Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

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

Postby A_Gupta » 17 Dec 2014 18:34

Since the Hindu nationalism thread was closed before I could add my final comments, just to say that Hindutva can be only one tiny part of an overall strategy. We are in a crisis like never before when the modern knowledge-producing threads of the civilization are seen to be disconnected from the past; they are thought to be imports and adaptations from the West. This was not the case prior to 1800 - no matter how politically weak Hindus were, there was no doubt about the store and source of knowlege.

There needs to be not just lives and livelihoods but something civilizational left to save at that future date whenever the confrontation with Islam that Hindutva is supposed to help us all with happens; yes, even a totally deracinated set of descendants of ours deserves its life and liberty from exclusivists and their ideologies. But the confrontation with Western universalism is of prime importance - without success in that, Hindutva will be protecting an empty shell.

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

Postby RajeshA » 17 Dec 2014 19:06

A_Gupta wrote:Since the Hindu nationalism thread was closed before I could add my final comments, just to say that Hindutva can be only one tiny part of an overall strategy. We are in a crisis like never before when the modern knowledge-producing threads of the civilization are seen to be disconnected from the past; they are thought to be imports and adaptations from the West. This was not the case prior to 1800 - no matter how politically weak Hindus were, there was no doubt about the store and source of knowlege.

There needs to be not just lives and livelihoods but something civilizational left to save at that future date whenever the confrontation with Islam that Hindutva is supposed to help us all with happens; yes, even a totally deracinated set of descendants of ours deserves its life and liberty from exclusivists and their ideologies. But the confrontation with Western universalism is of prime importance - without success in that, Hindutva will be protecting an empty shell.


Just repeating what I wrote earlier

Hindutva i.e. Hindu Dharma is the Indic resistance to political & military domination of Bharat by foreign imperialistic predatory ideologies and powers and their efforts at overwriting of Bharatiya Sanskriti. It perseveres at preservation and strengthening of Bharatiya Sabhyata, Bharatiya Sanskriti, Bharatiya Rashtra and Rule of Dharma over Bharat!

Despite all the negative image that may be associated with Hindutva, it basically espouses comprehensive civilizational security given the current threats.

Hindutva cannot be restricted to only resistance to Islam or to Islam & Christianity, i.e. just to Religion.

I am giving a very notorious example to make my point: the 2009 Mangalore pub attack by Sri Ram Sena headed by Pramod Muthalik. This attack was aimed at the imitation by Indian youth of Western life-style. Now I am sure Islamists may concur with this view. Perhaps some Christians too. Ignoring the morality and wisdom debate around this attack, and considering this group as part of the larger Hindutva movement, one can say Hindutva is opposed to processes of deracination going beyond simply the issue of religion.

There are today a whole variety of foreign influences on an idealized Bharatiya society of pre-Islamic age or even the pre-Colonial age, incongruent with Dharmic or Ārya values.

If what one is doing is resistance to attacks and negative influences on our civilization, one is basically acting as per Hindutva agenda. Hindutva is a big tent movement and effort, and everybody can focus and work on issues one feels is more damaging for us.

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

Postby shiv » 17 Dec 2014 19:26

I had made a long post before the thread was locked and lost it but perhaps that was good.

I want to make the point that if you have a group A that can exert dominance and control over group B, and wishes to bring about a change in group B there will always be a group C who are neither A nor B who are watching.

Group C will watch what Group A does to Group B and is in a position to exert a "controlling" inflluence on Group A's actions. We see this time and again with the US doing that to India via Pakistan(and vice versa). I think the US calls it "holding the ring". This is a game that can be, and is, played everywhere because it is so obvous and easy. I don't want this thread to go the Nationalism thread way, but the game I am talking about is how the so called "seculars" or "Evangelists" or "western liberals" (group C) can control the influence of Hindutva (group A) on Muslims (group B.) I can give dozens of examples within and outside India where this game is played. There are more groups willing and ready to play this game even within India than we generally talk about on here. There will be no walkover for anyone.

One way to neutralize the effects of group C is to take them into confidence and give them something they want, so they can join in modifying group B. But B can also play them against A. A has to think of strategies to either keep C out, or coopt C. Ignoring C, cursing C or pretending that C has no power will only hobble A in the long term.

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

Postby ShauryaT » 19 Dec 2014 17:27

Shiv ji: Apologies for contributing to make the last few pages of the Nationalism thread acrimonious. Differences in views, I can tolerate but when certain core values of truth, honesty and unity of the nation are at the mercy of political winds, then my patience runs out. I have to learn to be more patient.

But one last thing, DO NOT take the poster RajeshA's words as the last word or even the dominant one on matters of Hindu Nationalism or even Hindutva. The ground situation is lot more complex and influenced more by aspects of the agenda of this thread than any bigoted views and approaches towards muslims and christians of the country, especially as one goes higher up the chain of responsibility.

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

Postby RajeshA » 19 Dec 2014 17:39

ShauryaT wrote:But one last thing, DO NOT take the poster RajeshA's words as the last word or even the dominant one on matters of Hindu Nationalism or even Hindutva. The ground situation is lot more complex and influenced more by aspects of the agenda of this thread than any bigoted views and approaches towards muslims and christians of the country, especially as one goes higher up the chain of responsibility.


True!

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

Postby RajeshA » 20 Dec 2014 03:22

Something related: "The Deception of Religion"

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

Postby Prem Kumar » 20 Dec 2014 11:11

Two absolutely must see videos by Rajiv Malhotra. In the 1st video, he explains crisply how to understand the "pop culture" versus the "deep culture" of USA. The 2nd video is about how the "India Studies" programs in the US work

The man's clarity of thought & his ability to articulate it is astonishing!




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

Postby member_22733 » 21 Dec 2014 03:11

xpost:
Ch()()thchill the mass murderer (Interview with the writer of "Churchill's Secret War") :


Please watch from 49:00 to the end. There are a lot of themes which we discussed here that the author discovered when writing this book.

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

Postby A_Gupta » 21 Dec 2014 09:09

The Hindu nationalism thread should not have been closed. One reason people look askance at Hindu Nationalism is because of the efforts to make Nathuram Godse a symbol of it. If this is "Indic resistance to foreign hegemonies" there will be few takers.

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

Postby member_22733 » 21 Dec 2014 09:28

^^^ +1

That thread should be actually kept open for as long as possible. We might understand what is wrong with colonized Hindus, but that does not mean everyone gets it. :)

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

Postby Arjun » 21 Dec 2014 09:53

A_Gupta wrote:One reason people look askance at Hindu Nationalism is because of the efforts to make Nathuram Godse a symbol of it. If this is "Indic resistance to foreign hegemonies" there will be few takers.

There will always be fringe idiots in Hindutva - like in any movement anywhere in the world. Its far from being the mainstream opinion though...The RSS does not seem to be backing this initiative.

It would be useful to compare RSS to other socio-religious organizations around the world - my guess is it would turn out to be among the most progressive globally.

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

Postby shiv » 21 Dec 2014 10:16

Well we can request that it be reopened..

I realize fully well that RajeshA's opinions posted at that particular time do not represent all of Hindutva - but the thread got closed before he could be made to clarify his views.

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

Postby shiv » 21 Dec 2014 14:18

LokeshC wrote:Please watch from 49:00 to the end. There are a lot of themes which we discussed here that the author discovered when writing this book.


Interesting.

In the interest of academic learning and making sure that we are all on the same page I would like to ask people a few questions. Anyone is free to answer if he/she feels like it. These are serious, fudamental questions

1. Why does every human have to be equal?
2. Why should some humans not be poor?
3. Why should all humans have the same rights?

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

Postby RajeshA » 21 Dec 2014 21:23

shiv wrote:
LokeshC wrote:Please watch from 49:00 to the end. There are a lot of themes which we discussed here that the author discovered when writing this book.


Interesting.

In the interest of academic learning and making sure that we are all on the same page I would like to ask people a few questions. Anyone is free to answer if he/she feels like it. These are serious, fundamental questions

1. Why does every human have to be equal?
2. Why should some humans not be poor?
3. Why should all humans have the same rights?


Perhaps an answer to a somewhat different question!

West formulates its narrative in the format of "Empowerment"! "Empowerment" usually refers to making available to an individual the means so that he can grow out of the "Injustice" of his situation and avail of a life as guaranteed to him as per his "Fundamental Rights".

West speaks of "women's empowerment", "children's rights", etc.

An analogy from "Moksha Patam" (Snakes and Ladders) translated into the dharmoarthic world. We had some traditional means by which every individual used to pursue a particular Varna, a calling. Let's not consider this birth-based. It would probably involve some education, some apprenticeship. If one moves according to the system, one would end up where ever his destiny takes him, based on merit, opportunity, compulsions, responsibilities, etc.

"Empowerment" too does the same, at least for those, who can partake in it. However "Empowerment" promises to put the foot of the ladder right in the box the individual is standing, and to take him somewhere high. Perhaps give him a shortcut.

But there is a difference.

The mental framework of progress of the individual has changed. Now he thinks he has a "Fundamental Right" to be somewhere else, someone else. Now he thinks that his present situation is "Injustice", which gives him a victimization complex and puts the seeds of rebellion within him against Samaj, against all those who are described as responsible for his current predicament, be it "evil" Brahmins, or Banias, or the Indian rulers.

"Empowerment" is a framework, designed to make the person "Egoistic", to forget his duties and responsibilities to his family, to his community, to the order. Since the propaganda of "Empowerment" is constantly made by Western and West-associated organizations, the individual thinks, he has to orient himself to the Western framework to realize his "Rights". So he forgets the concept of "Dharma". "Empowerment" is meant to give the "hapless" individual the "Power" to challenge his suppressors.

However one can understand the individual's urge to take up on the Western propaganda of "Empowerment". After all the British impoverished Bharat to the bare bones, and the corrupt regime they turned over power to simply continued with the tradition of sucking Indian blood.

However there should be an alternate narrative than this nice sounding "Empowerment"!

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

Postby A_Gupta » 21 Dec 2014 22:42

Whenever the Hindu nationalism thread reopens, this article needs to be discussed there:
http://5forty3.in/2014/12/pk-why-is-hin ... -of-india/

Begins thusly:
“Indian voting rights (given to Hindus) must be reconsidered” – Zoya Hasan, a professor of political science in JNU, had thundered in NDTV studios on the morning of May 16th this year when it was quite apparent that Narendra Modi would be the new Prime Minister of India. These days the only noise one hears from the opposition in Rajya Sabha, since the opposition is absent in Lok Sabha, is on topics concerning some “reconversions” by a vague Hindu outfit or about a stray ruling party MP making some bombastic comments on some trivial religious matters. Over the last month, maximum airtime on various media platforms was allocated to a ‘colloquial’ mis-comment by a junior minister in the central government which was a classic case of making a mountain out of a molehill.

For the last 2-odd years there has been this constant theme running in the background which keeps harping about the “Idea of India”. There have been various subtle, not-so-subtle and in-your-face attempts to constantly remind us that either Hinduism is rogue or that ordinary Hindus need to be apologetic about the supposed ‘excesses’ of their religion on the whole and certain co-religionists in particular. Over the last few years, especially under constant ridicule and persistent attack have been religious figures, Hindu Matths and those termed derisively as ‘Godmen’ by the media.

This continuous messaging is having little impact as urban middle classes have not yet developed a ‘healthy’ distaste towards Hindu religious symbols, especially the so-called ‘Godmen’. Realizing that relentless bombardment on 24/7 news channels against various babas from Nithyanandas to Asharam Bapus to Rampals is not enough to change the Hindu psyche, more creative folks are now getting into this business of dissing Hindu systems. Now the messaging is more subtle, underplayed and laced with humour so that it makes a deeper impact on urban India.

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

Postby prahaar » 21 Dec 2014 23:08

Can somebody please share the video which states Zoya Hassan's claimed statement? Thanks.

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

Postby shiv » 22 Dec 2014 08:18

RajeshA wrote:
shiv wrote:
1. Why does every human have to be equal?
2. Why should some humans not be poor?
3. Why should all humans have the same rights?


"Empowerment" is a framework, designed to make the person "Egoistic", to forget his duties and responsibilities to his family, to his community, to the order. Since the propaganda of "Empowerment" is constantly made by Western and West-associated organizations, the individual thinks, he has to orient himself to the Western framework to realize his "Rights". So he forgets the concept of "Dharma". "Empowerment" is meant to give the "hapless" individual the "Power" to challenge his suppressors.

However one can understand the individual's urge to take up on the Western propaganda of "Empowerment". After all the British impoverished Bharat to the bare bones, and the corrupt regime they turned over power to simply continued with the tradition of sucking Indian blood.

However there should be an alternate narrative than this nice sounding "Empowerment"!


Rajesh that is an interesting take.

However my approach to the questions I asked are slightly different, but let me make a couple of disclaimers
1. I cannot claim that I have all the answers
2. I do not post view here to make anyone angry - so I ask people to have patience.

As regards the questions themselves:

1. Why does every human have to be equal? Exactly where does this idea come from? I think "making everyone equal" is one of the pillars of "Universalism". It also happens to be a big claim made in certain religions, that following a particular religion will somehow create equality for all followers. The definition of equality seems to be fuzzy because it is usually simply "equal in the eyes of God", whom you will never ever see or manage to sue if it doesn't work.

Looking back at the Indian past - there is such a huge volume of work and I have not come across anyone saying that all humans have to somehow be equal. Equal in what? - would be a valid question. In fact there is no specific statement that humans are somehow superior to other forms of life and can take more for themselves and wantonly strip other life forms of resources because humans have "rights" and other life forms don;t have rights.

Of course the lack of statement of equality in Indian literature and memes has been used against Indian thought to discard it as false because "Everyone must be equal". But why? Everyone admits that humans cannot be equal. Financial and trade systems and economies are built around inequality. Equality is a myth. Why do we stick to this tokenist "universalism" that all should be equal. All cannot and will not be equal - so we need to find a way of rationalizing inequality by reducing suffering, rather then pretending to equalize.

2. Why should some humans not be poor? The idea that people should not be poor is a deadly one. As the lady in the video linked by LokeshC above pointed out - it is the "removal of poverty" that is one of the biggest culprits in causing misery and environmental degradation. Coming back to ancient Indian thought - we actually have a philosophical justification of poverty. Poverty is a necessary condition for some people who wish to do some things with their own lives. Is there no right to be poor? Why are we trying to "remove poverty" all the time?

3. Why should all humans have the same rights?
This is a tricky one. If you consider that "God is the sovereign and has full rights over everything in the universe" then the rights you have are only the rights that God gives you. In other words your rights are dictated within the framework of some law laid down by someone (God, Holy book, Church, Government). Your rights extend only as far as law allows

If, however, you believe that "God as sovereign with rights over everything" is a whole load of crap, then it is possible to believe that every human is born with full rights to do as he pleases. This in fact is the approach from which ancient Indian thought comes with the proviso that humans are free to do anything but are asked to conform to certain social norms that are declared as good for society and life on earth - generally called "Dharma". This is not an imposed law. There is an implicit assumption that the law will work - even if its action is not visible.

Encased within the broader question of what are one's rights are the sub-texts of "is there a right to be poor?", "is there a right to be different?", ""is there a right to believe that equality for all is a myth and follow one's belief"?

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

Postby eklavya » 22 Dec 2014 08:58

The Economist:

The man who thought Gandhi a sissy

The man who thought Gandhi a sissy

IN 1906, in a lodging house for Indian students in Highgate, a pleasant area of north London, a young lawyer called Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi dropped in on a law student called Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, who happened to be frying prawns at the time. Savarkar offered Gandhi some of his meal; Gandhi, a vegetarian, refused. Savarkar allegedly retorted that only a fool would attempt to resist the British without being fortified by animal protein.

The meeting is said to have begun hostilities between the two young Indian nationalists; whether or not the story is apocryphal, there were real reasons for antipathy. The two men had very different approaches to the struggle against Britain. Gandhi, who became leader of the Indian National Congress (INC), was a pacifist with an inclusive attitude towards Muslims and Christians. Savarkar, who would lead the Hindu Mahasabha, was a right-wing majoritarian who spawned the idea of hindutva, or Hindu-ness—the belief that the Hindu identity is inseparable from the Indian identity. Congress eclipsed the Mahasabha and, since history belongs to the victors, the story of India’s independence movement became one of non-violence. But the strand of thought that Savarkar represented was more important than is generally recognised, and is enjoying a revival.

A member of the Mahasabha broke away to form the paramilitary Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), or national volunteer organisation, in 1925, modelled, some say, on the British army. A social rather than explicitly political organisation, it presented itself as the world’s largest non-governmental group, in which like-minded, khaki-uniformed men could gather for dawn calisthenics. It recruited boys at an impressionable age, as the Jesuits did, the better to inculcate them with discipline and with passion for the cause. One such was the eight-year-old Narendra Modi. The future prime minister (pictured, above, at a memorial to Savarkar) attended training sessions with the RSS, was subsequently inducted as a cadet, and in 1985 was assigned by the RSS to its political wing, the Bharatiya Janata Party, which he rose to lead.

Mr Modi is India’s strongest leader since Indira Gandhi, and its most controversial. The source of controversy is his failure in 2002, when chief minister of Gujarat, to avert a massacre of Muslims, which opponents attribute to a hostility to Muslims born of the ideology that Savarkar spawned. Mr Modi has never apologised for the massacre, though he said last year that he felt regret over them, as he would at seeing a puppy run over in the street. Nor has he made any attempt to distance himself from the RSS.

The RSS, meanwhile, is becoming more overtly political. Mohan Bhagwat, its current leader, is somewhat in the mould of Savarkar, paraphrasing his beliefs and promoting Hindutva. In August this year Mr Bhagwat directly echoed Savarkar by saying all who live in “Hindustan” are in fact Hindus, whatever Muslims, Christians or secular Hindus might say. More striking, the RSS leader has switched the organisation’s methods. Now, far from eschewing party politics, the group has become an enthusiastic and effective actor within it. The RSS’s millions of members and volunteers (no one knows just how many active ones there really are) played a big role in electing the BJP by a landslide in 2014. At least 19 ministers in government, including Mr Modi, have a background in the RSS. Its leaders are seconded to senior posts in the party too. So the ideas of the man who inspired the RSS matter more than ever before.

The naked jumper

The lawyer described by a British official in 1906 as “a small man with an intelligent face and a nervous manner” does not sound like the muscular hero that Indian nationalists crave, but Savarkar clearly had a certain dash. In 1910, while he was in London, he was charged with conspiring to wage war against the king and with providing weapons used to assassinate a Briton in the Indian civil service, sentenced to two life terms—50 years—in jail and sent back to India. While the steamship “Morea” was berthed in Marseille harbour, he slipped away from his guards, leapt, almost naked, into the sea and swam ashore. Unfortunately for the eulogists, he was promptly caught by French police and bundled back to the ship.

His daring did, however, win him fame, and also created legal history. France’s government, annoyed that Britain had overseen an arrest on its territory, wanted Savarkar returned. Britain refused so the matter went to the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague. It ruled his arrest was indeed “irregular”, but decided Savarkar might as well stay in India. The case was one of the earliest heard by the tribunal.

Savarkar’s next stop was the Andaman Islands—a group of islands in the Bay of Bengal. This palm-fringed tropical paradise served as a penal colony for the British. Cellular Jail in the capital, Port Blair, is now a memorial for freedom campaigners. In a park opposite stands a row of statues of independence heroes. One is of a slender man with a pinched face behind round spectacles. A pen protrudes from his jacket pocket, one hand rests on a part-furled umbrella and the other wags a finger at the sky. You might mistake him for a prissy bank manager, but a plaque identifies him as Vinayak Damodar Savarkar. The park is named after him.

Ranjit Savarkar, his great-nephew, who runs the Savarkar trust, says that he showed great fortitude in jail. A trained yogi, he overcame thoughts of suicide. Other inmates nicknamed him “Barrister Babu”, for his London legal training. Already a published historian and poet, he used Cellular Jail to work on his writing—literally: he wrote on its walls. He spent a decade there before being moved to the mainland in 1921. He was subsequently freed, after pledging to keep out of politics—a promise which the ideology he was developing in jail suggests he did not intend to keep.

A fierce nationalist, he adored Guiseppe Mazzini, who fought for the unification of Italy, writing about him in the hope of inspiring resistance to the British in India. Savarkar believed that India is really composed of, and must only be run by, Hindus. In his 1924 book, “Hindutva”, he drew on cultural, philosophical and religious practices of ancient Hinduism, a rich faith that allows immense variety in how it is followed. But he also distinguished the ideology of hindutva—an attempt to unite disparate Hindus in a political project—from the religion. He himself was an atheist, and disapproved of aspects of traditional Hindu belief, dismissing cow worship as superstitious—a stance that would upset many today. He was an early outspoken opponent of caste discrimination. In the 1920s and 1930s others among the emerging Indian political elite opposed “untouchability”, the rejection as sub-human of those considered “below caste”. But Savarkar went further, saying modern India should drop altogether the idea of dividing people by caste.

His attitude towards Muslims, who made up a quarter of the population before partition, and other non-Hindus was less liberal. He regarded them as alien and separate, in effect not as real Indians. He was fiercely opposed to the formation of Pakistan and what his great-nephew calls the “appeasement” of Muslims. He believed that they, along with the Europeans, had crushed Hindus for a millennium—a sentiment echoed by Mr Modi in an address to parliament after his election this year, when he spoke of ending “1,200 years of slave mentality” in India.

Aside from his view of Muslims, the big difference between Savarkar and the nationalists in the INC lay in their contrasting attitudes to violence. He also wrote one of the first Indian accounts of the uprising in 1857, centred in Delhi. Known as the “Mutiny” to the British, it is referred to by many Indians as the “first war of independence”—echoing the title of Savarkar’s book, “The Indian War of Independence”. It was a gruesome episode, in which hundreds of thousands were killed, but Savarkar was untroubled by the violence, and seemed to justify the murders of British women and children. His works are steeped in a desire for revenge against those who have humiliated Hindus, and his frustration with the passivity of his co-religionists: “I want all Hindus to get themselves re-animated and re-born into a martial race.” In his early years, he circulated manuals on bomb making. He approved of—and probably assisted in—the assassination of colonial administrators. He was suspected, for example, of encouraging a student radical who shot dead Sir Curzon Wyllie, a government official, one summer night on a Kensington street in 1909.

Rewriting history

Today, some Indians adulate him. On the day your correspondent called in at Cellular Jail, a party of jovial men in their 80s and 90s, an official “Eminent Committee of Freedom Fighters”, was also visiting. Among the last surviving veterans who battled the British in the Quit India movement in the 1940s, they raised gnarled fists to chant “Jai Hind”, posed for pictures and praised Savarkar as strong. The local MP called veer (brave) Savarkar a “ferocious, dangerous man who frightened off the British”. Rashida Iqbal, the jail’s curator, assessed him as “one of the most important freedom fighters”. Port Blair’s airport, like the park, bears his name. Some 2,000km away, in his native Maharashtra, a street and a park in Mumbai also each carry his name. (In London a blue plaque identifies his former home in Highgate.)

Savarkar’s enthusiasm for violence sits uncomfortably with conventional ideas of how India got its independence. India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, and then the Congress party (successor to the INC) promoted a pacifist narrative of history, the idea that Gandhi and the likes of B.R. Ambedkar, a social reformer who inspired the Modern Buddhist Movement, triumphed through non-violent resistance. That meant downplaying the bloodshed of 1857, in which atrocities were perpetrated by both sides, and also the roles of Savarkar, Subhas Chandra Bose and Vallabhbhai Patel.

Bose, the Bengali leader of an Indian National Army against the British in the second world war and an ally of Hitler and imperial Japan, led some 40,000 soldiers against the British. (He didn’t get far, though the Japanese briefly handed him control of the Andamans.) Patel, the “Iron Man of India”, had the Bismarckian task of uniting the country. He oversaw the integration of 562 princely states into India, threatening and using military force. Operation Polo in 1948, a five-day conquest of Hyderabad, a wealthy and Muslim-run state in the south, was bloody indeed. Official estimates, only made public in 2013, suggest the fighting and subsequent Hindu-Muslim clashes there killed between 27,000 and 40,000 people. Some historians claim the real toll might have been five times higher.

The way the story of Indian independence is told is beginning to change. Mr Modi and the BJP are keen to celebrate muscular, nationalist figures. Patel is likely to have a much higher profile in future: in the national budget, in July 2014, the government set aside $32m to erect a statue of him in Gujarat, twice the size of the Statue of Liberty, by 2018. And while Mr Modi frequently invokes Gandhi’s name and beliefs, he refers almost as often to Swami Vivekananda, a 19th-century nationalist who revived Hinduism and promoted it abroad. Mr Modi is said to be named after him (the swami was originally called Narendra Nath Datta) and frequently poses before his photograph. Vivekananda’s ideas on invigorating Hinduism foreshadowed Savarkar’s hindutva project.

Savarkar’s profile is lower, but is also rising. Educational comics, hagiographies and patriotic films retell parts of his life story. In 2008 Mr Modi, then chief minister of Gujarat, inaugurated a website (savarkar.org) that promotes a man “largely unknown to the masses because of the vicious propaganda against him and misunderstanding around him that has been created over several decades”, and in 2012 he launched a Gujarati-language biopic. A previous BJP-led government put Savarkar’s portrait in parliament. On his birthday this year, May 28th, the prime minister paid homage to him there. Mr Modi tweeted about Savarkar’s “tireless efforts towards the regeneration of our motherland”. Ranjit Savarkar’s group plans various events to mark the 50th anniversary of Savarkar’s death in 1966. (Aged 83, he submitted to what he called atmaarpan—refusing both food and medicine in order to die. It took 20 days.)


“Notwithstanding his…broad heart, the Mahatma has a very narrow and immature head,” wrote Savarkar
Yet Savarkar remains immensely divisive. He was a fiercely outspoken critic of Gandhi, still India’s top national hero: he called Gandhi weak, a “sissy” and far too willing to collaborate with Britain. Gandhian talk of man’s common humanity he regarded as utopian to the point of naivety. In articles from the 1920s to the 1940s Savarkar lambasted Gandhi as a “crazy lunatic” who “happens to babble...[about] compassion, forgiveness”, yet “notwithstanding his sublime and broad heart, the Mahatma has a very narrow and immature head.” Gandhi promoted ahimsa, a Buddhist rejection of violence which Savarkar called “mealy-mouthed”. He said Gandhi was a hypocrite for supporting violence by the British against Germany in the first world war. Nor did he cheer Gandhi’s prominent backing for the Ottoman Caliphate Movement, designed to win Indian Muslims to oppose British colonial rule.

Over the years, Savarkar was eclipsed by his rival. During the 1920s and 1930s, the INC benefited from its ability to claim plausibly that it spoke for Muslims as well as Hindus, which made it a more credible interlocutor with the colonial authorities. Perhaps more important, it had an impressive organisation and, in Gandhi and later in Nehru, accomplished political leaders.

By the mid 1940s Savarkar and his supporters in the Mahasabha (which he led until his death) had a new gripe against Gandhi. They were enraged at the prospect of Pakistan seceding from India. Gandhi, in their eyes, did nothing to stop that “vivisection”. Worse, he seemed to favour Pakistan when it sent forces to violently seize Kashmir, evidence to Savarkar that warlike Muslims were again crushing passive Hindus. When Nehru applied economic sanctions on Pakistan (refusing to pass on its share of central-bank funds from before independence), Gandhi launched a fast in protest and forced him to back down. To Savarkar’s followers in the Mahasabha, that constituted national betrayal.

On January 30th 1948 Gandhi was assassinated in Delhi. The killer, Nathuram Godse, was a member of the Mahasabha, edited its newspaper and was an associate of Savarkar’s. Godse’s explanation of his actions echoed Savarkar: he said he murdered Gandhi for his “false notions of Hindu-Muslim unity” and in fury over the secession of Pakistan. Savarkar was arrested and tried as a plotter in the murder. He denied all and was acquitted. That did not convince everybody. As the leader of the Mahasabha, who had praised the efficacy of violence and railed against Muslims, it was reasonable to suspect he had at least inspired Gandhi’s killer. A.G. Noorani, author of a book on Savarkar and Godse, goes further. He draws a parallel to the Kensington murder of Wylie in 1909, saying the elder man had twice pressed others to pull the trigger. “I would definitely call him complicit in the assassination of Gandhi,” he concludes. He points, too, to an official commission of inquiry into Gandhi’s death, in the late 1960s, which drew on testimony unavailable at the original trial. It found the evidence was “destructive of any theory other than the conspiracy to murder by Savarkar and his group”. Following Gandhi’s murder the RSS was also banned, for a year. Yet the final reason why Savarkar should remain unacceptable in modern India goes beyond suspicion over Gandhi’s murder. It lies in his attitude to his fellow, non-Hindu, Indians. In his own writing he relates joyfully how as a 12-year-old boy he led a gang of schoolmates to stone his village mosque and smash its windows and tiles, in the aftermath of Hindu-Muslim riots. Relating how “we vandalised the mosque to our heart’s content”, he adds that when confronted by Muslim boys, he and his pals wielded knives and sticks and chased them away.

Throughout his writing he sets out Muslims as savage, immoral, sensual and eager to destroy the Hindu way of life. In 1937 he wrote of there being “two antagonistic nations living side by side in India”, an idea that relies on using religion as the defining characteristic of any Indian, one utterly against the secular constitution of India. And while he occasionally wrote admiringly of the political and religious fervour of Islam, or rather of Muslim political leaders, he did so to encourage his fellow Hindus to match or exceed it.

In India today the fear of communal clashes—between Hindus and Muslims—should not be overblown. But it is never far away. Especially before elections, parties exploit religious tensions. Those who promote hindutva and echo Savarkar whip up stories of “love jihad”, alleging that Muslim men convert large numbers of Hindu women by seducing them. Earlier this month a BJP parliamentarian praised Godse as a “patriot” equal to Gandhi. Members of the increasingly influential RSS feel emboldened. Such majoritarian politics, when a larger religious group sets out to absorb or flatten a minority, is utterly destructive. One need only look at the failure of Pakistan as a reminder of that. Sarvarkar could be a brilliant, eloquent and progressive leader. He could also be extremist, violent and divisive. If his influence grows, India’s tolerance and moderation will be at risk.

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

Postby csaurabh » 22 Dec 2014 09:03

One of the important points brought out in the Hindu Nationalist thread was the use of English language and words that is the problem. By using words and terminology promoted by the west, we are falling into the trap of their line of thinking.

The seculars will say- Hinduism is communal. Reply will be- No no no, Hinduism is secular. This argument is pointless.

The moment you try to debate this way, you have already lost. Because you have bought into an ideological framework that is designed solely to attack Hinduism and India.

I used to wonder why Modi did not come to news studios and explain the true story of Gujrat riots and so on. Later on I understood. The secular news studios are designed to attack Modi. The only way to defeat them is to deprive them of oxygen, which, to some extent is what has now happened.

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

Postby Arjun » 22 Dec 2014 09:12

csaurabh wrote:I used to wonder why Modi did not come to news studios and explain the true story of Gujrat riots and so on. Later on I understood. The secular news studios are designed to attack Modi. The only way to defeat them is to deprive them of oxygen, which, to some extent is what has now happened.

Well at least Riots and Internal Security are a matter of Governance and therefore there is some justification to asking the CM to respond.

On the other hand - conversions have nothing whatsoever to do with governance and the state. And yet it is the moronic Western media and Abrahamic parties that are building up this ridiculous atmosphere of PM Modi being answerable on the issue.

The Opposition needs to come up the curve fast and enter the modern age. All this talk of unprecedented majority for Modi is just BS - unless we have a responsible opposition that can approach issues in logical terms. The Secular parties need to take a deep breath and figure out what they want (anti-conversion legislation / complete ban on proselytization / free-for-all conversion) and not hold the nation to ransom on thoughtless sloganeering.
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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby Vayutuvan » 22 Dec 2014 09:15

Fried prawns taste like cashew. I might as well have cashew and be Eco friendly.

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

Postby eklavya » 22 Dec 2014 09:38

^^^^
what next? fried prawn barfi

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

Postby csaurabh » 22 Dec 2014 09:54

One more point raised in the Hindu Nationalist thread about the alleged 'excesses' of Hindutvaadis such as 'pub attack', 'anti Valentine's day', 'don't wear jeans' and so on..

The problem with those methods are that they are trying to fix the symptoms instead of fixing the disease.

We 'elites' bear a great deal of responsibility for that, because we have continuously shied away from addressing the actual issues, preferring instead to blame 'communalism' and letting the seculars equate them to Taliban/ISIS ( which everyone knows is nonsense ).

Logical thinking will go a long way. The problem is actually quite simple. We are trying to imitate the West.
Why are we trying to imitate the West? Because the West is rich and powerful.

But that is not the whole answer. Arab shiekhs are also rich, but you won't find many takers for their ideologies. Similarly China has achieved some level of wealth and power, but no one wants Communism and one party rule.

The imitation is not just because the West is rich and powerful, but they have cobbled together a deceptive 'universalist' ideology to 'explain' - well, this is why we are rich and powerful. And we have bought into this 'Western Universalist' ideology to a great extent without trying to really understand anything about it.

Therefore we must deconstruct these 'universalist' ideologies and expose them for the frauds they are. Some of them have been discussed to some extend before and in the other thread. Example, western notions of: science, technology, medicine, law, history, business, family, religion, etc.

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

Postby eklavya » 22 Dec 2014 12:05

shiv wrote:
LokeshC wrote:Please watch from 49:00 to the end. There are a lot of themes which we discussed here that the author discovered when writing this book.


Interesting.

In the interest of academic learning and making sure that we are all on the same page I would like to ask people a few questions. Anyone is free to answer if he/she feels like it. These are serious, fudamental questions

1. Why does every human have to be equal?
2. Why should some humans not be poor?
3. Why should all humans have the same rights?


1. Equality before the law is the fundamental basis of human dignity. The alternative is tyranny, feudalism, slavery, and colonialism.

2. The consequences of poverty can include malnutrition, ill health, ignorance and other forms of suffering, often transmitted from generation to generation. To the extent one cares for fellow humans, reducing poverty is a worthy goal. The causes of poverty can be systemic or specific to the individual, but the goal of reducing poverty is nevertheless worthwhie.

3. Refer to 1.

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

Postby member_22733 » 22 Dec 2014 12:36

On the WU thread quoting eKhanomist, that rag authored by delusional racist brishits (both are synonyms if any positive news is to be believed) :) these days they use sepoys to do the dirty work to avoid getting called out for the precise thing that they are.

Talk about missing perspective.... by a few 100 miles :) :)

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

Postby member_22733 » 22 Dec 2014 12:40

shiv wrote:
LokeshC wrote:Please watch from 49:00 to the end. There are a lot of themes which we discussed here that the author discovered when writing this book.


Interesting.

In the interest of academic learning and making sure that we are all on the same page I would like to ask people a few questions. Anyone is free to answer if he/she feels like it. These are serious, fudamental questions

1. Why does every human have to be equal?
2. Why should some humans not be poor?
3. Why should all humans have the same rights?


Shiv,

I dont know whether other commenters who answered your question have watched that video or read that book (I started reading it), but after I watched that video I feel that these are not trivial questions to answer. After knowing what I know, reading what I read here, these questions are rather disturbing. :(

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

Postby shiv » 22 Dec 2014 14:47

eklavya wrote:1. Equality before the law is the fundamental basis of human dignity. The alternative is tyranny, feudalism, slavery, and colonialism.

2. The consequences of poverty can include malnutrition, ill health, ignorance and other forms of suffering, often transmitted from generation to generation. To the extent one cares for fellow humans, reducing poverty is a worthy goal. The causes of poverty can be systemic or specific to the individual, but the goal of reducing poverty is nevertheless worthwhie.


This is exactly what you and I have been taught. This is what i am questioning and you have merely stated what you have been taught.

Tyranny feudalism slavery and colonialism are old names for things that are still going on and will never go away. Inequality is a given - so there is no point lying to ourselves and everyone.

One does not need wealth to avoid malnutrition, and ill health. One can be poor, well fed, healthy and not ignorant. We can see examples of this all over the world. What we need to remove is NOT poverty. We merely need to remove malnutrition and reduce ill health. "Poverty eradication" is simply not working.

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

Postby shiv » 22 Dec 2014 14:56

How can a person who earns the equivalent of Rs 1 lakh a month be poor or malnourished, or claim that he cannot afford healthcare? But it happens and the minute I point it out I will be given a lecture about why i should not be saying what i am saying and that I need to view the problem in a different way.

I am going to ask, why should I view the problem differently? We simply delude ourselves by observing the obvious and ignoring it because we are taught to ignore it.

If no one guesses what i am getting at - I will state what I mean in a separate post

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

Postby shiv » 22 Dec 2014 14:59

LokeshC wrote:
I dont know whether other commenters who answered your question have watched that video or read that book (I started reading it), but after I watched that video I feel that these are not trivial questions to answer. After knowing what I know, reading what I read here, these questions are rather disturbing. :(

The world order can, in theory, be turned inside out. It's not going to happen soon. It may not happen at all. But I will do what i can to help sow the seeds.

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

Postby shiv » 22 Dec 2014 15:02

Let me ask a slightly easier question.

Why should we have "development"? Why not have some de-development? Why not make people poorer, or at least less wealthy?

Why should "equality" mean taking everyone towards higher wealth levels? Why not push all of humanity towards lower wealth levels?

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

Postby RajeshA » 22 Dec 2014 15:06

eklavya wrote:
LokeshC wrote:Please watch from 49:00 to the end. There are a lot of themes which we discussed here that the author discovered when writing this book.
shiv wrote:
Interesting.

In the interest of academic learning and making sure that we are all on the same page I would like to ask people a few questions. Anyone is free to answer if he/she feels like it. These are serious, fudamental questions

1. Why does every human have to be equal?
2. Why should some humans not be poor?
3. Why should all humans have the same rights?


1. Equality before the law is the fundamental basis of human dignity. The alternative is tyranny, feudalism, slavery, and colonialism.

2. The consequences of poverty can include malnutrition, ill health, ignorance and other forms of suffering, often transmitted from generation to generation. To the extent one cares for fellow humans, reducing poverty is a worthy goal. The causes of poverty can be systemic or specific to the individual, but the goal of reducing poverty is nevertheless worthwhie.

3. Refer to 1.


Re: Equality

In the infamous Manusmriti, there is an interesting Law in Chapter VIII.

337. In (a case of) theft the guilt of a Sudra shall be eightfold, that of a Vaisya sixteenfold, that of a Kshatriya two-and-thirtyfold,

338. That of a Brahmana sixty-fourfold, or quite a hundredfold, or (even) twice four-and-sixtyfold; (each of them) knowing the nature of the offence.

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

Postby csaurabh » 22 Dec 2014 15:16

shiv wrote:Let me ask a slightly easier question.

Why should we have "development"? Why not have some de-development? Why not make people poorer, or at least less wealthy?

Why should "equality" mean taking everyone towards higher wealth levels? Why not push all of humanity towards lower wealth levels?


Not having development is like having an empty stomach. You cannot do any thinking on an empty stomach.

Indeed, one of the big reasons why we are having such a discussion in the first place is because we have had some measure of development in India, chaotic and unplanned as it has been. I do not think this type of discussions would make sense say 30 years ago.

Vivekananda has some interesting thoughts on the matter. I'll post them when I get a chance.

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

Postby SanjayC » 22 Dec 2014 15:38

RajeshA wrote:In the infamous Manusmriti, there is an interesting Law in Chapter VIII.

337. In (a case of) theft the guilt of a Sudra shall be eightfold, that of a Vaisya sixteenfold, that of a Kshatriya two-and-thirtyfold,

338. That of a Brahmana sixty-fourfold, or quite a hundredfold, or (even) twice four-and-sixtyfold; (each of them) knowing the nature of the offence.


How were these terms -- sudra, Brahmana, Vaisya -- defined? Were they understood in the same way by ancients as they are understood today?

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

Postby shiv » 22 Dec 2014 16:00

RajeshA wrote:
337. In (a case of) theft the guilt of a Sudra shall be eightfold, that of a Vaisya sixteenfold, that of a Kshatriya two-and-thirtyfold,

338. That of a Brahmana sixty-fourfold, or quite a hundredfold, or (even) twice four-and-sixtyfold; (each of them) knowing the nature of the offence.

Manu was putting numerical values on what existed back then and still exists now even among the so called "advanced. liberal, law-abiding, developed democratic nations". Inequality is normal.Trying to equalize everyone is snake oil.

Of course I hear the argument that it is a noble goal. How would I feel if I was inferior to someone esle. Well I am inferior to many others right now and I feel like I feel. And I am superior to still others. All attempts at "equalization" of all are pointless. We need to accept that there will be inequality.

I get hammered by lectures about the greatness of capitalism. OK fine - but capitalism means inequality. On the other hand I am told that all children should get equal nutrition so their brains develop equally. What for? We don't want Einstein sitting as a chowkidar outside an ATM near a slum just because some goody-two-shoes gave him good brain forming nutrition as a child and then threw him to the caste reservation and capitalism sharks so he got a BSc but chowkidar is the only job available because there are 250 million BScs?

Variety and inequality and tyranny and injustice and slavery are rampant in the most well developed and advanced societies. Why do we delude ourselves heading for a goal that originally came out of the Bible or Quran as a political ploy.

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

Postby member_20317 » 22 Dec 2014 16:50

A key western proposition/demand is that life is about 'development' vs. everything else. Off course, Development is something only they can define since only they are developed. Thus anything that is not about 'Development' is against poverty and hence a color revolution is necessary (off course with dollops of suavity - I plead guilty of simplifying the complex art).

Our system used to have 'Self Development' vs. everything else, with we defining what is Development and every individual free to define what is his self.

Unless we are careful about these key differences, IMApprehension, shiv ji will keep getting bounced out for his ideas.

Look at it like this:

1) Can shiv ji's proposition be understood more in the light of revising the basis of what is considered as development and strengthening this new basis.

For example I, a fairly well-fed Indian see a lot of long faces (well fed and cared for but still), a lot of back-biting and a lot of pure mailbaazi and kids underperform in studies despite diluted standards like Comprehensive Evaluation Schemes, Kids going out to play post dusk and women folk totally swamped under multiple responsibilities. I also see a lot of happy faces (those of women and children make me feel esp. satisfied), financially poorer but very much go-getter kinds, almost all our professional class comes from what was the lower middle class one generation back. Surely there is a difference between what should get counted as development and what is actually universally accepted as development.

2) Is shiv ji's proposition unrealistic. In that has WU actually changed things in a manner that they claim are possible only their way. For example is west any better for what it has claimed as its methodology. Are our people so dumb that they hanker for a western lifestyle. Is sporting such a desire even healthy. Has inequality not been there in the first place since like ever. Is the promise held out by WU actually about removing inequality by bringing in development or is it more mundane like destroying everything or worse still pushing shitty industry to turd world.

3) Is shiv ji, actually correct in presuming that it was unequal hence it is going to remain so forever. Which is usually my area of difference with him because I do believe using non-WU systems we can actually make such a place where people may not be equal to the last paisa, but the system is not iniquitous and people do eventually get to enjoy, at least some of the lifestyle they think they need with a reasonably high degree of certainty and security.

4) Is the west selling us a sandhe-ka-teil in the form of WU where inequity is supposed to come down if inequality of resources is eliminated/graduated by 'Development'. For this we will have to see all forms of WU not just those that are currently in vogue. These westerners have thing for changing the turf whenever India throws up a Dhyan Chand.

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

Postby deejay » 22 Dec 2014 17:11

^^^ Out of my depth here, but let me try my thoughts on 'equality':

Equality or the need for it is a derivative of Human Thought in our evolutionary progress in Nature. From the Alpha Male / Female of the wild to the Human world where since we can think and understand pain, suffering and would like to get out of it we (or some of us) 'advanced' / moved to a point of seeking equality for all or removal of pain and suffering for all in equal measure. Equality or its proponents always try to define a basic common minimum as often discussed in these pages.

Equality for all is utopian. I say this because equality for a painter,an actor, a musician, a Scientist, a professor or a soldier will have different meanings. What is financial equality for a farmer in Bihar to that of farmer in the Kucch. How much of land in Kucch is same as the land in the fertile plains of Bihar? Is the market value of the land and the yield in Bihar equatable to the salary of an ITvity Munna in Bangalore? Are the primary needs of Health Care, Education, Job, equitable for both in any measurement as both will lead lives in different surroundings under different geographical and climatic conditions and hence leading to different needs. Are their risks equal? Are their gains equal? Can they be measured in equal terms? Will they perceive any equality agreed by others as 'just'? Do these two diverse group even care for equality?

Nature does not provide equality in terrain, weather, resources, etc and hence we will never agree on true or even perceived equality. Therefore, we will always remain unequal.

Further, since equality is human desire and not a mathematical figure, it is not possible anyways in our human World.

P.S. Kindly excuse this noob venture.

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

Postby member_20317 » 22 Dec 2014 17:25

Actually for me personally, this stand of saying inequality is built in is an over correction too. Because nobody, who mattered, ever demanded full equality. It is only the WU-walas who do that and they can be ignored. But this unfortunately takes our eyes again, away from what our people are really demanding and what they really need vs. what they have to willy-nilly buy in the market because, just enough of the cronies 'feel' that, that is what they can at the most be obligated to supply. This 'feel' for the obligations flows from the 'Laws' or even 'Morality'. But both these are friggin fuking religion by other means. Difference is as close as Duryodhan and Dushashan - dono ek baap ki aulad.

When I was a child I could not color my art properly and invariably out of frustration I would end up smudging the whole sheet black. As I grew up I am still useless in fine arts but I have grown to accept my limitations, with the knowledge that there are enough people who know how to do fine arts. And if fine arts ever become a life and death situation for me I can always seek help. I am still remain guilty of that smudging but at least I admit today, that I did wrong and that there are ways out for me too should I care.
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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby csaurabh » 22 Dec 2014 17:29

Here is the notion of equality as described in George Orwell's 1984

One could, in fact, only use Newspeak for unorthodox purposes by illegitimately translating some of the words back into Oldspeak. For example, All mans are equal was a possible Newspeak sentence, but only in the same sense in which All men are redhaired is a possible Oldspeak sentence. It did not contain a grammatical error, but it expressed a palpable untruth-i.e. that all men are of equal size, weight, or strength. The concept of political equality no longer existed, and this secondary meaning had accordingly been purged out of the word equal.


From the Principles of Newspeak

Another interesting titbit from above

As we have already seen in the case of the word free, words which had once borne a heretical meaning were sometimes retained for the sake of convenience, but only with the undesirable meanings purged out of them. Countless other words such as honour, justice, morality, internationalism, democracy, science, and religion had simply ceased to exist. A few blanket words covered them, and, in covering them, abolished them. All words grouping themselves round the concepts of liberty and equality, for instance, were contained in the single word crimethink, while all words grouping themselves round the concepts of objectivity and rationalism were contained in the single word oldthink. Greater precision would have been dangerous. What was required in a Party member was an outlook similar to that of the ancient Hebrew who knew, without knowing much else, that all nations other than his own worshipped 'false gods'. He did not need to know that these gods were called Baal, Osiris, Moloch, Ashtaroth, and the like: probably the less he knew about them the better for his orthodoxy. He knew Jehovah and the commandments of Jehovah: he knew, therefore, that all gods with other names or other attributes were false gods.

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

Postby shiv » 22 Dec 2014 18:52

I pick up the papers or look at some other media and I am told -- oh bloody hell - India has Three hundred million poor. 300,000,000. Wow. That is big. Stupid Hindu India. And this 300 million are living on less than 2 dollars a day. Amazing stuff. We need to bring them up. Up to what? What does one need in India to live reasonably? Say "middle class" - Rs 7500 a month. How much is that - 4 dollars a day?

But in America, 50 dollars a day is below poverty line. That means one lakh Rupees a month is below poverty line. So what are you going to do? Well - these "poor" Americans need to earn more than that.

But exactly what sort of system are we talking about when we consider the fact that "bare necessities" are food, clothing, shelter and healthcare - and they cost more than Rs. 1 lakh a month in the US, but can be obtained for 10 times less than that in India.

Some snake oil is being sold somewhere. Exactly what do words like "globalization", "removal of rich-poor gap", "reduction in income differential" and "eradication of poverty" mean? These smart expressions have nothing to do with the reality of food, shelter, hunger and health. they are just words - meaningless symbolism like passing by Ganesh temple on your scooter and then nodding towards the deity to make your day good or some such hope.

If India rips out and eats its own butt to raise the income of the "poor" from 2 dollars a day to a mind boggling 10 dollars a day, is the "rich poor gap" really being addressed? I mean look at an average guy in the US who earns say $75,000 a year (not even 500,000 or a million like some of my doctor classmates). What sort of rich-poor gap is being addressed by an Indian who gets to earn 10 dollars a day - 3600 dollars a year? Does rich-poor gap mean that the gap needs to be addressed only between Indians, and 3600 dollars a year is 18,000 a month which is good for India? But wtf is "globalization" and the "global village"? Why should India concentrate on addressing its own "rich-poor gap" while there is no hope of even coming close to addressing the rich-poor gap between India and the USA. Even the wealthy in India are going to be desperately poor compared to the poorest in the USA.

Basically there is a systemic flaw that is never going to make "equality" and "rights for all" actually work. And that systemic flaw is deliberately maintained while we buffoons use all the idiot-buzzwords like "equality", "rights" blah blah.

The global system is only about keeping the very wealthy of the west very wealthy. "Universalism" - "health for all", "rights for all' "wealth for all", "dignity for all", "jobs for all" is complete bullshit. It ain't ever going to happen. We have all simply been brainwashed into thinking that these are "universal ideals" that we should all strive for. They are not. They are simply buzzwords that keep people doing things that are utterly useless.

There has to be a serious flaw in a system where the same Amoxycillin is 20 times more expensive in the US than India and Indians are lucky that we make the damn stuff unlike Africans who must by from the West. There must be serious flaws in a system where a surgical operation becomes cheaper than medicines for the same disease, as is the case in the US. Ultimately the "world order" is led by the very very richest in the west, who are far richer than the poor of the west, who actually earn a lot more than the richest of nations like India who are in turn far far richer than the poorest in India.

But the rules and buzz words set in the west have been totally swallowed and internalized by us - along with all the other words that we discussed in the other thread - "religion", "history" etc. We now speak "equality", "freedom", "rights", rich poor gap, "development" etc.

This is a second layer of mental colonization - like thick chocolate poured over cake. The first layer of colonization taught us why we were faulty. The second layer is used to screw our own people who are "behind us" in development, westernization, education, wealth levels, rights etc.

The world order is built around a system that tells us "west is best". There are some doubting Thomases (like me) who squeal and protest a bit. But we are directionless and rudderless in a tsunami that lifts entire nations and sets them on a course that will always keep them behind the west even as they face increasing population, increasing environmental degradation and decreasing resources for "development". The poorest of Indians who were self sufficient 50 years ago are now "postively destitute" needing to be "uplifted". The system creates a need for its goals.

We need a whole rethink about what the fuk we are doing as a nation. I ask again. Why should everyone be equal? Why should no one be poor? What "rights" are we giving people by "empowering" them? We are actually buggering about. Ultimately the richest and the most conspicuous consumers of resources will have to fall or be made to fall. Not easy - but that is the only goal that can create a new, and hopefully better world order, and that order will not come from continuing with the current world order.

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

Postby eklavya » 22 Dec 2014 19:02

shiv wrote:One does not need wealth to avoid malnutrition, and ill health. One can be poor, well fed, healthy and not ignorant. We can see examples of this all over the world. What we need to remove is NOT poverty. We merely need to remove malnutrition and reduce ill health. "Poverty eradication" is simply not working.


Food, healthcare and education all cost money. If it is not the beneficiary's money, it is someone else's money; so wealth redistribution and state provision of services can play an important part, as can charity. So, you have the Cuba model (economy is ruined, but social services are great), the US model (economy is great, social services are rubbish), the Swedish model (economy is great, social services are also great, taxes are very high), the Kerala model (a bit like the Cuba model) and the Gujarat model (aka utopia, where everything is perfect!).


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