Vivekananda Study Circle (VSC) a socio-cultural organisation of Technopark employees, operational since 2008 here, celebrated 70 years of Indian Independence and Raksha Bandhan on Aug 16, 2017, at the Travancore Hall, Technopark. Dr.Shashi Tharoor, Hon. Member of Parliament, was the Chief Guest for the day. Sriram Venkitaraman,IAS, Balan Madhavan , Technopark CEO Hrishikesh Nair and Experion Executive Director Suresh V.P was also present on the occasion.
The event started with silent prayer to pay respects to the heroes who sacrificed their lives for our country. The event was formally started by lightening of the lamp by eminent guests on the dais. Experion Executive Director Suresh V.P rendered the welcome speech, he stressed on the importance of carrying forward the unique culture and tradition of India and its core values.
Renowned photographer Balan Madhavan kicked off the evening with a lively session on photography. Quoting how some of the classic pics have turned the course of world history, he explained the significance of photography. Real life experiences from the last 30 years as a wildlife photographer, made the speech even more interesting. He also added his experiences and his advice to budding photography enthusiast on how to excel with passion as a photographer who conveys his vision to the rest. Balan Madhavan, the judge of Chhaya2017 also explained the rationale in picking the best photography’s of the Technopark photography contest Chhaya 2017.
Dr. Shashi Tharoor, The chief guest, in his charismatic way delivered a rousing speech about British colonial period and dark era, laid out the atrocities committed by the British and the plunder during the British Raj. With unsparing details, he explained how systematically India was ruined from one of the richest nations in the world to a nation with a literacy rate of less than 17% in 1947, while British left India. India was a one of the richest countries of the world with 27% global GDP in 1700 and in 1800 to 23 % of global GDP and further pushing us down to a third world poverty country with 90% of population living below poverty line during independence era. While British left us in 1947 the economic growth of India was mere 0.001 percentage ,the life expectancy was brought down to 27 years and literacy rate of country was brought down to 17 %.British was interested in taking care of the assets and nothing in return. British claims the credit for India’s current development, globalization and growth as their contribution in shaping up. Dr. Tharoor opined he is not keen about the reparation part British owes us, as it can’t be quantified to the actual amount of damage it caused us realistically, also any credible sum cannot be payable and any payable sum could not be credible on monetary terms ,as its irreparable losses to our nation’s wealth, tradition and civilization. He proposed a moral sum would be better, suggesting they teach British kids with their colonial history, a memorial for the Indians died during British raj and an apology similar to Canadian Prime Ministers Justin Trudeau apology to Indian community’s in parliament for Indians who were massacred there. He evoked the Jalianwalabagh massacre while we approach the centenary, as the cruelest killings and one to be demanded apology from British.
Towards wrapping up, Tharoor preferred to have interactive dialogue with the techy crowd. To an audience question he touched upon the delayed entry of Indian economic globalization, as he felt political leadership did not link capitalism to freedom and related capitalism as a slave. The former Indian political leadership favored governance as priority and not business, after 45 years of protective independence they favored financial independence. Thiruvananthapuram has the highest per capita in city; however, 70% are living on less than two USD per day, under poverty as per international standards. Therefore, in this case, priority varies to build basic infrastructure and within our Indian eco system, we have done remarkably well. Tharoor touched up on his new political assignment in building Professional Congress, to a different query.
He thankfully agreed to all the points listed in the memorandum submitted earlier to him and assured to promptly take-up all key points of proposals requested by the hosts Vivekananda study circle. He also assured that the pragmatic suggestions provided by VSC in the memorandum would be taken up sooner with respective ministries, without any delay. He specially acknowledged the details provided in the memorandum to have more train stops at Kazhakoottam, pointed his relentless efforts in pursuing with the highest level of railway management getting some joy in stops to few trains and expecting more train stoppages sooner. He requested the support of the companies in Technopark to offer PPP model partnership with railways, to improve the infrastructure at Kazhakoottam station.
Shashi Tharoor quoted himself as a huge fan of Swami Vivekananda, as one who has been delivering orations on swami’s work during his university days. Toward the last lap of his dialogue, he appreciated the efforts taken by VSC to spread Vivekananda’s teachings. Put forward Vivekanda’s message, Patronizing tolerance to what Vivekanda is, acceptance of difference, respect difference and let us make this a great country.
Dr. Sriram Venkitaraman, IAS, Director of employment and Training in a short speech recollected his several visits to Technopark while he was a student at Medical College Thiruvananthapuram, Technopark has been a fondled place in his mind, seeing energetic youths delivering highly sophisticated products for the global community. He inspired the techies gathered to be the change agents and work tirelessly for a better India.
Earlier during the presidential address, Technopark CEO highlighted the need for job creation in India, which is a young nation by its demographic suite. He insisted the need to launch our IT era into more advanced technologies and future generation shall benefit from those in employment generation.
Followed by the guest speakers’ notes Rakshabandhan festival took place. To reinforce the brotherhood among the society Techies and guests tied Rakhis to each other, and exchanged sweets.
Vivekananda Study circle president, Rajesh K.S Handed over a memorandum to Dr. Shashi Tharoor M.P, presenting the various demands formulated from the Technopark fraternity. The memorandum also had requests for regular stoppage for more train via Allepy route, mainly regular stoppage for Guruvayur intercity Express
and weekend stoppages for