Dainik Jagran gets country's top minds together on 75th birthday
mid-day's sister publication, Dainik Jagran celebrated its platinum jubilee last month with a two-day event titled
India of Youthful Aspirations
On Day 1 of the Jagran Forum 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave the inaugural address. In keeping with the theme of the session, he declared that youth was a category of age, as well as a category of assertive attitudes and aspirations and that the country ticked both categories of youth – actual and aspirational.
He said India was young at the level of governance as well as at the level of population because of the resolute action and iron determination shown by both the categories. With Modi were Chairman and Managing Director of Jagran, Mahendra Mohan Gupta, Whole-time Director and CEO of Jagran Sanjay Gupta and Union Minister of State for Communication Manoj Sinha. While Mahendra Mohan Gupta made the welcome speech, Sanjay Gupta gave the vote of thanks.
Digital Revolution & Social Challenges
This session saw Public Policy Director, Facebook-India, South & Central Asia, Ankhi Das; Head Public Policy and Partnership, Twitter India, Mahima Kaul; Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, AIIMS, New Delhi, Yatan Pal Singh Balhara speak on Digital Revolution and Social Challenges.
They said digital revolution was the most constructive as well as the most destructive process, which has changed the worlds of information, education, health and entertainment beyond recognition. This digital upheaval has also catalysed the venomous virtual world of fake news, sexual perversities like paedophilia, hatred, intolerance, violence, personal profiling and partisan propaganda, they added. While Amitabh Kant moderated the session, Ravi Shankar Prasad gave the closing speech.
Women Empowerment and Vote Bank
The session on Women Empowerment and Vote Bank kicked off with Rajya Sabha MP Smriti Irani saying that while the intriguing irony of the Indian culture was that it was deeply anchored in feminine authority, prosperity and divinity, it still creates speed-breakers on the path of women empowerment. She further said that even on this day, women were most vulnerable to all kinds of violence – domestic, dowry-related, workplace related and sexual ones, but with gender issues gaining prominence, women have already achieved a certain level of empowerment through their political strength. Women might still not be considered as an independent vote bank but they should have an autonomous space in our democratic discourse, she concluded. Prashant Mishra moderated the session.
Politics of Cultural Heritage
During the session on Politics of Cultural Heritage, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said a country bereft of its cultural heritage is just a swathe of land. He explained that this cultural consciousness compelled more than a score of independent nations to change the names of their own countries and capitals. However, he added that these symbolical policies must not weigh too heavy on the policy of development, which should not be marginalised by the exuberant policies of cultural heritage. While Prashant Mishra moderated the session, present on stage were Yogendra Mohan Gupta and Dhirendra Mohan Gupta from Jagran.
Religion, Culture and Politics
As part of the session based on the theme Religion, Culture and Politics, Janardan Dwivedi, Arif Mohammad Khan, Chidanand Saraswati and Krishan Gopal spoke about how in the pre-modern era, religion and not states were closely connected to societies. They said this connect enabled religions shape cultural-civilisational contours of communities like education, language, food, dress and familial-societal-sexual norms. Problems started when secular-sovereign modern states asserted their belief that religion could be just a mode of worship and used for personal matters only, and thus, society could be secularised conveniently, they added. They further emphasised that the 'Sarva Dharma Sambhav' variant of secularism was much more agreeable to the Indian ethos than the atheist or anti-religious kinds of secularism. Abhinav Prakash moderated the session.
Lights, camera, session
As director, Karan Johar stormed the scene with Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998), thereby completing 20 years in cinema today. But, equally as a public figure, he has gone beyond being simply one of the most powerful filmmakers in Bollywood. A prolific producer, top television chat-show host, reality-show judge, big-time emcee, now author, actor, but most of all, a full-time entertainer, Karan Johar let the audience into his world in a free-wheeling, no-holds-barred tete-a-tete with mid-day's Entertainment Editor Mayank Shekhar.
Changing electoral polity and space for minorities
The inaugural session on Day 2 of the Jagran Forum 2018, moderated by Ashutosh Jha, had Kapil Sibal give his valuable insights into the theme. The Constitution proferred a privileged position to minorities through special provisions of articles 29 and 30. Minority communities may still feel slighted during divisive electioneering, etc.
Their grudge of gradual erosion of minority identity and space may not be entirely groundless, but they must also share with the other Indians the duty of defending the Constitution. Sandeep Gupta, VP of Dainik Jagran, and Dhirendra Mohan Gupta of the Jagran Group were present on the occasion.
Politics of Indian Economy
Kicking off session VI, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said it was unfortunate that the economy was evaluated not on economic considerations but political ones. This created a strange situation wherein the main Opposition party on one hand criticises money laundering, black money, benami property acts and schemes like crop insurance, while on the other it traces all these schemes to its own UPA regime. He further said that this intermingling of polity and economy creates confusion regarding the Centre-state relations. He also added that this incumbent government was under tremendous pressure to create a progressive-liberal economic agenda. While Chairman and Managing Director of Jagran Mahendra Mohan Gupta gave the vote of thanks, Whole-time Director and CEO of Jagran Sanjay Gupta and Shailendra Mohan Gupta shared the dais with him.
Emergence of India as a sporting nation
The next session which had veteran cricketer Kapil Dev and well-known tennis player Ramesh Krishnan speak, was moderated by Tarun Gupta. Sports is an integral part of culture and civilization. Sadly, India, which happens to be one of the youngest countries in terms of demography, lags far behind in it.
This raises serious questions regarding our approach, policies and training. But as the speakers said, this is not the time to lament the issue, but to look ahead. The session was concluded by Minister of State (Independent Charge) for the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore.
Citizen rights and public law remedy
The opening speech on the theme in this session, was given by Justice Dipak Misra, former Chief Justice of India. Following it, there was a panel discussion on the issue by Justice Gyansudha Misra, former judge of the Supreme Court and Mukul Rohatgi, former Attorney General of India. The rights of citizens are well enshrined in the Constitution and it is believed that judiciary has to ensure that they are never compromised.
But in many cases justice is delayed. In many cases the justice delivered seems to get into conflict with the cultural and social beliefs and traditions, and creates discomfort. A conflict with the Parliament which reflects the mood of the masses is another question. The discussion hence was about the need to find a way where the judicial system rises above all suspicions and inefficiencies. Sanjay Jain, former Additional Solicitor General of India, moderated this session.
Struggle for energy security
The third session of the second day of the Jagran Forum 2018, titled 'Struggle for energy security,' had Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Dharmendra Pradhan, give his views on the issue. Energy security is incontrovertibly a concern of strategic significance even for survival of our system. This includes sustainability and reliability of supply, affordability and stability of prices, and less dependency on imports. This objective of security can be achieved through an optimal mix of energy sources, uninterrupted technological upgradation in extraction, refining and supply of energy along with efficiency of usage and ecological sensitisation. Innovative ideas and iron determination in implementation of policy decisions are a must. The session was moderated by Ashutosh Shukla and saw the presence of Sunil Gupta, Whole-Time Director Jagran and Shailesh Gupta, Whole-Time Director Jagran.
National vision versus regional aspiration
Speakers in this session included Bhoopender Yadav, Tejasvi Yadav and Rajeev Shukla. The discussion was about India suffering British machinations and secessionist conspiracies of princely states and Telangana communists during Independence. This disintegrative dystopia compelled the framers of our Constitution to use the word 'union' in place of 'federation'. Now, India no longer fears the threat of disintegration, but the fault-lines along national-regional axes are still significantly salient. Regional aspirations should be actively addressed as a matter of policy and practice. They could be a cause of concern only when regional aspirations blur national vision. The session was moderated by Kishore Ajvani (News 18 India).
Small states: Right for good governance?
In this session moderated by Vishnu Tripathy; Manohar Lal Khattar, chief minister, Haryana, spoke on whether small states are undisputedly better equipped for delivery of democratic dividends at the doorstep, simply because of their size. In most cases, their smallness provides them territorial homogeneity, transparency, accountability and intra-state equity, all attributes of good governance. On the other hand, small states have proven to be more dependent on the Centre, and more vulnerable to inter-state jurisdictional disputes. This session was attended by Sanjay Gupta, director and CEO of Jagran Group, and chief editor of Dainik Jagran.
Indian identity and citizenship
This seminal issue was discussed in the final session. Politics determines the future of the country and democracy bestows this prime political right to the voters. This context clarifies the fatality of the fact that non-citizens are also made voters. Vote bank politics decimates the crucial concerns of citizenship which will kill the Indian identity in due course. The session that was moderated by Prashant Mishra, saw Amit Shah, president of the Bharatiya Janata Party, give his views on the subject. Present on the occasion, were Sanjay Gupta, whole-time director and CEO of Jagran Group as well as Chief Editor of Dainik Jagran, and Dhirendra Mohan Gupta of the Jagran Group.
Inside View of Bollywood
Actor Akshay Kumar was guest at this session. He started out as the ultimate, underdog, outsider. With each film and year, he climbed his way up, both literally and figuratively, to reach the inner core of A-list Bollywood. In a breezy chat with Mayank Shekhar, Akshay, Hindi cinema's most prolific superstar, revealed what it takes to get to the top, and stay there for decades.
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