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Re: Barun Mitra before the Berlin Wall



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At 08:10 AM 10/24/2001 +0530, Dr. Subroto Roy wrote:
>Dear Barun,
>
>I have (in Freedom First recently) distinguished between Indian
liberals
>before the fall of the Berlin Wall and those after the fall of the
Berlin
>Wall.    As you know, a lot of people are liberals in India now, 12
years
>after the fall of the Berlin Wall.    You may agree that there were
just a
>few dozen before the fall of the Berlin Wall.  Where was I personally,
you
>might ask?   Well, you can check the lead editorial of The Times of
London
>on May 29 1984 which was written about my IEA work "Pricing, Planning
and

For such an insignificant Indian as myself, I am surprised that an
eminent
person as Dr. Subroto Roy even takes notice of me. If Gandhi was the
grandfather of Indian political freedom, Dr. Roy, given his record, is
surely the father of Indian economic liberation. I have no achievement
worth noting and have never claimed any, leave alone shaping the destiny
of
1 billion of my fellow countrymen.

Gandhi was thrown out of the train in South Africa over a hundred years
ago. However, in 1999, following the super cyclone in Orissa that killed

over 12,000 people, there were reports from many villages that the
survivors often refused to touch the dead bodies of unknown victims,
because they did not know the victims' castes. This is our country. I
acknowledge my failure to do anything about such dark patches in our
society.

All societies and nations have some heroic and dark moments. I do not
hate
my country for all its ills, but admire its achievements. Just as I am
proud of the achievements of America as a part of common human heritage.
I
would like our society to learn from the best of all societies. And I
believe individual rights and liberty are universal values cherished by
most.

But what I find very difficult to understand is how one could stay on in
a
society one hates, more than one loves. And stay away from the society
one
claims to love. Again I am a non-performing Indian, and perhaps have not

learned to properly appreciate the super performing Indians who have
done
wonders in their adopted countries, including many on this e-list.

>PS  It is not a matter of being pro or anti America, but one of
>understanding America, India etc better.

I completely agree and I once again acknowledge my lack of education.

But I would be dishonest if I do not admit that in the dark days of
October-November 1984, as news of thousands of innocents being butchered

even in the streets of Delhi spread, I wished I was a Sikh .
Like wise, following Tuesday, Sept 11, I wished I was an American.

Regards,
Barun



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