Quote of the week...please share your favourite line from Ayn Rand's writings

“Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one's values.”

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

"The Objectivist Standard" announces its first annual essay contest

The Objectivist Standard (TOS) is a quarterly journal on culture and politics carrying articles written from an Objectivist perspective. For the first time ever, it has launched an annual essay contest with handsome cash prizes of over $3000 and a wide eligibility range for participants. Both students and non-students can enter, as long as they are between 18 and 35 years of age.
The topic for 2010 is The Moral Foundation of Capitalism and the deadline for submission is 15 August 2010. More details about the contest can be found at their website:

Information about the contest is also available via email at essay@theobjectivestandard.com .

Friday, March 19, 2010

Atlas Meet in Delhi - Watch a DVD of "Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life"

The next monthly Atlas Meet in Delhi will take place on Friday, 19 March, 2010. Those present at the last meeting had wanted to view a DVD of Michael Paxton's Oscar-nominated documentary "Ayn Rand: A Sense Of Life" (courtesy of Rajendra Lakhotia). So, that will be the main agenda of the meet, of course, followed by hot discussions over hot snacks and hot tea as always! 

19th March 2010

5.30 pm - 7.45 pm

The Agenda

Session I (Savor and Study)
5.30 pm - 6.45 pm: Watch a DVD of Michael Paxton's Oscar-nominated documentary "Ayn Rand: A Sense Of Life" 

6.45 pm - 7.15 pm: Tea and snacks break.
[Those interested in coming in only for one session, could arrive or depart during this time.]

Session II (Spread and Sustain)
7.15 pm - 7.45 pm: Discussions on ways to spread Ayn Rand's ideas amongst students -
i) continuation of discussions on ideas mooted in previous meetings (Organizing talks in schools through personal contacts).
ii) other ideas for promoting the same.

 *New* : You can also participate in the discussions live over the internet via audio/video conferencing. All you need is a web-browser and audio capabilities on your computer. If you have a webcam, then you can see us and be seen as well. If you are interested, you must send an email to vbajaj@aynrand.in at least one day in advance to receive the link and instructions.

The Venue
inlingua International School of Languages,
N-12, first floor,
South Extension - Part I

It is an open meeting - anyone interested in Ayn Rand's ideas is welcome. You may call Vikram on 9810028900 for directions. If you're planning to attend, it would be helpful if you let us know by leaving a comment below or by sending an email to vbajaj@aynrand.in .

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

An Encroachment On The Right To Privacy

The 2010 census questionnaire will be mailed to every household across the United States. Questions will be on name age, race, and house ownership among others. The maximum fine for refusing to answer these census questions is 100$ per question up to a total maximum fine of 5000$.(Meanwhile, the Government of India is planning to prepare the National Population Register (NPR) with the 2011 Census at the expense of tax payers money. The cost of the 2001 Census was 1,403 crores). The mainstream media is busy assuring the public that with ten questions, it will be the shortest ever. It is important, it is said, as it will influence major political decisions. It is forgotten, that according to the constitution of the United States people are not legally obligated to cooperate on anything other than head count. The intrusive nature of the questions gives us the signal that we are on the way to a totalitarian cage, where we have to answer the Government on issues which shouldn’t matter to others in one way or the other. As Walter Williams pointed out, “The purpose of the census is to apportion the House of Representatives. You don’t need to know how many toilets I have to apportion the House of Representatives.”

It should be obvious at any person who believes in individual rights that the Government, or any organized body doesn’t have the right to extort information from a person which he is not willing to provide. This is a clear case of state encroachment on privacy. As Ayn Rand scholar Chris Mathew Sciabarra said, “The war on privacy is a war against voluntary human association of every kind.” Privacy, according to Rand, was more than a right. She wrote in “The Fountainhead”: “All the functions of body and spirit are private.” And: “Civilization is the progress toward a society of privacy. The savage's whole existence is public, ruled by the laws of his tribe. Civilization is the process of setting man free from men.” She also held that “the concept of invasion of privacy requires a clear definition of the right to privacy, which could be discussed only inside the context of clearly defined and upheld individual rights.”

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A report on the Atlas Meet in Delhi on 19th February

The 7th Atlas Meet in Delhi took place on Friday, 19th February 2010. Billed as the 'Fountainhead Special', it attracted a gathering of nine enthusiasts, including newcomers to the meet Mayank Sharma, Bindu Mangalpalli and Ashok Atluri, as well as old-hands Barun Mitra, Vikram Bajaj, Arun Virmani, Poonam Vasudeva, Sunil Khetan and Rajendra Lakhotia.

The evening began promptly with a viewing of trailers and excerpts from the movie "The Fountainhead". Animated discussions followed on issues ranging from the casting of the film to whether it captured the spirit of the novel well or not.

Next, each of the participants shared their favorite quote from the novel and expanded on why they liked it. More than a few chose the famous line "But I don’t think of you." that is delivered by Roark in response to Toohey's question. Others remembered the exchange between Keating and Roark when Roark admonishes "Never ask people. Not about your work."; or the section when Roark feels the emotion of pity upon seeing Keating's pathetic attempts at painting - his true, but long-suppressed, passion. Some favored the exchanges between Roark and Wynand or Roark and Dominique, but in every case it was fascinating to learn how a few words in a novel had such a life-changing impact on the individuals who read them!

Atul started another, even more interesting round of discussion by asking the question if any of those present had any fundamental disagreement with Ayn Rand's world view. There were some who felt aggrieved by her view of India and Indian dance, while others were unhappy with her depiction of the mother-son relationship in her novels; some were still grappling with applying her ideas in real life, but nothing was shared that was of significance in a fundamental sense. Atul, himself, was miffed by Ayn rand's attitude towards women as evidenced by Ayn Rand's views on a woman as the president of the United States! The debate was often heated and lively, but amicable throughout. 

Rajendra had carried a DVD of Michael Paxton's Oscar-nominated documentary "Ayn Rand: A Sense Of Life", but we found that we were way past the curfew hour and agreed to schedule a viewing for the next meeting, which is due on 19th March, Friday.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Interview With Jaidev Deshpande

Liberty Institute interviewed Jaidev Deshpande, a Semi finalist in “Atlas Shrugged” essay contest.

1) How did you come across the works of Ayn Rand?

My Father had a copy of The Fountainhead, although I did not discover it until I read an interview of Hrithik Roshan, where he said his favourite book was The Fountainhead. When I asked my Father how it was, he just said it was a 'very beautiful' novel.

2) What impact did she have on your intellectual development?

She impacted my development in that I now know there exists a school of thought which holds achievement as the highest morality in men, which advocates reality to be absolute and so on. As an engineering student, I had only read about theories that say our work should be robust and sustainable, but had never been taught to practice this. This is specifically where the Fountainhead helped me. I found the courage to question every single step I was being asked to take.

3) What is your favorite book by Ayn Rand? Who is your favorite fictional character in Ayn Rand’s novels?

My favourite book is Atlas Shrugged and my favourite character is Francisco d'Anconia. He's perhaps the most romantically portrayed of all characters and appears as the primary advocate of Galt's strike. It's through him that readers get a glimpse of Objectivism.

4) Many have pointed out that altruism is the main cause of the present economic crisis. How relevant do you think AR's ideas are in today's world?

Although I have no certain knowledge of the economic crisis, I think AR's ideas are still relevant, because they advocate laissez-faire capitalism, which is perhaps the most sustainable political and economic state of affairs.

5) Have you read other libertarian thinkers? What do you think of Capitalism as a politico-economic system?

I have not read other libertarian thinkers, in fact I have only just discovered the whole free-market philosophy. I intend to take a course in descriptive economics.

6) You said that there exists a causal link between sex and self-esteem. Ayn Rand shows in Atlas Shrugged how wrong epistemology leads to sexual impotence. How true do you think it is?

Unfortunately, I was able to understand only as much as Ayn Rand has said in Atlas Shrugged. I haven't given this epistemology much of a thought since. I have my doubts about it. For instance, it is easy even for a very self-esteemed person to feel sexually attracted towards another person who they know to be of a lower intellectual stature. I do not know if this is an anomaly or if I need to study that idea further.

7) How do you wish to carry Ayn Rand's philosophy forward?

It is my ambition to establish a research firm, and also an educational institute. I wish to make these endeavors examples of capitalistic practices. I guess practice is a better way to spread a philosophy, than political propaganda.

8) What career do you want to pursue?

I want to be, like I mentioned, an entrepreneur in the field of signal processing and computational research.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Invitation For "Think Twice", Ayn Rand's Play

On behalf of Rakhi Mehta and the Members of Theatre Group 5 Elementz, I would like to cordially invite you to witness their Hindi play Think Twice (Murder Mystery). The play was written by Ayn Rand - Author of Atlas Shrugged & The Fountainhead.

At P.S.K. , Vikas Marg, New Delhi. On 10th March 2010 at 19:00 Hrs.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Atlas Sunday Meeting, Mumbai.

7th March 2010

A45, Vijay Kunj, Opp New Model English School, Vakola, Santacruz East, Mumbai.


  1. Begin with documentary of Ayn Rand - A Sense of Life (Part1) -- 45 mins.
  2. We elicit comments and discussions on the documentary -- 15 mins
  3. Roark's courtroom speech -- either read out by the group or watched on YouTube -- 15mins
  4. Discussion on the courtroom speech -- 45 mins

Please do drop in your comments/suggestions. Also, do not hesitate to bring along friends who are interested in Ayn Rand or would like to know more.
Please inform us prior, so that we are prepared with the logistics.

Kirti (0) 9820226297
Jerry (0) 9930312685