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Re: physical versus economic force



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Administrative Note:
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Week's Agenda: Economy
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Dear Mr Narayanan

You wrote on 14 October at 18.23:
>What I would strongly object to is the organized, planned effort  by certain 
powerful religious bodies particularly in the United States to consider Asia and
 Africa as targets for massive conversion.

As Sanjeev has pointed out earlier, this is no different from a powerful 
organised effort to sell toothpaste.  People only buy the toothpaste if they 
have a need for toothpaste in the first place and if they are not satisfied with
the alternatives.  

We also need to consider the fact that we have sent our own gurus and religious 
teachers on "powerful religious" missions in the US and Western countries.  And 
they have been very successful with certain groups at certain times - even now 
they have a certain success.

In today's electronically-mediated marketplace of ideas, everyone is free to 
organise as powerful a marketing campaign as one wishes, knowing that other 
"sellers" are doing the same thing.  

Ultimately, it is for the people to decide for themselves - and they in fact do 
this.  

If the brand of jeans or cigarettes people prefer is not available legally in a 
country, you find that people import those jeans and cigarettes illegally (this 
happened in Russia on a massive scale just before liberalisation).  If the 
import of gold is banned, that does not stop people buying; if the purchase of 
foreign currencies is forbidden, that does not stop and has not ever stopped our
fellow-Indians from inventive and creative ways of doing so.  

In the marketplace of ideas, you can only attempt to "prove" that what you have 
to "sell" is better than what the other people have to "sell".  People have 
converted and do convert from Indian religions to Christianity, Sikhism, Islam 
or Buddhism, just as people convert from Christianity to Hinduism or materialism
or whatever.

We cannot stop people from having this choice today.  

IMO attempts to develop policies to stop people from having this choice are an 
utter waste of time and resources.


Professor Prabhu Guptara
Director, Organisational and Executive Development
Wolfsberg Executive Development Centre
(a subsidiary of UBS AG)
CH-8272 Ermatingen
Switzerland
Tel: + 41.71.663.5605
Fax: +41.71.663.5590
e-mail: prabhu.guptara@ubs.com



______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re: physical versus economic force
Author:  loraln (loraln@worldnet.att.net) at nyuxuu
Date:    14.10.98 18:23


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Administrative Note:
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Week's Agenda: Economy
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To quote Antony Joseph <antonyj@tm.net.my>  Tuesday, October 13, 1998 2:12 
PM
     
     
>By virtue of this, Hinduism has remained  tolerant of religions over a very 
>long period of time while those in first category (Christianity and Islam) 
are less tolerant about
>the RELIGIOUS beliefs of others.
     
That, in my opinion,  is the crux of the problem.
     
>Proselytization ( which I presume is preaching  one's religion with the 
>objective of persuading another )  IMO,  is not very different from what 
>IPI is doing for social/economic reform -
     
I do not fully agree.  If there is an inter-faith forum representing 
different religions and if the members of that forum debate the various 
aspects of different religions, then Antony's point is valid. And if an 
individual member is convinced as a result of discussion that another 
person's religion is better than his and he wishes to convert, nobody is 
going to object.. Quite apart from a forum,  there should be no objection to 
proselytization at an individual level.  What I would strongly object to is 
the organized, planned effort  by certain powerful religious bodies 
particularly in the United States to consider Asia and  Africa as targets for 
massive conversion. And I am personally aware of some of their plans. How 
should
India protect itself  against this onslaught?
     
Ram Narayanan
janaky@indiaintl.com or loraln@worldnet.att.net 
http://www.indiaintl.com
     

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