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Interview by: Madhav Khuranna
Report by: Sabhya Chandra
Mr. Ashok Vajpeyi started his address by expressing his excitement to interact with young minds and shared his thoughts about literature and reasons why it should be studied.
He said that we are surrounded by unreality and literature puts us in touch with real-world, gives us a lesson that there is no duality between us and others, teaches us to expand moral imagination and accept others. He emphasised that literature lights up imagination which helps humanity progress, and also sharpens sensitivity by making us pay attention to elements surrounding us. According to him, literature gives dignity to utterly ordinary events, people and things, which enhances their worth.
He then enlightened students about how literature gives humans the abilities to imagine, empathise and question - which differentiates human from other species. In the latter half of his address, he took questions. Answering a question, he said that dissent is everyone’s moral duty and constitutional right. He also told students about the ways he finds his inspirations and stressed upon the fact that criticism is necessary for democracy and modernisation.
He then expressed his views on spirituality saying that for centuries spirituality was located firmly in religions but with religions becoming intolerant and aggressive, it’s no longer true. He said that according to him spirituality is the fact that we humans are aware that we are a part of the universe and that we know everything is responsible for everything else.
In the end, he shared major life events that shaped him up, which were really insightful, motivating and inspiring for students. His delivery of speech kept the audience engaged and interested till the last minute
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