FESTIVAL OF IDEAS SHOULD BE TRANSLATED INTO REALITY by Nisser Dias

Recently great living Indians and others put forth their visions and thoughts for the betterment of this country at the DD Kosambi Festival of Ideas. Their speeches and lectures were so profound with deep insight into the potential of the youth of this nation, its richness and the development it can achieve through innovation. At the same time they also touched upon the problems like poverty and illiteracy facing this country and how we can overcome it.
These great researchers and scientists are not just glib talkers as they have proved their mantle before the world and when they put forth their thoughts they do it with authority unlike our politicians who talk without even knowing the subject.
The question before us today is – for some years now we have been commemorating our own great Goan late DD Kosambi by inviting eminent speakers to Goa to deliver talks on various topics which can facilitate and expedite development and better quality of life for Goans. But over the years the ideas put forth by the intellectuals have not translated into reality or not being implemented, which means the thoughts have only remained a pipe dream for the common man and the youth; who are eagerly awaiting a developed India wherein poverty would be drastically reduced to the extent that every Indian gets at least one meal a day, illiteracy would be wiped out, medical and health facilities would be readily and freely available to all Indians, where every house in the country would be electrified, urban-rural divide is erased, corruption eradicated the list can go on and on.
India has developed in terms of industrial growth, its foreign reserves has swelled to hundreds of billions of dollars, Indian businessmen have acquired foreign giant companies but the ground reality is rich have become richer and the poor have become poorer. This is not because India has dearth of researchers, scientists, thinkers but because of political expediency and political class has not been able to deliver to the masses. It is also not that the successive Union governments or the state governments do not have policies or schemes; it is because the politicians skim the cream off the schemes to the extent that the layman is fed only the crumbs. And former prime minister of India late Rajiv Gandhi had put it aptly, “Of every rupee that is spent on the poor, only fifteen paisa reaches them”. This is our malady to which none of our hundreds of political parties are trying to find a remedy.
And this is what our own scientist Dr. Raghunath Mashelkar who headed the Council of Scientific and Industrial research for many years, who besides being bestowed upon many awards and honorary doctorates was the third Indian to be named as fellow of Royal Society London touched upon when he said, “it is unwise to think India is developed first and then non-corrupt”. For us to be developed we have completely abolish corrupt and the corruption then only we will be mentally set to say we are a developed country.
Former President of India popularly known as the rocket scientist Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam while answering a question posed to him by the audience on corruption after his lecture at DD Kosambi Festival of Ideas asked a counter question, “Will you dare to tell your father to stop his corruption?” Dr. Kalam passed a message that he is aware of the gravity and the depth of corruption in our country. It is from the mere peon, to the policemen to the top politician who indulge in corruption. Former president urged the youth to fight an honest battle to be unique.
Indian born British economist and Labour Party politician Lord Meghnad Desai in his discourse minced no words while saying that government mean politicians and politicians mean money. He said, “In India today, to get a form to get your rights you need to bribe somebody.” This is the impression we have created world over.
Chief minister Digambar Kamat who also holds the Art and Culture portfolio was present for all the lectures. Would he take a cue from the speakers and the audience who asked the questions and try to stop corruption in his government?
Other ministers did not find the time to attend the discourse by these eminent personalities who have made their mark on the global platform but our ministers have all the time in the world to attend village sports, inaugurate drains and sulabhs. It speaks volumes of our calibre to elect such politicians.
Most of the speakers spoke about innovations to make India a world leader, but that is not the priority of our politicians and ministers, theirs is to find innovative avenues to amass wealth and more wealth. And as His Holiness Dalai Lama has put it, “Money diminishes basic human values.”
Of course morals and values have never been the virtues of Goan politicians at any level. Their main motive has been to capture power and through power accumulate wealth. One of the speakers also put forth an idea that India attained freedom from the British, then it achieved economic freedom and now we need a freedom from the corrupt politicians. Our politicians might have not realized it, but the various movements like fights against SEZ, opposition to Regional Plan, objections to mammoth housing complexes, opposition to commercialization of education are fights against corruption and corrupt politicians by the common man. In retrospection an idea put forward by distinguished speakers has already been made a reality by the aam admi.
But if the politicians had developed India as their goal a lot could be achieved in the last 60 years of Independence. If Goan politicians wanted to make Goa as the model state for the country it could have been easily achieved as our state is one of the five hotspots in the world as far as flora and fauna is concerned, our natural beauty is just amazing, we had huge natural resource, we have magnificent architecture, Goans have a good English educated background. We had all the qualities it only required innovation and push in the right direction to stand out as a state, but no, for us it has only remained an idea. We need to urgently translate it into a reality.

3 comments:

Joaquim Correia-Afonso said...

Well said, Nisser. Late Prof. Damodar Dharmanand Kossambi was a scientist, a mathematician turned Indologist, a humanist. He was far ahead of his times.
Eminent people in various fields are invited to comemorate this great Goan. They have put forth many ideas, but our politicians have failed to reflect the ideas into action. Nothing has been implemented. Nothing has been translated into reality.
People, the aam admi, however are now awakening to the reality that politicians do not have the welfare of the people at heart. Politicians want power in order to amass wealth which, according to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, "diminishes basic human values". Politicians draw a blank on morals and human values. They have a different idea of "development" which, for the common man, is the provision of basic infrastructure - qater, electricity, good access roads to their remote villages, besides good education and health services, not the mega-housing complexes and wide roads connecting our two neighbouring States.

Dalia said...

Kudos to Nisser for articles after articles and for opening the eyes of the common man. May God Bless you Nisser for the good work.

diogofichardo said...

Nisser another great true article, In today's unstable Goa we need more writers to bring out the facts to life. God Bless you.

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