Welcome to my website!
I'm Raja Arasa Ratnam, an atypical bi-cultural Asian-Australian. I have been battered by life. All sorts of ridiculous difficulties befell me. There was no logic, no reason for the major destabilising occurrances. While I made sure that I was not damaged (not seriously anyway), I decided to have a cold-blooded look at what happened, at who and what was involved, and my contribution to the events. This led me to focus on the lessons implicit in the events.
I started to write because I had something serious to say. The spirit world encouraged me to do that. I was told during a most significant psychic experience that I could "contribute to building a bridge from I came" to where I am. Since I am accepted as knowledgeable about migrant settlement and associated policies such as citizenship & national identity, refugee & humanitarian entry, ethnic affairs & multiculturalism - both through my policy work during the near-last decade of my career, and through my own settlement experiences, I decided to publish my thoughts and experiences. What I am saying to discerning readers is set out below. My messages are clearly set out. Much of it is challenging. But I do offer hope as well.
This website originated with my memoir, The Dance of Destiny, which has recently been recommended by the US Review of Books. This book focusses on the determinants of human life, reflecting my search for explanations of my mishaps. My explanation of the path to such determination is drawn through my experiences, enlightened by the Upanishads, the highest level of metaphysical Hinduism. Necessarily, I offer Western readers an insight to Eastern spirituality. The book also offers a lot of history (British colonialism, the Japanese military occupation, my life in the then racist White Australia which denied me equal opportunity); sociology (the life of the peoples in Malaya and in Australia); some necessary international politics; my contribution to Australian civil society; plus my ambition to contribute to building one integrated people from ethnic diversity (as implicitly recommended by the spirit world).
The website now includes my 3 earlier books, initially written under my birth name Arasa, the latter 2 now under my author name Raja Arasa Ratnam, on the issues related to migration. They are Hidden Footprints of Unity; The Karma of Culture; and Destiny Will Out. These issues are highly relevant to migrant-receiving nations and those being flooded by asylum seekers.
I subsequently published my first book of fiction 'Pithy Pictures: a smorgasbord of short, short stories.' It is included in this site. There are no messages in this book. All the characters and situations (many of a bicultural nature) have been imagined. It was written and published for fun. It is essentially bicultural. The stories range from weird/wacky to philosophical/spiritual.
Also included in this site is my latest book. This is my last book. It reflects my deep ponderings over a number of years about matters of relevance to Australian society (and thereby to humanity). These are: religion & spirituality, the Cosmos, politics, community cohesion, Western democracy & governance, opportunistic asylum seeking, the attempted retention of ethno-cultural separation, the needed integration of ethnic diversity into a single national identity bound by citizenship, a national identity, the modern hegemonic empire in contrast to traditional empires, the deterioration of Western societies, the individualism of the Ultra-West vs. the communalism of Asian (and Mediterranean) societies, the subservience of Australian governments, and seeking a glimpse into a cosmic reality. The book is based on my highly interactive and contributory life, including holding leadership positions in civil society over more than 6 decades in a fast evolving Australia, and enhanced by vast reading on quite a variety of relevant subjects.
I have been told that the book is well written. It has also been endorsed by an eminent academic historian. It is hard-hitting. I pull no punches. The title is 'Musings at Death's Door: an ancient bi-cultural Asian-Australian ponders about Australian society.' This book too has recently been recommended by the US Review of Books.
Also included in this website are my articles, initially about the culture shocks arising from the sudden arrival, soon after the end of the Second World War, of educated middle-class youths to study at Australian universities. Their arrival began the erosion of the racism of the official White Australia policy, and the irrational fear of the 'yellow hordes of the north.'
Other articles reflect the issues covered in the books above. As well, they extol the need for the gradual integration of the somewhat diverse ethno-cultural immigrant communities in post-war Australia into one people.
Information about the Author is set out on the page titled 'The Author.' His background is laid out on the page titled 'A fish-eye view of the author's background.'
His books are listed on the page headed Books published. Details of the books, the endorsements they received, and the chapter headings of each book are set on separate pages.
Reviews are set out separately from News Reports, as are the hyperlinks.
Refer also his Facebook page, which is linked to his WordPress website (http://rajarasablog.wordpress com). I am currently posting on Wordpress at once a day, covering a variety of issues.
In this context, see the new page Personal experience of relevance.