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Prof Aditya Mukherjee delivers Dr Amalendu Guha lecture

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GUWAHATI, June 18 - India is today facing four serious challenges to its very existence. These are � communal fascism, threat to its independence, its poor people being left out from the purview of development and abdication of its knowledge to the developed countries. The intelligentsia of the country should rise against all these maladies instantaneously, or else, tomorrow will be too late, warned noted historian Prof Aditya Mukherjee of the Jawaharlal Nehru University.

Prof Mukherjee was delivering the Third Dr Amalendu Guha Memorial Lecture at the District Library this evening on the challenges to the idea of India. The lecture was jointly organised by the Omeo Kumar Das Institute of Social Change and Development and Dr Amalendu Guha Memorial Lecture Organising Committee. Renowned scholar Dr Hiren Gohain, who is also president of the Memorial Lecture Organising Committee, presided over the function.

Prof Mukherjee, one of the co-authors of the famous India�s struggle for Independence, said communal fascism is trying to erode the scientific temper and to push the Indian society back to the mediaeval period. These forces are also trying to project colonialism as a factor that turned India into a modern nation, contrary to the view of the nationalists that colonialism was a major obstacle for Indian nation building.

The poor people of India are now left out of the vision of development. Nourishment is not accessible for 46 per cent of the Indian children, while one out of three Indian children does not go to school and the current regime in the country is cutting expenditure on education.

�Over and above all these, we are handing over our knowledge generated at the cost of the labour and sweat of our toiling people, to the developed countries,� he said.

Indian nationalists fought to build the Indian nation with the idea of unity amidst diversity, contrary to the Western idea of building nations as homogenised units, bulldozing all the diversities and imposing a homogenised structure of nationalism on their diverse components.

The European model of nation building was monolithic, aggrandizing and expansionist, all of which later led to the rise of Adolf Hitler and Mussolini. The BJP is now borrowing this idea, despite the fact that many countries borrowed the Indian model of unity amidst diversity and of a liberal nation.

The Indian national movement upheld the ideas of sovereignty and anti-imperialism, democracy with adult suffrage and secularism and a pro-people approach, which helped the spread of the Indian national movement to the toiling masses at the grassroots, said Prof Mukherjee.

The situation it created was such that even the BJP had to call it a party of the �Gandhian socialists� at the time of its formation, he said, warning that the legacy of our national struggle is not irreversible. The threat to all the above ideas thrown by the Indian national movement has now come from the communalists, who worked as agents of colonialism, he said.

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Prof Aditya Mukherjee delivers Dr Amalendu Guha lecture

GUWAHATI, June 18 - India is today facing four serious challenges to its very existence. These are � communal fascism, threat to its independence, its poor people being left out from the purview of development and abdication of its knowledge to the developed countries. The intelligentsia of the country should rise against all these maladies instantaneously, or else, tomorrow will be too late, warned noted historian Prof Aditya Mukherjee of the Jawaharlal Nehru University.

Prof Mukherjee was delivering the Third Dr Amalendu Guha Memorial Lecture at the District Library this evening on the challenges to the idea of India. The lecture was jointly organised by the Omeo Kumar Das Institute of Social Change and Development and Dr Amalendu Guha Memorial Lecture Organising Committee. Renowned scholar Dr Hiren Gohain, who is also president of the Memorial Lecture Organising Committee, presided over the function.

Prof Mukherjee, one of the co-authors of the famous India�s struggle for Independence, said communal fascism is trying to erode the scientific temper and to push the Indian society back to the mediaeval period. These forces are also trying to project colonialism as a factor that turned India into a modern nation, contrary to the view of the nationalists that colonialism was a major obstacle for Indian nation building.

The poor people of India are now left out of the vision of development. Nourishment is not accessible for 46 per cent of the Indian children, while one out of three Indian children does not go to school and the current regime in the country is cutting expenditure on education.

�Over and above all these, we are handing over our knowledge generated at the cost of the labour and sweat of our toiling people, to the developed countries,� he said.

Indian nationalists fought to build the Indian nation with the idea of unity amidst diversity, contrary to the Western idea of building nations as homogenised units, bulldozing all the diversities and imposing a homogenised structure of nationalism on their diverse components.

The European model of nation building was monolithic, aggrandizing and expansionist, all of which later led to the rise of Adolf Hitler and Mussolini. The BJP is now borrowing this idea, despite the fact that many countries borrowed the Indian model of unity amidst diversity and of a liberal nation.

The Indian national movement upheld the ideas of sovereignty and anti-imperialism, democracy with adult suffrage and secularism and a pro-people approach, which helped the spread of the Indian national movement to the toiling masses at the grassroots, said Prof Mukherjee.

The situation it created was such that even the BJP had to call it a party of the �Gandhian socialists� at the time of its formation, he said, warning that the legacy of our national struggle is not irreversible. The threat to all the above ideas thrown by the Indian national movement has now come from the communalists, who worked as agents of colonialism, he said.