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Re: Mr. Valson Thampu's Article




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Postings not related to the writing of the Manifesto or policy chapters
are likely to be summarily rejected. Thanks for your understanding. IPI
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Valson's response,

Sorry, if I have addeded on the prevailing volume of confusion. The drift of
what I write is that there is a need to shift from a caste paradigm to a
paradigm of, say, kinship (which again has bad overtones!), of our oneness in
the pursuit of common goals within a framework for sane and fulfilling life. I
used the word 'fraternity' within the ambience of the French Revolution, and
not exactly in the lexical sense. (Incidentally, Dickens says that one of the
possible uses of a dictionary is as a pillow!).

I grant that the word 'revolution' could press  the panic button!  But I use
it metaphorically to imply a radical and foundational change (as from caste to
fraternity). It may be of interest to recall that the word 'revolution' meant,
at some point, somethign that predictable motion within a fixed orbit as in
the case of the earth revolving around the Sun! Today we associate it only
with violence and bloodshed.  We are the children of disinheritance, alas.

The burden of my argument in this piece is that those who are genuinely
interested in equipping India for the future (let us not get obsessed too much
with the millennium) need to free our society from the shackles of caste
oppression, though this might seem a grave danger from a communal angle. The
problem exists in all religious communities, a tribute to the power and
pervasiveness of this pernicious phenomenon. Historically, I see India as
being held to ransom by this mechanism and mindset.

May be this needs to be debated at length,
Many thanks,
Valson

Umesh Tiwari wrote:

> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Postings not related to the writing of the Manifesto or policy chapters
> are likely to be summarily rejected. Thanks for your understanding. IPI
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Hello Valson and Shashi,
>
> I must admit I missed the original Article of Valson and read Shashi's
> response to it, in which Shashi quoted Mr. Valson
>
> "That can be done only by creating a culture of 'fraternity', based on
> our shared destiny...."
>
> Then Shashi rightly defines the historical perspective of revolution
>
> "..As history would bear testimony to - almost every revolution
> had a very tangible, well defined shared consensus and objective.."
>
> And finally concludes with a question
> "..The way I see it India is a coalition of social forces with
> conflicting
> aspirations and objectives. Pls. respond with an articulation of this
> shared destiny which reconciles these conflicting aspirations."
>
> In my opinion fraternity based on shared destiny and a revolution are
> two very different things. Fraternity, as defined in the Webster's New
> Collegiate Dictionary, means
> 1. A group of people associated or formally organized for a common
> purpose, interest,or pleasure.
> 2. the equality or state of being brothers: BROTHERLINESS
> 3. men of the same class,profession,character, or tastes.
>
> The same Dictionary defines the word "revolution" as in the sense
> suggested by you comes very close to the term REBELLION, meaning an
> activity designed to bring about a sudden, radical and fundamental
> change including overthrowing or renunciation of a government!
>
> The reason I wanted to refer back to the original dictionary definitions
>
> because when such diverse terms are used so loosely, we tend to lose the
>
> focus of our objective.
>
> While Shashi is right to the point that we are a diverse society, yet,
> the way I understand Valson's idea of Fraternity is not giving up the
> diversity, or forgetting our unique language, tradition or aspiration
> etc. but to focus on what is common among all of us, that we are all
> Indians, that we all wish to see our nation prosper, that we all want to
>
> see poverty and illiteracy go away from our land, that we all wish to
> see a way out of the exploding rise in population that takes back all of
>
> our progress at a faster pace then we are able to grow!
>
> Please remember, we DO NOT SEEK A REVOLUTION, and We DO NOT NEED a
> revolution. We already have power in our own hands, what we need is to
> bring home the realization that we, the citizens are also creators of
> our national destiny, that a King of some Stature is not going to come
> along to save us all, that we need to educate ourselves and other
> citizens so that the responsibility of electing well qualified
> government can go on forever, and that is quite different from a
> revolution. A revolution comes as a sudden, overnight change, and our
> democracy is not going to change overnight simply because you cannot
> change the population overnight. The change will be slow, but what is
> needed is to set the right process on track!
>
> Thank You.
>
> Umesh
>
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> This is the National Debate on System Reform.       debate@indiapolicy.org
> Rules, Procedures, Archives:            http://www.indiapolicy.org/debate/
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This is the National Debate on System Reform.       debate@indiapolicy.org
Rules, Procedures, Archives:            http://www.indiapolicy.org/debate/
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