They may be intelligent and clever.They are also cunning and quite callous too!
Yes, I know what protests I would invite if I say this! We have great scientists and technologists.Nobel Prizes are not alien to Indian science. All these are known and widely publicised and we often pat ourselves what we have achieved.My only plea as an introduction is that I should not be misunderstood.
Now having said this much, why I remain still as an unimpressed Indian citizen as far as our scientists are concerned?

Read More →

History:a challenging social science!

Some thoughts on the history of our times

Eric Hobsbawam, the Marxist historian and yet otherwise a fine historically- insightful thinker and writer of some of the widely read volumes spanning almost the modern Europe  calls the 20th  century as the “short 20th century”. (A history of the world, 1914 – 1991) And a”bloody century” with two world  wars and too many dictators as human monsters: Lenin, Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin and then Mao, who among themselves helped to butcher  a huge humanity of  innocent people! May be, because of so much brutalities he traces the  birth of the 20th century from the beginning of the first world war, that is from 1914. And the end of it with the fall of  Communism in 1989.

Yes, the old world, the old world order of imperial powers, most notably the Austro-Hungarian Empire that lasted for nearly four centuries effectively ended when its heir was assassinated by a Serb nationalist youth in 1914.
The subject of the origins and the consequences of the First World War had been widely written about and debated. Read More →

Class divisions in education: we are just silent!

Equality is a great illusion!

In India we have been fed by our leaders from the Freedom struggle days  that we will create a democracy and there will be equality of  opportunities for all. Yes, our Constitution is a great document and it had proved its worth. We have been a stable democracy and the poor had improved their lot. Our society is secular where the largest number of Muslim population live in harmony.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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 →