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Pay Respect to the Dignity of Mother India (1/2)

(Presidential address after Shri Sudershanji's speech on the
eleventh anniversary of VIGIL, a public opinion forum based
in Madras.  Sri Nikhil Chakravarthy is an eminent journalist.)


     Pay respect to the dignity of Mother India (1/2)
              By  Sri Nikhil Chakravarthy


Friends, after a very important major enunciation of the vision
behind this renewed movement of Swadeshi Shri. Sudershanji gave
before you, it will not be proper for me to cover the same
ground. Let me start with my own field of activity in the busi-
ness of communication, mass media, and say how we have to view
the problems before the country.

 As I was listening to Shri. Sudershanji many thoughts crossed
my mind. In addition to this evening's public programme, the or-
ganisers of VIGIL also had invited me to participate in a two-day
national seminar which concluded a little while ago, in which em-
inent economists and thinkers discussed the same silbject. For
the last two days we had serious interactions, discussions - pol-
ite but very sharp - where differences were thrashed out. But one
thing was common. All the participants were concerned and all had
the feeling of hope and confidence in the basic strength of this

Our freedom movement

 We have passed through periods of depression and periods of
servility before. But by and large, as we go forward, or get the
strength to go forward, we remember we are one of the greatest
countries of the world, where streams of civilization have come
together to form a continuum of its own, which is a variety en-
dowed by nature which very few countries have.

 For such a country to go under an imperial power and live in
subjugation was a great humiliation. The feeling of a "subject
nation" and the resentment, and anger could be roused by our
leaders to bring this nation to the point of liberation.

 The unique characteristic of our freedom struggle, I feel
was this. No revolution of the world involved so many millions
of people. Not even the French, Russian, or Chinese Revolution.

 It was a unique struggle in another way. Every villager had
to be made aware that there was nothing to fear from foreign rule
if we stood together. We did not have guns, we did not have gold.
But we had the numbers. When millions of Indian were roused, only
then did the foreign government realise that it had to withdraw.

 The British found that it was very difficult to market their
products in this country. They used to give loans. To-days' loans
were not Manmohan Singh's creation. It all started much earlier.
This is the East India Company mentality.

 The East India Company people used to give loans to weavers
but insist on a very low pricing for the products. If you did
not comply with their pricing, they would seize your land, hut-
ment and harvest. In the case of the weavers they simply cut
off their thumbs. This was first reported by an Englishman in the
first newspaper published in this country The journalist Mr Hick-
ey sought to show the predatory nature of the functioning of the
East India company. Hickey was put in prision and sent to Bri-

 The weaver's story was one of the shameful landmarks of Brit-
ish occupation in this country. In a different form we are facing
the same mentality today.

psychology of Swadeshi

 Our industry is at the mercy of foreign multinational com-
panies. What is the anger of Ms. Carla Hills? 'You are allowing
the Indian pharmaceutical industries to grow so that our
American pharmaceutical companies cannot capture the Indian mark-
et. Now India has not said that you cannot send your goods here.
We only say that we will protect our industries. 

					[To be concluded]

Courtesy: VIGIL, Madras

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