Dialogue  April-June 2009 , Volume 10 No. 4

Readers Writer

Observations of the Journals/Magazines

To get to know about the north-east one has to have access to serious journals like the quarterly Dialogue whose January-March issue is completely devoted to the north-east. Dialogue is a highly scholarly journal brought out by Astha Bharati of Delhi and the recent issue carries articles like the Story of North-East Vision 2020, Understanding Economic Growth in the North Eastern Region, Peace, Violence and Development in Manipur, Murder in Manipur etc. The trouble is that very few people are aware of the existence of such journals, unless there are intellectual professionals who have a stake in knowledge accumulation. – Narad, Psephology and Propaganda (Media Watch), Organiser, 24 May 2009, p. 5.

The three letters reproduced in the Dialogue (January-March 2009) have come out so attractive that readers would be compelled to read through the short writings. The colors of all the three illustrations are charming. Shall I send you an article on Hindu gods and goddesses in Japan with 30 color illustrations? – (Prof.) Lokesh Chandra, Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha), 1974-86.

A sudden irresistible impulse is driving me to write to you just to tell you that I have immensely enjoyed reading your editorial perspective in the Jan.-March 2008 issue of Dialogue which reached me a weak back. I had stopped working for the NHRC in Jan this year and I seldom visit their office.

I have always held you in high esteem for the thoroughness of your understanding of vital public issues and your powerful professional style of presenting your viewpoint without feeling restrained (or inning) by the requirements or what is called “political correctness”. And I have always felt it is not necessary for me to agree with you hundred percent while admiring your writings. I feel therefore all the more happy in telling you that I agree totally with your analysis of the ‘growing terror and anarchy’. I hope you would appreciate this endorsement coming from a person who can legitimately claim that he has not merely studied the phenomenon of terrorism but also hounded it as a serious minded professional.

        But the main purpose of the letter concerns the piece titled ‘India’s Encounter with the West’. It makes profound and stimulating reading of a popular myth the Western interest in our Sanskrit texts. You have so convincingly exposed the ill-motives of the Western Sanskritists and the unpatriotic partnership of our Indian intellectuals in the nefarious game.

        While I am with you in your remarks about the negative writings of Arundhati Roy, I find it difficult to understand why you have qualified ‘Caste Cruelty’ as a ‘colonial myth’. Its depiction and exaggeration by Arundhati Roy does not mean that the evil of caste discrimination and all marked cruelties are not a failure of our social life. As a police officer for 33 years and NHRC now for 11, I have witnessed too much of ‘Caste cruelties in India to agree with your view. – Chaman Lal, IPS (Retd.) C/o M. A.K. Suri 197G, MIG Flats, Rajauri Garden, New Delhi.


None can deny the fact that there is caste discrimination in Indian society. What is generally ignored while dealing with the topic is:

         (a)   That such phenomenon is selectively over-emphasized and there is a colonial and conversion agenda behind the same.

        (b)   Traditional ethos of the Indian society have been non-exploitative; sharing and harmonious living have been the prevailing norm (please see my book, India:Caste, Culture and the Traditions).

         (c)   Thorough depletion of India, due to over exploitation of the country by the British, resulted into acute pauperization and decline of education in this country. It led to acute competition for scarce resources and social conflict. Even then conflict-free harmonious living is the prevailing norm of our society.

        (d)   Caste-studies are often not done in broad social frame-work. Inter- and Intra-caste conflicts among non-Dalit castes are often ignored. Current conflict highlighting the Dalit situation is partly due to Constitutional and other measures and consciousness generated against Dalit oppression. In reality, such conflicts are not only against Dalits but these also affect other communities. Inter- and intra-caste conflicts among various non-Dalit castes are not less prevalent. I can cite the names of numerous villages where Bhumihar Brahmins, Rajputs and Yadavas have killed scores of their own caste men. But such cases do not get highlighted as much as Dalit issue. “as latter is mandatory and legally reported and acted upon by the authorities and NHRC and State HRCs, and rightly so.

Issue of Dalit oppression, therefore, should he seen in larger framework of past tolerance and mobility – which suffered a setback during the last 1000 years – but efforts through constitutional and social measures are being taken to achieve the earlier social harmony. Therefore, while denouncing Dalit disabilities the ameliorative, social, legal and constitutional measures for a harmonious society should also be noted and overall seen in the context of similar caste conflicts affecting other castes. The need is for better understanding and action and not alone highlighting conflict, which colonial Britishers did to divide the Hindu society.  - Editor       

Received a copy of Dialogue (Jan-March 09 issue) and tried to go through it but your editorial is so arresting and thought provoking that I went through it many a time. It is the best time to remember Gandhi and Lohia to assess their contribution for India and mankind. Gandhi propagated the theory of Swaraj in his book Hind Swaraj a hundred years ago. How India can be liberated in all fronts? Especially how its seven lakh villages may be self- dependent? That was his purpose. Lohia, who was versatile and who was not in favour of Marxism of Nehru, was rather for building just society by just means…

I really lack words in commenting on all articles of Dialogue as they are well conceived, thought provoking and research oriented. Whatever the depth of knowledge an author has, if he has no vision of visualising himself for concerned problems he must not be honest and neutral. These qualities always arrest my attention. The northeast problem is the main issue which has got a wide spectrum. The failure of all govt. machinery and increasing terrorisms, extremism, tyranny have their cause in govt’s apathy. … You have aptly remarked quoting the expert comment: “The govt. has been conducting peace talks with the Naga rebels of the NSCN (IM) faction for the last nearly 10 years, even though the rebels have not only not surrendered their weapons but continue to build up their arsenal.” (p.9) Actually they are taking advantage of the peaceful conditions to form parallel govt. D.C. Nath has wisely … suggested seven vital measures for tackling terror – intelligence, risk analysis, advance planning, availability of resources, cool analysis, security education and training. …            

every issue (of Dialogue) has tackled some burning problems of the day with authentic references. Generally you deal with northeastern region’s problems. I am rather surprised that how could you manage such articles of the authors of repute and research based… 

In his paper Dr. Kumar Vimal has suggested thirty one measures for eradicating the problems of Bihar…

All articles are research oriented & product of empirical study congratulations.   – (Prof.) Mrityunjay Upadhyay, Vrindavan, Manoram Nagar, L.C. Road, Dhanbad-826001 (Jharkhand).    

… The write ups in this journal provide a firm interface to my ideas and vision. Surely the articles have an analytical, objective and all-embracing flair, juxtaposed in an apparent language, which implicit an enlightened thinking.

Though the articles hold personal opinions of the contributors, yet for a change they are not self styled and provide an adequate scope for one to think and develop one’s own viewpoint.

Dialogue has certainly helped me nurture my thoughts towards the national, social, political, economic, security issues of the day.

The young generation needs to ‘walk his talk’ and a prolific reading like these would provide an impetus and pragmatism to his actions. – Pallavi Nayek, Ratu Road, P.O. Hehal West End Park, Ranchi-834005 (Jharkhand).

Dialogue special issue on Bangladesh. I am really happy to have it and to see the quality and the status of the journal. – Dr. G.A. Ghanshyam, Lakshmi Sadan, Seepat Road, Ashok Nagar, Bilaspur-495006 (Chhatisgarh) 

… I have gone through all the articles of your journal referred to above, with a focus on Bangladesh. I found every article so informative and balanced in all respect and for that it can simply be termed as “Superb”. The articles there in have made your journal an eye-opener to the society in general and socialites in particular and at the same time mind blowing and path finder to readers.

This issue (10:2) in Bangladesh perspective will give ample materials to those who want to know some thing, any thing and every thing about this neighbour which has gone hostile to us after the assassination of the Banga-Bandhu – late Muzib-ur-Rehman. I would like to express my gratitude and sense of appreciation to the contributors for their scholarly pursuit. … Amaresh Shandilya, “Anant Kripa” College Road, Barauni - 851 112, (Bihar).


Dialogue (A quarterly journal of Astha Bharati)

Astha Bharati