Ms Romila Thapar,Why do dreams Die?

On the matter of the recent book and the article in Deccan Chronicle, I shall come to later. I rather hurriedly post this link only to make up for the surprise, shock, disbelief and utter dismay at the disgraceful conduct shown by the Directors of the Sameeksha Trust(EPW) in having capitulated to the “corporate bullying” without any visible sign of resistance vocal or otherwise.They have not only gone on to admit, tacitly that Adani’s and their kind are invincible but also that the so-called leaders of the academia and the intellectual world had better save their books from burning: by implication, their jobs.
(The article which is in the crosshairs for having been brought down or removed is this one.)
But why this extravagant sense of hopelessness and frustration?Personally, Romila Thapar, Andre Beteille, the two Directors,(the former was at JNU and the Latter at Delhi School of Social Work in the mid seventies) part of this now infamous Board were my childhood memories of intellectual sovereignty, of inspiring moral courage and impeccable integrity in the face of naked power, authority, and aggression.I continued adoring them as I have aged to be over sixty years of age, when I used to read their scholarly articles,in various newspapers, magazines both Indian and foreign,Podcasts and Video recordings on the You Tube, well held rational and scientific views on history and its various interpretations, the need for independent research and methodologies, religion, communities on the margins and of regressive nationalism and many such things.Romila Thapar had refused governmental recognition of any kind to avoid being stigmatized as a “Sarkari historian.”And now during their watch, the already fragile fort of defiance has crumbled.As someone said even before the sound of “boo” was even heard.The Editor of Economic and Political Weekly, Mr Paranjoy Guha Thakurta
was literally shown the door for having eye balled the mighty corporate in a manner of speaking.In fact, he was the person who had exposed the systematic penetration into governmental power mechanisms and patronage by the Ambani’s, the collusion of greedy bureaucrats, corrupt politicians, international cartels in the “Gas Wars”, causing mega losses of precious public money ; the publishing of which also had run into serious trouble.
The Board of Directors of Sameeksha Trust, since have gone into a kind of geriatric damage control which is neither convincing nor spirited.But my concern here is what happened to my childhood icons?Are they as feeble as all of us, who went about spreading the message of hope, faith, rights, and justice? or worse still, have those intellectuals now become stale and old to retain even the spunk necessary to shake a hand…Much less to help him/her to rise? I dread to search for cowards anymore.The complicity of the idols is a tragedy.Heroes are once again difficult to come by.
So what of this book now! I have not read it.All that one reads are extended extracts of the review of this book by the editors of Organiser,(the RSS Mouth or foot-speak) given free advertisement by The Deccan Chronicle, in their daily.At least, one gets to read, as of now, about what was Nationalism instead of what it should be.
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Netaji:Looking Back

Much abused. Much misunderstood. Much revered.

Someone said, it is, yet, too early to understand the lessons of the French revolution. So I think is also true about Netaji.His United Front Tactics of having joined hands with Nazi Germany and Japan much like Mao and Chang Kai Shek,Stalin and Hitler and many others to believe : my enemy’s enemy is my Friend was very tactically sound and also radical. He correctly assessed colonial India’s weakness and saw in the Second Great War an immense opportunity and not as a threat as most incorrectly judged . The Communists, got confused, kowtowed the Soviet Line of joining the Allies and supporting them while the Indian National Congress, on its part, followed a policy of appeasement.RSS, the backbone of the present day BJP was quite happy abusing and spoiling with the Muslim brothers while cosying up to the British.

Please do not liken the present day mad rush for shaking hands and political alignments in a similar vein.At best it would be a disservice and at worst blasphemy-which it shall be !Netaji loved his India, his people and died fighting.Not many would know ( it is being grumblingly conceded, today, by historians) that the sacrificial role of the Indian National Army and the Royal Indian Navy Rating’s Mutiny of 1946 hastened the handing over and transfer of power to India by the English.

That Gandhi and Nehru were not quite his friends is little matter.Netaji’s daughter Ms Anita Pfaff remembers and very fondly, that both he and Nehru , were secular and non-communal and extremely tolerant.She ventures however, to suggest, if not anything else, India and Pakistan would have been friendlier;had he been alive.

I shall ,however,always, in a very silly way feel proud to have studied in the same school as he did.And I am not in a bit embarrassed for trying to bask or steal some of that blazing bright !

May you inspire all for justice, freedom and dignity forever !

Happy Birthday !

“Netaji” Subash Chandra Bose and Stewart School, Cuttack

Easily the most illustrious alumni of Stewart School, Cuttack, Netaji Subash Chandra Bose was admitted to the school on 8th January 1902, when he was about 5 years old. As per authentic records in possession of school, he was born on 23rd January 1897. Stewart School was the place where Netaji began his elementary education and spent his early formative childhood.

Netaji received six years of elementary education in this institution, which was, then, known as the Protestant European School. Interestingly, the school, which started as an Orphanage School in November 1882, came to be known as Protestant European School in 1891 and in the same year, it opened its doors to Indian students. It was re-christened Stewart School, in 1919, after its founder, civil surgeon William Day Stewart.

Besides Netaji, his brother Sailesh Chandra Bose, other brothers and sisters also attended the school.

The school records indicate that “he had attended no other school” and in his case “exemption from religious instruction” was “not claimed”. He continued his education till he was promoted to Class VII.

When Netaji left the school after completing the academic session in Class VI on 31st December 1908, his character was certified as “very good”, as per authentic school records. Mr. J. Young was the principal of the school when he was undergoing his stint at Stewart School.

The Hindu right is quietly funding—and lobbying—American universities (Rohit Chopra)

Source: The Hindu right is quietly funding—and lobbying—American universities (Rohit Chopra)

This piece of writing is both prescient and timely.The beginnings of a dangerous portent is empirically examined and very logically prognosticated for the future.In the instant case the helming of IIT’s by corporate honchos or owners is another example of using the public-private-academia interface quite brazenly to enter sanctum- sanctorums, hitherto, difficult or well nigh ,impossible.Yes,gainful employment ,relevant contemporarisation of so called impractical or much worse archaic syllabuses is the ostensible reason among other things.But, are we in this also witnessing the quiet and stealthy entry of the money bags to control the nascent brains at the cradle itself? To what purpose may also be a moot question.Read through and be alert.For, to be alarmed at a later date would be a little naive !