BHUBANESWAR: Jawaharlal Nehru was an extremely damaging person who not only blocked the process of renaissance in India but also retarded the growth of the country, said renowned economist,environmentalist and author Sanjeev Sanyal on Saturday.
Participating in the session 'Where is the Indian renaissance?' during Odisha Literary Festival 2015 here, Sanyal said Nehruvian era damaged the process of social, economical and political churning required for renaissance to take place in the country. "Nehru put in place a certain class of elites in power that controlled every aspects of Indian society, thereby retarding the growth of our country for a long time," he said.
Describing renaissance as 'overall coming alive of a civilisation', Sanyal said the process touches upon social, cultural, economical, political and literary activities of the society. "It is all about freedom to act and openness to ideas. Post-Nehruvian era, things have changed. There is a constant flow of ideas and radical changes are sweeping across our society. People now are fearlessly expressing their opinions and embracing the new. The seeds of renaissance, which were sowed in 1991, is slowly gathering pace," Sanyal said.
Stating that literature plays an important role in bringing about renaissance, Sanyal said Indian literature is going through a crisis."We need to stop worshipping writers of the past and should allow the growth of next generation writers. Language should generate new and popular material. Moreover, renaissance can occur if good works in other languages are translated into regional, vernacular languages. Hindi should be the repository of ideas that are reflected in other languages," he asserted.
Sanyal also said there has been an explosion of literary festivals across the country which is a healthy development. Such events bring to light a variety of writers and their ideas and thoughts. These have helped in opening the doors to a new world of change, he added.
Participating in the discussion, eminent journalist, analyst and author Shankkar Aiyar said, "Renaissance requires an acceptance of what is already there and building on the opportunities. It requires the enforcement of liberty. The challenge before us is to establish the idea of liberty in an orthodox society. Free thinking is necessary and our society as a whole should converse more."
Emphasising on movies that have played a major role in shaping the consciousness of the society, Aiyar said, "Bollywood plays a vital part in bringing about renaissance. There are movies which belong to the popular genre and at the same time impacts people by depicting the changes in society."