Dear Steenie and Vivek,
It is great that the Norman family now has a high-tech avenue of group communication through e-mail, a facility generated by the youthful enthusiasm and imagination of you both. I, having been steeped in the culture of an age of typewriters and treadle-press, had the courage to peep a little into the techno- world. My glimpse into this new generation electronic culture is rather shallow and devoid of commitment to it because of my advancing age. One tends toward fixation of beliefs, preferences and cultural identities as one grows old and is rendered incapable of accepting and adopting changes that come too sudden to be appreciated and too massive to be understood with ease. And much less to be accepted.
I am happy that this small group of Normans with access to e-mail facility is enthusiastic and is committed to the evangelical objective of the Norman Missionary Trust, organises prayer groups and takes up membership drive for the expansion of the Trust and also shares the family news of mutual and general interest
But my fear is that the limited reach of this facility to a few, may isolate the bulk of the members who are still in the age of postal communication and dialling- the- telephone- capability. The possibility of developing a feeling of high-tech superiority and its isolation as an elite group can be expected which must carefully be avoided. Of course, this is not difficult for our young members both boys and girls.
You may place this letter in , in case you think it worthwhile and necessary. Let me assure you that I do not intend to discourage you, for, I have a lot of appreciation for and hope in your efforts to lead and carry the Norman Trust forward. But as an elder of the family, I thought I could reasonably take a little liberty to air both my admiration and my fears.
If only you could make the website a bit more broad based; but how? Here is an exercise for your imagination.
Bangalore: 1 October 2004
62 ) Arun Shourie, former Union minister speaks:
“ To shore up the state finances, the economist suggested, income from agricultural taxes. Oh, that we can’t do because of political reasons, said the administrator. OK then, you realise all tax arrears. Oh, that we can’t do for administrative reasons. In that case make the administration work by making every one come to office on time. That we can’t do for cultural reasons. Agreed, then make them work when they are in the office. That can’t be done for historical reasons.”
“So we have obvious reasons for government not working.”
Bangalore: 15 Nov. 2004-12-02
63) Ethics and Hinduism:
…… historically and for practical purposes Hinduism was being nothing but primitive and conservative in its conscious or unconscious refusal to separate morality from religion, and that when it formulated its largest philosophy of life it took a line which could not foster the ethical development. …… if one dismissed the material world as illusion he could not make the moral and the spiritual world more real. …….. In the sphere of morals, Hinduism has not progressed very much beyond its primitive beginnings ……… Hindu ethics has remained immature.
The ethical immaturity of Hinduism is apparent …… in its failure to develop a high sense of personal moral responsibility. If a course of conduct - for example, the taking of bribes or not giving value for money in the public services or serving an organization or person from purely mercenary motives, ………. is sanctioned or condoned by habit or custom no Hindu, however highly cultured intellectually, will search his conscience on his own initiative and from a sense of individual duty. The doctrine of