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What Would Gandhi Think?

Marzo 2008
A 60 anni dalla sua morte, Gandhi ci fa ancora riflettere. In questa immaginaria intervista, risponde per lui il console indiano in Italia.

di Mark Worden

File audio:

An image of Gandhi
An image of Gandhi
Sarvajit Chakravarti
Sarvajit Chakravarti

Speaker: Mark Worden (Standard British accent)

2008 marks the 60th anniversary of the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the Indian nation, but also of the movement for non-violent resistance. Every year on January 30th, India stops for a two-minute silence in his memory and this year’s ceremony was particularly intense. Indian communities throughout the world also held silences and Italy was no exception. Several towns in the north of the country, such as San Donato Milanese near Milan, even marked the event by naming streets in his honour.
India has certainly changed in the 60 years since Gandhi’s death and today the country, like China, is seen as an economic powerhouse.
When Speak Up attended the ceremony in San Donato Milanese, we asked the Indian consul general to Milan, Sarvajit Chakravarti, what Gandhi, who preached both independence and self-reliance, would make of the country’s current boom:

Sarvajit Chakravarti (Indian accent):

I think he would have been quite proud, but not entirely so because he said, and his message to all of us, not only in India, but all over the world, is that our work of improvement of society is never done until we have succeeded in wiping every tear from every eye. So, as long as that does not happen, we haven’t finished. So we have to continue our efforts to improve the quality of life of our people, in a way that improves the life of the planet as a whole, as well.

inclusion

India’s annual economic growth rate is said to be in the region of 9 per cent, but how long will this last?

Sarvajit Chakravarti:

Well, we started our economic liberalisation in 1991, more or less, and we expect to keep it going as long as is necessary, but to keep it going in a way that is socially  inclusive, that doesn’t create even more disparities between our various economic classes. People who have should not have so much that they deny others the right to have anything at all, so the effort now of the government of India, and of the people, is to continue to move ahead, maintain the growth levels, if possible improve the growth levels, but in a socially inclusive manner which does not cause material harm to those who have not yet benefited fully from this process.

TRADE PARTNERS

In conclusion we asked the consul general to talk about India’s business relationship with Italy:

Sarvajit Chakravarti:

We have been trading with Italy since the Roman Empire: the Silk Road, the Spice Route, all led between Italy and India, whether it’s overland or overseas, and Italy, in terms of geography, still remains one of the closest countries in the European Union, to India. Now, our bilateral trade has been multiplying and I believe, by 2010, we... it should be in excess of 10 billion Euros, so we have a growing partnership in industry, in technology, in manufacture, and joint efforts all around, so I’m personally very hopeful that in the next few years (the) India-Italian relationship will become very broad and deep as well.


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Glossary

powerhouse - potenza.

who preached... self-reliance - che predicava sia l’indipendenza sia l’autonomia.

would make - (cosa) penserebbe.

proud - fiero.

improvement - miglioramento.

wiping every tear from every eye - asciugare ogni lacrima da tutti gli occhi.

as a whole - nell’insieme.

growth rate - tasso di crescita.

that they deny others... at all - da negare agli altri il diritto di avere alcunchè.

to move ahead - andare avanti.

Silk Road - Via della Seta.

Spice Route - Via delle Spezie.

overland or overseas - via terra o via mare.

in excess of - più di.

broad and deep - ampia e profonda.