|Friday, May 12, 2000,
as Mohajir homeland
& search for alternative medicines
May 12, 1925
THE birth of the presumed one-billionth child yesterday in the country was understandably not an occasion for celebration. However, every birth is like a new dawn and every child is like a new rose-bud which is more than a blushing apology for the thorns of the mother-plant. The focus, therefore, is not on the new arrival but on the addition to the existing population. The authentic statistics are worth a quick glance in the global context. In October 12 this year, the world's population will hit the six-billion mark. Of this vast number, there will be more than one billion Indians. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) saw in the massive growth of the contemporary human race a huge challenge and the need to strike a "sustainable, equitable and vital balance" between the human numbers and the available resources. The Indian scenario is grim. Our grain production could be cut by 25 per cent owing to the eventual lack of water for irrigation. In sub-Saharan Africa and parts of the Indian subcontinent, the aquifers are getting depleted and so is the per capita crop land. The dwindling resources in developing countries manifest this in the yet unheard of pressure on the limited resources of food, fertile land and the provisions for health and nutrition. Can decent life be provided to the citizens in these circumstances? Think of the disappearing forest cover, the rising temperature and the loss of various species of flora and fauna. Environmental specialists are unable to assess fully the effects of global warming which is connected with population-related issues. The supply of food and water and effective ways of family planning determine the parameters of good health.
Where do we go from here? We know it with certainty that more than 300 million women do not have access to contraceptives. We also know that about six lakh women die as a result of pregnancy; 70,000 lives are lost in a year due to unsafe abortions. A survey shows all this and then gives a cautious reminder: women and girls constitute three-fifths of the world's poor. Exhortations come fast and quick: India is going to become the most populous country by 2050. The UNFPA has produced the world population report which is titled "Six Billion: A Time for Choices". It tries to reduce the gloom on the demographic front by saying that the population growth in India has slowed down from 2.4 per cent to 1.8 per cent. Remember the International Conference on Population Development (ICPD) held in Cairo about six years ago? It said in conclusion that chronically poor and war-affected nations continued to breed fast and the new millennium was going to face several crises: about half of the women in the world would suffer gender-based violence and they would be more prone to HIV than men. Illiteracy would grow and so would the infant mortality rate and the lack of access to vital natural resources.
"sakshara" (literate) and the birth rate fell
there. Tamil Nadu accepted the regional model and gained.
However, most state governments were not aware of a
dependable, client-friendly reproductive policy which
took a holistic view of the population. Under it,
education and the health services were to be improved and
women's empowerment was to be assured. What does the
Union Government want? It wants to stop the population
level at 110 crore by 2045. (The projected figure is 116
crore). India's population is increasing at the rate of
15.5 million persons per annum. On this basis, the
one-billionth mark was fixed for May 11. All in all,
neither disincentives nor allurements are going to reduce
the population. Both Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru
studied Malthus. The Mahatma believed that the earth had
enough for everybody's needs. He was opposed to the use
of contraceptives. Nehru differed with Gandhi and saw a
solution to the population problem in industrialisation
under socialistic control. He was convinced by the
Mahalonobisian "trickle down" process. But his
policy failed both on the production and distribution
fronts. Experiments are going on to make life worth
living despite so many mouths crying for a bearable
existence. Now, the imaginary poverty line should be
erased. Population control should be made an effective
state policy and vigorous birth control measures should
be initiated and implemented with intra-sectoral
strategies. We are multiplying fast. The earth is crying
out its inability to sustain all of us. The Safdarjung
baby in Delhi has not arrived as a portent for good
RARELY has the Lok Sabha displayed such unanimity as it did on Thursday while passing the 90th Constitution Amendment Bill. Barring a lone member (who was he?), the 419 present in the hall voted for the measure after the Speaker ordered the mandatory division. The exercise was to first overcome the adverse impact of a Supreme Court ruling in the famous Indira Sawhney case and then to revoke the provisions of two circulars the United Front government issued to give effect to the judgement. The apex court had extended the 50 per cent ceiling on reservation even to the previous years unfilled vacancies in posts meant for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes candidates. That freeze has now been lifted and the government is allowed to treat unfilled posts caused by the absence of suitable candidates as a special category of backlog and fill them in subsequent years. The court ruling led to a curious situation of SC/ST posts remaining vacant even when there were deserving men and women from these two categories, thus thwarting the principle of reservation (15 per cent for the SC and 7.5 per cent for the ST). Also reversed is the decision to suspend a special drive to end this anomaly. There are three other circulars which continue to be in force and which impinge on the interests of employees belonging to these classes. One enables the general category employees to regain their seniority even if their promotion comes years after the originally junior SC/ST colleague had gone up in heirarchy. The second has changed the system of roster preparation for posting and transfers and the last relates to the lower category of jobs. It is a reflection on the sensitivity or lack of it of the establishment that it has delayed by nearly three years an urgently needed corrective.
members who participated in the nearly seven-hour-long
debate extracted an assurance from the government that it
would bring in another Constitution amendment if it
became necessary to restore the higher ceiling on
reservation which existed in certain states before the
Supreme Court lowered it. For instance, Tamil Nadu had a
69 per cent ceiling both on government jobs and entrance
to professional colleges. It was not a gift of the Mandal
Commission but the fruit of decades of a crusade by
certain castes which felt left out of the educational
structure. So is the case in Kerala, and the state is
under instruction from the apex court to identify the
creamy layers of the once dispossessed
castes. Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh too had a ceiling
higher than 50 per cent. It was in most other parts of
the country where social reform movements were
non-existent or weak that society collided with the
Mandal Commission report and produced a tremor that cried
out for the lower ceiling. The issue is before the
Supreme Court and the government will act if the ceiling
is kept stable at 50 per cent.
IS a breakthrough possible in India-Pakistan relations under the military regime of General Pervez Musharraf? This question is being hotly discussed these days both at the official and non-official levels. Perspectives vary. So do opinions. This is true on both sides of the divide. On the Indian side, several lingering doubts persist in the wake of the bloody happenings in Kargil a year ago.
Even knowledgeable Indians who are generally soft on Pakistan are not sure whether the leadership in Islamabad can be trusted, especially after the way it surreptitiously reversed the Lahore process set in motion amidst great fanfare. Since the Chief Executive of Pakistan is seen as the author of the Kargil misadventure, the coup leader continues to be a suspect in the public eye here.
This is but a natural reaction as this country has paid a heavy price for "trusting" Pakistani leaders from time to time. In fact, even General Zia at one stage successfully marketed his sugar-coated friendship among large segments of influential Indians, including media personnel, to establish his bona fides as a man of peace. What happened subsequently is part of the turbulent phases of Indo-Pak ties. There is, therefore, considerable reluctance here to accept General Musharraf's occasional peace overtures at face value.
"How can we give a certificate of our peaceful intentions? You will have to take a chance in good faith and try out the new regime and see the difference. For this purpose you will have to forget the past and make a new beginning," a Pakistani diplomat told me recently.
It is difficult to test such stances on the touchstone of logic. Even otherwise, logic does not work in the conduct of Indo-Pak relations. Had it been so, the two countries would have been natural allies for the good of the people. The problem with Pakistani leaders is that they want to thrive politically and otherwise by creating artificial barriers vis-a-vis New Delhi in the name of Islam and Kashmir. They have conveniently buried certain historical facts, overlooked ground realities and virtually become a pawn in global power games.
This is surely a tricky situation. Amidst the existing complexities, it will be difficult to understand the working of a General's mind. Looking back, with all his good intentions for improved ties with New Delhi, even Mr Nawaz Sharif proved to be different from what the "image" he had projected to me privately soon after taking over as Prime Minister in Islamabad.
"I am against the visa system prevailing between the two countries. We should just opt for a system of entry and exit permits to ensure a freer movement of people from both sides of the border. The present curbs make no sense."
I must say I was impressed and saw in Mr Nawaz Sharif and Mr I.K. Gujral (the then Indian Prime Minister) statesmen who could take the two countries out of the vexatious circle of war and hatred.
I then saw Mr Sharif as a pragmatic businessman who wished to take his country on to a new path of growth and development.
"It does not make sense to get Indian goods via Dubai and Singapore and pay 10 times more. Who benefits from such distortions? Surely not the people of Pakistan," the dethroned Prime Minister told me candidly.
I was taken in by Mr Sharif's sweet reasonableness. For, I firmly believe that a new edifice of Indo-Pakistan friendship can only be built on stronger economic ties and free social and cultural interaction at the people's level, away from cross-border terrorism, fundamentalism and Kashmir.
At the root, however, is the problem of mindset. Unless the leadership tries to learn from 52 years of turbulence in bilateral ties and recasts its thinking in a new mould of global realities and the common man's expectations for better living conditions, history will go on repeating itself in the subcontinent.
Can the old order be reversed? It is difficult to hazard a guess on Indo-Pakistan relations. Still, it must be acknowledged that there are some positive pointers in the air as well which keep a glimmer of hope alive for improved ties between the two countries.
One, saner voices in Pakistan have begun to assert themselves. They often question the officially-sponsored hate-India campaign. They may be in an insignificant minority but against the negative backdrop every voice of sanity counts.
Two, the visit by some Pakistani delegations, especially of women activists belonging to the Pakistan Human Rights Commission, does generate some hope that everything is not yet lost in Pakistan's attempt to create mental and physical barriers between the two countries.
Here, it will be worth recalling the words of Ms Asma Jehangir, former chairperson of the Pakistan National Human Rights Commission. She said on reaching New Delhi the other day, "From here let a message go to the politicians of India and Pakistan that the people want to live in peace and with dignity" and added that if the governments of the two countries threw open the Wagah border, "I can say with confidence there will be traffic jams for the next 50 months."
These words may sound rhetorical, but they carry the feelings of the mute majority in the two countries
Three, the recent visit to Chandigarh, Kurukshetra and Amritsar by Pakistani High Commissioner Ashraf Jahangir Qazi, Political Minister Jalil Ahmad Jalani and other diplomatic personnel indicate some parallel attempts to build bridges of understanding at the non-official and academic levels.
I had an opportunity to interact with the Pakistani envoy informally. He gave me the impression that General Musharraf would like to mend fences with India and make a new beginning in the relationship by "burying the past".
"You have to trust us." There is no other way to create the right atmosphere," he emphasised.
There are, of course, a number of inconvenient and embarrassing questions which no Pakistani would like to answer. All that is generally reiterated is Islamabad's known position which can hardly help to break the stalemate.
However, the fact that Pakistani diplomats could move about freely in the region and meet people and exchange views was a clear pointer to a somewhat relaxed atmosphere after Kargil's bloody events.
Four, it must be acknowledged that Pakistan is under pressure from the Americans for a patch-up with India. The USA is deeply concerned about the spread of terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism in the region. For that matter, the way the Taliban elements are gaining ground in Pakistan, even General Musharraf will find it difficult to survive an organised assault by Islamic fundamentalists on him.
Reports appearing in the Pakistan press give the impression that the Pakistan army, which controls the fundamentalist outfits, might ultimately achieve its dream of imposing a Taliban-type society on Pakistan. That will be a sad day even for Islamabad. The West Asian countries, China and the USA will certainly not like the fundamentalists to gain control in Pakistan. The military leadership is Islamabad is playing with fire.
Five, the USA apart, China is a major factor in Pakistani affairs. In fact, Islamabad has been depending on Beijing's generosity for building its nuclear arsenal. I have reasons to believe that even the Chinese leadership, for the present, is against Pakistan adopting confrontationist postures against this country.
The recent visit by a high-powered delegation from Beijing underlines the Chinese leadership's eagerness to strengthen economic ties with India. After the economic boom in its coastal areas, China is keen on ensuring the growth of its southern region and hence its anxiety for increased cooperation with this country to mutual advantage.
UNTIL a couple of years ago, the Week magazine published from Kochi used to carry a box offtrack giving samples of bloomers and sloppy editing in leading newspapers around the country sent by its readers. It gave up this feature probably because it found it difficult to cope with the number of such samples. I had written a couple of articles before on the vanishing tribe of sub-editors, but I found to my disappointment that my colleagues in the PTI had not even noticed them though they were published in the capitals two prominent dailies. I am once again prompted to write this Middle by a few recent howlers I had come across in two newspapers in Chennai.
A front-page report in the Hindu on the Khurana controversy said: The allegation is baseless and factually correct. Another report from its Washington correspondent disclosed that the New York Mayor, Rudy Guilliani, who is involved in a Senate race against the First Lady, Mrs Hillary Clinton, had been diagnosed with prostrate cancer. But, wait, the most atrocious slipup came in a report in the same paper in its reference to Mr Sodomy Hussain. The Iraqi leader may not have endeared himself to the international community in the wake of the Gulf War fiasco, but even his enemies are certain to deplore the printers devil.
Not to be outdone, the New Indian Express carried last week a prominent box story with a big caption Other Villians about top income-tax defaulters named by the government in the Lok Sabha. Apart from the typographical error, the caption writer was off the mark by calling the defaulters villains.
I have quite a good collection of samples of distortion of words and phrases such as imminent personalities, groundwater (grand-daughter), a drought of fresh air, loose in the place of lose and 22 carrot gold. An article in a national daily, while recalling the assassination of Mrs Indira Gandhi, had noted that PTI was the first to flash to the world that Mrs Gandhi is no more. The worst is feared. Another daily had reported that the Paramacharya of Kanchi had spent his entire life in medication. Obviously, the reporter was meditating while writing his story.
Veteran journalist and director of the Press Institute of India, Mr Ajit Bhattacharjea, had recalled in a newspaper article some time ago that during his early days in journalism news stories used to be edited in a meticulous manner. He was once hauled up for misplacing an apostrophe. One reason for the loose editing may be that the sub-editor, known as the unknown soldier, is the Cinderalla of the news organisation. If that is so, the editors have a responsibility to make him feel his importance.
Alternately, the editors may opt for the remedy adopted some years ago by a New York magazine editor. Mr Scott Degarmo of Success magazine was fed up with lazy writing by senior editors and started imposing fines on editors for approving articles with glaring grammatical and other mistakes. Whether it was a garbled phrase, an extraneous comma or a maimed name, the minimum penalty was twentyfive dollars.
Chinese scholar and
writer late Lin Yutang had once explained the difference
in the approach between the Chinese and the Americans.
An American editor, he wrote, worries
his hair grey to see that no typographical mistakes
appear on his pages. The Chinese editor is wiser than
that he leaves his readers the supreme
satisfaction of discovering a few typographical mistakes
for themselves. The Indian editor is probably the
wisest with his wise-crack. Sub chalta hai.
If there are any mistakes (sic) in this article, please
INDIA was partitioned in 1947. The newly created State Pakistan went through another partition when the majority of Pakistanis living in the former East Pakistan (East Bengal) struggled hard to obtain their freedom and succeeded in creating Bangladesh in 1971.
Today the smaller provinces particularly Sindh, Baluchistan and North-West Frontier are protesting against being mistreated in the existing structure of the Federation, which is heavily loaded against them. In this scenario, urban centres of Sindh, in particular Karachi provide a unique case. Karachi is not a province. It used to be the federal Capital, till Ayub Khan, afraid of political demonstrations, specially by Mohajirs, shifted it to Islamabad in 1961.
Karachi was given back to Sindh and fiscally and administratively it became sandwiched between the Central and Sindh bureaucracy. When Karachi demanded its legal and economic rights, a reign of terror was unleashed on Mohajirs through extra-judicial killings, arbitrary arrests by the military, paramilitary forces, intelligence agencies and mock trials by terrorist courts.
Political activity in Karachi began with the establishment of the Mohajir Quami Movement (MQM), as the first and only Mohajir party. However, witnessing the success of this party, another political organisation with the addition of Haqiqi to its name was established, according to knowledgeable circles, by the government itself to blunt the edge of the MQM.
MQM leaders were arrested for all sorts of alleged crimes of murder, arson, loot, theft, etc. By and by, their top leadership became weak and the majority party (The Muslim League) started a campaign that the MQM has a pro-India bias and it has not reconciled with the creation of Pakistan. The MQM was forced by circumstances to change its name to Muttahida Quami Movement, keeping the abbreviation MQM intact. This was its first mistake. The second mistake was to join the ministry headed by the Pakistan Peoples Party in Sindh.
After the dismissal of the Benazir Bhutto ministry they (MQM leaders) waited for a while and then joined Mr Nawaz Sharifs Muslim League government in Sindh. Once again they were compelled to resign because of the warrants of arrest for certain MQM leaders. Mr Altaf Hussain sought refuge in the United Kingdom, where he still lives in exile.
The talk of separation or independence of Karachi along the lines of the 26th parallel of Sindh province started because of the shifting of the Capital to Islamabad and the introduction of the quota system for government jobs in the port city. The quota system guaranteed a percentage of jobs to Sindhis. Admissions to medical, engineering and other professional colleges were made not on merit but on the basis of the quota system. Karachis youth, adversely affected by the denial of their basic rights of education and employment, stood in revolt under the leadership of a young student, Altaf Hussain.
There was, however, no open talk of cessation at least till the central government decided to teach a lesson to Hindustanis. Extra-judicial killings, loot, arson and rape became the order of the day. Since then a debate is on among intellectuals and the underground press of the pros and cons of Karachis separation or self-determination. It reached such a crescendo that Mr Altaf Hussain had to take notice of it and he declared that he would announce a new policy for the MQM on February 28, 2000.
His statement made on that day is a matter of dispute. A section of the Press claims that Mr Hussain talked of armed struggle against Pakistans defence forces. The MQM secretariat maintains that Mr Hussain made no such statement.
According to his Press Officer, he had said that Bangladesh people were not traitors but the Establishment made their life unbearable, and now once again the Establishment was determined to break up the nation by denying the fundamental rights of Mohajirs and Sindhis.
Whatever may be the truth as regards this particular statement but separation, second partition, freedom, self-determination, etc, with reference to Karachi are in vogue. Autonomy or self-determination for Mohajirs is no longer a dirty word.
Let us first take the question of viability and underline the fact that we are discussing a city-state defined by the Webster Encyclopaedia Unabridged Dictionary as a Sovereign State consisting of an autonomous city with its dependencies.
With reference to Karachi, it is Greater Karachi along the 26th parallel of the province, rather than the parameters of the nuclear city of Karachi. Even according to this definition, the total area of Karachi alone would be only about 1500 sq. miles.
This would obviously exclude agricultural land, but according to the basic law of economics, Karachi should export manufactured products, computers and services such as banking and insurance. Along the line of the 26th parallel, the State of Mohajiristan, as is being visualised, would have sufficient natural resources and minerals besides abundant agricultural land.
In recent years many Karachiites have installed turnkey projects/factories in other countries. Shipping and maritime insurance also offers a lot of possibilities. Karachis location as round-the-year open port makes it a key player in international trade.
As a matter of fact, a report by the United Nations termed Karachi as an ideal centre of commerce. For reasons best known to the Government of Pakistan, this report still remains unimplemented.
Karachi provides approximately over 65 per cent of the federal revenues and approximately 31 per cent of Pakistans GDP.
In his first speech to the Pakistan Constituent Assembly, Jinnah exhorted his followers to establish a Democratic, Secular, Welfare State. What Pakistan got instead turned out to be a theocratic, dictatorial and anti-people State. It would be in the fitness of things if Mohajirs redress this and fulfil Jinnahs dream. (ADNI).
& search for alternative medicines
A QUARTER century ago, the World Health Organisation laughed at the idea of recognising Ayurveda as a science of healing. Today, it not only recognise its healing properties but also encourages use of alternative medicines.
Has there been a change in alternative medicines in these 25 years? Not all all. Only the WHO has become a less ignorant organisation.
There are only three major medical systems in the world-Chinese, Indian and European. Others are derivatives. While the Chinese and Indian medical systems are ancient, the European is rather modern.
But is the West losing faith in its modern system? Or is it that it just wants to try out altnernatives? It may be both. In any case, as themodern system is prohibitively costly and side-effects are on the increase, people are taking to herbal medicines, which are cheap and cause no harm. Americans are leading the movement towards alternative medicines. They are spending more than ever before on them.
According to a 1991 Harvard Medical School study, 36 per cent of the sample surveyed had tried out an alternative medicine. By 1997, when Harvard repeated the study, the percentage had gone up to 46.
The study is indicative of the change in attitudes. And the result of the study was published in the journal of the American Medical Association, which, by the way, devoted an entire issue to alternative treatment ranging from herbal to yoga. Interestingly, the request for the study came from the readers of the journal.
Of course, the modern system resists the revival of the old ones. But people want to try out alternatives. With an estimated annual spending of $ 27 billion on the alternative medicines (1997 figure), nothing can now stop the new trends.
The demand is now confined to herbal medicines, massages, megavitamins, self-help group, folk-remedies, energy healing and homoeopathy. It was in recognition of this growing demand that the US Congress allocated $ 50 million in 1999 to establish a National Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicines. What is more textbooks on alternative medicines are already available in the USA.
The Chinese have been quick to introduce their herbal medicines and massages. China earns from export of herbal medicines and plants Rs 22,000 crore, Thailand Rs 10,000 crore and India a mere Rs 436 crore. As usual, India is slow. There is resistance to Indian products. Selling herbal products as food supplements has helped. And India has comparative advantage over all others with its rich biodiversity. Yoga is well known in America and Europe. The Indian systems Ayurveda, Unani, nature cure and Siddha are now familiar to the health conscious sections of American society. The latest to preach the efficacy of the Indian systems is Dr Deepak Chopra.
It is true, the American Government is yet to advocate alternative medicines. But some of the states have taken the lead. Six have introduced acupuncture, three have recommended naturopathy as the primary health care doctor. In the meantime, medical schools have introduced courses in alternative medicines.
Traditional medicine has never had it so good as now. It aims at a healthy lifestyle and disease prevention. This is what is attracting the health conscious all over the world.
Many Ayurveda centres have already come up in the West. Longevity, health and beauty care these are what the Indian systems are offering. The therapies that the Americans look for in alternative medicines are for neck and back chronic conditions, anxiety, arthritis and headache.
Although nationalist rhetoric has it that colonialism destroyed Indias medicinal systems, nothing was done to revive it when India became independent. In fact, the Western system, with its dispensaries and hospitals (rather expensive), continued. But there were supporters of the Indian systems. Gandhiji was one. So they survived in the villages. But they got little financial support. If there is a now enthusiasm for Indian systems, it is because there is demand for them in America. Which also explains why a new department has been set up under the Ministry of Health with a separate Secretary.
The Indian medical systems have a domestic market of Rs 4200 crore. Of this, 84 per cent are Ayurvedic medicines. But the potential is much greater. Modernisation of production of medicines as tablets, capsules and syrups has helped doctors from other systems to prescribe Ayurveda remedies. Clinical trials are easier with standradised remedies.
The World Health Organisation projects a world market of $ 5 trillion by 2050. The global market is estimated at $ 62 billion at present. Of this EU has a share of 50 per cent, Japan 16 per cent, the USA 11 per cent, Asia 19 per cent.
India has practically no access to the EU market. EU argues that Indian medicines are based on folkore and not on science. But it accepts medicines based on European folkore. And it does not provide licence to Indian practitioners of Ayurveda.
Some of the major Indian players in the world market are Mahesh Maharishi Ayurveda, Zandu, Himalaya and Dabur. India, at present, exports mostly raw materials without adding much value.
The greatest challenge to the Indian system comes from western MNCs, which are taking patents based on Ayurvedic formulas. The World Intellectual Property Organisation, of which India is a member, is the global think tank on patents. But it has done nothing so far to evolve a global patent system on alternative medicines. Nor has WTO, which must be concerned with this problem.
India is losing a huge amount, estimated at $ 10 billion yearly, by misuse of Ayurvedic products and raw materials. Take for example Isabgol, an Indian product to cure irritable bowel syndrome. It is marketed in Britain in the name of fybogel. The makers buy the raw material from India. Unfortunately, Indian traders are ready to export these precious raw materials even at the expense of the Indian manufacturers. Foreign governments encourage this theft by banning imports from India.
Rearing medicinal plants is a lucrative business. It is widespread in Kerala. Farmers earn as much as Rs 50,000 per year from their small holdings, apart from what they earn from traditional crops. They have buy-back arrangements with producers of Ayurveda medicines and get expert advice.
Very little research has been done on the application of medicinal plants for modern purposes. For example, neem can act as a pesticide. It is here that MNCs are proving a new menace and challenge to India. But mourning over it is no solution.
The Indian system,
particularly, Ayurveda, may be at the frontiers of a
major revolution. It has ways of dissolving clots and
reversing cardio-vascular damages. And it is also engaged
in exploring remedies for incurable diseases like cancer
and AIDS. But the proof of the pudding is in the eating,
as they say. The real test to the Indian medical systems
is in making them acceptable to the world.
WHILE the requirements of the general national interest failed to induce the Education Minister to agree to eliminate notions of communalism from the sphere of education that very Minister had no hesitation in invoking the aid of Indian nationalism in his attempt to meet another amendment of Pandit Nanak Chands.
Replying to the debate on the amendment moved with the object of criticising the policy of opening District Board Schools in places where one or more private schools were already in existence, Mian Sir Fazal-i-Hussain said that he was certain in his mind that no Indian nationalist would desire that denominational schools should be preferred to non-denominational ones, which were essential in the interests of Indian nationalism and by which alone petty notions of communalism could be removed.
How refreshing this
invocation is and how we wish that the Education Minister
will learn to adopt in practice the principle which he
invoked in so grandiloquent a manner in order to justify
his own action.
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