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Former Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran Laments “Diminishing Idea of India”

Shyam Saran's book 'How India Sees the World' was released on Wednesday. (File photo)

Shyam Saran's book 'How India Sees the World' was released on Wednesday. (File photo)

Former foreign secretary Shyam Saran's article ‘Business Standard’ is trending on Twitter. In his article “The diminishing idea of India”, he speaks about Dadri, A R Rahman and many other recent controversies and incidents.

New Delhi: Former foreign secretary Shyam Saran's article ‘Business Standard’ is trending on Twitter. In his article “The diminishing idea of India”, he speaks about Dadri, AR Rahman and many other recent controversies and incidents.

Some of the important Points from his article

“If we value the idea of India we must not only Make in India but defend the idea of India too”, he writes.

“When one reads of what happened to a fellow citizen Mohammad Akhlaq, brutally lynched to death in a village not far from the nation's capital; when one hears of churches being burnt or Dalits being hacked to death; when one sees our country's profound ancient wisdom being vulgarised into political slogans, when one witnesses fanaticism drowning out the songs of love and compassion which is our precious Sufi heritage, there is deep fear for the future”, he writes about the rising level of intolerance.

“We must regain the space for liberal values and common humanity that has been encroached upon by those whose idea of India is no idea at all. We must not lose India to those who would drive one of its greatest painters, MF Husain into exile and those who demand an apology from A R Rahman for doing what he does best, make beautiful music”, he questions moral policing.

“Once boundaries are set to define what is permissible and what is not; once every prejudice of the most bigoted in each community must be pandered to for keeping the peace, would it be possible to maintain the creative ambience which made our land the repository of the most sublime music, the most incredible sculpture, the most profound literature in a variety of languages and a highly developed and subtle understanding of aesthetics? There are exhortations to instil in us pride in our ancient culture - but there is little understanding of the openness of mind which has made the culture great and allowed it to flourish over centuries, recreating and regenerating itself after every phase when the lights became dim and feeble”, Saran writes.

first published:October 07, 2015, 15:14 IST