We can do with­out the nomen­cla­ture epi­demic

Re­nam­ing cities can­not be na­tional pri­or­ity. We have FAr MOrE wOrK tO DO IN tHE fiELDs OF HEALtH, ED­u­CA­tION EtC.

The Sunday Guardian - - & Comment Analysis - IANS

The press con­fer­ence that Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump held in the White House on 7 Novem­ber was an ex­tra­or­di­nary event. Here one saw the Pres­i­dent of the most pow­er­ful coun­try in the world bandy­ing words with a me­dia per­son from the CNN. The press con­fer­ence was shown live in half the world, pos­si­bly 3/4th of the world. I have wit­nessed press con­fer­ences given by Pres­i­dents Dwight Eisen­hower, Richard Nixon, John F. Kennedy, Lyn­don John­son, Ron­ald Rea­gan, Bill Clin­ton and Ge­orge Bush Jr. In my wildest dreams I could not have imag­ined a Pres­i­dent of the United States con­duct­ing him­self in the man­ner Mr Trump did. What was even more alarm­ing was that Mr Trump seemed not in the least con­cerned or em­bar­rassed by his undig­ni­fied per­for­mance. What was even more dis­qui­et­ing was that mil­lions of Amer­i­cans ap­proved of his un­seemly act. Heads of States in­vite re­spect, even def­er­ence and es­teem. For me, it was an ag­o­nis­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. It was one of those rare mo­ments when the White House scenery col­lapsed.

At home we are wit­ness­ing a nomen­cla­ture epi­demic. Cities are be­ing thought­lessly re­named. Ahmed­abad is likely to be called Kar­na­vati, Shimla as Shya­mala and so on. Where will it end? Will Mughal his­tory be abol­ished, will in­stitu- tions es­tab­lished by the British be done away with? One can­not be sure of such heed­less ex­u­ber­ance for such triv­i­al­ity. One can­not rule out a suc­ces­sor gov­ern­ment restor­ing the old names.

We have far more vi­tal work to do in the fields of health, ed­u­ca­tion, em­ploy­ment, dig­i­tal In­dia. Surely, chang­ing names of cities can­not pos­si­bly be a na­tional pri­or­ity. Only, blink­ered pa­tri­ots can en­gage in such ac­tiv­i­ties.

No one in his right mind would op­pose the right kind of progress (I do not con­sider the in­ven­tion of nu­clear weapons, progress) or the in­evitabil­ity of change. But change has to be planned, man­aged, thought through. Mon­i­tored. P. N. Hak­sar wrote in his book, Pre­mo­ni­tions, “Change we must if we are not to be left be­hind once more. Our coun­try has had its devo­tees of Prem Marga and Bhakti Margs. Per­haps, our sal­va­tion lies through the much more dif­fi­cult Jnana Marga. And this Jnana Marga must of ne­ces­sity adopt the method­ol­ogy of Vi­j­nana.”

In an­other con­text Hak­sar wrote, “As for the value sys­tem, we have the an­cient adage that hu­man be­ings who are with­out vidya, tapa (penance), dana, gyan (wis­dom), sheel (char­ac­ter), guna (merit, virtue) and dharma (pre­scribed code of con­duct) con­sti­tute a bur­den in this earth…” How many of us ever think of th­ese uplift­ing words?

The rul­ing estab­lish­ment is busy den­i­grat­ing Jawa­har­lal Nehru. The Prime Min­is­ter, while un­veil­ing the mag­nif­i­cent Sar­dar Pa­tel statue on 31 Oc­to­ber, did not even men­tion his name among the mak­ers of mod­ern In­dia. Nehru was more than an ad­min­is­tra­tor, plan­ner, a diplo­ma­tist or a politi­cian. He was a vi­sion­ary who had thought deeply about his per­sonal predica­ment and how re­solve it: “The real prob­lems for me re­main prob­lems of in­di­vid­ual and so­cial life, of har­mo­nious liv­ing, of a proper balanc­ing of an in­di­vid­ual’s in­ner and outer life, of an ad­just­ment of the re­la­tions be­tween in­di­vid­u­als and be­tween groups, of a con­tin­u­ous be­com­ing some­thing bet­ter and higher, of so­cial de­vel­op­ment, of the cease­less ad­ven­ture of man. In the so­lu­tion of th­ese prob­lems the way of ob­ser­va­tion and pre­cise knowl­edge and de­lib­er­ate rea­son­ing, ac­cord­ing to the method of sci­ence, must be fol­lowed. This method may not al­ways be ap­pli­ca­ble in our quest of truth, for art and po­etry and cer­tain psy­chic ex­pe­ri­ences seem to be­long to a dif­fer­ent or­der of things and to elude the ob­jec­tive meth­ods of sci­ence. Let us, there­fore, not rule out in­tu­ition and other meth­ods of sens­ing truth and re­al­ity. They are nec­es­sary even for the pur­poses of sci­ence. But al­ways we must hold to our an­chor of pre­cise knowl­edge tested by rea­son…we must be­ware of los­ing our­selves in sea of spec­u­la­tion un­con­nected with the day- to­day prob­lems of life and the needs of men and women. A liv­ing phi­los­o­phy must an­swer the prob­lems of to­day.”

Th­ese are noble and in­spir­ing words.

BJP work­ers cel­e­brate af­ter Al­la­habad was re-chris­tened as Praya­graj af­ter the UP Cab­i­net rat­i­fied it at a meet­ing chaired by CM Yogi Adityanath, in Al­la­habad, on 16 Oc­to­ber.

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