A letter Full of Agony

Published By : Admin | May 8, 2010 | 08:58 IST
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Friends,

Few days back, a book named "Saamajik Samrasata", based on my speeches and articles was dedicated to people.

Today I received a letter full of agony from the Dalit author of the book and my close friend Kishor Makwana.

I am trying to convey agony of a dalit to you all, through this blog medium. The full text of Shri Kishore Makwana's letter... 

Dear All,

I am writing this letter to acquaint you with the following facts:

I was born in a Dalit family. My life is full of oppression and deprivation the Dalits have faced for centuries. It is therefore natural for one to express the feelings of pangs the Dalits experience. I am lucky to have fought and overcame the circumstances and am in a profession to write and express.

I have witnessed Chief Minister Shri Narendra Modi's thoughts and deeds from close quarters for two-and-a-half decades. He has devoted his life in the service of the oppressed and the last man in the last mile. His task is making the Dalits economically self-reliant, free them from exploitation and establish the rule of equanimity, 'samras-ekras', in the state. In a way, his efforts are directed at realizing the dreams of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar. I have not seen any bias or prejudice in Shri Modi's thoughts and deeds. I felt it as my duty to publicize his sense of duty before the public at large through writings and speeches. It was the manifestation of such thinking that the book, titled 'Samajik Samrasta', was created. This is not my first book. I have published 13 books, including that on Birsa Munda, Sant Ravidas, 'Samar-Nahi-Samrasta', Rashtrabhakta Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar and Swami Vivekanand.

It was a matter of pride for me that my fourteenth book, 'Samajik Samrasta' was dedicated to the public at a function on April 26, 2010 at 6.30 p.m. in presence of Swami Sacchidanand, Chief Minister Shri Narendra Modi and noted poet-writer Suresh Dalal.

The entire function was conducted in full glory and decorum. It received rave reviews in the media. It was the most eventful day and memorable event for a Dalit creative writer like me. But the brightest pages were blackened by the Congress party, with an intention to malign a Dalit. Shri Modi did not speak ill about the community in his speech, but the Congress reacted by putting imaginary words into Shri Modi's mouth which he did not utter. It exposed the Congress leaders' attempt to malign a solemn function to mark social equality with lies.

The Congress' lies have hurt not only my feelings and that of Shri Modi but also of the entire Dalit community. The video recording and transcripts are available on the website and DVD for anybody to watch.

The editor of leading English daily 'The Hindu', Shri N. Ram, has also exposed the Congress leaders' feigning concern for the Dalits.

We cannot expect anything better from the Congress party, which had insulted Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar throughout his life, and had always used Dalits as vote-bank. Dr Ambedkar had wanted a casteless society, but the Congress continued to sow the seeds of hatred among different castes and races ever since its inception.

Dr Ambedkar's book on what the Congress did for the untouchables is worth reading. It chronicles and describes a number of events that uncovers the true face of anti-Dalit Congress. The people of Kavitha village in the Ahmedabad district had once outcast untouchables. Dr Ambedkar came to Kavitha and intervened. Instead of asking the upper caste people to take the untouchables along, the Congress leaders asked the untouchables to leave the village. When he had arrived from Mumbai at Kalupur railway station, the Congressmen heaped insults on him by waving black flags.

There are a number of such occasions of political parties like the Congress inflicting mental injuries on Dr Ambedkar, using the Dalits as vote-bank. Instead of alleviating the pains of the oppressed-deprived-exploited-suppressed Dalits, the Congress had only spread rumours and canards against thoughtful people like Shri Narendrabhai Modi fighting for the cause of the Dalits. It is perhaps natural for the Congress to express vengeance against them who oppose the formers' anti-Dalit policies.

I would also like to take this opportunity to draw your attention to vested interests and the need to recognise such divisive forces bent on maligning Shri Modi for the last eight years.

I am conveying my views through this letter and expect you to share the views in the same spirit.

With thanks,

Yours truly

Kishore Makwana,

Editor of book 'Samajik Samrasta' Editor of periodical 'Namaskar'.


Yours,

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India’s 100 crore-and-counting Covid vaccine doses show what people’s participation can achieve
October 22, 2021
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India completed vaccination of 100 crore doses on October 21 in about nine months since starting vaccination. The journey from anxiety in early 2020 to assurance has happened, and India has emerged stronger, thanks to the world's largest vaccination drive.

It has been a truly Herculean, bhagirath effort involving multiple sections of society. For any effort to attain and sustain speed and scale, trust of all stakeholders is crucial. One reason for a successful campaign was the trust that people developed in the vaccine and the process followed, despite various efforts to create mistrust and panic. There are some who only trust foreign brands. However, when it came to something as crucial as the Covid-19 vaccine, Indians unanimously trusted

'Made in India' vaccines. This is a significant paradigm shift.

All for One, and One for All

India's vaccine drive is an example of what India can achieve if the citizens and the government come together with a common goal in the spirit of people's participation, or jan bhagidari. Initially, many doubted the capabilities of 130 crore Indians. Some said India would take 3-4 years, while others doubted people coming forward to get vaccinated. There were those who said there will be gross mismanagement and chaos, while others doubted India's ability to manage supply chains.But just like the 2020 national lockdown - janta curfew - and subsequent lockdowns, the people showed how spectacular the results can be if made trusted partners.

When everyone takes ownership, nothing is impossible. There was a lot of pressure from different interest groups to give preferential treatment to them in vaccination. But GoI ensured that there is no VIP culture in the vaccination drive.

In early 2020, it was clear to us that this pandemic will have to be eventually fought with the help of vaccines. We started preparing early. We constituted expert groups and started preparing a roadmap right from April 2020. Till today, only a handful of countries have developed their own vaccines. More than 180 countries are dependent on an extremely limited pool of producers, and dozens of nations are still waiting for the supply of vaccines.

Imagine if India did not have its own vaccine. How would India have secured enough vaccines for such a large population? How many years would that have taken? It is here that credit should be given to Indian scientists and entrepreneurs for rising to the occasion. It is due to their talent and hard work that India is truly aatmanirbhar when it comes to vaccines. Our vaccine manufacturers, by scaling up to meet the demands of such a large population, have shown that they are second to none.

GoI has been an accelerator and enabler of progress. It partnered with vaccine-makers right from day one, and gave them support in the form of institutional assistance, scientific research, funding, as well as accelerated regulatory processes. All ministries came together to facilitate and remove any bottlenecks as a result of the 'whole of government' approach.

In a country of the scale of India, it is not enough to just produce. Focus has to be on last-mile delivery and seamless logistics. To understand the challenges involved, imagine the journey taken by one vial of vaccines. From a plant in Pune or Hyderabad, the vial is sent to a hub in any of the states, from where it is transported to the district hub. From there, it reaches a vaccination centre. This entails the deployment of thousands of trips taken by flights and trains. During this entire journey, the temperature has to be maintained in a particular range that is centrally monitored.

We are the Nation

For this, over 1 lakh cold-chain equipments were utilised. States were given advance notice of the delivery schedule of the vaccines so that they could plan their drives better and vaccines reached them on the pre-decided days. This has been an unprecedented effort in the history of independent India.

All these efforts were complemented by a robust tech platform in CoWIN. It ensured that the vaccine drive was equitable, scalable, trackable and transparent. This ensured that there was no scope for favouritism or jumping the queue. It also ensured that a poor worker could take first dose in his village and the second dose of the same vaccine in the city where he works, after the required time interval. In addition to a real-time dashboard to boost transparency, the QR (quick response)-coded certificates ensured verifiability. There are hardly any examples of such efforts not only in India but also the world.

In my 2015 Independence Day address, I had said that our country is moving ahead because of 'Team India', and this 'Team India' is a big team of our 130 crore people. People's participation is the biggest strength of democracy. If we run the country through the participation of 130 crore Indians, our country will be moving ahead 130 crore steps every moment. Our vaccination drive has yet again showed the power of this 'Team India'. India's success in its vaccination drive has also demonstrated to the whole world that 'democracy can deliver'.

The success achieved in the world's largest vaccination drive should further spur our youth, our innovators and all levels of government to set new benchmarks of public service delivery that will be a model not only for our country, but also for the world.