‘Secularist intellectuals are trying to create misgivings about govt’ | india | Hindustan Times
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‘Secularist intellectuals are trying to create misgivings about govt’

Head of IPF and Delhi University associate professor, Rakesh Sinha, says the organisation — seen largely as a think tank inspired by Hindutva ideals — aims to promote India’s intellectual legacy in the global discourse.

india Updated: Jan 06, 2015 00:25 IST
Rakesh-Sinha-head-of-India-Policy-Foundation-and-Delhi-University-associate-professor-Source-IPF-website
Rakesh-Sinha-head-of-India-Policy-Foundation-and-Delhi-University-associate-professor-Source-IPF-website

Head of India Policy Foundation (IPF) and Delhi University associate professor, Rakesh Sinha, says the organisation — seen largely as a think tank inspired by Hindutva ideals — aims to promote India’s intellectual legacy in the global discourse.

Edited excerpts from the interview

HT: What does India Policy Foundation (IPF) plan to do in 2015?
RS: We will organise an international seminar on Deendayal Upadhyay’s Integral Humanism in September.

What is the foundations’ vision?
The IPF works towards strengthening Indian democracy and society. The foundation aims to promote decolonisation of the mind and empowerment of the people by disseminating new findings and countering intellectual orthodoxy.

Are you ideologically inspired by the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS)?
The RSS has been striving for social and economic egalitarianism and is a great inspiration. Its efforts led to correction of the discourse on nationalism and secularism.

What, according to you, have been the government’s achievements so far?
The government ensured financial and administrative discipline and also changed the image of the ministers, who during years of Congress rule, acquired the image of neo zamindars. Narendra Modi’s dynamic personality and his systematic unfolding of India’s agenda in world forums changed the country’s image. The new government has also inspired confidence in the armed forces and intelligence agencies.

What role should intellectuals and policy makers play?
We need a futuristic agenda and also need to come out of the ideological orthodoxy of a left-right division. A predominance of secularist intellectuals would mean there will be misgivings about the government and the Sangh Parivar. We are going to present the people’s health policy and have prepared an initial draft. We are also working on an anti-conversion bill.

Does IPF advise the government on policy matters?
We are an independent think tank. Our job is to deliberate on things that are important for the country and bring those into public domain. We give our suggestions to the government whenever we feel the need to do so. During the UPA regime, we sent our suggestions on the Communal Violence Bill, Equal Opportunity Commission and the Enemy Property Act and all three made an impact.

How important is indigenous culture and tradition to the study of social sciences?
Decolonisation is a great challenge. From individualism to capitalism, and from liberalism to neo-liberalism, all philosophies originated in the West. Three-fourth of humanity were recipients of such thoughts. India’s cultural ethos remained unexplored. We need to bring out our intellectual legacy in the contemporary global discourse.