Archive

Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

Indian Secularism: Is There A Rationale For Defensiveness?

April 30, 2014 3 comments


Does Indian society and polity need to defend itself against random barbs of sectarianism? Any quantitative measure would indicate that no grounds exist for such barbs.
.

Twitter exchange between - swapan55- and @_sabanaqvi We have agreement ... Screen shot on 2014-04-30 03-35-10 | Click on image to go actual tweet message

Twitter exchange between – swapan55- and @_sabanaqvi We have agreement … Screen shot on 2014-04-30 03-35-10 | Click on image to go actual tweet message

fter having to give away Pakistan and Bangladesh (now), which was about 20% of the Indian land-mass, India by rights could have decided to be a narrow, sectarian country.

End Games

Even before the Indian Partition, Indians in neighbouring countries (e.g. Sri Lanka, Burma) under British influence were expelled, excluded and made into second class citizens.

These were difficult political compromises made by Indian negotiators – to arrive at the outline of current political India. With a broken economy and no military back-up, negotiations with world’s pre-eminent military and economic power were never easy or straight-forward.

In any negotiations, British Raj usually started with an advantage.

Trading Losses

100-years before Independence, in 1840, Britain had already lost Afghanistan – which was a part of the Sikh Empire last ruled by Maharaja Ranjit Singh and founded by Banda Bahadur.

Soon after Independence, Tibet was lost to China – while US made much noise and gave little support. Keeping Communist China with one foot outside the Soviet camp, to US was more important than Tibet or India.

After ceding Pakistan and losing traction in Burma, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Tibet were major blows to India. These were major raw-materials sources for India and markets for Indian output. These countries were also important buffers from land-based military adventurers.

Polity Trends

After these kind of amputations, the modern India that was put together has a vast numbers of ‘minorities – with no singular elitist class. In Bharattantra, Brahmins and banias were excluded from political affairs and the State was excluded from academic and economic affairs.
In this kind of context, the Congress Party, painted as a ‘Hindu’ party, had to make special efforts to be seen as a national party. Above sectarian politics. After 70-years of seeing treatment in the West and in neighbouring Pakistan and Bangladesh, the long-term fundamentals of Indian society should be plain.
Especially to Indian Muslims.

Worship vs Religion

Since, worship-practices in India have been so varied, to make that as a political point does not come easily to Indian polity or society. Unlike the West, where  secularism came about due to Napoleonic imposition to curtail excesses by the Church.
In Bharattantra, India’s traditional political philosophy, State intrusion into worship-practices or traditions is alien and unacceptable.
However, in most parts of the world, religion is usually a political weapon – controlled by One Book, One God, One Government, One Currency, One Morality, et al.
Hence, for and in India, wariness about making religion into a political issue is ever-present – which must be dealt with the contempt that it deserves.
Can there be any room for debate or discussion on this?

Can we?

Having granted Pakistan, midwifed Bangladesh, historical agreements are clear. Muslims from the Indian sub-continent, who wish to insert Islam into politics are free to do so.
In Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Ignorant Teaching The Blind: Problem with the Parable

September 7, 2013 3 comments

To rebut shallow readings of Harishchandra story no external logic, data is needed Answers are in the criticism itself.

Advertisement for First Indian movie, ‘Raja Harishchandra’, appeared in Bombay Chronicle on 3rd May, 1913.

Advertisement for First Indian movie, ‘Raja Harishchandra’, appeared in Bombay Chronicle on 3rd May, 1913.

I

ndian ignorance of Bharattantra (the classical Indian political system that governed India) is so colossal that it only be seen when ‘respected’ writers expound on Indian classics in mainstream media – from a position of total ignorance and bias.

From Darkness

Take this. We have today a post on Raja Harishchandra which is being faulted for all the values that it stands against.

Below is an excerpt.

Fifty generations have been told to emulate the virtuous monarch. In order to keep his word, Harish Chandra was prepared to endure the worst possible misery. The nobility of this is emphasised in every retelling. Gandhiji, for example, loved the story and, certainly, he lived by this principle of accepting extreme personal hardship in the pursuit of his moral principles.

What is not emphasised is that Harish Chandra was also prepared to put other people through equally great misery, without consulting them, in order to keep his word. He ruined his family and humiliated his wife by forcing her to strip in public (that particular theme has always fascinated Indians). Apart from the patriarchal assumption that his wife and son were disposable goods, he thought his word outweighed his responsibilities as a family man.

We are not told what happened to the kingdom’s per capita income in the period between his abdication and the divine intervention. Perhaps the place prospered. Perhaps not. Either way, Harish Chandra handed over executive responsibilities and the state’s resources to someone with unknown competencies when it came to making executive decisions, or managing state finances. As an absolute monarch, he did not, of course, consult his subjects on the regime transfer.

The story also contains a raft-load of caste stereotypes and biases. Brahmins are good; Kshatriyas are good; corpse disposers are dirty, unless they are gods or Kshatriyas in disguise. The biases and assumptions offer fascinating insights into the social structure of ancient India: absolute monarchy, absolute patriarchy, caste rigidities and a twisted code that placed personal honour above the well-being of the family, or of entire kingdoms. In itself, this would be only of historical interest.

The scary thing is that Harish Chandra’s behaviour is cited as being worth emulating in 21st-century school textbooks. The negative externalities of his behaviour are ignored even in the modern versions of the story. Caste and patriarchal prejudices are reinforced, and the concepts of democratic consultation and consensus are conspicuous by their absence.

By contemporary moral standards, Raja Harish Chandra was a monster. He should have broken his word and taken whatever punishment the Maharishi handed out, sooner than cause this sort of harm to his family. Nor should he have disposed of state resources in this irresponsible fashion and placed the lives and fortunes of all his subjects in potential jeopardy.

Moral standards change. When you read an old story, you have to cherry-pick the moral lessons you should imbibe from it. Unfortunately, as a nation, we seem to have internalised all the wrong lessons from Raja Harish Chandra.

His laudable commitment to the truth and to keeping his word has fallen by the wayside. But the monumental self-absorption and absolute indifference to the well-being of others that he displayed characterise both our public and private behaviour.

The parable also supposedly teaches us to rely upon divine intervention. Raja Harish Chandra beggared himself and abdicated responsibility for the state’s resources. Only divine intervention put things right again. We emulate him as best we can, by playing ducks-and-drakes with our public finances. Unfortunately, divine intervention is not that reliable when it comes to fixing fiscal deficits.

via Devangshu Datta: The problem with the parable | Business Standard.

Usual Stuff …

The writer of this post, Devangshu Dutta (DD), makes the usual five points.

  1. Rigid caste system
  2. Absolute monarchy
  3. State-controlled economy
  4. Slavery
  5. Self-absorbed Indians

To see how shallow DD’s reading of Harishchandra story is, no external logic or data is needed. All the answers are in the criticism itself.

Caste System: If Raja Harishchandra could from a king become a chandala to a king again, how rigid was the caste system?

In which society, in the history of the world has a king become a king again after having come down in his life to a lowly status as a chandala?

Rajas & Nawabs: What are the marks of absolute monarchy? Grand palaces, monuments, costly wars, humongous treasuries, over-taxed peasants groaning in misery, oppressive police and soldiery, et al.

How many such elements do we find in Indian history for 4000 years after Raja Harishchandra?

From Indus Valley-Saraswati Basin cities till Mughal India how many monuments do we find? Over-taxed peasants make an entry after Mughal India and the British.

Royal Patronage: It may come as a surprise to DD that the ‘Indispensable’ State was not the engine for Indian economic activity till about 100 years ago.

While economies in the Rest of the World depended on royal patronage, Indians had unfettered right to land and gold. Even currency and coinage were not controlled by the kings. So much for DD’s silly argument of ‘absolute’ Indian monarchs.

This ensured that local and national economy did not depend on royal patronage or initiatives.

Unlike in the ‘modern’ ‘free market’ or socialist economies.

Slavery: Slaves have no control over slavery.

From capture to death, slaves have no control over their destiny – and this loss of liberty has State protection. Indian classics have many stories how kings became ‘dasas’ and later freed themselves from the position of ‘dasas’.

Dasas controlled their servitude – whereas slaves cannot. Indian legal texts expounding Bharattantra have no laws that give State protection to slave-owners. India remains the only society in history that has never given legitimacy to slave owners. It appears that slave owning societies were described as asuric societies.

In fact, there is no Indian word for slaves – except imported words.

Self-absorbed Indians: From Matthew Arnold to Max Muller, we have seen how colonial Britain has painted Indians as inward looking.

Factually, from the Indian woman who was the inn-keeper at Babylon to the Yogi who met Socrates, Indians have travelled the world over. Indians are the second largest diaspora in the world today – after the Chinese. Unlike Christopher Columbus or Vasco da Gama who were sponsored by the State, the Indian diaspora has spread across the world at their own risk –

Without State sponsorship.

The skeptical and unbelievers, will have counter-arguments – which is a valid position. But DD’s post seems to show that as far as Indian classics go …

In modern India, we have the blind leading the ignorant.


 

Ranking Moms Is Just So Bad An Idea

May 11, 2013 3 comments

Why is this British NGO so desperately putting down moms from Africa?

No mother is any lesser than any other. To try and show superiority ...|  Cartoon by Randy Bish, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - May 10, 2013 via PoliticalCartoons.com

No mother is any lesser than any other. To try and show superiority …| Cartoon by Randy Bish, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review – May 10, 2013 via PoliticalCartoons.com

Wherever in the world it is, bringing up children is a job second to none.

Every mother and father, and societies that help them bring up a child deserve a lot of respect.

To see people scoring points likes this …

For Moms in Finland, every day is Mother’s Day. A new report from the non-profit Save the Children says that the Scandinavian nation is the best country on the globe for mothers to live.

Scandinavia is definitely a good place to be a Mom. Finland, which often places high on education and quality of life in other international lists, is followed by Sweden at no. 2 and Norway at no. 3. In fact, all but one of the top 10 countries where Moms are the safest are European, with Australia placing tenth.

The ten unsafest places for mothers are all located in Central Africa, with the Democratic Republic of Congo ranking worst. An estimated 98% of newborn and 99% of maternal deaths occur in developing countries where basic health care services are scarce.

Check out the top 10 best and worst countries for mothers below, and see the full report here.

Best:

1) Finland

2) Sweden

3) Norway

4) Iceland

5) Netherlands

6) Denmark

7) Spain

8) Belgium

9) Germany

10) Australia

Worst:

167) Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)

168) Chad

1

69) Nigeria

170) Gambia

171) Central African Republic

172) Niger

173) Mali

174) Sierra Leone

175) Somalia

176) DR Congo

via 10 Best Countries for Moms | TIME.com.

Proof of the pudding

So, if these Western countries are so good for women and becoming mothers, how come women here don’t want to become mothers often enough?

Why are these top 10 countries having so few babies? Why are their populations shrinking?

Motherhood statements on Mother’s Day that don’t hold up?

Simple statements that these countries have lowest infant mortality, maternal mortality, etc would have been enough.

But if you try ramming in a truck through simple data like this, it looks awfully close to talking down to us in Third World?

And if you know, your own backyard needs fixing, why waste time in putting down other people? Like how children in Britain want a brother /sister more than any other gift for Christmas? Or how the State thinks that it has more rights in naming a child compared to the child’s parents?

If your social systems are so good, why try these kind of dubious tactics to score points over people in Africa, who are down right now.

Pointing fingers at others is …

Bad psychologically.

Bad in ethics.

Not to forget Bad Journalism


Sunil Tripathi Hoax: Sunny Singh Thrilled To See Someone Go Down?

April 20, 2013 4 comments

The mega-proportions of how social media drove the hoax of Sunil Tripathi’s wrong identification is a lesson for every user of social media.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The mega-proportions of how social media drove the hoax of Sunil Tripathi’s wrong identification is a lesson for every user of social media.

Some, like Pakistan’s nuclear scientist, did this for amusement – as he clarified early and clearly, that it was sarcasm. AQ Khan’s taste in amusement may still be disputed.

Some like Sunny Singh’s iconic tweet was pure thrill to see someone go down (see image of twitter conversation below). But more than Sunny Singh’s tweet, were all the others who retweeted and favorited this tweet (see slide-show above).

Between the tweeter and the retweeter, more than 100,000 probably saw this one message alone. Now multiply, such a chain into thousands, and that will explain the hysteria around Sunil Tripathi hoax that built up in a matter of hours – and died in a matter of minutes.

Many times a retweet is done to share messages that the user does not agree, approve or endorse. Yet these 27 retweets of Sunny Singh’s infamous message, calls for a look at the judgement of these users. Should such a tweets be forwarded without some kind of qualification?

Introspection time, pee-pul!

Twitter - sunnysingh_nw3- Can't wait for #India's right ... 2013-04-20 16-40-46  |  Click for larger image in new window.

Twitter – sunnysingh_nw3- Can’t wait for #India’s right … 2013-04-20 16-40-46 | Click for larger image in new window.



 

Boston Marathon Bombings: Did AQ Khan ‘Celebrate’ The Rise Of ‘Hindu’ Terrorism?

April 20, 2013 2 comments

Did AQ Khan cheer the hoax ‘identification’ of Sunil Tripathi as the Boston Marathon Bomber?.

Twitter - DrAQ_Khan- @yaqubimmegret @qasimaskari ... 2013-04-20 07-58-59

Twitter – DrAQ_Khan- @yaqubimmegret @qasimaskari … 2013-04-20 07-58-59

Wpparently, some who spread the hoax story of Sunil Tripathi as the Boston Bomber are India (+Hindu) haters.

Some like Pakistan’s nuclear scientist, did this for amusement – as he clarified early and clearly.

Some may question AQ Khan’s taste, but it was sarcasm.

Probably, PEW should do a Pakistan study again, using a different questionnaire. The clarifications and questions that came his way, were from Pakistanis.

Probably, this twitter exchange show that as neighbours, it is not essential to love each other.

Civility can be an adequate, even necessary and lone condition.



Adoration Of The West: Cannot Stop, Cannot Rest, Cannot End

April 18, 2013 4 comments

Yet no Indian leader gets the kind of respect that foreign leaders get in India..

X

Margaret Thatcher’s death unleashed a wave of grief.

Guess what? In India.

In the last 70 years, the Anglo-Saxon Bloc has gone downhill. From a position of absolute world power to being challenged by China – and now even India.

Yet no Indian leader gets the kind of respect that foreign leaders get in India.

Does it stop here?

Look at this twitter exchange here.

A simplistic reading of the tweet can be taken to mean, ‘FBI is the gold standard. And since FBI is taking time, NIA can also take time.’

Going by Praveen Swamy’s general tenor, it is not far-fetched to see what Praveen Swami implies. But for Indian chatterati, twitterati, FBookeratti, bloggeratti, hero worship of the West cannot stop, cannot rest, cannot end.

The last word.

 

Lessons From Record Decrease in Japan’s Population

April 17, 2013 11 comments

 

This commitment by Indian society to universal, lifelong marriage has attracted many, especially women.

Between the State and the Church, we are seeing unprecedented levels of intervention in our sexual lives  |  Cartoon by Lee Judge on February 13, 2011

Between the State and the Church, we are seeing unprecedented levels of intervention in our sexual lives | Cartoon by Lee Judge on February 13, 2011

F

ukushima, Hiroshima, Nagasaki are the not the only nuclear disasters that have hit Japan. The bigger disaster is unfolding in slo-mo.

Japan’s population has dropped by a record 284,000.

As of Oct. 1, 2012, the country’s population was estimated at 127,515,000, down 0.22 percent from the previous year, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said April 16.

The decline is the largest in both number and rate since 1950, when comparable figures were first available.

The population dropped for the second year in a row for the first time.

Japanese society continues to age, with the population of elderly, aged 65 or over, estimated at 30,793,000, up 1,041,000 from the previous year. It was also the first time that the elderly outnumbered children, aged 14 or under, in all 47 prefectures.

The natural decrease, or the difference of deaths and births, was the largest ever at 205,000. This marked the eighth straight year of natural decrease for men and the fourth straight year of natural decrease for women. By prefecture, Tokyo, Saitama and Chiba marked the first instance of a natural decrease.

via Record decrease in Japan’s population – AJW by The Asahi Shimbun.

Maya means … Propaganda … ?

The only reason India is not sitting on a demographic time bomb, is because of our देसी मन्द बुद्धि desi-mand buddhi (rustic minds). Especially from the Indo-Gangetic plains.

This देसी rustic mindset that our ruling elites look at with contempt, did not get fooled by the massive propaganda drive by the West – using the Indian State as its agent.

Not Individuals … But Families As Building Blocks Of Society

The Indian system of family stability is based on three principles: –

1. Universal marriage. In the rest of the world, the rich marry, the poor: –

2. New families funded by families and relatives with income stream from property, profession, business for groom and and start-up capital of gold to bride.

3. Since, all girls and boys, especially during periods of social chaos, political instability (like British Raj) may not find matches, marriages are arranged by social ‘intervention’ to keep the system of universal marriage functional.

People Know …

This commitment by Indian society to universal, lifelong marriage has attracted many, especially women. Indian men are seen by Russian women as ideal husband material. On the other hand, apart from the staggering levels of prostitution, sex-deprivation has triggered a wave of sexual-abuse of children across Europe and US. Widely, but not limited to the Catholic Church system.

Charity … Anyone?

This pattern of sexual misbehavior has claimed a life this time.

Peter Roebuck, a cricket player-coach-writer recently jumped to his death from his 6th floor hotel room in South Africa. After receiving a suspended sentence in an British court for not-so deviant behavior with his South African trainees, he emigrated to Australia.

Similarly, in India too, we have seen these various do-gooders use their ‘charity’ work to gain access to unwilling sexual partners.

Promoted by the Desert Bloc ‘system’ is

Sexual repression in the masses

– An impossible marriage mechanism with crazed alimony system

– Antagonistic and confrontational gender relations

– A flourishing prostitution industry

– A distorted religious system that promotes celibacy

Charity seems like a facade for gaining access to sexual partners in all these cases. The cause may be the sexual repression rather than dubious charity.

Islamic Demographics

Indian Muslim population is growing because they have persisted with the Indian family model. In West Asia, Islamic populations are meager and much below Indian growth levels. Muslim populations are increasing only in countries where Indian influence is strong – and therefore commitment to universal marriage is strong. India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia.

Meher system in all these societies (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia) is nominal, weak. The day Muslims (from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia) become ‘fully’ Muslim, implement the Meher system, their populations will start decreasing.

The only two countries that has come close to India in this metrics are Indonesia and China. Thanks to Mao and Western propaganda, in China that has changed. Progressive Liberals in India are desperate to implement the Chinese model in India also – in connivance with the West.

Seems like Russian women know more about marriage …



%d bloggers like this: