Portrait of Kasturi Srinivasan, several others unveiled at MIC

“India should teach ‘Sarvodaya’ (welfare of all) to the United States and Europe instead of selling its shops to them. The developmental path we have embarked on is completely ‘un-Gandhian’”, Jnanpith Award winner U.R. Ananthamurthy said in Manipal on Monday.

He was delivering a talk on “Mahatma Gandhi and contemporary India” after unveiling the portraits of veteran editor-freedom fighters at the Manipal Institute of Communication (MIC) in Manipal.

According to a release issued by the institute on Tuesday, the portraits unveiled were those of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Dadabhai Naoroji, K.M. Panikkar, Durga Das, Devdas Gandhi, Pothan Joseph, Ramnath Goenka, Khasa Subba Rao, Sardar Dyal Singh, Ramananda Chatterjee, M. Chalapathi Rau, Kasturi Srinivasan, Stalin Srinivasan, S.A. Brelvi, S. Sadanand, Subramaniya Bharathi, M.N. Roy, and Kamakshi Natarajan.

In an indirect reference to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail sector, Prof. Ananthmurthy said that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should teach Sarvodaya to the so-called developed countries. The economic model charted out by them was destroying the earth.

“There is a need to shape our economic policies based on Gandhian principles,” he added. Prof. Ananthmuruthy said Mahatma Gandhi had a future in this crisis-ridden world. He was a great journalist and a master communicator. While he respected Bal Gangadhar Tilak, he accepted Gopal Krishna Gokhale as his political guru. His vision of India was different from that of Tilak, he said.

Expressing happiness over the invocation of Mahatma Gandhiji’s favourite song Vaishnava Janatho, Prof. Ananthmurthy said it was a Gujarati song which had become a pan-India song. It was a good example of a provincial home becoming an all-India home, which was Mahatma Gandhiji’s dream.

Veteran journalist M.V. Kamath, who presided over the function and one of the few surviving witnesses of freedom struggle, recalled the contributions of freedom fighters and editors which made “the present” possible.

Mr. Kamath, who thought of the idea of displaying the portraits, said: “I believe that this is the first college in the country to have this collection of journalists’ portraits. I see them and I feel like crying because they all are a part of our freedom struggle. They educated the people and contributed and communicated to the public what Indian struggle was.”

MIC Director Varadesh Hiregange said telling the truth — both in private and public — was a great challenge faced by all writers and journalists.

Padma Rani proposed vote of thanks.

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