E. Sridharan, Immanuel Kant and Actor Suriya Sivakumar

E. Sridharan, Immanuel Kant and Actor Suriya Sivakumar

31st of October , 2016 was a memorable day. Thanks to the MAM college team, I was able to participate in  inter- school competitions. I performed beyond my expectations and won coveted Ms. Mamaria prize.  I had brief interaction with Actor Surya on stage. Initially, I was very nervous in the presence of Surya. Right words did not come out of my mouth. Then I became alert, composed myself and communicated well. Mr. Surya was a good listener, open minded and warm.

What ruffled me was the unruly behaviour of the crowd. They were delirious, raving and hysterical as if God had stepped into their space. As we were leaving the college, I overheard some of them saying, “I touched his hair”, “I touched his shirt”, “I touched his hand” as if it was the greatest achievement of their life. What gives people the right to tread into somebody’s privacy? Does not Actor Surya also need his own space?

As we were going back I started pampering my father with these questions. He remarked that our society is a movie centric and cricket centric society. Had Mr. Sridharan, the metro man of India, who built the Pamban bridge and Delhi metro in record time, walked into any institution, how many would even recognise him?

Later at home, we had discussions on the excerpts of Immanuel Kant’s book ‘Critique of Pure Reason’. Kant mentions that men are rational, capable of controlling their impulses and being moralistic. This according to him is the greatest freedom. He calls this man an autonomous man.

An analogy to this would be Lord Krishna, driving the chariot and controlling the horses. We are analogous to the chariot and the horses analogous to our senses. Lord Krishna is our higher self, the rational human being.

The other man according to Immanuel Kant is the heteronymous man, the man who is impulsive and purely controlled by pleasure and pain.

Isn’t heteronomy the reason for:

  1. The global warming, the destruction of our lakes, animals, heritage and our planet?
  2. Greed in people where everyone wants to accumulate more and pretend as though they are successful?
  3. Bursting of crackers in spite of increasing PM 2.5 in air which causes cancer?
  4. A crowd mobbing an actor instead of being dignified?

I think right education (not in the current context) is the only remedy to the greater society.

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