A paradigm shift has begun in India’s polity, but we need to sustain it

Source: IPF      Date: 15 Oct 2014 07:33:50

 The Speaker for this session was renowned academic and Professor of Science Prof. S.N. Balgangadhara of University of Ghent, Belgium. Opening the discussion Prof. Balgangadhara made an interesting revelation that he began his academic journey as a Marxist, but soon grew disillusioned of Marx and his dogmas. He then subsequently to Europe, and branched out into both Science and Philosophy.

Prof. Balgangadhara, while welcoming the change of government at the centre, cautioned the audience that a mere change of guard was no guarantee of real and fundamental changes which Indian society, academia and intelligentsia were in need of. Centuries of European and Muslim colonial domination have left us with extremely Euro-centric views of our own culture, history and experiences. It is this colonial disconnect that is the real danger ahead for India. Prof. Balgangadhara stressed that the process of Pratyabhigyan or renaissance of Indian culture and civilizational values was the urgent need of Indian society, which would immensely benefit not only India, but whole of humanity.

Prof. Balgangadhara also attacked the current paradigm of teaching disciplines which masquerade as sciences, but are actually ideologies that have their firm roots in Biblical theology. India’s intellectuals, he said have special responsibility in countering this, but for that the foremost need is to develop a genuinely Indian tradition of intellectualism in the contemporary world. Corruption, he said, was the bane of both society and administration, warning that unless India tackles this menace and also rescusitates its civilizational heritage, smaller nations could soon leave it in the dust. Prof. Balgangadhara, however, welcomed the recent massive mandate in favour of the Modi-led BJP, saying that more than a change of government, this signified the begining of a fundamental shift in the polity. It is our duty to sustain this shift.

Prof. Rakesh Sinha, Honorary Director, India Policy Foundation, while thanking Prof. Balgangadhara for his exposition, also made the point that the Indian tradition of intellectualism and discourse differs fundamentally from that of the West, which is based on exclusivity. India Policy Foundation, Prof. Sinha said, has endeavoured to change the paradigm of intellectual discourse as well as the definition of intellectuals.