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Nehru chief architect of democracy, secular ethos: Mani Shankar Aiyar

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Moodabidri: “It is because of Nehru’s consistent efforts that India established itself as a secular state with equal rights for all regardless of their religious affiliation”, said former diplomat Mani Shankar Aiyar.

He was speaking to an audience of Alva’s Education Foundation’s speakers’ club ‘’Rostrum’’, driving the central theme of “The Nehruvian legacy and its discontents”, at AIET Seminar Hall, on November 14 in Mijar, Moodabidri.

He said, “Nehru was an extraordinary giant of our freedom struggle; a prominent maker of modern India, a great believer of pluralism, the chief architect of our democracy, socialism and secular ethos.” According to Nehru, the one who lives in India is considered as Indian, irrespective of their religion, caste, food and dress habit differences.

“It is his contribution to democracy, affinity to secularism, economic policies and non alignment principle makes him that distinguish him from others in the history of Indian politics”, Aiyar said.

The Congress man said, “Agriculture had been virtually stagnant for half a century and the average rate of economic growth was less than one per cent. Against this dismal backdrop, Nehru made it possible to accelerate the first fifteen years’ estimated GDP growth at 4 percent and nearly 2 percent per capita as opposed to 0.1 percent in the years 1900-47.”

Focussing his policy of non-alignment, he said, “Nehru’s non-alignment did not mean equidistance or isolationism. It meant independence of judgment and action. It was not a passive but a pro-active and dynamic policy in which India was strongly committed to the goals of the United Nations and would do its best for peace in the world.”

“Skepticism is introduced in Indian mind and it forced them to become an enquiry mind. He added and said there is no final answer, but it provides series of provisional answers. That is what makes the Hinduism as the world’s oldest as well as youngest religion,” he added.

Answering a query, “Why democracy is of profuse value to Congress but not Congressmen?”, he said Congress party believed in collective decision of party members and people’s choice in election.

When an audience asked why Rahul Gandhi should become prime minister of this country, he said “If Indians want to win and a secular state to be formed, it is only with Rahul Gandhi one can expect.”

In the afternoon session, he addressed journalism students of Alva’s College about “How to be an effective spokesperson of an organisation.”

Alva’s Education Foundation Trustee Vivek Alva, Alva’s College Principal Dr. Kurian, Head, Alva’s PG Studies in Journalism, Dr. Mouly Jeevanram and Rostrum Club Student Coordinator Rohan D’Souza were present among others.

Nehru chief architect of democracy, secular ethos: Mani Shankar Aiyar

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