A P Shukla ‘s first Samarendra Nath Sen Memorial Lecture

Excerpts from the lecture :

Fortunately, the 20th century developments have thrown up a wide variety of discrete changes. Thus we have a whole spectrum of revolutions such as politico-economic, paradigmatic-scientific, cultural, philosophical etc. Two other sources of discrete changes with sophisticated theorization have been in quantum mechanics, and with the development of computer technology which is based on switching of electromagnetic field, and networking of far and near computers. These changes have made revolutionary change more acceptable to many people. Yet, GCR is a consensus among a small minority of people, and it has a difficult road to travel, to win the support and enthusiasm of the majority.

To end my talk on an optimistic note, let me quote from a poem of Shaheed Paash of Punjab which draws sharply the distinction between the WASP variety and the GCR variety mentioned earlier :-

“Where does this journey start?
Or what is the ultimate goal?
Or how many colors of dust
one encounters during the journey?
Or any other question.
Please go and ask some sophist
scholar like Plato.

I’m a plain inurbane traveler.
And I can say only this
that in the dictionary of travelers
the word farewell does not exist.
Travelling is pure joy without any pain.
In the journey death is not a halt ,
And the concept of goal is meaningless.”

(My adaptation of an abridgement from the English translation of the poem “Safar” by Shaheed Paash)

Complete lecture is at http://www.friendsofsouthasia.org/events/shukla/lecture.html

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