“Real nationalism is not discussing religion and faith but talking about poverty. However, if you speak of poverty, then you will be branded a traitor,” Ramon Magsaysay award winner and founder of SELCO Harish Hande has said.
He was speaking at the Khadri Shamanna Media Award Function at BVB College in Hubballi on Sunday.
The award ceremony was jointly organised by Khadri Shamanna Trust, Melkote, and Dharwad District Union of Working Journalists (DDUWJ) where senior journalist Gopal Hegde was honoured with the Khadri Shamanna Award.
Mr. Hande said that if nationalism has to be supported, it should speak and act for alleviating poverty. “Speaking about poverty and addressing it is real nationalism and patriotism,” he said.
It is really pathetic that people are talking about taking pride in the fact that India is above Pakistan in the Human Development Index, he said and added that, in reality, it is a matter of concern.
He also expressed dismay over real inventors and farmers using indigenous technologies not being recognised.
“It is sad that those who spoke good English are being recognised but not the real achievers. Not much importance is being given to native knowledge and folk treasure. Native knowledge and intelligence of the tribal people in North Eastern States are being sidelined and they are being treated as workers. This is nothing but modern slavery,” he said.
Mr. Hande emphasised the need for focusing on climate change, its impact and the ways to address the global issue. Journalism too should focus on issues that can bring about global lifestyle changes, he said.
Journalist H.R. Shreesha expressed dismay over young journalists not showing interest in work despite having facilities. Most of the young journalists are after money and those who have to correct them, have joined hands with them which is a matter of concern, he said.
Vice-Chancellor of KLE Technological University Ashok Shettar mentioned about the developments in media. He said that media is required to build an alert society. At a time when North Karnataka is facing leadership vacuum in every field, media has a major role to play, he added.
Responding to the honour, Mr. Gopal Hegde recalled his association with Khadri Shamanna and spoke on the changing media scenario. DDUWJ president Lochanesh Hugar spoke.