Musings at Death's Door: an ancient bicultural Asian-Australian ponders about Australian society

A supportive yet brutal appraisal of his adopted nation, Australia, after more than 60 years of a highly interactive and contributory life, by a bicultural Asian-Australian who has also held leadership positions in civil society. Key sectors of society are examined experientially and in policy terms, with the ultimate objective of achieving one integrated people out of ethno-cultural diversity... More

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Published by William R. Potter
Words: 44,790
Language: English
ISBN: 9781301448364
About Raja Arasa Ratnam

I am an octogenarian bicultural Asian-Australian, formed by the communalism and spirituality of Asia, but with my feet firmly grounded in the individualism of the West. I am a communitarian small-l liberal, and a freethinker in matters religious. I seek to contribute to building a bridge between these cultures (as suggested to me by the spirit world about 2 decades ago); and have thereby been writing about issues relating to migrant integration (but not assimilation).

I claim to be widely read. A professor of history and politics (a published author of renown), who treats my books as representing a sliver of post-war Australia’s history, did describe me as an intellectual who cannot be categorised (but not slippery). Two of my books were recommended in 2013 by the US Review of Books. All of my six books were reviewed favourably by senior academics and other notable persons. I am not just a pretty face!

My books are all experience-based, including the book of short, short stories of imagined people and situations. Usefully, I was Director of Policy on migrant settlement-related issues over nine years in the federal public service in Australia. My highly interactive and contributory life, reaching leadership positions in civil society, also contributed to my writing, as did a demeaning life under British colonialism, a half-starved existence under a Japanese military occupation, and exposure to the White Australia-era racism, sectarian religion-fuelled tribalism, and a denial of equal opportunity.

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