Ajai R. Singh MD

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Abstracts of Pub. Papers (Contd)

Abstracts continued from last page
9. Singh A.R., Singh, S.A.(1990), Gandhi on Religion, Faith and Conversion: Secular Blueprint Relevant Today, New Quest, Vol 80, Mar-Apr, p103-107.
Gandhi's thoughts on religion have something to do with how a multi-religious society can, and should, function. He could accept only that part of Hinduism that did not go against his reason. If Vedas were the inspired words of God, so where the Bible and the Koran. He would not hesitate to call himself a Muslim or a Christian if he could follow these creeds with his own interpertation of them, for then Hinduism-Islam-Christianity would become synonymous terms. But he could not accept proselytization. That does not mean he believed in undoing events of the past. But the large scale enterprise of conversion and the convert's denial of links with his forefathers, and his attempts to establish links with foreigners, was repugnant to his thinking. When asked what would he advise to a person who sincerely believed in getting converted, he said he would still tell that person to go follow his faith, and understand it properly first. For what the Gita says, the Bible says, and so does the Koran. One must make the attempt to find it, and not seek pseudo-fulfilment in change of faith. Proselytisation would mean no peace in the world, for it was based on inequality. It meant that believers of one faith considered themselves superior to the other. Such an orientation towards religion was not spiritual but political and open to machinations, and all the debasement that goes with the games played by those who  seek to hold people in their power. 
 10.Singh A.R., Singh, S.A.(1990), A peep into man's histority: the lessons for today, Journal of the Indian Council of Philosophical Research, Vol VII:3, p23-46.
When an order crumbles prematurely, anarchy of thought and governance is inevitable. Faith not only sustains itself. It sustains the semblance of an order that serves to prop up a crumbling edifice till the time a fresh one can be erected. That it can retard the erection of a fresh one is true only when it is blindly used. But the advent of free enquiry heralds the end of its reign. And for some this becomes synonymous with the end of faith itself. An inability to allow for contradictions to co-exist, coupled with a new found joy of conquest results in an annihilatory fervour to abondon all faith. For the tyranny of reason which cannot couple with faith, which cannot accept that their mutual contradiction is as complementary as ostensibly adversarial, matches the tyranny of blind subservience to faith itself. And paradoxically, the blindness of conceit, malice and malevolence can be as much a product of unbridled faith as of unbridled enquiry. Idle fantasies and futile speculations are then only measures of the short-cuts that such a free-thinking must inevitably engage energies in. Equally strong grows the urge to do away with the trammels of unleashed thought. What begins to grow almost imperceptibly  in the back ground, and this is of consequence, is an amalgam that combines the robusy enquiry of the free-thinker with the steadfastedness of the believer. This lays the background of enquiry that is as resolute as it is persistent. It lays the background for all significant philosophising.
This is illustrated with a peep into both Indian and Western History. The revolt in the Epic Period by the Carvakas, the Buddhists and the Jainas against the supremacy of the Vedas is outlined on the one hand, while the Renaissance and Romantic Movements in the West against the stranglehold of the Papacy are studied on the other. Man's search for self-determination, for freedom from the restraints of dogma and authority that cramp his creative and individualistic pursuits result in self-indulgence, recklessness, anarchy and the existential despair and identity crisis of unharnessed individuation. The difficulties that such breaking loose involves and the problems it poses for man's search for identity becomes all the more pressing as personal actualisation and growth are the concerns that haunt man's creative predilections more ominously today than at other times. Ominously, because today he has both the ability and the inclination to convert these predilections into catastrophies. For it requires just an urge to convert some despot's mad itch to convert the seething mass of humanity into a nuclear rubble of corpses. The challenge to man's histority is to provide the means to stem this head-long foray into devastation, to unseat man from the nuclear stock-pile that is his narcissistic alter-ego ready to ignite  in front of his blind folded eyes, to offer him alternative hedonistic pursuits that satiate this narcissism, and provide a sublimatory channelisation to his recklessly driving thanatos
It is to the lessons of man's history that the philosopher must direct his critical eye and salvage his Being from his Nothingness.
This something lies at hand-shaking distance.
11.Singh A.R., Singh, S.A.(1994), Ideological Conflicts and their Resolution in Psychiatry, Archives of Indian Psychiatry, Vol 1(2), p86-91.
Aside from tackling what it considers as illnessses, psychiatry has perchance to comment on and tackle many issues of social relevance as well. Whether this is advisable or not is another matter; but such a process is inevitable due to the inherent nature of the branch and the problems it deals with. Moreover this is at the root of the polarisation of psychiatry into opposing psychodynamic and organic schools.This gets reflected in their visualization of scope, in definitions and in methodology as well. Whilst healthy criticism of one against the other school is necessary, there should be caution against hasty application of one's frame of reference to an approach that does not intend to follow, or conform to, one's methodology. This should be done within the referential framework of the school critically evaluated, with due consideration to its methods and concepts. Similarly, as at present, there is no evidence to prove one or the other of these approaches as better, aside from personal choice.This suggests the need for unification of diverse appearing approaches to get a more enlightened world view. However, the integration must be attempted without destroying the internal cohesiveness of the individual schools. This will give a fair chance for polarisation in which a single proper approach in psychiatry could emerge.