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Objectivism Anyone?
ExpressIndia, India Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Objectivism appeals to many, but even to the ones it does, the fundamental ideas seem incomprehensible. Many of them have decided that it is not the philosophy by which they have to live their life. However, some, like Barun Mitra of the Liberty Institute thinks that her works are impressive, reports Expressindia.

In many ways his daily life, reasons Ajay Nagar, plays out the essence of Ayn Rand’s celebrated theory. Nagar admits that his own material and spiritual elevation is the one abiding tenet of his life, where personal gain overrides everything else, including the hard-hitting and irrefutable reality surrounding him. At 29, Nagar also easily attaches himself to the idea of capitalism — his rise from being an eager aspirant at Kolkata’s TCG to his current status as a high-flying IT professional in America, attests as much.

Yet, objectivism, the philosophy Rand made famous in her iconic book Atlas
Shrugged, escapes Nagar. Even a few attempts later, says Nagar, the full import of the book or the school of thought it espoused, has evaded him. Ironically, while pursuing personal accomplishment — a strain of thought central to Rand’s theory — it is the lack of time that the book deserves that Nagar holds guilty.


In the case of Romit Chowdhury, studying MA in English at Calcutta University, the novels of the American author was both difficult to comprehend and subsequently complete. “For instance, after reading The Fountainhead I was sure that it was not the kind of book that could leave a lasting impression on my life,” he says of the book, where protagonist Howard Roark’s rebellion against the structured world of architecture and design is known to have represented defiance against preset hierarchies for countless readers across the world.


Admittedly, Rand’s works have never been considered as easy-reading material, filled as they are with philosophical interpretations of individualism against collectivism. Most of her characters, like Howard Roark in The Fountainhead and Dagny Taggart in Atlas Shrugged, are idealists who are uncompromising in their principles and often going against the current grain of thinking.


B Ramana, a surgeon, for instance, asserted that Rand’s writing has made him think, shaped his thinking. “Her writing made me more optimistic about life and about dealing with and reacting to life’s problems,” said Ramana. Barun Mitra, director of the Delhi-based Liberty Institute, which promotes ‘awareness and appreciation of a free society’, was also present. For Mitra, very few books impress more than Rand’s. “I have loved the way her books introduced a new meaning to life, the strength of the characters and the idealism, something many of us were keen to possess but often failed,” he mentioned, while PR professional Rita Bhimani nodded.


This article was published in the ExpressIndia on Tuesday, October 30, 2007. Please read the original article here.
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