Why no Obituary, The Economist

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text](The following was sent to the editorial of The Economist after it failed to publish n obituary of Mr Iyengars death. The Economist did not publish this letter, and we did not get a response from them.

There must be many prestigious publications that did not pubilsh an obituary after Mr Iyengar’s death, and perhaps en explanation is warranted to those who are not readers of The Economist. To those who are regular readers of the magazine ( the publishers prefer the term ‘Newspaper’) the reason is perhaps clear – the Economist writes beautiful summaries on the last page of its magazine. Not discriminating between the does of noble deeds, and the doers of ignoble deeds, not discriminating between philosophical or political values, it accords space to those it feels whose lives had an impact on our world. Many reader

Death! An important but sombre event in life that occurs once towards the end of life and Life! In motion, filled with colourful aspirations and devastating failures never fails to excite.

Our civilisation is built on human genius, ingenuity and compassion. Our progress can be measured only by adding every human beings achievements one by one. The sums total adds up as a measure of achievements of all humanity on earth; past, present and the informed future.

It is common to see that the influence and contribution of an individual is substantial towards the end of their life and so it is wise to write the obituary upon ones death only. Obituaries occupy a certain space in our mind like a graveyard reserves a space for a tombstone. The economist a fine newspaper publishing from 1825 has been chipping off the tombstone one grain at a time attempting to replace the tombstone in your mind with the dead persons remarkableness, to remove the tombstone and replace with inspiration.

The economist reserves its final page to acknowledge a dead persons achievements, both successes and failures. It does so with characteristic flourish. If there is a fan club of the obituaries in the economist I will be its member. I view this page akin to a map that contains clues to Human evolution marking all the spectacular achievements by a person and lending a fresh lease of life to the dead persons work . I am more excited about these obituaries than I am with the Nobel list.

In the middle of August’14 a person called Mr. B.K.S. Iyengar passed away and found no mention in the economist. Mr. Iyengar is a modern day sage with unparalleled contribution to not only the practice but also the literature of Yoga. I was eagerly looking forward to the flourish of the obituary writer of the economist and was shocked not to see Mr. Iyengar’s achievement present to the reader.

Was it because Mr. Iyengar’s work does not need mention in order to grant a new lease of life? True, but he deserved a tombstone in the illustriouseconomist graveyard. Was it because the obituarist did not know the subject of yoga? Perhaps, but lack of subject knowledge did not stop the obituarist in the past or Was it an instance the economist got it wrong? Certainly, even the best have their occasional slip-ups and this one Mr. Newspaper, is monumental.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]