Reject as false the choice between safety and ideals, students urged

Staff Reporter

Need for change has come to the forefront in all countries, says N. Ram

COIMBATORE: Exhorting students to look beyond their narrow interests, N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu, said it was a good time for students to reflect on change.

“The need for change has come to the forefront in all countries with the ushering in of Barack Obama as the first African American President of the U.S. in a democratic way. India has the advantage of a huge young population. Any activity of theirs relating to change will bring about at least a modicum of change in society,” he said.

He was inaugurating The Young Leaders Global Conclave with the theme ‘Be the Change,’ at the PSG College of Technology here on Wednesday.

Referring to the inaugural speech of Mr. Obama, Mr. Ram said: “We must reject as false the choice between safety and ideals. We have got to have both. If you want to become agents of change, you should not allow this false choice to rule.”

Lamenting on the effects of terrorism and communal disharmony in the country, he said certain forces were spreading hate politics and hate ideology. They were taking the law into their hands in the name of moral policing. “This is the consequence of failure of our system to keep communal forces at bay. Intolerance has become a virtue.”

Condemning the recent Mumbai terror attacks, Mr. Ram said: “Today we know the attacks originated in Pakistan. India has to build international and national pressure to bring the conspirators to justice and dismantle the terror infrastructure so that future chances of terrorism are scaled down.”

But, he cautioned that in the name of combating terrorism, “no shortcuts should be used.” It was imperative to maintain the rule of law. It would not be realistic to assume that India would become a developed nation by 2020 or even by 2050 if the literacy status did not improve. “If this situation does not change, we will not become a knowledge society. Something revolutionary needs to be done in this respect.”

G. Rangaswamy, Managing Trustee, PSG & Sons’ Charities, and B. Mahadevan, Professor, Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, were among those who spoke.

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