Vice President to arrive on 2-day visit to Mumbai

Updated on : Dec 26,2016   3:54 pm

Mumbai, Dec 26 (IANS) Vice President M. Hamid Ansari will reach Mumbai on Tuesday for a two-day visit to the city, an official said here on Monday.

Among his major engagements, Ansari will deliver the 'Sir M. Visvesvaraya Memorial Lecture' and present the World Trade Centre awards at the WTC Auditorium at Cuffe Parade on December 27.

Sir M. Visvesvaraya, was an engineer, scholar and statesman, who also served as the Diwan of Mysore state from 1912-1918, and was conferred the Bharat Ratna posthumously in 1955.

He was the chief engineer overseeing the construction of the Krishna Raja Sagara Dam in Mysore and chief designer of the flood protection system for Hyderabad. His birthday, September 15, is celebrated as 'Engineers Day' in India.

On Wednesday, Ansari will release the new book of veteran journalist Sudheendra Kulkarni, entitled 'August Voices - What They Said on 14-15 August 1947 and Its Relevance for India-Pakistan-Bangladesh Confederation' at the Mumbai University's Convocation Hall.

The book comes against the backdrop of the 70th anniversary of India-Pakistan Independence Day to be celebrated in 2017, said Kulkarni.

He said its time to reflect on how they can normalise their relations, or whether their ties are destined to be permanently marred by mistrust, hostility and conflict.

The book dwells on how they can resolve their bilateral issues, including Jammu and Kashmir, peacefully to march ahead on the path of friendship and cooperation as dictated by their shared cultural, spiritual and civilisational heritage.

Whether there are positive ideas within the history of the freedom movement itself for the three countries to create a better future for themselves and move towards a "three-nation confederation before 2047".

Kulkarni said he has explored the book in two parts, the first comprising a compilation of what eight eminent personalities said, wrote or did on August 14-15, 1947.

They are: Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Maharshi Aurobindo, Swami Ranganathananda, Faiz Ahmed Faiz and Ananda Coomaraswamy.

The second part is an essay by Kulkarni where he shows how none of these great personalities wanted partition to be what it, catastrophically, turned out to be.

"Partition cannot be undone, but its negative outcomes can - and must - be undone jointly by the peoples and governments of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

"The beginning should be made by India and Pakistan arriving at a just, amicable, peaceful and compromise-based solution to the long-pending Kashmir dispute," Kulkarni said.

However, for this to happen, he said it was imperative for Pakistan "to completely eliminate the scourge of terrorism, fuelled by religious extremism, from its soil."

Kulkarni, an aide to former Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee, is currently Chairman of Observer Research Foundation, an independent public policy think tank.

He is also a campaigner for harmonisation of Hindu-Muslim relations and normalisation of India-Pakistan relations through his initiative 'Mumbai-Karachi Friendship Forum' which seeks to promote people-to-people contacts and cultural exchanges between the two neighbours.