A.B. BARDHAN (India)

Comrade A.B. Bardhan is the General Secretary of the Communist Party of India (CPI). One of the most conscientious leader of the toiling masses of India, Comrade Bardhan is a statesman and a visionary who is constantly fighting for the less privileged sections of the society and the working class. He is the Additional Chairman of FOSWAL.

Developing a Culture of
Unity in Diversity

A. B. Bardhan
General Secretary, Communist Party of India

One of the reasons of the rampant poverty in our region is the fact that all of us together have been colonies of an imperialist power. The fate of a colony under the dispensation of any imperialist power is known to everyone. As a teenager, I read a book Bharat Mein Angrezi Raj and from it I came to know of the effects of imperial rule over a colony. The fate of India has been the fate of all our neighbours.
The people of our region are not less talented than the Westerners. Our workers too are not less productive. Our doctors and engineers and information technologists have been doing so well all over the world that even the West is afraid of them and putting restrictions over their movement. If we have to make gains and not remain mired in poverty, we have to come together and solve our disputes among ourselves. It is true that 57 years of differences cannot be solved in 57 days. But certainly, in course of time, if the whole process goes on, and that includes the process of culture, and of writers interacting freely and learning from each other, we can solve all these problems and really become friends.
I also think that economic relations have to improve. There is now at least a talk of ‘going East’. It is very important and ought to be a sustained one. We must really look East and it is the East which is bound to be the centre of political gravity. I see a glowing future for Asia. Perhaps with a little help from China, India has the potential of being a big economic power.
The SAARC region is unique as it has cultural diversity of a high order. There is so much of cultural richness in all spheres, including performing arts. This cultural diversity is to be multiplied and used positively and productively. I would also request the writers to look ‘within’, that is, within India. Within India, we have developed literatures in many languages, arts and crafts in many regions. Recently, a new genre called ‘Dalit Literature’ has come up and it provides challenging perspectives. Also, tribals have got their own languages and crafts. All these must be used to develop a culture of ‘unity in diversity’.