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Seasons of change

ANJANA RAJAN
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CHATLINE Even as he reveals his interest in everything from the Rig Veda to Rock music, Dr Karan Singh tells ANJANA RAJAN that humanity is moving into a new phase of evolution

The expression ‘man for all seasons’ pales somewhat before the career of Dr Karan Singh. To hear him say he is “open to speak on any subject under the sun” is not surprising. He has been a close observer of history even as he participated in its making. Born the yuvraj of Jammu and Kashmir in 1931 but never destined to be its Maharaja, he has always, it would seem, traversed the cusp with aplomb. Today, the president of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations and Rajya Sabha member and former Union Minister is taking cognisance of changes even more momentous.

“Humanity is moving into a new phase of its evolution. It’s such a huge movement that it’s not generally comprehended. But it is as important as the movement from nomadic gatherers/hunters to agriculture, then from pastoral to urban societies, then urban to nation states,” he says. “Now the movement is to a global society. And that has all sorts of implications. It has ideological implications, it has economic implications, political implications.”

To hear Singh speak is to hear echoes of his vast reading and his multifarious interests. His capacity to hold an audience awestruck as he explicates concepts that have formed the bedrock of...

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