Saturday, April 03, 2010

Follow the Nadkarni Manifesto

[Civilisation, not institutions: IE » Friday 2 April '10 MK VENU
Is there an Asiatic mode of capitalism that standard analysis misses?....
Of course, proponents of scientific temper and determinism might pooh-pooh the very idea of a civilisational consciousness as something totally without any empirical basis.
Eminent Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm too has tentatively speculated about the possibility that the Protestant Ethic which drove Western capitalism in the previous centuries could be replaced by the “Confucian Ethic” which might power Asian capitalism. Hobsbawm also suggests that Asian capitalism might follow its own unique trajectory in the way it harnesses resources, both human and material.
The entire debate on how India and China, with their unique growth strategies, could be the real gamechangers in charting a different path of development in the context of the challenges posed by climate change and the optimal use of scarce resources such as water and energy has a deep connection with the brand of Asian capitalism that Hobsbawm talks about. Of course, Asian capitalism should not be seen as some new animal altogether. It could draw a lot from the Western framework but at the same time get imbued with a deeper cultural experience that is uniquely Asian. 
Marxist scholars might baulk at the idea but this is precisely where the cultural consciousness comes to play a critical role. After all, India and China must eventually evolve their own version of modernity which emerges organically from their deep-scripted cultural memory. The writer is Managing Editor, ‘The Financial Express’]

[Think Tanks In India's Democracy‎ - Times of India, Apr 3, 2010 KANTI BAJPAI
Finally, think tanks can incubate ideas for the future. This is a vital role, one that focuses not on immediate policy concerns but rather has a more distant horizon. It is also perhaps a more theoretical function in the sense that the think tank in this role is concerned with constructing a whole new vocabulary and set of conceptions about various areas of social life with perhaps no immediate relevance or application. 
As a progressive and democratic society, India must invest in more and better think tanks. The public good requires the enlargement of expertise and debate. Along with the media, think tanks must continue to flourish and enrich social life.]

The Mother & Sri Aurobindo and the worldview they have left behind come to occupy an immensely important place in this scenario. To catapult it from the Ashram-centric to the Civilisation-centric position is the challenge that Savitri Erans will have to pursue with rejuvenated eagerness and enthusiasm. The Five Dreams set forth by Sri Aurobindo forms the broad framework while functional aspects have been outlined in the Nadkarni Manifesto.

Sri Aurobindo’s arrival in Puducherry 100 rears back and The Mother coming to meet him four years later are momentous events in history. Both of them have created a vast body of integral knowledge as well as ecology for experiential and transformational practices allied to it. An international following of considerable spread has also developed over the years across religions and cultures.

What makes their teaching unique and outstanding is a thoroughgoing framework of philosophy. With rebirth at the core of human evolution and quest for perfection, our individual as well as collective existence needs to be geared to that one aim, they advise. Besides, remaining open to inspirations descending from higher regions and let it influence our mundane actions constitutes an approach to overcome the overtly secular mind set enforced by modernity. [TNM]     

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