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Showing posts from March, 2013

The Passion of Ayn Rand

I was introduced to Ayn Rand's ideas during the last year ofmy engineering by a close friend who seemedfloored by her philosophy. I read Capitalism – The Unknown Ideal and The New Intellectual – both smaller books explaining her philosophy which she named Objectivism.

These two books kindled my interest to read her two main works of fiction with strong philosophical undercurrent : The Fountainhead and Atlas Shruggedlater. The enduring influence of Rand's philosophy on college-goers can hardly be exaggerated. You get those "What on earth do you read" looks when you betray your ignorance about her. What's it about her that endears her to most college-goers (OK, among the serious type at college)?
Throughout her works she advocates free-market capitalism, individualism, rationalism and decries every strand of socialist thinking. Beginning to write around 1930s, she hails the unbridled capitalism as practised in US in 19th century and opposes the newly introduced welfa…

Schools of Indian Philosophy

Projecting the past based on present, some opine that ancient India was replete with bigotry, superstitions and lacked an intellectual culture. Britishers purposefully created a system which was designed to make Indians ashamed of themselves and look up to West for cultural refinry and intellectual imports. Nothing can be farther to truth. In this post I seek to outline the philosophical schools of India.
Pre-Islamic India was one thriving with lively debates between [philosophical] experts of different persuasions in royal courts, temples and other places. The Vedas [themselves peer-reviewed over several centuries] were constantly reinterpreted, discussed and debated. I endeavor to briefly outline the major philosophies here.
Two primary categories exist : Orthodox [which accept testimony of Vedas] and Heterodox [don't accept Vedas]. Consequently, the original words are astika (for orthodox) and nastika (for heterodox) which we translate these days as believers and non-believers re…

RGV's back with "The Attacks of 26/11" : Review

Three words are sufficient to sum up Ramgopal Varma's The Attacks of 26/11 : Brutal, Barbaric & Brilliant. But I'll prattle along.
What transpired on that fateful day when 10 men terrorized a metropolis populated by more than 20 million? How did commoners react? How did the security forces respond? What inspired these men to perform such an heinous homocide in which even children, woman and elderly weren't spared?

RGV answers these best within the cinematic constraints and leaves us thoroughly disturbed by the end. The mood is however uplifted as we recollect the exceptional bravery exhibited by our police-forces and the humanity displayed by Mumbai-people amid such a crises.
The gruesome cold-blooded murder of the captain of the fishing trawler [which was hijacked in sea and used subsequently to enter Mumbai] sets the tone for the movie. The clinical precision with which the plan is executed leaves us spellbound.

The machine-like mentality of the terrorist is in full disp…