India and the Third Gender

2019 can be said to be bridging the gaps in human dignity for the third gender in India. Two events may be noted, which, as usual the MSM missed out.

First is award of Padma Shri to Narthaki Natrajan, a Bharatnatyam dancer. Her resume:

Here is a video of her:

Kumbh in Prayagraj:

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Jawaharlal Nehru’s advice to Rahul Gandhi

Rahul Gandhi is now President of Congress Party. Even though busy as he must be, it would be wise of him to read this advice of his great grand father given in 1952 but even more relevant today:

It is perfectly clear to me that the Congress, as it is organised today, is a very feeble instrument for carrying out national work, more especially among the people. It has won elections but that has been due to many causes. It has been due to old tradition, past reputation and to the weakness of others. It has also been due to the hard work put in by a number of people during the elections, with earnestness and vigour. They brought something of the old spirit in this contest and it was heartening not only to see their work but also the immediate reactions of the people to it.

It was disheartening to see office-bearers of Congress Committees and executive members functioning something most inadequately and without any faith in the cause they represented.

….One noticeable feature of the Congress organisation in past years has been its lack of appeal to the youth of the country. The type of young man or woman, who came to us in the past as worker or volunteer, and carried out the message of the Congress with zeal and enthusiasm, has not been coming to our organisation. We become progressively elderly men with elderly ways, interested in small committees and reluctant to go to the people. The great problem, therefore, before us is how to bring in the youth of the country to work for the Congress and the cause for which it stands.

….The elections have shown that money does not go very far, though undoubtedly it makes some difference. It is the men and women that count. We have therefore to get the right type of men and women as our colleagues and comrades and, above all, we have to set an example ourselves of what should be done. Every candidate, whether he has been successful or not, must maintain close and continuous contact with his constituency. He must visit his voters and speak to them from time to time on the problems that face us. It is necessary for us to give our workers talking points on these problems. I hope that the AICC office will organise this. But each Pradesh Congress Committee must do likewise. We must treat our vast electorate in an intelligent way and pay them the tribute of intelligence and discrimination which they have shown to a surprising extent.

On no account can faction and sectional groups in the Congress be tolerated in the future. We have to function as a disciplined army now with definite objectives and with continuous work to attain them.

[A Circular to the Presidents of the Pradesh Congress Committees, February 8, 1952]

Meanwhile this is what is being done: