CreditsSankhadip Das for coming up with the idea of transcribing Arun Shourie's main talk, writing the first draft, and sharing it with the forum. Others in the forum and then the HHG team have reviewed the material, which has gone through additional hours of editing. There remain tiny sections where the audio is unclear. We have highlighted certain key passages. The Youtube video is embedded at the end of this post. If a keen ear can spot key missing words, please add a comment and we will update the post.
[March 5: minor transcription updates]
[prolonged applause. The main lecture ends here. Arun Shourie then has some interesting observations on how Indians misinterpret "Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam" (the whole world is one family). The HHG team has transcribed this portion for the sake of completeness and also because this segment has a very important message for the millions of gullible Indians wallowing in the myth of sameness].
It is not anti-christianity, anti-Islam or anything like that. It is, the book is, it's a wonderful thing both about cosmos and life, this metaphor of Indra's Jaal and also about Hinduism. Every part reflecting every jewel all other jewels. Therefore if anything is changed [or disturbed], it is reflected all over, etc. But he also makes a very important point in the end. Which illustrates... Rajiv illustrates both his style and forcefulness of his argument. It [is an illustration of what he was] telling us in the end. In our anxiety to be liked. we keep repeating words without understanding their implications. Humne Sabse pehle kaha 'Vasudhiva Kutumbakam' [comment on India's tolerance] .... Sari duniya to humne ek mana. So I will read to you where actually says where this word comes from [reading from pages 295-296 of Indra's Net].
[a brief comment here before continuing]
The Panchatantra encodes this same message in a different story. In this version, the man who utters ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ is described as a murkha (‘idiot’). He is determined to bring a dead lion back to life, and disregards a wise man’s warning about the dangerous consequences of such an act. The idiot and his accomplices feel moved to resurrect the lion after citing this sentiment of universal brotherhood among all living things, and hence end up being eaten by the lion they help. The wise man lives to tell the tale. Clearly, the lesson taught in these stories is not one of blind adherence to a policy of unilateral disarmament." [appreciative applause]
...Bahasa is a creation of the Indonesian freedom movement in the 1930-40s. Mother country Italy ke bare me baat kar le [laughter in the audience]. Modern Italian is [Anderson] says modern Italian is a creation of the television age. But we are on the defensive ki saab, Instead of celebrating the fact, that yes, we have so many languages, we get defensive, and that's how this book is so invaluable. It takes us to the root of our defensiveness and that is ignorance about [our own systems]. Aur isi liye, bahut important hai ki Poison pill bhi fabricate karni chahiye, magar jo poison, jo dusron ki pills humne swallow kar li hai, aur repeat karte rehte hai Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, uska bhi meaning asli mein dekhna chahiye!