Indian Democracy: Listen to Prof. Yogengdra

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Introductory notes and analysis of deeper epistemological fabric of Yogendra’s discourse ——                        by Prof.Gopalakrishna Panicker 

                          Listen to Prof. Yogendra!;   Calm, simple and honest discourse of deep socio-political issues; with simple words and expressions; bringing home the wealth of disinterested pursuit of pure knowledge. Socratic, Q&A style, held in CGIS South, Harvard University on May 7, 2013. Magic spell of honesty and wisdom with crystal clear clarity!.    I have an open request to Prof.Yogendra “Please give a   similar discourse in Hindi, spread it to three or more different videos, using your well accepted pedagogical skill” –  It would be a beginning, we shall  dub it in Malayalam and Tamil  (If it is dubbed from English, it would not be that much   effective due to the difference in structure of the languages, still we shall  try one such first)

             Interlocutors, just forgot to intercept!. Prof. Yogendra started the discussions about two standard scripts, the Liberal democratic  and the revolutionary; Asserts that “History does not wait for anybody’s scripts to be played out”. The Great ‘Enlightenment’ Philosopher, Immanuel Kant famously holds the same view with regards to the (so called),’Laws of nature’.  Yogendra  brings commonalities  between received scripts  of  Liberal democratic  and  revolutionary frames. Great philosopher of the last century Karl Popper(Ref: ‘Open Society and its Enemies’), showed us, how totalitarian and fascist philosophy  has its roots from  Hegelian rhetoric. Prof. Yogendra  describes the enlightenment reductionism of closed system approach with Cartesian determinism as ‘Euro normality’.  ‘Open system approach’  appended  to the  ‘Liberal democratic frame,  would be  the right philosophy, espouses openness,  plurality and inclusiveness. Corrections, non-linear updating,  critical reasoning , commitment and dedication  applied, using  intellectual honesty.

                Prof. Yogendra again asserts the indeterminate and non-linear nature of dynamics of society, avoiding  technical terms without loss of generality and clarity. Instead of using the accepted technical word ‘Historicism’;   he  refutes it by  explaining the  meaning and content of the same!. He says history creates it’s own scripts in   ‘unfamiliar alphabets’ and we are trying to fit it in to our own frames.  If we include all branches of science and epistemology;  Can the ‘Problem of Induction’, be better explained!.   David Hume’s Problem; taken up seriously by Immanuel Kant and solved with required logical sufficiency by Karl Popper;  who dropped ‘Induction’ from the scientific discourse ;   ‘Charvakas’ and later Jayarāśi Bhaṭṭa of   9th century  has done it in our continent (surly with respective historical limitation). Instead of referring  ‘science of knowledge’ as   ‘Epistemology’,  he explains it as Reading of the Readings’!.

                               J.P movement, I.A.C  movement,  and Narendra Mody all subjected to critical reasoning, using required  analytical reductions.  Regarding the revolutionary frame; after admitting his early association and appreciation of  it,  he simply asserted;   ‘Has got just erased from public articulation  and even from the memories of professional revolutionaries, With out even mentioning the concept of ‘Antagonistic Classes’, Blowing  a mild breeze of remembered history, he just help it to wither away!.   Mr Narendra Mody is dissected with equal acumen. Remember  the talk was much before,  Mr. Narendra Mody assumed power in Delhi and Mr Kejeriwal became C.M of  a  small union territory; a ‘glorified Municipality’; the capital city of India!. With a prophetic vision. He dissects the very matrix of  Mody’s basket, more  relevant now; Any mention of  Aam Admy Party or Arvindh Kejeriwal (both are synonyms as sycophantic careerist  idiots, are  holding the echelons of power within  AAP ) was  naturally absent;  as it does not fit to the content and spirit of his   profound approach!. Even though, he was a prominent leader of AAP at that time.

                                  Prof.Yogendra rejects any authoritarian claim of  deterministic evolution, either in the name of ‘Reason or History’; quoting examples, not choosing from the given menu of received scripts,  but reading the new scripts with new alphabets  and ‘Reading the Readings’ as well;  to frame new  menu. To explain evolution of  dynamics of ‘History sans perdition’, he  stress  the role of  ‘Luck’ (implies the role of it’s anti-thesis, the ‘bad luck’); putting together, the role of chance and indeterminacy. Emergency period and fall of Mrs Indira;  Regarding the very sensitive ‘caste’ and communal issues, Yogendra  describes the basket Mr Mody is carrying.   Caste is being domesticated by  its front door entry. Later we realize NOW, that it was a ‘pack of domesticated wolves’ and  after tasting the blood of power it naturally go wild! -Prof. Yogendra- seems to imply much more. Image of a single powerful  leader, larger than life, delivering, good governess and services to the people with dangers and dirty tricks  packed as offers etc etc…    The lighter moments gives still stronger messages!. To explain the role of metaphors and symbols to study the Chemistry and Dynamics  of  Anna movement,  he gives an example,

“Some of my friends use to call me ‘Yogendra ji’, but  it remind me of  Hiduthva or RSS tone. Just feel the  intimacy conveyed  if you call me  Hai! Yogendra!”.

When he stopped, a participant started: “Thank you ‘Yogendra ji’ ….”. Every body including me, watching it online roar with laughter;  he said “sorry it is  a force of habit “. Again his comment  “baby sound make it more real” and asks the mother (?) not to leave or worry, when a baby expressed impatience and mother apologised!. When he says ” I was standing two feet away from Anna Hazare”; we read more; with a smile; ‘Is the ‘two feet in philosophical or sociological scale, horizontal or vertical’ deeper or upper?!. Such lucky, small factors all contributed to the  harmony of the  philosophical discourse in style and strength;  a contribution to the advancement of civilization which is ‘still in it’s infancy'( ibid; Karl Popper,introduction ).

                    To pay respect to his celebrated talk in Harward I am modifying my calling name and blogger name to ‘Kris’ instead of  ‘Krishg’ even though ‘g’ stands for adjective of Krishna the Yadave name,  signifying the   profession ‘Go-Pala’-means-‘cow-boy’, it sound like ‘ji’. Again ‘Kris’ reflects my deep respect to ‘Early  Christianity’.  Now  watch  3 or 4 times the  profound discourse of  pure thoughts with logical sufficiency and  sincerity. To be  in a class where you  get far more!. Please click the blue coloured text ,next –> Yogendra in style, Harvard University on May 7, 2013 .

   Prof Yogendra discuss the set of  ‘first principles’ required for theorizing the social evolution  naturally it cannot be proved!. Rejects Induction (generalizing the particular without reason or logic ) for choosing the set of ‘First principles’ . Hence the discussion again goes deeper to the `zero-th principle ‘ taking in to account the required ‘verisimilitude’ provided by the prevailing social thinking  modulated by appropriate piecemeal social engineering.

Kris  ;      Email –

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3 thoughts on “Indian Democracy: Listen to Prof. Yogengdra

  1. Trying to understand the core of Challenges of democracy , according to Yogendra those are listed below four. Could you please explain same connected to Kerala politics with respect to Indian Democracy

    1 Economic limit to politics -Kerala state never felt prosperous, it picturized lack of high speed transportation, public infra, logistics, quality of food . Some time I felt personal economy look healthy because of help of globalization and opportunity in the field of service in EU/USA/Middle eats.

    2 ecologic limit to policy making – Could I connect it to the problem of express highway and high speed train plan

    3 information barrier -It took radio 38 years to reach 50 million users while Facebook reached twice the number of users in just 3 years! A decade back, there were no social networks and a decade before that, we didn’t have the web. Today a smart phone is as powerful as a computer. We have multiple channel of source for information. How information barrier presence in a society where in RTI and open net are provided.

    4 deficit of governess. smile emoticon


    • Applying general principles of liberal democracy with openness to particular is surly a very important step. Another aspects of ‘openness’ is ‘not to prescribe ‘panacea’ for all the problems’ -but ‘safe food ‘ ,healthy living ,sustainable developments ,are all of very important priorities , local economy, if attaining self sufficiency-‘high speed transportation becomes meaningless . -another important area is the quality of education which has eroded for the last ten or twenty years, it is to be supplemented through ‘bottom up’ corrective steps and a momentum for propensity of ‘critical reasoning’ is to be encouraged through all possible ways including social media -then we can encourage the local populous to find local solutions to these grave problems .In other words rather than prescribing solutions. We have to help them to find ‘better logical solutions’ -This seems to be the ‘paradigm shift ‘ to the ‘received scripts ‘ of ‘Development’.’ Most important step is to initiate discussions and criticism -in that direction your response is very encouraging.


  2. Pingback: വല്ലാർ പാടവും പിന്നെ വിഴിഞ്ഞവും വികസനം അല്ല വിനാശമാണ് ! | Swaraj.Opensociety

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