‘Battle of Ideas…’ – The Big Fight


For many at the Landmark bookstore in Apex Plaza, last Tuesday evening was quite thought provoking. The first ever ‘Battle of Ideas, Satellite Events’ left many Chennaiites thinking seriously about technology and democracy.

Claire Fox, Director, Institute of Ideas threw open the floor for some good exchange of ideas on the topic ‘A new technological democracy?’ Fighting it out were young entrepreneur Sarath Babu, Foudner and CEO, FoodKing, Sanjay Executive Editor, NDTV Hindu, Kris Dev, e-government consultant and social activist, Life Line to Business (LL2B), among Kevin Toolis, Co-founder, Manyriversfilm and Dolan Cummings, Associate Fellow, Institute of Ideas. The debate was moderated by Angus Kennedy, Head of External Affairs, Institute of Ideas.

While Sarath Babu and Kris Dev firmly placed the idea that technology plays an important role in shaping up our democracy, Sanjay Pinto inquired the improvement in the behaviour of our politicians with the advent of technology. “Has installing cameras in the parliament changed the way our MPs and MLAs behave in the house?” he questioned.

The Institute of Ideas conducts annual debates in London in various topics and believes in free speech. The Chennai extension is historic and paved way for some excellent discussion. Speaking on the occasion, Claire Fox said that the Great Britan would love to barter opinions with the people of India on some important issues concerning the world.