Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

The Strategic Issues & International Relations Forum is a venue to discuss issues pertaining to India's security environment, her strategic outlook on global affairs and as well as the effect of international relations in the Indian Subcontinent. We request members to kindly stay within the mandate of this forum and keep their exchanges of views, on a civilised level, however vehemently any disagreement may be felt. All feedback regarding forum usage may be sent to the moderators using the Feedback Form or by clicking the Report Post Icon in any objectionable post for proper action. Please note that the views expressed by the Members and Moderators on these discussion boards are that of the individuals only and do not reflect the official policy or view of the Bharat-Rakshak.com Website. Copyright Violation is strictly prohibited and may result in revocation of your posting rights - please read the FAQ for full details. Users must also abide by the Forum Guidelines at all times.
csaurabh
BRFite
Posts: 727
Joined: 07 Apr 2008 15:07

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

Postby csaurabh » 30 Dec 2014 09:22

The West has perfected the art of doublespeak or doublethink.

When they say 'All races are equal' , what they are really saying is 'But white race is the best'
When they say 'All countries are equal' , what they are really saying is 'But western countries are the best'
When they say 'All religions are equal' , what they are really saying is 'But our religion is the best'

and so on..

Or in Orwell's words: All animals are equal. But some animals are more equal than others.

I really recommend reading George Orwell's 1984 and Animal Farm to get an insight into how this doublethink process works.

Although Orwell's works are regarded as a critique of communism, they can really be applied to any top down western framework. In fact communism is simply a religion which replaces God with 'the state', clergy with 'politburo', infidel with 'burgois' and so on.

The people who made the American declaration of Independance ( All men are equal etc. ) had no problem keeping slaves and genociding native americans.

Islam has this concept as well- called 'Taqquiya'.

SanjayC
BRFite
Posts: 1558
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

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

Postby SanjayC » 30 Dec 2014 09:36

devesh wrote:I always immediately ask morons spouting Manu quotes: "so how many 'shudras' were given such treatment? any records? any numbers? did the noble-minded Brits ever record any instances of 'lead poured in ears' 'shudras' in all their research into the 'code'?"
never do you get any actual stats.


Also, what was the definition of a Shudra? Was it the same as understood today, or did the term have a totally different meaning?

SanjayC
BRFite
Posts: 1558
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

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

Postby SanjayC » 30 Dec 2014 09:42

ShauryaT wrote:
csaurabh wrote: 'If a Shudra hears the Vedas, pour lead in his ears'. The British historians applied a sort of reverse universalism on us- that just because it is mentioned in some 'book', this sort of thing was done Every where and Every time. Rather than looking at the actual geographical area and period and context.
I have not found this one in an authoritative text. There are others equally reprehensible ones - judged based on todays standards, however have not found the above one. Ref: PV Kane.


"Manu Smriit is an authoritative legal text of the Hindus" -- this is also a hoax. Nobody gave a rat's ass about it till Brits found a manuscript in Bengal and started to beat drums about it.

SanjayC
BRFite
Posts: 1558
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

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

Postby SanjayC » 30 Dec 2014 09:42

-- double post -- deleted

Vayutuvan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 9894
Joined: 20 Jun 2011 04:36

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

Postby Vayutuvan » 30 Dec 2014 10:47

shiv wrote:
csaurabh wrote:Let us, by the way, take this as a logical argument. If untouchables are more likely to contract diseases and die, it therefore follows that the number of untouchables would get lesser with every generation until they all died out. Which is... not what happened.

Saurabh - not disagreeing with the general point you make - but the above statement is incorrect.

What happens is that the population group that gets exposed to such dirty and diseased conditions suffers high infant and maternal mortality rates. But if they also get fed, their birth rate will be high enough to keep the population going. They need not die out.

They develop immunity too. There could even be mutations over generations to become hardier than others.

Vayutuvan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 9894
Joined: 20 Jun 2011 04:36

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

Postby Vayutuvan » 30 Dec 2014 11:00

csaurabh wrote:Or in Orwell's words: All animals are equal. But some animals are more equal than others.
...

The people who made the American declaration of Independance ( All men are equal etc. )

One can go all the way back to the Rome of Julius Cesar - first among equals.

As for "all men are equal", only those holding certain amount of land had a vote. No, not all people are equal - only all men are equal.

shiv
BRF Oldie
Posts: 35017
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Pindliyon ka Gooda

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

Postby shiv » 30 Dec 2014 13:26

csaurabh wrote:The West has perfected the art of doublespeak or doublethink.

When they say 'All races are equal' , what they are really saying is 'But white race is the best'
When they say 'All countries are equal' , what they are really saying is 'But western countries are the best'
When they say 'All religions are equal' , what they are really saying is 'But our religion is the best'

and so on..

Or in Orwell's words: All animals are equal. But some animals are more equal than others.

I really recommend reading George Orwell's 1984 and Animal Farm to get an insight into how this doublethink process works.

Although Orwell's works are regarded as a critique of communism, they can really be applied to any top down western framework. In fact communism is simply a religion which replaces God with 'the state', clergy with 'politburo', infidel with 'burgois' and so on.

The people who made the American declaration of Independance ( All men are equal etc. ) had no problem keeping slaves and genociding native americans.

Islam has this concept as well- called 'Taqquiya'.

The interesting thing here is that when we instinctively make the accusation that such doublespeak exists - because we hear it and feel it in our interactions - our accusations are dismissed as "conspiracy theories" because this entire structure of keeping the west above the rest is built upon a network of inter-related works by different scjolars of different disciplines starting with history, religion, political theory, philology, anthropology and an "academic western study" of non western races. And that body of literature still keeps growing - with Kissinger being one among those who have added to that body of west supremacy literature.

What Edward Said has done is to use exactly the same scholarly "devices" used in building up this aura of western supremacy in all ways.He refers to a very large body of literature - from the very same disciplines I have mentioned above - to show how those disciplines are built up in a way to show western supremacy.

It makes heavy reading, but Edward Said's "Orientalism" is a must read for those who want to understand how we are made the underlings of today's world order.

csaurabh
BRFite
Posts: 727
Joined: 07 Apr 2008 15:07

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

Postby csaurabh » 30 Dec 2014 14:29

shiv wrote:What Edward Said has done is to use exactly the same scholarly "devices" used in building up this aura of western supremacy in all ways.He refers to a very large body of literature - from the very same disciplines I have mentioned above - to show how those disciplines are built up in a way to show western supremacy.

It makes heavy reading, but Edward Said's "Orientalism" is a must read for those who want to understand how we are made the underlings of today's world order.


I'm not sure reading Edward Said is going to help much. As I understand it he is focused on Muslim/Arab points of view. But the problem with that is Islam is not really much different from Western Universalism.. It is much the same thing.. Also it was written a long time ago.

You can find much more recent and relevant examples, such as this one about philosophy.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/hippo-rea ... l?ir=India

shiv
BRF Oldie
Posts: 35017
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Pindliyon ka Gooda

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

Postby shiv » 30 Dec 2014 16:10

csaurabh wrote:
I'm not sure reading Edward Said is going to help much. As I understand it he is focused on Muslim/Arab points of view.

No. In fact Said is very good, but heavy. His value is in giving an academic foundation to the roots of western Universalism and the way it has emerged from colonialism and the attitude that the orient is inferior. The problem survives because orientals have largely colonized minds who are unable to see the decolonized facts like Said (and later Balu) and to a small extent, us on here.

The value for India is that modern Islamism is a reaction against western Universalism, and does a very poor job. That is obviously not the way to go for India. But understanding the basis of the colonized minds of our own compatriots, leaders and scholars is something that IMO will require the "academic weight" of people like Edward Said who can hardly be accused of being a Hindoo fundamentalist

shiv
BRF Oldie
Posts: 35017
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Pindliyon ka Gooda

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

Postby shiv » 30 Dec 2014 16:17

csaurabh wrote:Some more evidence why studying "Arts" subjects in Western universities ( and probably Indian ones too ) are a complete waste of time. Nice read

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/hippo-rea ... l?ir=India

This article is a keeper. I missed it the first time you posted it. Thanks for linking again.

ShauryaT
BRF Oldie
Posts: 5222
Joined: 31 Oct 2005 06:06

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

Postby ShauryaT » 30 Dec 2014 18:51

SanjayC wrote:"Manu Smriit is an authoritative legal text of the Hindus" -- this is also a hoax. Nobody gave a rat's ass about it till Brits found a manuscript in Bengal and started to beat drums about it.
That is not correct. There is not a single major smriti that does not pay allegiance to Manu, even if they differ in certain view points as per the need of their times. IOW: It is very much like evolving books of modern law. Where laws change but does not mean laws written in the past were defunct or invalid. If you are familiar with the British system then think of the precedence of modern laws and acts of parliament based on erstwhile statutes and codes practiced. So, the Dayabaga system of inheritance laws practiced in Bengal from 12th century onwards traces its existence to a consortium of smritis, including manu. In many ways we still follow the codes of manu - not legally but in many practices. The Hindu code bills of 1953, junked the dominant system of Mitakshara, based on the Yagnavalkya smriti, who pays allegiance to Manu.

The British tried to understand our system and in the process scrambled it and did twist to suit their purpose. However, to disown our own legacy just because of the twisting by colonists would be a great loss. An effort has to be made to recover the purpose of these laws - without a colonial overhang, keeping in mind the principles and values of Dharma and a new smriti resurrected. There is a feeling that Manu was not a practicing system, which is true for we had a plethora of other evolved smriti does not mean Manu was disowned. Another issue is the fragmentation of political authority, which leads us to believe that these smritis were not practiced and enforced in a manner a law ought to be. This feeling itself of the one book to rule all is a western idea, where a top-down system requires such a rule set, while in India there was more of a bottom up culture in practice. So, in that sense the value of these laws were indeed limited in scope, by design.

Arjun
BRF Oldie
Posts: 4264
Joined: 21 Oct 2008 01:52

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

Postby Arjun » 30 Dec 2014 19:12

Don't know how many of you got the chance to read the 2014 edition of the Global Terrorism Index Report: Global Terrorism Index 2014

See the India section in particular. All the 404 deaths due to terrorism were caused by (1) Islamic militants (2) Maoists and (3) Separatists in NE India.

Since (2) and (3) have an underlying Christian agenda despite not being very open about it, this is an excellent compendium that provides a clear quantification of the damage caused by Islam and Christianity to India every year.

There is also a list of the Top 10 terrorist organizations in the world by number of killings in the time-period from 2000-2013. Of the Top 10, I count 6 Islamist and 3 Christian / crypto-Christian (I include Maoists and LTTE in crypto-Christian bucket).

JwalaMukhi
BRFite
Posts: 1635
Joined: 28 Mar 2007 18:27

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

Postby JwalaMukhi » 30 Dec 2014 21:22

Honestly posit these two questions.

1) How many have actually studied nay let us just say read manu smriti?

2) How many have actually read Indian Constitution?

My fair guess is there are very few to question number 2, and even less to question number 1. More people who are alive in India have read koran than these two texts.

Given that, most have read about manu smriti and Indian constitution, and those will be the most vocal talking and dissecting about them, for a change it is better to take a stand like Shri. KPL Dubeyji, that unless one has actually read what supposedly one owns, be it either manu smriti or Indian constitution, the excercise is futile.

So when one does not even have any inclination to read manu smriti, it is even less useful to discuss about what someone said about manu smriti.

SanjayC
BRFite
Posts: 1558
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

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

Postby SanjayC » 30 Dec 2014 21:27

Can someone tell me where and how the term "Shudra" has been defined in the Hindu texts? Is there a definition that is floating around since ancient times?

Vayutuvan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 9894
Joined: 20 Jun 2011 04:36

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

Postby Vayutuvan » 30 Dec 2014 21:54

If one reads purusha sUkta literally - shUdrA are people who came from the feet of a man who had been quartered (in a literal sense). that is one definition and as old as one can be. It is part of rigveda which is widely held to be a collection of the earliest works of humankind.
Last edited by Vayutuvan on 30 Dec 2014 22:04, edited 1 time in total.

ShauryaT
BRF Oldie
Posts: 5222
Joined: 31 Oct 2005 06:06

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

Postby ShauryaT » 30 Dec 2014 21:56

SanjayC wrote:Can someone tell me where and how the term "Shudra" has been defined in the Hindu texts? Is there a definition that is floating around since ancient times?
More ancient than the Purusha Suktam, I do not know of. Otherwise the definitions, meanings and usages abound in almost all of our texts - including Manu - but do not recommend Buhler's translations. As a general rule of thumb, skip non-Indian one's or more specific those that are not steeped into the practice of Sanatan Dharma.

RajeshA
BRF Oldie
Posts: 15996
Joined: 28 Dec 2007 19:30

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

Postby RajeshA » 30 Dec 2014 22:29

SanjayC wrote:Can someone tell me where and how the term "Shudra" has been defined in the Hindu texts? Is there a definition that is floating around since ancient times?


As Atri garu says

janmana jayate sudrah
samskarat dwij uchchte
veda pathnat bhavet viprah
brahma janati iti brahmanah


Everybody is born a Sudra! Some stay at that level, where one's urges are dictated by biological needs, animal instincts and survival.

It has solely to do with one's state of awareness.

At that level of awareness, one is most suitable to apply preexisting skills in society in which he can be trained.

However there need not be any restriction that a human being can embody only a single Varna.

JMHO

JwalaMukhi
BRFite
Posts: 1635
Joined: 28 Mar 2007 18:27

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

Postby JwalaMukhi » 30 Dec 2014 23:45

matrimc wrote:If one reads purusha sUkta literally - shUdrA are people who came from the feet of a man who had been quartered (in a literal sense). that is one definition and as old as one can be. It is part of rigveda which is widely held to be a collection of the earliest works of humankind.

Literal definition aside. The purusha - which has been translated as "of a man" will lead many to think a man out of many men. Although most practitioners and followers are eagerly and furiously working towards attaining the same feet of the said 'of a man' purusha, from where a set of people came from.

member_22733
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3788
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

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

Postby member_22733 » 31 Dec 2014 00:29

shiv wrote:
csaurabh wrote:
I'm not sure reading Edward Said is going to help much. As I understand it he is focused on Muslim/Arab points of view.

No. In fact Said is very good, but heavy. His value is in giving an academic foundation to the roots of western Universalism and the way it has emerged from colonialism and the attitude that the orient is inferior. The problem survives because orientals have largely colonized minds who are unable to see the decolonized facts like Said (and later Balu) and to a small extent, us on here.

The value for India is that modern Islamism is a reaction against western Universalism, and does a very poor job. That is obviously not the way to go for India. But understanding the basis of the colonized minds of our own compatriots, leaders and scholars is something that IMO will require the "academic weight" of people like Edward Said who can hardly be accused of being a Hindoo fundamentalist


If the mod gods agree, I would like to start a thread with resources to help decolonize ones mind. The first step to decolonizing the mind is to understand the language and the abstract constructs that were used in the brainwashing process. I believe that Edward Said, Albert Memmi, Fanon Frantz etc hold the key to unlock the programming involved. They write in European languages, i.e. the language of the colonizer. However I believe that it is necessary to understand the programming in the colonizers own language in order to deconstruct and deprogram.

Edward Said and many post colonial authors from Northern Africa and Middle East are extremely important and vital. I have said this before and I will say this again: It is a real shame that India does not have as many post colonial thinkers as a tiny country like Algeria. Does not make sense considering the depth of our literary and philosophical culture.

ShauryaT
BRF Oldie
Posts: 5222
Joined: 31 Oct 2005 06:06

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

Postby ShauryaT » 31 Dec 2014 03:09

JwalaMukhi wrote:More people who are alive in India have read koran than these two texts.
I do not know, why do you say more people in India have read the Koran than the constitution or our legal histories. Most hindus would have never read the Koran. Most Indians would know about the basics of our constitution in their formal education. Most of the elite in India know about our constitution but would not know about the Koran. As far as our smritis are concerned, it is true very few read them and it is entirely due to the western mores of values, principles and objectives that the elite of India have adopted.

One can only hope those who speak about the smritis and laws have read and understood something about them or why post about it at all. I am personally limited by a lack of knowledge of Sanskrit, if it is in English, give me sources and I will gobble them up.

Arjun
BRF Oldie
Posts: 4264
Joined: 21 Oct 2008 01:52

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

Postby Arjun » 31 Dec 2014 17:33

LokeshC wrote:Edward Said and many post colonial authors from Northern Africa and Middle East are extremely important and vital. I have said this before and I will say this again: It is a real shame that India does not have as many post colonial thinkers as a tiny country like Algeria. Does not make sense considering the depth of our literary and philosophical culture.

When India continues to economically outperform the rest of the world and does this year on year for the next 2 decades - you would find most Indians automatically having 'post colonial' views. I may be wrong - but I doubt that having more 'thinkers' in the Edward Said mould would achieve anything like the same effect. Not that these worthies have made much difference to the descent of the Middle East to 'hellhole' status, in any case.

csaurabh
BRFite
Posts: 727
Joined: 07 Apr 2008 15:07

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

Postby csaurabh » 31 Dec 2014 17:52

I am currently reading a book named "Becoming Indian" by Pavan K. Verma ( published 2010 ). This book is remarkable. It tells a lot about colonization and the state of colonized minds and how it came into being.

It is semi autobiographical, it tells about his father studying English and getting into ICS, going to England and trying very hard to 'be' an Englishman ( reading Wordsworth , telling the difference between port & sherry and other weird things ). and also about his own career later on in the IFS, etc. Fascinating read.

I am currently on chapter 2, one of the things being discussed is Raja Ram Mohan Roy and about Sati. Very interesting facts, such as 1) The practice was mainly in North Western and Eastern India ( Varanasi had like 9 cases of Sati in 20 years ), 2) British themselves had legalized sati in 1813, 3) even in those areas, only about 0.2% of widows became sati. Of course what we read in 'history' is mainly along the lines of : Hindus were evil people who are burning widows until British came along and gave them the gift of civilization by abolishing Sati in 1829.

vishvak
BR Mainsite Crew
Posts: 5337
Joined: 12 Aug 2011 21:19

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

Postby vishvak » 31 Dec 2014 18:33

2) British themselves had legalized sati in 1813

Exactly, sir. The British also made what they thought as appropriate prior to 'renaissance' and a few changes here and there later. That is all to British this and British that.

When it came to leave colonies, they made a mess too.

shiv
BRF Oldie
Posts: 35017
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Pindliyon ka Gooda

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

Postby shiv » 31 Dec 2014 18:56

csaurabh wrote: 2) British themselves had legalized sati in 1813, 3) even in those areas, only about 0.2% of widows became sati. Of course what we read in 'history' is mainly along the lines of : Hindus were evil people who are burning widows until British came along and gave them the gift of civilization by abolishing Sati in 1829.

Thanks for this titbit.

SN Balagangadhara ("Balu") has pointed out that in trying to lay down British laws for India they needed to define the contours of a "Hindu religion" - which they naturally could not do. One of the things they did was to get those 11 random Brahmins to compile a book about the "Gentoo laws". The British decided that if any random Hindus whom they appointed as "experts" said that something was part of the "Hindu religion" the Brits would declare that as part of the Hindu religion and then exclude that "religious practice" from state laws because state laws had to be "secular" and would not touch religion. So all sorts of faltu-fukall practices got coded under "Hindoo religion" much to the delight of generations of missionaries and Pakis and to the shame of us colonized Indians who have grwon up thinking "This is our religion"

JwalaMukhi
BRFite
Posts: 1635
Joined: 28 Mar 2007 18:27

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

Postby JwalaMukhi » 31 Dec 2014 19:17

ShauryaT wrote:I do not know, why do you say more people in India have read the Koran than the constitution or our legal histories. Most hindus would have never read the Koran. Most Indians would know about the basics of our constitution in their formal education. Most of the elite in India know about our constitution but would not know about the Koran. As far as our smritis are concerned, it is true very few read them and it is entirely due to the western mores of values, principles and objectives that the elite of India have adopted.

One can only hope those who speak about the smritis and laws have read and understood something about them or why post about it at all. I am personally limited by a lack of knowledge of Sanskrit, if it is in English, give me sources and I will gobble them up.


Most people always read about '--- your favorite text', but never the text itself. People who suffer from insomonia would take up texts that are longer than 25 pages.
General gist is Hindus are not book people. Hence, there won't be lot of reverence associated with something, just because it is printed and put in text, be it manu smriti or anything else. It is mostly forte of book people. Hence, most people (book oriented people) who insist about constitution to understand about the country and define the country, have tough time understanding India as being a nation, way before 'the book - constitution' came into being. The irony being most people who insist on the book, would rarely have read the book. Not about the book. Frankly, anything that is important that needs to be widely distributed across general mass, should have artistic finesse to be delivered in fewer pages.

Having said all that, the excuse for not reading manu smirti was there was no English version available, so please honestly answer if Indian constitution - which is widely available in English, has it been read in toto.

Answer to that will yield why discussing about what someone said about manu smirti is going to be useless.

csaurabh
BRFite
Posts: 727
Joined: 07 Apr 2008 15:07

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

Postby csaurabh » 31 Dec 2014 19:52

The constitution is written in incomprehensible legalese ( please do not call it English ).

Same is the case with most of our laws , and even other various 'terms and conditions' of contracts. They are tortured with words and clauses that a normal person can not make head or tail of.

Not sure how this came into being. I think the reason is to give employment to a bunch of 'lawyers' who need to interpret the legalese for the common man. Of course this is an imported concept as well- just like there is no Indian word for law, there is also none for lawyer ( urdoo 'Vakeel' does not count ).

Just a little while ago I was at the receiving end of a phrase like 'payment in lieu thereof' so I am a little bitter about this. ( although I did manage to solve the problem without paying anything )

csaurabh
BRFite
Posts: 727
Joined: 07 Apr 2008 15:07

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

Postby csaurabh » 31 Dec 2014 21:14

LokeshC wrote:
shiv wrote:No. In fact Said is very good, but heavy. His value is in giving an academic foundation to the roots of western Universalism and the way it has emerged from colonialism and the attitude that the orient is inferior. The problem survives because orientals have largely colonized minds who are unable to see the decolonized facts like Said (and later Balu) and to a small extent, us on here.

The value for India is that modern Islamism is a reaction against western Universalism, and does a very poor job. That is obviously not the way to go for India. But understanding the basis of the colonized minds of our own compatriots, leaders and scholars is something that IMO will require the "academic weight" of people like Edward Said who can hardly be accused of being a Hindoo fundamentalist


If the mod gods agree, I would like to start a thread with resources to help decolonize ones mind. The first step to decolonizing the mind is to understand the language and the abstract constructs that were used in the brainwashing process. I believe that Edward Said, Albert Memmi, Fanon Frantz etc hold the key to unlock the programming involved. They write in European languages, i.e. the language of the colonizer. However I believe that it is necessary to understand the programming in the colonizers own language in order to deconstruct and deprogram.

Edward Said and many post colonial authors from Northern Africa and Middle East are extremely important and vital. I have said this before and I will say this again: It is a real shame that India does not have as many post colonial thinkers as a tiny country like Algeria. Does not make sense considering the depth of our literary and philosophical culture.


I'm sorry but I just don't understand this strange obsession with trying to connect with some middle eastern hellhole or people who crawl out of them. They have nothing to do with us.

Just to check my library had one Edward Said book ( forgot title ). I read the first ten pages and dropped it. It seems to be entirely about supporting 'Palestinians' and against Israel. We can not support such notions.

Trying to wrestle 'academics' in Western universities is largely an exercise in futility. The moment you try to debate them on their terms you are basically playing a losing game. There is no long term impact of such things. Look at Vivekananda and his attempts to spread Hindu philosophy in the West, what came of it? Now the West is trying to 'Christianize' yoga.

India does not need 'post colonial thinkers' or really any 'thinkers' of any sort. What it needs is for ordinary people doing their normal jobs to start thinking.. the rest will follow.

Just do some talking to Indians in India. The Hindu mind is not as colonized as you think. I have had a good deal of success encouraging people to think in different ways, with my family and friends/colleagues. PM Narendra Modi and Mangalyaan helps a lot, by the way.

member_20317
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3170
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

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

Postby member_20317 » 31 Dec 2014 23:05

^^^ Then why were you beating about the bush all this while.

There is little need to bother learning the west. We have to learn ourselves. If learning west or what west says is so important then why is not the same important vis-a-vis china which is just as populous or Russia which is just as techi or Japs who are just as rich.

Just the way it makes sense to all, of whatever profession/persuasion/parentage, that our arts should be coming from us, showing us a mirror to our lives, so should it make sense that our sciences should be coming from our observations. Our maths from our philosophies. Our technology from our sciences. Our lifestyle from out technologies. Not the other way round where we should live according to the lifestyle in the west, so we hanker for the technology available in the west so we try to become as scientific as the west and as mathematically accurate as the west. That sir is the real colonization. Colonization of that part of mind which was required to accept the duel. Real colonization is to simply propagate that if it could not be done, then nobody ever can. That, goody two shoes, baby pink colored, soft, fluff-stuffed hinduism is here to be a jagat-guru without extracting from that world the cost that a student has to pay is the real colonization. Merely accepting the categories told by others, needed to talk/write/speak is not colonization. That is a facilitation.

WU stands only because those who had the job to keep alive the IU could not do it for whatever reasons. It is us and those who come after us who are to rekindle IU and that is the only thing that can kill WU for good.

OK, bhailog happy new year. A new year started by the west but as somebody said a "year" is 365 days and we shouldn't wait to start something on January 1 or end something on December 31. A new year always starts today. :P

vishvak
BR Mainsite Crew
Posts: 5337
Joined: 12 Aug 2011 21:19

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

Postby vishvak » 01 Jan 2015 00:08

[url=https://apostlethomasindia.wordpress.com/2010/11/13/temple-looting-in-kerala-yesterday-and-today-leela-tampi/
]link[/url]
On how the allegedly secular British went about looting temples and how it is still going on.

member_22733
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3788
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

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

Postby member_22733 » 01 Jan 2015 04:37

csaurabh wrote:
I'm sorry but I just don't understand this strange obsession with trying to connect with some middle eastern hellhole or people who crawl out of them. They have nothing to do with us.

Just to check my library had one Edward Said book ( forgot title ). I read the first ten pages and dropped it. It seems to be entirely about supporting 'Palestinians' and against Israel. We can not support such notions.

Trying to wrestle 'academics' in Western universities is largely an exercise in futility. The moment you try to debate them on their terms you are basically playing a losing game. There is no long term impact of such things. Look at Vivekananda and his attempts to spread Hindu philosophy in the West, what came of it? Now the West is trying to 'Christianize' yoga.

India does not need 'post colonial thinkers' or really any 'thinkers' of any sort. What it needs is for ordinary people doing their normal jobs to start thinking.. the rest will follow.

Just do some talking to Indians in India. The Hindu mind is not as colonized as you think. I have had a good deal of success encouraging people to think in different ways, with my family and friends/colleagues. PM Narendra Modi and Mangalyaan helps a lot, by the way.


When I say one must read these authors it does not mean one must agree with and digest everything they say. These guys belong to their own native cultures, which is Abrahamic at the moment and has some trace element of the culture before it. But the important thing is they were Abrahamic when their behinds got raked by other Abrahamics, and in the process they understood each other much better than we understood either of them.

Our larger culture, and I include patriotic minorities, Hindu Sikulars and just about every Indian villager in that group, DO NOT understand the dangers posed by these ideologies. They have a general grasp, but the moment they start asserting themselves they get assaulted by WU concept of "free speech", "freedom of religion", "free trade" etc. And no one has to do this assault, it is programmed internally. It is almost like there are two programs in the brain which act against each other (infact, being a student of neuro-science, this is indeed what happens... its called "schemas" in the brain). The first program goes :- "Hey, there is something wrong in this picture, why are we Hindus being singled out we have to do something about it", the second one then says :- "Remember, they have freedom of speech, its absolute, they are free to single us out and call our beliefs stupid". Its like an optical illusion. You first see one perspective and get a fleeting glimpse of it, that is one schema. Before that schema can establish and register into your consciousness the stronger schema takes over and the image flips into another image. Most sikulars are trapped in this optical illusion of WU.

The guys I mentioned above are not devtas or Gods. But a few people who have seen through this game. You and I have also managed to see through this game, and let me tell you this :- We are not the norm. We are the exceptions, and that is not a comfortable place to be. Because in a sense we are "elitist" who hate "elitism".

The books are a way to communicate with a person who is indoctrinated by WU propaganda in the language and the abstract constructs that WU itself uses. For example, I was a "card carrying sikular" who used to proudly pin the sikular badge on my shirt and shove it into the faces of everyone I knew. I was a sikular foot-soldier and quite a good one at that. When I look back at how brainwashed I was, it is a miracle that I have managed to absorb whatever I have absorbed in a matter of 6 years to go to a complete U-turn from my position.

I am no genious or a gifted saint to perform such a feat. I have a very average IQ (confirmed by multiple tests), and it is books like "The colonizer and the colonized" that got me out of the WU trap. Sad to say, its not the Gita, Purana or knowing the Vedas that did it for me. It was Albert Memmi's works ( Who was a Tunisian Jew born in an elite family in Islamic Tunisia, who ended up fighting for a Muslim Majority country, against a Christian colonialist). Albert later changed many of his opinions (especially on violence), but some of his early works are brilliant exposes into the psychology of the colonized.

The colonized in India are no different from the colonized of Africa, for the simple reason that the act of colonizing and the reaction to getting colonized is very similar across humans, it is basic human instinct. The existence of a complex philosophy like Hinduism that integrates differences and the luck of having abundance in natural resources prevented Hindus from becoming the monsters that desert religions became.

A study of these works may not be necessary in the mid-future India where everyone grows up with the knowledge of Abhrahamic duplicity, but we are not there yet, we need to understand them and what they did to us in order to deprogram and then reprogram ourselves and our future generations on what our ancestors wanted us to be. Otherwise we are building a facade over an already crooked foundation of WU that exists within our psyche.

At this time, there is not even a facade over WU. Most of our Hinduists are people who have Hindu paint over strong WU based cultural foundations. Undoing that would need understanding of those things.

member_22733
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3788
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

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

Postby member_22733 » 01 Jan 2015 04:53

For more info on schemas in the brain wiki has a reasonably ok read:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schema_%28psychology%29

shiv
BRF Oldie
Posts: 35017
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Pindliyon ka Gooda

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

Postby shiv » 01 Jan 2015 06:36

Lokesh - that was a good post.

Unless we look at how the West looks at itself, we shall not be able to chart our own path. We use words like religion, history and philosophy without understanding the special code meanings the west attaches to these words that excludes anything from our culture from "meeting the standards" set in the west. I have been harping on the words "religion" and "history" and I have now added the word "philosophy" after reading the article posted by Saurabh and some cross links from that article. Philosophy itself has been made a white man's domain. Until I read that article I had not realized that the meaning of the word philosophy in the west was deliberately "restricted and boxed". That eye opening article was one more layer of mental colonization being peeled off my mind. I am certain that as the years pass more and more layers of colonization will come off, layers that I don't even know about today, as I begin to understand the process by which it has embeddded itself in the mind.

When one is young it is difficult to understand the import of an abstract word like "philosophy" and children cannot understand that the fundamental "earliest knowledge" put into their little minds moulds attitudes from long before they know, or can remember, anything . When one's philosophy is different, one's worldview and attitudes become different. When you have two classes of Indians - one colonized and the other less colonized and the philosophy/attitude of the more colonized is that their knowledge and their way of thinking is superior to the knowledge and way of thinking of the less colonized mind, you get the sickular-Indian divide; the elite-non elite divide; the English speaker-non English speaker divide; the "westernized/non western" divide etc.

The other point I wish to make is that understanding one's own mental colonization, liberating as it might be, is not enough. We grow older and have families and children, and children grow up to be adults. Those children get colonized atitudes that you have done your best to discard from your mind. You try to keep them away from your children - but they get it from peers, the media and education. If your kids are smart - you will never convince them about why you are right unless you have the arguments about how colonization occurred on the tip of your tongue. So the process of decolonization is not just one of realization. It has to be one of realization and the ability to relate logically to others the reasons for colonization.

The current Hindutva-sickular divide is because most "Hindus" and "nationalists" etc know that some things are just plain wrong but do not have the words and arguments needed to explain what is worng. On the other hand the sickulars have 2 centuries worth of arguments and rationalizations created in the west and passed on to Indian by the education system that they can throw back at Hindus to show why their mode of thought about freedom blah blah is superior to your "medieval" mindset.

ShauryaT
BRF Oldie
Posts: 5222
Joined: 31 Oct 2005 06:06

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

Postby ShauryaT » 01 Jan 2015 11:51

csaurabh wrote:
India does not need 'post colonial thinkers' or really any 'thinkers' of any sort. What it needs is for ordinary people doing their normal jobs to start thinking.. the rest will follow.

Just do some talking to Indians in India. The Hindu mind is not as colonized as you think. I have had a good deal of success encouraging people to think in different ways, with my family and friends/colleagues. PM Narendra Modi and Mangalyaan helps a lot, by the way.
Saurabh: The framework, i.e: the laws, value systems, objectives and principles we live under is western in orientation. The education system we have is geared to work under and promote this framework, set up by colonialists. I do not think it is easy for Indians to think "outside" of this framework. I can count in one hand academics who even attempt such a process, let alone triumph at it at a level where real policy choices on frameworks can be made.

I will submit, this post colonial thinking is not possible under the current dispensation that seeks to white wash our history and our past, breaking critical civilizational linkages. e.g: debunking and disowning of our traditional law books evolved over 1000's of years and frameworks that force us to see life in ways, which is a virtual invasion of the mind. Values and principles are in for a massive restructuring in the name of "progress". We have a pampered minority that has incentives to NOT integrate into the national stream and an inadequate harnessing of the glue or cloth that exists. Can you imagine England without its history and its evolution of laws in their society or the church without its institutionalized structures and theologies and Islam without its works of the sunnah, jurisprudences and the custodianship of the sunni theologians.

Indian thinking cannot flower with a break from its past. It does not mean there is a hankering to resurrect a mythical past, but in order to build a post colonial society, we will have to dig into this past to seek out our core principles, values and objectives of our civilization and then work on contemporary tools and frameworks to provide shape and form to these old values. Poor "hindutva" is nothing but a pathological reaction to the colonial thinking. From the looks of it, I did say we are in crisis!

RajeshA
BRF Oldie
Posts: 15996
Joined: 28 Dec 2007 19:30

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

Postby RajeshA » 01 Jan 2015 15:25

shiv wrote:Unless we look at how the West looks at itself, we shall not be able to chart our own path. We use words like religion, history and philosophy without understanding the special code meanings the west attaches to these words that excludes anything from our culture from "meeting the standards" set in the west. I have been harping on the words "religion" and "history" and I have now added the word "philosophy" after reading the article posted by Saurabh and some cross links from that article. Philosophy itself has been made a white man's domain. Until I read that article I had not realized that the meaning of the word philosophy in the west was deliberately "restricted and boxed". That eye opening article was one more layer of mental colonization being peeled off my mind. I am certain that as the years pass more and more layers of colonization will come off, layers that I don't even know about today, as I begin to understand the process by which it has embeddded itself in the mind.


The thing about philosophy is that it is not a real science, but on the one hand questioning the existing and on the other hand building of models to explain world, human consciousness, society, ethics, language and itself. To everything one can build different models, so it is really very difficult for Westerners to really restrict it.

One thing what philosophy however looks down upon is "faith".

It tries to smear Indian philosophy with "faith" and considers itself to have arisen above it.

It has given me great pleasure too in the past to put down and in fact thrashed a few Western philosophers, by saying that their preoccupation with philosophy is really low quality and it is not a science, whereas Indian philosophy resembles far more a real science. In India, we have had rishis who have indeed performed experiments on their consciousness and then tried to explain it, whereas Westerners have only pulled out rabbits out of their musharrafs.

To be honest, I feel what changes the dynamics of colonization is both more academic research from an Indic PoV as well as more aggressiveness related to Western works!

BTW, Haapy New Year to everybody following this very interesting thread!

member_22733
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3788
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

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

Postby member_22733 » 01 Jan 2015 15:29

shiv wrote:The other point I wish to make is that understanding one's own mental colonization, liberating as it might be, is not enough. We grow older and have families and children, and children grow up to be adults. Those children get colonized atitudes that you have done your best to discard from your mind. You try to keep them away from your children - but they get it from peers, the media and education. If your kids are smart - you will never convince them about why you are right unless you have the arguments about how colonization occurred on the tip of your tongue. So the process of decolonization is not just one of realization. It has to be one of realization and the ability to relate logically to others the reasons for colonization.


+100. Generational transmission of shame and gora advertizement which is all pervasive means influences need not come from one person, the entire society can and will influence the next generation. Hence it is important to ask the right question to the right audience at the right time.

Six years ago, if someone told me that Hinduism was not a religion because it does not conform to the definition of religion, I would have laughed it off and maybe got angry somewhere. It was a whole different story when I came across that idea (I think it was on one of the threads here), about an year or so back.

When debating with people, speaking the same language and using the same "schemas" to argue and debate is extremely important and vital.

ShauryaT wrote:Indian thinking cannot flower with a break from its past. It does not mean there is a hankering to resurrect a mythical past, but in order to build a post colonial society, we will have to dig into this past to seek out our core principles, values and objectives of our civilization and then work on contemporary tools and frameworks to provide shape and form to these old values. Poor "hindutva" is nothing but a pathological reaction to the colonial thinking. From the looks of it, I did say we are in crisis!


Exactly! I am pessimistic. We maybe a bit too late to revive much at this point. Europe/US has to get very weak or we have to become very strong in the near future for anything to change. Money has a big big part in this, the sooner that dies down the better.

vishvak
BR Mainsite Crew
Posts: 5337
Joined: 12 Aug 2011 21:19

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

Postby vishvak » 01 Jan 2015 17:14

Does Philosophy have historic baggage like faith can?

csaurabh
BRFite
Posts: 727
Joined: 07 Apr 2008 15:07

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

Postby csaurabh » 01 Jan 2015 18:10

LokeshC wrote:But a few people who have seen through this game. You and I have also managed to see through this game, and let me tell you this :- We are not the norm. We are the exceptions, and that is not a comfortable place to be. Because in a sense we are "elitist" who hate "elitism".

The books are a way to communicate with a person who is indoctrinated by WU propaganda in the language and the abstract constructs that WU itself uses. For example, I was a "card carrying sikular" who used to proudly pin the sikular badge on my shirt and shove it into the faces of everyone I knew. I was a sikular foot-soldier and quite a good one at that. When I look back at how brainwashed I was, it is a miracle that I have managed to absorb whatever I have absorbed in a matter of 6 years to go to a complete U-turn from my position.


I can understand this :) I was also somewhat the same.

My process of mental decolonization occurred because I was uncomfortable belonging to the 'Hindu religion' while not believing in 'God'. I really struggled a lot to understand what on earth the 'Hindu religion' was and how it could be defined? For example, where is the line between 'religion' and 'culture'? Why don't we, for example, have 'secular dance', 'secular music' or 'secular art' ?

It helped a -LOT- I think, that ( for other reasons ) I lived and visited a lot of places in India in the last 10 years ( at last count 34 towns across North, East, West and South India ). I could for example find it difficult to understand that 'Maa Durga' could be called 'Chamunda Devi' or 'Hanuman' being called 'Anjaniya' in different places. Or that while Durga puja was the primary festival in Bengal, it was Chatt puja in Bihar and Ram Leela/ Deepavali in UP ( And that's just the gangetic plain ). Why for instance do people worship ant hills and stones?

Viewed through an abrahamic lens it can so easily be disposed off as a huge hodge podge mess. Unfortunately a lot of us also make the same mistake. My breakout came when I started reading Vivekananda about a year ago. It has really made me understand a lot of things. Such as all forms of worship are basically 'bhakti', and the reason why people are different from each other while also being same is because different areas were absorbed into the Vedantic tradition keeping 'sanskriti' - local customs and languages ( and seeing in 'Gods' different avatars or forms of the same 'Brahman' ) while ingraining a sense of 'dharma' ( ethics ) through mythology ( itihaasa ). This kind of integration is blindingly brilliant compared to colonial projects of Christianity and Islam- which basically imposed top down systems insisting everyone is the same and can only be achieved by coercion.

In retrospect calling the Indic faiths as the 'Hindu religion' is somewhat akin to calling a cricket stump a baseball bat. They may look a little similar but what they are meant for is nothing alike.

If reading 'post colonial literature' helps to decolonize the mind, sure, why not. The Vedantic tradition holds after all, that there are multiple paths to achieve a goal. I do disagree that we have not enough 'post colonial' authors. The example I gave ( Becoming Indian, by Pavan K. Verma ) is perfectly good. I have read the whole book and it is basically a summary of this thread. ( P.S. only caveat here is his promotion of Hindi which I do not support but I can understand his desire to see English gone ).

If you can read Hindi check out Gilli Danda story by Munshi Premchand. I read it a long time ago as a boy and remembered and reread it again. It has the same ideas what we are discussing.

A_Gupta
BRF Oldie
Posts: 11116
Joined: 23 Oct 2001 11:31
Contact:

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

Postby A_Gupta » 01 Jan 2015 20:17

Image

Vayutuvan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 9894
Joined: 20 Jun 2011 04:36

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

Postby Vayutuvan » 02 Jan 2015 01:19

JwalaMukhi: Reading vEda and upanishat and darshana literally is fraught with
danger - danger of being completely off the mark. IMVHO, that is exactly the
mistake that is being committed by the likes of R. Thapar.

--------------------------------> Changing track

Now moving onto Edward Said, however erudite he was and revered by many
including Thapar, has the same problem. These people cannot understand
themselves at a gut level as some who had grown up in the milieu do. However
much they research on westerners using their own methods, they can neither
understand westerners because they are not westerners nor can the understand
their own biases at looking at themselves as well. This whole enterprise of
post-colonial critique, orientalist views, and other subjects of this nature
are of limited value. After all, raising self-esteem is not an end in
itself. It is but one tool in the toolbox to motivating the
citizenry/nationals to work hard for the of the betterment of their immediate
society and the country at large and then beyond that the world. It is also
important part of training fighting men/women. Otherwise the natural question
arises that what exactly is being protected and what for one has put their
life on the line?

If the self-esteem is raised beyond a point, these people tend to bully "the
other". I remember reading about a psychological study a few years back which
clearly shows that too much of self-esteem is in fact harmful and creates
conflict. The study was done on school children.

I would follow Said's when I am beaten to death, i.e. never. He probably was
one the instigators of the violent path the Palestinians have taken in quest
of their independence from Israel's hegemony. His chEla, Tariq Ali, is a
self-proclaimed Gandhian but strangely supports E. Said's violent
disobedience.

shiv
BRF Oldie
Posts: 35017
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Pindliyon ka Gooda

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

Postby shiv » 02 Jan 2015 06:05

There is one book by Said that is useful for understanding the foundations on which the west has built up its attitude of superiority - and that is "Orientalism". The 2001 edition (I think) is the latest and describes the way different disciplines like western history, sociology, anthropology and even lay literature have combined to build up a picture that paints the east/orient as "quaint and backward" needing to be controlled and guided by the west. A substantial number of Indian intellectuals have been tutored in these attitudes. It's not like a maniac simply standing up and saying " I am the best" - it is a whole body of literature going back 200-250 years from which all the "correct" attitudes have been regularly filtered and distilled into newere refernce books that fill the libraries of academia who then educate people.

The most important consequance of this for any scholar who stands opposed to these egregious west-superiority viewpoints stems from the fact that any argument he makes is countered by a long library list of flawed/biased/racist works showing how he is wrong. But each of those "flawed works" are volumes extending to tens of thousands of pages written from 1800 to 2000 and one would have to pick the key "game changer" works and diss them to show how the edifice of western superiority is built on certain premises that are now being pushed as "universal" using former military and now economic clout as the driving force. This is made difficult by confusion in words and terminology that we do not adequately understand as we use them. I will try and deal with a couple more that come to mind - words on the lines of history, religion and philosophy whose implications are unclear to us because we do not understand them the way they are insticntively understood by the west - via their experiences.


Return to “Strategic Issues & International Relations Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: komal and 23 guests