Salient: Victoria University Students' Newspaper. Vol. 24, No. 11. 1961
These articles are going to make you regret the biggest mistake you ever made. Yes you, you slob, because you never graced Little Congress No. 2 with your presence!
For a weekend of sheer unadulterated (sorry!) bliss, for life lived to its uninhibited full, for a startling revelation of what staff and students are really like, for the most congenial and unique company outside the pages of Cappicade, Little Congress remains unexcelled!
Not to say that we couldn't be serious sometimes. In fact we had three (in every way stimulating) talks with discussions following. And Saturday night saw some 60 students buried deep in intellectual (most of the time) discussions. For three hours yet! Nonstop! So read on, reader!
Over to our second reporter . . .
On Saturday morning Dr. Gupta presented a Socratic dialogue entitled "The decline of Radicalism." In his usual fashion he refused to define any terms, taking the well-known "I only ask questions, never answer them" line. Another quotable Gupta quote was "It's my work to talk, and I never work unless I'm paid. If you hadn't offered me a free weekend, I would never have come." Despite this avowed reluctance to speak we were given an interesting talk tracing the development of Radicalism from the 18th century humanist philosophers accenting practical politics and social sciences in place of airy philosophising and theology. He went on to show how Radicalism stagnated when its aims had been partially achieved in the 1930's and was now moving into a rapid decline.
On the subject of the present generation the learned Doctor thought that we were the apathetic generation, caring nothing much about anything. We are a bunch of disillusioned cynics he claimed, although the freshers appeared to be more interested in Life than the senior students. He also said that the modern youth was more interested in Theology and Philosophy than past generations going right back to the playmates of Rousseau. His attacks on the social activity of the Christian Churches received a mixed reception, as did his theory that the children of Christian parents are Christians themselves. "Salient" would like to take this opportunity to ask the Doctor if he considers himself a Hindu? Or, does he think that if we take his theory to its illogical conclusions, we are all Pagan pantheists?
Dr. Gupta replied—neither born Hindu nor ever was one.
The Doctor's talk was the cause of much fruitful discussion amongst the Congressmen and so probably attained its aims.
"Salient" hopes that this article gives a fair report of the lecture, and wishes to inform the reading public that confirmation of facts and opinions contained in it proved impossible as the text of the talk was consigned to the fire as soon as it was over. Perhaps this wasn't such a bad idea after all.