India's ambassador to The Netherlands Venu Rajamony. Credit: DH Photo

India should be an argumentative nation, says India's ambassador to The Netherlands

by · Deccan Herald

Indian Ambassador to the Kingdom of The Netherlands Venu Rajamony said India should be an argumentative nation rather than a violent one.

He was delivering the keynote address on ‘Turning Diplomatic Experience into Chronicles’, as part of Mysuru Literature Festival 2020, hosted by Mysuru Literary Forum and Charitable Trust and Mysuru Book Clubs - 2015, on the seventh day, on Friday.

Co-founder and director of Takshashila Institution Nitin Pai was the moderator.

The festival, virtual due to the Covid-19 crisis, the fourth edition since 2017, is being held on weekends from August 14 to September 5.

Venu Rajamony said, India has all the potential to grow and it is on the path, but conscious efforts to label India as a ‘Super Power’ is not proper.

“There is still a long way for India. Poverty needs to be eliminated, health and education should be reached to all corners of the nation. We need to make our economy a true success story. We need to live within diversity in harmony. We need to protect our minorities. We need to be tolerant to the difference of opinion and debate,” he said.

He said the Right to Expression is a valuable feature ingrained in the Constitution, to safeguard democracy. “Nobody should dilute the Right to Speak or Express. Stringent action should be taken against those, who burn books and vandalise if they disagree with the contents,” he said.

Mentioning his book ‘What Can We Learn From The Dutch: Rebuilding Kerala Post 2018 Floods’, he said building walls will not check floods. “Over centuries, the Dutch have been finding ways to control high waters. A low-lying area, with 26% of the country below sea level, their vulnerability to floods and experience of past disasters have prompted them to develop the most advanced flood risk and water management systems. They have evolved to live with nature and to give room for water,” he said.

Venu Rajamony said, unfortunately, the Dutch-India relations have been long forgotten due to the much stronger connections with the British.

He recalled his visits to Mysuru as a student and also as a grown-up. He mentioned the beauty of Brindavan Gardens, Sri Ranganathaswamy temple, which resembles Sri Ananthapadmanabha Swamy temple in his home town of Thiruvananthapuram, and friends like writer Aroon Raman.