Saturday, September 27, 2008

This is not the India I know: Soli Sorabjee on violence against Christians in Karnataka and Orissa

By Manuwant Choudhary

New Delhi: "This is not the India I know," says Mr. Soli Sorabjee, India's former solicitor general, commenting on the violence against Christians in Karnataka and Oriisa.

He said, "I called up the BJP leaders immediately when I saw such attacks taking place and I asked them to immediately condemn such violence. The debates on forced conversions may be important too but that can be discussed later."

Mr. Sorabjee was just one of the speakers at a Symposium on `Opportunities for Liberalism,' organised on the occasion of 50 years of the Freidrich Naumann Foundation and 40 years of its work in India.

While most speakers were euphoric about India's economic liberalisation and the fact that most political parties are for reforms, Mr. Bibek Debroy, economist, differed and said, "Our Prime Minister has not taken a single step towards economic liberalisation in the past four years. In the early 90's we did liberalise externally and later the UF did some tinkering and the NDA took four steps towards reforms but this government has done nothing."

Mr. Debroy stressed on tax reforms, law reforms and taking reforms to rural India so that people do not see reforms as something that benefits only the rich.

Mr. Gurcharan Das said this country grows only by night when the government sleeps and many say we are on auto-pilot now.

While Mr. Sharad Joshi, Swatantra Bharat Party MP, said the US policy towards failing corporations was a hypocrisy. The Americans had one set of advise for such corporations in South Korea and now another for their own.

While Mr. S.V. Raju, national co-ordinator, spoke about his association with the erstwhile Swatantra Party and how at their first meeting in Patna the senior members of the party laid down an agenda for this country.

Mr. Barun Mitra of Liberty Institute spoke on property rights and how granting property rights will industrialise India and not otherwise. Liberty Institute has a seminar on Monday 29 6p.m. `The Sin of Singur'. So if you are in Delhi feel free to attend.

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