Not Unity in Diversity; Celebrate Diversity: Gupta

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 10 January 2015 07:48 IST

Leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru gave us a wrong slogan of Unity in Diversity; instead the slogan should have been ‘celebrate diversity’, feels Shekhar Gupta, India’s senior journalist and former editor of The Indian Express.

He spoke at length on diverse India after releasing a book on Luis de Menezes Braganza, authored by Dr Sushila Sawant Mendes, yesterday evening in the city.

The overfull hall of the Sanskruti Bhavan listened aptly to Gupta, who has also made waves with his ‘Walk the Talk’ interviews on NDTV of several national and international luminaries.

According to him, the diverse ethnic identities are becoming more prominent in the new era, unlike in the past, when nationalism was the prime focus.

“This is the reason the BJP in Goa can get more Christian MLAs than the Congress and the Akali Dal in Punjab can have Hindu legislators, breaking the religious loyalties.”

Post-world war II, he recalls, so many nation states were created throughout the world, but only India survived while almost all other nations including the USSR broke into pieces.

“It’s because of the democracy and the liberal values we Indians cherish”, he said.

Gupta is also thankful to all the veteran leaders and intellectuals of the mid-20th century, who laid foundation of the pride of diverse culture we celebrate.

“Luis de Menezes Braganza was one such leader and intellectual,” he said, while lauding Goans for keeping the state peaceful and harmonious till date.

“Goa is a microcosm of India’s diversity and communal harmony,” feels Gupta.  

In fact he was surprised that Goa produced such high calibre intellectuals like Menezes Braganza.

“I did really not know this side of Goa,” admitted India’s leading journalist.

However, he also admitted the fact that he never visited Goa as a journalist since it has never been a trouble-state, while recalling his visits to North Eastern states or other parts of India.

“I came here either as a tourist or for weddings and celebrations and not as a journalist. This is the real brighter side of Goa”, he said, amidst applause.

Maria Aurora Couto, an author and critic, lauded the pioneering work of Mendes of compiling the towering personality like Luis de Menezes Braganza, a fearless journalist and a freedom fighter in the pre-liberation Portuguese era.

“He spoke truth to power in the colonial days which today’s journalism hesitates to do in a democratic country,” she said, explaining in one line how today media is not following Goa’s rich tradition of bold journalism. 


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