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Democracy does not begin or end at the polling booth. It takes a committed government and an alert society to make it work. Our passive belief that we are helpless is a self-imposed delusion, for there are ways in which we can engage positively with what we see happening around us. Protests and dissent, if carried out in the right manner, will nourish and strengthen our democracy which has been fraying insidiously. Aakar Patel, writer, activist and chairman of Amnesty International will speak about the methods that are open to us.
The Vijay Nambisan Trust:
The Vijay Nambisan Trust was formed to perpetuate the cause of Humanities in its many spheres. The Vijay Memorial Lecture to be held every year is the first event to be sponsored by the Trust in partnership with the Bangalore International Centre.
About Vijay Nambisan:
One of the best poet-writers of his generation, Vijay Nambisan is known as much for his poetry and prose, as he is for his reclusiveness. He dropped out of IIT Madras in his fourth year of engineering to pursue his love for the written word. He won the first All India British Council Poetry Prize in 1988, worked for a number of years in the literary section of The Hindu and published collections of poetry and prose in his inimitable style. He was married to surgeon and novelist, Kavery Nambisan.
Aakar Patel is a well-known syndicated columnist who has edited English and Gujarati newspapers. He has written several books of non-fiction which include, ‘Why I Write’, A translation of Saadat Hasan Manto’s Urdu non-fiction (Tranquebar, 2014), ‘Our Hindu Rashtra: What It Is. How We Got Here’, a study of majoritarianism in India and Pakistan (Westland, 2020), ‘The Price of the Modi Years’, a history of India after 2014 (Penguin Random House, 2021) and ‘The Anarchist Cookbook’, a guide on why and how to protest (HarperCollins, 2022).
Aakar Patel is Chair of Amnesty International India.