Rethinking Communications beyond Polarities

Start Date:08-Apr-2024

End Date:08-Apr-2024

Location:Pondicherry University


On April 8, 2024, Dr. Beloo Mehra was invited to deliver a talk at the Inauguration ceremony of an International Conference on 'Future Communications: Rethinking Societies, Cultures and Governance' organized by the Department of Electronic Media and Mass Communications, School of Media and Communications, Pondicherry University. The other partners of the conference included: University of Toulon - France, Oslo Metropolitan University - Norway, Multimedia University - Malaysia, International Centre for Strategy & Communication - Auroville, Integral World - Auroville, AWARE - Auroville, Educational Multimedia Research Centre Puducherry, Ananda Rangapillai Library and Directorate of Distance Education, Pondicherry University.

Dr. Mehra spoke on the topic - Rethinking Communications beyond Polarities. She highlighted that in this age of transition as we move beyond the age of reason to an age of greater subjectivism, communications - both as an academic discipline and field of practice - will play an important role. She pointed out the significance of some key insights we can gain from the vision of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother when it comes to effective communication that seeks to harmonize and takes one beyond the rigid polarities of thought and thought-process.

Dr. Mehra focused on three key lines of inquiry, giving brief hints on each, given the time constraint.

The first point was about the need to rethink what we understand by the word ‘intellectual’ since it is this section of humanity that sets the conceptual nature, lines, and scope of the discourse which gradually trickles down to the mainstream popular understanding and also shapes the policy related thinking. She added that a related inquiry to this, an important one, could be on what is understood by thinking itself? Is thinking different than opinionizing? In what ways? How do we purify our true thinking mind, which is not merely working on the data supplied by our instincts, impulses, ordinary reactions of the vital-emotional parts of ourselves and so on?

The second line of inquiry requires us to acknowledge, Dr. Mehra emphasized that it is time to also reframe the two commonly used/abused terms – conservative and progressive thought. These terms have created deep rifts in the society and we need to take a closer look at what we essentially mean by these terms.

Third point, she highlighted was that if a movement toward unity is the inevitable necessity of Nature, it becomes obvious that we need to take a closer look at how a diversity of viewpoints is integrated within the fold of unity. And this requires that we re-examine the very nature of our rational, objective discussions and discourse practices so that there is a greater possibility of harmony of diverse perspectives without a recourse to value-less relativism.

Dr. Mehra also highlighted some specific tips and pointers for healthy discussion from Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.

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