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I have been publishing a series of articles on philosophy in contemporary India in order to force personal introspection, initiate public debate, and encourage institutional reform. The latter is cruc...
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We are allowing, even encouraging, mediocrity instead of excellence.
A few months ago, I went to Tokyo for a summit. After completing the summit, I went to my alma mater, the International University of Japan in Urasa (a village 200km north of Tokyo). I was a Master's...
Let us address the curious paradox in Philosophy with World Philosophy Day (17 November) last week that while wisdom is embodied in the goddess Sophia, women have traditionally been obscure in the fie...
Eternity in an Instant
It's unhinging to know that what is "good" isn't always attractive. What I mean is that the choices that are universally deemed to be morally good are, more often than not, not the most enticing or ap...
About a year ago, 30 October, 2015, to be exact, I lost my brother, Dwijen D Rangnekar. Those moments of the last day or two were a reminder of how uncertain life can be and what it is not to see or h...
know a man who is blind to the agony around us, completely incapable of understanding the needs of anyone except himself. But then I can either name him a narcissist and feel good about myself for a minute, or I can turn the same judgemental microscope towards myself and look inwards. How terrifying a suggestion: to look inwards.
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Our philosophers have often led desolate, isolated lives, sidelined by society and shuttered away from the world. Many of our philosophers haven't been able to live up to the ideals they preached about.
Gandhi, Hindu philosophy, European modernism.
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The Internet is full of jokes. While memes and puns keep feeding the social media machine, its users exploit the reach to create a platform that is truly diverse. But amidst all the fun and games, the...
Ours is one hell of an interesting country. It seems like the entire breed of Indians are oozing witticisms. The proof of this can be seen on the back of cars, bikes and autorickshaws on roads. For example, I came across a delivery van, carrying huge containers of milk. Behind it was written "Dekhi yaara langh jaan de, Kitey dudh da dahi na ban jaye(Let me pass through my friend, else the milk will curdle)."
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We are a part of a fast-paced and dynamic ecosystem where our wishes are fulfilled through a mere touch of a smartphone screen. Our relationships are public property, to be "shared" with friends and strangers. Often times, love begins, progresses and even ends on social networking sites. We hardly have the time to think about what went wrong or how to make amends or learn from mistakes. The mantra is to "move on" and forget all about past experiences.
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We have embedded ourselves tightly into the visibility of life. We have diminished the "thinking" component of our existence. We have accepted a life which is seen by others rather than the one which is lived by us. We convince ourselves and make ourselves believe that we are good and innocent and we have done no wrong. Hence, in the bright light of day, in the eyes of society, we become what we are seen as -- the Virgin Indian.
Maya at Three by Rita Banerji
I respect women. I actively participate in candlelight marches for rape victims. I write Facebook posts supporting women's empowerment and liberation. I project myself as a man of the changing world and try to embody its evolved approach towards women. I am a man who fears everything. Yet, when I introspect and look into the depths of my heart, I realise I don't believe enough in my own beliefs.
"Maya", as a concept in Hinduism and Buddhism, means attachment to the tangible aspects of life and relationships. It is a sentiment which the scriptures sternly warn you off of, as they say it is spiritually unhealthy. They say this is all transient -- an illusion. That it is not the truth. And yet, as my friend chose the name "Maya" for her adoptive daughter, I was struck by the intense attachment she felt for the child.
It goes without saying that India has a rich philosophical heritage — its philosophers, saints, mystics and poets have put considerable effort pondering about time, happiness, knowledge, love, god, an...