'LIVING POLITICS: WHAT INDIA HAS TAUGHT ME'
     
CAMPAIGN TRAIL, The 2014 Lok Sabha Election

3/18/2014 12:00:00 AM: "As a country, our roots are deeply embedded in the philosophy of liberalism. Liberal values define India’s ideals, and we at the Congress party are proud to be some of the most passionate advocates for them. We are fully committed to democratic principles of transparency and inclusiveness, unlike many others who simply pay lip service to liberal values that they never intend to uphold.

Years back, when India attained freedom, we were a nation that went into celebration and mourning at the same time. India was free, but still under siege by a vicious ideology of intolerance, the ideology of RSS. It was this intolerance that took Mahatma Gandhi from us and the heartrending words of Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru – “The light has gone out of our lives…” – still echo in our minds whenever we remember that painful day. We were a nation destroyed, but not defeated. As custodians of a newborn nation that had just lost its father, we had the great responsibility to protect our glorious liberal traditions that were under threat.

Our moment of triumph came when we scripted India’s Constitution and ensured that our people enjoy real freedom. Thanks to our Constitution, every Indian today has the freedom of speech and expression, the freedom to assemble peacefully, the freedom to form associations or unions, the freedom to move freely throughout India, the freedom to settle in any part of India and the freedom to practice any profession. We’re immensely proud of our success in preserving India’s liberal values. India today is the proud inheritor of a way of life that adopts the best democratic ideals the world has to offer. Our liberalism is about accepting the world with open arms without letting it affect our basic values as people. These liberal values are what set us apart in the community of nations today and make us a cultural superpower.

We’re immensely proud of our success in preserving India’s liberal values. India today is the proud inheritor of a way of life that adopts the best democratic ideals the world has to offer. Our liberalism is about accepting the world with open arms without letting it affect our basic values as people. These liberal values are what set us apart in the community of nations today and make us a cultural superpower.

Our liberal ideology is evident in the words of our leaders. When the rights of our LGBT community were struck down by a court, Sonia Gandhi said: “We are proud that our culture has always been an inclusive and tolerant one...I hope that Parliament will address this issue and uphold the Constitutional guarantee of life and liberty to all citizens of India, including those directly affected by this judgment.”

"My Fellow Citizens,

I address you today for the last time as Prime Minister of India. Ten years ago, when I was entrusted with this responsibility, I entered upon it with diligence as my tool, truth as my beacon and a prayer that I might always do the right thing. Today, as I prepare to lay down office, I am aware that well befpore the final judgement that we all await from the Almighty, there is judgement in the court of public opnion that all electyed officials and govermnets are reuired to submit themselves to. Fellow citizens, each one of us should respect the judgement that you have delivered. The just concluded elections have deepened the foundations of our democratic polity. As I have said on many occasions, my life and tenure in public office are an open book. I have always tried to do my best in serving this great nation of ours. In the last ten years, we as a country have seen many successes and achievements that we should be proud of. Today, India is a far stronger country in every respect than it was a decade ago. I give credit for these successes to all of you. However, there is still vast latent development potential in our country and we must collectively work hard to realize it.

As I leave office, my abiding memory will be the love and kindness that I have always received from you. I owe everything to this country, this great land of ours where I, an underpriviliged child of Partition, was empowered enough to rise and occupy high office. It is both a debt that I will never be able to repay and a decoration that I will always wear with pride.

Friends, I am confident about the future of India. I fimly believe that the emrgence of India as a mayor powerhouse of the evolving global economy is an idea whose time has come. Blending tradition with modernity and unity with diversity, this nation of ours can show the way forward to the world. Serving this nation has been my privilige, There is nothing more that I could ask for.

I wish the incoming government every success as it embarks on its task and pray for even greater successes for our nation".

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Feeling Europe had the privilige to be present at a lecture by Sonia Gandhi: “Living Politics, What India has taught me”. The lecture was organised by Nexus Institute in 2007. In the announcement Nexus wrote:

“As president of the Indian National Congress and chairman of the governing coalition, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA*) Sonia Gandhi act at this moment as an influential national and party leader. She fights for the preservation of India as a secular state with a democratic government, as a tolerant society which combines compassion with competence, equity with excellence. She started political reforms concerning the combat of poverty and social discrimination, with a strong feeling of justice as motive and believe in human dignity. In her role as politician, she bridges ethnic, religious and cultural boundery lines in India and she strives after maintenance and advancements of the humanistic and pluralistic heritage of Mahatma Gandhi.”

I recognize many similar political and social ideals. The personal toned lecture of the influential national and party leader strengthens that opinion. The sovereign social secular democratic republic is pluriform, like a thali.  Also resembling  phylosophies of life are present: cherishing values, ethos (practical skills and wisdom, virtue and goodness, goodwill towards the audience) and developing inner person, so that the human beings lives in harmony with other human beings, with Nature and with the rest of creation.

Sonia Gandhi lecture

“Living Politics, What India has taught me”:

Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who renounced Prime Ministership after 2004 polls, said India has taught her that “politics is not just the art of possible, it can also be the art of the impossible”. ”The plain fact is that power for itself has never held any attraction for me. My aim in politics has always been to do whatever I can in my own way to defend the secular democratic foundation of our country and to address the concerns and aspirations of the many whose voice often remains unheard”.

Gandhi prefaced her remark by saying that she has often been asked why she turned down the Prime Ministership after being unanimously elected as the party leader in parliament. "I always knew in my heart that if I ever found myself in that position I would decline the post of Prime Minister," she said adding that she told her colleagues that "it was dictated by my inner voice".

Indeed that voice has been my wisest guide in my political life," she said.  Turning to the issue of faster growth and social equity, it was not a matter of choosing one over the other. "Growth without equity leads to destabilise society while equity without growth simply cannot be sustained."

Gandhi said, that democracy over the years has made India much more egalitarian but also gave new power to some old forces "that sought to polarise and mobilise communities along religious lines." They threatened the very essence of India, the diversity of faith and cultures, languages and ways of life that have sprung from its soil and taken root in it.

The Indian National Congress found itself in the midst of uncertainty and turmoil. In 1996, it lost the national elections. Pressure begin to build up across the country urging me to emerge from my seclusion and enter public life.

Describing the 'Incredible India' , it is a land that has given rise to four of the world's major religions. It is home to the world's second largest muslim population. It welcomed christianity long before Europe embraced it. "It offered refuge to people fleeing from religious persecution, whether they be jews or zoroastrians. It is a land comprising different ecological and cultural regions, each with its own distinctive history. India is thus a multi-religional civilisation without parallel”. She said India is a secular country. "For us the term secularism means equal respect for all religions. Our nation is founded on the conviction that all Indians must be free to practise the religion of their choice, to speak and write in their native language to give expression to their own regional ethos and culture".

Finally Gandhi said, the Indian experiment is a glorious example that unity can be also be based on the values of pluralism and multi-culturalism
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Lunch meeting at huize Molenaar On 07-12-07 a lunch lecture was agreed by NGIZ Utrecht on "Virtual INDIA: Software and Caste"

Namaste, a bow and one shows respect by not touching each other. Location within society is very important. A challenging but realistic theme, "virtual India: software and caste". India is a country full of contradictions and full of connections between the contradictions. Nexus between software, caste and religion are of fundamental meaning for the Indian population composition. Is it a Hindu nation or secular? The system of casten take care of social inequality.

Mathematician and engineers are mostly of higher casten and it were them who did change and put forward India, mainly in the area of computersoftware. The ever hierarchical guided society became a more private and enterprising one, but in relation to that there was also a search after spiritualism. Many traditional aspects, such as arranged marriages en the extistence of casten, stayed. Besides, also two mainstreams in politics are present: The Congress party and the Peoples party. However the Peoples party appeared to be too limited and through that they lost the elections (the revolt of the farmers).
The new generation wants to change India, inspired with the software-succes but with the salvation of the spiritual sides (e.g. yoga). Foundation of the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) is of eminent importance to contribute to the changes.

Large supplies of raw materials. Sovereign social secular democratic republic. Pluralism (like a thali). In 2004 a majority with the help of its allies under the direction of Gandhi family matriarch, Mrs. Sonia Gandhi). This post-poll alliance was called the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), the present ruling coalition of political parties. G8 (Prime Minister Manhoman Singh (sikh)). Concerning greenhouse effect too much emission reduction is asked.
The UPA is often criticised for:
  • being a minority-appeasing government. With recent events such as its ongoing reluctance to hang Afzal and also its policy of having caste-based-reservations in government jobs and government educational institutes.
  • also been loathed for ignoring the interests of the Aam Aadmi, on whose slogans the coalition won power in 2004, while spending too much time and money on pursuing prestige Projects such as the 2010 Commonwealth Game
A speech in May in Parliament delivered information about recently past bills (among other issues, in  favour of farmers), Uttar Pradesh (goodwill, but no votes) and terrorism. The CONGRESS party (www.congress.org.in) shares:
  • The ability to see the future;
  • values and ethos (practical skills and wisdom / virtue, goodness / goodwill towards  the audience).

MANIFESTO's:

2014
-
economic growth, right to health, education for all, defence, uplifting backwards sections, women's rights, financial inclusion, dignity of labour, infrastructure investment, better living standards, right to social security, skills & jobs, protecting our children, protecting minorities, right to pension, judicial & electoral accountability, helping the deprived, right to housing
2004, Rajiv agenda for the next century -
poverty: (reduction according to report 2004-2007), The Congress has been a great vehicle of social reforms. developing inner person, so that the human beings lives in harmony with other human beings, with Nature and with the rest of creation, greatest thread: nuclear weapons.

ECONOMICS (as seen from the West):

  • The BRICS (SMO december 2006)

  • Fruitful mix of high knowledge and low budget production, economic grow, attention to turnover in base of the pyramid, oil (also oil for food scandal). Good quality of products en services. Software and back office functions. Fast developments has its influence on world order. Other mentalities. Believes to a strong own culture.Feudal capitalism and an oase of democracy. Increase of changes on rise in welfare.

  • Indian multinational TATA

OTHER ITEMS:

Report to the people 2004 – 2007; october 2006 Helsinki: negotations launched on a broad based India-EU trade and investment agreement; Standard Indian bourse is:  Mumbai Sensex 30-index; Overstrained markets. Level dealing shares 20x  business profits; Fast of long standing economic grow; Level of inflation alarming and explosion of share-quotation; Politics are afraid to strike flat the bubble, because it is thought that they will be a target of the furyness of the investors if the market crash.

Sonia joined the marchers for about a kilometre from the Sabarmati Ashram to RTO Chowk


SALT MARCH

The Dandi March began on March 12, 1930, and was an important part of the Indian independence movement. It was a direct action campaign of tax resistance and nonviolent protest against the British salt monopoly in colonial India, and triggered the wider Civil Disobedience Movement. This was the most significant organized challenge to British authority since the Non-cooperation movement of 1920–22, and directly followed the Purna Swaraj declaration of independence by the Indian National Congress on January 26, 1930.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (commonly called Mahatma Gandhi) led the Dandi march from his base, Sabarmati Ashram near Ahmedabad, to the sea coast near the village of Dandi. As he continued on this 24 day, 240 mile (390 km) march to produce salt without paying the tax, growing numbers of Indians joined him along the way. When Gandhi broke the salt laws at 6:30 am on April 6, 1930, it sparked large scale acts of civil disobedience against the British Raj salt laws by millions of Indians.

The campaign had a significant effect on changing world and British attitude towards Indian independence and caused large numbers of Indians to join the fight for the first time.