• July 2009
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A Trait or a Coincidence?

I noticed something interesting. I don’t know whether it’s just a coincidence, or has something to do with nationality. On my website I have a section on Research Papers where scholars post their papers for sale. Till a few years ago, there were quite a few buyers, but now – for two and a half years to be precise – there hasn’t been a single request for a paper. So, after a lot of thought, we decided to do away with the section altogether.  Since the scholars are also involved, we thought it only fair to ask them for their views. All of them said that if there weren’t any buyers, there was no point in having them up on the site, and it was best that we remove them. There were just two who had a different answer – they said that their research was for the good of society at large and that we could leave them up on the site. The best part was – and a very generous one at that – these two persons did not want any money. They said to leave them up and to give them for free to anyone who wanted them. Now we all know how much time and effort goes into writing research papers, and here were two persons who were willing to offer them for free because their belief is that knowledge should be imparted for free so it could benefit all. And you know what the interesting part is? Both these scholars are Indians; the others are of various other nationalities.

What I was thinking – does this desire to offer knowledge for free an Indian trait? Or is it just a coincidence? What do you think? I’d really like some views on this.


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