Middle In equality? Poverty? Or, denial of freedoms?

You can’t have everything in life, can you? Life doesn’t offer you too many choices, does it? Have you ever thought of these questions, do you? Yes, there is too much poverty in the world, in India! There is too much inequality, in the world, in India! There is too much denial of our freedoms, without most of us knowing, do you know? In India we don’t ask too many questions! Have you noticed this Indian trait?

Yes, India had a peculiar history, not all that so honourable, do you know? India had never been a nation of conquerors, were we ever? Like other countries. Just now I read a book review on Turkish history, the title being “Sons of the conquerors: The rise of the Turkish world”. Turkish language is one of the 10 main linguistic families, its members scattered across a score of states from the Balkans to the Great Wall of China! Turkic people dominated the central Eurasian landmass for a millennium that ended only with the fall of the Ottoman empire a century ago. The last of its imperial manifestions. So, Turkic memory is long, as a people of conquerors from 2nd BC. Modern Turkey was built as a Republic, says the reviewer, by refugees such as Ataturk, they were scattered across so many countries of the modern world. So, the current Turkic national psyche is embedded with this trauma of a loss of a glorified imperial past.

Western countries are torn asunder to Ottoman empire and so the current attempts to bring in Turkey into the Western embrace is creating a reflex in the Turkic psyche as an untrustworthy western intentions! One reason why I turned to Turkey is that I had a Turkish friend at Oxford, Biltin Toker, we shared rooms with the same landlady and so I became so close to this friend who was a brilliant architect, he won prizes and his name used to be flashed in the local Oxford Times! We were in correspondence for long and I promised him a visit to Istanbul one day and may be I would keep up that promise one day! But why I dwelt on the Turkic past was to point out to fellow Indians how we remember our past or how we like to remember our history? I feel terribly embarrassed sometimes whenever I talk of India’s past. We had been repeatedly conquered many times and in the process I find the Indian psyche peculiarly conditioned by a meekness ,a subservient behavior.

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Old religion, new religion, god, science

How our secular beliefs are to be defined?

A survey of latest intellectual  developments in various branches of sciences and knowledge

Religion is still a force as well as a taboo! Religion is a subject to which every thinking person has to return one day or other.In India, religion is a strong force and also a strong impediment for secularisation and liberalisation of society.

Many of the great philosophers like, say Bertrand Russell and here in India Dr.S.Radhakrishnan have written much and created vast readership. I have read them in great, extensive ways. Russell is yes, quite brilliant, he wrote so clearly that won him vast readership, even today he is selling well. Karl Poppar says, in his autobiography, that Russell could write pages  and pages of such clear English without almost changing a word! Such was his writing skills.  So too I would say of our own Radhakrishnan. He could write very chaste and readable English with apt quotations from unexpected quarters, novelists and such then currently favourite writers and thus impress the readers. Equally, he was a great orator. So, he won his day,so to say! Indians easily fall for even empty rhetoric! But then I often ask:how much of Radhakrishnan will last? Now, after so much of my life lived in the way I had lived, that is, without office or the publicity that comes with it,what I think of Radhakrishnan’s thoughts? I have to say, rather candidly, Practically nothing he thought as his original thinking! Read More →

Many of the great philosophers like, say Bertrand Russell and here in India Dr.S.Radhakrishnan have written much and created vast readership. I have read them in great, extensive ways. Russell is yes, quite brilliant, he wrote so clearly that won him vast readership, even today he is selling well. Karl Poppar says, in his autobiography, that Russell could write pages  and pages of such clear English without almost changing a word! Such was his writing skills.

So too I would say of our own Radhakrishnan. He could write very chaste and readable English with apt quotations from unexpected quarters, novelists and such then currently favourite writers and thus impress the readers. Equally, he was a great orator. So, he won his day,so to say! Indians easily fall for even empty rhetoric! But then I often ask:how much of Radhakrishnan will last? Now, after so much of my life lived in the way I had lived, that is, without office or the publicity that comes with it,what I think of Radhakrishnan’s thoughts? I have to say, rather candidly, Practically nothing he thought as his original thinking!

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A great French writer philosopher

1964 on October 22, Jean-Paul Sartre was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature, but he declined it. In his novels, essays, and palys, Sartre advanced the philosophy of existentialism, arguing that each individual must create meaning for his or her own life, because life itself had no innate meaning. Sartre studied at the elite Ecole Normale Superieure between 1924 and 1929. He met Simone de Beauvoir, who became his lifelong companion,  during this time. Sartre became a philosophy professor and taught at Le Havre, Laon, and Paris.

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Over- schooling is killing students and teachers!

Bureaucratisation of school education had reached its limit in India.So too the  minds of students,teachers and parents in  the unshakeable government fixed school texts,exams etc.

The other day we  visited a well-established school in a district suburb.There was also a National Award won Headmaster in the car.When we wanted to visit the senior teachers in the school,the very gates were tightly  shut.The watchman,there were more than two or three, all  in forbidding uniform came and blocked the  car and told us the teachers were not inside.But when we protested they opened the gates. Teachers were all there right inside! The school buildings were in a row of barracks-like and the very teachers were frightened to  come near us,they  took time,got permission before they could say hello!

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