Amartya Sen Vs. Jagdish Bhagwati

Amartya Sen and Jagdish Bhagwati, world’s two prominent economists have come forward to express their opinion on the kind of economic vision the country should have in the changed political power at the center. Both the economists are India-born Americans. Amartya Sen, however, claims that he still holds Indian citizenship and is also coming to India to cast his vote.

Amartya Sen has his own apprehensions on the Modi-led government. His biggest concern is the safety of the minorities and the issue of secularism. Well, these issues require a deep insight and open debate on a global platform. What do you mean by minororities? What about the Hindu minorities in Bangladesh? What about the Hindu minorities in Pakistan? What about the minority Hindu Kashmiri Pundits who have been deserted from Jammu and Kashmir? What about the minorities in the US and other parts of the globe? A much bigger question is, if you divide the humanity between minority and majority how will you protect the minorities from the majority? The oppression of the minorities will prevail in some form or the other. And this is prevailing for millenia and the whole history is a witness to this stigma. This kind of division is a stigma on the entire humanity. If the whole humanity is divided beween poor and rich then how poverty can be eliminated? Just think !! If you create a pyramid out of a society on these lines then there will only be a conflict in the society in some form or the other. Just look up in the heaven? Do you find a pyramidal structure anywhere in the cosmos? Nowhere. You only find a circular structure among the planets, stars, and galaxies. The pyramidal structure prevails only in the societies. If you want only an economic growth then the pyramidal structure is okay. Then you will have huts alongside skyscrapers. Then you will have poor among the rich and the super-rich. And when the pyramid grows with the economic growth the gap between the rich and the poor, and the gap between the majority and the minority will also grow. So how will you remove the division and the conflict? This needs a different approach altogether. Those who eat only bread and butter have no idea about Jhunka Bhakar. A pyramidal structure is a symbol for prosperity with conflict, and a circular structure is a symbol for prosperity with peace.

In the same way, when you divide the society into different religions, how will you then attain to peaceful coexistence of these religions? This is a far bigger question. And if the religions become vote banks then the problem will further get complicated.

Amartya Sen had come very heavily in July 2013 against Modi. He said at that time that he didn’t want him to become PM because he didn’t have secular credentials. You can read his views and opinions in a TOI news here.

There are always two paths – Prosperity and peace is one path, and Propserity and conflict is another path. And these two paths can never go together. And every society has to choose. The western society has chosen only growth. And as a consequence the society has grown in material abundance but there is no peace. There is conflict alongside growth. There is no peace in the prosperity. On the other hand the eastern society has chosen only peace. And as a consequence there is only poverty. This society looks peaceful on the circumference but it is not true peace. Prosperity is outside and peace is inside. And this requires a continuous balance. And Enlightenment is an art of balance of these two – prosperity and peace. And this is possible at an individual level and collective level, and hence requires different mind-set and a different culture.

Jagdish Bhagwati on the other hand has a faith on Modi-led government. And he is ready to help, guide and advise the Modi-led government in the future. In an interview to TOI he says, “The Gujarat model is not just about creating prosperity. It is also about using the wealth that is created, to increase social spending. Personal social responsibility works in Gujarat. Narendra Modi’s own life, where he dedicated himself to social service, is par excellence the essence of Gujarat’s approach to wealth – create it but avoid self-indulgence. Corporate social responsibility is meaningless if the corporation is making losses.”

Every economic growth model requires a holistic growth model. Economy, Education, Environment, Ecology, and Enlightenment are not five different compartments. They all are different components of a healthy and peaceful society. Prosperity has no meaning without peace, and peace also has no meaning without prosperity. Economy has no meaning if there is no environment to live. Education has no meaning without an ecology to lead a meaningful life. And what will you do with Enlightenment when you don’t have food and clothes? What is therefore needed is a holistic approach in everything. And this is possible with a far bigger vision.

I suggest that the Modi-led government if comes to power, should not only seek expertise from outside but should also seek expertise from inside. In India there are many great economists. India’s economic problems are unique and different, and I don’t think we can bank only on an outside expertise. We should also insource this expertise from within India.

Education, Economy, Environment, Ecology, and Enlightenment are the five major components of a healthy society – a society that is prosperous and peaceful. All these components are inter-related and inter-dependent. The society should aim at seamless integration of all these components. And all the people in the society should continuously strive towards churning these components. 

Enlightenment and Corporate Excellence

You can neither take nor give enlightenment. You can only receive it. It is a gift from the divine. It is a “Prasada”. It is what you receive as a consequence. It is like a by-product. And it is not a goal.

You can’t desire enlightenment. You need to be deserving to receive it as a gift. There is a saying that says that God does not give you success but God estimates your success. If I am worthy I will receive it in no time. And if I am not worthy and don’t deserve it now then I will have to wait patiently. The word patient is very beautiful. It means a sick person. The sick person goes to a doctor for a cure. And the doctor tells the sick person to have patience. Because the cure will take some time. But the sickness is so much that the patient loses all patience. And there is no shortcut. The patient has to wait. There is no other way.

The same is the story with enlightenment. You have to wait endlessly. And in a ripe moment it happens. And it happens. It surely happens. How does it matter even if it didn’t happen? Who cares? What matters is that you loved the path. What matters is that the journey was joyful. What matters is that you loved the whole process.

The end of the process results into enlightenment. Just take the example of 24 carat gold. Look into the whole process of moving from the raw gold to 24 carat gold. From raw gold to 24 carat gold the whole process is intrinsically connected. It is one process. At the end of the process the raw gold transforms into a 24 carat gold.

What happens in the whole process? The raw gold is passed through the acid test and the fire test. And as the raw gold moves up the stream, in the whole process the impurities present in the raw gold are burnt and dissolved, and at the end of the process as a resultant is the 24 carat gold. The whole process is one. It is interconnected. The raw gold culminates into a 24 carat gold as a consequence. The whole process is a process of quality improvement. The 24 carat gold moves to a highest quality.

It is similar to the quality processes followed by the corporations in quality improvement. They follow many types of quality processes like ISO and Six Sigma. And at the end of the process are the world class quality products. The whole quality process creates a value.

The case of the Mumbai Dabbawalas has become world famous. This case is being referred by world famous universities to their students in their curriculum. The people of Mumbai Dabbawalas are very simple and down-to-earth human beings. They don’t have any ego. They don’t have any attitude. They are not professional people. They are not engineers. They are not MBAs. And probably this is the reason why they are able to create excellence. They are working above six sigma.

On the other hand take the example of many business organizations. They are rich and they have lot of money. They have technology. They have qualified people like engineers, doctors, MBAs, etc. They have pumped millions of dollars in their processes. And still they are not able to work above six sigma. What is the matter? The matter is lack of simplicity and ordinariness. A professional person thinks that he is extraordinary. An expert thinks that he is extraordinary. And this attitude becomes a barrier to quality. A quality product, a quality process, and a quality person are not three different compartments. All these three are part of a one big process. They are interconnected. They are not separate. They can not work in silos. You can not improve one without improving the other. This is where quality suffers. This is where quality becomes unsustainable. And this is the reason why the products and markets eventually die.

The goal of any organization is to create excellence. And this excellence can be achieved only through quality people. Happy people give highest productivity and greatest performance. And happy people create quality products and quality processes. All quality is a by-product of happiness. And all happiness is a by-product of Right Mindfulness.

Right Mindfulness is a quality standard for improving the quality of the individuals. We have various quality standards for improving the quality of the processes and products. But we do not have any standard for improving the quality of the individuals. The right mindfulness meditation improves the “Emotional Quotient” and the “Happiness Quotient” of the individuals. Right mindfulness is not being full of mind. Right mindfulness is just being in the moment and understanding the reality as it is. The art of right mindfulness helps in finding out and removing the root causes. The art of right mindfulness is a boon for creativity and innovation. Right mindfulness helps in creating excellence in everything that you do.

And eventually as the individual moves up the stream in his own inner being through right mindfulness, enlightenment happens to him as a consequence. It is a by-product and comes as a gift of the divine. And the by-product of enlightenment is a person of highest “Happiness Quotient”. And this person is always in a state of a Sachitananda. And this person has an excellence to lead the organization with love and compassion. Love and Leadership can go together. Creativity and Compassion can go together. Intelligence and Innovation can go together. Meditation and Management can go together. There is no conflict. And this person always follows the principles of Enlightened Leadership.

Can Consciousness be Quantified?

Can consciousness be quantified? Well, it all depends on what do we actually mean by consciousness. Our basic understanding of consciousness is that which makes us aware of something. It is the consciousness that makes us aware of a thing. We think that the consciousness is the by-product of our existence. This is how the scientists think of the consciousness. They think that the consciousness is like an object or a thing. And they also think that one day it can be quantified. They also think that one day they will be able to create an articial consciousness. And they are in fact trying to do this in the context of artificial intelligence.

I love Michio Kaku. He is a great theoretical physicist. I have a great respect for his contribution to science. He is one of the string theorists and he has his own equation of the string theory. In the embedded video he says that till now some 25, 000 papers have been written on consciousness and without any conclusion. Even he is also talking about his own theory of the consciousness. I am very sorry that I do not agree to his idea and notion of consciousness. To me, consciousness is that which can not be created. All matter has come from the consciousness. Everything has emerged out of the consciousness. And all that has come from the consciousness can be quantified to some extent. But the consciousness itself can not be quantified. Consciousness is that from which the energy is released and into which the energy is dissolved. Consciousness is that in whose presence one form of energy is transformed into another form of energy.

The consciousness is not the by-product of our existence. No, it is the other way round. Our existence is the by-product of the consciousness. We always speak from the side of the effect and never be able to visualize the side of the source. The consciousness can be experienced but it can never be expressed. The consciousness is not an object. The consciousness is the subject. And Enlightenment is nothing but the existential experience of the dissolution an ego-center and the rising-up of a conscious-center.

When it comes to mathematics and mathematical equations I madly get inspired by these scientific minds. Albert Einstein was once asked about his interest in politics. He said that the politics is for the present and the equations are for the future. He said that the equations serve the humanity for eternity. He said that his heart beats only for creating equations. And just see how his equation of the theory of relativity is serving the humanity till date.

I also thought of coming out with my own equation of consciousness. And I know for sure that the equation will only serve half the purpose. One has to experience the result of the equation. And till that time the equation remains just an equation. My equation of consciousness is as under:

C = EM² (This should be read as C equals EM square).

In the above equation C represents consciousness. E represents energy in all forms. And M represents the intensity of meditation. It is a constant of meditation.

The above equation helps the human energy to transform into consciousness through meditation.

In ancient India the mystics have called the consciousness as Chetana or Chaitanya. It is a Sanskrit word for consciousness. The sages of the Upanishads have witnessed Shuddha Chetana or Shuddha Chaitanya or pure consciousness through the process of Dhyana or meditation.

The energy in all forms can be quantified in some way. There is no difficulty in quantifying the energy. The scientists have various ways and means to quantify the energy. This is their domain. They can do that and they are in fact doing this. But I am very sorry to say that the consciousness can not be quantified. It is not an energy. It is not a matter. It is not an object. It is a subject. Let us try to experience the consciousness. And to have this experience we have to move from “where am I” to “who am I”, and I call this turning point a “quantum evolution”.