Here are some of the thoughts expressed in the meeting:
Mr. Sathyaraj was funny and thought provoking. Some of his thoughts:
- Should eradicate black money. If the parallel economy was done away with, there would be NO poverty in India. Cinemas talk about lot of things but not about black money, because they are also part of the problem. (Interestingly, there was a cover article in Business Today recently).
- There should be just one country for the entire world. Borders are man made and they have changed over a period of time and will change in future.
- God and Chastity are one and the same, both are not well explained and very personal.
- We should try to get to 'no opinion' state as opinions restrict our view.
Suseela Ravindranath speech was short and sweet. Some of her thoughts:
- Freedom of Press is evolving and increasing in India now but not without constraints. It is better now than 50 years back.
- While the English press takes on the amorphous Central Government, is afraid of taking on powerful State Governments.
- Still doesn't understand the Kushboo controversy
- Too many 'holy cows' in India. Lot of areas like Religion, caste, reservations are untouchable.
Karthi Chidambaram spoke in Tamil and English and came across as a well read, knowledgeable person. Some of his thoughts:
- We should desist from tarring / blackening Hindi / English signs. These are mainly a communication mechanism and makes travel easier for outsiders.
- Universities should desist from 'in-breeding' and bring academicians from other schools.
- Student bodies should elected and they should consulted on issues affecting them.
- If the chastity is only for women, then they should decide about it.
- While I like Thiruvalluvar for lot of things, I don't like few of his view. I should be allowed to view my opinions without being labeled as an enemy of Tamil or Tamil Culture. (Basically.. No holy cows).
I liked several aspects about this meeting
- The meeting started and ended on time and was very civil
- Though the promoters of the forum have political leanings, the meeting itself was fairly open and had no political overtones.
- People were allowed to dissent
- Karthi Chidambaram & Ms. Kanimozhi were forthright in their opinion and were not afraid to speak their mind.