International Campaign for India’s Heritage

On 1st January 2002, IFIH sent a letter to the President, Prime Minister, and Human Resource Development Minister. The letter was signed by Swami Dayananda Saraswati, Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam, Dr. Kireet Joshi, Shri D. R. Karthikeyan, Dr. Lokesh Chandra, Dr. Subhash Kashyap, Maj. Gen. Vinod Saighal, Shri P. R. Krishnakumar, Dr. T. H. Chowdary, and Prof. B. B. Lal. The text of the letter is available on IFIH’s website at:

http://www.geocities.com/ifihhome/president.html

IFIH is now launching an International Campaign for India’s Heritage, based on this letter. It is not a “petition”, also not an “online petition”, but a sustained campaign from today 15 August 2002 till 15 August 2003. It aims at reaching out to as many people as possible, in and outside India, who are concerned with the present denigration of Indian culture in the media and the educational system, yet who have no channel to express their thoughts and feelings.

You are requested to endorse IFIH’s campaign by signing and sending the letter below to India’s President and Prime Minister. Please also forward it to friends and if possible to newspapers. (Take care to follow the instructions below.) Large numbers can and will make a difference. Let us not forget that a tiny minority of Indians hostile to Indian culture have succeeded in making a lot of noise through the media, while the silenced majority has been unable to make its voice heard.

Notes :           (1)         Please fill up your name and address at the top of the two letters below, and send them by post to the President & the Prime Minister.

                     (2)         You may, if you wish, enclose IFIH’s original letter to the President, which can be copied from IFIH’s brochure (available on request), or downloaded from IFIH’s website : (http://www.geocities.com/ifihhome/president.html or http://ifihhome.tripod.com/president.html ).

                     (3)         Please inform us that you have done so, by sending us a postcard (International Forum for India's Heritage, 4th Floor, B-37 Sector 1, Noida – 201 301, U. P.) or an email (to : ifih@hclinfinet.com or ifihhome@yahoo.com).

                     (4)         If possible, please send a copy of your letter and of IFIH’s original letter to your local or national newspapers / magazines.

                     (5)         Finally, please forward this document (including these instructions) to at least ten of your friends who have shown concern for Indian culture.
Also, i
f you have more names of people or organizations that you wish us to contact for the campaign, please send them to us.

                  

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From: [Type or write here your name & address]

 

To :   Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, President of India           

          Rashtrapati Bhavan

          NEW DELHI – 110 001

 

Respected Dr. Abdul Kalam,

On 1st January 2002, a letter was sent to the President and Prime Minister, signed by ten eminent Indians on behalf of the International Forum for India's Heritage (IFIH), whose Charter starts with this statement: “It is the birthright of every Indian man, woman and child to have full access to and imbibe India’s cultural heritage in complete freedom.”

I wish to express my full support to the points made in this letter, and in particular its call for “major changes in the educational system, so that the essential values and roots of Indian heritage born on the subcontinent be integrated in all the disciplines taught in schools and Universities.” It is only natural that Indian children should know the basics of the culture of their land, and this is in no way incompatible with a modern education. Quite the contrary, when there is all over the world a growing realization of the need to inculcate values in students rather than mere learning, why should Indian students be kept in the dark about the values born on this land? Should we continue to deny our children their rightful heritage?

In recent months, we have seen sensational campaigns in the media intended to stifle any attempt to review the curriculum or the teaching of Indian history. Yet both are in dire need of overhaul, and must be entrusted to a national wide-ranging body of respected and competent scholars, cultural exponents and historians with an expert knowledge of Indian culture and an understanding of the Indian genius. Let them decide, without pressure from government, parliament, political parties or media, how far thirty-year-old textbooks have fallen behind the times in view of recent advances and present requirements.

It is not only great Indians, but also great Westerners — from Goethe to Schopenhauer to Schroedinger, from Voltaire to Michelet to Malraux, from Thoreau to Emerson to Whitman, from Toynbee to Huxley to Yeats and countless others — who have lavished praise on India’s civilization, because they found in it solutions to humanity’s increasingly pressing problems. An intelligent integration of India’s heritage in the educational system is the need of the hour.

I earnestly request you to initiate action along the lines suggested in IFIH’s letter.

Yours sincerely,

[Your signature and name]

 

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From: [Type or write here your name & address]

 

To :   Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee, Prime Minister

          Government of India

          NEW DELHI – 110 001

 

Honourable Shri Vajpayee,

Last January, a letter was sent to the President and Prime Minister, signed by ten eminent Indians on behalf of the International Forum for India's Heritage (IFIH), whose Charter starts with this statement: “It is the birthright of every Indian man, woman and child to have full access to and imbibe India’s cultural heritage in complete freedom.”

I wish to express my full support to the points made in the enclosed letter, and in particular its call for “major changes in the educational system, so that the essential values and roots of Indian heritage born on the subcontinent be integrated in all the disciplines taught in schools and Universities.” It is only natural that Indian children should know the basics of the culture of their land, and this is in no way incompatible with a modern education. Quite the contrary, when there is all over the world a growing realization of the need to inculcate values in students rather than mere learning, why should Indian students be kept in the dark about the values born on this land? Should we continue to deny our children their rightful heritage?

In recent months, we have seen sensational campaigns in the media intended to stifle any attempt to review the curriculum or the teaching of Indian history. Yet both are in dire need of overhaul, and must be entrusted to a national wide-ranging body of respected and competent scholars, cultural exponents and historians with an expert knowledge of Indian culture and an understanding of the Indian genius. Let them decide, without pressure from government, parliament, political parties or media, how far thirty-year-old textbooks have fallen behind the times in view of recent advances and present requirements.

It is not only great Indians, but also great Westerners — from Goethe to Schopenhauer to Schroedinger, from Voltaire to Michelet to Malraux, from Thoreau to Emerson to Whitman, from Toynbee to Huxley to Yeats and to countless others — who have lavished praise on India’s civilization, because they found in it solutions to humanity’s increasingly pressing problems. An intelligent integration of India’s heritage in the educational system is the need of the hour.

I earnestly request you to initiate action along the lines suggested in IFIH’s letter to the President of India.

Yours sincerely,

[Your signature and name]