The Centre for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy (CSSEIP) organized a Special Lecture on the topic “Identity and the Idea of India: An experience from North-East” by Sri C. Balagopal, Former IAS Officer and the author of the Book titled “On a Clear Day You Can See India”, at University of Hyderabad (UoH) on 8th April, 2014. The session was chaired by Prof. Ramakrishna Ramaswamy, Vice Chancellor, University of Hyderabad (UoH).
Prof. Ramaswamy recalled his student days association with Sri Balagopal at the Loyola College, University of Madras.
In his lecture Sri Balagopal said that in the early days more than 600 independent entities existed and all of them came together to form Independent India. Due to this diversified nature of our country, many other countries felt that India may not survive longer after independence, he added. Further, Sri Balagopal observed that though India is a smaller country than China, it is called a sub-continent due to its diverse conditions. Indians speak many languages, but no Indian citizen knows all the 15 official languages of the country.
Sri Balagopal also stated that successive Governments in the country have paid lesser attention to Eastern India than the rest of the country. Unlike the rest of India, Governments have not shown the same understanding towards the North-East region. Sri Gopinath Bordoloi, first Prime Minister of undivided Assam before independence and later Chief Minister of the Indian state of Assam has played a major role in keeping Assam with India, he added.
Sri Balagopal observed that Identity, Migration, Governance are the major issues in the world. Both Identity and migration issues pose many challenges to the Governance. He observed that the media should play a positive role towards Governance rather creating hype through its news. India has the capability of delivering good governance. Unlike the other democratic countries, India has the ability to prevent issues arising out of Identity and Migration. Unlike Indian system of Governance, the US system is not trained to anticipate the issues of Identity and migration, he added.
Finally Sri Balagopal said that Identity, Migration and Governance are interrelated to each other.