New Delhi- The book 'Rahul Gandhi: Communalism, Propaganda, and Historic Struggle' by senior journalist Dayashankar Mishra was launched on Sunday, January 21at the 'India International Center' in Delhi. The event featured discussions by the author, analyst Raju Parulekar, senior journalist Arfa Khanam Sherwani from 'The Wire,' Gandhian thinker Kumar Prashant, author-journalist Piyush Babele, critic Prof. Purushottam Agrawal, and Dayashankar Mishra himself.
During the program, Mishra mentioned the significance of November 22 in his life, stating that it marked a pivotal moment for him. He reflected on the transformation in his perspective before and after November 22. Addressing the audience, he emphasized that the book is not a biography of Rahul Gandhi; rather, it serves as a document of his struggles for democracy and the constitution. Mishra highlighted the efforts to dispel the darkness surrounding democracy and the constitution, countering the attempts made over the past decade.
In his address, Mishra also made reference to the cover of the book, explaining that it does not delve into Rahul Gandhi's personal life details such as his birthplace or education. Instead, it focuses on Rahul Gandhi's struggles for democracy and the constitution. He acknowledged the presence of individuals who had interacted with him after November 23, distinguishing them from those who had known him before that date.
Discussing the current state of journalism, Mishra expressed concern about the challenges faced by journalists in a democracy where writing can lead to arrest. He paid tribute to figures like Umar Khalid and Rohith Vemula, stating that their memories were an integral part of the book's narrative.
Arfa Khanam, a senior journalist from 'The Wire,' described the book's launch as a form of resistance and a small revolution during a time when political and religious discourse dominated parliamentary discussions, and political activities infiltrated religious spaces.
Author and analyst Raju Parulekar expressed dissatisfaction with the present state of journalism and journalistic practices.
Professor Purushottam Agrawal emphasized the need to rediscover the country's traditions, culture, strengths, and weaknesses in a new light. He criticized the current discourse where the distinction between 'Ram' and 'Rahim' seems blurred, questioning the necessity of engaging with individuals promoting a specific political project.
Gandhian thinker Kumar Prashant voiced concern about the undervaluation of democracy by citizens of India, who seem to have a limited understanding and appreciation for the system and the framework established for the country's independence.
The book launch event drew a diverse audience, including journalists, authors, thinkers, researchers, and students.