30 Oct
“Silence becomes cowardice when occasion demands speaking out the whole truth and acting accordingly.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
I believe in right to dissent. It is very important to tolerate people who hold contrary position to our own. I have been dismayed in recent times about events in my country. I am disappointed with the current dispensation. I remember journalist Vinod Mehta today who had somehow always hinted at possible lack of tolerance for secularism from the right and same as non negotiable.  The curious need for enforcing unitary eating habits or sedition legislation. Loss of lives for eating. What is this?
Let’s start at the beginning. Arvind Subramanian the chief economic advisor has been quoted in more than one interview  saying” The economist wife asks him ”  Honey do you love me”  he responds ” Relative to what” “. So relative to last government, this government has made a promising start.  The determination and resolve to succeed is apparent. Though no great
policy steps have been announced. There is no question about competence or legitimacy of government. They have a handsome mandate. That should make them gracious. But the bluster seems to be permanent. Thus far its been great salesmanship, electioneering and cow.I hope the government becomes gracious and inclusive gets to real political discourse and engagement rather than having a permanent disregard for an opposing view. The opposing congress party has really ceded space and they have been dismal. They must get their act together and rebuild as a credible force. This is important for Indian democracy.

I have nothing more to say and join hands with writers, film maker’s, scientist‘s and historian’s to safe guard secularism and right to dissent.

Please see the following news stories from

” Why I am returning my national film award : Anand Patwardhan”

National awards have always meant a lot to me. They were more precious than International awards and awards from private institutions precisely they represented those rare moments when the government of India became willing to uphold the spirit of our secular, socialist and democratic Constitution.Today this spirit is evaporating. Our nation is at a crossroads. On one side is the secular path that our freedom fighters laid out for us and on the other, the path towards majoritarian fascism that the present regime seems bent upon. I am not saying we are already a fascist state. I am saying that the early warning signs are unmistakable….”

For more :

“Full Text: Padma-winning scientists protest ‘a rash of bigoted acts “

The scientific community is deeply concerned with the climate of intolerance, and the ways in which science and reason are being eroded in the country.

It is the same climate of intolerance, and rejection of reason that has led to the lynching in Dadri of Mohammad Akhlaq Saifi and the assassinations of Prof Kalburgi, Dr Narendra Dabholkar and Shri Govind Pansare. All three fought against superstition and obscurantism to build a scientific temper in our society. Prof Kalburgi was a renowned scholar and an authority on the Vachana literature associated with the 12th-century reformer Basava, who opposed institutionalised religion, caste and gender discrimination. Similarly, Dr Dabholkar and Shri Pansare promoted scientific temper through their fight against superstition and blind faith.

The Indian Constitution in Article 51 A (h) demands, as a part of the fundamental duties of the citizens, that we ‘…develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform’. Unfortunately, what we are witnessing instead is the active promotion of irrational and sectarian thought by important functionaries of the government. ”

“Current regime wants a ‘legislated history’: 53 leading historians decry ‘vitiated atmosphere’ “
After concerned at the highly vitiated atmosphere prevailing in the country, characterised by various forms of intolerance, we, as academic historians and as responsible citizens of a democracy that has greatly valued its inherited traditions of tolerance, wish to express our anguish and protest about the prevailing conditions.Differences of opinion are being sought to be settled by using physical violence. Arguments are met not with counter arguments but with bullets. When a poor man is suspected to have kept a food item that certain sections do not approve of, his fate is nothing short of death by lynching. At the launch of a book whose author happens to be from a country disapproved of by certain groups, the organizer is disfigured with ink thrown on his face. And when it is hoped that the Head of Government will make a statement about improving the prevailing conditions, he chooses to speak only about general poverty; and it takes the Head of the State to make the required reassuring statement, not once but twice. When writer after writer is returning their award of recognition in protest, no comment is made about the conditions that caused the protest; instead the ministers call it a paper revolution and advise the writers to stop writing. This is as good as saying that intellectuals will be silenced if they protest. ”

Irrational and sectarian thought is no good. I believe in secularism. I am a believer and wish the same space for all religions and communities. I hope the government gets gracious and fulfills it’s promise. The disregard and sneer must go. I hope corrective steps are taken quickly and deliberately.
Think about this. Scroll. in is really refreshing addition to Indian media with good quality content and perspectives.
Goodnight friends!
Love, Suresh

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