabad High Court
(Chairman, U.P. Chapter of Kalidas Ghalib Foundation)
After we started the Kalidas Ghalib Foundation, and particularly after Justice Markandey Katju’s articles which appeared in ‘The Hindu’ newspaper were placed on our website kgfindia.com, there have been innumerable queries from India and from the Indian Diaspora settled abroad who have wanted to know what they should do to further the aims and objects of the organization. Such enquiries show the tremendous and overwhelming enthusiasm and patriotism among the vast majority of our intelligensia who are disgusted with the present state of affairs in our country but were feeling frustrated because they did not know what to do about it. Now Kalidas Ghalib Foundation has provided these patriotic intellectuals with a forum which they were seeking for, and towards which they are now gravitating in overwhelming numbers.
However, while such patriotic intellectuals share the views mentioned in our website, they wish to know what practical activity can be done by them for furtherance of those views on the practical level. Repeatedly the query is coming from India and from abroad :
We agree with your views, but tell us what we should do?
It is for this reason that this short note has been prepared as a response to such queries, for presentation before the preparatory meeting of KGF at India International Centre on 17.3.2009. Subject to approval or modification in that meeting, it will be placed on our website kgfindia.com and distributed at the Inaugural Function of KGF to be held shortly.
Since the Kalidas Ghalib Foundation is still in the process of being formed it is not possible to give a definitive statement about all the activities which its members have to do, and many of the activities which we shall be doing will occur to us and also be suggested to us by our members and well wishers as we progress and expand. Yet a brief and broad outline is being given here.
(1) The first activity which has to be done by all our members is to very carefully read the articles of Justice Katju which have appeared in the website kgfindia.com, as these constitute the core ideas of our organization. In this connection it must be emphasized that without clarity of ideas no effective practical activity is possible on any matter.
We wish to make India a highly prosperous and highly industrialized nation. But what is India? Very few people are clear about this. Without understanding our nation how can we attain our objective? Hence it is absolutely essential for all our members to carefully read Justice Katju’s article on our website, in particular the article entitled ‘The Kalidas Ghalib Academy for Mutual Understanding’.
As mentioned by Justice Katju, intellectuals are the eyes of society, and without intellectuals society is blind. Intellectuals provide leadership to all nations. Sadly, the present position in India is that even the intellectuals are groping in the dark and do not understand the country and its problems with clarity. How then can they give leadership to the nation? It is therefore first absolutely essential that the ideas of our intellectuals about our nation and its problems be clarified and it is only thereafter that these intellectuals can educate the rest of the country.
Hence the first task which is to be performed by our members is to clarify their own ideas by reading Justice Katju’s articles carefully and showing them to their friends both in India and abroad.
I am not repeating the entire text of those articles of Justice Katju, as they can be seen on our website kgfindia.com. However, I may very briefly summarize some of the views expressed therein:
(a) In the article `The Kalidas Ghalib Academy for Mutual Understanding’ Justice Katju has emphasized that India is a country of immigrants, and that about 95% of the people living in India today are descendents of immigrants. While North America is a country of new immigrants, India is a country of old immigrants. This is a totally new theory which Justice Katju has propounded, and it reveals the cause of the tremendous diversity in our country, with so many religions, castes, languages, ethnic groups, cultures, etc.
Justice Katju has pointed out that since India has such tremendous diversity, the only way to keep the country together is the policy of tolerance and giving equal respect to all communities. This was the policy of the great Emperor Akbar which we have to follow if we want to keep our country united and on the path of progress.
Unfortunately, most of our history books were written by the Britishers or certain vested interests who wrote them in a distorted manner to create hatred between Hindus and Muslims. This has been explained in some detail in the article. One of the aims of Kalidas Ghalib Foundation is to remove these distortions, and present a truthful history of our country.
Justice Katju has also emphasized in this article that India is a poor country and no one respects the poor. Hence if we want to get respect in the comity of nations we must make India prosperous and highly industrialized. For this we have all the potential in the form of tens of thousands of competent engineers, technicians and immense reserves of raw materials. What has prevented us from rapid progress is the divisive forces which have sought to make us fight with each other on caste, communal, regional or lingual lines and thereby keep us backward, poor and weak. Hence one of the principle aims of Kalidas Ghalib Foundation is to oppose these divisive forces and expose them as enemies of the nation.
(b) In the article `Great Injustice to Urdu in India’ Justice Katju has pointed out that Urdu is a great language but it was wrongly branded by certain vested interests as a language of Muslims alone and of foreigners. Justice Katju has made a deep analysis of Urdu and shown that it is a great language which belongs to all communities whether Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, etc.
(c) In `The Role of Art, Literature and the Media’ Justice Katju has emphasized that the role of art and literature should be to serve the people. He has also criticized the media, particularly electronic media which is diverting the attention of the people from the real problems facing our people which are economic and social.
(d) In `The Caste System in India’ Justice Katju has made an incisive study of the Caste System and shown that while at one time in our history it was a progressive institution, today it is totally outmoded and a great obstacle to our progress and hence must be destroyed.
(e) In his article `On Women’s Emancipation’ Justice Katju has emphasized the need for complete women’s emancipation for the country’s progress. He has shown that earlier women could not come up to the level of men not because of any inherent inferiority but they were denied education and other opportunities.
(f) In the article `Importance of Liberty and Democracy in India’ Justice Katju has criticized the views of those persons who say that to oppose terrorism we must curtail civil liberties and democracy. He has pointed out that democracy and scientific progress go hand in hand, because without freedom to think, speak and dissent there can be no progress.
(g) In `Global Economic Scenario’ Justice Katju has clarified that the current economic recession is due to lack of purchasing power in the people who are largely poor. Hence to get over the recession the purchasing power of the masses has to be raised.
Justice Katju will be writing further articles which will be appear on our website, and they should be read by everyone carefully.
It is again reiterated that without taking this first step no other subsequent step will be possible.
(2) The second practical step to be taken is to create study circles everywhere which meet on regular intervals and discuss the ideas expressed on our website. The members of these study circles can send their suggestions to our National President Mr. Neeraj Saran or the Executive President Mr. Naushad Ali Syed (whose e-mail addresses and telephone numbers are on our website) or other office bearers who will study the same and pass them on to Justice Katju also.
It is made clear that our organization is a totally democratic organization and anyone is free to criticize the ideas expressed on our website and/or start a debate on these. He/she can also contribute ideas which will be debated, and if thought necessary will be added to our website. We have an open mind and do not claim to be the last word on the subject.
As already stated above, the ideas in our website constitute the core ideas of our organization for whose implementation we have to strive for, but they are by no means definitive. Everyone is free to add to these ideas, and suggestions will always be welcomed. Indeed, many persons will surely contribute very valuable ideas which will add to our core ideas expressed in the website. There is enormous creativity among Indians both living in India and abroad, and we are sure that many of them will contribute creative ideas for solving the country’s problems.
(3) After the above two steps have been taken, the third step can then be holding seminars and symposia for discussing these ideas. In these meetings also valuable ideas will surely come foreword and will be added to our intellectual treasury.
After the aforesaid three steps have been taken what practical steps thereafter are to be taken will be thought of and planned later, because we must go step by step in our progress. Many persons who become our members will themselves suggest creative ideas about what practical steps we should take, and these will always be welcomed in a democratic manner.
The aim of Kalidas Ghalib Foundation is to help in making India a modern, powerful, highly industrialized nation, and to abolish poverty, unemployment, casteism, communalism, corruption and other evils which are plaguing the country. Our task is enormous, but we must not be daunted by its enormity. We must all work with the spirit of humble soldiers of the nation with no personal agenda in mind. Many of us may not live to see the day when our goal is achieved and India becomes a modern highly industrialized prosperous nation, but we will all have the satisfaction of having contributed to that end.