Bro. Denver D’Silva sdb
“The new year brings new learning”, were the words of Fr. Ajoy Fernandes, vice Provincial of Salesian Province of Mumbai, who presided over the inaugural Eucharist. While stressing on the blending of philosophy with our mission he said: “Our study is the journey of life, faith and love in view of the mission.” He drew inspiration from the Holy Trinity as being a blend of presence, purpose, wisdom and love. Further he added: “Philosophy should help us reach the mountain peak along a treacherous journey from where we are able to gaze at the intricate connection of life. The invocation of the Holy Spirit is like having a torch lit in the darkness for the clarity of the mind. We may at times loose sight of our friends or may be our purpose; hence to live life we not only need a mind but also a heart. The Sacred Heart enables us to connect to these with love since it loved us first.”
The key-note speaker of the day was Rev. Fr. Edison Fernandes, who holds the chair of educational psychology in Divyadaan. He enthralled everybody with his systematic exposition of his doctoral thesis: “A Phenomenological Exploration of Discrimination as perceived by International students: implications for Formation and Philosophy”. He dealt with the issue of discrimination enumerating its various causes like culture, name, race, colour of skin etc. According to him this only results into foreign students getting stressed, overworked and depressed.
In his opinion, this sensitive issue being of much importance deals with the harsh reality of discrimination as many theories have emerged about the dynamics of discrimination but few from the perspective of the victims of discrimination. Hence he drew his own method of research which was a laborious redaction from a vast data taken from personal interviews. He mentioned that philosophy tends to neglect empiricism and thus called for a combination of empirical findings and theory. He concluded with the message for all philosophy students to “uphold a philosophical option for the poor, marginalized and discriminated”.