There are murmurs of protest against what several cooperators see as the Modi govt’s deliberate attempt to push a rightist agenda in the cooperative sector. The murmurs became shriller as the news of the proposed publication of a book on the RSS ideologue and a veteran cooperator late Laxmanrao Inamdar went public.
The historical role played by the likes of Tribhuvan Patel, Verghese Kurien, Vaikunthbhai Mehata and others in strengthening the cooperative movement in the country is being mentioned in this context.
Why a book on Late Inamdar only? Several Governing Council members of NCUI have are said to have asked in the GC meetings. It bears recall that the GC is dominated by non-BJP leaders. Though Sahakar Bharati President Jyotindra Mehta is a Govt Nominee on the board, his busy schedule does not allow him to attend all the meetings of the GC. He is also the chief of Nafcub, besides being on the board of several UCBs.
Cooperators opposed to the idea of singling out Inamdar for special honors in the cooperative movement find the current obsession of the govt with Inamdar as a case of pushing the rightist agenda in the cooperative sector just the way it tried in case of school text books and educational curriculum.
Indian Cooperative has also learnt that there is a move by the Ministry to rename some of the Institutes of Cooperative Managements after late Inamdar. NCUI has about 20 ICMs spread across the country.
Caught in a fix NCUI does not know how to react-it fears angering the ministry on the one hand and losing the traditional cooperative identity on the other. As a consolation, NCUI sources say it is planning to publicize some leading cooperators and their achievements including Verghese Kurien and Tribhuvandas Patel of Kheda fame along with Inamdar.
Several cooperators have also expressed the view that NCUI should broaden the scope of book writing to cover other notable cooperators as well.
Union Minister Radha Mohan Singh has in no uncertain terms said that the ideals of late Inamdar are to be incorporated in the curriculum of cooperative training being imparted by ICMs and RICMs across states. “One should focus on the training of cooperative leadership in the birth centenary of late Inamdar, the minister had said. He mentioned the role of NCUI and NCCT in this.
“We have 20 ICMs and five Regional ICMs which are going to play an important role in this direction”, he assured. He said these institutions would prepare course-materials with the help of Sahakar Bharati to imbue leadership with a sense of true cooperation.
Earlier, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh announced that a national award would be instituted in the name of late Laxmanrao Inamdar to recognize contributions and public services rendered by cooperatives in the country.
Singh said the national cooperative award will be given to a primary agriculture cooperative society in every state, to the best district cooperative bank of five states and the state cooperative bank.
“Whatever be the controversy the fact of the matter remains that whoever has understood Inamdar gets captivated by his magnetic personality. He was an epitome of cooperative spirit”, said SK Sharma –the author of the current book.