Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

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svinayak
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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby svinayak » 06 Nov 2014 23:19

shiv wrote:
Pulikeshi wrote:Little surprise then that WU is, the alternative is'nt.

Cognitive bias. :oops: Just because alternatives B, C and D do not meet your requirements it does not lead to the conclusion that A is only one that is. :P

It is the only one you can see. :rotfl: Entertaining stuff.


Rajiv Malhotra wrote the book Being Different specially to address such Indian people who think there is no alternative.
Indian education has been hijacked to push WU when it should be showing the dominance of Indian thought
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Being_Different

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby shiv » 07 Nov 2014 05:19

svinayak wrote:Rajiv Malhotra wrote the book Being Different specially to address such Indian people who think there is no alternative.
Indian education has been hijacked to push WU when it should be showing the dominance of Indian thought
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Being_Different

The way to destroy a civilization is to dismiss and demonize their great and wise men as quacks and shamans and replace them with your wise men, calling them "doctor" and "professor. Your tactics are vindicated when the target population has people who say that their own past had nothing to offer and that they have now moved and evolved into accepting that what they have is what is best. The acceptance of "What we have now is what is best" is itself a psychological adjustment mechanism that removes the fear and uncertainty of arguing or fighting against what you see as "established" - ie fear of rocking the boat. That is a normal phenomenon that infects 99% of people - and makes it easier for rebellious thinkers to be isolated and dealt with.

If a Pandit or Acharya says that women should have more children in the west, it is easier to laugh off these anachronistic buffoons who should know their level. It gets more serious if a sociology professor, or a man with a doctorate publishes a paper in a peer reviewed journal that says the same thing.

Sadly in India we do a cargo cult worship of these twisted ideas. The actor Rajkumar is not good enough. He has to have a doctorate. He is Dr. Rajkumar. The doctorate gives him respect. He could not be an Acharya, a Shastri or a Pandit. Not good enough. Those are "caste symbols" of a useless defeated people who should be ashamed. Secular honours like "Prof" and "Doc" are the only ones that count

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby ShauryaT » 07 Nov 2014 07:44

shiv wrote:The problem as I see it is that women are not considered to be "working" unless they are doing what is called "productive work" (aka employed by someone else). Part of the western paradigm is to convert everything into money.
True. A very similar issue exists for older people too and in fact a similar attitude towards nature too (at least until recently). Everything is about money. This is the reason, I harp about values.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby Arjun » 07 Nov 2014 08:04

Reposting in WU thread where I think this is more relevant:

chetak wrote:Not many know the Indian past he had discovered!

Published in Indian Express


Thursday November 16 2006 09:31 IST
S Gurumurthy
"What is it that keeps the country down", asked the speaker. A young man in the audience replied unhesitatingly: "Undoubtedly the institution of caste that kept the majority low castes and the society backward" and added "it continues".

The speaker replied, "May be". But, pausing for a moment, he added, "May not be". Shocked, the young man angrily asked him to explain his "may-not-be" theory.

The speaker calmly mentioned just one fact that clinched the debate. He said, "Before the British rule in India, over two-thirds - yes, two-thirds - of the Indian kings belonged to what is today known as the Other Backward Castes (OBCs).

"It is the British," he said, "who robbed the OBCs - the ruling class running all socio-economic institutions - of their power, wealth and status." So it was not the upper caste which usurped the OBCs of their due position in the society?

The speaker’s assertion that it was not so was founded on his study - unbelievably painstaking study for years and decades in the archives in India, England and Germany. He could not be maligned as a ‘saffron’ ideologue and what he said could not be dismissed thus. He was Dharampal, a Gandhian in ceaseless search of truth like his preceptor Gandhi himself was, but a Gandhian with a difference. He ran no ashram on state aid to do ‘Gandhigiri’.

Admitting that "he and those like him do not know much about our own society", the young man who questioned Dharampal - Banwari is his name - became his student. By meticulous research of the British sources over decades, Dharampal demolished the myth that India was backward educationally or economically when the British entered. Citing the Christian missionary William Adam’s report on indigenous education in Bengal and Bihar in 1835 and 1838, Dharampal established that at that time there were 100,000 schools in Bengal, one school for about 500 boys; that the indigenous medical system that included inoculation against small-pox.

He also proved by reference to other materials that Adam’s record was ‘no legend’. He relied on Sir Thomas Munroe’s report to the Governor at about the same time to prove similar statistics about schools in Madras. He also found that the education system in the Punjab during the Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s rule was equally extensive. He estimated that the literary rate in India before the British was higher than that in England.

Citing British public records he established, on the contrary, that ‘British had no tradition of education or scholarship or philosophy from 16th to early 18th century, despite Shakespeare, Bacon, Milton, Newton, etc’. Till then education and scholarship in the UK was limited to select elite. He cited Alexander Walker’s Note on Indian education to assert that it was the monitorial system of education borrowed from India that helped Britain to improve, in later years, school attendance which was just 40, 000, yes just that, in 1792. He then compared the educated people’s levels in India and England around 1800. The population of Madras Presidency then was 125 lakhs and that of England in 1811 was 95 lakhs. Dharampal found that during 1822-25 the number of those in ordinary schools in Madras Presidency was around 1.5 lakhs and this was after great decay under a century of British intervention.

As against this, the number attending schools in England was half - yes just half - of Madras Presidency’s, namely a mere 75,000. And here to with more than half of it attending only Sunday schools for 2-3 hours! Dharampal also established that in Britain ‘elementary system of education at people’s level remained unknown commodity’ till about 1800! Again he exploded the popularly held belief that most of those attending schools must have belonged to the upper castes particularly Brahmins and, again with reference to the British records, proved that the truth was the other way round.

During 1822-25 the share of the Brahmin students in the indigenous schools in Tamil-speaking areas accounted for 13 per cent in South Arcot to some 23 per cent in Madras while the backward castes accounted for 70 per cent in Salem and Tirunelveli and 84 per cent in South Arcot.

The situation was almost similar in Malayalam, Oriya and Kannada-speaking areas, with the backward castes dominating the schools in absolute numbers. Only in the Telugu-speaking areas the share of the Brahmins was higher and varied from 24 to 46 per cent. Dharampal’s work proved Mahatma Gandhi’s statement at Chatham House in London on October 20, 1931 that "India today is more illiterate than it was fifty or hundred years ago" completely right.

Not many know of Dharampal or of his work because they have still not heard of the Indian past he had discovered. After, long after, Dharampal had established that pre-British India was not backward a Harvard University Research in the year 2005 (India’s Deindustrialisation in the 18th and 19th Centuries by David Clingingsmith and Jeffrey G Williamson) among others affirmed that "while India produced about 25 percent of world industrial output in 1750, this figure had fallen to only 2 percent by 1900." The Harvard University Economic Research also established that the Industrial employment in India also declined from about 30 to 8.5 per cent between 1809-13 and 1900, thus turning the Indian society backward.

PS: This great warrior who established the truth - the truth that was least known - that India was not backward when the British came, but became backward only after they came, is no more. He passed away two weeks ago on October 26, 2006, at Sevagram at Warda.


Some very important points made in this article that deserve further research:

- Industrial employment in India was 30% in early 19th Century! Shatters a number of myths about Indian industrial prowess and history.

- Schooling and literacy levels in India were higher in India than Britain as recently as two centuries back

- India was predominantly ruled by OBCs prior to the British, whose power & status declined massively with the coming of the British.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby shiv » 07 Nov 2014 08:04

ShauryaT wrote:
shiv wrote:The problem as I see it is that women are not considered to be "working" unless they are doing what is called "productive work" (aka employed by someone else). Part of the western paradigm is to convert everything into money.
True. A very similar issue exists for older people too and in fact a similar attitude towards nature too (at least until recently). Everything is about money. This is the reason, I harp about values.

Shaurya the differences between a values-based society and a transaction-based society is a separate subject in itself.

Take for example mothers and motherhood. Every individual in any culture values his mother, usually more than money. But in India culture the institution of motherhood and the mother-figure is itself valued. "Mother-with-child" is a symbol that, in India culture evokes the warm fuzzy of something that needs protection. It evokes a sense of selfless love and sacrifice that cannot have a monetary value put on it.

Having just typed the words "love" and "sacrifice" I re read them and find them so out of place. "Love" and "sacrifice" have no meaning in terms of the uses to which western universalism is applied. It's not that money and individual freedoms are not needed, but a space exists outside what can be valued by money. That space goes unrecognized in the dry rights and laws based universalisms that we are taught is the way forward.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby Pulikeshi » 07 Nov 2014 08:21

So, keep women, for motherhoods sake, at home, raise children. The men with lower wages can visit the madeiralay taxed and run by the state and waste their hard earned lesser money. Poverty is good and madeira even better.
This model existed in ancient India, why not continue it now. The values of that age may still be and are indeed valid now.
Don't confuse this for WU, or get offended by what I say, this is a return back to the roots or some such confusion!

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby shiv » 07 Nov 2014 08:37

Pulikeshi wrote:Don't confuse this for WU, or get offended by what I say, this is a return back to the roots or some such confusion!

Only when what you say is both stupid and offensive and involves an egregious misrepresentation of what someone has said. Probably entertaining to you alone judging by the number of smilies.
Pulikeshi wrote:Dammit why can't wimmen stay barefoot and pregnant! :twisted: :rotfl:

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby shiv » 07 Nov 2014 08:43

Pulikeshi wrote: The men with lower wages can visit the madeiralay taxed and run by the state and waste their hard earned lesser money. Poverty is good and madeira even better.

Would you be able to explain this post or is this going to be one more of your "more later" statements?

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby Pulikeshi » 07 Nov 2014 09:09

Shiv,

If it was offensive to you it was... and if it was entertaining to me it was.. but neither matter, only facts do.
I care not to explain more than what I care to explain.

Motherhood and Apple pie arguments are very entertaining to me indeed - since you think this is personal, its not!
I do take gender and lgbt issues pretty seriously, even though my take differs from WU in a fundamental way.

shiv wrote:"Mother-with-child" is a symbol that, in India culture evokes the warm fuzzy of something that needs protection. It evokes a sense of selfless love and sacrifice that cannot have a monetary value put on it.


How is this different from the values for a stereotypical Catholic Christian using the same imagery? Sure she values the symbol more than any monetary value. Who is to judge who values it higher and more selfless love, etc....
Let us say they are not different and indeed the same, does it mean WU is the same as !WU?
I worry that in trying to define who we are, we are doing a Paki-Satan - we are trying to become !WU :-? :roll:

shiv wrote:Those are "caste symbols" of a useless defeated people who should be ashamed. Secular honours like "Prof" and "Doc" are the only ones that count


Why don't doctors in India starting calling themselves Acharya or Shastri or Pandit of Hrudaya? Would anyone want to be operated or prescribed medicines by them?
How does changing a name from Dr. to Acharya defeat WU exactly? Bangalore to Bengaluru did what exactly?

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby Pulikeshi » 07 Nov 2014 09:33

ShauryaT wrote:The deviation to Islam, Muslims and Pakistan was entirely unnecessary for the thread. As far as India and its muslims are concerned, the challenge for any Indian from the precepts of western universalism are the same, Hindu or Muslim. Indian muslims are culturally Indian in their ethos and practices and in fact the biggest practitioners of WU in India are high caste hindus. Can we leave this one thread free of the talk of Islam and muslims and least of all Pakistan! We are maniacs and obsessed with the topic :oops:


+1*400%

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby Vriksh » 07 Nov 2014 09:43

I have met Dharampal as a boy in 1993. Good to know that his ideas have started coming out in the mainstream.

Dharampal along with other like minded people had started a foundation called Patriotic People Oriented Science and Technology (PPST) based out of Chennai. PPST then organized 3 massive Congresses on Traditional Sciences and Technology in the 1990s which included Ancient Iron/Steel making (Wootz steel) which I had the pleasure of observing at close range while the artisans coaxed the Iron out the ore in a 3 ft high furnace

More information below.

http://www.vidyaashram.org/ppst.html

A Hindu article on PPST.
http://www.thehindu.com/2000/06/12/stories/08120001.htm

A lot of research on Ancient Indian Sciences are covered in the Bulletins which are a rich source of information on many many traditions of India.
http://ppstbulletins.blogspot.in/2011/10/inaugural-session-of-congress-28th-nov.html

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby Vayutuvan » 07 Nov 2014 11:41

Acharya JB Kripalani, acharya Nagarjuna, pandit Nehru and acharya NG ranga.
Last edited by Vayutuvan on 07 Nov 2014 22:41, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby ShauryaT » 07 Nov 2014 18:06

Vriksh wrote:I have met Dharampal as a boy in 1993. Good to know that his ideas have started coming out in the mainstream.
You met Dharmpal! IMO, he is one of the greats of the contemporary world in India. His works dissecting the then existing education systems of TN, as compiled by the British and his observations of the impact the British made on our socio-economic-education policies is spot on for this thread.

Had to chase down his daughter in Chennai to get access to all his works once. Attached is a link with a compilation of his works. Thanks.

http://www.samanvaya.com/dharampal/

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby A_Gupta » 10 Nov 2014 21:13

FYI:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kriminalge ... ristentums

How many more need to be murdered until remorse and renunciation will finally begin? How much more needs to be exposed, until complicity won't be worth it anymore? Until confessing to Christianity is considered to be a shame? Until the wrongdoers are not allowed to act offended anymore?

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby shiv » 11 Nov 2014 06:59

Todays Hindu carries this depressing article about the Indian economy. It is by one Shri Weinstein of Hudson Institute
http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/c ... 584155.ece

I post it here because I have some questions about the article. The man says "india should reclaim its future". That's interesting rhetoric, but let me quote what caught my eye:
Despite a large population, labour participation in the formal economy remains low. Women still play only a disproportionately minor role in the economy, large segments of the population remain cut off from the global market, and government mandates stifle labour sector growth


What is the "formal economy"?

How is the role of women in society measured and translated into monetary terms? About 25 years ago I had calculated that the average Briton was 36 times more "productive" in economic terms than the average Indian. Since the measurable Indian economy was mostly male generated it could be said that the Indian man was only 3% as productive as a Briton.

Productivity in the economy is huge. Everyone must be "productive". How is productivity measured?

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby shiv » 11 Nov 2014 09:41

When I start looking at data about India - and there is one heck of a lot, I find that India has a workforce of over 500 million people. Less than 10% work in the organized sector - that is factories, offices etc. And it is here that female employment is low.

90% of India's workforce (about 470 million people) work in the "informal sector" which is a whole slew of activities. The informal sector is about 80% of India's economy. Here we find that Indian women outnumber men.

These Indian women in the informal sector:
    1. Have to manage home and children and work
    2. More women than men work in this sector
    3. Over 50% are the sole wage earners
    4. They have little or no choice of job
    5. They earn very little and therefore are very vulnerable to disruptions like illness
    6. Most of them don't even appear in the radar when people talk about women and productivity

The first misconception we have is that Indian women are not working. This is rubbish. Most are working. They have no choice, because they must work and care for children the both woman and child suffer from issues like anaemia and malnutrition.

Poverty and malnutrition are not because women are unemployed. Women are working per force even when they need help and support because they have no other option.

One paper mentions women and work as follows
http://iosrjournals.org/iosr-jhss/paper ... 412936.pdf
Varshney Shweta states that Rural women share abundant responsibilities and perform a wide spectrum of
duties in running the families, maintaining the households, attending to farm operations , tending domestic animals and engaging in rural artisan work and handicrafts. But female labour engaged in such activities is usually not measure in economic terms. An implicit assumption is made that women is basically a mother and house wife;any productive work she carries out is considered socially secondary, an extension of her primary function


In other words a woman may be contributing to the workforce and economy indirectly like getting kids ready for school, feeding cows, readying grain for storage etc - but this is counted as "unemployed"

The conclusion is "Women in India are unemployed because of gender discrimination. They need empowerment and employment". This conclusion is rubbish. Many are self employed because they must work. There is gender discrimination in the fact that many must work despite having to do things that have no direct monetary payment, like looking after children. If they had enough money to spend they would probably choose to do something totally different like ensure that kids get to school and get an education.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby Vayutuvan » 11 Nov 2014 11:17

I was on vanvas during an interesting - for me - part of the discussion.

1/ yes humans are indispensable because that is how we view ourselves. Self selection bias.
2/ humans will survive if they are fit to survive. And only humans know the rules of biological selection. I doubt animals know what "survival of the fittest" mean even instinctively.
3/ gay and no marriages are not necessarily going to end human race. Artificial insemination, text tube babies, cloning, and possibly gentocally engineered hermaphroditism will solve the problems of propagation othe species. We humans have all the tools, knowledge and possibly even the will to mess with nature. As long as the messing with is controlled and in our self interest the soecies would not go extinct barring catastrophic black swan events like pakis going berserk and exploding all their nukes (nuke nude then no problem) in one go and destroy the fine ecological balance of the environment of Gaia.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby csaurabh » 11 Nov 2014 12:42

shiv, I don't know how you came to the conclusion that that in the informal sector women outnumber men. When I see auto drivers, electricians, carpenters, plumbers and so on, there are very few or no women there. But that does not mean that they are 'unemployed'.

Truth is, family and children cause a big disruption in the lives of human females, but it is not like they can not cope with it. They can and do,and are productive in various ways. Why do you think everyone puts such a premium on home cooked food? If a man has no access to home cooked food, he will have to accept canteen food aka stuff mass produced by unmotivated workers whose boss is trying to take the biggest cut for himself. Small wonder that there is a difference in quality!

Similarly women often form circles of their own and come up with some sort of productive work. For my grandmothers generation there was knitting. Come the winter, and everyone in the family would have a new sweater. Seems like nowadays everyone want to buy sweater in the shop instead. Never mind that this stuff being mass produced by machines and not fitting well in size and shape can not possibly match hand knitted stuff. Teaching is another thing women do well, not just schools but also home tuition and so on. I went to a Hindi tutor who kept classes in the afternoon and charged some minimal fees. Is she 'unemployed' ?

And there are many women who work part time or help their husbands. If the man is running an ironing shop, many times the wife will be there ironing too. If a guy delivering my breakfast idlis can't make it, then his wife will fill in that role. All around me, I see Smart Women who Get Things Done... but according to WU, they are Oppressed, Unemployed and need to be Empowered.

But the new generation ( my generation, you can say ) of women are not like that. Their minds have been confused by WU and I don't honestly know what they want. It seems like they want to be men.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby shiv » 11 Nov 2014 13:51

csaurabh wrote:shiv, I don't know how you came to the conclusion that that in the informal sector women outnumber men.

That is what the statistics say - but to be accurate the statistics (for India) say that "Among employed people in the informal sector we find a greater percentage of women". The percentages for women and men (of India) is around 83 and 82% respectively IIRC. (not a huge difference) but the figures stand out compared to other countries. This statistic was something I found across 2-3 sources. I was however looking for a statistic that I could not find - and that is "Percentage of women employed in the informal sector". I am not sure that what I found and what I was looking for are the same.

Women do a huge proportion of the work - in fact about 15 years ago I read a great book about Indian women called "May You be the mother of a Hundred sons". The cover had a pretty face and I bought the book - but it was a sociological treatise that pointed out that women do 75% of the work in rural areas but own 4% of the land and earn 10% - or some such outrageous statistics.

The problem is not that women are unemployed. They are overloaded with work and much of the work they do is given no value. If they worked in a sweatshop 14 hours a day it would be "productive work". But of they toil at home - they are "unemployed and unproductive". When prescriptions are made for women - we need to look at what is happening on the ground in India and there is plenty of information available. And your descriptions are perfectly accurate.

Most articles about unemployed women in India refer to the "formal sector" which is less than 10% (as per widely available stats)
Last edited by shiv on 11 Nov 2014 14:15, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby shiv » 11 Nov 2014 14:08

matrimc wrote:3/ gay and no marriages are not necessarily going to end human race. Artificial insemination, text tube babies, cloning, and possibly gentocally engineered hermaphroditism will solve the problems of propagation othe species. We humans have all the tools, knowledge and possibly even the will to mess with nature. As long as the messing with is controlled and in our self interest the soecies would not go extinct barring catastrophic black swan events like pakis going berserk and exploding all their nukes (nuke nude then no problem) in one go and destroy the fine ecological balance of the environment of Gaia.

Actually this idea that "The human race will not be destroyed because of .." reasons you state are things that I do not believe. The human race will never get destroyed that way. But societies can get destroyed and replaced by other societies. That is the problem that I am interested in , in this thread.

The human race is now about 7 billion people - as long an non Americans are considered human. Of these less than a billion have access to things like test tube babies. About 4 billion do not have access to contraceptives. So there is a huge business opportunity there for contraception, not test tube babies.

The thing that makes me laugh the most is the idea of a colony of humans on Mars. Not because it is impossible but because I believe humans are a product of the environment of this planet with its biodiversity. If we go to Mars we will probably take along with us less than 1% of the species that are needed for survival. Recall that even plants need bacteria and other agents for survival. So if we are going to resupply that colony from earth, it will be a great achievement but very expensive and very unsustainable.

In the meantime that 4 billion without contraceptives will become 8 billion and even poorer and more desperate in their situation

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby csaurabh » 11 Nov 2014 19:44

Regarding social views, I find Swami Vivekananda's views to be quite enlightening. In fact this guy really astounds me. Either he was a century ahead of his time in order for his views to still be relevant today. Or maybe his message, which he claims to be the knowledge of the vedas or 'Vedanta' ( <-- I have no independent way of checkup on this, so I will take the Swami at face value ) is something that transcends space and time.

Excerpts from a letter Swami Vivekananda to Srimati Mrinalini Bose ( translated from Bengali, available here )

(1) Rishi, Muni, or God — none has power to force an institution on society. When the needs of the times press hard on it, society adopts certain customs for self-preservation. Rishis have only recorded those customs As a man often resorts even to such means as are good for immediate self-protection but which are very injurious in the future, similarly society also not unfrequently saves itself for the time being, but these immediate means which contributed to its preservation turn out to be terrible in the long run.

For example, take the prohibition of widow-marriage in our country. Don't think that Rishis or wicked men introduced the law pertaining to it. Notwithstanding the desire of men to keep women completely under their control, they never could succeed in introducing those laws without betaking themselves to the aid of a social necessity of the time. Of this custom two points should be specially observed:
(a) Widow-marriage takes place among the lower classes.
(b) Among the higher classes the number of women is greater than that of men.

Now, if it be the rule to marry every girl, it is difficult enough to get one husband apiece; then how to get, in succession, two or three for each? Therefore has society put one party under disadvantage, i.e. it does not let her have a second husband, who has had one; if it did, one maid would have to go without a husband. On the other hand, widow-marriage obtains in communities having a greater number of men than women, as in their case the objection stated above does not exist. It is becoming more and more difficult in the West, too, for unmarried girls to get husbands.

Similar is the case with the caste system and other social customs.
So, if it be necessary to change any social custom the necessity underlying it should be found out first of all, and by altering it, the custom will die of itself. Otherwise no good will be done by condemnation or praise.


(2) Now the question is: Is it for the good of the public at large that social rules are framed or society is formed? Many reply to this in the affirmative; some, again, may hold that it is not so. Some men, being comparatively powerful, slowly bring all others under their control and by stratagem, force, or adroitness gain their own objects. If this be true, what can be the meaning of the statement that there is danger in giving liberty to the ignorant? What, again, is the meaning of liberty?

Liberty does not certainly mean the absence of obstacles in the path of misappropriation of wealth etc. by you and me, but it is our natural right to be allowed to use our own body, intelligence, or wealth according to our will, without doing any harm to others; and all the members of a society ought to have the same opportunity for obtaining wealth, education, or knowledge. The second question is: Those who say that if the ignorant and the poor be given liberty, i.e. full right to their body, wealth, etc., and if their children have the same opportunity to better their condition and acquire knowledge as those of the rich and the highly situated, they would become perverse — do they say this for the good of society or blinded by their selfishness? In England too I have heard, "Who will serve us if the lower classes get education?"
For the luxury of a handful of the rich, let millions of men and women remain submerged in the hell of want and abysmal depth of ignorance, for if they get wealth and education, society will be upset!
Who constitute society? The millions — or you, I, and a few others of the upper classes?

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby csaurabh » 11 Nov 2014 19:52

Some psychological stuff from Swami Vivekananda. Or it could be called psychological. Good stuff. From an interview

Myself: Well, Swamiji, it has always puzzled me that, while men of our country, unable to understand their own religion, were embracing alien religions, such as Christianity, Mohammedanism, etc., you, instead of doing anything for them, went over to England and America to preach Hinduism.


Swamiji: Don't you see that circumstances have changed now? Have the men of our country the power left in them to take up and practice true religion? What they have is only pride in themselves that they are very Sâttvika. Time was when they were Sattvika, no doubt, but now they have fallen very low. The fall from Sattva brings one down headlong into Tamas! That is what has happened to them. Do you think that a man who does not exert himself at all, who only takes the name of Hari, shutting himself up in a room, who remains quiet and indifferent even when seeing a huge amount of wrong and violence done to others before his very eyes, possesses the quality of Sattva? Nothing of the kind, he is only enshrouded in dark Tamas. How can the people of a country practice religion who do not get even sufficient food to appease their hunger? How can renunciation come to the people of a country in whose minds the desires for Bhoga (enjoyment) have not been in the least satisfied? For this reason, find out, first of all, the ways and means by which men may get enough to eat and have enough luxuries to enable them to enjoy life a little; and then gradually, true Vairâgya (dispassion) will come, and they will be fit and ready to realise religion in life. The people of England and America, how full of Rajas they are! They have become satiated with all sorts of worldly enjoyment. Moreover, Christianity, being a religion of faith and superstition, occupies the same rank as our religion of the Purânas. With the spread of education and culture, the people of the West can no more find peace in that. Their present condition is such that, giving them one lift will make them reach the Sattva. Then again, in these days, would you accept the words of a Sannyasin clad in rags, in the same degree as you would the words of a white-face (Westerner) who might come and speak to you on your own religion?


Myself: Just so, Swamiji! Mr. N. N. Ghosh[1] also speaks exactly to the same effect.


Swamiji: Yes, when my Western disciples after acquiring proper training and illumination will come in numbers here and ask you, "What are you all doing? Why are you of so little faith? How are your rites and religion, manners, customs, and morals in any way inferior? We even regard your religion to be the highest!"—then you will see that lots of our big and influential folk will hear them. Thus they will be able to do immense good to this country. Do not think for a moment that they will come to take up the position of teachers of religion to you. They will, no doubt, be your Guru regarding practical sciences etc., for the improvement of material conditions, and the people of our country will be their Guru in everything pertaining to religion. This relation of Guru and disciple in the domain of religion will for ever exist between India and the rest of the world. Myself: How can that be, Swamiji? Considering the feeling of hatred with which they look upon us, it does not seem probable that they will ever do good to us, purely from an unselfish motive.


Swamiji: They find many reasons to hate us, and so they may justify themselves in doing so. In the first place, we are a conquered race, and moreover there is nowhere in the world such a nation of mendicants as we are! The masses who comprise the lowest castes, through ages of constant tyranny of the higher castes and by being treated by them with blows and kicks at every step they took, have totally lost their manliness and become like professional beggars; and those who are removed one stage higher than these, having read a few pages of English, hang about the thresholds of public offices with petitions in their hands. In the case of a post of twenty or thirty rupees falling vacant, five hundred B.A.s and M.A.s will apply for it! And, dear me! how curiously worded these petitions are! "I have nothing to eat at home, sir, my wife and children are starving; I most humbly implore you, sir, to give me some means to provide for myself and my family, or we shall die of starvation! " Even when they enter into service, they cast all self-respect to the winds, and servitude in its worst form is what they practice. Such is the condition, then, of the masses. The highly-educated, prominent men among you form themselves into societies and clamour at the top of their voices: "Alas, India is going to ruin, day by day! O English rulers, admit our country men to the higher offices of the State, relieve us from famines" and so on, thus rending the air, day and night, with the eternal cry of "Give" and "Give"! The burden of all their speech is, "Give to us, give more to us, O Englishmen! " Dear me! what more will they give to you? They have given railways, telegraphs, well-ordered administration to the country—have almost entirely suppressed robbers, have given education in science—what more will they give? What does anyone give to others with perfect unselfishness? Well, they have given you so much; let me ask, what have you given to them in return?


Myself: What have we to give, Swamiji? We pay taxes.


Swamiji: Do you, really? Do you give taxes to them of your own will, or do they exact them by compulsion because they keep peace in the country? Tell me plainly, what do you give them in return for all that they have done for you? You also have something to give them that they have not. You go to England, but that is also in the garb of a beggar—praying for education. Some go, and what they do there at the most is, perchance, to applaud the Westerner's religion in some speeches and then come back. What an achievement, indeed! Why, have you nothing to give them? An inestimable treasure you have, which you can give—give them your religion, give them your philosophy! Study the history of the whole world, and you will see that every high ideal you meet with anywhere had its origin in India. From time immemorial India has been the mine of precious ideas to human society; giving birth to high ideas herself, she has freely distributed them broadcast over the whole world. The English are in India today, to gather those higher ideals, to acquire a knowledge of the Vedanta, to penetrate into the deep mysteries of that eternal religion which is yours. Give those invaluable gems in exchange for what you receive from them. The Lord took me to their country to remove this opprobrium of the beggar that is attributed by them to us. It is not right to go to England for the purpose of begging only. Why should they always give us alms? Does anyone do so for ever? It is not the law of nature to be always taking gifts with outstretched hands like beggars. To give and take is the law of nature. Any individual or class or nation that does not obey this law never prospers in life. We also must follow that law That is why I went to America. So great is now the thirst for religion in the people there that there is room enough even if thousands of men like me go. They have been for a long time giving you of what wealth they possess, and now is the time for you to share your priceless treasure with them. And you will see how their feelings of hatred will be quickly replaced by those of faith, devotion, and reverence towards you, and how they will do good to your country even unasked. They are a nation of heroes —never do they forget any good done to them.


Myself: Well, Swamiji, in your lectures in the West you have frequently and eloquently dwelt on our characteristic talents and virtues, and many convincing proofs you have put forward to show our whole-souled love of religion; but now you say that we have become full of Tamas; and at the same time you are accrediting us as the teachers of the eternal religion of the Rishis to the world! How is that?


Swamiji: Do you mean to say that I should go about from country to country, expatiating on your failings before the public? Should I not rather hold up before them the characteristic virtues that mark you as a nation? It is always good to tell a man his defects in a direct way and in a friendly spirit to make him convinced of them, so that he may correct himself—but you should trumpet forth his virtues before others. Shri Ramakrishna used to say that if you repeatedly tell a bad man that he is good, he turns in time to be good; similarly, a good man becomes bad if he is incessantly called so. There, in the West, I have said enough to the people of their shortcomings. Mind, up to my time, all who went over to the West from our country have sung paeans to them in praise of their virtues and have trumpeted out only our blemishes to their ears. Consequently, it is no wonder that they have learnt to hate us. For this reason I have laid before them your virtues, and pointed out to them their vices, just as I am now telling you of your weaknesses and their good points. However full of Tamas you may have become, something of the nature of the ancient Rishis, however little it may be, is undoubtedly in you still—at least the framework of it. But that does not show that one should be in a hurry to take up at once the role of a teacher of religion and go over to the West to preach it. First of all, one must completely mould one's religious life in solitude, must be perfect in renunciation and must preserve Brahmacharya without a break. The Tamas has entered into you—what of that? Cannot the Tamas be destroyed? It can be done in less than no time! It was for the destruction of this Tamas that Bhagavân Shri Ramakrishna came to us.


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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby shiv » 11 Nov 2014 20:27

csaurabh wrote:Some psychological stuff from Swami Vivekananda. Or it could be called psychological. Good stuff. From an interview

Fabulous stuff saurabh. Thanks for posting. Of course it is psychology. Indians have had a deep understanding of psychology for thousands of years. Anyone reading the Mahabharata or Ramayana would realize that. That apart the inward explorations of the mind made them past maters of this art.

But I must not leave out Islam. Even Islamic texts have some masterful psychological explanations and tricks.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby csaurabh » 13 Nov 2014 20:41

I have been thinking about our education system as well. It is a legacy from the colonial days that we have really failed to fix, and I think WU is one of the reasons.

My education was in what you might call a 'top' ( English Medium ) school. And much of it was non sense. I see that clearly now, nine years after graduating from class 12.

For most of the subjects, we were told to memorize a bunch of 'facts' and reproduce them faithfully on the answer sheet. No critical thinking was involved. Never mind that these facts were often pointless, incorrect or out of date.

History was the worst offender, what with 'Aryan' theories, emphasis on Mughals/Islamics , overglorification of Nehru Gandhi and a complete lack of regional history. And it was incredibly dull. Geography was much the same story, a series of 'facts' like West Bengal produces X million tons of jute or some such statistics. Later on, I have visited a whole lot of temples, museums, seen old coinage, textiles, statues, etc. and found history to be extremely fascinating. But the way it was taught was really bad.

Language education esp. Indian languages were terrible. I think atleast partly this was due to the fact that the teachers were psychologically stressed, it was the prevailing 'wisdom' that English was the only important language, we were all told to speak only in English, everywhere. Imagine a Hindi teacher having to teach while being unconsciously told all the time that your work is useless. This was inspite of the fact that our Hindi textbooks had excellent material from Premchand, Jay Shankar Prasad etc. In class I would tune out what the teacher was saying and just read the stories four or five times over. I still remember them.

Sanskrit was a disaster, everyone thought it is dead language and useless and the teacher had no idea how to make it interesting. Explaining the two verses of 'Vande Mataram' and all the words in it would have been infinitely more useful than four years of 'Sanskrit' classes half an hour a week.

Infact as a non-native speaker I think most of my knowledge of Hindi/Sanskritized Hindi ( and why I can understand Modi perfectly fine ) came from watching the Discovery Channel in Hindi during my teenage years. The translators were very good and were able to explain complex concepts with minimum use of English words. Also, Ramayan and Mahabharat on DD helped a lot.

Come to think of it, the class I remember most fondly now was a 'subject' that went under the archaic name of S.U.P.W. ( sorry, don't remember the full name ). This was about making chandeliers out of glass plates and beads, making ashtrays out of matchsticks and stuff like that. It had no grades, no exams, no fixed syllabus, so naturally it was very suited towards actually learning something. Many of the girls did stitching.

Well, it wasn't all bad. Our science education was pretty decent ( though nothing special ), and physical education was bad in the beginning but better towards the end thanks to an ex army chap who was both scary and inspirational. We also had a good deal of emphasis on extracurricular activities, like music, drawing and preparing charts, etc. So on the whole the education was okay, but it could have been so much better.

I want to think that its getting better but I don't know. Seems like a whole lot of parents ( especially in Mumbai and Bangalore ) talk to their kids only in English, send them to 'international' schools that cost tons of money and teach French or German rather than Indian languages, send them to IIT-JEE 'coaching' from 8th standard. I have had the misfortune of meeting some of these worthies ( NRIs now, but I think many of the next gen are going to be this way ), who are completely ignorant, talk only English and give themselves airs. and I really despair, what is going to happen to us.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby csaurabh » 13 Nov 2014 20:46

Here are some of Vivekananda's thoughts on the education system.
Really disappointing to see we still have similar issues over 100 years later.

Important to note that Vivekananda and Tagore ( amongst others ) had no English education, or even any formal education whatsoever. Wonder why they did not suffer from lack of it!

http://www.swamivivekanandaquotes.org/2 ... ystem.html

Q. Why, what is the defect in the present university system?

Swamiji: It is almost wholly one of defects. Why, it is nothing but a perfect machine for turning out clerks. I would even thank my stars if that were all. But no! See how men are becoming destitute of Shraddhâ and faith. They assert that the Gita is only an interpolation, and that the Vedas are but rustic songs! They like to master every detail concerning things and nations outside of India, but if you ask them, they do not know even the names of their own forefathers up to the seventh generation, not to speak of the fourteenth!

Q. But what does that matter? What if they do not know the names of their forefathers?

Swamiji: Don't think so. A nation that has no history of its own has nothing in this world. Do you believe that one who has such faith and pride as to feel, "I come of noble descent", can ever turn out to be bad? How could that be? That faith in himself would curb his actions and feelings, so much so that he would rather die than commit wrong. So a national history keeps a nation well-restrained and does not allow it to sink so low. Oh, I know you will say, "But we have not such a history!" No, there is not any, according to those who think like you. Neither is there any, according to your big university scholars; and so also think those who, having travelled through the West in one great rush, come back dressed in European style and assert, "We have nothing, we are barbarians." Of course, we have no history exactly like that of other countries. Suppose we take rice, and the Englishmen do not. Would you for that reason imagine that they all die of starvation, and are going to be exterminated? They live quite well on what they can easily procure or produce in their own country and what is suited to them. Similarly, we have our own history exactly as it ought to have been for us. Will that history be made extinct by shutting your eyes and crying, "Alas! we have no history!" Those who have eyes to see, find a luminous history there, and on the strength of that they know the nation is still alive. But that history has to be rewritten. It should be restated and suited to the understanding and ways of thinking which our men have acquired in the present age through Western education.

Q. How has that to be done?

Swamiji: That is too big a subject for a talk now. However, to bring that about, the old institution of "living with the Guru" and similar systems of imparting education are needed. What we want are Western science coupled with Vedanta, Brahmacharya as the guiding motto, and also Shraddhâ and faith in one's own self. Another thing that we want is the abolition of that system which aims at educating our boys in the same manner as that of the man who battered his ass, being advised that it could thereby be turned into a horse.

Q. What do you mean by that?

Swamiji: You see, no one can teach anybody. The teacher spoils everything by thinking that he is teaching. Thus Vedanta says that within man is all knowledge—even in a boy it is so—and it requires only an awakening, and that much is the work of a teacher. We have to do only so much for the boys that they may learn to apply their own intellect to the proper use of their hands, legs, ears, eyes, etc., and finally everything will become easy. But the root is religion. Religion is as the rice, and everything else, like the curries. Taking only curries causes indigestion, and so is the case with taking rice alone. Our pedagogues are making parrots of our boys and ruining their brains by cramming a lot of subjects into them. Looking from one standpoint, you should rather be grateful to the Viceroy for his proposal of reforming the university system, which means practically abolishing higher education; the country will, at least, feel some relief by having breathing time. Goodness gracious! What a fuss and fury about graduating, and after a few days all cools down! And after all that, what is it they learn but that what religion and customs we have are all bad, and what the Westerners have are all good! At last, they cannot keep the wolf from the door! What does it matter if this higher education remains or goes? It would be better if the people got a little technical education, so that they might find work and earn their bread, instead of dawdling about and crying for service.

From Swamiji's lecture The Future of India—
“The education that you are getting now has some good points, but it has a tremendous disadvantage which is so great that the good things are all weighed down. In the first place it is not a man-making education, it is merely and entirely a negative education. A negative education or any training that is based on negation, is worse than death. The child is taken to school, and the first thing he learns is that his father is a fool, the second thing that his grandfather is a lunatic, the third thing that all his teachers are hypocrites, the fourth that all the sacred books are lies! By the time he is sixteen he is a mass of negation, lifeless and boneless. And the result is that fifty years of such education has not produced one original man in the three Presidencies. Every man of originality that has been produced has been educated elsewhere, and not in this country, or they have gone to the old universities once more to cleanse themselves of superstitions. Education is not the amount of information that is put into your brain and runs riot there, undigested, all your life. We must have life-building, man-making, character-making assimilation of ideas. If you have assimilated five ideas and made them your life and character, you have more education than any man who has got by heart a whole library यथा खरश्चन्दनभारवाही भारस्य वेत्ता न तु चन्दनस्य। — "The ass carrying its load of sandalwood knows only the weight and not the value of the sandalwood." If education is identical with information, the libraries are the greatest sages in the world, and encyclopaedias are the Rishis. The ideal, therefore, is that we must have the whole education of our country, spiritual and secular, in our own hands, and it must be on national lines, through national methods as far as practical.”

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby shiv » 13 Nov 2014 20:53

csaurabh wrote:
I want to think that its getting better but I don't know. Seems like a whole lot of parents ( especially in Mumbai and Bangalore ) talk to their kids only in English, send them to 'international' schools that cost tons of money and teach French or German rather than Indian languages, send them to IIT-JEE 'coaching' from 8th standard. I have had the misfortune of meeting some of these worthies ( NRIs now, but I think many of the next gen are going to be this way ), who are completely ignorant, talk only English and give themselves airs. and I really despair, what is going to happen to us.



You know what gives me hope?

I talk to young Indian men and women ranging from 20 to 40 years younger than I am and I find that a very large number are aware that Indian education gives them an inferiority complex - or at least a complex of some sort. The understand that Indians are forced to be apologetic and reticent for no reason. I was happy to see that.

We have people who can see the world clearly and what makes me even happier is to discover that a lot of people of my age carry the apologetic-about-us and west admiring attitudes that I was taught but that has gradually diminished among younger people.

In my generation - to be at the top of the heap was not just to speak English, but to be well versed with Shakespeare and Dickens. Hindi movies were to be sniffed at with derision or simply laughed off. Hindi songs? Bah. Who would listen to them when we had the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, CCR and the Doors. And we never wore Indian "ethnic" clothes. This has passed now.

It is OUR duty to set things right and now that you have revealed your vintage - I am pleased to see someone carrying your year of registration on earth with the views you display :D

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby K Mehta » 15 Nov 2014 14:35

csaurabh wrote:Seems like a whole lot of parents ( especially in Mumbai and Bangalore ) talk to their kids only in English, send them to 'international' schools that cost tons of money and teach French or German rather than Indian languages, send them to IIT-JEE 'coaching' from 8th standard. I have had the misfortune of meeting some of these worthies ( NRIs now, but I think many of the next gen are going to be this way ), who are completely ignorant, talk only English and give themselves airs. and I really despair, what is going to happen to us.


I call this as "Cow aayi" culture.
They have stopped using their own mother tongues to teach the little kids the basic things in the world. This has really really spread in Gujju community, almost at epidemic levels. A few of my friends have been made aware and are trying to reverse that.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby shiv » 16 Nov 2014 07:32

Let me dump a hypothesis on here and leave it for now.

I suggest that the idea that China is against India and India is against China are concepts that have arisen in Chinese AND Indian minds after they have absorbed western universalist concepts of "nation state" and "sovereignty" that would make conflict and competition between "nation states" inevitable.

In actual fact China and India, as civilizations, have never "competed" to show whose is bigger. We have simply accepted whatever good we could get from them and vice versa.

But it is possible that China has been bitten by the WU bug more seriously than India. I will leave my exploration of that question for the time being

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby csaurabh » 16 Nov 2014 20:20

Actually, the Chinese people are very much like us.

But in many ways they have screwed themselves.

If you ask a Chinese, what's your religion? They are likely to be like mm, hmm, well we don't have a religion. But it isn't like they are not religious actually. They are quite religious.

Another problem here is that mainland Chinese are indoctrinated by the PRC to toe the party line especially when dealing with foreigners. So if the party says we don't have a religion, well then, that is the end of the matter. If you press them a little more, they might name a specific sect .. which wouldn't mean anything to you, even if 30 million people follow it, it's still a drop in the ocean.

One of my favorite books during my childhood was a Chinese mythical story ( translated into English ofc ) called 'The Legend of the Monkey King'. It is a thick tome about a monkey ( or monkey-man ) who travels on a great journey, whose destination is India. The cool thing is that 'India' is portrayed to be a mysterious, spiritual, almost heavenly place. It has many parallels with Indian folklore- magic, the hero gets some comrades, fights 'demons', etc.

Actually I am willing to bet that just as the word religion can not be accurately translated into Indian languages, the same is true for Chinese languages. It is kind of funny though, that 1.6 billion Chinese haven't been able to come up with a name for their religion. At least we have one, even it be flawed.

Coming to language. Now they have done this thing, they made a language with 90% Mandarin and few other additions, put it in a box and marketed it as 'Chinese'. The result of this is that all the others ( 11 of them major ones ) are all screwed. People still speak them, but they have no official sanction.

Only Cantonese has fought back, because it is the traditional language of expatriate communities Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malayasia, etc. Chinese people from these regions don't speak Mandarin ( unless they learned it in school or something, which is rare ). If they have to communicate with mainland Chinese, they speak English.

( Hmm.. sounds familiar?? )

Chinese Americans are extremely Americanized. It seems like they think themselves as Americans with a Chinese ancestry - which is something that Indians by and large never do, not even ABCDs ( American born confused desi )

Also, many or most Chinese adopt a Western first name- Benjamin, William, Mike, etc. Only very few ask you to call them by their Chinese name. I don't know why.

Personally what I think is that communism and its aftermath has left a big scar in their psyche. It is not just WU. There are four things that are very much alike - two religions ( Christianity and Islam ) and two quasi-athiestic philosophies ( Communism and 'Western Universalism' ). All four of them expressly want to convert the whole world to their view, and when this is done everyone will enjoy peace, prosperity and equality. Of course, we know it is nothing like that.

The cultural revolution ( 10 years of mayhem between 1966-1976 ) affected them greatly. Tsien Hsue Shen ( father of Chinese space program, similar to Vikram Sarabhai ) was assigned to being a canteen worker for some time during this period when space technology was deemed burgoise. I just put that example there to illustrate commie nonsense.

Interestingly I think the Chinese are trying to become more religious now. For example, the Chinese lunar rover is named 'Yutu' which means jade rabbit, and this is based on a myth about a Chinese princess who took her rabbit to the moon.

The above is my opinions drawn from my interactions with around 8-10 Chinese whom I formed fairly decent friendship during two months in 2008 when I was in Los Angeles. They were from fairly diverse backgrounds- Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, American chinese.. Of course these thoughts are all in hindsight. At that time, my mind wasn't so clear. I just vaguely remember thinking 'Ya, these people are confused and weird..'

Unfortunately I haven't kept track with them after that. Those folks are on my facebook though. Maybe I'll ping them around Chinese New Year..

< I will post Vivekananda's thoughts about Japan later. They are very interesting. >

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby RajeshA » 16 Nov 2014 22:53

csaurabh wrote:1.6 billion Chinese haven't been able to come up with a name for their religion.


Where do we get 1.6 billion from? Wikipedia says 1.357 billion for 2013.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby csaurabh » 17 Nov 2014 07:03

RajeshA wrote:
csaurabh wrote:1.6 billion Chinese haven't been able to come up with a name for their religion.


Where do we get 1.6 billion from? Wikipedia says 1.357 billion for 2013.


Well that is just a ballpark figure.
However, a lot of Chinese live outside the People's Republic. Just saying.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby csaurabh » 17 Nov 2014 07:07

K Mehta wrote:
csaurabh wrote:Seems like a whole lot of parents ( especially in Mumbai and Bangalore ) talk to their kids only in English, send them to 'international' schools that cost tons of money and teach French or German rather than Indian languages, send them to IIT-JEE 'coaching' from 8th standard. I have had the misfortune of meeting some of these worthies ( NRIs now, but I think many of the next gen are going to be this way ), who are completely ignorant, talk only English and give themselves airs. and I really despair, what is going to happen to us.


I call this as "Cow aayi" culture.
They have stopped using their own mother tongues to teach the little kids the basic things in the world. This has really really spread in Gujju community, almost at epidemic levels. A few of my friends have been made aware and are trying to reverse that.



I was thinking that later on, these folks will be watching only Boorkha/Sardesai, BBC TV, Hollywood, reading ToI, Charles Dickens, listening only to rock music and so on. There will be no alternate way to appeal to them. Add to that immense practical difficulties if you try to go about in India knowing only English.

This is cultural suicide. And for what? So that they can become better call center operators or have an easier time migrating to the West? Who knows. Maybe under Kongie rule that is all we could hope for.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby shiv » 17 Nov 2014 07:23

RajeshA wrote:
csaurabh wrote:1.6 billion Chinese haven't been able to come up with a name for their religion.


Where do we get 1.6 billion from? Wikipedia says 1.357 billion for 2013.

Chinese outside China - eg SE Asia/Taiwan

chandrasekhar.m
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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby chandrasekhar.m » 19 Nov 2014 09:38

Since there was a discussion about Shri Dharampal, posting some relevant videos about him and his works. This lecturer did/doing research on his works. The speaker tells us about how Shri Dharampal got his insights and some important facts from his books about Indian society. You will also get glimpses into how the Indian society of those times was wounded so badly by the great British colonial masters to whom our elites still GUBO.







It is such things which should be taught in our schools and universities. We might not even be debating about Western Universalism then.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby member_22733 » 19 Nov 2014 10:02

^^^ chandrashekar saar. Thanks for the videos. Many of them should be archived into some sort of "library". Let me see if I can get myself out of armchair mode and make sometime to execute on that idea.

shiv
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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby shiv » 19 Nov 2014 14:21

chandrasekhar.m wrote:Since there was a discussion about Shri Dharampal, posting some relevant videos about him and his works. This lecturer did/doing research on his works. The speaker tells us about how Shri Dharampal got his insights and some important facts from his books about Indian society. You will also get glimpses into how the Indian society of those times was wounded so badly by the great British colonial masters to whom our elites still GUBO.

It is such things which should be taught in our schools and universities. We might not even be debating about Western Universalism then.

Thanks for posting.

Just a little data point

The video channel is under the name Vergelijkende Cultuurwetenschap which is the university that Balu is a prof in Beligium. He mentioned that they wanted to set up a university in India to revitalize and give direction to social studies in India. Initially they tried JNU and realized that Urban Indian minds were too colonized.

They found that rural Indias were loss colonized and set up "Kuvempu" University in rural Karnataka. This video is from a meeting at Kuvempu University

For those who don't know, "KuVemPu" is the Kannada abbreviation for K.V. Puttappa a great Kannada litterateur. And for some of my fellow Indians it is Kannada, not Kannad - just like the Tal Mahal is in Agra, not Agr and, Gurgaon is in Haryana, not Haryan.

His name is KUpalli VENkatappa PUtappa -in Kannada the first three syllables read KU-VEM-PU.

I think it is a good idea to do this - as has been done for one Shri NM, better known as NaMo.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby ShauryaT » 04 Dec 2014 09:25

Wheat People vs. Rice People

How things learnt over 1000's of years get ingrained into us in ways that will make us wonder. The past is as relevant as ever and differences between groups of peoples and regions will show through in myriads of ways. Here is one example.

AMERICANS and Europeans stand out from the rest of the world for our sense of ourselves as individuals. We like to think of ourselves as unique, autonomous, self-motivated, self-made. As the anthropologist Clifford Geertz observed, this is a peculiar idea.

People in the rest of the world are more likely to understand themselves as interwoven with other people — as interdependent, not independent. In such social worlds, your goal is to fit in and adjust yourself to others, not to stand out. People imagine themselves as part of a larger whole — threads in a web, not lone horsemen on the frontier. In America, we say that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. In Japan, people say that the nail that stands up gets hammered down.

These are broad brush strokes, but the research demonstrating the differences is remarkably robust and it shows that they have far-reaching consequences. The social psychologist Richard E. Nisbett and his colleagues found that these different orientations toward independence and interdependence affected cognitive processing. For example, Americans are more likely to ignore the context, and Asians to attend to it. Show an image of a large fish swimming among other fish and seaweed fronds, and the Americans will remember the single central fish first. That’s what sticks in their minds. Japanese viewers will begin their recall with the background. They’ll also remember more about the seaweed and other objects in the scene.

Another social psychologist, Hazel Rose Markus, asked people arriving at San Francisco International Airport to fill out a survey and offered them a handful of pens to use, for example four orange and one green; those of European descent more often chose the one pen that stood out, while the Asians chose the one more like the others.

Dr. Markus and her colleagues found that these differences could affect health. Negative affect — feeling bad about yourself — has big, persistent consequences for your body if you are a Westerner. Those effects are less powerful if you are Japanese, possibly because the Japanese are more likely to attribute the feelings to their larger situation and not to blame themselves.

There’s some truth to the modernization hypothesis — that as social worlds become wealthier, they also become more individualistic — but it does not explain the persistent interdependent style of Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong.

In May, the journal Science published a study, led by a young University of Virginia psychologist, Thomas Talhelm, that ascribed these different orientations to the social worlds created by wheat farming and rice farming. Rice is a finicky crop. Because rice paddies need standing water, they require complex irrigation systems that have to be built and drained each year. One farmer’s water use affects his neighbor’s yield. A community of rice farmers needs to work together in tightly integrated ways.

Not wheat farmers. Wheat needs only rainfall, not irrigation. To plant and harvest it takes half as much work as rice does, and substantially less coordination and cooperation. And historically, Europeans have been wheat farmers and Asians have grown rice.

The authors of the study in Science argue that over thousands of years, rice- and wheat-growing societies developed distinctive cultures: “You do not need to farm rice yourself to inherit rice culture.”

Their test case was China, where the Yangtze River divides northern wheat growers from southern rice growers. The researchers gave Han Chinese from these different regions a series of tasks. They asked, for example, which two of these three belonged together: a bus, a train and train tracks? More analytical, context-insensitive thinkers (the wheat growers) paired the bus and train, because they belong to the same abstract category. More holistic, context-sensitive thinkers (the rice growers) paired the train and train tracks, because they work together.

Asked to draw their social networks, wheat-region subjects drew themselves larger than they drew their friends; subjects from rice-growing regions drew their friends larger than themselves. Asked to describe how they’d behave if a friend caused them to lose money in a business, subjects from the rice region punished their friends less than subjects from the wheat region did. Those in the wheat provinces held more patents; those in the rice provinces had a lower rate of divorce.

I write this from Silicon Valley, where there is little rice. The local wisdom is that all you need is a garage, a good idea and energy, and you can found a company that will change the world. The bold visions presented by entrepreneurs are breathtaking in their optimism, but they hold little space for elders, for longstanding institutions, and for the deep roots of community and interconnection.

Nor is there much rice within the Tea Party. Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, declared recently that all a man needed was a horse, a gun and the open land, and he could conquer the world.

Wheat doesn’t grow everywhere. Start-ups won’t solve all our problems. A lone cowboy isn’t much good in the aftermath of a Hurricane Katrina. As we enter a season in which the values of do-it-yourself individualism are likely to dominate our Congress, it is worth remembering that this way of thinking might just be the product of the way our forefathers grew their food and not a fundamental truth about the way that all humans flourish.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby shiv » 10 Dec 2014 07:20

posted in error here
Last edited by shiv on 10 Dec 2014 07:36, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby A_Gupta » 10 Dec 2014 07:32


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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby Yayavar » 14 Dec 2014 03:59

[quote="ShauryaT"]Wheat People vs. Rice People

I think it is pushing the correlation of existing societies onto wheat and rice. Just taking something that exists and correlating to another characteristic that exists with no mechanism to show any dependence or evolution of such dependence. To avoid any objections 'dont have to be rice grower to get rice-characteristics' ... :)


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