Freedom of the Mind

It was a memorable visit to the historical city of Gulbarga where I was visiting the PDA College of Engineering. The college had invited me for their first graduation event after becoming autonomous. I spoke to the graduating students about the idea of freedom in the Indian context. I am happy to share the full text of my address here.

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Satya Says
Thursday July 12th 2012

Mr. Bagchi,

Thank you for posting. I have huge respect for you form where you are and what you have done with your life and also enabled a lot of minds from your company. But, I beg to differ here with you.

I do not know how you say we have political and economic freedom!!!

I do not want to sound – “sky is falling, sky is falling etc.”, but let the people know the reality. All of us when kids, are taught the values, principles, but at the same time we are also not informed how harsh the real India is.

Why lie that we have political freedom?

1) We have a prime minister ruling India for over 9 years and we are yet to know what he wants, what his intentions are, how he is going to navigate across in these turbulent time.

2) We have a cabinet rank home minister of India, who says if only West and South were there in India, India would have more developed. Recently adding more bangs – he is saying naxlite problems are only related non congress states.

3) We have a cabinet rank finance minister, who in the history of this nation so far, has run away to become President by giving 50,000 crores of money to UP govt. which known to be one of most corrupt. Why to be the Presient of India?

4) We have a cabinet rank defence minister, who keeps silent when the army is rotting and the army chief is openly crying foul on corruption in having trucks.

5) At the other end, we have another political party of India, whose leader who nurses Prime ministerial ambitions as the destruction or Hindu-Muslim harmonity and presided over the party when once masjid was getting demolished.

What political freedom are we talking of???

Now Why lie that we have economic freedom?

1) We have a leader of the ruling party known to be 2nd most wealthiest political leader by Business Week (over 2 billion in foregin account) and she brings in scemes which are hunting grounds for shoody implementations and corruptions.

2) We have National Planning Commission saying that if a person consumes daily Rs. 28.35 and Rs. 22.42 in urban and rural areas respectively is above the poverty line. Can things be more absurd than that?

With 28 rupees, in a city like Bangalore you do not even get drinking water.

Or is it what economic freedom is about??

3) We have still people (and I have personally seen hearbreakingly) dying of hunger, malnutrition in many parts of India because they can not even affort rice for 2 kgs.

What economic freedom are we talking of???

I believe it is high time that people who are educated, have seen the world should talk of reality facing the nation and let the youngsters know where we are.

It is a crime to mislead. My parents taught me to do everything to do right. And I respect it. But what they did not teach me is – India is country where corruption is rampant, where politicians loot the country at will, where an ex President can not even stop a lady of foreign origin to be the PM and gets awarded a Bharat Ratna, where in each and every step you have to fight it out. I just wish they would have told me so when I was young so I would have more resilient / more determined / more resourceful in tackling these kinds of menaces. Above all, I would have much more prepared and perhaps would have chalked a different path altogether.

It is hightime that people of your caliber speak the facts. As said by Churchill once:

Facts are better than sweet dreams.

Facts make you realize where you stand and where one can go from.

Btw, I doubt if you will allow it to be published – as it is somewhat hardhitting, But we are living in a Nation where the ticking timebomb is waiting to explode.

Economic gap has never been so wider, corruption has never been so efficient and huge; political bed changing had never been so fashionable, ministers after ministers and bureaucrats after bureaucrats were never so adamant in destructing the nation for their frivolous gains..

    Vinay Says
    Thursday July 26th 2012

    Dear Satya:
    Thanks for presenting the facts. However, now that “we” know them, we must muster courage and fight, not just crib about them. I have personally stood for prosperity by right means and stand with everyone in this country who wants to improve his / her life along with atleast one more. Are you game for this? Regards, Vinay

Vinay Says
Saturday July 14th 2012

I believe the date was 11 July 2012. Should also be recorded in the pdf document.

Freedom of mind starts with this – I am born unique, with specific gifts and talents, and that I shall go extra mile to make the difference in someone’s life.

Freedom of mind ends at this – At least one person has changed with my service!

Jayatu Sen Chaudhury Says
Sunday July 15th 2012

Dear Mr Bagchi,

I have always been your ardent fan and treat you as one of the most promising leaders that can guide the young India to move to the next century. Please keep motivating us with your thoughts and writings. Regards Jayatu

Sravan Kalla Says
Tuesday July 24th 2012

Dear Mr. Bagchi,

I have read your article “Freedom of the mind”. It answered many internal questions that I have got about freedom. Thank you sir, for clarifying them. I believe you are one of the most promising leaders of today’s world. Thank you for motivating us with your positive thoughts.

Nandan Kumar Says
Tuesday August 7th 2012

Sir,First of all a lot of respect from the bottom of my heart. Sir can i Publish your article “Go, Kiss the World” after translating in hindi on my Blog.

Shekhar Says
Saturday August 11th 2012

having read a lot of your articles; I have a request.
Some day (and I would wait patiently for that day)you would write on how corruption started as a cascading effect. How I ran short of time, in buying my mother’s medicine and then on my way back home; had to hurry (failing which, my mother would go to sleep)up at the electric office for depositing my bill (it was the last day) and would be left with no other choice but to bribe someone to cut the queue.

Chain of events; all very important; having a strong cascading effect and hence HAD TO BE DONE and end up supporting (or is it promoting?) corruption – myself?

Sincere personal regards,

Jaikishan Says
Saturday October 13th 2012

Thank you Gardener for sharing the speech. Regards.

Siddhartha Bandyopadhyay Says
Thursday August 15th 2013

If we seriously desire for a responsive society, decent political atmosphere, have to put genuine commitment at our own end – as you know most of the communities (such as Bengali or Tamils) in this sub-continent are clutched by ‘Culture of Poverty’ (hopelessness), irrespective of class or economic strata, lives in pavement or apartment. Nobody is ashamed of the deep-rooted corruption in this society by heart, decaying general quality of life, bad Politico-Governance, poor work place, weak mother language, continuous consumption of common Social Space. We love to become parents only by self-procreation (mindlessly & blindfold supported by lame excuses) depriving their(the children) fundamental rights of a caring society, fearless & dignified living. Do not ever search for other positive alternative gesture/values to perform human way of parenthood, i.e. deliberately stop giving birth to any child him/herself here till it improves up to the mark, co-parenting children those are born out of extreme poverty, instead. All of us are driven only by the very animal instinct. If a pure freedom is desired, from vicious cycle of poverty, rotten capitalism need to involve ourselves in ‘Production of Space’ (H. Lefebvre) movement, one big passion to override our inherent ‘hopeless’ mindset, quality Politics would certainly come up. – SB, 16/4, Girish Banerjee Lane, Howrah -711 101.

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