Very likely, it seems!
Rahul in the race for PM?
Very unlikely!
The ruling leading lights shout: It is PM vs. chaos! Opposition unity, a shame!

Defence_aeroplanePolitical issues are getting hotter everyday. Election outcome in 2019 is the major guessing game. There is less and less of tolerance and
Dissidence of any sort is not welcome. Because politics is grabbing of power, raw power at that!

What the people, the voters would show in 2019?

It is always easy to talk of global issues, in a sense. Be it high finance or trade or any other issues. So, we often see the Indian media reports that India would grow at 7.5 % while the world growth might slow down. Anyway such praise comes at times when the country needs some light and energy to life our spirits.

It is only when the Opposition gets its acts together and get the government functioning stalled as it has been happening in recent times, one gets a bit unnerved. After all we are a democracy, more precisely a Parliamentary democracy and that means some imposition of rules and discipline in behaviour in Parliament.

Again, the Opposition has lots of opportunities to disrupt the proceedings of the House and also, if the government is weak in its activities and that too in such high sensitive matters like, say the Rafale deal, then it is most likely the government looks very weak and defenceless and the Opposition seizes the upper hand.

Mr.Rahul Gandhi might not have put the government on fire but he has succeeded by concentrating on only one-point agenda of attacking the
Prime Minister, sometimes, by overdoing the same sort of attacks by over-doing the same.

This only has dented the image of the Central government as one that has lost its track and nothing to show by way of progress on other fronts. For example, the question of corruption is high on the agenda and also other sensitive issues have come to public notice recently. The CBI issues are man-made or systemic?

Surely, the CBI is only   the most critical and also directly under the Prime Minister’s portfolio. Surely this has dented the image of the quality of the Central government. The government acted very late and has led to too much waste of time and energy.

Surely, the PMO must take the blame and it looks the final solution is something that is far away. There can’t be any quick-fix here and the image of corruption and a search for clean image for the PMO is not in sight. The 2019 general elections might have come and gone and much water must have flowed since then.

So, the issue of corruption and also the related issue of the most suspect one is the postponement of the creation of the high office of the Lok Pal.

Really it is galling to imagine why we have showed ourselves as a nation of hypocrites, as people who don’t mean anything when it comes to high corruption when it comes to running our democracy.
The BJP, the main Opposition with a radically different ideology, one that is secular and so on  was harping for a long time an ideology, the
Hindutva that was to give an answer to all the questions, issues and very modern issues of social, economic and cultural perceptions.
Yes, the Congress was otherwise deficient, dynasty-focussed; it put the interests of a family above the larger country. This was a bit repugnant and not giving enough transparent and honestic public conduct.

A great nationalist party of long legitimacy lost its core values for the existence of a family’s interest and also giving rise of a succession of corruptions that became public scandals. Big guns were also involved and yet a weak Prime minister hand-picked from the ranks of bureaucracy and it became evident soon that no among of justifying would hide the fact that the PM candidate himself didn’t know he was chosen but he learnt from other vested interests! One scandal followed the other and in the coal scam, it was the poor bureaucrats, it is alleged, who were made the scapegoats!

The government became so scandalised that in the ensuing elections there were not enough right candidates and the party met with a historic low number.

Now, is the Congress ready to rise up to the new challenges?
It is doubtful it can rise up now. When other Opposition parties, now numbering some 19parties have come out with a show of unity. Yet, the past suspicions have gone away.

These suspicions only showed the absence of some key players.
Mayawati and Akilesh have joined hands. So too, it looks, Lalu Prasad’s RJD. Anyhow, even if Lalu wills his progeny with newly acquired power and opportunity won’t fall for Rahul as the likely Prime Minister and that seems a distant dream!

Surely the time is right, it seems for a new coalition in the 2019 elections and someone other than Rahul might be elevated to lead the country.

And that also seems right given the personality of Narendra Modi whose image, though somewhat dented, has not lost its sheen!

Also, the money power, the electoral funds calculations. Yes, you need funds and big funds and the current scenarios such that the BJP is far above the next party, the Congress is election funds tally.

Given the disenchantment of the moment it is only mature wisdom some new names and new ideas of a new coalition era to give stability and a new direction to the country.

Agriculture distress is only one factor.
The other factors are too many to narrate!

yogisat-696x478A surprise of surprise is the latest move of certain courage on the part of the otherwise submissive bureaucracy to summon up courage, some 83 bureaucrats of high ranks, most of them ex-IAS officers, some really daring  to write to the Prime Minister an open letter and ask the PM to get the UP Chief Minister Yogi Adithyanath  to resign for having caused  the killing of a policeman in Bulandshahr violence and riots over the alleged cow slaughter.

The letter doesn’t mince words, it calls the killing of a government servant as “the most  dangerous turn taken in the direction of politics of hate”. It is really something, given the fear psychosis created by the turn of events in India under Mr.Modi. The bureaucrats, often seen  as a bunch of cowards who always seek government patronage under one pretext or other and who get cushy jobs, assignments of one sort or other and choose to live, why hang on in the comforts of the Lyton bungalow zone. And for them to summon up courage to stand up for some principles is really a very welcome change of psychology.

It has been our consistent view that in India politics had degraded somewhat to a degree that all principles of decency and self-worth gone and anything can be done or justified to seek favours, not from the people in power, even otherwise, from those in some authority, even the part president, the Indian National Congress as one party that had been in power for long had developed a sort of India’s own version of a political oligarchy around the Congress establishment. In which dynastic politics to a culture of clinginess and we see the manifestation of many facets of our behaviour in public life. We talked to many senior leaders in Delhi and they all seem to give the impression of waiting for some job to fall in their lap.

Those who were once top bureaucrats had turned into politicians, as members of the Rajya Sabha or Lok Sabha or even   governors of states, why even the personal security guards had turned into governors!

And lo! You see the most undeserving one had become big shots thanks to the unwisdom of the party presidents and leaders who by just crouching under the chairs of these know-nothings had seen Indian politics descend to some low levels.

We saw these outcomes in the latest election campaigns, the incumber Prime Minister and the leader of Opposition, in this instance, Mr.Rahul Gandhi chose to speak in such abusive languages, vulgar words and unprintable fashion that Indian politics touched a new low, a new bad state of affairs.

One more critical observation we want to make at this point. Mr.Gandhi, soon after he won the three state elections, perhaps unavoidable in the heat and flurry of emotions has started to speak in a sort of revenge that he won’t let the PM sleep and so on in the days and months to come.

This is fine but it, this sort of empty rhetoric must end and a sense of substance in Congress alternatives must emerge, emerge rather too soon.

How long Mr.Gandhi can afford to carry on in this fashion?
Surely, the people too would soon become tired of such emptiness of politics.

In fact, there is every reason to suspect that the people too, the voters in the just concluded elections were clearly became disillusioned with the Prime Minister’s promise of the moon! He promised so much and many of his promises, the list is long and well-orchestrated by the PM’s own self-indulgent haranguing   and the built-up accumulation of all these unfulfilled promises, combined with other contingent events and developments, the UP Chief Yogis’ own contributions in the Bulandshar’s violence and the killing of the policeman and others of the Yogi’s own version of redemption for India had led to the total rout of the BJP.

So, too the other failures.  The CBI is now a meaningless agency as far as the public opinion is concerned. What sort of a doer is the PM, people ask.

If he can’t ensure one important agency, the CBI when it has unleashed its powers to destroy Opposition leaders and that too under the direct administrative powers of the PM?

So too other important agencies like the RBI? Also, the GST, which had
Become a bugbear for a large variety of segments, the MSEs and many other small traders and the poor too.

So, the media too have become a bi bold, the print and the TV channels, specially the pro-PM channels to have started to take up issues and causes that led, in our opinion, the slumbering IAS and other officials of high ranks to summon up courage and write directly an open letter.

So, the BJP, as a party and its satellites, also the PMO with all its powers couldnt produce results and many issues, schemes and welfare programmes remain unimplemented.

Now, the NITI Aayog itself has come out to find fault with the government’s moves to do away with the farm loans waivers. So, at the end of the day, so to say, the Modi government stands not on strong ground but on slippery slope on the eve of the mighty 2019 election game!

So, the agri distress and the solutions remain elusive as we write this column. Agriculture is a vast subject. Vadamalai remains committed to this sector as our very survival. Solutions are too many. It requires a new sense of urgency and commitment.

Let us take time and some inner courage to summon up courage to invite wide consultations.  One instance is agri exports.

There is a decline. From agri exports to MSP to crop insurance there is plenty of work left undone!

Let them read the autobiography of the Indian Nobel Prize winner Venkat Ramakrishnan!

The book’s name: Gene Machine – The race to decipher the secrets of the ribosome.
The book reads like a thriller. The recent autobiography of Venkat Ramakrishnan, Venki to his friends and admirers, the latest winner of the Nobel Prize (for discovering the ribosome, a particle in biological sciences) and also as we understand is the current president of the much prestigious British Royal Society; must be prescribed as a text for study in our schools and colleges.

Nobel Prize winner Venkat Ramakrishnan

Nobel Prize winner Venkat Ramakrishnan

If there is any lesson from that book, it is this: Everything about the Indian education system is wrong, just the very opposite of what Venki says about his life and education and career and the pinnacle of success, the ultimate dazzling success he made! He studied in schools and colleges and all he did it to enter a college in America and got 56 rejections and after that he finds his way to the UK- Cambridge. There in his lab, he discovered something whose name and significance was not known for long and to the surprise of all of his colleagues and scientists – the world over, he won this prestigious prize!

So, we can say now that this is what education means and that it ultimately rewards for your toil and even your leisure time pursuits. He comes from a family where his parents themselves were PhDs! His sister is a PhD and now heads Immunology Department of Medicine, Cambridge. One of his sons is an expert in Western Classical Music (cellist). A Tamil Brahmin, vegetarian, a simple and unassuming looking man, this is a story worth telling many times.

Our current state of education had fallen to its depths; there is everywhere everyday full-page commercial ads tempting innocent parents and children to join one teaching coaching institute or the other. Our education system doesn’t search for talents.

Dead weight of government is holding back growth of IT industry, says Asha Jadeja Motwani, an angel investor from the Silicon Valley. The visiting expert says that the Indian IT ecosystem could grow ten times faster and stronger than the present state, if only the government did not (the bureaucrats sitting in comfortable chairs)come in the way. She says that politicians come and go but the babus are there all the time trying to obstruct and ask questions they don’t really know! They are sitting in positions of power and once they sit in one chair they don’t easily vacate!

We have only to see the recent goings in the top level bodies like the CBI and elsewhere. And also the return of the retired bureaucrats! They too once set foot in the cosy Lutyen bungalow zone; there is no way you can transfer them out! Ms.Motwani asks why the bureaucrats are designated as the IT In-charge when they don’t know what an IT start-up is, they haven’t tried their hands and so it is the actual doers who must guide the start-ups, not the pen-pushers!

Now, education must encourage and promote talents. And talents don’t come easy in the existing Indian environment. There are restrictions and regulations everywhere.  See the mushroom growth of the schools, the CBSE has become a milking cow! To get the licence from the CBSE is a full-time job; there are any numbers of new CBSE schools and also the exams! The much-admired Venki never wrote the GRE and if you don’t have the GRE, no American University would take you in and Venki sent his applications to some 50 universities and all rejected them!

The co-sharer of the Nobel Prize with Venki, Thomas Steitz, who had rejected his application for a research post, was the one who also shared the Nobel Prize! The third one who also shared the Prize was the one; an Israeli Ada Yonath had quarrels with and had a stormy relationship with him!

Indian education must learn words and concepts like E-learning, digitisation in cloud storage, cloud computing etc. There should be digitisation of the classrooms. It is time to act upon. In Bangalore such steps are being talked about. It is also time to teach our youngster to take risk in their learning processes. There is no safe, riskless world around us. Our inaction and lethargy is killing lakhs of students’s dreams and aspirations.

One more request to policy makers. Don’t select education ministers from the common fry! Look out for those who have the courage to take risk for the latest learning opportunities.

Our education eco-system is superficially constructed. Only the skimpy part, the cash-exchange surface is cared about. Yes, what do we care for when we talk of education? It is the money part, the immediate cash-exchange we seem to care about.

Otherwise, who cares for the children in their early years? As per the Global Nutrition Report 2018 – the reality is that a third of the world’s stunted children under five, an estimated 46.6 million who have low height for age – live in India!

eduAnybody cares? Anybody speaks out?  No,not at all!  What does this mean for the education policy makers? Nothing, nothing at all! A quarter of the children display wasting (that is, low weight for height) as well! As the Report reveals, there are wide variations in the stunting levels in various parts of the country. The central and northern states show a high level, respectively 30% to 40% and less than 20% in almost the entire south.

What does reality also mean for other aspects of the children’s health and well-being, the mothers, the food and other needs, the access to these realities, children development institutions, child welfare services and a whole range of services that could make an enormous difference to the future of children?

An education eco-system that really shows any political commitment must start with a range of issues. Our education reform policies must cover to tackle the problem at its roots. Every LKG, UKG School must take care of some of these issues. They must have to care for the feeding and health issues. Any special needs must be attended to. Food and freedom go together. Also, the maternal situation, the mother’s awareness and also the age of marriage and the rights of the ‘girl’ mothers is a grim reality in many backward areas and much more are at stake.

Any genuinely conceived education process must start with these ground realities. We talk about the private sector in education. This at the moment is only concerned with the money-making part! Not taking any more responsibilities! Education Ministers must be more responsible individuals. Education must have more and more women-run and women-centric institutions. In some of the European countries all the pre-school education, why even at the primary levels are manned exclusively by women.

World-wide the issue is now getting attention. UN agencies, UNICEF and World Food Programmes are all at it. There are also many, even thousands of NGOs and social service agencies engaged in providing relief at many levels.

But the coverage is not yet full. The malnutrition and stunted children are the twin challenges to our century’s education issues. Malnutrition kills – some estimated one million deaths every year. Malnutrition wears down the immune system. So, even a common cold could cause the death. Now, the distribution of the packaged food in the form of ‘Plumpy Nut’, a packet butter, dried milk, oil and sugar fortified with extra vitamins and calories introduced in 1996 is said to be very effective. One or two packets a day can restore a child’s health in a few months. Right now, the severe malnutrition has become a big challenge in African countries; Sahel countries face a grim challenge. Yemen, South Sudan-entirely man-made crises, war and drought are the causes. The World Food programmes and UNICEF have the chief responsibility to feed the children.

Exposure to air pollution causes 7 million deaths worldwide every year and costs an estimated $5.11 trillion in welfare losses globally, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said in a report at the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24) in Katowice, Poland.

As for India, we can’t be left without an action plan. What is happening in India? This raises many tough questions. Our education policies are not drawn up with any depth of knowledge of the issues and also any commitment. We have become a talking nation; cheap election rhetoric seems to satisfy many of the thoughtful people even. See the silence in the policy making capital -Delhi – itself suffers from lack of any serious ideas of pollution in the capital. Then where is the time for the stake holders, the occupants of the Lutyen’s bungalow zone!

So, we can’t do more than point out some bitter truths and realities!

Thoughts and thought processes after visiting Rome and Greece historic sites!

chairmanIt is a strange thought and yet it is a thought that I would like to register in the minds of Indians and also for others who might be interested in the study of classical world of Greece and Rome. Classical education at Oxford and Cambridge had shaped the modern world by its civilizational values. Classics education is unique to Western European Universities. Schools in the UK, France, Germany and other countries have nurtured school systems known by various names. We had visited the British Public Schools, the French Lycées and also the schools in Switzerland and Germany.

Each of these countries had evolved their schooling systems by their own historic experiences and also by experiments and by freedoms for individual thinkers. The subject needs much study and research for the Indian education policy makers. Here is only a brief outline.

Just now, we  have ‘celebrated’ the end of the  First World War, also called the Great War, from 1914 to 1918.The one hundred year’s’celebration’ was low key in India. Great Britain, though it is no greater, very little in geographical size has very much reduced in its importance on the rest of the world. There were books and reviews lately as to how we, Indians look at the war. The thousands of men who were sent into the war as sepoys died in thousands by various estimates. One estimate of 70,500 men, mostly uneducated and rural men, largely from Punjab and other states, from the South and elsewhere perished without any trace. The total number of Indians recruited was 1.28 million out of which the high causality was among the Indians. There are various versions and view points from the books.

One book – India, Empire and First World War Culture: Writings, Images and Songs by Santanu Das, Cambridge University Press (Rs.2,145) and another volume by George Morton-Jack, called The Indian Empire at War: From Jihad to Victory, The Untold Story of the Indian Army in the First World War (Little, Brown, Rs.699).

The two books alone, if taken as representative in their view points, one hides the harsh facts, racial slurs, as the soldiers were treated at the Royal Pavilion in Brighton; the British given the times in which the War came about, in1914, kept a stiff upper lip, as though they were doing a favour for the injured and the sick and much else was hidden from the public view. Even today there is very little on the controversial issues.

The other book at least tries to say much about the unjust war and how the Indians were unwillingly thrust into the conflicts that were unsung and untalked about. This happened more so, ironically inside India, inspite of the active role played by our leaders. Morton-Jack touches upon “the glaring injustice done to the colonialized people, fighting and dying for a cause that were not remotely their own”. The total impression we get is that the Brits were unapologetically Raj apologists and even now, after the Brits had lost their empires there is no sign they feel regretful for what they did to the Indian Empire causalities.

How about in India?
The most saddening thing is that the end of the ‘Great War’ didn’t mean anything to the Indians, both the general public as well as the guilty men at the top levels. There are any numbers of monuments inside India, as they are also outside, in France and elsewhere. In Bangalore and Madras, to cite the nearby monuments, also in Delhi, the India Gate, the only monument of all India significance and that there were not anything else to mourn about the great sacrifices made by the unfortunate Indian sepoys in the far-off lands.

Do we have any history in our schools and colleges that remind us what India went through? Sadly, no! I doubt very much about the sensibilities of the Indian people for their past sacrifices from our own experiences during our freedom struggle; from 1885 when the Congress was established, from Dadabhai Naoroji or R.C.Dutt; from the Swadeshi movement; or from 1904 to 1914 when Gandhi returned from South Africa and the other events like the gruesome Amritsar massacre.

Why did the Amritsar massacre evoke a much more critical attitude towards the British treachery? Talking about the British treachery, I am not sure whether Indians know about the British own past, the rarely mentioned, let alone discussed, the British own trait of perfidious Albion. Yes, we not even felt needed the character like Robert Clive who practiced this perfidy, first in Arcot, then in Plassey. Once the British started occupying territory, they forgo their trade and became fully traitors; another like Dalhousie practiced this trait ruthlessly.

In a page by Santanu Das there is a “trenchant critique of Gandhi who had zealously participated in the recruitment campaign while continuing to preaching the doctrine of non-violence! So, we didn’t understand a thing about the Great War, right? We have to say so and it needs much debate and discussion, even the Gandhi-Tagore correspondence has much to shed light on the sensitivities displayed by the two great men of the times.

Romain Rolland (29 January 1866 – 30 December 1944) was a French dramatist, novelist, essayist - awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1915

Romain Rolland (29 January 1866 – 30 December 1944) was a French dramatist, novelist, essayist – awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1915

Gandhi’s own doctrines evolved over the years, no doubt, but the contradictions in the outlook of the Indian leaders was conditioned by their own times. Their understanding of the outside world, the past histories of mankind, in Europe and elsewhere were severely limited. The Indian awakening was all there to play roles to make Indians to exist in such dark times. There were men like SwamiVivekananda and Sri Aurobindo Ghose and others but the political awakening was very limited.

Our English-speaking classes were, it seems, were confined to a very narrow world of jobs and survival or caught in our own spiritual past and did not have the secular concerns. This was a world where Indians were not exposed to the great glories of the civilizations, from Greece to Rome and of the later times. Even the best of the Indian leaders, many of them, highly learned and scholarly, also were misled or were plainly ignorant. They did have only a limited knowledge of the outside world. Their knowledge and education didn’t touch upon the lives of great thinkers and philosophers, from Socrates to Plato or even later times to the great European thought. Hegel and Kant- no one seemed to have had any knowledge or interest. The great British Universities were very self-absorbed. Europe was cut off from India and China. The rise of sciences and the critical thinking, Voltaire and Rousseau were outside the reach of the Indians. They were steeped in total darkness.

British Empire, the Portuguese and the French and other European powers thrived on imperialist competition and land-grabbing. Of course, Indians were sinking in darkness and superstitions. Awakening came much later, Bengal Renaissance was the beginning. I was a loner at Oxford, my background was utterly different. Only after I went to Oxford in 1959, I really started to learn afresh much about the positive strengths and their weaknesses too.

An innate belief in the superiority of the British race must have contributed to overall Indian attitudes towards the ruling white race, also in the belief of the superior wisdom of the Indian official class, the ICS and why even the Indian subordinate staff in the various
government departments.

Luckily, I went to a nationalist school; ironically the foundation stone was laid by none other than the great soul – Mahatma Gandhi. Also, the Ramakrishna Mission School imbibed the ideals of Swami Vivekananda and so there was a streak of nationalist pride in us, the boys in the school. Added to this spirit was my later joining the Shantiniketan and from then onwards I was growing very differently from the rest of the Indian crowd. Now, the critical times came my way during my getting into Oxford by an unorthodox manner may be;  the Warden of New College, Sir William Goodenough Hayter, was a former British Ambassador to the then Soviet Union. He must have wanted to give India some importance and so he just admitted me once I started writing letters seeking admission to Oxford.

Now, I landed up at Oxford from a village and my background was rural gentry etc. and from then on, I wanted to learn things my way. My College was a quite well-established one, some 700 years of history and there was strong academic background. Some of my British friends were fresh from Eton, the great English Public School. And once when I mentioned the name of Thucydides, the great Greek historian who wrote the famous book on The Peloponnesian  War ( B.C.431), my British Eton College friend started to recite in chaste Greek language – the funeral speech of the great Greek statesman and general, Pericles! This surprised me and inspired me beyond description.Only then I came to learn more about Greece and, later, Rome.There are at Oxford certain academic courses about which no one in India, I am certain had even heard about.

The most rated course at Oxford is the ‘Greats’, the study of Latin and Greek languages and literatures. There are any numbers of scholarships to pursue these courses at Oxford. There are also many combinations with literature, history and philosophies. To make things easy for others, certain other courses are also there, most notably, the ‘modern Greats’, Philosophy, Politics and Economists, the famed PPE! I joined the PPE. Soon I learnt the Oxford ways. I joined the Oxford Debating Union and at the very first meeting I made a speech and got favourable reviews. I joined other student clubs too, Oxford Poetry Club, Oxford Labour Club and some others. It was a three-year course but I was given an exemption after I got First in M.A.in India, at Visva-Bharati. Otherwise, I should have had studied the French language!

The serious point here is that after I bought a pocket edition of the Peloponnesian War, translated by the famed scholar, Livingstone, I started to read more about Greece and Rome.There is a tradition in Oxford that students plan to travel to Rome and Greece over land, by travelling by hitchhiking and otherwise and I was also planning a trip while at Oxford. There was money and time and yet for some unknown reasons that trip didn’t materialize.

But now looking back, some 60 odd years, my life’s fulfillment of seeing Rome and Greece came my way, thanks to propitious circumstances. I was able to realise my dreams that I went with my family and we stayed longer than we anticipated. We spent enough time and explored almost all the historic sites and other monuments.

There were  many pleasant encounters too! Sometimes our tourist guide, a pleasant lady, used to look out for us, “the English speaking 5-member family, please wait, I will speak to you separately, as you already know more about this history”, as she was speaking to the
French, German and other European language visitors asking us to stand aside so that she could speak to us separately for she found out that we were the well-read and more eager to know more details!

The serious point I want to make here is that unfortunately, we in India, have been fed on the Macaulay system of education that limited Indians to learn English language only for becoming clerks in various British establishments. The ICS fellows too fell only in this category of obedient and subservient servants of the British colonial masters, right?

Other many more thoughts of much gravitas are: A whole lot of many generations of Indians, starting from the establishment of the East India Company in AD.1600 onwards, we the so-called English educated Indians, from the time of the great Raja Ram Mohan Roy, onwards were not even aware of what the study of Greece and Rome meant for the British ruling classes. The British, the aristocratic upper crust, imagined themselves to have cast in the ancient Greek and Roman multi-touch – Robert Clive started at the bottom of the social order, soon others, the Lords and Earls and other titled names added their own names to the ruling elite! Once the Brits learnt to grab territories in India, Robert Clive’s first victory at Arcot in Madras Presidency to Plassey battle in 1757 where, they also learnt to keep Indians’ ignorance of the great histories of the past. Greece and Rome were of no use for Indian subjects.

An educated Indian must have become an enlightened Indian. Alas! This had never happened. The more colonies the Brits occupied and ruled the more they kept the special secrets of Empire, Imperialism to themselves. Pericles, Julius Caesar and many others and the great battles of the past, the Italian Renaissance, the French Revolution, the European Enlightenment all stayed outside the concerns of the Indians. The maharajas were worse in their ignorance and self-indulgence.

They were strictly kept out of any learning processes or learning any lessons! So, readers can find now, as we submit humbly, that even our great leaders of such stature, Rajaram Mohan Roy of the Bengal Renaissance, even Rabindranath Tagore and Mahatma Gandhi and why even the modern-minded Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, I submit, operated in a world that was much richer and deeper in many spheres of the working of the man’s mind and reflections.

Rabindranath Tagore, FRAS (7 May 1861 – 7 August 1941), Writer, song composer, playwright, essayist, painter- the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913

Rabindranath Tagore, FRAS (7 May 1861 – 7 August 1941), Writer, song composer, playwright, essayist, painter- the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913

Alas! Indians missed the many opportunities. Robert Clive, started as a clerk in Madras, rose to become the empire’s greatest achiever! It was only after the battle of Plassey, the British had a taste of the Indian booty and the upper classes, the aristocrats started one Oxford College alone, namely the Balliol which sent out some 23 Viceroys! They were taught Plato as their bible, the one who took so much pride in such achievement was the College Warden, Benjamin Jowett. Indians remained outside their charmed circles. So, we leave the readers at this point, though it is time that we also start learning more on this Perfidious Albion and their treacherous empire-building tales with much more critical eyes than we were fed by the conventional histories descending on India.

What all destructions they had caused; the great famines and pestilence and starvations and deaths on such vast scales. Starting from Clive and ending with the bulldog, Winston Churchill. It is time we start afresh.

We have to recast our education system upside down!We have to teach classics, all the great works of great philosophers, thinkers, ancient histories to European Enlightenment.

Even the great Tagore, in his conception and articulation of a world University, the Visva-Bharati, saw West and East only in modern Europe and modern Asia. So too, others! Though Tagore invited and got great western thinkers like the French saint Sylvain Levi and other Europeans, they too didn’t see the relevance of classical education of Greece and Rome as basic foundations and the Greek philosophy and ancient democracy, Roman law and
Republican virtues.