My interpretation of what interests and confounds me ....

Saturday, November 21, 2015

The Wisdom of Dr Karan Singh

Had the good fortune of listening to Dr Karan Singh on 15 Nov 15, at Neemrana NIIT University (NU for short; they fashion themselves on the lines of NYU!). The occasion was the Seventh Annual Lecture, and the topic "Interfaith Movement: The Confluence of Civilisations".

To say that it was an experience in oratorical excellence would perhaps be an understatement. Dr. Karan Singh held forth with his vast and versatile erudition, for about an-hour-and-a-half. He expounded on theology and spirituality, tore apart dogmas and beliefs of all religions, and best of all, showcased a pragmatic way ahead for the next generation (students of NU formed a major section of the audience).

Talking extempore, but referring once in a while to what seemed like hand-written notes, he stuck largely to English, but slipped into Hindi, now and then, with the practised ease of the veteran speaker that he is. He peppered his speech with Sanskrit shlokas, Urdu couplets and quotes from Koran, for maximum effect; all of it, off the cuff. But the beauty of his talk was that, at no time did it feel contrived or disconnected. In fact, he broke down arcane concepts into down-to-earth, easily understandable nuggets, thus establishing his profound wisdom.

Being a politician, 'am sure he has his detractors, but one thing is for sure - even his most hostile antagonists would doff their hats, at the scholar in Dr Karan Singh.

For me personally, it was a forenoon well spent.

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