Living in a free society requires striking the correct balance between our rights and duties. From our smallest interactions within the family unit to our vast and complex relationship with mother nature, so say our education is the cornerstone upon which the future of our society will be built. We at Vichaar Manthan believe it is time to re-examine these ideas through the lens of sustainability.
The end of Family- for better or worse?
There have been many who have wanted to be rid of the family altogether, from the Greek philosopher and father of Western thought, Plato, to the radical Marx who wanted to build an egalitarian community. Then there has been Hindu thought, which has put family at the front and centre of civic life, a hallmark of its civilisation. As liberty and freedom spreads globally in conjunction with technology and affluence, what purpose, if any, will the family play in the decades to come? What will be the consequences for human well-being if the family unit dissolves or becomes irrelevant? How would we find what Erich Fromm called ‘rootedness’ in our childhood without a strong foundation provided by the family? Join us to discover what a sustainable model for the family of the future entails.
Nature and Constitutional Rights: A Way Forward?
“We are destroying our planet” is an often-heard refrain today. How we relate to nature is at the heart of the matter. In an increasingly urbanised world where we are alienated from the processes of nature, how do we re-learn how to live in synchronicity with it? Many have started to give nature constitutional rights: courts and law-makers around the world have granted legal personality to national parks and rivers in New Zealand, Bangladesh and Colombia, and to spiritual conceptions of nature in Bolivia. Is this the way forward, or should we instead be looking beyond the paradigm of constitutional rights to consider our civic duties towards nature? This Fireside will address the current trend of granting constitutional rights to nature in the light of deep sustainability.
Can we reimagine education and its purpose?
If the aim of education was to give each of us the capability to flourish to our fullest potentials, what would education look like? In this light, the time has come to re-evaluate our modus operandi for educating people. Is it time to move away from an industrialised model of schooling focused on employability to one in which the purpose of education is the flourishing of the individual and the whole society? What would such an education system look like, and more importantly how might we get there? What are the systemic changes that we need to make in order to be able to rebuild this most precious of institutions? Join us.