“The spirit of democracy is to question authority”: Kanhaiya Kumar at B V Kakkilaya Centenary2 min read
MANGALORE: The B V Kakkilaya Centenary programme was held in Bishop Jathanna Auditorium, Mangalore on August 10 and 11, in remembrance of the late communist freedom fighter and former member of Rajya Sabha.
Prominent speakers, academicians, communist leaders and other intellectual dignitaries such as Dr Kanhaiya Kumar, Amarjeet Kaur, Dinesh Amin Mattu, Prof Anand Teltumbde, and T M Krishna were present.
“Youth has emerged as a mass who have the right to vote but are unaware of the value of their vote,” said Kanhaiya Kumar as he spoke on the topic ‘Indian Youth at crossroads’.
Kumar, leader of All India Students’ Federation, shed light on the political consciousness of young voters. “From a very young age, we are taught that politics is a bad discipline and are discouraged from choosing a career in politics. Social conditioning has forced youth to focus on careers that have a market value, devoid of political consciousness and knowledge of rights and responsibilities of a citizen,” he opined. “Children are not allowed to choose their destiny, and are a victim of undemocratic practices, which in turn results in them being undemocratic,” he said.
Talking about the responsibilities of a citizen, he complained that the people who question authority are labelled ‘anti-national’, while the meaning of patriotism is skewed to be having blind faith in the government. The spirit of democracy, he said, is to question the people with authority and not the weaker ones.
When questioned by a member of the audience, why the nation couldn’t have one policy, one slogan and one ideology, he reminded that the Indian Constitution had more than 300 articles, that the Indian Parliament had 545 representatives, and that there existed more than 300 versions of Ramayana, indicating that the unity of the nation is based on its diversity.
Talking about the labour movements in India, Amarjeet Kaur, General Secretary of All India Trade Union Congress, said that the workers saw the freedom movement as an opportunity to end oppression. “Before the law of fixed labour hours, science and technology didn’t ease the work of the labourers but increased their working hours,” she recalled. She also condemned the government’s move to fix the minimum wage at Rs 4628 a month, saying that it was in no way a wage enough for living.
Talking on the occasion, former media advisor of the Chief Minister Dinesh Amin Mattu pointed out that the communists had committed a mistake by disagreeing with the ideas of Dr B R Ambedkar. “If Ambedkar had accepted communism and grown as a communist leader, communists would have ruled India even today,” he said in his talk.
Professor Anand Teltumbde discussed the theory and practice of Marxism in India and informed that Karl Marx and Ambedkar sought to create a society without oppression, which is also like the ideas of Buddhism. “They differ in methods and practices,” he added.
Featured Image Courtesy: Varthabharathi
Edited By: Disha Acharya