Monday, April 18, 2011

Liberals-missing middle ground!!!!

Ramchandra Guha interview with IE has some very interesting insights about his works and life. The following are some excerpts which is something interesting to me.

What does the word spirituality mean to you ?
Nothing at all.
What if someone had never heard that word ?
I am a sociologist telling a story. I deal with specifics. I am not a philosopher so I can understand religion or faith, but spirituality I cannot understand and it means nothing to me. It is a meaningless term.
In India everybody uses this word all the time …
Not me, not this Indian ! And I have never used it in anything I have ever written. I can make sense of religion, of forms of worship, of prayer, of ideas about the supernatural. But spirituality is one of those utterly meaningless, pointless words. It should be abolished from the English language.
When looking at one’s life and how it unfolds …
I don’t look at my life in that way. My life is irrelevant. I am a minor figure. I am not obsessed with my life or my spiritual journey. I am curious about the society I live in. But my life is inconsequential. It doesn’t matter. 
Is this curiosity for the society you live in what led you to become a sociologist and historian?
Anthropology is a much more human discipline than economics, with its interest in people’s culture, conflicts etc. So I moved in that direction. I stumbled upon it, whereas my childhood dream like many boys in India had been to become a famous cricket player.
It never made you think that certain things may be predestined in life ?
Luck and chance play a huge role. Why should I say that things are meant to be? Life may be absurd, there is such a possibility. Or there may be a larger meaning to it all, but maybe I have too mundane and humdrum of a mind to go there and think about it all.
What is your idea of happiness ?
I don’t think of this. These are not things I think of because they are not in my control. These questions never strike me. I don’t know what happiness means. I do my work and I slog away – I don’t know if it is happiness or a way to kill time.

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