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He should have given more time and attention to his wife and sons: Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson

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New Delhi, May 3 : Rajmohan Gandhi, noted public intellectual and Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson, says the “all-demanding and remarkably effective effort” of the Father of the Nation to realise his goal came at a price and he should have devoted more time and attention to his wife and sons.

“He should have given more time and attention to his wife and sons, and listened more to them. A flawless Gandhi would have been a superb husband and a superb father, in addition to being the astonishing friend and inspirer he was to Indians of every kind,” Rajmohan Gandhi told IANS in an interview ahead of the release of his new book, “Why Gandhi Still Matters”.

“But he was human. He could not resist an all-consuming passion to liberate an enslaved India, and to make all Indians friendly and if possible forgiving to one another,” he added.

Thus, on the flip side, members of Gandhi’s family were often hurt, and that realisation was a wound in his heart too, the author said.

The new book appraises Gandhi and his legacy by examining some of his most famous and often most controversial ideas, beliefs, actions, successes and failures.

The author analyses Gandhi’s commitment to democracy, secularism, pluralism, equality and non-violence, his gift to the world of satyagraha — the key strategies in his fight for India’s freedom — his opposition to caste discrimination and his equations with Winston Churchill, Mohammad Ali Jinnah and B.R. Ambedkar, as also his failings as a human being and family man.

But what are his views on the relevance of Mahatma Gandhi in contemporary times?

“If in our polarised land, a heart free of enmity — a heart that embraces all Indians — is irrelevant, then Gandhi is of no value to us. If a pro-poor commitment by the elite is irrelevant, then we can cheerfully ignore him. If a relentless pursuit of self-interest will make India happy, then we need not recall Gandhi.

“We can also ask ourselves, why does the world remember Gandhi as it does not remember any of his contemporaries from any part of the world? Why is Gandhi quoted far oftener than Churchill or (Franklin) Roosevelt or any other figure from his time,” the author asked.

He said that two wonderful Indian-Americans, Dr Akshay Shah of New Jersey and Dr Barindra Desai of Pennsylvania, wanted him to recall some central aspects of Gandhi’s life and thought for a multiracial and multinational audience, which ultimately led to this book.

The central message of Gandhi’s life, for the author, is to be true to one’s conscience.

“That to me is his life’s central message. And since I want to be faithful to my mind and my conscience, I do not feel pressure in being his grandson. I do not ask myself whether I am living up to his expectations or to what others may expect from a grandson of his,” he added.

Asked to share his views on Gandhi’s perspectives on secularism and democracy and how his lessons can help foster brotherhood in these increasingly divisive times, the author pointed out that in 1909 — 108 years go — he said categorically in “Hind Swaraj” that “religion and nationality are two distinct things”, and that “no successful or modern nation can afford to mingle with the two”.

“It was a stand from which he never wavered. By the time he was killed in 1948, he had ensured — with the wholehearted cooperation of leaders like (Jawaharlal) Nehru, (Sardar) Patel and Ambedkar, and the bulk of the Indian people — that at least in its statute our republic would be secular and impartial,” the author noted.

When asked whether, in his own words, “power-hungry politicians” have let Bapu down, he responded: “We need not ask whether power-hungry politicians or any others have let Bapu down. We should all ask ourselves whether we have been loyal to our own principles. Our politicians should, of course, ask themselves whether they have put themselves or the country first.”

By Saket Suman

(he can be contacted at [email protected])

IANS

 

Cities

CM dedicated to resolve farmers’ problems: Andhra Minister

Meanwhile, the winter session saw a decent turnout of MLAs, including opposition leader Naidu, who was seen wearing a mask.

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Jagan Mohan Reddy

Amaravati, Nov 30 : Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy is dedicated to resolve any roblems faced by state farmers, Agriculture Minister Kurasala Kannababu said on Monday in the Assembly as its winter session began.

“We do not have a Chief Minister who indulges in gimmicks before elections. He has said that he will take up any initiative to resolve farmers’ problems wholeheartedly,” said Kannababu

He said that the YSRCP government had fulfilled most of the promises made to farmers and highlighted that Rs 13,463 crore have been directly credited to farmers’ accounts in last 18 months.

Kannababu assailed Telugu Desam Party (TDP) national President Nara Chandrababu Naidu and his son Nara Lokesh for allegedly undermining Reddy’s aerial survey of Nivar- affected districts.

He showed a photograph of Naidu conducting a similar survey when he was CM while enjoying a hot beverage in helicopter and compared it with his successor’s survey.

The Minister said that Reddy takes comprehensive stock of the ground situation whenever natural calamities strike the state.

According to Kannababu, crops on 6.56 lakh hectares of land was damaged during recent torrential downpour. He said the revenue enumeration is still on.

“The CM told us to finish the enumeration by December 10 so as to pay compensation to the affected farmers by December-end. The Agriculture Department and other concerned ones are working towards that goal,” he said.

Kannababu said that the Chief Minister had instructed officials to buy crops from farmers even if it had changed colour.

Meanwhile, the winter session saw a decent turnout of MLAs, including opposition leader Naidu, who was seen wearing a mask.

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Health

Modi interacts with 3 teams developing corona vaccines

The Prime Minister also asked the companies to come out with their suggestions and ideas regarding the regulatory processes and related matters.

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Narendra Modi

New Delhi, Nov 30: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday held virtual meetings with three teams working on the development and manufacture of vaccines against Covid-19, and discussed the potential of various platforms for vaccine development.

The teams are from Gennova Biopharmaceuticals Ltd at Pune, and Biological E Ltd and Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd at Hyderabad.

Their potential vaccines are in different stages of trials and detailed data and results are expected from early next year onwards, a Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) statement said on Monday.

“The potential of various platforms for vaccine development was also discussed,” the statement said.

The Prime Minister also asked the companies to come out with their suggestions and ideas regarding the regulatory processes and related matters.

He also suggested that they should make extra efforts to inform the general public in simple language about the vaccine and related matters such as its efficacy.

Matters relating to logistics, transport and cold chains in respect of delivery of the vaccines were also discussed.

The Prime Minister advised all departments concerned to engage with the manufacturers and seek to resolve matters so that the efforts by these companies bear fruit in order to serve the needs of the country and the entire world.

The Prime Minister praised the efforts made by scientists and researchers in these companies to come out with a vaccine solution to tackle the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which so far has infected 94,31,692 people across the country, and led to deaths of 1,37,139 patients.

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Disaster

Economy to grow only 0.3% in 2 years as India enters first technical recession

Due to a weaker-than-expected 2QFY21, we revise down our 3QFY21 and 4QFY21 growth forecasts.

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National debt under Modi govt surges

New Delhi, Nov 30: The Indian economy is forecast to show an average growth of only 0.3 per cent in two years as India enters its first technical recession, GDP could post further decline in 3QFY21.

As per a report by Motilal Oswal Financial Services, “Real GDP declined 7.5 per cent YoY in 2QFY21 (or 3QCY20), worse than our expectation, but better than the market consensus”.

Fiscal spending, consumption plus investments, posted its first major contraction since FY15 and is the worst on record. On the contrary, decline in private spending narrowed to -9.2 per cent in 2QFY21 from -35.4 per cent YoY in 1Q. The government and private sectors are naturally highly interlinked with each other, the report said.

A comparison of India with other major nations suggests India is no longer the worst affected economy — as the Philippines’ real GDP saw double-digit decline in 3QCY20 and decline was also higher in the UK and Mexico.

Due to a weaker-than-expected 2QFY21, we revise down our 3QFY21 and 4QFY21 growth forecasts.

“We now pencil in a decline of 1–2 per cent YoY in 3QFY21 (v/s a negligible decline earlier) and growth of 2–3 per cent YoY in 4QFY21 (v/s +4.2 per cent projected earlier). Accordingly, India’s real GDP is forecast to decline 7.5 per cent YoY in FY21 (v/s the previous forecast of -6.5 per cent ), but grow 8.5 per cent in FY22 (against 7.8 per cent growth expected earlier). This implies average growth of only 0.3 per cent in the two years,” the report said.

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