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.
shiv
BRF Oldie
Posts: 34982
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Pindliyon ka Gooda

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

Postby shiv » 10 Jul 2014 21:48

One of the biggest conflicts I see between an Indian thought process and western universalism is the inability to define an Indian viewpoint on contentious issues.

Islam is much better. There are good and firm opinions that appear from Islamic sources. But Hindus are wishy washy. We are always balancing what tradition says with what we want the westerner to feel about us. This is part of our constant psyche of apology.

Take homosexuality for example. In terms of dharma, homosexuality fails on some counts. Homosexuality was looked down upon in the west in the past. They have now changed. Homosexuality was discouraged in India in the past now. Have we really changed our views or are we simply aping the west and saying things that will earn us western praise as a modern society? What is the Hindu view of homosexuality?

i deliberately ask about this contentious issue. there are other issues where we in India have no problem projecting and Indian or Hindu way. For example hunting is banned in India. All hunting. Not just endangered species.

member_23692
BRFite
Posts: 441
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

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

Postby member_23692 » 10 Jul 2014 22:18

shiv wrote:One of the biggest conflicts I see between an Indian thought process and western universalism is the inability to define an Indian viewpoint on contentious issues.

Islam is much better. There are good and firm opinions that appear from Islamic sources. But Hindus are wishy washy. We are always balancing what tradition says with what we want the westerner to feel about us. This is part of our constant psyche of apology.

Take homosexuality for example. In terms of dharma, homosexuality fails on some counts. Homosexuality was looked down upon in the west in the past. They have now changed. Homosexuality was discouraged in India in the past now. Have we really changed our views or are we simply aping the west and saying things that will earn us western praise as a modern society? What is the Hindu view of homosexuality?

i deliberately ask about this contentious issue. there are other issues where we in India have no problem projecting and Indian or Hindu way. For example hunting is banned in India. All hunting. Not just endangered species.


The bigger conflict is between Indian thought and Indian practice.

Only an idiot will question the depth, the nuances, the multi-facetedness, of Indian thought and its ability to contemplate highly complex and abstract issues. Only a retard will argue that Indian thought is in anyway "less" than Western thought in depth. In fact, I would argue that in those rare instances that still exist, where you find in certain families still, Indian thought practiced in all its dimensions, in all its glory and in all its purity without much hypocrisy, you will find their lifestyle and their culture to be the most refined anywhere, far surpassing the best any other culture has to offer. But then, I may be biased, but I don't think so.

The trouble is that in 99.9 percent of Indian population today, and 99.9 percent of our families, there is a huge disconnect between the best of traditional Indian thought and current practice. It is almost that the "thought" comes from Mars and is totally alien to what we practice. Therefore, to an outside observer, and even some inside observers like me, it is very difficult to comprehend that it is the same Indians or their forefathers who originated such sophisticated "thought" as the ones who are totally "non-practicing" it today. In fact the current Indians overwhelming practice no "thought", and only exhibit, the lowest form of uncouth behavior known to man. SO MUCH SO, THAT WHILE COMMON CULTURE IN THE WEST IS NOTHING TO WRITE HOME ABOUT, IT IS VERY BASIC AND QUITE LOW, BOTH IN "THOUGHT" AND IN PRACTICE, BECAUSE EVEN THE WESTERN LOW FORM OF POPULAR CULTURAL PRACTICES IN RELATIVE TERMS ARE SO SUPERIOR COMPARED TO CONTEMPORARY INDIAN CULTURAL PRACTICES, THAT MOST OUTSIDERS MISTAKENLY START BELIEVING THAT Indian "THOUGHT" AND TRADITIONAL CULTURE IS "INFERIOR" TOO. In other words, we contemporary Indians with very few exceptions are terrible, terrible ambassadors of our traditional culture and thought and we cannot blame an average person, whether he be a western person or eastern or even an Indian to think that we are a people devoid of any thought or culture.

Unless, we bridge this gap between our exalted "thought" and our actual practices on the ground, or start thinking of ways of doing so, we will stay in this nebulous, almost parallel universe world, where it is only vapor ware and no actual "karma" to protect and practice "dharma".

I keep thinking if there was some major "flaw" in our otherwise great tradition of "deep thought", that resulted in this total disconnect between contemporary Indian practice and our traditional "thought". I keep thinking if our "thought" promoted itself to only being thought, and not being practiced or at least our "thought" did not promote its own practice very effectively.
Last edited by member_23692 on 10 Jul 2014 22:29, edited 2 times in total.

svinayak
BRF Oldie
Posts: 14223
Joined: 09 Feb 1999 12:31

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

Postby svinayak » 10 Jul 2014 22:23

shiv wrote:
Take homosexuality for example. In terms of dharma, homosexuality fails on some counts. Homosexuality was looked down upon in the west in the past. They have now changed. Homosexuality was discouraged in India in the past now. Have we really changed our views or are we simply aping the west and saying things that will earn us western praise as a modern society? What is the Hindu view of homosexuality?

Who said they have changed, The homosexuality is a direct threat to the church system of social control. To break the Church system in there society the community is using laws and other means to get accepted but conservatives know that it is a social engineering. But the Church system needs reforms.

For Indians homosexuality is not a problem and Hindus are not opposing the religion using homosexuality and Hindu system does not create a contentious issue out social norms.
The elite and city folks are making a big issue out of the laws of homosexuality to ape the west.


The western cultural revolution of the 60s created the pop culture. So it cannot be called as the culture but conservative culture before that is the true culture of the west which is hidden

RamaY
BRF Oldie
Posts: 17249
Joined: 10 Aug 2006 21:11
Location: http://bharata-bhuti.blogspot.com/

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

Postby RamaY » 11 Jul 2014 03:43

symontk wrote:This is wrong info about Christianity. Christianity is all about after life. From the first book / chapter of Bible to the last book / chapter it deals with that only


If Christianity is all about afterlife, there is no need for it in a living society?

shiv
BRF Oldie
Posts: 34982
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Pindliyon ka Gooda

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

Postby shiv » 11 Jul 2014 06:32

svinayak wrote:Who said they have changed, The homosexuality is a direct threat to the church system of social control. To break the Church system in there society the community is using laws and other means to get accepted but conservatives know that it is a social engineering. But the Church system needs reforms.

For Indians homosexuality is not a problem and Hindus are not opposing the religion using homosexuality and Hindu system does not create a contentious issue out social norms.
The elite and city folks are making a big issue out of the laws of homosexuality to ape the west.

The western cultural revolution of the 60s created the pop culture. So it cannot be called as the culture but conservative culture before that is the true culture of the west which is hidden

Fair enough. But laws in western nations are being made to create equality for homosexuality, and as a step beyond that, homosexual marriages have been made legal, followed by he legal right for homosexual couples to adopt and raise children, I will get back to this point a little later, so let me digress briefly.

If you look at the history of "the west" in the last 400 years, it is important to remember that wester/European and American history is not="world history"

In the west the Church positioned itself as law giver and law enforcer and outlandish demands and explanations were used by the Church to rule over the population. "Science" came both as a means of explaining the world around as well as a means of making life easier, Science brought relief from diseases, better metallurgy brought better weapons, better transport and tools for agriculture. Science in the west needed to tear down the influence of the Church, so there was a "religion versus science" conflict right from the outset. The west started with the rule of religion and science really took off in the last 300 years to overwhelm religion. This is western history. Not Indian history. The splitting up of human knowledge into two separate competing compartments, "science" and "religion" is a western construct that has come out of the history of the west. It is NOT Indian history. It is NOT world history. Any person who asks if anything Indian is religion or science is assuming that everything in India is split up into conservative, backward religion and a forward looking liberal science. But let me end my digression here.

Did the Church get anything right at all? The Church, in my view, got a lot of things right. It was only rebellion against all that it got wrong that led to the "defeat" of the Church. The Church gave solace at the time of sorrow, maintained social order by imposing morality (neighbour does not try to sleep with your mum without fear of punishment)., encouraged procreation as necessary for society, and enforced marital fidelity by law. The Church served to unite society and make in stronger in Europe although it encouraged and allowed pillaging in conquered territories. Science came and tore down the views of the Church and thousand of years of "social experience" on hos societies should be structured were ravaged by science. Sex was made free from childbirth, and as populations increased from better health, birth rates were reduced leading to more individual prosperity and freedom while rejecting much of what the Church used to enforce. In short the west has been experimenting with and manipulating society in the name of progress, freedom and scientific endeavour. At least some of the snake oil there is being passed of as "Universalism" and that snake oil is being bought by Indians as the truth.

Contrast the situation with India. In India there was never any science/religion conflict. Science and religion were both taught as a single, unitary, non competing, non contradictory package. "religion" in India gelled perfectly with such science as was there - which was mainly health sciences, psychology, botany, astronomy, mathematics and some chemistry. In Indian society, rules (called "dharma") were created specifically to hold society together and that society has pretty much held together for 5000 years. If new rules are created that go against dharma, there have to be some very good reasons that are better than mere borrowing from the west.

The homosexuality reference above, deliberate exclusion of a mother or father from a child's upbringing, deliberate marriages that cannot renew and replace society with children, free sex, unrestricted sex (kama) without fear of pregnancy are fundamentally adharmic. Breaking up a family is adharmic. Since we (Indians) have rejected Indian history and have adopted western history and society as our own, and since we think there is a religion and science conflict, we really should have no reason to resist western Universalism. After all we too are "world citizens" and if we reject our past we can adopt western history and western society as our own Many Indians have successfully done that already. It's not such a big deal to embrace that Universalism as our own, is it?

We just need to make up our minds about what we want. When we celebrate science for fighting religion, we are celebrating the defeat of Christianity by science. If we then equate Christianity with Hindu dharma, we need to celebrate the defeat of dharma too by science. Science is certainly helping to defeat dharma by manipulating and experimenting with society. Only we now know science better than we know dharma so we don;t give a flyin fuk although it causes some temporary taqleef. It was only ancient Indian education that had sweet compatibility between Indian religion and science. Western education is all conflict between religion and science. We have adopted the later and it might be a good idea to be happy with it. If that causes adharmic turmoil in society, so what? It is Universalism after all. We need to be modern. Move with the times. Suck it up and get used to it.

symontk
BRFite
Posts: 920
Joined: 01 Nov 2001 12:31
Location: Bangalore

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

Postby symontk » 11 Jul 2014 06:43

RamaY wrote:
symontk wrote:This is wrong info about Christianity. Christianity is all about after life. From the first book / chapter of Bible to the last book / chapter it deals with that only


If Christianity is all about afterlife, there is no need for it in a living society?


Its about living here to aspire for next one. Its OT anyway

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

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

Postby member_22733 » 11 Jul 2014 06:53

shiv sir,

Minor tangential point to your post: Science in the west became "popular" because it got tied into the economy. It was not so much a rebellion against the church and it would not have been so if it were not linked to the economy.

In India science and math never tied into the economy. I am ignorant of Indian history, but I believe there is very little evidence of this happening.

shiv
BRF Oldie
Posts: 34982
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Pindliyon ka Gooda

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

Postby shiv » 11 Jul 2014 07:32

LokeshC wrote:Minor tangential point to your post: Science in the west became "popular" because it got tied into the economy. It was not so much a rebellion against the church and it would not have been so if it were not linked to the economy.

Science in the west had to fight the Church to take off. The Church controlled life, politics and the economy. People like Galileo and Vesalius had to break Church rules to get to the discoveries they came up with. Science had to come out from under the cloak of religion.

Science really contributed to the European economy with the adoption (not invention I guess) of the compass and better shipbuilding. It is possible that the printing press played a role as information about other cultures and trade routes could be shared. The Church sponsored expeditions to "India" that landed in America. South America was conquered by the Church - although syphilis is blamed. The Church probably helped syphilis in South America. The kings, the Church and the nation got rich. It was the creation of a wealthy "middle class" with overseas looting and trade that changed the economy.

The real conflict with the Church that "defeated" the Church started much more recently and that came after science had changed European economy beyond recognition. One by one, rules that the Church had held dear were torn down as the west started experimenting with their own societies.

What passes for "religion" in India was never anti-science, but Indian science is a completely different ball game and approaches enquiry and proof in a completely different way. And it is not closed or resistant to different approaches to science such as routes of enquiry developed further by western science. That is a separate subject

I would judge that the Church had some rules for the preservation of society that were akin to Dharma. They have been rejected. We need to decide what we want to do with Dharma and we need to decide whether we should simply throw away several millennia of "experience" in holding society together as outdated mumbo jumbo and take up western Universalism with enthusiasm.

shiv
BRF Oldie
Posts: 34982
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Pindliyon ka Gooda

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

Postby shiv » 11 Jul 2014 08:10

Is this, or is is it not an example of how Pakistanis have taken up western Universalism? All the ideals are there. The independent, wealthy woman in a modern dress, an appreciation for art, adoption of technology and a rejection of conservative social values of Pakistan.
Educationalist and model Fatima (R) uses her mobile phone while her Filipino domestic worker holds her glass of water at her house in Lahore May 28, 2014.

Image

ShauryaT
BRF Oldie
Posts: 5246
Joined: 31 Oct 2005 06:06

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

Postby ShauryaT » 11 Jul 2014 08:25

shiv wrote: Take homosexuality for example. In terms of dharma, homosexuality fails on some counts. Homosexuality was looked down upon in the west in the past. They have now changed. Homosexuality was discouraged in India in the past now. Have we really changed our views or are we simply aping the west and saying things that will earn us western praise as a modern society? What is the Hindu view of homosexuality?
Dharma's view point on homosesuality is quite clear. It explicitly bans it with punishments, right from the Manu smriti. It violates every known principle of Dharma. Ritam or rit roughly meaning the natural order is a high principle from the vedas around which laws are made. Think of Ritam as a pre-amble. A sexual relationship between two males or females was considered against this natural order. Dharma demands that we fulfill the purusharthas including our natural desires (kama) borne from our bodies marked by sanskaras. Two males in a relationship cannot fulfill these. Procreation and a man-woman household is the corner stone for a grihasta. A grihasta upholds individuals in the other three Ashramas. A disturbance to the natural order, to the family order and to society at multiple levels would violate the principles, objectives and rules of Dharma. The confusion stems from what is known today as "individual" choice. Dharma has never looked at the individual as the "only" unit around whom laws and protections would work. For Dharma seeks to uphold society and an Individual is only one part of it. So Dharma is quite clear on the matter. Hindus may not be.

i deliberately ask about this contentious issue. there are other issues where we in India have no problem projecting and Indian or Hindu way. For example hunting is banned in India. All hunting. Not just endangered species.
Not sure of the precedent for our law on this. Ahimsa is a core value - in practice and in the Jaina texts - but not in the smritis. Literature suggests it was tolerated and allowed for kshatriyas. I will speculate on the matter. In general society seems to have been vegetarian, with general respect for nature/prakriti (this is the reason, why we have all our flora and fauna attached to our devtas). Worshipping animals is completely kosher and a practice that continues within SD. In a fertile land, the need to hunt was not acute. However, during travels, or in certain communities, it seems hunting and eating animals and birds was acceptable but the overall diet for most people was overwhelmingly vegetarian the way it is even today. As for the blanket ban, do not know its antecedents to comment.

shiv
BRF Oldie
Posts: 34982
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Pindliyon ka Gooda

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

Postby shiv » 11 Jul 2014 08:42

Rudradev wrote:This feature of Western science becomes even more emphatically clear in the instance of medical practice vs. biological science. In the laboratory you can demonstrate that Angiotensin II, for example, has numerous physiological effects that may be deleterious in heart failure. However, when you conduct a clinical trial of an angiotensin receptor blocker, the results you get are almost never 100% (or even 80%) successful. Some patients get better while others get worse and die. It is virtually impossible to establish whether the mechanisms of angiotensin blockade seen in a nice clean laboratory setting were in fact responsible for improving the health of all the patients who got better, or indeed that they did not contribute to worsening the condition of the patients who died. Yet the "truth-claim" that angiotensin receptor blocker is effective for treatment of heart failure is generally accepted, and people are prescribed these drugs all the time. Same for virtually every pharmaceutical product; a double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial with statistically effective results and no serious adverse events is all the "evidence" needed to put it on the market.

Rudradev there is a lot of food for thought in your post - so I will take up one bit at a time. I have speculated on the reason for the above conundrum from time to time and actually the topic is vast but I will try and stick to a narrow path.

Western science as you say (and Rajiv Malhotra rightly points out) is a belief system that is built up by verification by experimentation. Experimentation and verifiability become very complex if the number of variables is increased. So Science deliberately tries to stick to a single variable while keeping others constant. This is sometimes extremely effective - at least in instances where there is only a single variable that makes all the difference. The effect of Angotensin is unlikely to be a single point affair - but the other variables are unknown and currently unknowable. But science fudges on its own truth principles and brings in the concept of "conditional truth" in which something is true under certain conditions. This enables science to be applied with the disclaimer that no scientific belief is absolute and that the picture may change if something new crops up. Science admits that it is not absolute. The Church claimed that it represented the absolute but was completely unable to back up its claims.

Sanatana Dharma dealt with questions about what is absolute and what is not absolute starting 5000 years ago. It never defined God or religion as "absolute". It did not define science as absolute. It did define what was absolute and came up with a startling answer. That startling answer and how that answer is obtained is a game changer in many ways. it is hardly trivial - which is why there is so much literature and practice required to get at that idea.

Western science never claimed to be absolute, but it did "defeat" the absolute truth claims of the Church after which Western science helped people "play God". But the God that western science has pretended to be is a God that tries to conquer nature. Not a God who is part of nature or nature itself.

shiv
BRF Oldie
Posts: 34982
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Pindliyon ka Gooda

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

Postby shiv » 11 Jul 2014 08:55

ShauryaT wrote:
shiv wrote: Take homosexuality for example. In terms of dharma, homosexuality fails on some counts. Homosexuality was looked down upon in the west in the past. They have now changed. Homosexuality was discouraged in India in the past now. Have we really changed our views or are we simply aping the west and saying things that will earn us western praise as a modern society? What is the Hindu view of homosexuality?
Dharma's view point on homosesuality is quite clear. It explicitly bans it with punishments, right from the Manu smriti. It violates every known principle of Dharma. Ritam or rit roughly meaning the natural order is a high principle from the vedas around which laws are made. Think of Ritam as a pre-amble. A sexual relationship between two males or females was considered against this natural order. Dharma demands that we fulfill the purusharthas including our natural desires (kama) borne from our bodies marked by sanskaras. Two males in a relationship cannot fulfill these. Procreation and a man-woman household is the corner stone for a grihasta. A grihasta upholds individuals in the other three Ashramas. A disturbance to the natural order, to the family order and to society at multiple levels would violate the principles, objectives and rules of Dharma. The confusion stems from what is known today as "individual" choice. Dharma has never looked at the individual as the "only" unit around whom laws and protections would work. For Dharma seeks to uphold society and an Individual is only one part of it. So Dharma is quite clear on the matter. Hindus may not be.

i deliberately ask about this contentious issue. there are other issues where we in India have no problem projecting and Indian or Hindu way. For example hunting is banned in India. All hunting. Not just endangered species.
Not sure of the precedent for our law on this. Ahimsa is a core value - in practice and in the Jaina texts - but not in the smritis. Literature suggests it was tolerated and allowed for kshatriyas. I will speculate on the matter. In general society seems to have been vegetarian, with general respect for nature/prakriti (this is the reason, why we have all our flora and fauna attached to our devtas). Worshipping animals is completely kosher and a practice that continues within SD. In a fertile land, the need to hunt was not acute. However, during travels, or in certain communities, it seems hunting and eating animals and birds was acceptable but the overall diet for most people was overwhelmingly vegetarian the way it is even today. As for the blanket ban, do not know its antecedents to comment.


A beautiful post from you Shaurya. Hence I quote the whole post again.

The point about a hunting ban is that a stand has been taken. The philosophical basis of the stand can be questioned - but it is a "safe stand" in which harm will not be done.

What stand should Hindus take about homosexuality? There is a great urge among educated Hindus to absorb and internalize the stand that is pushed under the garb of "western Universalism" and reject the mumbo jumbo of a Hindu tradition that has only been given a bad name for 150 years.

You are dead right about the individual versus society conflict. Homosexuality is adharmic. That does not mean that homosexuals should not exist or live. In fact I do believe that homosexuals were given a role in society as "transgenders".

The topic is a vexed one and I have had raging arguments on another private forum. Homosexuality is said to be "normal" among a subset of the population. My argument has always been that from the viewpoint of unusual or "outlying" sexual proclivities, sex with animals and paedophilia also occur among a percentage of the population. What would make one worthy of encouragement and the other condemned as wrong? I do not want to divert this thread because the topic is controversial, but any conflict between Indian tradition and western universalism would include this subject as well.

Also pertinent here is the degree to which homosexuality has become acceptable. The media says all is well. The post by svinayak earlier suggests that it is not

Jarita
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2492
Joined: 30 Oct 2009 22:27
Location: Andromeda

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

Postby Jarita » 11 Jul 2014 09:20

shiv wrote:Is this, or is is it not an example of how Pakistanis have taken up western Universalism? All the ideals are there. The independent, wealthy woman in a modern dress, an appreciation for art, adoption of technology and a rejection of conservative social values of Pakistan.
Educationalist and model Fatima (R) uses her mobile phone while her Filipino domestic worker holds her glass of water at her house in Lahore May 28, 2014.

Image



How odd. Why the filipino worker? There are many unemployed paksitanis. Bit like the Brit nobility fetish for black footman as it was considered exotic.

Keep looking at the pic for the sheer ridiculousness of it. What is that woman wearing? Looks so stupid
Last edited by Jarita on 11 Jul 2014 09:22, edited 1 time in total.

member_26011
BRFite
Posts: 119
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

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

Postby member_26011 » 11 Jul 2014 09:21

Here is a more nuanced and universal approach to homosexuality, articulated by HAF:

HAF Policy Brief: Hinduism and Homosexuality
Unlike Christianity or Islam, Hinduism does not provide a fundamental spiritual reason to reject or ostracize homosexuals;
We need to work with the latest scientific and medical conclusions that homosexual orientation occurs naturally in a small percentage of most life forms and is not acquired;
Hinduism has wisely separated the spiritual from the social and allows for Smritis to change over time; and;
Given their inherent spiritual equality, Hindus should not socially ostracize homosexuals, but should accept them as fellow sojourners on the path to moksha.

ShauryaT
BRF Oldie
Posts: 5246
Joined: 31 Oct 2005 06:06

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

Postby ShauryaT » 11 Jul 2014 19:49

chand.bhardwaj wrote:Here is a more nuanced and universal approach to homosexuality, articulated by HAF:
HAF Policy Brief: Hinduism and Homosexuality

Let us parse through this Hindu American Statement.

>>Unlike Christianity or Islam, Hinduism does not provide a fundamental spiritual reason to reject or ostracize homosexuals;

Homosexualism has to do with sexual orientation. What business does "spirituality" have with this entirely temporal affair? OK, I admit, homosexuals have a right to Moksha.

>>We need to work with the latest scientific and medical conclusions that homosexual orientation occurs naturally in a small percentage of most life forms and is not acquired;

Please make me aware of sustained homosexual relationships in the natural world NOT homosexual acts, which is monkey business to act as stress busters. Also, is not the entire argument of SD is to rise above our animal spirits and make conscious and self aware choices and works, which animals cannot?

>>Hinduism has wisely separated the spiritual from the social and allows for Smritis to change over time; and;

Lies. Manu, yagnavalkya, Brihaspati, Kautilya, Narda the authors of major shastras will have their Atma's highly disturbed to know there is a "divorce" between our spiritual and social systems. There are aspects of social laws that do change - however NOT in divorce from spiritual principles. The IDEA of this DIVORCE is a western concept. SD systems NEVER had this divorce between religious and secular law. VarnaAshram is directly derived from Shruti. This idea of a divorce is the biggest lie sold to us by the DIE. As per Sri Aurobindo - the destiny of India is to pursue a religious life - religiosity as understood in Indian systems: i.e: to lead a spiritual life.

>>Given their inherent spiritual equality, Hindus should not socially ostracize homosexuals, but should accept them as fellow sojourners on the path to moksha.

What about Artha, Kama and Dharma? They are being penalized for disturbing the natural and social order. Society has a right to protect itself from behaviors of individuals that may impinge on the rest - especially if they violate some high principles. What these corrective procedures or punishments should be can be debated.

Shiv ji: I think our world can do better than what the traditional world did to isolate such folks into certain roles as transgenders. I also think terminologies are an issue here. There is no approximate word for a "homosexual" in Indian literature. Homosexual acts are more common in nature and people. However homosexual relationships, legal marriage et al is an entirely different category.

Why do we not post the VHP position or the Acharya Mahasabha position or from heads of the major sampradayas and matts to know a better position of what do SD leaders of today think of it? Folks: Ask your acharyas and gurus and post their views here.

To the HAF, I can only say - Asato ma, Sat Gamaya!

RamaY
BRF Oldie
Posts: 17249
Joined: 10 Aug 2006 21:11
Location: http://bharata-bhuti.blogspot.com/

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

Postby RamaY » 11 Jul 2014 19:58

Great posts above ShauryaTji.

shiv
BRF Oldie
Posts: 34982
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Pindliyon ka Gooda

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

Postby shiv » 11 Jul 2014 20:14

Shaurya - I did think the HAF view was cringeworthy, and was trying to post an appropriate response. The only thing I could think of is that it might be a case of "When in Rome, do as the Romans do".

The philosophical question that crossed my mind in this connection came up as follows:

The HAF are between a rock and a hard place. They live in a society in which they have to
1. Obey the laws
2. Not be seen as different from the "local culture" and therefore under pressure to fudge their own culture to conform.

The philosophical question that crossed my mind was, "If their stated view was one that could create a rift in the society that they live in, they are technically doing damage to that society. Would avoidance of "damage" to American society constitute some sort of dharmic ideal?"

On second thought, I think not. American society is perfectly capable of handling dissent. it is the HAF that does not want to make waves and is willing to fudge Indian culture for that purpose. But why fault them? Even Indian secularism is a requirement to suppress Hindu views on some topics and accept Hindu faults as and when they are pointed out. You do not discard dharma in under the excuse that some sections of society would feel hurt if Hindu expressed dharmic views and that would then itself be adharmic.

RamaY
BRF Oldie
Posts: 17249
Joined: 10 Aug 2006 21:11
Location: http://bharata-bhuti.blogspot.com/

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

Postby RamaY » 11 Jul 2014 21:40

The dichotomy between what/how a Hindu/Hindu-group behaves in India and outside India, IMHO, is due to the simple fact that there is no single society that Hindus can claim to be their representative.

A Christian society can show-case both its virtues and red-lines in any of the nation-states it holds as core. Same goes with Islamic and Jewish societies. I think Myanmar is becoming a show-case of a Buddhist society. More than virtues of a given society, all these societies spell a clear/assertive/non-nonsense red-lines from their worldview. This is why a Muslim even in a predominantly Christian/Hindu society can stand his ground about the core-beliefs of his ideology and same goes with a Christian.

Unfortunately Hindu society doesn't have such a region they absolutely control.

I think that is the reason behind some of us talking about secularism of Hindus in open forums while lamenting about Islamic/Christian onslaught on our native lands in secret. HAF is just an extension of this dichotomy.

It is a simple mind exercise any/every inquiring mind can do. Think how would a Hindu society/govt behave if it is in an absolute power and can impose its will on non-Hindu citizenry.

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

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

Postby member_22733 » 11 Jul 2014 21:50

RamaY: I had a similar thought in mind.
Abrahamics are "othering" religions built on scarcity of resources (Rajiv Malhotra ji has stressed this over and over). They use the reptilian human emotions of "us vs them" to propagate like a virus.

Hinduism on the contrary has a very loose definition of the "other" (mlecha?). In such a case, what do we consider non-Hindu? The closest I have come to define non-Hindu is: Any individual who follows a doctorine/dogma of any religion/cult that believes in its own exclusivity. i.e. any follower of an "othering" cult/religion is a non-Hindu, for the simple reason that it is an existential and potentially violent threat to Hinduism.

Without a clear understanding of what/who is Hindu and why, we wont be able to generate an identity around it.

ramana
Forum Moderator
Posts: 54822
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

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

Postby ramana » 11 Jul 2014 21:58

Err the order is Dharma, Artha, Kama to attain Mokhsa.
The order requires the middle two to be attained per Dharma resulting in Moksha.


It also implies a Ghrishta should have enough Artha to acquire Kama ie have job or attain wealth before getting married.

Child marriage was an apad dharma during the invaders times.

member_23692
BRFite
Posts: 441
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

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

Postby member_23692 » 11 Jul 2014 22:13

While discussing the merits and demerits of various philosophies and "thoughts", it is fascinating, how little time is devoted to promoting the actual practice of the preferred or the "better" thought on the ground.

Is it the responsibility of the philosophy itself to also prescribe how exactly that philosophy is to be implemented and what the benchmarks of successful implementation are ? Kind of like Quoran does, if you consider it a philosophy. So, if there are no benchmarks to implement a "thought" in the society or by an individual in a practical matter, how does the "thought" actually get implemented ? Or is it important at all, that a "thought" does get implemented ? If it is important, then does it not leave a lot of leeway in interpretation to where the "thought" cannot just get diluted but can actually get turned on its head, while being implemented.

And this, when there is an honest attempt to interpret the "thought" and there are honest differences. What happens when there are dishonest people, attempting to co-opt the "thought" for their own nefarious ends, as has been quite often the case with the "professed followers" of different streams of "Dharmic thought" ?

It is not by accident or due to Macaulay or slave mentality or some other superficial reason alone that Western thought is attractive to a lot of Hindus. It is because an average person in India sees better results in the West, due to better implementation of Western "thought", regardless of an inferior nature of that "thought". I mean, what good is "superior thought", if you have never been able to implement even 10% of it ever, and certainly are close to 0% of implementation in the present ?

Can a "thought" truly be considered "superior", if it has never been implemented fully and cannot be implemented, even enough, to produce comparable results to implementation of other "inferior" thoughts ? Can a "thought" truly be considered "superior" or even "comparable", or even "in the running", if its originators or the progeny of its originators or its advocates take no responsibility to implement and prove out the concept on the ground ? Can a "thought" be truly considered even "legitimate", if it only lives in someone's imagination or in some books somewhere or only lives in song and there is no practical manifestation of it in people's lives ?

So on balance, an "inferior thought" better implemented is enormously preferable to a "superior thought" not only not implemented, but turned around on its head. With a certain amount of integrity, even a bad "thought" or a "system" can produce reasonable results. Lacking integrity, even God almighty's own words produce nothing. There are certain human qualities that fundamentally stand even above all other "thought" or philosophies. A critical one of those is integrity and staying true to oneself and by derivation, others around us. If there is no integrity, there is no "thought", Eastern or Western or anything. If there is no integrity, there is no humanity. If there is no humanity, there is.....nothing.

The only purpose that "superior thought" then serves, in the absence of any burden of its implementation on anybody, is "drawing room discussions" over scotch and cognac, with a liberal dose of Havanas to go with it.

RamaY
BRF Oldie
Posts: 17249
Joined: 10 Aug 2006 21:11
Location: http://bharata-bhuti.blogspot.com/

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

Postby RamaY » 11 Jul 2014 22:17

ramana wrote:Err the order is Dharma, Artha, Kama to attain Mokhsa.
The order requires the middle two to be attained per Dharma resulting in Moksha.


It also implies a Ghrishta should have enough Artha to acquire Kama ie have job or attain wealth before getting married.

Child marriage was an apad dharma during the invaders times.


+1008.

The times before MB were also time of Apaddharma due to rule of Jarasamdha and Naraka. An avatara of Sri Krishna was required to set things back to Dharmic fold. We need to remember this again and again: The times before any/every Avatara were under strong Adhrarmic control.

If we read Puranas from this perspective and things will get clear.

ramana
Forum Moderator
Posts: 54822
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

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

Postby ramana » 11 Jul 2014 23:02

RamaY, It just struck me that so called Abrahmic religions are truly about making apad dharma as Dharma due to the inversion problem we see. Hence our angst about Western Universalism which is really rakasha swabahvam being enshrined. Its like Bandasura won.

True Christianity had its separation of Church and State along with scientific revolution which reduced the oppression on the people. Islam removed any chances of that kind of corrective action.

RamaY
BRF Oldie
Posts: 17249
Joined: 10 Aug 2006 21:11
Location: http://bharata-bhuti.blogspot.com/

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

Postby RamaY » 12 Jul 2014 01:59

Exactly Ramanaji.

It is the nature of an Asuric-ideology to be exclusive. That exclusivity makes it appear to have clear definitions, scriptures and beliefs.

On the other hand Dharma is inclusive; including Adharma-which will be crushed. No wonder the questions seeking clear definition of beliefs and scriptures from Sanatana Dharma side are unanswered. All those smritis too have time/contextual limitations and aren't perpetual. Only Vedas (the knowledge/awareness/consciousness) are eternal - and it enforces itself thru Dharma, thus Dharma is eternal.

Western universalism is nothing but extending an idea of exclusiveness on this planet; this exclusiveness is for Men(not women). The foundation of Abrahamic faiths is that the creation is done for Men consumption; hence must be exploited. Western universalism is also the same (it appears to give rights to Women, so they can be consumed/exploited).

Hinduism is against this exclusive claim by Men/humans over the rest of universe. It says human race is just one species among many, which the soul takes form of.

ramana
Forum Moderator
Posts: 54822
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

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

Postby ramana » 12 Jul 2014 02:07

That brings us to the hints Bji and I have been exchanging about the reasons for misogyny in Abrahamic cults and the Richard Burton essay and how they have inverted even this to discriminate on their own originators.

shiv
BRF Oldie
Posts: 34982
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Pindliyon ka Gooda

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

Postby shiv » 12 Jul 2014 05:57

ramana wrote:Child marriage was an apad dharma during the invaders times.

I used to wonder why the 60th birthday was such a big deal for a man in India - but that is because life expectancy was low and 60 was a record. Long long ago you and I had a discussion on BRF about an autobiography written by my wife's grand-uncle about life in the late 1800s and early 1900s in India. The "average" life expectancy in that era was probably around 40 for women. Men did not live much longer either - it was diseases like plague and cholera that took them.

Men married and remarried because women were dying after giving birth to a few children. Half the children would die. These "statistics" were true for all human societies before the advent of "public health" in the 1800s.

In that type of society, it was necessary to get girls married around puberty. Some would be dead in their early 20s. Invaders pushed the age back by a few years.

KrishnaK
BRFite
Posts: 948
Joined: 29 Mar 2005 23:00

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

Postby KrishnaK » 12 Jul 2014 08:22

shiv wrote:Have we really changed our views or are we simply aping the west and saying things that will earn us western praise as a modern society? What is the Hindu view of homosexuality?
Everything that Indian does today from a modern republican democracy to views on homsexuality is to ape the west and earn their praise. We should go back to monarchy and living by shastras instead.

member_23692
BRFite
Posts: 441
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

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

Postby member_23692 » 12 Jul 2014 09:29

KrishnaK wrote:
shiv wrote:Have we really changed our views or are we simply aping the west and saying things that will earn us western praise as a modern society? What is the Hindu view of homosexuality?
Everything that Indian does today from a modern republican democracy to views on homsexuality is to ape the west and earn their praise. We should go back to monarchy and living by shastras instead.



Er, be careful KrishnaK. You may be banned for attacking Indian democracy and calling for its demise. Many have been banned for saying the same thing and being accused of sedition.

It is ironic, that the same people who glorify "Dharmic thought" and demonize "Western Thought" will get totally enraged and lose complete self control, merely at the suggestion of dispensing with that jewel of Western "thought", the animal they call, "democracy". And mind you, the democracy we practice is enormously more flawed and inferior to the democracy "they" practice in the West and I can bet you any amount of money that "they" will dispense with democracy in a bat of the eyelid, if it is practiced "there" like it is practiced "here".

No,no, no matter what, we must persist with our democracy in India, and live by it, and if we cannot live by it, by all means, die by it, and when it comes to "our democracy", "Dharmic thought" be damned.
Last edited by member_23692 on 12 Jul 2014 09:31, edited 1 time in total.

member_20317
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3167
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

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

Postby member_20317 » 12 Jul 2014 09:30

Grihastashram can be fulfilled without the need to go after the life of the differently enabled :P. But at the same time homosexuals or even hetrosexuals need to made clear that this world was not made as their plaything. Speaking from personal experience I would say simply brushing aside the existence of something that arose through the force of Prakriti would be wrong even if perfection personal/social is the goal. The perfection would lie in finding and enforcing a proper place for the seemingly unnatural. Modernity has labeled the utterly banal as the prime example of moral courage which is just the other side of vanity that their earlier generations have put on display. What is it I wonder - something like victorian bakwasbaazi. Now it is modern bakwasbazzi.

The crux of all expression is the interaction of the purush and prakriti because that is the origin of all. Living in that interaction puts a natural requirement on us to avoid denial while at the same time controlling the friggin urges to be more advanced then the advanced.

................................................

Shiv ji, Re. early marriages - People older then me and those of my age have all had womenfolk from the extended family who have died in childbirth. The loss of child was many times more then even the loss of the childbearing women. But the situation has improved these days, which on its own is good. But there could be another round of tu-tu-mein-mein with the advanced peoples on this subject. Something that gets extrapolated to the Hindu. The way economic advancement or absence of it was Hindu even though it was all really modern/advanced/enlightened bakwasbazzi. The way also the legalistic bull has been fed to our well schooled people who would never take up responsibility for the mess the justice dispensation is in.

.............................

ShauryaT ji, I have always felt that you wanted to say something about the spiritual informing the dharmic or even arthik as understood from the practical Indic ways. Wish you drive your point this time.

member_28638
BRFite
Posts: 211
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

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

Postby member_28638 » 12 Jul 2014 18:24

Being Different: An Indian Challenge to Western Universalism
by Rajiv Malhotra

Book description from Amazon:

India is more than a nation state. It is also a unique civilization with philosophies and cosmologies that are markedly distinct from the dominant culture of our times - the West. India's spiritual traditions spring from dharma which has no exact equivalent in Western frameworks. Unfortunately, in the rush to celebrate the growing popularity of India on the world stage, its civilizational matrix is being co-opted into Western universalism, thereby diluting its distinctiveness and potential. In Being Different: An Indian Challenge to Western Universalism, thinker and philosopher Rajiv Malhotra addresses the challenge of a direct and honest engagement on differences, by reversing the gaze, repositioning India from being the observed to the observer and looking at the West from the dharmic point of view. In doing so, he challenges many hitherto unexamined beliefs that both sides hold about themselves and each other. He highlights that while unique historical revelations are the basis for Western religions, dharma emphasizes self-realization in the body here and now. He also points out the integral unity that underpins dharma's metaphysics and contrasts this with Western thought and history as a synthetic unity.
Erudite and engaging, Being Different critiques fashionable reductive translations and analyses the West's anxiety over difference and fixation for order which contrast the creative role of chaos in dharma. It concludes with a rebuttal of Western claims of universalism, while recommending a multi-cultural worldview.

shiv
BRF Oldie
Posts: 34982
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Pindliyon ka Gooda

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

Postby shiv » 12 Jul 2014 19:11

KrishnaK wrote:
shiv wrote:Have we really changed our views or are we simply aping the west and saying things that will earn us western praise as a modern society? What is the Hindu view of homosexuality?
Everything that Indian does today from a modern republican democracy to views on homsexuality is to ape the west and earn their praise. We should go back to monarchy and living by shastras instead.

Delicious :D

This strikes me as a reaction that can only come from one or both of two ways of looking at the question.

1. The hypothetical westerner admonishing the Indian who questions western views on homosexuality with the response
"Well WE gave you democracy and if you don't like our views on homosexuality how come you are eagerly sticking to the democracy we gave you"

2. The Indian chiding a fellow Indian: "The west gave us democracy and the west is showing us the way about homosexuality. If you don't like the latter give up the former as well"

It is the latter viewpoint that I find "delicious". The west "gave" democracy to a lot of countries including Egypt, Tunisia, Pakistan even Thailand. And Iraq of course - the latest recipient of western democracy. Democracy is failing in all these states. It did not even take off in a whole lot of other countries. Surely India and Indians require some credit for muddling along. But No. Wag the finger and say "What? You don't like western views on homosexuality? Then give back democracy as well" Amazing. What a convoluted route to take for the same ol' Indian self criticism and permanent apologetic state - taking a question about homosexuality and saying that democracy needs to be discarded.

Why do Indians think in a way that makes them feel forever indebted to the west? Perhaps this is the biggest success of western Universalism - the "co-opted Indian". And the most difficult thing to change for those who disagree with that attitude.

Rony
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3281
Joined: 14 Jul 2006 23:29

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

Postby Rony » 12 Jul 2014 19:44

shiv wrote:Why do Indians think in a way that makes them feel forever indebted to the west? Perhaps this is the biggest success of western Universalism - the "co-opted Indian". And the most difficult thing to change for those who disagree with that attitude.


+ 1

svinayak
BRF Oldie
Posts: 14223
Joined: 09 Feb 1999 12:31

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

Postby svinayak » 12 Jul 2014 20:38

Rony wrote:
shiv wrote:Why do Indians think in a way that makes them feel forever indebted to the west? Perhaps this is the biggest success of western Universalism - the "co-opted Indian". And the most difficult thing to change for those who disagree with that attitude.


+ 1

It is only the western educated Indians who have this burden. The bharatiya Indian does not have to worry about the west. The current west is a socially engineered manufactured image which pretends universal ism.
They need Indian to accept it to show that there is something called western civilization
Last edited by svinayak on 12 Jul 2014 20:39, edited 1 time in total.

A_Gupta
BRF Oldie
Posts: 11639
Joined: 23 Oct 2001 11:31
Contact:

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

Postby A_Gupta » 12 Jul 2014 20:39

shiv wrote:
2. Idolatry is bad (oops we do have idols at home so I say "Well uh er not really. We believe in one God bla bla)

3. You believe in an elephant headed God or a bloodthirsty goddess? (Er um these are primitive beliefs. people are moving away from all that)

4. Do you believe in arranged marriages (oooops - mine was arranged so I'll say "Oh you see it's not like that you know. Nowadays you get to meet and get to know your future partner)

Indians have, exactly as AGupta pointed out, internalized and accepted the characterizations of Indian society made by others. It is those same others who are now offering us jobs and wealth and either we accept their definitions or we get branded as someone not worth associating with.




Reminds me of an essay by Prof. Balagangadhara. Please do read it.
http://www.hipkapi.com/2011/02/28/denyi ... angadhara/

It is a hypothetical dialog with Wendy Doniger. What I consider really key points:
A) The first thing to notice is that, in all these scenarios, I am defining the terms of the debate. She is unable to do this with respect to what I am doing.

(B) I am able to do it because I am knowledgeable about the western culture. That is, I am not ignorant of the western culture the way I was when I was 14 or 24. Therefore, I am able to tell her that she does not understand her own culture as well as I understand hers.


I also quote a part that leads up to the above (emphasis added):

(4′) “But you are wrong. ‘Puja’ is ‘worship’ and ‘lingam’ means ‘penis’. Therefore, you are ‘worshipping a penis when you say that you are doing puja to the Shiva Lingam’”. Here is what I would say today: “You see, the English word ‘worship’ comes basically from Christian theology where one worships either the God or the Devil and nothing else. Under no interpretation of such a theology could one consider Shiva as ‘God’, leaving us with only one possibility that Shiva is either the Devil or his minion. Is this what you want say: that we are worshipping Devil or his minions? In that case, Wendy, we are not discussing a translation issue but a Christian theological one.” Again, two threads open up: either she denies it or asks for further explication. Let us take up her denial first.

(5′) “No, that is not what ‘worship’ means. It means ‘reverence’. I am not a Christian, I was born a Jew; I know nothing of Christian theology even though I was married to one for some time.” I would say the following today: “Wendy, I would be willing to accept your definition of ‘worship’. But if I do so, I must do violence to other people and cultures: the Jewish, the Christian and the Muslim. From your definition, it would follow that they are not ‘worshipping’ God at all! And further, they cannot. In all these cultures, one can show ‘reverence’ to the elderly, the king, knowledge, the powerful, etc. To say that they show ‘reverence’ to God in the same way is to transform all of them into ‘idolaters’, which, according to their theologies, is the greatest sin! I am sorry, but your translation of ‘puja’ is not a mere linguistic issue.” Again, the discussion shifts to another level. She cannot pursue this line of enquiry either.


(5″) Here let me bend the stick in favour of Wendy. “But every Sanskrit-English dictionary, and every Indian teacher in Sanskrit who knows English, translates ‘puja’ as ‘worship’. Are you saying their knowledge of either languages is deficient and you are the only one who knows how to translate ‘Puja’ correctly?” Being a reasonable person, I would not get offended by her rhetorical attempts to make me appear ridiculous. I would say the following: “You see, Wendy, we all learnt English through Indian languages and were taught that ‘Puja’ means ‘worship’. We give the meaning of ‘Puja’ to the English word ‘worship’. The first generations of translators ‘decided’ to translate ‘puja’ as ‘worship’ because they were convinced that we are ‘idolaters’ and ‘worshipped’ the Devil and his minions. So, you see, we have to discuss the historical issues involving colonialism and what it means to a culture like ours in order to satisfactorily resolve the issues of translation. That is all I am saying. Shall we do so? Have your read ‘The Heathen in his blindness: Asia, the West and the dynamic of religion‘?”


This post is long enough - if commentary is needed, I will do so later.

member_23692
BRFite
Posts: 441
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

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

Postby member_23692 » 12 Jul 2014 21:00

I was serious about jettisoning democracy from India as a western construct. I did not realize KrishnaK was being sarcastic.

svinayak
BRF Oldie
Posts: 14223
Joined: 09 Feb 1999 12:31

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

Postby svinayak » 12 Jul 2014 21:44

I disagree with this kind of historical anaysis where the Indian panchayat and Indian nation is seen not as a rashtra.
But from the western oriented Indian this is far we may get.

This is the main reason why Indian have to bust the myth of the Western Universalism

The Story of Indian Democracy
http://www.fpri.org/articles/2011/06/st ... -democracy
In the wake of 1857, the British formally took over the rule of India. Queen Victoria promised not to tamper with local customs, practices and religious beliefs and generally to be a good steward of her Indian subjects. Despite this, by the late nineteenth century, the historical record shows the emergence of Indian nationalism. Undoubtedly the ideas which infused this insipient Indian nationalism were quintessentially drawn from the Western World. There was some Nationalist claptrap that perpetuated the myth of an ancestral village level democracy in India, and these ideas ultimately came to the fore. However, there is little evidence for that. There might have been this ancestral notion of consensus in a village and the like, but that is not where the origins of modern Indian democracy lie. Rather these origins, contrary to the claims of Indian Nationalists, lie in the traditions of British liberalism.

svinayak
BRF Oldie
Posts: 14223
Joined: 09 Feb 1999 12:31

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

Postby svinayak » 12 Jul 2014 22:02

This is the western commenting on India when a year of slow growth by a weak leadership
He uses clever words and colonial hubris to give negetive image

http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/magaz ... ias-future


Democratic to a fault?
India, whose creation as a republic is the most recklessly ambitious experiment in history, has flourished. But old strains put the future in peril

The Republic of India is the world’s most unnatural nation and its least likely democracy. Never before had a single political unit been created out of so many diverse parts. Never before had the franchise been granted to a desperately poor and largely illiterate population.

Even before India became independent, the ambitions of its nationalists invited scorn and derision. In the 1930s, after Mahatma Gandhi and the Congress party organised a popular movement against British rule, Winston Churchill insisted the idea of political independence for India was “not only fantastic in itself but criminally mischievous in its effects.” For the British “to abandon India to the rule of the Brahmins [who he thought dominated the Congress party] would be an act of cruel and wicked negligence.” If the British left, Churchill predicted, then “India will fall back quite rapidly through the centuries into the barbarism and privations of the Middle Ages.”

After independence the scepticism if anything intensified. The first general elections, held in 1951-52, and in which all adults regardless of caste, class, gender and literacy were encouraged to vote, were termed the “biggest gamble in history.” Though it and the next general election were a success, the writer Aldous Huxley visited in 1961 and went away profoundly depressed. Jawaharlal Nehru, the prime minister, was gravely ill, and apparently overwhelmed by “the prospect of overpopulation, underemployment, growing unrest.” Huxley was certain that “when Nehru goes, the government will become a military dictatorship.”

The fears of Churchill and Huxley were widely shared. The Delhi correspondent of The Times wrote in 1967 that “the great experiment of developing India within a democratic experiment has failed.” The elections then underway were, he insisted, “surely [the] last,” for “within the ever-closing vice of food and population, maintenance of an ordered structure of society is going to slip out of the civil government and the army will be the only alternative source of authority and order.”



Then there is this kind of articles
The western countries calling themselves democracy have been funding dictators and totalitarians
http://www.economist.com/news/essays/21 ... -can-be-do

svinayak
BRF Oldie
Posts: 14223
Joined: 09 Feb 1999 12:31

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

Postby svinayak » 12 Jul 2014 22:09

Another guy imagining India

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/6943598.stm
Possible threat

In the absence of India, the prejudices about the non-West that Western policy makers and pundits peddle for a living, would pass for wisdom.

The only foreseeable threat to India's democratic future is the possibility that a political party like the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) might ride a wave of majoritarian sentiment to become the default party of government.

This would threaten India's carefully built pluralist democracy because the BJP, despite its nativist rhetoric, ironically favours a European nationalist idiom, where the nation is home to a majority people.

In India's case, this would be the Hindus. If the BJP and its ideological preferences become entrenched in the Indian state, the ethnic violence that has torn Sri Lanka apart could be replicated on a sub-continental scale.

That is unlikely to happen.

svinayak
BRF Oldie
Posts: 14223
Joined: 09 Feb 1999 12:31

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

Postby svinayak » 12 Jul 2014 22:20

A good article by a person I know

India is a Democracy — but that’s not all that it is
by Atanu Dey
- See more at: http://www.deeshaa.org/2013/05/01/india ... axXvz.dpuf

Post 1947, India came under what I call “British Raj 2.0.”
It is also known as the “license permit quota control raj.” Nehru boasted (and rightfully so) that he was the last Englishman to rule India. I am not making this up. I am not that imaginative.
We should note in passing that the Americans fought and won a war of independence from the British. The first thing they did was to dismantle the old structure and put in an entirely new structure of government. The government was entrusted with a limited set of tasks and given a limited amount of power. The people restrained the government. Read the Bill of Rights, as the first 10 amendments to the US constitution is called. The first five words of the First Amendment sets the tone: “Congress shall make no law …” Those words reveal who the owner is and who is the driver of the car.
Compare that to the First Amendment to the Indian Constitution. It places restrictions on citizens (or should I say subjects.) It was Nehru who brought in that amendment — as noted previously the last Englishman to rule India.
The idea that a government rules over the country is deeply ingrained in Indians. It is part of the worldview of almost all Indians. Take, for example, this tweet:

I don’t mean to pick on Utsav. I know him. He’s a decent, intelligent, nationalistic person dedicated to helping bring about positive change in India. But note how even he — a highly educated, worldly wise, global traveler — unconsciously refers to politicians as “the rulers” rather than people who serve the public’s interests.
Transforming India will have to begin by changing how we think about what the role of the government is, what the essential attribute of a free country is. At the risk of being labelled a lunatic, let me repeat once again that I don’t believe that India is free. Indians lack many things but the most important thing they lack is freedom.
If India truly ever becomes free, I am positive that the transformation of India will be as automatic as all development is. Development, whether it be of a person or a collective, cannot be wished. It is always a consequence of being free.
In the title of this post, I claimed that democracy is not all that India is. So I will get to that point now.

Aristocracy: “government by the best people.” India is definitely not an aristocracy.

Geniocracy: “Rule by the intelligent; a system of governance where creativity, innovation, intelligence and wisdom are required for those who wish to govern.” Not India.

Kratocracy: “Rule by the strong; a system of governance where those strong enough to seize power through physical force, social maneuvering or political cunning.” Could be true about India to some extent. Goonda raj, we call it.

Meritocracy: “Rule by the meritorious; a system of governance where groups are selected on the basis of people’s ability, knowledge in a given area, and contributions to society.” Nope, not India. Merit gets selected out.

Timocracy: “Rule by honor; a system of governance ruled by honorable citizens and property owners. Socrates defines a timocracy as a government ruled by people who love honor and are selected according to the degree of honor they hold in society … European-feudalism and post-Revolutionary America are historical examples of this type; …” No, India is not a timocracy.

Autocracy: “Rule by one individual, whose decisions are subject to neither external legal restraints nor regularized mechanisms of popular control (except perhaps for implicit threat). Autocrat needs servants while despot needs slaves.” India can be classified as an autocracy if you consider one lady and her blue-turbaned chaprasi (peon, servant).

Despotism: “Rule by a single entity with absolute power. That entity may be an individual, as in an autocracy, or it may be a group,[1] as in an oligarchy. The word despotism means to “rule in the fashion of a despot” and does not necessarily require a single, or individual, “despot”. Despot needs slaves while Autocrat needs servants.” Could be. Same reason as before.

Nepotocracy: “Rule by nephews; favoritism granted to relatives regardless of merit; a system of governance in which importance is given to the relatives of those already in power, like a nephew (where the word comes from). In such governments even if the relatives aren’t qualified they are given positions of authority just because they know someone who already has authority. ” I think we can call India a nepotocracy.

Kakistocracy: “Rule by the stupid; a system of governance where the worst or least-qualified citizens govern or dictate policies.” If Pappu gets to rule, the first bit of this definition will apply to India with renewed force.

Kleptocracy: “Rule by thieves; a system of governance where its officials and the ruling class in general pursue personal wealth and political power at the expense of the wider population. In strict terms kleptocracy is not a form of government but a characteristic of a government engaged in such behavior.” India has to the biggest kleptocracy the world has ever seen. The blue-turban has outdone himself.

Phobiocracy: “Rule by fear and hate; a system of governance where the basic organizing principles is the use of fear mongering to keep those being ruled in line…” Now this one for sure applied to India. The British started the divide the population and make each constituent element fear and hate the other. The UPA has perfected it.

- See more at: http://www.deeshaa.org/2013/05/01/india ... axXvz.dpuf

RamaY
BRF Oldie
Posts: 17249
Joined: 10 Aug 2006 21:11
Location: http://bharata-bhuti.blogspot.com/

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

Postby RamaY » 12 Jul 2014 22:42

Democracy was an Bharatiya concept adopted by Greeks.


Return to “Strategic Issues & International Relations Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: sanjayc and 41 guests