Memoirs of a Rationalist

Jean Paul Kouega jkouega at
Sat May 14 16:58:04 UTC 2005

Dear Professor "Harold F. Schiffman"
I'm unable to access this link I got from the Language
Feed. Can you possibly copy it and send it to me.
Sincerely yours
JP Kouega

Demand for world language classes soars
Daily Democrat, May 1
The UC Davis campus is working to close a gap between
what foreign
languages it offers and those increasingly in demand
by students in a
melting-pot California.,1413,136~32730~2846399,00.html

<haroldfs at> wrote:
> The Telegraph (Calcutta)
> Issue Date: Friday, May 06, 2005
> Memoirs of a Rationalist
> By Vasant Sathe,
> Stellar, Rs 495
> Vasant Sathe belongs to that dwindling breed of
> politicians who have a
> taste for arts and culture. Couched in a breezy
> style, Sathes memoirs
> narrates several significant facts and experiences
> of his life. During
> World War II, at the national conference of the
> Students Federation of
> India, Sathe had vehemently opposed a resolution
> which called upon Indians
> to condemn Subhas Bose and his INA which was
> advancing towards India.
> Sathe also reveals in detail how his earnest efforts
> to join Netaji and
> his army failed.
> Starting off as a lawyer, Sathe switched to politics
> at the insistence of
> Indira Gandhi who wanted to utilize his services for
> the Congress party.
> Shortly after, Mrs Gandhi nominated him as a member
> of the Indian
> delegation to the UN general assembly. Indira Gandhi
> also requested Sathe
> to contest the Lok Sabha seat for Akola, which he
> won with a massive
> margin of 180,000 votes. Sathes parliamentary career
> thus took off
> majestically.
> In his maiden speech in the Lok Sabha, Sathe won
> hearts by pleading for
> the grant of pensions to freedom fighters. He even
> criticized the then
> finance minister, Y B. Chavan, for not having taken
> care of the poor. With
> such a tirade coming from a completely new member,
> the Congress benches
> were astounded. But he was warmly applauded by both
> the Congress and the
> opposition, a rare achievement indeed.
> Given my socialist leanings, I was also involved in
> the World Peace
> Council, a left-oriented International body, well
> supported by the Soviet
> Union and many other East European and African
> countries, says Sathe. He
> was soon taken on the privileges committee and the
> consultative committee
> of the planning commission. Sathe was also an active
> member of the
> Congress Socialist Forum in parliament. He was
> appointed president of
> ICCR, a unique honour. His keen interest in cultural
> activities earned him
> the post of parliamentary cultural secretary.
> For all his liberal outlook, however, Sathe defended
> the Emergency.
> Although his mentor lost the elections that followed
> the lifting of the
> Emergency, Sathe, in spite of the prevailing
> anti-Congressism, won by a
> margin of over 8,000 votes.
> Sathe writes, In my entire service of ten years as a
> minister, having
> handed different portfolios, I have had the best of
> relations with my
> secretaries and various officials dealing with
> different departments.
> Sathes progressive outlook was borne out by his
> observations on Indias
> language policy. He pointed out that although in the
> long run Hindi alone
> could become the common language of the entire
> nation, it must be allowed
> to grow voluntarily from the stage of primary
> education upwards and
> irrespective of what time it may take, this language
> should never be
> imposed on the non-speaking states.
> Not many parliamentarians made their presence felt
> the way Sathe did.
> Reflecting on the economic situation in 1975, he
> proposed that at the
> grassroots level, the villages should become
> economically self-reliant as
> in the past. He also went on to suggest ways for a
> better and efficient
> distribution of foodgrains and other agricultural
> product.
> In the penultimate chapter in this book Sathe pays
> his tribute to Gandhi.
> The most worthwhile facet of this great strength led
> by a frail
> person...was the tremendous spiritual influence of
> non- violence.

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