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Scholars call for fighting separatists

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  • Published 13.11.08

Ranchi, Nov. 13: History scholars from across the country today identified communalism, economic exploitation, regionalism and terrorism as primary threats facing the country.

They had assembled at Nirmala College at a seminar on development of nationalism in Gandhian era.

The speakers unanimously said that the thoughts of Gandhi and other national leaders of his era were still relevant for the country.

The seminar, sponsored by Indian Council of Historical Research, New Delhi, saw scholars from West Bengal, North Eastern provinces, Manipur, Bihar and Jharkhand presenting their research papers.

Vice- chancellor of Ranchi University A.A Khan, while inaugurating the seminar, said: “In India religion plays an important role in every walk of life. Though no religion teaches terrorism, the fundamentalists exploit sentiments of people belonging to different faiths for their nefarious objectives. The challenge of religious divide in our story is almost similar to that witnessed during the Gandhian era.”

The speakers also expressed their views on the separatist socio- economic forces as enemy of national integration. After the inaugural session, two technical sessions were held on the political aspects of strengthening nationalism in India and impact of contemporary social and economic conditions on the national unity.

In his key note address, P.K. Dutta of Patna University said that some of the problems of Indian nationalism and national integration were legacies of pre- independence India.

“Today India is facing problem like regionalism, terrorism, separation and communalism. Many of these are outcome of unattended social problems that our leaders of the yore had wanted to settle on priority basis,” he added.

Further, he said: “deviation from the vision of the leaders of Gandhian age would result in a disaster. Since the beginning of Gandhian age problems of Indian nationalism can be identified as poverty, urbanisation of economy and communalism.”

The language conflict was another very sensitive issue threatening the integration of India, said the historians.

Convener of the seminar, Ratna Banerjee, said that the objective of the seminar was to throw light on the deep rooted sources of powerful separatist and disruptive forces like hatred, communalism, racism, regionalism, corruption and unscientific approach to governance.

“On one hand we are witnessing India’s remarkable advances in business, science and technology and on the other we have crores of men, women and children struggling with poverty. The nation and its historians need a change in their mind set to establish equality in the country,” she said.