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B.G.Verghese: 'We have forgotten richness of India's plurality'

IANS August 14, 2014 11:41 IST
New Delhi: India is the only country in the world where all major faiths coexist peacefully, but the richness of this plurality has been forgotten by our people, said veteran journalist and author B.G.Verghese.

The 88-year-old public intellectual was discussing his new book "Post Haste: Quintessential India"(Tranquebar; Rs. 1,295) at the India International Centre on Wednesday evening where his emphasised that "deliberate fortification of history" has made younger generation ignorant about our rich and vibrant past.

"What is being taught in schools is the history of Aryabhata, the great mathematician from India. But there isn't much information about the history of south India and northeast region in our text books," said Verghese.

"This is why our younger generation is ignorant about many things and has taken in for granted the richness of our past and forgotten the diversity of our plurality," he added.

Through this book, Verghese, who has served as information adviser to former prime minister Indira Gandhi, has illustrated history of India through postal stamps that join fragmented history, geography and cultural diversity of the country together in this "mini encyclopedia" to reach out to younger generation.

"I felt there was the need to reach out to young people who can view history through these stamps and ask their parents questions about the people, places and events mentioned in stamps," he said.

The Ramon Magsaysay award winner, who was removed as editor of The Hindustan Times for opposing the emergency rule and press censorship imposed by Indira Gandhi 1975-77, has authored books like "Warrior of the Fourth Estate" and his autobiography "First Draft: Witness to Making of Modern India"

He believes stamps tell about the past and speculate about the future.

"This book is an appetizer to attract young people," he concluded.