Brij Singh's Blog

December 23, 2006

Tao guang yang hui

Filed under: Tech — Brij @ 5:53 pm

Atanu quotes Ram Kelkar on the need for IITs to look ahead in the future and go slow on the annual self-congratulatory mela.

To get better understanding of the context in which Deng Ping made  statement about  “Hide brightness, nourish obscurity” I did some googling and found this analysis by Fareed Zakaria (quoting Lee):

“It is vital that the younger generation of Chinese who have only lived
through a period of peace and growth and have no experience of China’s
tumultuous past are made aware of the mistakes China made as a result
of hubris and excesses in ideology”

Its important for IITs to think long term and address some of the challenges of our time such as affordable education, energy , environment and digital divide. They should set this as a top line agenda and keep the back-slapping networking as a side agenda.

As for the “hide brightness, nourish obscurity” strategy there is more context from Michael Pillsbury, :

The existence of a dangerous and predatory hegemon is the context of Deng Xiaoping’s advice, which employs expressions from the Warring States and other ancient texts to guide future Chinese leaders on strategy. China must “tao guang yang hui,” which, literally translated, means “Hide brightness, nourish obscurity,” or, as the official Beijing interpretation translates the four-character idiom, “Bide our time and build up our capabilities.” China at present is too poor and weak and must avoid being dragged into local wars, conflicts about spheres of influence, or struggles over natural resources. Deng’s much-quoted advice also is to “yield on small issues with the long term in mind.”

Indian education system is caught hopelessly in the branding game where few pockets of success are getting inflated exposure.

Who is  keeping the annual score on papers published and patents granted !!

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