Asian Life & Times - SALT
world’s largest democracy, the voices of reason have been few, relatively.
The listeners are getting fewer. The virus of money, especially in politics,
has disabled our inner sensitivities. The digital age has made it even
harder to discern the voice of reason from the babble of ever-increasing
random online voices and junk blogs.
distinguished voice that stands out in our nation of over a billion is that
of Ashok Vajpeyi - writer, poet, critic, and a former bureaucrat. One of the
finest minds in India, fascinating and forthright, Ashok Vajpeyi - in his
role as a social and cultural commentator - provides frank insight and a
rare window of intelligent, reflective writing.
Equally proficient and articulate in both Hindi
and English, Ashok Vajpeyi writes poetry in Hindi, prose in English, and
translates from diverse languages. He has been a senior civil servant and
was the first Vice Chancellor of Mahatma Gandhi International Hindi
University. Winner of national awards for poetry - the esteemed Sahitya
Akademi Award and Dayavati Modi Kavi Shekhar Samman in 1994 – he has
authored dozens of books. The written word, art and music are his passions.
His intensity is what sets him apart.
shares his thoughts and insights with its readers.
becomes increasingly difficult to dream surrounded as you are with daily
nightmares! However, being human and Indian does compel you to dream. Life,
after all, is not just reality, it is also so many dreams.
Indian dream has to be necessarily a dream of plurality: it has to be a
dream consisting of many sub dreams. It is a dream of equality, plurality,
justice and openness. A dream in which every Indian is able to realize
find place and respect for
one’s creativity and a focus for
one’s imagination and aspiration. But also
a dream where market, consumerism and fundamentalism of any kind have no
support or validity. An India which is argumentative, full of dialogues and
contestations, where many visions flourish except the parochial, communal
ones. An India of youthful energy, curiosity, enterprise and innovation,
courage and challenges.
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