Friday, December 29, 2006

We, the blind people and leaders

Editorial Ananda Reddy [ Central Page Journal Main Page ]
"Sri Aurobindo Darshan: The University of Tomorrow " August 2006 Volume VII Issue II
After a self-preparatory period of thirteen years at Baroda, Sri Aurobindo shifted to Bengal in 1906 to actively participate in the freedom movement of India. To “create a free and united India” through a revolutionary movement was his first dream, nay it was his mission. He once wrote:
“I know I have the strength to deliver this fallen race. This feeling is not new in me, it is not of today. I was born with it, it is in my very marrow. God sent me to earth to accomplish this great mission.”
The method of his revolt was to use the power of his word, especially through the Bande Mataram, which shook up the very slumbering soul of India! As the Mother said later: “His words inspired them [the revolutionaries] to sacrifice their lives for the glory of India.” Whatever he had to do for the Indian politics he did in five brief years from 1906 to 1910. He laid out the programmes for the future leaders of the country to take up and provided the momentum necessary for the work of the freedom struggle to continue. Once he was assured of India’s freedom (which he declared in his prediction of January 1910), he withdrew to Pondicherry to continue with his greater mission of liberating the human race itself and not just India, though India’s liberation was the first and most needed step in his plan of liberating humanity!
A hundred years have passed since Sri Aurobindo played his role as the leader of Indian Nationalism, and almost fifty nine years since India’s independence. The seer-politician has given his vision of a resurrected India and has lent us his ‘strength’, but we, the blind people and leaders, have not been able to carry forward the work and have landed in the very situation that Sri Aurobindo had been apprehensive about:
“But the old communal division into Hindus and Muslims seems now to have hardened into a permanent political division of the country. It is to be hoped that this settled fact will not be accepted as settled for ever or as anything more than a temporary expedient. For if it lasts, India may be seriously weakened, even crippled: civil strife may remain always possible, possible even a new invasion and foreign conquest. India’s internal development and prosperity may be impeded, her position among the nations weakened, her destiny impaired or even frustrated.”
The present day reality of the country’s security and the terrorism that is spreading unabated has certainly weakened us and impeded our prosperity—all because of the first division into two nations!

Salute to Sri Aurobindo

RASH BEHARI BOSE Tokyo, 11 March 1942
This is a salute to him to whose inspiring call we owe the birth of positive Indian nationalism. Sri Aurobindo is the foremost of those seers of Indian nationalism, who are still hale and hearty and due to whose burning speech and thundering pen, patriotism came to have a fresh and profound meaning for modern Indians. To him this salute is offered.
If spiritual culture is granted to be the soul of the Indian nation, then Sri Aurobindo is a living embodiment of it. He has succeeded in measuring the depths of its mysteries, which are as old as the Indian nation itself. Today he is seen leading a life of silence in communion with God, having fully realised that silence is the precursor of mighty creation. This salute is offered to him.
Sri Aurobindo’s faith and ways of searching after the ultimate truth accord well with the faith and ways of the noblest of Sufis, the mystics of Islam. And in the eyes of hundreds of millions of Hindus he is a Yogi of a very high order. Thus, in him is seen harmonized the essence of those two noble faiths, Hinduism and Islam, on the balanced fusion of whose spirits depends the rejuvenation of future Indian culture and the re-establishment of the future Indian State. This salute is offered to him.
Sri Aurobindo has long realised the true mission of India. According to him a free India would serve the world by preaching to it the great heritage of her spiritual culture. Today Mother India stands to be free from foreign bondage. The time seems to be ripe for Sri Aurobindo to come forward, as he did decades ago, and give us lead in the fulfilment of Mother India’s national mission. This salute is offered to him with a prayer that he may respond to the call of the Mother.
This salute is offered to him in the time-honoured Indian custom of asking for the blessings of the elders and pioneers before undertaking a great and noble task. May he be pleased with my fresh determination to do my bit in the cause of making India of the Indians and Asia of the Asiatics. I salute you, Sri Aurobindo. Bande Mataram! * Courtesy: Sri Aurobindo and the Freedom of India, 1995

Monday, December 25, 2006

Common economic interests of nations make war futile

Angell, Sir Norman, 1872?–1967, British internationalist and economist, whose name originally was Ralph Norman Angell Lane. He came to fame with The Great Illusion (1910, rev. ed. 1933), in which he posited that the common economic interests of nations make war futile. At the close of World War I he worked for a generous peace and international cooperation. In Peace with the Dictators? (1938) he attacked the British Conservative party's policy of condoning Japanese and Italian aggression. After World War II he urged unity among the Western democracies in such works as Defence and the English-speaking Role (1958). Knighted in 1931, Norman Angell was awarded the 1933 Nobel Peace Prize. Directory > People > Encyclopedia - People
He is most widely remembered for his work of 1909, Europe's Optical Illusion, known as The Great Illusion in America. The pacifist movie The Grand Illusion was deliberately given its title in reference to his book. The thesis of that work is commonly (and incorrectly) described as saying that the integration of the economies of European countries had grown to such a degree that war between them was unimaginable, making militarism obsolete.
However this is not what Angell actually argued. His central argument was that war between modern powers was futile in the sense that no matter what the outcome, he thought both the losing and the victorious nations would be economically worse off than they would have been had they avoided war. Some have contested that the two World Wars that took place after The Great Illusion was published were in fact a tragic confirmation of his thesis. Other historians have argued that Angell disregarded the reality of the complex situation in Europe with its alliances, hatreds and rivalries between nations and therefore he was being utopian. Directory > Reference > Wikipedia

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Not By Compulsion but by Choice, I decided to live in Orissa

Tathagata Satpathy
Editor, Dharitri & Member of Lok Sabha (BJD)
I am sure there are many well meaning people out there and their concern for Orissa must be genuine. However I consider am unworthy of advising/preaching/finding faults. Not by compulsion but by choice I decided to live in Orissa and do my little bit for the state. That is precisely what I am doing. Living in the state, creating economic opportunities and employment for more than 350 educated people (only Oriyas) siglehandedly (well, almost), paying back loans and paying taxes, obeying traffic rules, not paying chaanda for any puja nor putting up loudspeakers and disturbing the peace, not encroaching on public or private lands nor constructing illegal structures, visiting my electorate regularly and trying for redressal of the varied problems (sometimes unsuccessful and sometimes successful, inspite of the horrible bureaucrazy), making efforts to create sustainable assets with the MP Local Area Development Fund. I am not boasting but truly, all this and so much more keeps me totally busy. Therefore, I wish you and all your friends victory in your efforts.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Darabar Sahitya Sansad, Sodhua

I had been to one NGO named "Darabar Sahitya Sansad" yesterday and spent a day there and visited their workshop. I find one and only NGO, working in the coastal remote Orissa, which has able to make meaningful impact in the community. Mr Kedar Choudhry and his team of 30 social workers are restlessly working for bringing a change in those 47 panchayat project areas of Puri district. They are doing an excellent work in those areas, particularly in forming SHG and increasing the living condition of women. They are also very active in the smooth conduct of Palli Sabha and become a greatest factor of change, particularly in the life of women becoming self reliant.

In Orissa coastal belt, I think this is the NGO which has lots of credibility in working with the community. They should be promoted and encuraged to their latest micro-finance venture through SHGs. Those who want to visit their work can write to Kedar Babu directly or you can also talk to me. sachi
Darabar Sahitya Sansad At- Sodhua, PO- Dalakasoti Via- Balipatana, Dt- Khurda Orissa - 752102 India Tel: 91-0674-2468529 Mobile: 98610 22440 email:
Sachi Satapathy, Coordinator, Orissa Politics Platform (For Details Log on to Editor, Orissa Vision 2020, Youth Vision 2020. Winner Infosys Young Achiever's Finalist Award-2005 (Social Work) Mobile-(0)9937630599

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Global Voices offers links from bridge blogs around the world

Global Bloggers: Let your voice be heard! Join the global conversation. Help people around the world find about about your blog, podcasts, and other online creations. Raise global awareness about what bloggers in your country and region are talking about.
Here’s how all bloggers - everywhere - can join the Global Voices movement:
Help us figure out what we should be linking to
Every weekday, Global Voices offers links from bridge blogs around the world in our daily “Global Links” section. (”Bridge blogs” are blogs from a country or region that speak to a global audience - see more detailed definition below.) Our editors track hundreds of blogs from their region each day via their RSS aggregators.
Covering the global blogosphere every day is a daunting task. To make sure we don’t miss blog posts you think are important, please send us the links! Just email: When you send the email, it’s always most helpful if you can include not only the URL web address, but also a sentence or two about where the blogger is writing from and why you think it’s a story the world needs to know about.

A philosopher’s case for donating more than you’re comfortable with

By PETER SINGER The Times Magazine NYT Published: December 17, 2006
What is a human life worth? You may not want to put a price tag on a it. But if we really had to, most of us would agree that the value of a human life would be in the millions. Consistent with the foundations of our democracy and our frequently professed belief in the inherent dignity of human beings, we would also agree that all humans are created equal, at least to the extent of denying that differences of sex, ethnicity, nationality and place of residence change the value of a human life.
With Christmas approaching, and Americans writing checks to their favorite charities, it’s a good time to ask how these two beliefs — that a human life, if it can be priced at all, is worth millions, and that the factors I have mentioned do not alter the value of a human life — square with our actions. Perhaps this year such questions lurk beneath the surface of more family discussions than usual, for it has been an extraordinary year for philanthropy, especially philanthropy to fight global poverty...
Peter Singer is the Ira W. DeCamp professor of bioethics at the Center for Human Values at Princeton University. He is the author of many books, including most recently “The Way We Eat: Why Our Food Choices Matter.”

He whom we saw yesterday is on earth

In search of an Indian wellspring Deccan Herald - India - Sunday - March 5, 2006 by Bhuvana Sankaranarayanan
The third great western sanyasini was Mirra Richard (note the small spelling difference). On 29 March 1914, she made the following note after a meeting with Sri Aurobindo, who was influenced by the Irish freedom struggle and Irish poets who shaped his philosophy, which included Integral Yoga and Life Divine: "It matters not if there are hundreds of beings plunged in the densest ignorance. He whom we saw yesterday is on earth. His presence is enough to prove that a day will come when darkness shall be transformed to light, when Thy reign shall indeed be established on earth." Richards stayed on in Pondicherry, working on compiling and editing the works of Aurobindo for many years. Renowned literary critic K R Srinivasa Iyengar records the return of Madame Richard to Pondicherry in April 1920. After Sri Aurobindo experienced ‘the descent of Krishna in the physical’ she took full charge of the ashram and came to be seen as ‘the Mother’.
One does not know what noble motive, what spiritual hot-headed idea drove these intellectual, articulate Western women to become spokeswomen for Indian nationalism and spiritualism. What is the spring of secret strength and energy that made them adapt to an alien cause? What made them spokeswomen and arbiters for, what was then, the future nation of India? As the titles of Gandhiji's autobiographies go, perhaps they were experimenting or wrestling with the truisms of their lives or perhaps, as the new title of the book edited by Mira for the Mahatma runs: God is Truth.

Indian Yoga has found a niche in China

Culture and China: Indian Yoga : China is on the road to a great cultural transformation. That is the take today in modern(ising) China. The so-called Cultural Revolution was the outcome of an ideological war. Its work, whatever it was, is over. China is now open to a diverse range of cultural influences. The dragon is slow to wake, is cautious and careful, but nevertheless, is preparing to walk the global ramp. Indian Yoga has found a niche in China. Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou all have flourishing yoga centres. Posted by umesh naik at 8:04 PM Saturday, December 02, 2006

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Human Transformation and Overcoming the Problems of Life

For 10,000 years humanity has labored to raise itself up. Yet even now there is great suffering, anguish, disease, hunger, poverty, pain, ignorance, and falsehood. All of the movements, political and social, have so far failed to really remedy these problems. Things remain for the most part the same. Man suffers, he experiences pain, he experiences the endless ups and downs of life. Religion, though noble in its intent, has also failed to solve these problems. It has merely helped us cope with them. It has not changed their fundamental nature.
To change their fundamental nature one needs to understand the processes that caused them to become the way they are. Then we need to understand the necessary methods and techniques to overcome these limitations. Throughout his life Sri Aurobindo endeavored to do both. With such an understanding we are better prepared to take the right actions in life that enable the permanent transformation in life that we seek; so that the problems of the individual, of the community, of the society, of life on earth cease to exist; now and forever.
He said that by transforming our own nature, by opening to the spirit, the divisions and dualities of life gradually give way. By rising above the inherent limitations of our physical, vital, and mental functioning to the higher mental functioning and spirit beyond; by moving inward into the depths of our being where we touch our inner spirit and soul, which itself calls to the greater spirit above, we are lead to our higher nature and consciousness. From that poise we can then extend that personal transformation to our surroundings, to others, to our businesses and communities, to our nations and to the world at large.
Through this process we begin to replace our normal functioning and consciousness, rooted in unconsciousness, ignorance, falsehood, and ego, with a higher consciousness, a spirit, a Force above, that we can call into our lives to further enable our progress. By overcoming our limiting nature, by opening to this Divine force, we begin to see a life of emotional pain receding, a life of physical pain giving way, and a life of mental confusion and ignorance changing into one of insight, knowledge, understanding, intuition, truth, harmony, unity, and oneness of purpose. Living our lives from this higher nature we come to see life continually cooperating with us in every way. We work in harmony with others; we experience a wonder of perfection and truth in all our activities, in all circumstance and situations of life. We come upon the infinite potentials and possibilities of life.
Thus Sri Aurobindo reveals to us the methods and powers of life and spirit, and sets us on a road of transformation from our lower to our higher nature and consciousness.
Eventually we witness the development of a new type of individual, living a life unprecedented in human history. A life of spiritual oneness, of infinite potential, of perfect execution, and infinite accomplishment and delight. Further on, over time there is an increase of the numbers of such individuals, culminating in a collective of these individuals, who in essence become pioneers of what Sri Aurobindo called "a divine life on earth." Sandip's space -

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

New US Congress brings with it religious firsts

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 11, 2006: (HPI note: This rather lengthy article is included in HPI for the informative snapshot it gives of the ever-changing American religious scene.)
The new US Congress will, for the first time, include a Muslim, two Buddhists, more Jews than Episcopalians, and the highest-ranking Mormon in congressional history. Roman Catholics remain the largest single faith group in Congress, accounting for 29 percent of all members of the House and Senate, followed by Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Jews and Episcopalians.
While Catholics in Congress are nearly 2-to-1 Democrats, the most lopsidedly Democratic groups are Jews and those not affiliated with any religion. Of the 43 Jewish members of Congress, there is only one Jewish Republican in the House and two in the Senate. The six religiously unaffiliated members of the House are all Democrats. The most Republican groups are the small band of Christian Scient ists in the House (all five are Republican), and members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (12 Republicans and three Democrats) -- though the top-ranking Mormon in the history of Congress will be Nevada Sen. Harry Reid, the incoming Democratic majority leader.
Baptists divide along partisan lines defined by race. Black Baptists, like all black members of Congress, are Democrats, while most white Baptists are Republicans. Notable exceptions include incoming House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md. , and Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., who will serve as president pro tem in the new Senate, making him third in succession to the presidency after the vice president and House Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif...For Buddhists and Muslims, the 110th Congress represents their first congressional representation. Religion News Service

I was fortunate enough to be born in the United States

I must have discovered Wilber in the early 1980’s, when I read his first book, the Spectrum of Consciousness. I read every subsequent book through what is considered his magnum opus, Sex, Ecology and Spirituality, which was published in 1995. Since then I have had only more of a passing acquaintance with his work, which seems to have shifted into a more public phase. I went over to his website and saw that he is at work on a new book on “integral politics,” The Many Faces of Terrorism. Although it is nonfiction, it sounds like Ayn Rand’s nonfiction, in the sense that it is basically a format to express his philosophy. The website has a couple of chapters, including one entitled "Integral Politics, Or, Out of the Prison of Partiality...."
Let’s just read what he has to say and see how it squares with our views of things. I’ll pull out whatever passages intrigue me and seem worthy of comment. Most of this chapter is in the form of a press conference in which one of the main characters, Charles, outlines the theory of “integral politics,” the central idea being that any political philosophy will have to address “all quadrants and all levels” in order to be truly effective. Those who follow Wilber’s work know that there are four quadrants and approximately 1,817 vertical levels and stages of human development. The quadrants, if I remember correctly, are interior individual, interior collective, exterior individual, and exterior collective. I’m oversimplifying here, but “interior individual” has to do with realms of the mind, soul and spirit, while “interior collective” has to do with cultural beliefs.
The “exterior collective” has to do with political and economic organization, while “exterior individual” has to do with our body, brain and neurology.At the press conference, Charles first describes what he regards as the essential difference between Democrat and Republican, or Left and the Right: “Here’s an easy way to tell. If you ask the simple question -- Why do human beings suffer? -- you will get two major answers. The Right will say, You suffer because of yourself; the Left will say, You suffer because of someone else." I think this is a fair characterization, as I have said the same thing myself on a number of occasions.
However, the first thing that occurs to me is that the answer to the question depends upon where you were lucky or unlucky enough to have been born. In my case, since I was fortunate enough to be born in the United States in the second half of the 20th century, I am privileged to know that almost all of my problems have been self-inflicted (either for conscious or for unconscious reasons rooted in childhood; technically the latter ones aren’t my fault, but they would have become my fault if I had done nothing to address them, i.e., seek psychotherapy). Also, a certain unlucky roll of the genetic dice gave me diabetes, but this is easily compensated for by other genetic blessings, such as a relative absence of back hair. When it comes to the exterior individual, if it's not one thing, it's another.
Where I have been a “victim,” it was generally because I was a victim of bad information from people I unwisely trusted -- the overwhelming majority of which having come from the left -- especially in college. Yes, I was a victim of progressivism in college. There I learned such drivel as that men and women are basically identical, that religion has caused more death and violence in the world than secular philosophies, that capitalism is fundamentally unfair, that America is a racist, sexist, homophobic, and imperialist country, that all truth and morality are relative (except for that absolute statement), and that all cultures except ours are equally beautiful and that it is wrong to judge them (that’s only a partial list of the nonsense that an educated person must unlearn)...12/11/2006 03:26:12 PM One Cosmos Under God Robert W. Godwin

Limits of American politics

Marko Says: December 11th, 2006 at 10:41 am I think it is good that the Integral Movement includes intiatives like Integral Review. They certainly seem to be a good addition to existing players in the field. Wilber is a strong theorizer on spirituality, these guys will be better on other fields where he is weaker, f.i. politics and Physics & Mathematics.
I don’t even consider Wilber’s integral politics integral at all, it stays very much within the limits of American politics both in his ideas which are very much filtered and biased by his American background (f.i about the war in Iraq) as in the ground covered. On his blog he announced the presentation of his Integral Politics but when I start reading it he went on and on about the Republican and Democrats. There is a lot more in political science and practise then that of the USA! The article could better be called American politics seen from the four quadrants.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Are we still not blind as Aurobindo said in the past?

Sri Aurobindo was twenty-one when he wrote a series of nine articles, “New Lamps for Old”:
August 21, 1893
“Our actual enemy is not any force exterior to ourselves, but our own crying weaknesses, our cowardice, our selfishness, our hypocrisy, our purblind sentimentalism.” Aurobindo
August 28, 1893
“I say, of the Congress, then, this—that its aims are mistaken—in brief, that we are at present the blind led, if not by the blind, at any rate by the one-eyed….The Mother is not in our hearts, in our brains, in our arms.” Aurobindo
By Premendra Agrawal
posted on Sunday, December 10, 2006 11:01 AM

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Fraud by India Infoline Ltd.

In May ’06 I was persuaded by Shri Dharmender Singh of India Infoline Ltd., Ghaziabad to open an account with them with the assurance that there were no monthly charges. I was not given any password for on-line dealing, and as a result I never operated online. Subsequently, I purchased equity worth Rs.10,000/= off-line.

Now I learn that, they have introduced a monthly levy of Rs.1000/= for on-line facility and without informing me they have sold out my equity holding of Rs.10,000/= and refunded only Rs.2300/= to me. This is fraud and they are not replying to my e-mails. Such is the ethical culture our companies are adopting for their survival. websites, and .

Economic barbarism

Re: "Two myths that keep the world poor," by Vandana Shiva by Rich on Tue 05 Dec 2006 12:23 PM PST Profile Permanent Link a report out today shows that the richest 2% of the world's adult populations owns more than 50% of the world's wealth, In my estimation this, and what Shiva brings up in this article is what Sri Aurobindo refers to in the Human Cycle as economic barbarism.
Re: Richest 2% owns > 50% of world's wealth by rjon on Tue 05 Dec 2006 06:37 PM PST Profile Permanent Link Thanks for this reference Rich. I just posted the UNU-WIDER report on SCIY

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Early History of Harvard University

Harvard University, which celebrated its 350th anniversary in 1986, is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Founded 16 years after the arrival of the Pilgrims at Plymouth, the University has grown from nine students with a single master to an enrollment of more than 18,000 degree candidates, including undergraduates and students in 10 principal academic units. An additional 13,000 students are enrolled in one or more courses in the Harvard Extension School. Over 14,000 people work at Harvard, including more than 2,000 faculty. There are also 7,000 faculty appointments in affiliated teaching hospitals.
Seven presidents of the United States – John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Theodore and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Rutherford B. Hayes, John Fitzgerald Kennedy and George W. Bush – were graduates of Harvard. Its faculty have produced more than 40 Nobel laureates.
On June 9, 1650, the Great and General Court of Massachusetts approved Harvard President Henry Dunster's charter of incorporation. The Charter of 1650 established the President and Fellows of Harvard College (a.k.a the Harvard Corporation), a seven-member board that is the oldest corporation in the Western Hemisphere.
Harvard College was established in 1636 by vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and was named for its first benefactor, John Harvard of Charlestown, a young minister who, upon his death in 1638, left his library and half his estate to the new institution. Harvard's first scholarship fund was created in 1643 with a gift from Ann Radcliffe, Lady Mowlson.
During its early years, the College offered a classic academic course based on the English university model but consistent with the prevailing Puritan philosophy of the first colonists. Although many of its early graduates became ministers in Puritan congregations throughout New England, the College was never formally affiliated with a specific religious denomination. An early brochure, published in 1643, justified the College's existence: "To advance Learning and perpetuate it to Posterity; dreading to leave an illiterate Ministry to the Churches." <> next > Recent History

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Great minds discuss ideas

From: "Sachi Satapathy" Subject: Tusar N. Mohapatra and Rabi Kanungo on Forum modalities: All should follow this. Date: Tue, 5 Dec 2006 16:25:44 +0530 From: Tusar N. Mohapatra Date: Nov 30, 2006 5:04 PM Subject: Re: Lets Come Back to Our Discussion on Media To: Sachi Satapathy Open letter to Sachi

This forum has again been trapped by negativism, fault-finding, and criticism. It is a vicious circle, and you achieve zilch.

  • Politicians are doing their job, leave them alone
  • Media as an industry is doing fine, let it grow
  • Police, bureaucrats, judiciary etc. are functioning well within their constraints
  • NGOs have well-adapted to the system in their struggle for survival.
  • Profit-booking and bribe-taking are ancient traits that no one can cure
Keeping in view what Prafulla Mahanta achieved in Assam, it would be better to concentrate on economics instead and collaborate with the market. One concrete project by this forum can have a multiplier effect than thousands of critical letters circulated. Most of our so-called intellectuals harbour a harmful anti-market mindset. Orissa with its unspoilt environs can be totally transformed if we allow the market forces to operate. Then our individual opinions would not matter. From the pricing of the minerals to the preservation of monuments, everything will be taken care of by the logic of the market.
Run a debate on these aspects. Once we formulate the macro-view, any small time politician can execute them at the micro-level. Policy-making is the job of the Brahmin, the visionary who juggles with knowledge and ideas. For that you need distance, a bit of disinterestedness too, from the levers of power.
Name: Tusar N. Mohapatra, Director, Savitri Era Learning Forum.
Location: SRA-102-C, Shipra Riviera, Indirapuram, Ghaziabad, U.P. - 201012 , Ph: 0120-2605636, India
+ + +
Dear Sachi Babu,
I have been reading various topics in your portal for quite long days and it comes up like a good forum for discussion, at least for Oriya people who have concern for Orissa. Point of disappointment in Sudhanshu Babu's mind is very genuine. Dynamism of our thinking process is so queer and obsessive that unless we are careful, it is hard to become impartial. Lack of impartiality never can render any intellectual fruition. There is an old saying: Great mind discuss ideas; average mind discuss events and ordinary mind discuss persons. Thank you.
Rabi Kanungo, Writer and Columnist, General Secretary, Intellectual Forum, Rourkela.

Big things have put us in the crossroads of crisis and insecurity

From: Mahesh Mahadarshee Date: Dec 5, 2006 2:50 PM Subject: where i stand on Vedanta University To: Sachi Satapathy
My fellow concerned Oriyas,
Of the issues confronting Orissa, the University proposed to be set up by Vedanta concerns me the most.That Mr Chief Minister has committed 10,000 acres area to Vedanta makes me wonder whether all eyes and ears of Mr CM are doing there job in the manner they do.One earlier posting has already highlighted the areal extent occupied by eminent educational institutions in the country. The University of Hyderabad, that occupies largest 2300 acres, has not utilized the whole occupied area after 30 years of its existence; still, it has emerged as one of the internationally recognized centre of learning and research. After all, I am more concerned about the way Govt. of Orissa formulates its human resource development policy and the policy of land utilization.
Even as the whole approach to development has shifted towards "SMALL AND SUSTAINABLE " projects, our Chief Minister has earned good name for conceiving of "BIG" projects. Big dams failed to control flood, and results in the diametrical opposite consequences;Big technology (high yielding varieties) turned "green revolution" into "brown", and recently big economic proects (SEZ) with another set of false promises. Besides, big educational enterprises have been recognized to harness the human resourses of the most youthful country in the world.
Every educated person knows how the Big things have put us in the crossroads of crisis and insecurity. Food Security, not to mention nutritional security, is again in crisis. The population of the country has been estimated at nearly1500 million by 2050.450 million tones food will be required to feed the mid-century population. Productivity has already reached plateu. Soil fertility is on the continuous decline. Genetic engineering has not yet cleared its bio-safety issues. In this context,the value of land is more important than anything else. As far as human resource development is concerned, the story will be very lengthy. The astute entrepreneurs have capitalized on the "bubble boom" economy that has bred hybrid employments overnight. There has been serious concern about the quality of the faculty as well as the students.
The McKinsey has surveyed that 75 % of technical graduates and 90 % of general graduates are unemployable in the country. Besides,if we talk about the capabilities required for leadership and innovation, India is in dire straits. The state-of-the-art infrastrucuter is not the hallmark of educational institutes. I personally know some people who are in debt trap after passing out from KIIT and other so called temples of higher learning.The institutes like KIIT has misled the career of many prospective students. The values sought to be achieved by our society have been shattered by corporate educational institutes.
Let this debate continue. I expect all concerned oriyas to put forward their opinion. Let's say an emphatic "NO" to Vedanta University. Suggest how to redesign the existing institutions funded and controlled by the Government.
Regards, Mahesh-- MAHESH MAHADARSHEE Research Scholar, Centre for Studies in Science Policy, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
-- Sachi Satapathy Coordinator, Orissa Politics Platform (For Details Log on to ) Editor, Orissa Vision 2020, Youth Vision 2020.Winner Infosys Young Achiever's Finalist Award-2005 (Social Work)Mobile-(0)9937630599

There is shame attached to some of these professions

The ironically named progressive left is an inverse image of this evolutionary complementarity. This is because it rejects both the creative destruction of capitalism and the restraints of tradition. Therefore, it is static where it should be dynamic, and dynamic where it should be static. It is as if they want to stop the world and “freeze frame” one version of capitalism, which is why, for example, they oppose free trade. While free trade is always beneficial in the long run, it is obviously going to displace some people and some occupations. It is as if the progressive is an “economic traditionalist,” transferring the resistance to change to the immament realm of economics instead of the spiritual realm of transcendent essences. I know this is true, because it is what I used to believe when I was a liberal.
For example, I grew up at a time when most people worked for large corporations that gave their employees generous pensions and health benefits. As such, it seemed "natural" or normative. In reality, this was just a brief phase of American capitalism, lasting from the mid-1950’s through the 1970’s. But backward looking progressives act as if this aberration was “in the nature of things.” They have a similar attitude toward factory jobs in heavy industry, as if we could somehow go back in time and preserve these high-wage, low-skill jobs. But while the progressive is thoroughly backward looking with regard to economics, he is the opposite with regard to the spiritual realm.
For him, mankind was basically worthless until the scientific revolution, mired as he was in myth, magic, and superstition. Rather, the only reliable way to understand the world is through the scientific method, which has the effect of throwing overboard centuries of truly priceless accumulated spiritual wisdom. It literally severs man from his deepest metaphysical roots and ruptures his vertical continuity. In reality, it destroys the very possibility of man in the archetypal sense -- i.e., actualizing his "spiritual blueprint." A new kind of man is born out of this progressive spiritual inversion. Yesterday we spoke of castes and of “spiritual DNA.” Progressives, starting with Karl Marx, waged an assault on labor, eliminating its spiritual significance and reducing it to a mindless, collective “proletariat.” You might say that the left honors labor in the same way they honor the military: both are losers.
Again, it is amazing how much things can change in a mere generation. It’s not as if I grew up that long ago -- the 1960’s -- but I didn’t know anyone who obsessed over what he was going to do for a living when he grew up, nor did anyone care what anyone’s father did for a living. There was much more of an idea that it didn’t really matter what you did for a living, and that all work was noble. Maybe I was naive, but I never gave it a second thought that my friends’ fathers included a plumber, a retail clerk, a lawyer, a janitor, an accountant, a bricklayer, a liquor store owner, and various other occupations.
Today it’s as if there is shame attached to some of these professions, undoubtedly due to the abiding progressive contempt for those they presume to speak for. I personally cannot say that I’m any happier as a psychologist than I was as a retail clerk those 12 years. In many ways, I preferred manual work because it freed up my mind for higher things, while being a professional clogs up your brain with annoying "intermediary" trivialities. I am generally lost among the intellectual proletariat that takes this intermediate realm seriously. Yesterday someone characterized my caste as “priest artisan,” but perhaps “laborer priest” is more like it -- a blue backward collar worker.
Ever since it came into existence, the United States has been the key to the material and spiritual progress of mankind. The founders were well aware of this fact, having chosen the image of Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt as the state seal. Clearly, Moses was not merely leading the Jews from physical slavery to economic freedom, but from spiritual shackles to the higher possibility of vertical liftoff in the desert. posted by Gagdad Bob at 12/04/2006 07:18:00 AM 30 comments links to this post One Cosmos Under God Robert W. Godwin

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Equality and authority

Posted on Fri, Nov. 24, 2006 The Economy Revealed: Why understanding economics is hard By Andrew Cassel Inquirer Columnist
I finally understand why economics is so hard for many people to grasp.
It's not because of complexity. The rules of supply and demand aren't inherently more difficult to fathom than those that apply to, say, politics, or cooking, or sports.
Yet while most people have no trouble wrapping their brains around these subjects - indeed, millions will be eagerly absorbing their finer points this weekend - (What are you watching: Meet the Press, celebrity chefs or college football?) - few have a similar appetite for economics.
And now I know why, thanks to Alan Fiske.
Fiske, a professor of anthropology at UCLA who previously taught at Penn and Bryn Mawr, has devoted decades of research to disentangling human relationships. He's studied communities all over the world, comparing cultures in West Africa with those in Europe and America.
His conclusion: Just as every human language is composed of the same grammatical elements (subjects, verbs, etc.), all relationships are built from exactly four kinds of interactions.
Fiske labels these communal sharing, equality matching, authority ranking and market pricing. Here's what he means:
Communal sharing is how you treat your immediate family: All for one and one for all. Or as Marx put it: From each according to ability, to each according to need.
Equality matching, by contrast, means we all take turns. From kindergarten to the town meeting, it's all about fair shares, reciprocity, doing your part.
Authority ranking is how tribes function, not to mention armies, corporations and governments. Know your place, obey orders, and hail to the chief.
Market pricing, of course, is the basis of economics. It's what we do whenever we weigh costs and benefits, trade up (or down), save or invest.
Don't get Fiske wrong: He's not saying that each relationship in your life fits into one of these four slots. Rather, these are paradigms - mental models - that we use to help make sense of our interactions.
When there are conflicts, moreover, Fiske maintains it's often because we aren't all using the same model.
For example, you might see housework as a communal-sharing function, while your spouse approaches it as equality-matching. Neither is wrong, yet you still end up angry or guilty when the laundry isn't done.
The same problem can afflict whole societies, as Fiske described to me recently. "The Danes pride themselves on being fair," he said. "They can't understand why they don't get along with their Middle Eastern immigrants."
But Fiske does: "The immigrants expect authority ranking. The Danes expect strict equality matching. Each side sees people constantly violating the models."
To call this a far-reaching theory is probably a gross understatement. The more I think about it, the more it seems to fit and explain.
Does the boss have a leadership problem? Maybe it's because she has a communal-sharing model in her head, while the troops are mainly into authority-ranking. Or vice versa.
But what is particularly interesting is the role of market pricing, which Fiske speculates might have been the last to evolve in our prehistoric ancestors' brains.
It makes sense. For hunter-gatherers in small bands, sharing, matching and ranking were probably as fundamental to survival as eating and breeding. But market pricing involves complex choices based on mathematical ratios.
"It's the difference between addition and subtraction on one hand, multiplication and division on the other," Fiske says.
Commerce and global trade, of course, require a finely honed version of the market-pricing model. But if humans developed this model relatively late, it might well be less than universal, even today.
In other words, to have an intuitive grasp of economics, you might just need to take a step or two up the evolutionary ladder.