The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby RajeshA » 20 Dec 2014 16:24

Anti-Conversion Law Proposal (Cont.)

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It has been often the case that any talk of Anti-Conversion Law simply runs into a quick-sand of strife and abuse. That happens when the Hindutvavadis say that Christianity and Islam should not be allowed freedom to do their conversions in India unchecked. The Seculars come up with Right to Religion, etc. The problem with this debate is simply that Hindutvavadis just try to convince that Christianity and Islam are religions injurious to India's health against other "religions" like Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, that are not.

That is a very ineffective argumentation foundation. We have already seen umpteen discussions around this theme. The argument has to be based on a far better political-philosophical foundation than that.

- So if someone talks about freedom of religion being guaranteed under UN Charter of Rights, Article 18, how would one respond?
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.


- How would one respond to the Theory of Religious Economy: "a level playing field and free market in religious choice"?

- How would one respond to Article 25 of the Indian Constitution which guarantees "Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion"?

- How would one respond to all the liberals who say that Anti-Conversion Law would be a travesty against people's freedom to choose their religion, and would contradict India's tradition of pluralism and tolerance?

- How would Indians respond to Western political and media criticism of suppression of religious freedom in India, and how Hindus are turning into fundamentalists and obscurantists and thus unbecoming of the respect of the world?

These are the type of intellectual and legal challenges Hindus would be faced with, and at that time we better have a solid philosophical foundation to refute these arguments! What is not desired is that the Dharmics are forced into an obscurantist labeled corner. We have to have the moral high ground in the Conversion debate! It is we who should push the others on the moral back foot! So how to do it?

The arguments in this proposal are based on previous expositions.

  1. Right to Religion & Mass-Proselytization vs Anti-Conversion Law

  2. Nature of Religion

  3. The Great Deception of Religion

So in order to produce an effective Anti-Conversion Law, what does it require?

  1. Isolation: Our challenge comes from Christianity and Islam. It does not come from Innuit faiths. It does not come from Judaism. It does not come from Zoroastrianism. What we need as such is a strong philosophical basis for differentiation. As previously noted, Christianity and Islam constitute Religion (Dēva-Dūta-Dāsatva). Others are Folk-Religions (Jana-Dēva-Sēvana) or Dharmic Panths.

  2. Malevolence of Religion: A case needs to be made how Religion is malevolent and destructive for native cultures, for human psychology, for social peace. The fact that it is used as subversive tool by outsiders, needs to be emphasized.

  3. Differentiation between Right to Worship/Faith/Belief viz-a-viz Right to Religion: Religion constitutes a much bigger social enterprise than just the need for an individual to look for spiritual support and to worship his deity in a form of his choosing. Religion often includes a System of Laws, Institutions, Clerical Hierarchies, Brotherhoods, Pledges of Allegiance, Relationship with 'Others', etc., all that what is not needed as far as Worship/Faith/Belief goes.

  4. Ban on Conversion Activity: Folk-Religions usually keep to themselves, e.g. Zoroastrians, Jews, etc. They don't proselytize. Dharmic Panths look at their propagation only as an education and emotional support service. Conversion is something that is only actively pursued by Religions. This means neutralizing both the resources that Religions have at their disposal, as well as their questionable tactics. This should be justified as "Stopping of Cultural Genocide by Religions".

  5. Support for Deconversion: Deconversion means individuals who are adherents of Religions (Christianity, Islam, Mormonism) can leave their religions, and can thus become free from their allegiance and affiliation. Upon deconversion, the individual returns by default to the Dharmic Panth or Folk-Religion of his ancestors, as claimed by the individual, though a ceremony may accompany this event, sometimes known as Shuddi or Ghar Wapsi. Apostasy is, according to Islam, heavily punishable and as such State must intervene and provide security for those who deconvert. Similarly if a person deconverts, he should not face discrimination in his place of work. Of course this right is also available if a person converts. Deconversion need not be actively supported by the state, but the activity should be given appropriate security.


So a ban on Conversions entails ...

  1. Neutralizing their tools of Conversions, such as use of Manipulation of others and Distortion of Message, as I have discussed previously.

  2. Neutralizing their resources and strategies of Conversion, such as favor for Christianity and fear for Islam. There are many kinds of favors, that Christians openly offer to those who convert: jobs, money, visas, etc. Islam itself functions using the money that is sent from the Gulf and elsewhere. All this has to stop. Beside putting a stop to money inflows from outside India, another aspect that deserves attention, is whether Religions in India have acquired properties and land through unfair means using their influence with past regimes in India.

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby RajeshA » 21 Dec 2014 01:07

Published on Dec 20, 2014
By Rupa Subramanya
Ghar vapasi in Agra: The unlevel field in Hindu, Muslim, Christian conversion: Firstpost

Unfortunately, a lot of the debate surrounding the “reconversion” (details of which are still in dispute) of 200 Muslims to Hinduism recently in Uttar Pradesh, under a ceremony called Ghar Vapasi (“homecoming”) has been framed rather narrowly in the context of reconversion to Hinduism and without the necessary broader context of conversion (principally, to Christianity and Islam) in general.

For starters, Christian proselytising isn’t carried out in the main by well-meaning parish priests going door to door in their neighbourhood handing out copies of the Bible. It’s a slick, big money enterprise funded by rich foreign donors.

According to the 2012 Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), based on 2011 data, the top three foreign donor organisations in India were Compassion International, USA, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, USA, KinderNotHilfe, Germany, with donations totalling close to $60 million. Adding in other Christian organisations in the top 15 brings the total upto just under $100 million. There’s no evidence that Hindu reconversion activity is backed by anywhere close to this amount of hard cash.

The basic point is a large amount of foreign money pours in to do humanitarian work as well as to proselytise on behalf of various Christian sects. Often the two activities are intrinsically linked.

Compared to the resources and sophistication of Christian donors who come to India with the aim at least in part of harvesting souls of unfortunate Hindu pagans, the competition from the RSS and other Sangh organisations to reconvert seems amateurish. If reports are to be believed in the UP case, they were offering to help the reconverts get BPL ration cards to which they were presumably already entitled! This seems like small potatoes compared to schools, clinics, and other social services provided by Christian missionaries with deep pockets.

It’s noteworthy that conversion and, by definition, reconversion activities are directed towards some of the most disadvantaged members of society, often SCs and STs. These are people who often face discrimination within the Hindu fold and stand the most to gain by getting access to the social services that conversion to Christianity seems to promise. Christian missionaries are not knocking on the doors of the well-heeled in South Mumbai or South Delhi, but are propagating their faith in impoverished and remote places in the north-east and elsewhere.

It’s clear that those trying to convert and those reconverting are not on a level playing field in a variety of dimensions, the most obvious being financial and organisational capabilities, and a wealth of experience in proselytising. The Joshua Project, for example, offers a detailed demographic breakdown by religion and state in India to better assist would-be proselytisers where to target their activity.

But there’s a more fundamental difference: Christianity and Islam are by nature proselytising religions. Their membership is open to all and they’re actively seeking new converts. Indeed, it would be seen as virtuous and praiseworthy if one succeeds in “harvesting souls” and redeeming a few of the pagans from the eternal damnation to which they’re guaranteed due to their lack of the right belief system.

By contrast, as I’ve noted, efforts by those trying to reconvert are clumsy, crude and comical, and that too for a fairly obvious reasons.

Historically, Hinduism has not been a proselytising religion, and the attempt to reconvert those who were converted to Christianity and Islam is of relatively recent provenance. What’s more, Hindu groups are attempting to reconvert those who ancestrally were Hindu and is not seeking fresh converts who have no association with Hinduism. That’s an important conceptual difference with Christian and Islamic conversion that’s been lost in the din.

Conversion has been a touchy subject in India given its association with colonisation and the decidedly unsubtle methods used by proselytisers in the Islamic and colonial periods. While British India had no anti-conversion law for rather obvious reasons, several princely states did have such laws, aimed principally to prevent conversion of Hindus to Christianity or Islam.

At present five Indian states — Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh and Himachal Pradesh — have anti-conversion laws. In theory such laws are meant to prevent conversion that occurs due to duress, coercion, or inducement and allows voluntary conversion where no such factors are present. In practice, however, the terms of reference are so vague, and almost anything would be considered an inducement or duress, even being told, for example, that you’ll be damned if you don’t convert—which as it happens is part of the theology of Christianity and Islam.

Such laws are illiberal and should be abolished. While conversion under coercion or trickery should obviously be illegal, that ought to be covered by a general criminal law which prohibits someone from inducing someone else to do anything using such illicit methods.

The crux is conversion under inducement — such as the offer of money or social services — as a reward for conversion.

This is where those of us who find such practices unsavoury and distasteful need to acknowledge that a liberal society must allow conversion for such reasons so long as someone making the choice is doing so voluntarily. It’s entirely plausible that someone from a disadvantaged community finds it in their rational self-interest to convert to Christianity and it is paternalistic to prevent this.

By the same token, it should be perfectly acceptable for someone to reconvert given it’s their free choice and even if this is done to regain special benefits of being an SC and ST — as evidenced here and here.

It goes without saying, in accordance with liberal theory, that “free choice” can only be exercised by an adult of a sound mind.

Conversion activities directed towards children would, therefore, not survive scrutiny even by a liberal who accepts the right to choose one’s religion. The state can certainly intervene in well-documented cases of “child evangelism”: an orphaned or vulnerable child converted to Christianity through social services cannot be said to be making a free choice in any meaningful sense.

This is a far more nuanced picture than the slanted op-eds and TV debates which cry foul about the “politics of polarisation” as applied to the recent reconversion episode. If that is polarising, then what would you say if a Christian missionary pours scorn, with a nasty, unsavoury and Orientalizing edge, on Hindu deities or makes fun of a “dumb snake god” in their aggressive proselytising zeal?

The solution to the debate around conversion and reconversion is not to ban these practices but to promote a level playing field and free market in religious choice. This is where Hindu organisations trying to reconvert need to take a leaf from the enormous resources and sophistication deployed by Christian missionary organisations.

And to ensure that a truly level playing field does exist and legitimate reconversion activities aren’t swamped by massive foreign funded conversion activities, the Indian government should insist that foreign donors who claim to be coming to India to do humanitarian work stick only to that and that everyone coming to proselytise does so genuinely on a missionary visa and not enter the country under false pretexts of business or tourist visas.

What’s more, if current anti-conversion or other laws are applied against reconversion activities, such as is alleged in the UP case, the same laws must be applied with equal vigour to Christian evangelism and the huge inducements it offers. To be clear, I believe all such laws are illiberal — but so long as they’re on the books they can’t be selectively applied to penalise only Hindu reconversion as reported here while letting Christian and Islamic conversions off the hook.

So long as all of this conversion and reconversion doesn’t prey on children and rests entirely on free choice, the most disadvantaged are the likely beneficiaries as different groups will vie for their loyalty.


Some good thoughts but these still lack the sound basis for a hard line against the preying of the proselytizers.

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby RajeshA » 21 Dec 2014 02:20

Published on Dec 21, 2014
Anti-conversion drive: Ghar Wapasi campaign gets RSS support: Economic Times

NEW DELHI: The controversial anticonversion drive initiated by the VHP and other Hindutva groups received a shot in the arm on Saturday with RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat strongly endorsing the Ghar Wapasi campaign and BJP chief Amit Shah calling for a consensus on a nation-wide anti-conversion law.

A slew of controversial statements and actions by Hindutva outfits in recent weeks have already cast a shadow over the BJP government at the Centre and two newspapers reported on Saturday that prime minister Narendra Modi had threatened to quit if Sangh Parivar leaders would not rein in the fringe groups. The reports could not be independently verified and PMO didn't respond to the stories. Two BJP spokespersons that ET approached refused to speak on the issue.

The Rajya Sabha has been virtually held hostage by Opposition parties who had demanded the PM should make a statement on the anti-conversion drive, stalling many a crucial financial reform legislation. Bhagwat's statement could give fresh fodder for parties like Trinamool and Congress to push Modi and BJP to a corner.

Earlier on Saturday, Shah told reporters that his party wanted to bring a law against forcible conversions. Calling for a consensus on this, Shah, however, distanced himself from the Ghar Wapasi campaign saying it was a matter before court. In Goa, on the sidelines of a conclave organised by the Sangh-affiliated India Foundation, top BJP leaders said the PM had indeed expressed his displeasure over these issues. They said "a feeling has gained ground that something has gone wrong with the image of the government" due to statements made by BJP MPs, Sangh leaders and the ongoing 'Ghar Wapasi' programme.

"These issues have distracted attention from what should have been a good productive session for the government, and the PM is aware of that," said a top Sangh source. "The focus on development and reforms which should have been front and centre has been diverted into that of conversion, and Nathuram Godse, which was really not required," added the source.

Last week, addressing the BJP parliamentary party, the PM had cautioned party MPs not to cross a "laxman rekha" and make public statements that could derail the government's agenda of development and good governance. Modi's statement had come in the wake of a provocative speech by Union minister Sadhvi Niranjan on minorities and BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj's comment equating Godse with Gandhi.

But RSS chief Bhagwat's endorsement of the Ghar Wapasi campaign now calls into question all the conciliatory gestures BJP leaders have been making in private to get the Rajya Sabha going. He asked minorities not to convert Hindus if they also do not want to come back to Hinduism.

"There is no need to fear. We are in our own country. We are not intruders or infiltrators. This is our own country, our Hindu 'rashtra' [nation]. A Hindu will not leave his land. What we have lost in the past, we will try to bring it back. No one should be afraid of Hindus rising," Bhagwat told an audience in Kolkata.

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby RajeshA » 21 Dec 2014 13:10

Published on Dec 21, 2014
By Tarun Khanna
Opposition calls VHP's 'Ghar Vapsi' programme 'forceful conversion': Zee News

------------

There is going to be a lot of debate on forced conversions, induced conversions, organized conversions, etc. Those who own the media would win the debate. And the Seculars would use their plants within the "Ghar Wapsi" program, to later claim that they were either forced or induced by RSS to do Ghar Wapsi. Their interviews would be prominently shown.

In any case, it is good that this issue has come up in public debate, but the media is going to concentrate its message only on Muslims and Christians who were ostensibly forced or induced to change "religions" on doing "Ghar Wapsi". This is probably going to bury all the other good things the Government would do, and in 2019, the opposition can go to the people claiming the Modi Govt. did nothing.

If Hindus wish to win this media war, we need to change the framework of debate. Hindus have to say that we are NOT A RELIGION. There is NO CONVERSION into "Hinduism".

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby shiv » 21 Dec 2014 16:54

RajeshA wrote:
If Hindus wish to win this media war, we need to change the framework of debate. Hindus have to say that we are NOT A RELIGION. There is NO CONVERSION into "Hinduism".

Actually you can convert from a religion to a state of being Hindu, where you follow your own path without fear knowing that God does not have a square rod to stick up yours.

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby RajeshA » 21 Dec 2014 20:00

shiv wrote:
RajeshA wrote:
If Hindus wish to win this media war, we need to change the framework of debate. Hindus have to say that we are NOT A RELIGION. There is NO CONVERSION into "Hinduism".

Actually you can convert from a religion to a state of being Hindu, where you follow your own path without fear knowing that God does not have a square rod to stick up yours.


In this sense one should understand "Hindu" == "Bharatiya".

"Bharatiya" was the default state of every Subcontinental before "Religion" (Islam, Christianity) made an impact on the Subcontinent. So when one yields one's affiliation, one's allegiance to a Religion, one reverts automatically to being in the default state - "Bharatiya" or "Hindu", and thus naturally becomes open to the Sanskriti on offer.

So mental openness to Sanskriti is dependent on that "Rejecting of Religion", i.e. dependent on "Deconversion" from Religion.

Religion is like the electron is in an excited state and "Deconversion" is like it reverts back to its normal state. I wouldn't call this "Conversion" to Bharatiyata/Hindu-ness, just "Deconversion" from previous state - of being part of "Religion".

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby harbans » 21 Dec 2014 22:04

The easiest and simplest way to de convert is a sort of 'Kalima' to swear in to believing in the tenets of Dharma (maybe done on the National book :) ). That the individual shall strive to evolve from Tamas to Sattva. After that to evolve beyond the Gunas there are a lot of Sampradayas to chose from with their own mores as per the nature of the deconverted. In case he doesn't chose a Sampradaya, let the deconverted be loyal to the Dharmic tenets. The method has to be simple, efficient and easy to understand. It should include a rejection of Excluvist doctrine in a generalized and non specific manner. Simple first step that could move millions to the Dharmic fold within a short time.

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby RajeshA » 21 Dec 2014 22:21

harbans wrote:The easiest and simplest way to de convert is a sort of 'Kalima' to swear in to believing in the tenets of Dharma (maybe done on the National book :) ). That the individual shall strive to evolve from Tamas to Sattva. After that to evolve beyond the Gunas there are a lot of Sampradayas to chose from with their own mores as per the nature of the deconverted. In case he doesn't chose a Sampradaya, let the deconverted be loyal to the Dharmic tenets. The method has to be simple, efficient and easy to understand. It should include a rejection of Excluvist doctrine in a generalized and non specific manner. Simple first step that could move millions to the Dharmic fold within a short time.


Personally, I think it should include both - the general and the specific rejection. Deconversion should include a good "re-education" into what is false with "Religion" (Christianity, Islam, Mormonism), but it should also include a rejection of his present Religion, i.e. the individual should recite his "article of faith" in the negative, be it the Shahada (Islam) or the Nicene Creed (Christianity) or some oath of allegiance to the Mormon Church.

So the person should reject his Religion, but also be made aware of why it needs to be rejected. Deconversion is rejection of his Religion. Only thus would he be anchored in the default Sanskriti of his forefathers again, though he would still have to learn its philosophical richness, diversity and validity. In the course of his guided exploration he should be made aware of Dharma.

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby harbans » 21 Dec 2014 22:49

Rajesh Ji a specific rejection of excluvist ideology is great. Lets say we can introduce the tenets of Dharma to some folks with some reservations. We say to be Dharmic you need to acknowledge the importance in society to strive to abide with these 10 tenets:

1. Dhrti (patience)
2. Ks’ama (forgiveness)
3. Dhama (self-control)
4. Asteya (non-stealing)
5. Shaoch (cleanliness)
6. Indriyanigraha (control over senses)
7. Dhii (intellect)
8. Vidya’ (knowledge)
9. Satyam (Truthfulness)
10. Akrodha (non-anger)

Keep it simple as it is. Tell him or her, if you strive to follow these and take an oath on the National Book (BG) you can be termed as a Dharmic. Simple. No religious orthodoxy involved. In Govt forms make a category for Dharmic. Being Dharmic may be one doesn't believe in a God, believes in one or believes in many. Do a simple Havan and make a person recite simply that i believe in these basic principles of Sanatan Dharma and that this is universal humanity that mankind is meant to live by. That True Dhii and Vidya will come by only if i adhere to these basic principles. That i reject doctrines that call for hell for those who follow the above Sanatan principles. That following these principles my soul is on a path of Spiritual progress. That following these principles is the path of the Yogi. I shall forever strive to adhere to these Sanatan Dharmic tenets and when i strive i am a Yogi.

Om Shaanti.


By doing the above:

1. We have not converted a person to a particular Religion in the orthodox sense.
2. We have got the person to stand by Sanatan principles of humanity by which society is prosperous and happy.
3. We have got the person to understand the basic foundation of Sanatan Dharma.

The person may ask, don't i have to worship Shiva, Vishnu, Krishna. 33 Crore Gods etc?
We say that you decide. There is a huge body of texts available. Gyaan, Bhakti etc. You can decide at your choosing.
Maybe the person asks but will i get 'salvation' by doing this: Quote the texts how Dharma protects those that seek to protect it. That the soul is supposed to be on a path of spiritual progression. Once the person is on the Dharmic tenet path automatically he is in conflict with many tenets of Excluvist doctrine and in congruence to Dharmic faith doctrines.

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby RajeshA » 21 Dec 2014 23:07

harbans ji,

appreciate your suggestions.

I had something else in mind.

- When one makes a case of how Religion is tamasic,
- when one shows how Religion ends up propping up Adharma,
- when one explains how each Religion is built on Asatya and exposes the conflicts inherent in it,
- when one tells about the atrocities perpetrated in the name of the individual's Religion,
- when one tells about how Religion is controlled by foreign establishments,

one is at the same time giving an exposition of how Dharma is different, and how one should have pride in one's own culture.

Basically every Dharmic Panth gives an exposition of Dharma from its own perspective. I would suggest that the Dharmic who takes up the responsibility of Deconversion of some individual or group should explain Dharma as it is most accessible to him, perhaps through the lens of his own Dharmic Panth.

That is the kind of competition one can strive for.

I would like Sikhs to go out and do Deconversion. I would like Shivaites to do the same. Or any other group.

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby RajeshA » 22 Dec 2014 00:33

I personally think that just like Vedas are for chanting and Upanishadas are meant as a dialogue between Guru and Shishya, the nature of Dharma is supposed to be a live one.

There are various guidelines, various tenets one can offer regarding Dharma.

However Dharma is the Ārya System of Meta-Ethics. Meta-Ethics means Ethics at a Meta level. How are Ethics to be considered on a Meta level? Meta level refers to a level which gives rise to a level underneath it. Meta level ethics is a level which produces one's ethics. It is as such the conditioning of an individual to make him receptive to an ethical way of thinking and action.

Conditioning of an individual is a live continuous process. So it is both practicing Dharma and introspecting about the Dharmikta of one's actions. It is both listening to Dharmic tales as well as analyzing those tales for the Dharmikta of the actions of each character in those tales.

So anchoring Dharma within a Deconvertee involves a continuous dialogue between the Deconversion-Guide and the Deconvertee, as well as an immersion of the Deconvertee in Dharmic life, perhaps led by Bhakti or Yoga, some Dharmic routine.

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby Prem » 22 Dec 2014 07:19

Image

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby RajeshA » 22 Dec 2014 20:06

A Taxonomy of Belief Systems (Cont.)

Let's do some categorization of Belief Systems:

  1. Dharmic Panths - Sanatan Dharma, Bauddh Dharma, Jaina Dharma, Sikh Dharma, Taoism, Shintoism

  2. Religions - Christianity, Islam, Mormonism

  3. Folk Traditions - Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Yezidism, etc.

  4. New-Age Belief Systems - Scientology, Baha'i, etc.


Dharmic Panths may have different cosmogony, differing philosophy, different mythology, different pantheon of deities, different cultural manifestation but what they all have in common is that

  1. they all focus on an exposition of Dharma, or Dào (in Chinese), a system of meta-ethics, a 'Way'. (ethics)

  2. they all see it as their function to impart knowledge and to guide in the activation of the intrinsic capacity of an individual to directly access the Supreme, without requiring the intervention of any self-proclaimed intermediary. (spirituality)

  3. they make reference to or are sourced from the Ārya enterprise in understanding Dharma. (origin)

I would say Dào and thus Shinto too have their source in the Indian philosophical thought.

Religions on the other hand follow a totally different agenda, which is authoritarian, expansionary and imperialistic. Basically it is packaged as a dogma and is an effort to source one's authority through divine revelation and to claim divine sanction for one's aggressive political and social agenda. I have gone into this earlier.

Folk Traditions can have Dharmic leaning or a Religious leaning or they can be a combination of both. However folk traditions are there to assert a certain nationalist identity through the use of a common belief system.

New Age Belief Systems are belief systems put together in the modern age by asserting a break from tradition in the region and usually it is either a return to an earlier (pagan) belief of the people, which has mostly been lost, or it is an attempt to pick and choose from among the available for their best properties which suit the sensibilities of the founder or founding group. Again depending on from where the tenets have been sourced from, a particular new age belief system can have Dharmic elements or it can have Religious elements.

I have consciously tried not use the term "Folk Religion", but rather the term "Folk Tradition". Also I don't say "New Age Religion", but rather "New Age Belief System".

This is done in order to confine the term "Religion" to very specific semantics and some very specific ideologies which represent a threat to Bharat as well as across the world, for the Cultural Genocide they commit.

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby RajeshA » 22 Dec 2014 22:54

A Taxonomy of Belief Systems (Cont.)

So what is the above taxonomy good for?

Let's say, there are two ways of going about dealing with issues - internally and externally. For example Law & Order is considered an issue internal to a system - protecting the system from internal problems. National Defense is considered an issue external to a system - protecting the system from external problems.

When dealing with problems from internal source, one usually considers all those elements which create problems as part of the system, and as such one uses a lot more sensitivity and caution in one's approach. Furthermore the effort is to minimize the problem creating behavior of the problematic elements.

When dealing with problems from external source, one tries to put up a line of defense and make it as unbreachable as possible. One tries to isolate the negative influences of this external threat within own system and tries to neutralize these influences.

So the approach when dealing with external problems is much more hard-line and clearer.

Taxonomy helps in deciding what should belong in the tent and what should belong outside the tent! Taxonomy helps in formulating political philosophy, policies and laws, where each category can be individually targeted.

So with what goal, am I am formulating all this?

I say, Indian Laws and political discourse in India should be based on the above Taxonomy!

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby RajeshA » 23 Dec 2014 00:37

A Taxonomy of Belief Systems (Cont.)

  1. Dharmic Panths
  2. Religions
  3. Folk Traditions
  4. New Age Belief Systems

I see Dharmic Panths as benign, and there need not be any restrictions on them, except perhaps regarding extreme practices and corruption. In fact there can be state support as far as providing an optimal environment for them is concerned.

India has a history of providing sanctuary to Folk Traditions which were oppressed elsewhere - Judaism, Zoroastrianism. When one speaks of "all religions teach peace", then often one refers to Dharmic Panths, but also to Folk Traditions. Regardless of whether these are anchored in the Dharmic thought or not, these would generally accept the law of the land. State support can be envisaged in order to support Folk Traditions, simply because they are mankind's heritage.

New Age Belief Systems have come up and would keep on coming up, as people seek some meaning in life but feel disenchanted with society and religious offerings in the West and elsewhere where religion or atheism dominates. There will be others who would try to build a composite belief system taking some elements from Religions and some from Dharmic Panths with the purpose of creating some form of harmony or syncretic belief system. This would remain a continuous churning and creativity. Per se, none of these movements really have the big imperialistic backing, as is the case with Religion, though it does not exclude the possibility that these could still be used as subversive movements and groups. In this case, the state would need to keep a watchful eye and proscribe any group which shows signs of authoritarianism, control from outside, massively externally-financed expansionary tendencies, Adharmic tendencies, tendency for crime, extreme practices, aggression, etc.

However the main target of this taxonomy is Religion.

It is very important that we build our narrative not against a particular religion but against Religion in general, for otherwise one would be called Islamophobe, or anti-Christianity, or against Freedom of Faith. Each religion should be tainted with the sins of all religions. And one can curse Religion as much as one wants, without Islam or Christianity being able to make the case that they are being abused or being specifically targeted. This minimizes the victimization and discrimination narrative that Religions use to strengthen themselves, as one does not have to call them out by name. The target is Religion in general.

Today, one hears very often Seculars making a case that India should avoid the fate of which has allowed its Taliban, Jihadis and Islamic radicals to take over the country, by curbing Hindu "fundamentalists". This is tainting by parallelism.

If Dharmic Panths reject being called Religion, then the taint of Talibanism does not jump on to the Hindutvavadis, for no comparison can be made.

Similarly by boxing Christianity with Islam, one makes sure that all transgressions and atrocities of one can also be used to paint the other. One makes sure that any laws one makes to restrict the activities of one due to some atrocity would also be used to restrict the other.

Also one can use all the Marxist literature and much of Atheism literature to hit out at Religion. This is something we cannot do if we ourselves are considered "Religion".

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby RajeshA » 23 Dec 2014 00:50

Framework of Laws to Deal with Religion (Cont.)


Continuing the argument against Religion, the State should ensure that Religions in India are curtailed. Naturally the right to practice faith should be retained.


  1. Law for Correction of Historical Injustice


    1. All Religion buildings which were built by destroying Mandirs have to revert to the respective Dharmic Panth or Folk Religion

    2. All public places named after Religion-associated personalities including those who waged war in name of some Religion, Foreign invaders, their progeny and their employees, should be renamed to something more Bharatiya.

    3. All land and property acquired by a Religion through dubious means, through violence, through philanthropy of invaders and occupiers, needs to be confiscated and nationalized, and if possible returned to their rightful owners.

  2. Law against Conversion Activity

    Conversion is changing one's current belief system to a that of a Religion. It usually involves an oath of allegiance formulated as an article of faith. Conversion activity is carried out by Religion preachers. This law is to curtail their freedom to conduct expansion.

    There has to be a concerted effort by the State to inform people about how Religion has ravaged mankind, about the genocides that took place in India and elsewhere, the cultural rape that follows expansion of Religion, and the general "evils" associated with Religion.

    1. There should be strict monitoring of any conversion activity by Religions that no inducements are being offered - jobs, visas, money, other favors.

    2. There should be strict monitoring that Religions are not using manipulation: coercion, intimidation, threat of violence or violence itself against others.

    3. There should be strict monitoring that Religions are not using distortion of other belief systems: misrepresenting the message, customs and history of other faiths.

    4. There should be strict monitoring that Religions are not using deception: disguising themselves and their icons as belonging to others and infiltrating others.

    5. There should be strict monitoring that there is no proselytism within a radius of 2 km of an important temple belonging to a Dharmic Panth or Folk Tradition.

    6. Religion preachers are prohibited from proselytism in government, educational, commercial and sports facilities, which includes talking to others on the issue as well as distributing information material.

    7. Any new convertee to a Religion needs to report his conversion to the authorities who have to investigate if any inducement, coercion, distortion or deception took place. In some cases, a psychologist should talk to the new convertee to find out the reasons for the conversion. In principle, Conversion should not be seen as a desirable activity.

  3. Law to Curb Foreign Interference in Religion in India

    1. Foreign missionaries and preachers of Religion should not be allowed into India.

    2. Religious institutions - for worship, for preaching, for theological education, are not allowed to avail of foreign funding.

    3. No foreign funds can be used for proselytism- neither as income for the proselytizer nor as inducement for the target of conversion

    4. No foreign produced information materials can be used for proselytism, except one book of choice

    5. No NGOs doing social or civil work in India can avail of foreign funding, if the NGO has any active member of a Religion group, or is found to encourage people to convert to a Religion.

    6. Any Religion institution whose head is appointed by its foreign headquarters, would have to pay increased property tax, other Religion institutions would be exempt just like Dharmic Panths and Folk Traditions

  4. Law to Support Deconversion

    Deconversion is rejecting one's current Religion publicly, through which the deconvertee by default acquires the Dharmic Panth or Folk Tradition he or his ancestors had before their Conversion took place. This may be accompanied by some specific ritual - Shuddi, etc.

    1. State is duty bound to provide heightened security to any deconvertee and his family if the deconvertee feels threatened by those affiliated to his previous Religion.

    2. No deconvertee should be shown discrimination in his current work or his accommodation due to his deconversion.

  5. Uniform Civil Code

    1. All Religion groups have to abide by the Uniform Civil Code. No exceptions can be made for them. Same is the case for New Age Belief Systems.

    2. Dharmic Panth communities and Folk Tradition communities can however apply for an own community code

  6. Enhanced Protection for non-Religion Groups

    1. Any initimidation or violence perpetrated by a Religion group on a non-Religion individual or group, which can be interpreted as resulting from Religion-induced hate can result in confiscation of property of those involved, and jail terms.

    2. Also state should put up police stations, conduct police patrolling, and put up surveillance which provides enhanced security to non-Religion groups

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby RajeshA » 23 Dec 2014 05:19

Cross-posting from "Indian Interests (09-08-2014)" Thread

Published on Dec 15, 2014
By Shashikant Joshi
The Mendacity Of Conversion

Conversion is in the air again. Heated conversations ON AIR again. Emotions run high. Provocative headlines mislead. Certain media houses want to be heard in the new political monologue. Media is mostly the least reliable source to draw any definitive conclusions, as we saw recently in the case of the “Rohtak braveheart sisters” who turned out to be extortionists.

But here, we will talk about conversion, most recently brought to centerstage by the Agra conversion case. Was it forced, coerced or just fake? Who knows? Maybe a court investigation will find out or maybe not, but the results will remain unreported by the media, for it is not the results but the uproar that is of importance here. Greater mysteries have remained unsolved. What will remain though are the refrains of ‘conversion into Hinduism’.

The event details are of no consequence for our discussion. You can argue till the BPO employee comes home but that armchair fencing will yield no touché. So let us discuss the idea. While whole books have been written on this topic’s dark agenda, for this short discussion, I want to add just a few notes that are missing from the media cacophony around conversion. Is conversion even worth a debate, worth the existence? What is the need for it? And who really benefits?

Worldwide, the only time conversions create an outcry in the media is when someone is being converted from Judaism, usually into Christianity. The only other time is when someone converts to Hinduism, and that usually happens only in the Indian media. In the Jewish context converting from the ‘original’ group is considered wrong, but in the Hindu context it is converting to the original group that is considered wrong.

While every religion’s art, culture, rituals, history and even people must be preserved, fostered and grown with a sense of humanitarian fundamental duty of the universe, for Hinduism and all Indian indigenous faiths, the yardstick is the other way around.

Everything of Hinduism must be cleansed, painted, converted, whitewashed and waterproofed. Anyone who manages to escape from the gory clutches of this most oppressive practice, of course with the help of the benevolent act of ‘reaching out’ by the Holders of Truth, should never be able to come back; like treating wooden furniture for termites. For you see, Hinduism is the root of all evil. The one and only authoritative scholar of Sanskrit and historian of Hinduism, Wendy Doniger, has even written a book called Origins of Evil in Hindu Mythology as early as in 1980. So there is nothing left to discuss or dispute.

Let us at the outset make it clear—almost all human beings are good by nature, it is the peer pressure and institutionalized fossils of ideas that cause the problems.

So what are the arguments given in favour of conversion out of Hinduism?

Choice Of Personal Faith Is Human Right Of The Convertee

When conversions happen to Islam or Christianity, ‘It is a personal choice, a right to follow any religion’ is all we hear. There are no coercion allegations brought in. If it happens into Hinduism from Christianity or Islam, then it is nothing but allegations of coercion or force. And what happens when the conversions happen from Islam to Christianity or vice versa? Here is a video warning that makes you think. But watch it till the end and listen to the last line.

News sometimes trickles out of Pakistan or about ISIS, and we witness that it is not the personal right of the convertee that is exercised; tragically it is the religious right of the converter. Recently there was news of four kids being beheaded since they refused to say the conversion chant. But nothing can be said conclusively based only on media reports.

If conversion was so personal then how do mass conversions happen? Entire villages in Andhra or Tamil Nadu or the North-East have been converted out of indigenous Indian faiths. When religious leaders themselves are in dark of enlightenment, what with cases of gross sexual misconduct abounding worldwide and in India as well, how are these masses of laity all of sudden getting enlightened?

Conversion Provides Social Justice For The Masses Oppressed By Hinduism

Hinduism, the oldest surviving system of knowledge, way-of-living and faith, is the epitome of social injustice and oppression from time immemorial. And yet somehow it has survived every onslaught so far.

The newest two global religions though have been embraced the world over by rural and urban, smart and stupid, weak and powerful people alike; like Coke by the thirsty, purely on the basis of their open and unoppressive ideologies. The same unoppressive, welcoming ideologies that carry blasphemy laws and provisions of religious supari!

Even if we believe the allegation to be true, still, why convert? And the obvious answer comes: Because after that, the converted will get social justice, duh! Well, now I have two problems. One, why can’t a Hindu citizen of India get social justice, no matter who commits the injustice? And two, why can a non-Hindu get more justice just because of being a non-Hindu minority? Isn’t that a massive failure of society and democracy? Shouldn’t that be corrected? Hinduism is perhaps the most reformed of them all via legal process.

When a single can of mustard oil is found to cause fatal health hazard, as we see every few years in India, the entire lot of thousands of litres of mustard oil is banned, and soy oil is imported.

Instead of correcting the problem with the lot and the factory where the mustard oil was manufactured, the action taken is to ban mustard oil itself. On top of it, instead of importing mustard oil, a different oil is imported. So, somehow mustard oil itself is bad now? And not that particular lot? Why? Because India produces a lot of mustard oil, and they produce a lot of soy oil. That makes you think there is probably a nefarious agenda to promote foreign soy oil over Indian mustard oil; promote imported oppression over indigenous.

The same is true of religion. When Islam and terrorism are correlated anywhere in the world, this exact logic is given by them that ‘only few are bad, don’t generalize’.

But when something like this happens with Hinduism, a self-proclaimed swami here and a bapu there, it is entire Hinduism that is wrong, to the core principles, without doubt or hesitation. If there is a problem with Hinduism, correct it there itself. Why convert into another religion to get social ‘justice’?

Hindus Are Not Doing Anything For The Poor Masses, So What If Missionaries Do?

Poverty is an economic issue, not of faith. How can religious conversion help elevate poverty? Christianity was well-imposed on Europe while it was still extremely poor. Books like Malleus Maleficarum were used to guide the whole process of imposition and inquisition.

Only when the conquest of the world began, with the guilt-dissolving sanction of the Holy orders, did some wealth pour into Europe. Same with the Middle East. So, if mere conversion was the solution, then every country would solve the economy issue.

What happens when an entire country converts to Christianity or Islam? Is poverty solved? There still are poor Christians and Muslims all over the world, even in non-secular countries.

Africa and the Americas are the recent converted populations (after Europe). And we can see the rampant poverty of Africa, which is majorly either Christian or Muslim. How come they are not as affluent as Europe, which too has its own poor! ‘Uncivilized’ Africa has been a free battleground for slavery and conversion for a long time. Civilized Asia is unaware of that.

And if poverty is indeed a matter of faith, and the most poor are in Hinduism who are being helped by conversion, then why pamper non-Hindus at all, since they are not poor, owing to their great faiths.

The real reason why conversion temporarily solves poverty to some extent in India are the government policies of forever pampering sections of societies on this or that basis—with quotas and schemes galore. They never let people be equal. Abolish the pampering policies that are not based on poverty alone and then see how many conversions happen without private coercions and inducements.

So What If Money Is Involved In Conversion? It Is Helping People After All

If you claim to do something for the poor, inspired by spiritual calling, don’t ask anything in return. Selfless act is the first thing of spirituality and divinity, though maybe not for the religion of a vengeful God. If the richer Hindus are not doing anything for poorer Hindus, why is that an issue at all? Poverty is not about religion.

Giving monetary benefits for conversion is tantamount to bribing, money-laundering. You collect millions or billions in mission funds in some richer countries and pump it in India. Are there no more poor people left in America or Europe or the Middle East? Ask Obama , Greece, Ireland , Italy and Sao Paolo.

When you give money but ask for something in return, it is not charity. It is bribery. Countries have laws against that. Aren’t the recent scams of 2G, 3G, Coalgate, CWG etc. cases of bribery? Or you could call it a sale. Then, while trafficking of human bodies is illegal, why is trafficking of the human souls legal?

If there is nothing wrong in the exchange of souls for a little money, then what is wrong in pimping the mere mortal material body for some money? Even a labourer uses his body to earn money by working to satisfy material needs of others. Then why is it a sin and crime to satisfy carnal needs of others for exchange of money? After all, it is helping someone earn a living. Better than dying poor and hungry! Conversion as seen today is either pimping or rape of the soul. And it is euphemistically called a ‘harvest’.

But My Holy Book Says, I need to Spread The Word, So It Is My Religious Duty And Right

Isn’t faith a matter of personal choice? Then choose your faith and beliefs properly. If you choose a faith of 50 beliefs from two millennia ago, you may find that 17 of those 50 don’t apply now anymore.

You should be ready to let go of them. Else you are stuck in history. If being stuck in a time capsule of thoughts was a good thing, then all of these new religions are bad, because they tried to bring change during their birthing pains. So, adapting with time and space must be allowed and encouraged.

How is one’s choice of personal beliefs a license to encroach on others’ lives? If you want to bow to A or B or C, it is your personal matter. Why even make it public? And if you have to, do it amicably with the current society you live in.

If this logic of ‘my religious right’ was really sound, then why are reforms brought only in Hinduism? Why not allow them to practice their bad diktats as well? One knows about the evils of caste,women oppression and sati but the ills in other religions are barely discussed.

Other Religions Are Better Than Hinduism

This is such a big topic that it needs a separate series of posts. Let us just look at the core principles (not practices); everything else can be blamed and corrected as ‘improper implementation’. The core principle of Hinduism has been a continued pursuit of truth, harmonious existence with nature, a balance, a self-realization with the divine. Divine principle permeates everything, so nothing is ‘other’.

Love for God is promoted, and you don’t have to believe in one particular form to be a good human being. Woman is equally divine as man. There has never been any conflict between Hindu thought and science. In Taittiriya Upanishad, Shiksha Valli, Anuvak 11, the Chancellor of the University tells his graduating class to ‘Speak the truth. Follow the dharma. Only follow our good habits and ignore the wrongs ones’ (admitting that even they could have flaws).

But in others, your pursuit is bounded by the one and only book. There is no harmony possible among various groups, since the sole purpose is to convert or conquer everyone else. Nature is to be subjugated. You are not part of the show. God is surely not part of creation. Fear of God is promoted, and you have to believe only in one particular form or name of God, else it is all hell for you. God is to be feared even by the innocent, for it is a vengeful God! Woman is subservient to man. There have been clear conflicts between science and other religions.

There is no possibility of making amends in the light of new experiences of newer generations. Those who dare or dream or suggest editing the frozen knowledge base, for them there is hell in store, sometimes after death, sometimes even before. And this is all in the one and only original guide book. There is no recourse in case of conflict.

Hinduism says God Himself walked among humans in form of avatars. Christianity says he sent his only son. Islam says he sent his last messenger and no more direct interaction with him. And we can see the increasing rigidity, oppression, violence and fear as we move away from God. The former says you are the divine light, the latter says you are a born sinner in need to be saved.

Real Reason For The Soul-Harvest

So, who benefits from conversion carried out with ‘missionary zeal’? If the convertee doesn’t benefit much after conversion (poverty is still rampant in the Americas, Africa and Europe), then it must be the converter who is to gain. After conversion into the club, one is expected to pay as much as 15 per cent.

There are even conversion-tourism trips where the ‘volunteers’ pay for their trip in name of tourism and do conversion work (See below). Pumping millions or billions of dollars into another country is usually used to destabilize a country—whether for weapons, drugs or conversion purposes.

Here are three brief examples of the business of soul-harvesting and how it is run like a business. Read the associated links for more.

Pope in New Delhi on Diwali 1999

On November 8th, 1999, on the day of Diwali, the Pope visited New Delhi:

The 79-year-old pontiff exhorted a synod of Asian bishops to evangelize the region in the coming millennium. He told them to go forth and conquer the continent for Christ just as the church had done in Europe during the first millennium and in the Americas in the second.

The Pope, known for his fervor to expand the global influence of his church, was criticized for using India as a launching pad for what his critics say is an attempt to replenish the dwindling ranks of practising Catholics in the West with Asian converts.”


Impact Nations

Impact Nations organizes an annual ‘Journey of Compassion’. The one from 15 to 27 March 2015 will cost the participants $1,850. That is, you pay money to go to another poor country to harvest some souls. What better business model can you get? This is Proselytizing-Tourism!

“We are so excited to be taking a team into the North of India, where we will be partnering with the largest church planting movement in India to bring healing, medicine, clean water and most importantly Jesus to the Punjab. Come and you will heal the sick, lead many to Jesus, give medicine and clean water to the sick and poor and be the face of Jesus to thousands.”

The Journey Information Document even says this: “You should apply for a single entry, six months tourist visa (not a missionary visa). When asked the purpose for your visit, indicate ‘tourism’. If asked, the places of tourist Interest in Chandigarh are: Rock Garden, Sukhna Lake , Sector 17, IT Park, etc.”

US Center For World Mission

Some excerpts from the organization’s front page:

Research is about pushing boundaries, discovering the boundaries past which the Kingdom has not yet come and unearthing insight that leads to breakthrough.

We must be willing to re-examine the way we fund, support and do mission. The right tools, technologies and processes can speed the advance of the gospel.

Media is about transformation. When we do media well, we change lives.

Jesus has commanded us to disciple all the ethne in the world.


This is sheer marketing strategy of the divine conglomerate.

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby vishvak » 28 Dec 2014 11:47

Bharatiya Sabhyata needs to establish following in the most diverse frameworks as an aspect of freedom:

We need to have Jeevana-maarga lifestyle. Our temples of Gods and Goddesses will be our door to this aspect of freedom.

Note this message from Muruganji viewtopic.php?p=1764674#p1764674 about 64 gyana/shastra/vidya/vikalpa/vidhi/ (nicely put by csaurabh ji).

Each of this can be studied in different ways. a few examples here:

(1) Shri Ramanujan, famous Hindu Mathematician, has vivid personal visions of family deity Goddess Namagiri Thayar amman. His mother has visions of the Goddess mother at the birth of Shri Ramanujan, so also Shri Ramanujan had such visions. Unfortunately, he had to go visit countries outside India for his work. In colonial and post-independence secular environment, Goddess mother Namagiri seems to get no credit only.
(2) Books such as Sushruta-Samhita explicitl yinvokes bhagavan Dhanvantari in the first part of the treatise. This has been a tradition in India since time immemorial. This is therefore, different from modern concept of specialization.

Hindus should be able to peruse any of such maarga as per diverse frameworks of Jeevana-Maarga frameworks and as per personal convictions.

The Govt should let go their control on temple properties so temples can set up facilities for the same. Some may set up multiple schools for different maarga. This way, maarga can have different swa-roopa even for same God or Goddess who is the chief patron of the maarga. The Govt should also provide remuneration so as to support diverse Hindu culture.

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby RajeshA » 28 Dec 2014 18:49

Untouchability among Hindus

Cross-posting from the "Western Universalism - what's the big deal?" Thread

Blog post

csaurabh wrote:In those days there was ridiculous things, like 'sight untouchability' - If a Brahmin saw an untouchable at a distance of 20 feet he would get 'polluted'. Yes this is the kind of nonsense Hindus were up to in those days. Lets be clear about it- such things are anti Dharma and should be condemned.


Untouchability makes perfect sense in India, in order to stop spread of disease. Many professions and Jatis who were often into certain professions like skinning animals, garbage collection, sewage drain cleaning, etc. were simply considered as such who were more prone to have disease, and so many others kept them at a distance. One did not socialize with them for same reasons.

If Europeans had followed such rules, perhaps the plague would not have killed off so many Europeans.

Now why didn't the untouchables all die off? Well, there is the concept of "developing natural immunity"!

Often foreigners or NRIs/PIOs/OCIs, who come to India, they are more prone to getting diarrhea than Indians living in India. BTW, Birds who carry "Avian Flu" often don't have "flu" themselves and they are only "carriers", but these can be dangerous for humans.

Secondly one should remember that not all diseases imply certain death.

Not just untouchability, even in families, often there is the concept of "Jhootha", something that has been touched by the mouth of another. Often one would not eat or drink, "jhootha" of another family member.

So untouchability in a sense was there within family itself.

Then there is the custom of greeting others by folding one's hands and saying "Namaste"! Same thing when taking leave of somebody! Why not shake hands? Well that too can be a reason for passing on disease, so better avoid it.

So untouchability in a sense was there within the same community itself.

Today you see pictures of doctors running around in Africa with full-body hazmat suits. Is that not "untouchability"? If people who have been in a region infected by Ebola, and they are kept in quarantines, is that not "untouchability"? How was it with Bird Flue? How was it with Swine Flu? How was it with BSE?

However if a person has taken up a profession which does not expose him to infectious diseases and lives in a community where the diseases are rare, then he stops being "untouchable"! "Untouchability" is not bound to his birth, but rather to his profession and environment.

Sure, this reasoning may have gone missing, as during the foreign invasions and rule, the various Jatis became more introvert and suspicious of others.

Hindu Samaj or rather British-framed "Hinduism" has been smeared with Casteism, Suttee, Untouchability, and many others social ills.

It is important to frame the context of how these phenomena came to exist in India, how these phenomena became institutionalized and became tradition, and how they are not part and parcel of Dharma.

It is a Western project to show these as part and parcel of some immutable religion "Hinduism" so as to tarnish our traditions, and argue in favor of conversion!

I am not speaking in favor of "Untouchability" or justifying it on any "religious grounds" or "social grounds". I am providing an explanation for the phenomenon on "health grounds". If the environment changes, there is also no reason to have "untouchability" on "health grounds" either. Modern research and medicine, hygiene, etc. changes the environment, the circumstances.

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby Agnimitra » 30 Dec 2014 09:51

RajeshA ji, untouchability was a perverse mindset, not a practice based on hygiene. If it was just a case of certain castes being untouchable because of the occupational hazards -- like doctors in hazmat suits -- then those castes should have been considered with some gratitude and respect for the sacrifice and service they provided. Nothing of the sort happened. Rather, very often it were jaatis that had faced some kind of defeat that were then put to work as scavengers, or left to pursue unwanted occupations as a matter of humiliation. If hygiene was a major factor in the peoples' consciousness, then they would have spent energy and intelligence in inventing methods of sanitation -- like soaps and disinfectants, etc. Then the dignity of all labour would be respected, whether of people who cleaned their own feces, or of people who experimented with surgery and worked with blood.

IMHO, Hindutva will remain a pejorative term as long as there is not a prominent arm that pursues and demolishes the many social evils and ignorance that existed and persist in Hindu society. Or as Rajiv Malhotra called it, to expose and fight against "Moron Smriti". If this doesn't happen, and instead all energy is spent in justifications for past and present perversities, then it may be counter-productive. I'm not suggesting that one should give any credence to ill-motivated Hindu-bashing, but there needs to be a strong and prominent arm with progressive values as part of Hindutva. Without that, all the raging about films like PK will end up convincing the average Indian that Hindutva is a bunch of prejudiced kooks.

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby RajeshA » 30 Dec 2014 19:12

Agnimitra ji,

I think we should differentiate two different categories of reaction.

Upon any criticism of "Hinduism", especially by the usual Secularist and Western culprits, there is a strong reaction by some of the Hindutvavadis, taking an opposite position as that of the criticism, regardless of what the criticism is. Some charges against some Babas fall in this category. Also the historical accusations against "Hinduism" on casteism, untouchability, sati, etc. also fall in this category. Often these reactions are quite reflexive and without thorough study of Dharma, tactics, rhetoric, etc.

I am trying here a different tactic.

The question is how did vices such as jativad, untouchability, jauhar/sati became part of the Hindu Samaj, which otherwise was ruled by Dharmic Framework?

The only explanation is that various practices were introduced into the Hindu Samaj based on Dharmic considerations, but which became both institutionalized and ossified, and began to be applied without sense of context.

So for any Hindu practice, which is considered as Adharmic, I would suggest these five phases for the practice

  1. Nonexisting
  2. Introduced to deal with certain circumstances, after due Dharmic consideration
  3. Institutionalized, ossified in Hindu Samaj as it became corrupted and degraded, to some extent as part of natural trajectory, and to some extent, as a measure to deal with external threats
  4. Codified as intrinsic to Hindu Samaj, to a large extent by colonials, and thus exploited further for imperialistic and propaganda purposes, led to "Shame" phase
  5. Reintrospected for relevance and historical evolution, and suitably reformed or deprecated

It does not help to leave out the second phase, the introduction of the practice, and the reasoning behind it. Because if one does so, one basically accepts the practice as part of Dharmic thinking, which it is not, but shames Dharma by claiming as belonging to it.

As far as I understand, Dharma is all about Context, Context, Context! So if something is part of Hindu Samaj but not part of Dharma, one has to look for context of its introduction into Hindu Samaj!

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby Agnimitra » 31 Dec 2014 00:07

RajeshA ji,

I agree with you in theory. I had tried to explain different choices based on different "formulae" for different "Conditions" of existence. See the table here: http://parikramah.blogspot.com/2013/04/ ... a.html?m=1

The problem is when the progressive consciousness that guides its application is lost to the "over-conservative" consciousness. The psychohistorical Conditions have changed - and unless Hindutva demonstrates a strong and prominent reformist streak that causes the individual and social formulas to adapt accordingly, there will always be a suspicious gap between theory and practical sociopolitical perception.

When a Swami Dayananda started his Hindutva movement, it hit the spot because it was progressive and very adaptive. Here was the fundamentalist leading the way against birth-based varna-jaati practice, upliftment of the status of women, etc. Same case with a refirmer like Sw. Vivekananda, etc. No one can criticize them because every man can sense the progressive intelligence rather than reactionary conservatism in them.

That was on the social and ideological side. On the side of individual practice, today teachers like Sri Ravi Shankar are offering adaptive options for individual sadhana. Such teachers will stand out from the other types of gurus who more-or-less prey on the fear of the flock unable to adjust to the flux of modernity.

So Hindutva also has to lead a practical and intelligent solution to the problems of the current condition. Without that clear and consistent agenda bring implemented, its going to be hard to sell these theoretical nuances.

My priority is to contribute to growth of Hindutva social work that clearly advocates a Dharmic basis for resolving social problems and allowing people to realize their potentials.

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby RajeshA » 31 Dec 2014 02:21

Untouchability among Hindus (Cont.)

Agnimitra ji,


Thanks for the link. Agree with most of the post.

For the social ills that creep in into a society that upholds Dharma as the ideal, I hold the culprits to be

  1. limitations of historical memory,
  2. inertia, and
  3. vested interests in status quo.

Let's say a soldier goes to a battlefront, and does the fighting and killing that is expected of him. There he is doing his Dharma. But when he returns home, assuming he stays in that state of mind and starts fighting with all and sundry at the slightest pretext. Here he is at fault. Context has changed. His aggressiveness should too.

Similarly when under a set of circumstances, a community adopts a certain modus operandi to deal with the situation, it should revert to the default state when the extraordinary circumstances again revert to earlier state. However it can happen, that such extraordinary circumstances stay on for a generation or two, and the next generation may not even know how it used to earlier, when the extraordinary circumstances were not operating. The historical memory of a social change due to extraordinary circumstances can be lost in the currents of time. Also there may not be an institution available which is supposed to oversee this reversion to the default, that is inertia is built in. Thirdly in the meantime, over a generation or two, certain parties have adapted to exploit the social behavior in the extraordinary circumstances and do not wish to go back, or to deprecate the extraordinary measures taken by society.

Ultimately this leads to society running on auto-pilot without a means of going back.

Let's imagine there was an outbreak of some contagion, say related to animals, and that Chamars who dealt with the carcasses were affected. Other communities then decide to keep their distance from the Chamars in order to avoid being infected. A sort of quarantine, an untouchability is established. They take strict measures to not even go at a distance where the shadow of the Chamar would fall on the person of a different community.

Now the outbreak had left so many dead among other communities, that there is some sort of trauma, and just for the sake of security these measures are kept for the next 20-25 years. In the meantime a new generation has grown up and they know only of these measures and they stick to them as if they are laws. In another generation one has even forgotten why these untouchability laws were made, and the system has become institutionalized.

Now of course untouchability is a terrible social ill, but it has its history too, and its birth may not have been at all for the sake of discriminating among communities at all, or due to some jati hierarchy, etc. Untouchability may have come about simply as a health precaution.

However the world is out to accuse Hindu Samaj of thinking up something as horrible as Untouchability for reasons of jativad and varnic hierarchy, which is, I feel, not true.

It is important going forward that those jatis who were the target of "Untouchability" can shake off the notion that they were forced to suffer through it due to some "birth defect" in them, from the PoV of the Hindu order to which they belong, and the only way to get self-respect is to leave behind that Hindu Order and opt for conversion, or to hope that under reformist pressure of the world and merciful conscience, the so-called higher castes stop treating them as "untouchables", but for such mercies again they have to feel obliged to Western-sponsored enlightened opinion or to the mercy of the "higher castes".

None of these 3 scenarios above really do justice to the jatis targeted for "Untouchability".

Similarly, the "higher castes" should also not feel any guilty conscience for belonging to these jatis, as these jatis have a sordid history of treating others as "untouchables". This "guilty conscience" also make people distance themselves from the "Hindu Order". And those who do not wish to distance themselves feel compelled to continue this mentality of treating jatis formerly considered as "untouchables" with continued disdain in order to stay true to their inheritance.

None of these 2 scenarios above really do justice to the jatis who targeted others as "Untouchables".

Neither can there be healing among the Jatis on the two ends of the untouchability divide, nor can Dharma and Hindu Samaj be absolved of any intentional and malicious wrong doing.

It is best for both sides to admit that "Untouchability" was a terrible mistake in the self-corrective mechanisms of Hindu Samaj, and that it is Adharma as it was allowed to continue beyond the required time parameters of a health quarantine, and so it should be done away with immediately, once this has been clarified and the Jatis suitably enlightened.

One shouldn't consider the above explanation as justification for "Untouchability" but rather as a narrative for reconciliation of Jatis and absolution for Dharma and Hindu Samaj.

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby RamaY » 06 Jan 2015 21:55

Jhujar wrote:

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby kmkraoind » 07 Jan 2015 08:38

Ghar wapsi won’t succeed unless Hindus change their mindset: Katiyar - See more at: http://indianexpress.com/article/india/ ... gf4Y9.dpuf

“Nobody is going to be benefited from the controversy. Nothing positive is going to emerge from the propaganda,” Katiyar told The Indian Express.

Explaining the importance of doing “homework” for the project, he said, “As a pracharak for Hindu Jagran Manch, I had approached some Muslim families in Unnao (UP) in the early eighties. They said they were ready to re-convert to Hinduism, but who would marry their children? Finally they did not come to our fold. For any Muslim who wants to re-convert, an assurance that marriage would not become a problem is the most important.”
.........
Hindus, Katiyar said, almost never accept those who ‘return’ with an open mind and heart. “No matter which caste they come back to, nobody accepts their children as a bride or groom. Sometimes people are ready to accept their daughters, but they will still not marry their own daughters to re-converts. There have been cases where families that re-converted went back to being Muslim again only because of this problem of marriage.

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby Agnimitra » 09 Jan 2015 05:03

Amartya Sen: Sanskrit is still important
‘Distinction should be made between Sanskrit as a general vehicle of thoughts and specific religious ideas that may be expressed in the language.’

Emphasising that Sanskrit as a language is important in India today, Nobel laureate Amartya Sen said on Monday that a distinction should be made between Sanskrit as a great language and a general vehicle of thoughts on the one hand, and specific religious ideas that may be expressed in the language, on the other.

...“It is not only the language of priesthood and a language in which Hindu and many Buddhist texts came, it is also a vehicle among many other radical thoughts of comprehensive doubts about the supernatural… a medium in which questioning of class and legitimacy of power was expressed with profound eloquence by Sudraka in his play Mrichchhakatika,” he said.

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby Agnimitra » 09 Jan 2015 05:36

From Link Language thread:

nageshks wrote:My article on Sanskrit as a Link Language for India, and the weakening of Sanskrit being a cause for the weakening of the regional languages.

http://www.thenewsminute.com/lives/654

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby Agnimitra » 16 Jan 2015 06:08

X-post from Western Universalism big deal thread:

^^^ When it comes to "Middle Eastern Studies", a knowledge of Arabic is considered necessary, and possibly Persian and Turkish. Petrodollar funding is making sure of that. So at least Western scholars try to do the Lawrence of Arabia immersion thing.

With Indic studies, it hasn't even got as far as that yet. No immersion in Sanskrit is considered prerequisite, and no even in the current Prakrits. With some dubious grammatical knowledge and 175 years of arrant nonsense churned out in English, one can become the arbiter on matters of Indian history and sociology.

The immediate aim should be to make Sanskrit proficiency -- written and spoken -- a prerequisite for scholarship in any Indic social sciences. Immersion in Sanskriti should be the prerequisite. In this respect, it would not be a problem to engage the Sheldon Pollacks and other "trojans" who at least make a show of their Sanskrit-philia and immersion. Let the samudra-manthan begin, with Sanskrit proficiency and knowledge of Traditional sources as the pivot.

Current levels of Sanskrit popularity in general is not an obstacle. First academia, then society. Like how the aam adbul points to the authority of the "ulema" who have knowledge of Arabic and traditional sources, the mango Indian must also demand a sound knowledge of Sanskrit and Prakrits in order for anyone to call himself or herself an "expert" in any Indic social science.

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby Jarita » 16 Jan 2015 10:01

Agnimitra wrote:Amartya Sen: Sanskrit is still important
‘Distinction should be made between Sanskrit as a general vehicle of thoughts and specific religious ideas that may be expressed in the language.’

Emphasising that Sanskrit as a language is important in India today, Nobel laureate Amartya Sen said on Monday that a distinction should be made between Sanskrit as a great language and a general vehicle of thoughts on the one hand, and specific religious ideas that may be expressed in the language, on the other.

...“It is not only the language of priesthood and a language in which Hindu and many Buddhist texts came, it is also a vehicle among many other radical thoughts of comprehensive doubts about the supernatural… a medium in which questioning of class and legitimacy of power was expressed with profound eloquence by Sudraka in his play Mrichchhakatika,” he said.



He really wants to keep his chair positions, does'nt he. The guy is a total tool of the empire. Maybe the empire is happy with GOI and is throwing some crumbs our way.

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby Agnimitra » 16 Jan 2015 10:27

He can keep his chair as long as he puts government money where his mouth is.

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby SwamyG » 01 Feb 2015 05:09

Some historical context: http://indiafacts.co.in/russian-nationa ... tian-deal/

For all that he saw quite clearly the process of de-Hinduising the INC, Aurobindo, because he abdicated his political responsibility to the Hindu nation in 1909, never evolved from being a forthright Hindu political commentator to becoming a Hindu political theorist. Aurobindo and Tilak knew this was a nation of Hindus but there is a conceptual difference between being a nation of Hindus and a Hindu nation; tragically this difference was not articulated by Aurobindo and Tilak in their political writings. Had this distinction been understood, they would have known that nothing short of Hindu state power can protect Hindus and the Hindu nation and Hedgewar and Patel would have realized therefore that nothing short of a violent Hindu uprising could have stopped the Muslims and the Muslim League in their tracks.


Tragically for the Hindu nation, besides known empire loyalists like Naoroji, Gokhale and Gandhi, countless important Hindus, towering intellectuals all of them, failed the Hindu nation at her most critical moment on one or more grounds –
◾They failed to articulate in their speech and writing that this was a Hindu nation
◾They saw British rule as an insult to this civilization but failed to articulate the danger posed by Muslims to the Hindu nation
◾They allowed the British government to use brutal force in dealing with Tilak, Aurobindo and Savarkar, without protest; they failed to defend these great Hindus not only in court but even in their speech and writing
◾Not one of them spoke publicly against Gandhi for tying the mill-stone of Hindu-Muslim unity around the Hindu neck
◾Not one of them tried to dislodge Gandhi from the INC and from the political arena
◾Not one of them attempted to mobilize the Hindus in a forceful show of strength to check the Muslim League and its demand for vivisection of the Hindu bhumi
◾Not one of them had the courage to speak out against Gandhi as he led the INC and later the so-called freedom movement towards vivisection and ultimately to Hindu political disempowerment
◾Not one of them stopped Gandhi from anointing Nehru as his political heir and not one of them spoke publicly against it

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby Agnimitra » 11 Feb 2015 05:41

English-Sanskrit dictionary for Computer Terminology

To install on your smart phone, the Stardict format of this dictionary is available here.
----------

Many of you might have heard of the learned scholar Acharya Raghuvira - he was also on the Constituent Assembly.

The English-Hindi dictionary created by Acharya Raghuvira long ago circa 1944 can be found scanned and uploaded here:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

He coined words for over 100 areas of knowledge including sciences based entirely on Sanskrit. His over 100 page intro to that great work is inspiring (see Part 1 above).

We need to pick up where he left off. Scanned copy is already available on the net. Need to use s/w to convert scanned image and make a database. Any ideas, folks?

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby Agnimitra » 22 Feb 2015 03:36

Koenraad Elst reviews some developments on 'The Language Question'

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby Kati » 24 Feb 2015 12:58

For this Muslim RSS member 'Hindutva' means 'Indianness"

http://indianexpress.com/article/cities ... anness/99/

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby Karthik S » 24 Feb 2015 19:57

We need a powerful media, which is predominantly 'bharatiya', in all languages to reach out to the masses. I believe this is the best way to increase awareness of "everything" that has happened in the past and happening now. So long as people are misinformed or uninformed, we can never see a change in perception, thought process of the people.

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby Agnimitra » 01 Mar 2015 10:30


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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby johneeG » 01 Mar 2015 11:23

Agnimitra wrote:Proper uniform, or excessive discrimination?

11-Year-old Girl Punished in School for Wearing 'Tilak' on Her Birthday


Its westernization. A school does not need skirts or shirts or coats. The only reason to insist on them is to instil western cultural ethos. Imagine a reverse scenario where schools, colleges, offices force people to wear sarees and dhothis in west.

The difference between Abrahamic regimes and Hindhu regimes is that Abrahamic regimes actually pander to their support base which is quite admirable quality. Hindhu regimes take their support base to be idiots and only provide lip service.

Maybe the difference is due to the fact that organized religions are able to coerce or coopt the regimes to act in their favour while unorganized religions are unable to coerce or coopt the regimes to act in their favour.

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby Agnimitra » 14 Mar 2015 08:53

Thought I'd throw this out there - please correct or add to material.

A Rationale around Cow Protection

This subject is clouded by a lot of politics. Here are 4 suggested reasons to have a clear and structured cow protection program in India:

1. Milk composition and cattle breeds:
Research for the last few years is beginning to suggest a difference in the health effects of milk proteins A1 beta-casein versus A2. Cows producing A2 milk have a lower yield, but this is most beneficial, whereas the more common A1 milk is believed to be related to several health issues and vulnerabilities. [link]

European cattle breeds mostly produce A1 whereas humped Asian and African breeds produce A2. This is the reason that countries like Brazil and Australia have imported and are re-breeding their cattle from Indian genetic stock. But in India itself, beef exports were being encouraged and hailed as a benefit, while most Indians drink buffalo milk.

The 'white revolution' from Dr. Verghese's times did not focus on cattle breeds and milk quality, but rather on quantity and the economics of cooperatives. In fact the Indian cow was inter-bred with humpless Dutch cows towards these quantitative goals.

So, a policy could be put in place to:
(a) Protect specific Indian cow breeds that produce A2 milk and consolidate their genetic lines, removing non-conducive genetic inter-breeding.
(b) Significantly expand their numbers and make it accessible to all Indians instead of buffalo milk or other inferior milk.

2. Enabling the Right to Vegetarian Lifestyle:
There is the nutrition angle to diet choices: Vegetarians depend heavily on milk and milk-products to have a balanced diet, especially for protein. As shown above, the right kind of milk protein is essential to health. Moreover, o enable a vegetarian lifestyle, the right kind of milk should be available in a certain abundance. Therefore, to protect the nutritional rights of those who choose a vegetarian lifestyle, the government needs to make sure that cattle stocks are not depleted or exploited beyond a point. Since vegetarianism is much more common in India than other cultures, it should be government policy to support the choice of a large number of citizens.

3. Animal Rights:
Thirdly there is the animal rights issue, or at least the prevention of cruelty to animals. Strict standards should be maintained for the culling of only certain breeds.

4. Cultural Sensibilities:
Lastly, there is the cultural sensibilities. Americans make documentaries about how horrid it is that Koreans eat dog-meat. Why? Because it is a pet animal in American culture they can all relate to emotionally. But when they see a cow they think of their next burger.

While arguments fly to and fro about whether the Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh and Jain literature really allow cow-slaughter or not, the fact is that for thousands of years a lot of affection has been shown to the cow as a pet animal. Cows, horses, bathing elephants, deer...are some of the most loved animals in Vedic and Sanskrit literature.

अग्रतः सन्तु मे गावो गावो मे सन्तु पृष्टतः |
गावो मे पार्श्वतः सन्तु गावां मध्ये वसाम्यहम् ||

"May cows be in front of me; may cows be behind me;
May cows be on both sides of me. May I always reside in the midst of cows."

- Hari Bhakti-vilas 16.252

Image

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby Arjun » 14 Mar 2015 10:20

"Companion Animal' as reason - wouldn't this be the most important one ?

Pls lookup the phrase on google. Cat, dog and horse meat are banned in the US - on the grounds of these being 'companion animals'.

The cow seems to have fulfilled the same social and cultural purpose in ancient / medieval India - which is the reason for the veneration of the cow as part of the family... 'Gaay hamari mata hai' and so forth.

Added later: I see that you do refer to this in your fourth point on cultural sensibilities.

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Re: The Bharatiya - Identity, Vision, Agenda, Proposition

Postby Agnimitra » 14 Mar 2015 12:41

Still, good legal reference. Thanks.


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