|The magnificent IIAS at Shimla.|
The second comment was in some ways related to the one above. In the evening as we were winding up the seminar, participants and observers began sharing their thoughts. Professor GS said one thing very categorically — along with theoretical work our researches should be based on empirical data. And, for me what was more important, was his later assertion that this balance, or amalgamation, of theory and factual data is what will lead to "social transformation". All fields of knowledge – natural sciences, social sciences, and arts and humanities – must be geared towards this. Not many people want to use this term social transformation. For that one has to make value judgements, seek fundamental changes and propose radical alternatives, and our current academic stances are ill equipped for this. And thus if our academic discussions only result in audience yawning should we not become suspect of our "scholarly" enterprises?
|A South Asian Taxi Driver in New York|
(Photos: http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entries/malariamonday/1/1277062587/tpod.html; http://thefacesisee.blogspot.com/2009/05/may-26-43rd-street-new-york-ny-usa.html)