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Speakers

Activist
IAS, Diplomat, Former Governor

Date & Time

Sunday Sun, 11 Aug 2019

Categories

Location

Bangalore International Centre
7, 4th Main Road, Domlur II Stage
Bangalore, Karnataka 560071 India

Gandhi declined an invitation from Dr Bidhan Roy to deliver the Kamala Lecture endowed by Sir Asutosh Mukherjee in 1928, saying, in his reply to Dr Roy, inter alia:

“I have no false modesty about me.  I am undoubtedly a politician in my own way, and I have a scheme for the country’s freedom.  But my time is not yet and may never come to me in this life. If it does not, I shall not shed a single tear.  We are all in the hands of God. I therefore await His guidance.”

“My time is not yet”.  What a remarkable utterance that is!  His “time” did arrive in Bengal and Bihar  in 1946/7. And then in Delhi. He had said, had he not, that he would oppose what he called the “vivisection” of India with his life.  He wanted to die with the dying in that communal frenzy, if he could not stop it. And so, with the words ‘I hate it if I am late’, he rushed to join those who had died – innocents, all of them.  But in the end , strangely, even as death enveloped him, he embraced death, and it was violence that came into Gandhi’s grasp. He will always be ahead of us, ahead of the violence in and around us, there, on the margent of truth, where North and South, Left and Right converge and a pure light alone remains.

Tagore’s great song has the line – jodi alo na dhare…. If no one holds up a torch to show you the way…

Gandhi has held out that alo for all time to light the path for the true.

The School for Democracy:

There is no place where the citizen may go to study and perceive the nature of democracy seen bottom up. Not merely in terms of elections but as a political idiom for justice, equality and greater participation in governance. The School for Democracy hopes to contribute to the further expansion of democratic space in India. By nurturing understanding of the linkages between individual need and policy and governance, it hopes to check authoritarian tendencies and trends.

Speakers

Aruna Roy

Activist

Aruna Roy is a social activist. She was in the Indian Administrative Service from 1968 to 1975. She resigned in order to work with peoples issues. She is a founder and working member of the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS) since 1990.

Aruna Roy is a prominenet member of many campaigns, including the NCPRI, Pension Parishad, PUCL, NAPM etc. She played a key role in incorporating strong citizens entitlements in the recently enacted Right to Information and National Rural Employment Guarantee Acts.. She is also the President of National Federation of Indian Women with over one million members, for the second term. She was a member of the NAC in both its terms. 

She and the MKSS have been the recipient of many awards including the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership in 2000 and the prestigious Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award for Excellence in Public Administration, Academia and Management in 2010. She and the MKSS Collective amongst many other recognitions have received the Nani Palkhiwala Award , the Rule of Law Award in the World Justice Forum held in Barcelona, Spain in June 2011. She was listed as one of the 100 most influential people in the world by the TIME Magazine for 2011.

 

Gopalkrishna Gandhi

IAS, Diplomat, Former Governor

Gopalkrishna Gandhi is a retired IAS officer and diplomat, who was the 23rd Governor of West Bengal serving from 2004 to 2009. He is the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi. As a former IAS officer he served as Secretary to the President of India and as High Commissioner to South Africa and Sri Lanka, among other administrative and diplomatic posts.

Shri Gandhi joined the Indian Administrative Services in 1968 and served as an IAS Officer in Tamil Nadu till 1985. He served as the secretary to the Vice President of India from 1985 to 1987 and as a joint secretary to the President of India from 1987 to 1992. In 1992 he took voluntary retirement from the IAS and became the minister of Culture in High Commission of India, UK and the Director of Nehru Center, London.

In 1996 he was appointed the High Commissioner of India in South Africa and Lesotho. The following year he took up the post of Secretary to the President of India. The year 2002 saw him to be appointed as the High Commissioner of India in Sri Lanka. In 2002 he became the ambassador of India in Iceland and Norway. On 14th December, 2004 he took over as the Governor of West Bengal. He has also authored a play and a novel.