The Huddle 2019 day 2 | As it happened

Sachin Pilot in conversation with Amit Baruah at The Huddle, February 10, 2019, Bengaluru   | Photo Credit: K. Murali Kumar

The third edition of The Huddle, The Hindu’s two-day annual thought conclave, concluded at the ITC Gardenia hotel in Bengaluru on February 10.

Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu, who delivered the Chief Guest’s address, and Sachin Pilot were among the guest speakers on the second day.

Click here for the proceedings on day 1

Session 6 | 4.00 p.m.

 

Reviving the Congress: The way forward to 2019 & beyond

Sachin Pilot, Hon Deputy Chief Minister of Rajasthan

In conversation with Amit Baruah, Resident Editor, Delhi, The Hindu

Sachin Pilot: More than rebuilding, the Congress party needs reviving. In 2014, we got the lowest ever tally. That defeat we should accept with full humility. Our opposition is political, not personal. Sticking to convictions is what the Congress stands for. Congress has taken large strides and the coming months will throw up many surprises. I know for a fact that people will ask tough questions, making the people they voted for accountable. The elections are going to see a good churning of political parties and voters.

 

 

'That I should be Deputy CM was a decision we took together'

Question: How disappointed were you when you become Deputy CM of Rajasthan?

Click here for the full schedule

Pilot: 5years ago, we got the lowest number of seats in Rajasthan. i was asked to go and help the Congress come back to power. We lost all 25 Lok Sabha seats. I had to move from Delhi to live in Jaipur to start from nothing. We worked together and from 21 to 101, we were able to come back to power. The fact that I should be Deputy CM was a decision we took together.

There is a soldier in me, 3rd generation fauji. No question of disappointment. I am still the captain of my team. It took a lot grit and struggle to get people to believe in us again. But in the end, we got the mandate and that is very satisfying.

 

 

'Many youngsters in leadership roles at pan-India level thanks to Rahul Gandhi'

Question: Has there been an introspection on why Congress has reached this pass?

Pilot: It will be foolish to deny that there was something different. We have come back to where we sarted. Since Rahul Gandhi became party president, there have been many youngsters in leadership roles at the pan-India level. The only party that has the bandwidth to take on the BJP is the Congress. We have a good election on hand and people realise that.

Indian politics is unpredictable. In 2004, nobody thought Congress will come to power. The Indian electorate is sophisticated. 130 cr. people are watching what is happening, asking questions that need answering but are getting none.

The 2004 situation is quite possible. The performance of of BJP is far from satisfactory. Yogi Adityanath was campaigning in Rajasthan, he didn't go to Lucknow for 22 days. he has no traction in Rajasthan, he was brought there because he represents a kind of politics.

Why is no one talking about hiding data on jobs, RBI governors have been quitting, sustained effort to devalue institutions.

 

 

'Sense of insecurity in BJP with Priyanka's entry into politics'

Question: Is the entry of Priyanka Gandhi  going to be a game changer?

Pilot: Even before she had officially taken charge, there is a sense of insecurity in the BJP. She is general secretary of the Congress, why is it causing so much heart burn for the BJP? Political uncertainty it has caused is telling me that they have a reason to fear.

If BSP and SP want an alliance, we respect that. Nothing is static in politics. We are fighting to win. We are likely to have a better performance than 2009 in UP. UP is very critical in the next Lok Sabha elections, 80 seats. The narrative needs change. They are willing to give the mandate to the Congress. We will do well, much better than the other parties.

 

 

'Congress is pro-women, pro-Dalit'

Question: Would the Congress support a woman, Dalit PM?

Pilot: Is the real question that Mr. Modi is not likely to be PM?

Amit Baruah: You are putting words in my mouth

Pilot: Congress is pro-women, pro-Dalit. We have regional leaders; but numbers matter in democracy. The Congress has spread across the country and numbers will matter, which may not be possible by regional parties. The BJP was in power in the cow belt and they have lost all three. There is a political messaging that is symbolic of things to come.

There has been no PM from the Gandhi family for the past 35 years, so it is wrong to say Rahul Gandhi is doing this to become PM. Congress has an equal presence in both northern and southern India.

There is no Gujarat model any more. The first Cabinet meeting after 2014 victory, they had a meeting about getting back black money. They will be having their last Cabinet meeting soon and not a naya paisa has come back. Ask them about the statements they made earlier, they say kasam hum khate hain mandir vaheen banayenge. Questoning the BJP has mean to become one who is questioning is "anti-national."

In 2G scam and mining scam, the courts said there was no corruption there. Today, the PM and his Ministers have not been able to convince that there is no wrongdoing in Rafale deal. The BJP has used every single agency, the ED, CBI to muzzle the voices of Opposition. Now, CBI is raiding the CBI. Rafael issue has got traction now, people want answers and the ruling dispensation is getting nervous about it.

 

 

'I believe Rahul is the best person to lead the Congress party'

Baruah: What is it that the Congress party has new as we go towards the elections?

Pilot: Chidambaram is working on the manifesto, it should be ready by month end. It will not be a jumla manifesto. We really want to know what young people, young professionals want. Unlike BJP, we really want to do what we promise.

105% of the demonetized money has come back, not 99%. Today, India is an aspirational country. Young people today have a lot of self confidence. They want a level playing field, opportunities and they will do the rest.

Baruah: Madhya Pradesh Congress Govt. has invoked NSA against cow slaughter, How are you different from BJP?

Pilot: All animals are sacred. There are other issues that need focus. But, Mr Kamal Nath can answer that better. I would be giving my father advise sitting in the back of the vehicle when I was accompanying him during tours. But, now, I realise I am doing exactly what I was advising my father against. My father was in politics for 19  years, I finished 18. I had the goodwill of my father. But, I have not achieved even 5% of what he had achieved. Politics is not for weak-hearted and thin-skinned.

In Congress, nobody else contested against Rahul for the President's post. But, in BJP I don't know how Amit Shah was elected. I believe Rahul is the best person to lead the party. We feel he can take us forward.

 

 

'Congress also working at booth level'

Question from audience: Can Sachin Pilot or P. Chidambaram become a party president?

Pilot: For several years, there have been others, who have been President. Why don't you ask the same question to Mulayam Singh and some other parties? Several young people are given chances in Congress. Congress party is fully committed to promote young faces in the party. BJP has a formidable election machine  headed by Amit Shah. In Ajmer, there were six booths, not a single vote was cast. When the tide is against you, the poll management will not work.

Though elections are fought at booth level, the macro level issues still matter. Ultimately, the will of the people will prevail. Congress party is also working at the booth level.

Loan waivers are helping farmers. But, more than that the eco-system for the farmers has to be improved. 96% of political donations have gone to one party - BJP. We are more than happy to make the disclosure about the donations we receive. BJP makes money when it is in power or out of power. The amount of money power of the BJP is phenomenal.

The session concludes

Session 5 | 3.05 p.m.

 

Actors all: The new face of women in Indian cinema

(from left) Tillotama Shome, Richa Chadha, Namrata Joshi, Rasika Dugal at The Huddle in Bengaluru, February 10, 2019

(from left) Tillotama Shome, Richa Chadha, Namrata Joshi, Rasika Dugal at The Huddle in Bengaluru, February 10, 2019   | Photo Credit: K. Murali Kumar

 

Rasika Dugal, Actor

Richa Chadha, Actor

Tillotama Shome, Actor

In conversation with Namrata Joshi, Cinema Editor, The Hindu

Namrata: Is there something new happening? What is the alchemy that is allowing this? If not, why is it not?

Tillotama: Growing up I always felt like an outsider. There are new narratives.

Richa (transformation in roles for women): I see more diverse female characters, not just the archetypes. But I don't know if there is greater inclusion. We will always be outsiders, because of the nature of the agency.

Rasika (on her acting in short films, Amazon and diversity of mediums, and if she is getting diverse roles): Definitely. The web space is free of censorship. They have freedom in type of roles, topics to take up. Refreshing change from formulae in mainstream cinema. But there is good and bad there. There are interesting roles for women. Finally, we are acknowledged as sexual beings. It is a relief, but I'm not sure where it is going. I don't think we have references or know how to create that visual that doesn't make the woman look sexualised.

I was excited about my character in Mirzapur. I've not read or played like that before. But we should be aware that we may not pull it off like how we wanted.

Richa: The male gaze is not going to go away. Films are just a mirror of society. If patriarchy exists in society, it is not going to go away. Just see how people take pictures, beauty filters have entered our life, but we are getting there.

I think Shakeela is the story of a woman who was a path breaker in many ways. We are a woke audience seeing the right content. It's a fantastic cinematic story and a commercial film. Things I want to say: role of cinema in society in propagating rape in society. But I don't think any of us can walk far away from our world view and values.

Tillotama: When I read Sir, I felt I had blood on my hands, the class divide the film is critiquing is what I'm guilty of. If the make gaze has been ossified for centuries, women have co-opted. The same is for class. Class is like invisible slavery. I'm also guilty of it. When I take a cab, do I think of possibilities with the driver? The only way we as a society can envisage a relationship between a domestic help and man is pornography. This is what I found when I tried to research those who have tried to transgress class boundaries  For us to take a leap of faith and dignify transgression is amazing in the movie. We as a society don't even recognise the problem, let alone deal with it.

Rasika Dugal on the series Delhi Crime Stories around the investigation around the Nirbhaya case: I just felt what was interesting with the series was that it was not just how these six men were caught, it also throws light on the lives of these women probing the case and how they are negotiating patriarchy, sexism and misogyny. We often talk of the violence against women in great detail, but not what led to this crime.

Namrata: How have things changed after Me Too?

Richa: It's very hard. What's even harder is that society looks at the film industry as vice, sin city. Women here are fallen. In that eco-system, coming out with stories of people, mentors harassing them is hard. No woman wants publicity from something like this. If you've gone through that, it affects every level of life - bedroom to boardroom. It affects the whole spectrum.

To treat that person as a sex offender, people say but he is a good father. But even Pablo Escobar was a good father. That doesn't take from the criminality of actions. After every rape, we have politicians making terrible statements. Why do we deserve this kind of leadership?

Two outcomes: People are more direct if they need help, instead of thinking it is a compliment to objectify us. Other outcome is that people stop hiring women. No women, no Me Too.

Tilottamma: There's a coming together. But it's not enough or big enough. Some of us actresses met the Producer's union and shared our concerns. The guidelines need to be tweaked to our industry. But is there a willingness to do it. I always thought being safe on set is something given and to ask for. Conversations post Me Too in India and America are very different as the two legal systems are different. Here I will have to defend myself all my life. Our justice system doesn't support. The burden of proof is on the woman. There are so many roadblocks to speak of. The industry ostracises you.

Namrata: Does the movement change the way you take roles?

Rasika: It has given space. When I call out people for making a sexist remark or anything, people listen to me.

Richa: This will have a backlash. This is a country where rape is "Izzat lootna". Why? The man lost control! Why do we blur the woman's face? This does not happen for murder or robbery victims? Why? Because it is a shame for women.

Question: Are you more comfortable with women directors?

Richa: I'm friendly with directors of Masaan and Fukrey. Both opposite ends of the spectrum, but feminists in their own way. Women directors are fun to work with because of the absence of male gaze. No pressure for make-up. It is lovely!

Tillotama: I have worked with many male and female directors. Honestly I have never felt a difference. The director of Qissa, a male, he was the gentlest. Even a scene of frontal nudity was done with absolute professionalism. Never did I feel hope there were women, as they were men working professionally. There are women directors who could be insensitive.

Richa: We need better role models than cricketers and Bollywood stars.

The session concludes.

Session 4 | 1.15 p.m.

 

2019: Which way will the elections go?

(from left) Manisha Priyam, Yogendra Yadav, Mukund Padmanabhan and Rahul Verma at The Huddle in Bengaluru, Sunday, February 10, 2019

(from left) Manisha Priyam, Yogendra Yadav, Mukund Padmanabhan and Rahul Verma at The Huddle in Bengaluru, Sunday, February 10, 2019   | Photo Credit: K. Murali Kumar

 

Manisha Priyam, Academic & Researcher

Rahul Verma, Political Scientist & Author

Yogendra Yadav, Politician, Psephologist & Academic

In conversation with Mukund Padmanabhan, Editor, The Hindu

Yogendra Yadav: I do not want to pretend to be neutral psephologist. 2014 was a complete outlier even for BJP's successful election. it used to get 50 (seats) when it did very well in earlier elections. BJP has come down a shade in popularity as the recent by-elections in UP indicates. Ram janma bhoomi had a promise for the nishads. The politics of the region was a politics of sub-categorisation, the politics of merger and alliances. The elections in eatern and western UP were  two different battles. Micro processes of change are militating against BJP in western UP, the narrative is being set.

Rahul Verma: On arithmetic and popularity, If 2014 was the lowest point of SP and BSP, I think BSP may go down further. BJP may be able to retain votes, but lose seats. Assuming that BJP is losing a certain percentage of votes, there is a question that if the BJP is losing popularity, why are BSP and SP coming together?

Yadav: My own sense is that Priyanka will not make much of a difference. Congress support base of Muslim and Dalit votes could be voting for SP or BSP. The Hindi belt is where this 2019 elections will be decided. In 226 seats of the Hindi heartland is where the real changes will happen. In the remaining, the changes will cancel out against each other in the rest of the country. The party that won the Assembly elections in Rajasthan and MP, tends to improve in the Lok Sabha polls.

Yadav: Rajasthan could be a challenge for Congress. In the Hindi belt, BJP would lose at least 100 seats.

Verma: Where there was an increased turnout, the BJP benefited. So, we should not read too much into by-elctions in UP. How many seats BJP loses will be determined by the party's narrative in the run up to the elections.

Manisha Priyam: An election of many Indias. The heavy turnout was Modi's rallies. At the end of it, Modi was a unifying factor.

Yadav: Mr. Modi as any astute political player would know that its success depends on a national narrative. In the larger narrative, Mr Modi knows where to pitch what kind of regional colour. BJP knows that they have three structural advantages - organisational machine, enormous money, media. Though I would like Mr Modi to lose, not for principled reasons, but for economic reasons.

Verma:  BJP manages to get last-minute votes in its favour. Would economic and agrarian distress determine the way people vote?

Manisha: The issue of inflation played heavily on the minds of the electorate in Bihar. Economic issues matter. What are the issues this time? Unemployment means a formal thing in the labour market. People are militating against an array of things that mean unemployment. It means breaking of pathways to come into the job market (for students in smaller universities). Post matric scholarships have not been paid for 3 years now. It is like a tinder box. In Delhi's informal labour, a daily wage labourer doesn't find a job till 1 p.m.

Yadav: Pollsters are likely to make mistakes, for technical reasons. Pollsters like to play it safe - type one error. Type two error is to take a risk and make a big announcement. There is a possibility of error - they might overestimate BJP on exit polls.

Yadav: BJP won in the Hindi belt in the last elections is it generated hope, but that hope is now lost. Essentially because of economic reasons, agrarian distress, unemployment. Real issues will come to the fore in the elections. I want Mr. Modi to lose, but I am worried over what will happen after the elections. Unless the Opposition to BJP could offer a real agenda, there is a real danger.

The session concludes.  Following the lunch break is the next session -  Actors All: The new face of women in Indian cinema

Session 3 | 12.25 p.m.

 

God and Government: Should the State leave religion alone?

(from left) Rajeev Bhargava, Arif Mohammed Khan, N. Ravi and R. Jagannathan at The Huddle in Bengaluru, Sunday February 10, 2019

(from left) Rajeev Bhargava, Arif Mohammed Khan, N. Ravi and R. Jagannathan at The Huddle in Bengaluru, Sunday February 10, 2019   | Photo Credit: K. Murali Kumar

 

Arif Mohammed Khan, Politician

R Jagannathan, Journalist

Rajeev Bhargava, Indian Political Theorist

In conversation with N Ravi, Publisher, The Hindu Group of Newspapers

Bhargava: In spiritual exercises, there is absolutely no reason for the government to interfere. That is the spirit of freedom, but religion has often meant something more. Sometimes there is no way to conduct these spiritual exercises without joining a organised group. We know in the west, Latin christians, organised groups exercise a lot of power. if that is what religion is, an institutional and organised group, I don't find any reason why the government can't interfere.

One can look at different conceptions as dimensions. there are dimensions that need interference. I would protest against an authoritarian government intervening in religion. Unless there is people's consent, there should not be any interference. Religion should also leave the State alone.

In societies that are diverse, the best one can do is to allow every religion. some people believe in one God, some in many... either there should be no influence or all religions should be given equal opportunities to influence the ethical aspects of the state.

Arif Khan: The basic question is are we using the term religion in the Indian context paradigm or western? Even my understanding is that it applies to eastern contexts, which includes Islam as well. Indian paradigm is sanatan Dharma, eternal principles and values and yog dharma, principles specific to time we are living.

(Quoting Shankaracharya) Who am i? Eternal bliss which is identified with the spirit, soul. This is best illustrated in a Hindu couplet. Purpose of taking birth is the same. Our Constitution - Article 25 to 28 - imposes duties on the State. What the State can interfere in and must keep away from... the appropriate word is Adhyatma. pursuit of knowledge.

The constitution makes it amply clear where the government is duty bound. Triple talaq, the government record is shameful. No government tried to improve the situation. Thanks to SC, it has been declared unlawful. The religion doesn't permit it, neither does the Quran: the pronounciation of talaq thrice at one go. It is only because of SC that some hope is there. As far as personal faith is concerned, the government has no business to interfere.

R. Jagannathan: Between God and Govt, there has to be no nexus. The Indian State does not say we will not interfere in religion. It says we are equidistant from all religions. Government controls temples, but minority institutions are barred. We have to separate religion from government or allow people to follow their own religious beliefs. Sabarimala issue represents diversity of religious places.

Bhargava: 3 points. One is that secular is a term that we have imported from outside India, but forget that religion is also imported. If religion is going to become a popular term, then secular will become equally popular. Second, there is nothing called one single European model. The State will not interfere in religious affairs and vice versa. There was a time when there was great hostility when state was emancipating itself from the church. Over a period of time, the State has a friendly relationship with the church. The context is different in india. Religious diversity is our landscape.

How to manage diversity. when there is diversity, there is possibility of degradation between religious and intra-religious diversity leading to intra-religious domination. In india, constitution celebrates religious diversity. But we should be alert to intra and inter-religious domination.

Question: If we can appreciate SC judgement on triple talaq, why not on Sabarimala?

Arif Khan: The argument is that women at menstruating age, impurity is associated with that. All human beings are entitled to dignity, respect. You are creating this awareness that while menstruating, a woman is impure.

Question: Open display of religiosity in public while in public office.

Bhargava: Public officials should not do it, by and large. If they do, they must do it for all religions.

Arif Khan: Right from inception of Indian civilization, India always viewed diversity as a source of enrichment and not as a source of weakness.

The session concludes.

11: 50 am

 

Let Hindi prosper, but don't enforce it on us: Ma Foi Pandiarajan

Ma Foi Pandiarajan, when asked about Dravida Nadu as a cultural entity, says, "From 1971 census, Hindi was spoken by 18 crore people. 2011, 62 crore people. It is a positive propagation.

"Let Hindi prosper, but don't enforce it on us. Allow us too propagate our own language," he says.

"What we asked was like Hindi prachar Sabha, we'll start a Tamil prachar Sabha. 1.4 crore people live outside the country. After all, investment is also a cultural decision. We've been asking, but no support. The only support HRD gives is for Hindi and Sanskrit. We don't want Southern languages, which are classical, to be diminishing.

"Tamil Nadu, contrary to popular belief, is a diverse land. But they've taken Tamil as a business language. If they could do so in other languages, diversity of TN would be apparent. They will be the bridge to other states," he adds.

 

11:30 am

Dr. Jayan Jose Thomas speaks now:

Mukund Padmanabhan, N. Ravi and N. Ram at The Huddle in Bengaluru, Sunday February 10, 2019

Mukund Padmanabhan, N. Ravi and N. Ram at The Huddle in Bengaluru, Sunday February 10, 2019   | Photo Credit: G.P. Sampath Kumar

 

"Southern states including Kerala are ahead of the country in economic and social development. What benefits southern states is reaching the benefits of growth to the population."

"Kerala is ahead of others. The level of agricultural wages.. the southern states are ahead, western states are at the bottom. In social development, Kerala has been a leader not only in India, but in the world," he says.

"In 1950s, the land reforms created an equitable base for the agriculture. Civil society took part in education and healthcare. Economic turnaround took place in Kerala in 80s, largely on account of remittances from middle east.

"We have a relatively well educated workforce. Can the economy match the aspirations of the workforce?" he asks. "The big challenge is to move to a new economic structure which has a greater role for skilled work force."

 

11: 20 am

 

"Tamil Nadu is similar to Southern states, but unique in some aspects, "says Ma Foi K Pandiarajan.

"The sense of culture is a lot deeper. Movements have revolved around threat to Tamil culture and identity. Politics has revolved around Tamil identity. It is very strong. For instance, 1963 language Bill got such a huge reaction from no other state than TN," he says. 

"Welfare state, like Finland, Sweden, was articulated by Amma in 2012. There are 28 Amma schemes. Tamil Nadu is misconceived that it is a State of freebies. One third of budget of 2.4 lakh crore goes as welfare schemes.

"Each of the 28 schemes have strong developmental component - country hen scheme or mangalsutra - have a reflection.

"Tamil Nadu is the State with the most balanced GDP: 21% from agriculture, manufacturing, and 45% from services. This is in strong contrast to other states," he says.  

"The grievance is that we're being punished for growth and good governance," he adds.

11: 00 am

 

The future of the South

Next up is a session on The future of the South: The southern states in a changing economic and political landscape

Speakers include Krishna Byre Gowda, Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj, Karnataka; Ma Foi K Pandiarajan, Minister for Tamil Official Language and Tamil Culture, Tamil Nadu; K T Rama Rao, Working President, Telangana Rashtra Samithi; T M Thomas Isaac, Minister of Finance, Kerala; in conversation with Narayan Lakshman, Associate Editor, The Hindu

***

Krishna Byre Gowda begins by saying that "Karnataka, across the State, managed to blend elements of southern culture and absorb northern influence also. It is reflective of national characteristics.

"Kannadigas are easy to blend with; their strength is socially speaking.

"Just like its neighbours, Karnataka is doing fairly well. What distinguishes Karnataka is that we have not waited for the centre to invest in infrastructure and human development. As a result, Karnataka has enormous talent pool. That's an asset," he says.

He says, "Politically, all southern states are unique. But among them, Karnataka is unique as both national parties have equal presence. We are more closely aligned with the national political dynamic."

10: 45 am

 

'Paid news is a disturbing trend'

Delivering the Chief Guest's address, Mr. Naidu says, "Paid news is a disturbing trend. Media outlets are being started for political considerations. It is the reality."

He says these trends "should be curbed in the beginning itself. The journalists association should come out with a code of ethics for all in the fraternity.

"News and views should not be mixed or compromised. We must provide pure, unadulterated news to the people," Mr. Naidu says.

10: 30 am

 

Parties should come out with code of ethics for its MLAs, MPs: Venkaiah Naidu

Mr. Naidu says "A delicate balance between 3 wings of democracy should be maintained. Competitive obstruction is not good for the democracy. The time has come for all parties to come out with a code of ethics for its MLAs ad MPs."

Referring to populist schemes, he says, "We need to empower people to stand on their feet rather than depend on government. Parties should explain how they will finance such schemes. It will make them more accountable. There should be a wider debate on this."

 

10: 15 am

 

Vice President begins Chief Guest's address

Vice President Venkaiah Naidu delivers the Chief Guest's address at this year's edition of The Huddle

Vice President Venkaiah Naidu delivers the Chief Guest's address at this year's edition of The Huddle   | Photo Credit: Murali Kumar K.

 

Vice President Venkaiah Naidu begins his Chief Guest's address. "It is a pleasure to join The Hindu debate. A pleasure even going through the paper because of its standard way of reporting news."

"During my student days, one reporter named Chundi Vishwanathan in my town. Someone used to say that the reporter would visit one's house, check the pulse and then only report that a person is dead," he says, eliciting laughter from the audience.

Mr. Naidu begins speaking on today's topic. "We need to ponder whether the progress of the country was to its potential or could we have done better. Today India is a fast growing. It is important that we all agree on the nation's progress. All politicians should rise above narrow short term rhetoric.

He speaks on fighting the menace of corruption and bridging the urban-rural divide. "Unless these challenges are tackled, we won't be able to mke much progress. Diversity of opinion is the sign of a healthy democracy. Dissent is acceptable, but not disintegration," he says.

"World-wide economies are going a little slow. India is the ray of hope, a favourite destination of investors. I have met many ambassadors and others, who are happy to invest here. They are impressed by the ease of investing, the mantra - reform, perform and transform."

"The need of the hour is to sustain the growth rate," he says. "Agriculture is the basic culture of this country."

"Economic development has to be translated to human development. We have a demographic advantage as 60% of the population is below 35 years. India has no other option but to develop skilled and a highly skilled workforce," Mr. Naidu says.

"Indian youngsters and people are excelling in various forums. So many success stories. There is skill and there is knowledge. The need is to tap them and upgrading them. The private sector should also focus on skill development," he adds.

"There is a healthy competition between the states to get investors. That's a healthy trend. India is on the right trajectory, but it is important to maintain the momentum. We need to reorient the schools and equip the yooungsters to come up with more innovations.," he says.

"Share and care should be taught to the youngsters," Mr. Naidu says.

 

 

10: 00 am

 

Day 2 schedule

10.00 am - 10.45 am - CHIEF GUEST ADDRESS Venkaiah Naidu, Hon Vice-President of India

10.50 am - 11.40 am - The future of the South: The southern states in a changing economic and political landscape Krishna Byre Gowda, Hon Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj, Karnataka Ma Foi K Pandiarajan, Hon Minister for Tamil Official Language and Tamil Culture, Tamil Nadu K T Rama Rao, Working President, Telangana Rashtra Samithi T M Thomas Isaac, Hon Minister of Finance, Kerala In conversation with Narayan Lakshman, Associate Editor, The Hindu

11.40 am - 11.55 am - TEA

11.55 am - 12.45 pm - God & Government: Should the State leave religion alone? Arif Mohammed Khan, Politician R Jagannathan, Journalist Rajeev Bhargava, Indian Political Theorist In conversation with N Ravi, Publisher, The Hindu Group of Newspapers

Click here for the full schedule

Inputs from Bengaluru bureau

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