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WLF Event_On Magic 1

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Amartya Sen: And magic is very important in Modi. Amartya Sen: Demonetization is part of the magic. Amartya Sen: I think anyone with any kind of training in economics would find it difficult to believe why making it illegal to hold notes of certain kinds would improve the performance of the people. I mean, there was some idea that you would catch thieves, people who have fake money. But if you look through it, you will recognize that people don't hold black money in trade notes- they convert it into properties like land and housing -- housing very much. The world we live in believes in magic. The magic is also extended in the pictures of war toys and the attack on Pakistan. We are in this odd position- the country of Gandhi is now going around claiming we actually killed many more people as if that would have been a tremendously good thing. I have to say, that returning the pilot, who fell down, was not a victory of the Indian side. It shows, somewhat surprisingly, generosity on the part of the government defendant because, usually, it is done at the end of the war. But to convert that into a victory of India… We got a pilot who was shot down. We were afraid that he would be tortured and possibly executed, instead, he was generously released. I dare say there is a kind of magic in saying this is to the glory of the present government. I'm told that the support of the government dramatically increased after that. Now that is magic. You know, I remember in my college days, my school days, really, people would ask who are the great figures? Some people say Gandhi ji and some would say Tagore. And one chap said P.C. Sircar who was a magician. Now, the idea of that, you see here, is not Gandhi or Tagore, that is P.C. Sircar. By the way, I was a great devotee of P.C. Sircar. I don't want to blame him, but there is magic. The love of magic is quite important in the election. I think resisting magic is as important as almost anything else that's going on. And one of the ways to challenge is to challenge the magic that is being presented. I think the Ayushman, healthcare being a universal health care is an attempt at a rather, extraordinary kind of magical thought because it doesn't even touch these people. It has got nothing to offer to people who don't have a primary health care. If there is something to offer, it will need an expensive operation and go to a private hospital and get paid. I said that in a speech rather like this. They had the Ayushman say that much of them doesn't understand it. He doesn't understand because I'll find it is not only to do this, but also to do the other. Now here we run into a major thought and I'm afraid it applies even to my concern about spending so much money on cash rather than healthcare and education. The poor in India does not know where to go when your child has illness, Ayushman is not going to help you. Ayushman would help you if you have lived a very long time and then you have an extensive operation which a private hospital will provide for you and then you take the bill and ask the government to pay. That does nothing for the girl with the empty stomach. I think we have to turn our fixture to needs and work and to the freedom of speech because as I was trying to say, freedom of speech is central to all these things. We won't talk about works and needs, we will only talk about Ayushman and not about what's happened to basic health care and so on. If freedom of speech is interrupted and harshly dealt with, I repeat again by saying it's not the case that these problems didn't exist earlier, but these problems have become dramatically more important recently. The song of creation, Mantra 10, asks the question: Does God exist? How do we know? And if God existed, and if he is still alive, would he remember all that? How does he remember? And so on. That's in the Vedas. There's also the first discussion in Rig Vedas about gambling and the dilemma of the gambler, who is irresistibly drawn to it, what the Greeks would call weakness of the will. They discuss a lot of it and discuss it in the Vedas quite brilliantly. But instead of that, the RSS will say mathematics happened dramatically in India from Aryabhatt onward. We have to accept that, the impulse that came from the influence of Babylon and Greece, made a big difference. A dramatic difference. And then, of course, the Arabs were the great exponent of Indian mathematics. All this was going on. To not understand that and to think of India as a kind of self-made creature germinating like a gram on the ground alone. That is magic. We have to get rid of, not only of the bias, but also the magic. Thank you. Prabhat Patnaik: One of the things which actually surprises me is that the kind of support that this kind of magic or this kind of fascism commands among the educated middle classes in India. That's quite remarkable because, many of them, I'm not talking about universities like mine and so on where there is a lot of protests, but I think large numbers of people are actually taken in by this and were great supporters of Modi, particularly the educated people. It is quite surprising. We are beginning to have the kind of peasant assertion in which I see a lot of hope. I think the more the discourse shifts away from Hindutva and Pakistan and so on, towards issues of peasant conditions of life towards issues of unemployment and so on, the more, in fact, people will begin to assert themselves in the election, and thereafter, as citizens. But the more they actually start talking about Hindutva and Pakistan, the more they become victims of the magic that Professor Sen was talking about. On this magic- I just want to recollect an occasion that you see after demonetization, everybody had great difficulties because you had absolutely no cash and so you went and queued up, you got up at four o'clock in the morning to go and queue up outside the banks and so on. And it was extremely inconvenient and people simply could not believe that anything as distressing as this could be inflicted upon them without very good reasons. The more you faced hardships, the more you thought, what a wonderful government we have, they don't actually show any fear in inflicting this hardship on me. And that just shows how committed they are to the good of the country. So that's the kind of magic- you do something, you do something pretty ruthlessly shock and awe. And as a result, the more you put shock and awe into people for a while obviously because, now, that has worn off, but, for a while, it actually can have this kind of magical impact that Professor Sen and was talking about. Ruchira Gupta: Magic is so essential to fascism. And how Hitler also used notions of mysticism. You know, the great Nordic person who was of a superior race should rule the world. And talking about a past which did not exist. Hinting at a future which would never be and inciting people to create the "other" and towards violence, it was all about exclusion. So, what's at stake here, really here in this election, is that, what approach do we choose in India? The politics of inclusion or the politics of exclusion? And what do you feel- that can this magic that is associated with the present ruling party the kind of clothes, the prime minister wears with the turbans and all of that, the kind of slogans he uses, the kind of campaigns that are run are so full of symbolic aesthetics which are so full of blood and orange and how is it going to play out? And what really is at stake then? And what should India be doing now?

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Duration: 11 minutes and 3 seconds
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Language: English
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Posted by: develop_apneaap on Apr 15, 2019

WLF Event_On Magic 1

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