Group of Intellectuals and Academicians (GIA) has m registered its not – to- be – missed presence in the academic and intellectual circles of the country by working tirelessly for almost a year for the society by being sensitive to all the current happenings shaking the collective psyche.
The one-year-old baby GIA celebrated its First Anniversary Programme on 6th May 2016 at Hansraj College, University of Delhi. The Chief Guest of the programme was Manniya Krishan Gopal ji, the Sah Sarkaryawah of RSS, Guest of Honour Geeta Munde ji and keynote Speaker, Monika Arora ji.
The programme commenced with the introduction of GIA by Dr. Poonam Kumaria who not only spoke about the objective and mission of GIA but very ably synchronized the various achievements of this vibrant women group. The group is actively engaged in organizing seminars, activities and discussions on sensitive issues concerning society like the case of judicial hanging of Yakub Memon, JNU issue and respond to other concerns of social security and national integration.
Monika Arora, the Keynote Speaker of the programme and the Convener of GIA, spoke in her immaculately aggressive style about the rich idea of nationalism prevalent in the Indian society when other civilizations had not even seen the light of day. She lamented the loss of patriotism as exhibited in the JNU incidence and the expression of grief of the judge writing the bail order of Kanhaiya.
Roaringly she challenged those teachers who have been trying to pollute ideas of students through JNU type Pathshalas and divide the states in the name of religion, customs and traditional practices. She warned them to beware as we are a unified cohesive body and not different pieces of a dice that can easily be broken and divided.
She asserted that India is a land of diversity not in the sense of geographical variation but because of the presence of multi-races and languages in the country which have been surviving and flourishing since ages. Further making a reference to our ancient glorious civilization, she continued that when other countries were struggling with their search for fuel to cook their raw food, India had already created rich literature like that of Vedas. She further shared about how even Muslim dominated countries like Indonesia have been inspired by the Indian ideology, religion and the concept of Vedas and that’s why they still worship Ganesha and Sarswati as their deities of knowledge, and even named their airlines as Garuda .
The brilliant speech of Monika Arora ji was followed by an enlightening exuberant lecture of Krishna Gopal ji, a true nationalist and Seh Sarkaryawah in RSS, a fluent speaker, a w ell-read man with perfect expression, informally called, ‘Bhai ji’ or ‘Gopal ji’. As a social reformer especially in the area of tribal upliftment, he began his speech with the concept of ‘Nation’ which according to him is not an Indian notion but a perception which comes with the differences and the policy of ‘Divide and rule’ by British imperialism. As the manipulators of economic, geographical, cultural and political resources of the country, the British introduced the one-nation concept as if we were not a nation before.
Going into the etymology of ‘Nation’ (formation of colonies for others), he went on to explain that the term is related to intolerance and exploitation which is not the trait of India. According to him, Poland, Ireland, USSSR and MNCs are the best examples of this division and colonization which flourished because of diversity on the basis of religion, custom, language and colour. We may have limited resources but our personal harmony enables us to maintain unity and strength.
He further elucidated that the idea of ‘Nation’ is nothing but of division and forming colonies on the basis of caste, creed, colour, race, religion and histor y. He further emphasized that India has sustained its religions, scriptures, historical glory and its traditions, blending even with other religions. In spite of many foreign attacks Indians did not lose its identity or disappear like European nations as Indian society did not believe in the uprooted principles of life. It was possible as Indian soil did not just give birth to kings but to some great spiritual leaders too who made humanity fertile and cherished its people with love. Tukaram, Gurunanak De v, Namde v, Kabir, Vivekanand, Dayanand Saraswati and hundreds of other names could be cited to prove it.
After presenting his thoughts on Indian ideology, he very beautifully elaborated the meaning of Vande Matram, which he termed as not mere two words but encompassing and signifying the history of India, which has the richness of the preaching’s of Krishna in Shrimadbhagwad Gita to sustain the spirituality of India.
He elaborated on the concept of Namaskar also which is a symbol of Indian tradition which means ‘we accept everyone wholeheartedly’ and acceptance and salutation to the godly presence within everyone, not as a sign of weakness or being inferior by bending. He quoted widely from Rig Veda, Buddha, Tagore, Vivekanand and even Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
After Krishan Gopal ji, the Guest of Honour of the programme, Geeta Munde ji expressed her concern on the issue of disinterestedness of women in dealing with and responding to pertinent issues like nationalism. Focusing on the role of women throughout her presentation, she thanked GIA for its marvelous efforts in generating intellectual interest in the society about these issues by involving academician and intellectual women through movements and discussions. Concluding her speech, she outstretched a concern about maximizing w omen ’s participation in society and the big responsibility on the shoulders of organizations like GIA.
Congratulations to all GIAites, especially Monika Arora ji and Lalita Nijhawan ji for leading the baby GIA to newer heights! Expectations of the society are also soaring to take it further to cover many miles and reach innumerable milestones!
DR. PRERNA MALHOTRA
The writer is an Assistant Professor, RLA College, University of Delhi