December 22, 2010
Rampant Corruption Damages Public Sphere: Thinker*
By Mukesh Jhangiani
United News of India
New Delhi (UNI) – The value of ethics was underscored by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as he honoured two of India’s leading philosophers at Vigyan Bhavan today.
”Ethics should be an important element in the curriculum of professional schools,” Dr Singh said, conferring lifetime achievement awards on Prof Rajangam Balasubramanian and Prof Debi Prasad Chattopadhyaya.
Both men were chosen by the Indian Council of Philosophical Research with Awards for Distinguished Life Time Achievement In Philosophy.
Congratulating the recipients, Dr Singh noted the ”truly outstanding” scholarship and intellectual accomplishments of ”these eminent philosophers.”
A former ICPR chairman and a Central Minister and Governor, Prof Chattopadhyaya has been engaged in ”the mammoth project on the History of Indian Science, Philosophy and Culture that he initiated,” Dr Singh said.
He said he had ”the privilege of working with him when he was the Commerce Minister.”
Prof Chattopadhyaya did not attend the ceremony for health reasons.
”Prof Balasubramanian is an equally distinguished philosopher whose scholarship in classical Indian thought and modern interpretation of Advaita philosophy have received world-wide acclaim.”
In an interview afterwards, Prof Balasubramanian said his study of phenomenology ”helps me to understand my own traditions in a better way.”
Asked to relate his pursuit to these times, Prof Balasubramanian, better known as RB, thought for a moment and then remarked how rampant corruption is doing ”damage to the public sphere.”
”In the political situation the kind of corruption which is rampant… you start somewhere and then you find it goes on like a cancerous growth… it is prevalent everywhere.”
The consequence, he pointed out, was the ”damage to the public sphere.”
In reply to another question, Prof Balasubramanian said ”in practice divide and rule is functioning… in the name of the caste system. It is being perpetuated.”
”What is happening is the self-aggrandisement of politicians… (What is not happening is) public life probity and responsibility to the people,” Prof Balasubramanian said.
He decried the tendency to blame electors, pointing out they merely act in good faith. What is wrong is the abuse of the faith they repose in their representatives.
As to a remedy, he said, it was not very clear, adding that even if it is clear the question is who will implement it.
He acknowledged the importance of deterrence in law, but said implementation was a problem.
- Performance and the New Public Sphere (newpublicsphere.wordpress.com)
- The Public Sphere is Failing Because We Are Failing (gunpowderandlead.org)
- The Public Sphere (anthropologymedia.wordpress.com)
- Rampant Corruption Damages Public Sphere: Thinker* – By Mukesh Jhangiani – December 22, 2010