July 2017
Karnataka to be an electricity surplus State in the near future: D.K. Shivakumar

In this interview with S. Rajendran, Karnataka Representative of The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy, the State's Minister for Ener

NITI Aayog: Draft Three Year Action Agenda

With the end of the Five Year Plan process, the NITI Aayog, the Government of India's premier think tank which replaced the Planning Commission

NITI Aayog: Appraisal Document of Twelfth Five Year Plan 2012-17

The NITI Aayog has published the Appraisal Document of the Twelfth Five Year Plan at its website. The document holds out a caution that the &qu

Caste alliance is not the bedrock of our philosophy: Sachin Pilot

Congress party chief in Rajasthan, Sachin Pilot, makes out a litany of charges against the incumbent Vasundhara Raje Government, accusing it, a

NITI Aayog Data: State Statistics

The NITI Aayog has published a compilation of statistical data sourced from the States and Union Territories of India. The estimates are for the perio

Document: Draft National Energy Policy - NITI Aayog

The NITI Aayog, tasked by the Government of India to draw up the National Energy Policy, has published the Draft National Energy Policy on its website

NSSO Survey: Education in India

The National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) of the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of India, conducted a survey on social

CSO: National Accounts Statistics - 2017

The Central Statistical Origanisation (CSO), a division of the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Governemnt of India, periodically

CSO: Youth in India - 2017

India currently has the largest share of youth population in the world, 34.8 per cent as per the 2011 Census, and would continue to hold so for the ne

MoSPI Report: Disabled Persons in India: A Statistical Profile - 2016

In the 2011 Census, the proportion of people living with disabilities was put at 2.21 per cent of the population. To throw light on their status, the

07THRAMESH
Indira Gandhi was a naturalist and a reluctant politician: Jairam Ramesh

Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi may have been viewed as an iron lady, but there is another lesser known dimension to her — a reluctant politician and a naturalist, said says Jairam Ramesh, Member of Parliament and former Union Minister. Discussing his latest book, Indira Gandhi: A Life in Nature, at an event organised by the Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy her on Thursday, Ramesh said there is not much written about what she was as a person. “The sole objective of the book is to discover Indira Gandhi through her own eyes. To answer who she thought she was and whom she believed herself to be.” According to Ramesh, Gandhi was a reluctant politician who grew up in politics and did not know how to get out. She was also a naturalist, who was passionate about nature, which comes through the green initiatives taken during her period in office, Ramesh said. Most of her policies, he said, focussed on maintaining the ecological balance. India never had a Wildlife Protection Act, which prohibits shooting of animals, until 1972 when Gandhi passed the bill. Important wildlife sanctuaries such as Kalakkad and Bharatpur, and a legal framework to protect nature were introduced when she headed the government. The Clean Water Act and the Forest Protection Act were also along those lines. She instituted the Wildlife Institute of India. Ramesh said: “It is not just that. She was the first Prime Minister to talk about climate change in 1972 during the Stockholm Conference, when environment was not a major political issue like it is now.” But yes, he agreed that there were times when she took a wrong call, like the Kudremukh project in partnership with Iran, which was termed an ecological disaster. Despite that, Ramesh emphasised that as opposed to the authoritarian image, when it comes to matters concerning nature, she was anything but that. Source: The Hindu Business Line , July 6, 2017. News report from: The Hindu , 2017. ‘ Indira Gandhi was a reluctant politician: Jairam Ramesh ’, July 6.

07THRAMESH
Event report: Indira Gandhi was a reluctant politician: Jairam Ramesh (Video and Audio)

  Audio: Green Policies and the Legacy of Indira Gandhi     Video: Green Policies and the Legacy of Indira Gandhi   ‘She made the environment matter, while balancing her responsibilities as PM’ Indira Gandhi was a “reluctant politician”, unhappily stuck in politics, a chakravyuh that one could choose to enter but could not get out of.This was the verdict given by Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on the life of the former Prime Minister, whose birth centenary falls this year. The former Environment Minister spoke about Mrs. Gandhi’s environmental legacy as part of a discussion organised by The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy here, on Thursday. Moderated by environmentalist Nanditha Krishna, currently a professor at the University of Madras, the discussion was based on Mr. Ramesh’s recently released biography, Indira Gandhi: A Life in Nature . Mr. Ramesh said most biographies on Mrs. Gandhi’s life fell into one of the two camps — one that tended to see her as Goddess Durga in the political arena, taking on vicious and powerful male leaders such as Richard Nixon, or the one that vilified her as the authoritarian leader who imposed the Emergency and violated civil rights. “Neither of the two camps bothered to ask who the real Indira Gandhi is. It was clear to me when I became Environment Minister that the entire legacy of environmental governance in India today is owed to her,” the author said. Tactical politics Given the politics over cow slaughter raging in present-day India, Mr. Ramesh gave an example of how Mrs. Gandhi prolonged politically tricky matters by setting up committees and commissioning studies. In 1966, when an anti-cow slaughter agitation aimed at the Congress went out of hand, Mrs. Gandhi set up a high-powered committee to contemplate on a national law on cow slaughter, which included M.S. Golwalkar of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh as a member. “The committee met for 12 years and submitted no report, and the matter died a natural death when Morarji Desai as PM disbanded it finally,” Mr. Ramesh said. He also challenged the popular view that Mrs. Gandhi was authoritarian by referring to how Congress Ministers she had hand-picked herself resisted her dictum, and several Congress CMs such as V.P. Naik, resisted her authority. N. Ram, Chairman of Kasturi and Sons Ltd., and N. Ravi, Director of Kasturi & Sons Ltd., participated. Also Read : Indira Gandhi, the environmentalist Source: The Hindu Related Link: Ramesh, J. 2020 . Lecture: A Prime Minister and a Naturalist , The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy, March 5.