Challenges and opportunities for Indian Psychology in a rapidly globalizing post-modern world

Anand C. Paranjpe
Simon Fraser University, Canada

Although Indian thought has been exposed to, and challenged by intellectual traditions from the outside world for centuries, the increasing speed and scope of global interaction offers both challenges and opportunities as never before. The lingering post-colonial mentality and forces of Westernization present a challenge by persistingly treating Indian contributions to psychology as outdated and useless, if not negligible or totally non-existent. There is a need to systematically fight this mentality within the country, in universities and colleges, and in our provincial and national associations. On the other hand, outside India, beachheads have already been created by innumerable Yoga centers around the world, where some of the most important contributions of the Indian psychological tradition are known and appreciated. In the academic world around the globe, however, there is a growing hegemony of Western, particularly American, psychology. In this context, postmodernist trends of thought, which militate agains the reductionist and scientistc aspects of Western psychology, can be seen as our allies in mitigating certain uncongenial aspects of the Western hegemony at home and abroad.

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This paper was presented at the
National Conference on
Yoga and Indian Approaches to Psychology

Pondicherry, India, September 29 - October 1, 2002