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Re: On Tolerance



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Administrative Note:
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Week's Agenda: Population
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Dear IPI:

The following messages from Professor Guptara and Ritu(?)  reached my
mailbox.

 "By the way, Ritu, you are right:  religious fanaticism is in fact the
> single
greatest problem facing our country today, since fanaticism (of > any
sort)
makes rational discussion impossible.  > > Unfortunately, some fanatics
are
actually in political power in our > country.  And the combination of
religious
fanaticism and > corruption/bribery is unbelievable, but many times more
dangerous than > either would be alone.  > Professor Prabhu Guptara >
Director,
Organisational and Executive Development > Wolfsberg Executive
Development
Centre > (a subsidiary of UBS AG) > CH-8272 Ermatingen > Switzerland >
Tel:  +
41.71.663.5605 > Fax:  +41.71.663.5590 > e-mail: 
prabhu.guptara@ubs.com" > >
"The particular topic I'm interested in is the ways that have been >
drafted to
check the religious fanaticism that is sweeping across the > country. 
That it
is a serious problem is a statement I will not expound > upon, since to
me it is
obvious.  If there are those who do not agree, > please write and I will
try to
answer your questions and support my > statement.  Ritu"

I think with this the India Policy Institute has reached a critical and
serious
political subject-matter.  Both statements above seem to me highly
contentious
and misleading, especially Professor Guptara's statement "Unfortunately,
some
fanatics are actually in political power in our country."  What does he
mean?
Does he mean to speak of the present PM and his Council of Ministers? 
If so,
let him say so.  Does he mean that someone like, say, the Hon'ble
Defence
Minister is a "religious fanatic" or has allowed himself to be in the
same
Council of Ministers as "religious fanatics"?  What is the basis in
evidence for
such remarks?  I do think here we have here an example of remarks being
made
totally disengaged from Indian experience.

I am sending a copy of this to Mr.  Ashok Chowgule of Mumbai, who is a
modern,
dynamic and yes proud member of the Sangh Parivar, as well as someone I
would
consider a friend, and would like to invite his comment.  My views on
the BJP,
Congress, Left etc were posted in "On manifestos, political naivete and
Indian
realities."

In brief, my sympathy has been with Mr.  Vajpayee ever since his 13-day
Government in 1996; my sympathy had been with Rajiv Gandhi in 1990-1991
and I
make public something quite bluntly here and now:

had the Congress listened to my advice regarding Rajiv Gandhi's security
in
1990-1991, Rajiv Gandhi would have been alive today and therefore Sonia
Gandhi
would not have been the widow she has become (ergo there would not have
been a
Rajiv Gandhi Foundation either).

I do think there may be intolerant people in all parties as in all
populations
and it is inaccurate and irresponsible to start painting one side or the
other
as more or less so.

The pro-Congress side of the IPI will find representation in e.g.  Mr. 
Bibek
DebRoy, Mr.  Jairam Ramesh and perhaps Dr.  Parth Shah; the pro-Left
side of the
IPI will find representation in for example Ms.  Madhu Kishwar and
others.  I
and I am sure Mr.  Chowgule would be happy to represent the pro-Vajpayee
point
of view if necessary.


Subroto Roy, PhD (Cantab.)  
Professor, VGSM, 
IIT, Kharagpur 721 302.

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