Thursday, July 28, 2016
Need for a new Indian framework for theory (NIFT).
Philosophy should encompass the whole human race but geography plays a role in separating people of different regions and nations and in that sense the context varies as also the importance accorded to various issues. India, with its ancient tradition of vast philosophical literature, seems to be a paradox since its predominant engagement with Western thought at present is accepted as so normal in all fields of Humanities. Yet, India has some peculiarities and specialities which only Indians can understand and resolve related contradictions. Many present issues have not been dealt with adequately by ancient texts and hence the need for a new Indian framework for theory (NIFT).
Population, Education, and Development are major areas where India differs from the west. Further, Indians continue to wrestle with their colonial past. Western thought entered a new phase after Darwin, Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, and James. Similarly, it can safely be said that India got its firm philosophical foundation through Sri Aurobindo. His writing saves one from the ultra-rational atheist viewpoint as well as overdose of speculative narratives. No doubt, Sri Aurobindo pulls the rug from under the feet of the present civilisational paradigm but the solutions he offer are too futuristic with spiritual dimensions. Thus, formulating a NIFT without ignoring him is a necessity.
It is easy to repeat Sri Aurobindo's insistence that real change can come through spiritual progress but there is no assured method for individuals to attain it in a time bound basis. Besides, it's often dicey to judge genuine examples of spirituality. So building a model of theory upon it is not feasible. That brings us to the Constitunal values, as honed from time to time by the judicial process, as the touchstone. Since Sri Aurobindo provides a broad Evolutionary framework via his Five Dreams, Constitutional values can easily be tethered to them to act as an aspirational paradigm for citizens. Needless to mention that such a framework will be appreciated by a very limited number of people at the outset. But it is bound to gather speed with time and expansion of consciousness. [TNM55]