About the Author

K Ramkumar, known to his friends as Ram, has an enduring passion for triggering a discussion and joining in with gusto on a range of themes. He believes that every person has an inalienable right to express his/her view no matter how different it is to anyone else. In his book no view is unworthy or big or small. Every view from everyone deserves a consideration without getting caught up with the tyranny of agreement or disagreement.
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KV Kamath’s View

Sometimes it is about not accepting but questioning.

Sometimes it is about not rushing to judgement but exploring.

Sometimes it is about thinking, deciding, doing, improving.

Sometimes it is about listening, reflecting and learning.

These were the themes that four people whom I hold in high regard, Ram, Rama, Wayne and Indrajit have covered in their introductions to “The Other View” in the last few days. Read more »

Indrajit Gupta’s View

Listen, question and get closer to the truth (Click to tweet).

Almost two decades after opting for a career in business journalism, I’m currently taking a short break from the hurly-burly of the newsroom. Over the next few months, some of my closest friends and I plan to launch our own new media venture.

This is, therefore, a period of immense soul searching. There are many critical issues confronting the media business. For instance, how will the role of mass media change in our society over the course of the next decade? Will media platforms be able to sustain the onslaught of social media? Will traditional journalists continue to command interest and trust of readers at a time when every “expert” has the all requisite tools of self-publishing at his disposal to create his own community?

My friend Ram’s decision to co-create a new set of conversations through his blog The Other View is a case in point. I’d like to believe that experiments like these to connect a community of intellectually curious people interested in meaningful debates could well gather momentum. After all, it offers an alternative to the shrill, provocative discourse that seems to dominate debates on prime time television and increasingly, even online (Click to tweet). Read more »

Wayne Brockbank’s View

Some 2300 years ago, King Philip of Macedonia had a precocious son by the name of Alexander.  When Alexander was 13 years old, a man from neighbouring Thessaly offered to sell a beautiful black stallion to the King.  The horse was intended to serve as a kind of peace offering between the two kingdoms.  The problem quickly arose that the horse was unmanageable and even vicious; he threw and injured Philip’s best riders.  King Philip began to take this situation as an affront and with agitation dismissed the aggressive horse and its owner.   At that point young Alexander stepped forward and asked his father if he might give the horse a try.  His father responded, “Okay but if the horse throws you, you forfeit the equivalent of the value of the horse.”
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Rama Bijapurkar’s View

I often reflect on three stories. They make me grimace with mortification about how hidebound I often am about my views.

One story is about a five year old who came home and asked his mom “what is sex”. She launched into a long and complicated, deliberately vague explanation. After listening carefully for a while the child interrupted, “Stop, there’s no place to write all that in here”… and held out his new school bus form, which asked for his name, age and sex. There clearly is another view to what appears quite obvious!

The second story is about a large study we had done, on how to convert loose edible oil users to branded edible oil. It was obvious, we thought. Didn’t everybody know that loose was open to adulteration, and illness carrying germs… consumers just had to be educated about the cost – benefit of switching. So we took it to a focus group of housewives, trying to gauge their level of health awareness and knowledge.  They looked at me as if I was a half-wit and said, “Don’t you know how to cook food? We heat the oil first and then put the vegetables in it. So at that high temperatures germs die, that’s why doctors tell us to boil our water”.
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Ramkumar’s View

Over the last many years, I have observed how, many of us get hooked to one view of the world. If the person articulating a view, is an authority on a subject or a person of certain pedigree, we do not question the views articulated. Some of these views acquire the status of edicts or even unassailable truths. They become codified theories or principles which we all are apprehensive to challenge or put to test in a new changed context.

We seldom pause and remind ourselves that perspectives are about the position from which something is viewed. (Click to tweet)

The sight of a land from a mountain and a mountain from the land is vastly different. Take a boat and view the shore from the sea and then view it from the land, the perspectives will be dramatically different. The view of the earth from the space is stunningly different in its colours, scale, elevation and contours as compared to the view from being on and within it.
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About the Author

K Ramkumar, known to his friends as Ram, has an enduring passion for triggering a discussion and joining in with gusto on a range of themes. He believes that every person has an inalienable right to express his/her view no matter how different it is to anyone else. In his book no view is unworthy or big or small. Every view from everyone deserves a consideration without getting caught up with the tyranny of agreement or disagreement.
Read more »