Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Colour of money

Eminent author Gurcharan Das talks about the dharma of capitalism

In a rush to garner degrees we sometimes miss out on the fine print which connects different streams of knowledge. For instance, hardly any maths teacher looks at rational and irrational numbers in arithmetic through the glass of ethics. Gurcharan Das has no such limitations. The eminent writer, who specialises in economic affairs, has brewed management and philosophy on the bed of Sanskrit. These days he is busy unravelling the link between dharma and capitalism.

After writing a book, “The Difficulty of Being Good: On the Subtle Art of Dharma”, Das is now hosting a television show, The Dharma of Capitalism, where he interviews young entrepreneurs like Fortis brothers, Malvinder and Shivinder, and the scion of the Bajaj empire, Rajiv Bajaj, on UTV Bloomberg.

“The idea germinated from ‘Mahabharat', where Draupadi asks Yudhishthir — why be good when good behaviour is not adequately rewarded? Can one be good and successful at the same time?” asks Das. He says it is wrong to say that the concept of capitalism is alien to India. “We have had markets from the time of the Indus Valley civilisation, and epics like ‘Mahabharat' present a world of moral haziness, which is far closer to our experience as ordinary human beings than the narrow and rigid positions that define debate in these turbulent times. Dharma is a complex word, but it is chiefly concerned with doing the right thing,” he elucidates.

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