The first edition of Tomorrow Dialogues is titled Where Will Man Take Us? It was launched on 18th October 2019 at Bangalore and the Keynote was delivered by Bibek Debroy, author, economist and raconteur par excellence.
A Padma Shri awardee, Debroy is only the second person to have translated both the Mahabharata and the Valmiki Ramayana, both unabridged. He has also translated the Bhagavad Gita, the Harivamsa, the Vedas and the Bhagavata Purana.
And surprisingly, as we figure from his address, he seems to have found time to read every sci-fi author of note. Starting with Atul Jalan’s bestseller Where Will Man Take Us?, Bibek Debroy takes us on a delightful roller-coaster that Asimov’s Nightfall, Arthur C. Clarke’s Moonwatcher, da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man and Karel Capek’s R.U.R Touching upon science and technology, Debroy draws an interesting conclusion that the arrogance of the new man and the new order (not in the Huxley sense) stems from technology and not from science. Knowledge (gyaan) he states, is what we learn from the outside, science (vigyaan) is what comes from internal reflection. And therefore, answers to our existential questions will come from science, from internal re$ection and not from the control of technology.
Drawing from Indian mythology, science, science-fiction and lacing it all with humour, Bibek Debroy gives us an entertaining and immensely insightful look at Where Will Man Take Us?