Columbus – Morgantown: On the way to the last stop in the journey we had a number of phone calls related to treasury, investments, printing and other matters … In the short walk from the parking garage to the college we oriented ourselves to the meeting at hand.
When we walked into the hall we saw the tables set up with the panel, with seats for 10 people. Naga said, “What is this … the Republican National Debate or what?” Of course the only resemblance it bore to that event was the lone woman on the panel, a fact I brought up after answering the question posed to me, which had to do – why was I not surprised – with women’s empowerment.
Some young men in the audience, upset about the portrayal of India in a recent BBC documentary, asked whether such things should be countered in some way, even if not outright censored as they projected a bad image of India and particularly of Indian men. I noted that those concerned about the bad image of India and India’s men need not look as far as the BBC but consider actions of our own government such as presenting a gallantry award to a police officer who, according to Soni Sori, supervised her torture in police custody.
The discussion covered a range of issues from alternate energy to corruption to media. Praveen moderated skillfully and ensured opportunities for people in the audience to speak as well. We got to ride home in a unique form of mass transit called the PRT that zoomed across the town and stayed up late talking with the lively group that is AID Morgantown.
The next morning Savan quietly shared his hopes to work in the solar energy sector. Before we knew it, it was time to go and we made it back to Maryland just avoiding one of the many severe storms that has punctuated this summer.
AID Morgantown Panel Discussion