With ‘Dandi’ spirit, rationalists now plan national convention in Goa in Nov

HRISHIKESH KADAM, DANDI | 31 January 2016 19:44 IST

After successful ‘Dandi March’, India’s rationalist writers, artists and social activists have decided to have the next convention in Goa, probably in November this year.

The proposal was mooted by writer and scholar Ganesh Devi, who initiated the Dandi March on 30 January, when he was in Goa last month to attend ‘Bimb’ awards ceremony.

Dandi meet received tremendous response from various parts of the country with over 700 writers, artists and social activists assembled in solidarity of the struggle against increasing intolerance in the country that led to the killings of three rationalist writers – Dr Narendra Dabholkar, Com Govind Pansare and Prof M M Kalburgi.

At one of the sessions held on Dandi beach yesterday, Dilip Borkar, Goa’s writer and editor of ‘Bimb’ monthly, invited the gathering with larger force in Goa for the next convention.

“Nothing has been decided formally since there is no formal organisation we have. But we are quite enthusiastic about holding national convention in Goa”, said Damodar Mauzo, Goa-based writer and convenor of Dandi March.

Several rationalist writers gathered at Dandi are also in agreement with the proposal, stating that Goa is a model state following peace and communal harmony.

“Goan society follows culture of a rainbow which retains all its colours but still displays its unique identity as a whole”, said Datta Damodar Naik, Goa’s writer and rationalist thinker.

He also appealed to the writers to go from light to the dark, stating that creativity always takes birth in the dark.

According to him, the whole movement should be directed at winning over those who do not agree with you and not going with only those who support you.

“This is what Maharshi Vyas did, Buddha followed and Mahatma Gandhi practiced successfully”, he said.

‘NIRBHAY BANENGE’

Rajmohan Gandhi, grandson of the Mahatma, observed that the biggest achievement of Gandhi’s non-violence theory is being fearless.

“The violent mode adopted by Subhash Chandra Bose or Bhagat Singh made few people fearless, but Gandhi made lakhs of people fearless with his theory of non-violence”, he felt.

Gandhi thus appealed to the gathering to take a single slogan and create a fearless environment throughout the country – ‘Nirbhay Banenge’ (let’s be fearless).

Ibrahim Afghan, a veteran journalist and poet from Goa working in Mumbai, said we need to uphold freedom of expression of all kind of ideologies and need to counter it successfully with our ideology.

The journalist-cum-writer also stressed upon redefining the Police Act which has become a protection umbrella of politicians.

The behaviour of police is always under suspicion at the time of any unfortunate incident, he observed.

Dinanath Manohar, a veteran Marathi writer, said we would remain monkeys until we learn to say NO and we would become real humans when we challenge the oppressive system and start questioning it.

“Putting the system in place and make it humane is the challenge we need to take up and work for it”, he said.

The large gathering included writers, artists and social activists from Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Goa, Punjab, West Bengal, Meghalaya, Odisha, Assam, Delhi and several other parts of the country.

Others who spoke at the Dandi beach included Atul Pethe, Vasant Abaji Dahake, Rajan Khan, Ganesh Devi, Uttam Parmar, Muhammad Shaikh, Sudarshan Ayyangar and K K Chakraborty.

After restraining them in the early morning, they were let to go on Dandi beach after 11 am and the convention was held throughout the day at the pandal erected on the beach.

The meeting paid tributes to Dalit scholar Rohit Vemula, Mirnalini Sarabhai and Mangesh Padgaonkar. 

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Let's hope the modern Dandi marchers do include in their agenda the intolerance unleashed by terrorists against India in last many decades.

- Madhav Bastodker, Ponda | 01 st February 2016 08:12

 

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