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अजीबको जीव मान्छे


मुकुन्दप्रसाद उपाध्याय
हामी सबैले प्राथमिक शिक्षा आर्जन गर्ने क्रममा के पढ्यौँ भने मानिस सामाजिक प्राणी हो, अर्थात् मान्छे समाजमा वा मान्छेको भीडमा रमाउने प्राणी हो, अनि घरपरिवार, इष्टमित्र, टोलछिमेक नै उसको वैचारिक धरातल हो। पछि आएर मात्र थाहा भयो यथार्थमा समाज मान्छेको वैचारिक धरातल होइन रहेछ। त्यो त उसको रक्षाकवच मात्र पो रहेछ। मान्छेलाई जङ्गली जीवजन्तुहरूबाट बच्न, बाढीपहिरो र आगजनी आदि प्राकृतिक प्रकोपबाट सुरक्षित रहन, रोगव्याधिसँग जुध्न अनि चोर, डाकु, लुटेरा आदिको भयबाट बच्नका लागि मान्छेलाई मान्छे चाहिने रहेछ । मान्छे मान्छेका लागि त्यसभन्दा बढी होइन रहेछ । जब यी विविध भय र डरत्रासबाट राज्य वा सरकारले मान्छेलाई प्रत्याभूति दिन थाल्छ, तब ऊ एक्लो जीवन जिउन पनि समर्थ हुन्छ। उत्कृष्ट राज्यव्यवस्था अन्तर्गतको युरोपीय र अमेरिकी जीवनशैली यसैको उदाहरण हो। 
जब मान्छे प्रौढ हुन्छ, दुनियाँदारी देख्छ, चौरासी हन्डर खाएर परिपक्व हुन्छ, अनि उसले मान्छेको वास्तविक स्वरूप चिन्दछ, अनि तिनको आवश्यकता र औचित्यबारे घोत्लन बाध्य हुन्छ । त्यस अवस्थामा हामी स्पष्टसँग भन्न सक्तछौँ मान्छे जबसम्म सिर्फ मान्छेमै सीमित रहन्छ, तबसम्म मात्र हामी मान्छेलाई मान्छे चाहिने रहेछ । जब हामी आम मान्छेबाट अलिकति माथि उठ्छौँ, जब मान्छे मात्र नभएर मानव कहलाउँछौँ, तब हामीलाई के लाग्न थाल्छ भने यस सृष्टिमा सबैभन्दा खराब, सबैभन्दा निकृष्ट र सङ्गत गर्न अयोग्य जन्तु नै मान्छे रहेछ । धोका, फरेब, जालझेल, तिकडम, बेइमानी, दुराचार, भ्रष्टाचार, कृतघ्नता, यी सबै चरित्र, गुण र विशेषताहरू भएको प्राणी त मान्छे मात्रै रहेछ । मान्छेबाहेक अन्य कुनै पनि जीवजन्तुहरूमा त यी दुर्गुणहरू हुँदै हुँदा रहेनछन् । मान्छेजस्तो चुत्थो, मतलबी र स्वार्थी जीव यस ब्रह्माण्डमै अर्को रहेनछ । त्यसैले त आम मान्छेभन्दा अलिकति माथि उठेका सन्त, महात्मा, सिद्धपुरुष र फकिरहरू मान्छेको भीडबाट छुट्टिएर एक्लै बस्न चाहन्छन्, मान्छेको कोलाहलबाट भाग्न चाहन्छन्, अनि घना जङ्गलबीच हिमालय क्षेत्रमा र पहाडका गुफाकन्दराहरूमा बस्न रुचाउँछन् । मान्छेको कृत्रिम लोलोपोतोका बीचबाट भागेर बरू हिंसक जङ्गली जीवजन्तुहरूसँग नै बस्न रुचाउँछन्।  त्यसैले होला सायद पश्चिममा पनि प्रौढ र परिपक्व मान्छेहरू मान्छेसँग नबसी घरमा कुकुर, बिरालो, बाँदर आदि पालेर एक्लै बस्न रुचाउँछन् । समाजमा र घरपरिवारमा बस्नुभन्दा चिडियाखाना, म्युजियम र आर्टग्यालरीमा बस्न रुचाउँछन् । उनीहरू नातिनातिनाको भ्रामक तोतेबोलीबीच आफूलाई अभ्यस्त पार्नुभन्दा एकान्तमा भ्वाइलिन र गितारको मधुर धुनबीच बस्न रुचाउँछन् ।
मान्छे भनिने यी जन्तुहरू पनि अजीवका छन् । विश्वका आश्चर्यजनक चमत्कार र आविष्कारका जनक पनि मान्छेहरू नै हुन् । मोटर, रेल, पानीजहाज र हवाइजहाज बनाउने पनि मान्छेहरू नै हुन् । प्राणघातक रोगव्याधिका विरुद्ध खोप, औषधि र सर्जिकल यन्त्रउपकरण बनाउने पनि मान्छेहरू नै हुन् । रङ्गीचङ्गी र सफासुग्घर सहरहरू बसाउने पनि मान्छेहरू नै हुन् । अनि यस प्रकृतिलाई बिगारेर तहसनहस पार्ने, प्रकृतिप्रदत्त हावा ग्रहण गर्न नमिल्ने, प्रकृतिप्रदत्त जल सेवन गर्न नमिल्ने गरी प्रदूषित बनाइदिने कामका जनक पनि मान्छेहरू नै हुन् । मान्छेलाई पेट भर्न आवश्यक पर्ने अन्नबाली उमार्नका लागि खेती गर्न सिकाउने पनि मान्छेहरू नै हुन् भने विशाक्त खाद्य र विषाक्त रसायनले युक्त तरकारी र फलफूल उमार्ने पनि मान्छेहरू नै हुन् । भगवान् शिव, राम र कृष्णलाई समेत गाली गर्ने र आरोपित गर्नेहरू मान्छे नै हुन्। गुरु नानकलाई जेल हाल्ने पनि मान्छेहरू नै हुन् । ग्यासच्याम्बर बनाउने पनि मान्छेहरू नै हुन्। अनि महात्मा गान्धीलाई गोली ठोक्ने पनि मान्छे नै हो। त्यसैले त भनिन्छ, एउटा नर नरपिशाच पनि बन्न सक्तछ अनि त्यही नर नारायण पनि बन्न सक्तछ। 
नेपालको सन्दर्भमा पनि आजका हरेक नेपालीलाई विश्वमानचित्रबीच नेपालीको पहिचान दिने राष्ट्रनिर्माता पृथ्वीनारायण शाहलाई मरणोपरान्त उनको सालिक भत्काउने पनि मान्छेहरू नै हुन् अनि पछिल्लो दस वर्षको सशस्त्र सङ्घर्ष (जनयुद्ध) बीच मारिने निरपराध जीव पनि मान्छेहरू नै हुन् र मार्ने हिंसक जीव पनि मान्छेहरू नै हुन् । विधिको शासनको बखान वा वकालत गरेर कहिल्यै नथाक्ने अनि न्यायालयको फैसलाचाहिँ नमान्ने पनि मान्छेहरू नै हुन् । नेपालको सन्दर्भमा यस्ता उदाहरणहरू मात्र प्रस्तुत गर्ने हो भने पनि महाभारतभन्दा ठूलो महाकाव्य नै बन्नेछ ।
हाम्रा वैदिक साहित्य वेद, उपनिषद् र पुराणहरूले मान्छेबाट मुमुक्षुसम्म भएका साधकहरूलाई के निर्देश गर्छन् भने एकान्तप्रिय बन, मौन बस, चाहिनेभन्दा धेरै नबोल, अपरिग्रही बन अर्थात् आवश्यकताभन्दा बढी पदार्थको सङ्ग्रह नगर आदि। श्रीमद्भगवद्गीताले पनि भक्तहरूका लागि अनि ज्ञानी र योगीहरूका लागि त्यस्तै उपदेश दिएको छ । अर्थात् सारांशमा एक साधकले, एक भक्तले अनि एक मुमुक्षुले आम मानिसहरूबाट पृथक् बस्न तिनीहरूले निर्देश गरेको पाइन्छ । आम मानिस संसारी हुने र विषयी पनि हुने भएकाले तिनीहरूबाट अलग बस्न, निर्लिप्त भएर बस्न भनिएको छ । बाध्यतावश बस्नै परेछ भने पनि हिलोका बीच कमलपुष्पझैँ भई बस्न भनिएको छ । 
संसारी मानिसहरू प्रायः परिग्रही हुन्छन्, अर्थात् पदार्थहरू सङ्ग्रह गरेर राख्छन्। ती यावत् वस्तुहरू मानिसहरू किन सङ्ग्रह गर्छन् भने आफ्नो वरिपरिका मान्छेहरूका लागि तिनीहरू काम लागुन् । ती मान्छेहरू भनेका छोराछोरी, नातिनातिना, साथीसँगाती आदि हुन्छन् । व्यक्तिगत आवश्यकता बढाउँदै लगेर सङ्ग्रह गर्नु पनि अरू मान्छेहरूलाई देखाउनका लागि मात्रै हो । मान्छेलाई चौबीस घन्टामा एक अँजुली खाद्य पदार्थ भए पुग्छ, पेय पदार्थमा शुद्ध जल भए पुग्छ । आङ ढाक्न एकसरो कपडा भए हुन्छ । सुत्नका लागि ३ देखि ६ फिटे खाट पनि चाहिँदैन, धर्तीको न्यानो काख पर्याप्त हुन्छ । जमिन कति चाहिन्छ भने अन्त्यमा ६ फिट जमिन भए जलाउन पुगिहाल्छ । त्यति जमिन किन्नुपर्दैन । तर आफूलाई सुकुम्वासी भनेर गर्व गर्ने मान्छे होस् वा पीर गर्ने मान्छे, ती सबैजना आफ्नो आवश्यकता बढाएर परिग्रही बनेका हुन्छन् । शास्त्र भन्छ तृष्णाको कुनै सीमा छैन । त्यसका खातिर सङ्ग्रह गर्नु नै दुःखको कारण हो । यस अर्थमा पनि मान्छेको दुःखको कारण र दुःखको स्रोत पनि मान्छे नै हुँदा रहेछन् ।
हामी निर्धक्कसँग के भन्न सक्छौँ भने हामी मान्छेको महान् शत्रु मान्छे नै हो, मान्छेदेखि बाहेक हाम्रो अरू कुनै शत्रु छैन ।
 
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Posted by on December 8, 2014 in Miscellaneous

 

Disciplinary Bias, Interdisciplinary Benignity

Hem Raj Kafle
So many people today — and even professional scientists — seem to me like somebody who has seen thousands of trees but has never seen a forest.                                   – Albert Einstein
 
The less effective our schooling, the more limited our sense of disciplines can become. The more effective the schooling, the more specific our understanding of disciplines becomes. Both cases entail the growth of disciplinary biases. The first involves deprivation as a root of bias such as in a countryside student who ends up doing liberal arts, education or commerce because of ignorance about and inaccessibility to alternatives, or financial inability to cash opportunities. The second suggests abundance  (both of money and awareness) as a root of bias such as in a city-born child who grows through a more organized and entrenched academic route, and can choose technical and professional disciplines like engineering, medicine and other applied sciences for higher studies in a highly developed place, even including foreign institutions. 
And society in general allows the biases to flourish in our attitude towards the relation between intelligence and disciplines. To take a case, there was a time, and partly still is, when passing the tenth grade (SLC) with higher second division or first division marks marked eligibility for science studies. Being in a science college then signified an ‘outstanding’ academic history in the school. And being in other disciplines more or less meant the absence of that history. Then not being in science with that history signified other exceptional conditions: either an indelible intolerance for science, a sudden conversion from brilliance to dullness, or unavoidable domestic obligations for landing elsewhere. That one is not born for everything, or that achievements in school did not necessarily signal potential for multiple talents for later life, or that success in life was the product of manifold experiences in addition to academic achievements, did not really concern people. The subjects in schools were forced upon you as quintessential to your growth envisioned in the general educational policy. The subjects you took in the university were supposed to either compensate certain proficiency impairments, or complement your potential for higher achievements. In both cases, an individual’s realization of the need for pursuing certain disciplines was systematically underestimated. 
The biases have been replete among the academics in universities to the extent of mutual exclusion sometimes, and on other times, the unwillingness to appreciate others’ domains. Becher (1989) describes this condition as follows:
Men of the sociological tribe rarely visit the land of the physicists and have little idea what they do over there. If the sociologists were to step into the building occupied by the English department, they would encounter the cold stares if not the slingshots of the hostile natives … the disciplines exist as separate estates, with distinctive subcultures. (p. 23)
Perhaps Becher’s portrayal of academic biases rings very true about our universities also. We can sometimes ascribe this to a natural condition. For example, when we are limited/focused towards a specific course of study in a university, it seems commonplace to take that other areas of studies would never intersect our lines. We are bound to work within formal disciplinary compartments.  But, such compartmentalization lends itself to narrowing the path of scholarship. According to Lattuca (2001), growth of specializations to the extent of disciplinary biases can “limit growth of inquiries and explanations” and “delimit the way of knowing.” She further portrays such narrowing of scholarship as “the decline of the front porch from which everyone could survey their territory” (p. 1). This implies the absence of a holistic platform from where every other discipline could be viewed as significant for the creation and sustenance of broader worldviews. 
I see, however, that the decline is not finality but a temporary process. As we grow to be professionals disciplines themselves invite us to tread their territories, however shallow or deep the treading could be. Because our intellectual needs and reaches are so diverse these days, we are bound to step beyond our disciplinary compartments. In this line Lattuca (2001) suggests, “Scholars in a specialization may have a disciplinary home, but they often travel elsewhere to work.” Shin exemplifies this with a real story in which a group of scholars in geography traced an imaginary geography in the works of Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Jane Austen, among others, which they did to discuss “the possibility of organizing and constructing an ideal place to live…,” and to understand “how places are related, positively or negatively, to the social and individual life of the people living in it” (“Confessions of an Interdisciplinarian”). This travelling is what forms one of the roots for the formation of interdisciplinarity. 
Shin further asserts, “Interdisciplinarity begins when disciplinarians realize that what they are looking for is not found in their own disciplines (“Confessions”). Interdisciplinarity, however, signifies more than an individual’s realization for the need to explore knowledge in other fields. It suggests, as Moran (2003) puts, “forging connections across the different disciplines…or even attempting to transcend disciplinary boundaries altogether” (p.15). In the most general sense, interdisciplinarity can be taken to mean a form of discourse between plural fields of knowledge. The discourse, signified by the root “discipline” and the prefix “inter”, implies the expansion of precise, rigorous and focused subjects into warm, pleasant and discrete but mutually uplifting fields of scholarship (Frank, 1988). This further presents interdisciplinarity as being transformative to the direction of generating new modes of inquiries. Nissani names such character as “creative breakthrough” where productivity comes from “linking previously unrelated ideas” for a holistic perspective and “unity of knowledge” which can “readily spot a disciplinary slip up” (“Interdisciplinarity”). Interdisciplinarity thus is perceived as a representative location from where to examine multiple worldviews.  
 
Interdisciplinarity emanates from and sustains in genuine collaboration between disciplines and disciplinarians. It does not signal the end of disciplinarity, but emphasizes the widening of disciplinary horizons and mitigating disciplinary biases. The true sense of interdisciplinary lies in the fact that scholars make efforts to know many fields of use, but not that they try to know everything. Similarly, it does not necessarily take to achieve the depth of every other field of value, but to be informed about the intensity of their  value in everyday life. This should entail the awareness and skills to tackle what Nissani calls the “intellectual, social and practical problems” of life through a multi-faceted approach. 
I end this essay with a thoughtful quote about how interdisciplinarity resembles the notion of taking different routes to arrive a single destination:
We all want to make our lives more meaningful tomorrow than they are today. This is our ideal. That ideal can be understood as truth for scientists and as an ideal place for geographers, as a good society for social scientists in general, and as a good life for the people in humanities. Because this ideal is to be achieved in the future, it is open-ended, and it requires the use of intuition and imagination. Again, I want to say that intuition and imagination know no disciplinary boundaries. (Shin, “Confessions”)
Perhaps it is time for us to redefine our scholarly pursuits and preoccupations and to begin to see the world through other  people’s eyes — irrespective of how we have been schooled. Would the world look different then? Or, would it change the way we see ourselves?
References 
  • Becher, T. (1989). Academic tribes and territories: Intellectual enquiry and the cultures of disciplines. Milton Keynes: Open University Press.
  • Frank, R. (1988). ‘Interdisciplinarity’: The first half century. In E.G. Stanley and T.F. Hoad (Eds.), Words: For Robert Burchfield’s sixty-fifth birthday (pp. 91–101). Cambridge: D.S. Brewer.
  • Lattuca, L. R. (2001). Creating interdisciplinarity. Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press.
  • Moran, J. (2002). Interdisciplinarity. New York: Routledge.
 
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Posted by on September 3, 2013 in Miscellaneous

 

Media houses and training institutions

– Nirmala Mani Adhikary
In view of the acute shortage of adequately trained personnel in mass media, the question of building up human resources must be a priority of media houses. The growth of mass media studies in universities is linked with the development of the media. The development of the mass media and of advanced communications technologies has been to increase the number of media education institutions all over the world. In Nepal also, after the restoration of democracy in 1990, the number of media education institutions has increased. Apart from training institutes, Universities also have started Communication studies.
Mass media studies are fairly recent phenomena, started only at the turn of the twentieth century. In most countries of Africa and Asia mass media studies have been introduced in the last few decades. In teaching and research, the field is still in its early stages of development and the same is the case with Nepal.
Mass media can create the necessary climate of modernization, which includes vital ingredients like innovativeness, achievement motivation and educational and occupational aspirations. There is a positive relation between economic development and mass media, which acts as reflector of the development process in society.
In the process of modernization people consume more goods, which also includes media products. They use more prints, film, and broadcast media. Modern societies, then, are media dependent societies. Their populations make use of the media for achieving their desired goals. Thus the advancement in the field of mass media is necessary for the over all advancement of any country and Nepal is no exception.   
While universities appear to be increasingly involved in communication education they cannot in all cases provide all the practical training that professionals need. Thus various specialized training centers and mass media organization also play an important role. Especially, media houses can provide specific courses of practical, technical and occupational instruction suitably adapted to the circumstances and demands of their work.
While talking about journalism and other mass media professions we should take into account the importance of information and informatics in all branches and sectors of national life, the sensitivity of all societies about news produced and diffused, the rapid development of technology, and increasing demand of specialization. The quality of any system is largely governed by the caliber of those who operate it. The lack of trained manpower is the basic reason for deficiencies observed in the field of mass media in Nepal. It may therefore be considered that higher-level education and training in mass communication profession is of paramount importance. The efforts of only universities and training institutes are not sufficient in this regard. This should also lead to even more extensive and genuine cooperation between media educational institutions and media houses and cooperation between them is equally important. Mass media should no longer be regarded merely as an incidental service and its development left to chance.

[In the print version, the article was published as: Adhikary, Nirmala Mani. (2002, November 1). Media houses and training institutions. The Kathmandu Post, p. 5.]

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2011 in Miscellaneous