A letter Full of Agony

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

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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Ramoji Rao Garu - a multifaceted persona
June 09, 2024

The last several days have been very busy for those in the world of politics and media…the Lok Sabha elections have just concluded and now we are in the midst of preparations of Government formation for the third consecutive term. At such a time, I received the painful news of the passing away of Ramoji Rao Garu. This loss feels extremely personal, considering the close nature of our interactions.

When I think of Ramoji Rao Garu, I recall a multifaceted luminary whose brilliance had no parallel. He hailed from an agrarian family and went on to make a mark in diverse worlds- cinema, entertainment, media, agriculture, education and governance. But what remained common during his entire life journey was his humility and connect with the grassroots. These traits endeared him to a broad spectrum of people.

Ramoji Rao Garu revolutionised the media space. He set new standards for integrity, innovation and excellence. He moved with the times and he moved ahead of the times too. At a time when newspapers were the most prevalent source of news he started Eenadu. In the 1990s, when India embraced the world of TV, he got off the mark with ETV. By venturing into channels in non-Telugu languages as well, he showed remarkable commitment to boosting the spirit of ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’.

Beyond his professional achievements, Ramoji Rao Garu was passionate about India's development. His efforts extended beyond the newsroom, impacting educational, business and social causes. He was a firm believer in democratic principles and this fighting spirit was best seen when the Congress Party harassed the great NTR and unceremoniously dismissed his Government in the 1980s. At that time the Congress was in power in the Centre and in Andhra Pradesh, but he was not someone to be scared…he resisted these undemocratic attempts tooth and nail.

I am fortunate to have had several opportunities to interact with him and benefit from his wisdom. I deeply valued his views on diverse issues. Since my days as Chief Minister, I have received valuable insights and feedback from him. He was always keen to know about good governance efforts especially in agriculture and education in Gujarat. Sometime in 2010, he invited me to Ramoji Film City. During that interaction, he was curious to know more about Gujarat’s efforts to establish a Children’s University, as he felt that such a concept was unheard of previously. His encouragement and support were always unwavering. He would always make it a point to ask about my wellbeing. In 2012, when I had the opportunity to become the Chief Minister for the 4th time, he sent me a very touching letter, expressing joy.

When we began the Swachh Bharat Mission, he was one of the strongest votaries of this effort, supporting it personally and through his media network. It is stalwarts like Ramoji Rao Garu who ensured that we are able to fulfil Mahatma Gandhi’s dream in record time and also ensure dignity to crores of fellow Indians.

I consider it a matter of great pride that it was our Government which had the honour of conferring the Padma Vibhushan upon him. His courage, resilience and dedication will continue to inspire generations. From his life, the younger generation can learn how to turn obstacles into opportunities, transform challenges into triumphs, and convert setbacks into stepping stones for success.

Since the last few days, Ramoji Rao Garu was ailing and even in the midst of the election related activities, I used to enquire about his health. I am sure he would have been very happy to see our Governments take oath and hit the ground running, be it at the Centre, or in Andhra Pradesh under the leadership of my friend, Chandrababu Naidu Garu. We will keep working to fulfil his vision for our nation and society. As we mourn Ramoji Rao Garu’s passing, my heartfelt condolences go out to his family, friends, and countless admirers. Ramoji Rao Garu will forever remain a beacon of inspiration.

This is a translation of the original piece published in Eenadu: