Rubbishing the notion of the “trickle down theory” and stressing that the poor must feel that they have a stake in a rising India, a prominent journalist maintained that economic equity “is the biggest challenge” for the country. “You cannot be complacent about it”, said Mr. M.J. Akbar, Editorial Director of India Today, who was visiting the SRM University’s Kattankulathur Campus and addressed a group of students and faculty cutting across disciplines. The President of SRM University, the Vice Chancellor, the Pro Vice Chancellor (Medical), several Directors and Deans participated in the event that witnessed an interactive session as well. Mr.
M.J.Akbar addressing the gatheringModernity in India cannot be measured by air conditioners, the number of cars in the streets or fashionable tollways connecting cities; rather modernity has four essential factors, that of democracy, secularism, gender equality and economic equity maintained Mr.Akbar. Democracy meant equality surpassing such facets as color and creed and that the concept of a minority has to see the framework of empowerment, Mr.Akbar said. Secularism is not the elimination of faith but in ensuring the co-existence of all faiths, the reputed scribe said. “ I cannot think of even one Hindu philosopher or writer who has been nasty against Prophet Mohammad and Vice Versa”, Mr.Akbar said adding that China may be a successful nation but not a modern nation. Gender equality, Mr.Akbar said, had to go beyond looking at the fine lines of the laws laid or passed but in the implementation of one’s own thinking. Jawaharlal Nehru, by his own admission, saw his achievement in the passing of the Hindu Code Bill but acknowledged that his big failure was in not being able to provide Muslim women a similar Bill, Mr.Akbar pointed out. Mr.Akbar’s visit comes at a time when a slew of media houses—India Today, Zee TV, DNA and Education Times (of The Times of India Group)—have ranked SRM University as India’s Number One Multiple Stream Private University. Mr.Akbar exhorted the faculty and students to rise and meet the challenges of modern India as everyone had a role to play. “The poor must feel that they have a part of rising India… For India this is the biggest challenge”, Mr.Akbar said making a point that it was no longer valid to talk about economic equality but only of economic equity. Dr. P. Thangaraju, Pro Vice Chancellor (Medical) proposed the vote of thanks.
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