Staff Reporter

Book shows how `India is trying to adapt and adopt modern political ideologies'

CHENNAI: Independent India has adapted political ideas and institutions described as western imports in unique ways, said speakers at the release of the book `Remade in India: Political Modernisation in the Indian Context'.

R. Velu, Union Minister of State for Railways, handed over the first copy to Savithri Devanesan, Director, Roofs for the Roofless.

Author M. Abel, former Vice-Chancellor, Shri Krishnadevaraya University, said that developing countries such as India represented the future of so-called western ideas such as parliamentary government, rule of law, and secularism. Ideas could not be the monopoly of the East or the West, and could be acquired and used for the benefit of any society, he said. "India has demonstrated flexibility, resilience and adaptability in enabling Western ideas to take root here. Developing countries need to recognise the centrality of political ideas to be of equal importance to economic factors," he said.

Mr. Velu said that the chapter on Tamil Nadu's history showed that the Dravidian parties had come to power on the promise of social justice and the revival of Tamil language and culture. They seemed to have forgotten their commitment to social justice now, he said.

C.A. Perumal of the University of Madras said that the seeds of modernisation had been sown in alien, occasionally hostile, soil in India, but they also sprouted to bear fruit.

Agarala Eswara Reddy, former Speaker, Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly; and S. Gopalakrishnan, formerly of the S.V. University, Tirupati; felicitated the author.

`Remade in India... ' has been described as shedding light on `the manner in which India is trying to adapt and adopt modern political ideologies such as constitutionalism, nationalism, federalism, democracy, secularism, fundamental rights, social justice etc.'

It has been published by ICFAI University Press.