Need to redefine the notion of modernity
Mangaluru: A seminar was held at SDM College of business management by Mangalore Initiative for Nationalist Dialogue (MIND) on ‘Contemporary India: Conflict between Modernity and Values’. The seminar was inaugurated by Raghunandan, the South zone co-ordinator of Prajna Pravaha, a forum for intellectual deliberations on issues of cultural and national importance.
While inaugurating the seminar, Raghunandan articulated the need for viewing Indian from an essentially an indigenous perspective. Further, he questioned the effectiveness of intellectual discourse on India without appreciating and understanding Indian ethos from one’s own experience.
Prof. Nandan Prabhu presented the key issues surrounding the conflict between modernity and values in the Indian context. He raised several problematic issues such as the debate on the contextual relevance of the notion of modernity, possible fallacies that may occur while borrowing and applying the theory of secularization, problems in translating the idea of secularism, ideas relating to status of values regarding their absoluteness, and the need to look at perceived erosion of values from an essentially Indian perspective.
Dr Shankaran, Dr P L Dharma, Dr. C.N. Shankar Rao, Dr. Harish Joshi, Suvrata Kumar and several other academicians and intellectuals of Mangalore contributed to the discussions that followed. Need to exercise restraint in bulldozing matters related to faith even while upholding the primacy of reason, importance of pluralism, upholding democracy as a value in itself, need to understand various categories of values, and the importance of redefining societal values depending upon the need of the times were articulated by these academicians even as they drew from their vast academic expertise. It was pointed out that there is a need to redefine the notion of modernity in the Indian context instead of falling into the western trap while we borrow the same notion of modernity to analyze changing values in the Indian context.
Dr Devaraj, the Director of SDM Management Institute, presided over the seminar. He reiterated the pivotal role of individual values in social life, arguing thereby that there exist certain eternal values irrespective of changing political and social systems.
Ramesh, the co-ordinator of MIND, introduced to the gathering the objectives of the forum and welcomed the gathering. Prathibha K delivered the vote of thanks. Jagadish compered the programme.