Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo and The Mother.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Listen to the great call of 21st-century Asia

In the context of the Tata Group’s proposed investments in West Bengal and Bangladesh, I am tempted to speculate: if the road blocks to these investments are cleared, and the Tatas set up the small-car plant in Singur and the steel-power-fertiliser complex in Bangladesh, might these enterprises some day prove to be byproducts of a larger endeavour, namely, economic reintegration of the two divided halves of Bengal?

This possibility is within the grasp of the people and politicians of India, especially of West Bengal, and Bangladesh, to close the chapter of artificial division and open a new one of cooperation and co-prosperity. Yes, it is within our grasp if only we care to listen to the great call of 21st-century Asia and also to the centuries-old music of the spiritual-cultural-social unity of Bengalis on both sides of the border...

Not long ago, undivided Bengal was more advanced than several countries in Southeast and Far East Asia. Kolkata itself was ahead of Shanghai. Today, if Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, South Korea and, lately, even Vietnam, have left West Bengal and Bangladesh far behind, it is primarily because they realised the virtue of economic cooperation...

What India and Bangladesh need are visionary leaders in politics, business and public life. Leaders who refuse to live in the past and are determined enough to script a new future for our children whose grandparents were, after all, once part of the single family of undivided India. In this endeavour to re-integrate our two countries economically and socially, we should learn from the EU.

Last week some Auroville-based European devotees of Maharshi Aurobindo organised a seminar in honour of Jean Monnet, a French statesman regarded as the architect of European unity. From the ashes of World War II, he extricated the golden idea of economic cooperation. He began with something as mundane as establishing the European Coal and Steel Community with Germany and France, bitter rivals in the war, as its core members.

The idea evolved and engendered the EU. It now has 27 member-countries, which have broken down walls that divided them in the 20th century. Shouldn’t India and Bangladesh pull down the ‘narrow domestic walls’ keeping them apart to the detriment of both? Posted by Saravana Pandian (09486132862) at Friday, September 05, 2008

No comments:

Post a Comment