Dear Shri KRS,
I can't ask for a better complement, much appreciated.
Thanks, but my genuine thoughts.
Shri Brahmanyan laments about academic debates about scriptures and issues that have no relevance to present day life. While I do sympathize with this a little bit, I am unable to agree that academic debates of any kind have no practical value. For example, a proper and nuanced understanding of Varna system, the first step in a long journey towards social equality, requires academic debate.
I am with Sri Brahmanyan Ji on this. The seminal question here is not about what is 'right', because what is 'right' in a social context is about evolving civilization. What is wrong today was not wrong in the past in terms of soc ial acceptance. Human right did not evolve till the matching political system like democracy came about.
If we cross academic debate and practical action in a 2x2 matrix, we get four scenarios,
- no debate -- no action
- no debate - action
- debate -- no action
- debate -- action
Case 1 can be illustrated by what most people will say if asked to explain the difference between ignorance and apathy -- "I don't know and I don't care." (h/t Ralph Nader). I think we don't want this.
Case 2 can only lead to impulsive and rash action that Thiruvalluvar warned against, எண்ணித்துணிக கருமம், துணிந்தபின் எண்ணுவம் என்பது இழுக்கு.
Case 3 is what Shri Brahmanyan's worry is, I think. But IMO, case 3 can and will eventually lead to case 4.
The action in Case 4 may just be a change of heart, a new way of thinking, seeing the world differently, which can be a precursor to positive future action. I would like to regard that as a positive outcome.
I asked you a very personal question when we first met. Do yoy tell your parents that they are wrong (I assumed that they are/were as conservative as my parents were, give a few decades or so to account for for our age difference). If I remember right, your response was that you did not hurt your elders; feelings.
To some extent I do share Shri Brahmanyan's apprehension about getting into a debate that soon degenerates into personal insults -- more heat than light type scenario. But I think nothing ventured nothing gained. On the whole, at least in this forum, the chances of having a spirited and yet civil debate is sufficiently high to take the plunge.
Your statement is valid, as long as the other party has no hidden agenda (I have explained about this elsewhere)
Personally, I love to debate, it keeps my ever so few and dwindling brain cells from meeting a premature end.
This is exactly why I said what I said about you. Unfortunately, I can not say the same about a few of the contrarians in this Forum.