Indian Interests (09-08-2014)

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Re: Indian Interests (09-08-2014)

Postby Manny » 11 Apr 2015 02:13

The Westernized Side Of My Background - Rajiv Malhotra

http://www.jagritbharat.com/index.php/o ... background

What this narrow mentality has produced is 800 Hindu temples in North America at a cost of about $2 billion, but lacking in intellectual content in most of them. They come across to the NRI youth as voodoo centers, doing some exotic ritual with no meaning. The pandits are ill-trained for 21st century discourse, many cannot communicate for nuts. Any sincere visitor who wants to appreciate Hinduism would be well advised to stay away from them, and instead to spend quality time with someone knowledge in discussions first. Hindu temples have failed to project Hindu culture to mainstream society. Proof: in all these controversies we have been engaged here on Sulekha, the temple-wallahs are lost, disinterested, and ignorant. They have failed to educate our own youth in ways that would equip them to face the issues with confidence and not to run from Hindu identity as being shameful.

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Re: Indian Interests (09-08-2014)

Postby RamaY » 11 Apr 2015 02:46

^ There are many levels to being Hindu & Temples serve their own purpose. Temple funds are spent to "celebrate" the cultural heritage Sri Rajiv Melhotra is trying to save. You celebrate a Vinayaka Puja in a different manner from how you celebrate a Vedanta discourse & your debate with a Evangelical is yet a different celebration.

Hindus need all these avenues of celebration. No one is better or worse than other.

Always keep in mind "Yat Bhavam Tat Bhavati". Humans come in different colors of celebration & Hindu temples offer their own colors.

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Re: Indian Interests (09-08-2014)

Postby Prem » 11 Apr 2015 05:38

Agree with RM on Temples in WEST. It will be best if they hire few scholars than being run by priests who cannot explain diddlysquat of rituals or philosophy to ABCDs.

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Re: Indian Interests (09-08-2014)

Postby RamaY » 11 Apr 2015 06:54

Jhujar wrote:Agree with RM on Temples in WEST. It will be best if they hire few scholars than being run by priests who cannot explain diddlysquat of rituals or philosophy to ABCDs.


Then why are Hindus fighting for Ayodhya temple? Hindus in India doesn't need scholars?

RMji is wrong in this case.

Incidentally I had a Whatsapp discussion with a chance colleague on this very topic. This is what I said.

Temples work as inspiration to Hindu potential. Hindu resurgence must & will happen in many dimensions. These temple, especially the AksharDham types create lot of assured employment for sculpture community back home. In my personal experience, people who support temple projects generally give 10times on other educational & poverty alleviation charities. They go together. Temples are our cultural symbols, same as schools are intellectual symbols and factories our economic temples.

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Re: Indian Interests (09-08-2014)

Postby vishvak » 11 Apr 2015 09:39

I think temples should be left alone from this discussion. One can not reduce temples to concept of place of worship idea and then debate. In fact, temple as mere place of worship is only part of it and not exclusive way to define temple. The temple belongs to the deity, primarily just as it is for rituals, and for darshan, and for festivals, and for charities & redistribution of wealth, and so on and so forth.

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Re: Indian Interests (09-08-2014)

Postby Hari Seldon » 15 Apr 2015 07:47

Oldest Harappan site dating to 7500 BC discovered in Haryana.

Image

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Re: Indian Interests (09-08-2014)

Postby ramana » 15 Apr 2015 08:59

So should help decipher Indus script as more symbols are found.

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Re: Indian Interests (09-08-2014)

Postby RamaY » 15 Apr 2015 09:06

vishvak wrote:I think temples should be left alone from this discussion. One can not reduce temples to concept of place of worship idea and then debate. In fact, temple as mere place of worship is only part of it and not exclusive way to define temple. The temple belongs to the deity, primarily just as it is for rituals, and for darshan, and for festivals, and for charities & redistribution of wealth, and so on and so forth.


No one is defining Temple. At the same time Sri RM can only "request" temples to do more than pujas, but not criticize/demand.

Today's Hindu temples are slowly expanding to other realms of Hindu heritage as they gain more critical mass. Yes, they aren't yet the centers of intellectual debate (of RM kind); but we may not want all mlechchas enter into our temples without basic maryada; which yet to be defined.

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Re: Indian Interests (09-08-2014)

Postby Manny » 18 Apr 2015 06:40

TWO TRUE INDIAN HEROES. MAHATMA GANDHI AND NOW, NARENDRA MODI

http://www.desicontrarian.com/?p=741

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Re: Indian Interests (09-08-2014)

Postby Prem » 18 Apr 2015 09:37

http://www.thebetterindia.com/11897/ars ... ign=buffer
When Arsenic Poisoned Its Water Sources, This Village Resorted To An Ancient Solution – And Won! -
Remedying the situation in Ballia

One answer was to dig deep tubewells or deep hand pumps that delved into the deeper uncontaminated aquifers, which could be a source of arsenic-free water but the huge costs and the long term safety of these sources was debatable. Over consumption or improper installation would lead to their eventual pollution.The government piped water schemes too could provide safe water, but such large projects need a lot of time and money to be invested. Also, the water treatment in such plants need power, which was another bottleneck in this energy-deficient state. Already the community filters in many arsenic-affected areas lay defunct and useless. Arsenic removal plants & overhead tanks installed by Uttar Pradess Jal Nigam ( UPJN) had failed to contain this crisis, as lack of power supply & poor maintenance became major issues with such mitigation plans.


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Re: Indian Interests (09-08-2014)

Postby A_Gupta » 20 Apr 2015 21:58

Not sure where to put this - moderator, help!
http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/opi ... 122861.ece

India has three main security-related interests in Southeast Asia. First, as noted by Mukherjee in 2005, India’s “Look East” strategy is based on the principle of “the maintenance of an equitable strategic balance.”

India does not want Southeast Asia to be dominated by any single great power.
Consequently, India is upgrading its naval and air assets in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Located at the mouth of the Strait of Malacca, India’s maritime and air capabilities in the Andamans help India meet its second security interest in the region: the security of the Strait itself. Finally, India’s growing maritime and air capabilities — cantered on diverse platforms such as the P-8I aircraft, the C-130Js, the C-17 Globemasters, Sukhoi-30 MKIs, aircraft carrier(s), nuclear submarine(s), and landing dock(s) — allow India to project military power into the South China Sea from the Andamans.

After all, India’s third security interest in Southeast Asia is to ensure the freedom of navigation in the South China Sea. In fact, India’s regional partnerships — including docking rights at Vietnam’s Nha Trang port — may further augment India’s capabilities.

At the same time, India has been providing a range of security-related public goods in Southeast Asia such as the provision of humanitarian and disaster relief assistance as well as military capacity-building in regional states.

Despite these modest but significant efforts, Southeast Asian states want India to “do more” pro-actively. The crucial question now is whether India’s political leaders will grasp the geopolitical opportunity to ensconce India in the emerging Asian order or if a lack of vision and the exigencies of domestic politics will effectively force New Delhi to squander the chance to shape Asia.

At the very least, India needs to expedite its economic engagement with Southeast Asia while enhancing physical connectivity – land and maritime – in order to demonstrate its seriousness.

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Re: Indian Interests (09-08-2014)

Postby Prem » 23 Apr 2015 04:28

http://newseastwest.com/bhangra-makki-d ... ington-dc/
Bhangra, Makki Di Roti and Sarson Da Saag at Vaisakhi celebrations by Indian Embassy in Washington DC
Few good Photus in the Link

WASHINGTON: The Indian embassy here hosted a reception on April 18 to celebrate Vaisakhi, the festival symbolizes the harvest season, and thanks for a bountiful harvest.Over 300 guests, including prominent Indian American community leaders, artists, writers, doctors, engineers, lawyers, bankers, scientists, professionals and others attended the celebrations at the Ambassador’s residence by charge d’affaires and deputy ambassador Taranjit Singh Sandhu.A beautiful clear sky with sunshine piercing through tall trees almost made it look like a bright summer day at the spring festival on the lawn of the Indian Embassy residence in Washington, D.C. The setting and mood was further enhanced by music and dance.Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who was on an official visit to the US and took time to celebrate Vaisakhi with the Indian American community, said the festival had a lot of meaning, since it was the harvest festival, celebrated in most parts of India and brought joy mixed with fun. For Sikhs it has a special meaning, he added.

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Re: Indian Interests (09-08-2014)

Postby Prem » 29 Apr 2015 22:45

Image

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Re: Indian Interests (09-08-2014)

Postby Karthik S » 30 Apr 2015 06:51

Jhujar wrote:Image


Brings to mind the necessity to change the history book, especially from the beginning of the mughal empire to INA.

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Re: Indian Interests (09-08-2014)

Postby ramana » 04 May 2015 21:13

X-Post..

About farmer suicides in India.....

pankajs wrote:
Sadanand Dhume ‏@dhume 21h21 hours ago

Swami Aiyar: No Indian journo will get a medal for revealing that Indian farmers are LESS suicidal than non-farmers. http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.co ... -suicides/
The vast majority of suicides are of non farmers. Why are their deaths treated as lesser tragedies than those of farmers?

Because presenting farm suicides as a single mass tragedy can win awards for journalists, TRPs for TV anchors, dona tions for NGOs opposing commercial crops and globalization, slogans for leftists attributing eve rything to class war, and votes for opposition parties. Many states now compensate suicide-hit families, delighting mon eylenders who had lent to these families and can now use muscle to claw back their dues from the compensation money.

That’s why I titled an earlier Swaminomics in August 2004 “Everybody loves farm suicides”. India’s suicide rate of 11 per lakh people is roughly the global average. The highest rates are in Greenland (83lakh), Lithuania (38lakh) and South Korea (28.5 lakh). China’s rate (22.2lakh) is double India’s. The Indian rate is lower than in rich countries with big welfare systems and very few farmers: Belgium (19), France (14.7), US (12.6), Japan (12.3), Germany (12.5) and the UK (11.8).

A field-based research study in The Lancet (by Pandit et al) sug gests that actual suicides may be 35-40% higher than officially recorded. Many people are reluctant to corded. Many people are reluctant to report suicides. If so, India’s rate is close to Belgium’s. Underestimation is common in developing countries. Islam views suicide as a ter rible sin, so Pakistan claims a suicide rate of just 1.1lakh! The global suicide pattern shows no close link with farming, poverty or welfare. The overwhelming cause of suicide is mental stress, not financial stress. In the US, 2-15% of depressed people commit suicide. Up to two-thirds of suicide victims are depressed. Mental stress (and hence suicides) will doubtless rise in times of financial stress. But the underlying mental issues cannot be cured by loan waivers and subsidies.

Using non-official data, the Lancet study says suicide rates are no higher for farmers than non-farmers. This has been contested by some Cambridge researchers, whose work I find very unconvincing. Some studies based on official farm suicides show them 20-40% higher than for non-farmers in recent years. But economist Pramit Bhattacharya shows that in 2013 even the official farm suicide rate fell below that of non-farmers.

Instead of tom-tomming this, the media have ignored it. They would rather focus on the suicide of a farmer at an AAP rally against land acquisition, suggesting (wrongly) that this causes suicide.

Why is the media ignoring the fall in the farm suicide rate to below the national rate? Because no journalist will get a medal and no TV anchor will get TRPs for revealing that farmers have become less suicidal than others. Rather, this will suggest that the awards and eyeballs that journalists, academics and TV anchors got in past years were perhaps undeserved, and who wants to admit that?

Opposition politicians, left academics and NGOs portray farm suicides as the result of despair and poverty . But the Lancet study shows conclusively that most suicide deaths occurred in richer states and highly educated people. Suicides are ten times more likely in the relatively rich south than the poor north.

One California study showed that the risk of a person committing suicide in the first week after buying a handgun was 57 times higher than for other gun owners. In Washington DC, a temporary ban on handguns produced a 23% fall in the suicide rate. Why? Because, during a period of depression, the mere availability of a lethal weapon increases the chances of suicide.

India proves that too. Pesticide poisoning is the biggest form of suicide. Farmers growing fruit, vegetables and commercial crops keep more pesticides at home than grain farmers. Unsurprisingly, insecticide-using farmers have by far the highest suicide rates.

Many suicides (notably in Andhra Pradesh) were of farmers who borrowed heavily to drill tubewells that quickly ran dry. Free electricity in many states (including AP) has greatly lowered water tables, ruining tubewells. Thus free electricity causes suicide. But will any politician, NGO, or award-winning journalist cam paign against free farm electricity? Will they campaign for anti depressants and psychiatric subsidies and freebies? Sadly, no. treatment rather than subsidies and freebies? Sadly, no.

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Re: Indian Interests (09-08-2014)

Postby ramana » 04 May 2015 22:54

X-Post...
SwamyG wrote:
KLNMurthy wrote:{quote="SwamyG"}As part of these Make In India effort, India needs to build its own SM. It should not rely on FB and Twitter. The servers and software needs to be operated in India.

I do not see much use in Modi making an entry into Chinese SM. Indian minds need to be changed not Chinese especially not with the current Chinese political setup.{/quote}

Do you mean GOI or corporate India?

If it is GOI, it will probably perform poorly. And if successful as a propaganda organ, think of what it will look like in the hands of unsavory elements in the political class.

If corporate India, how would it be different from DDM of today?

Wouldn't it be better for nationalists to invest in acquiring effective communication and propaganda skills which are sorely lacking today? There are no shortcuts or instant answers.


Sorry for not making it clear. Obviously such an effort should NOT be done by GoI, but by any willing private companies or individuals. I hate to use the word 'Corporate' because 'Corporations' will take the least resistance path to money. I have been advocating that some 'Corporation' who has the money wanting to make more money should start a Indic TV channel in English and take on breaking India forces including Congress. But I was a little naive, why would a businessman jeopardize his chances by buttering only one party? They are likely to butter all political parties so that they can continue to make money and not get targeted. And how much money can they really make in such a channel? Only time will tell.

If the servers and software are controlled by a desi, preferably by an Indic one; then right from the algorithms to other policies will be Indic friendly. If China can have Weibo and Baidu; why should not an aspiring country like India have such? I know there are search tools from Indian companies; however they are not as popular as they should be.

That is where Modi and his 'Make in India' campaign can help by increasing the awareness and motivation for companies to create more such products, and make people join such forces. If Modi can join Weibo, wouldn't he join an Indic SM? Sure Indians who follow Rest of the World will have some additional pain - but that is a small pain if enough traction can be found.

Nationalists acquiring good communication skills is always good, but the platform has to be neutral too. These are the days where countries aim at 'data residency' because they don't want their data to be in maasa for security reasons.

As the second populous country in this World, India definitely has such a need and can sustain it as well. And what Modi can do is speak the right words and hopefully somebody will get motivated. At the leadership level, that is what Modi can do. Build, they will come.


and

ShankarCag wrote:^^^That is precisely the plan behind Digital India and the ensuing controversy over "net neutrality". GOI plans to use the limited bandwidth to provide preferential net access for crop forecasts, weather forecasts and govt information such as PF status, tax return status etc. The rest of the bandwidth is then available for things like Youtube, Twitter etc. Ford Foundation inspired Net Neutrality controversy was to prevent GOI from hiving off a portion of the bandwidth for its own purposes so that dominance of Murican companies is not threatened.

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Re: Indian Interests (09-08-2014)

Postby Karthik S » 10 May 2015 17:01

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/sara ... 37082.html

"Haryana government's efforts to trace the origin of the mythical Saraswati river bore fruit on Tuesday when water started gushing out from a pit, which was being dug under the lost river revival plan."

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Re: Indian Interests (09-08-2014)

Postby Prem » 11 May 2015 22:11

http://scroll.in/article/666129/redisco ... lice-beato
Haunting images of India's 1857 uprising against the British, shot by Felice Beato
The first corpses to be photographed might have been Indian. In the 19th century, images of Indians slain in the closing moments of the war of 1857 taken by Felice Beato, a citizen of the British protectorate of Corfu, were sold en masse in the United Kingdom as prints and postcards. His gritty images, not just of the conflict in India but also of the Crimean War that had preceded it, earned him the reputation for being one of the world's first war photographers.As can be imagined, Beato didn't have it easy. Photography in 1857 was a laborious process. This was a time when photographers were limited by the long exposure times required for the plates of the camera to record light and were unable to capture movement. Yet Beato was an incurable traveller, invariably drawn to the heat of battle. On his first travelling project in 1855, he captured images of the Crimean War.

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Re: Indian Interests (09-08-2014)

Postby Prem » 11 May 2015 22:32

The Mosaic distinction: Why the Abrahamic faiths remain outsiders to Indosphere
http://www.firstpost.com/living/mosaic- ... 37920.html

One often hears Indian traditionalists arguing that not all religions are equal, and that the Sanskrit word ‘dharma’ does not translate as the English word ‘religion’. In essence, the Gandhian phrase, sarva dharma sama bhava, which is considered the root of Indian secularism (though it speaks more to pluralism, actually) does not apply to the Abrahamic faiths of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.Why are the latter two of these three religions - Judaism presents a complication that will be discussed later - considered "outsiders" to the subcontinent despite having existed in the subcontinent for over a thousand years? In India, what passes for debate and discussion on this issue in the public sphere has so far been high on politicisation and wanting in scholarship. In academia, however – ironically, even the Western variety that many Indian traditionalists like to ignorantly scoff at - there have been some articulate expositions of why the Abrahamic religions are fundamentally different from and unequal to the faith systems of the cultural Indosphere and elsewhere. The argument runs that the differences between the two groups are not simply about what to call the sine qua non (God) or even if it is indeed sine quibus non (many gods) but involve a radical difference in views on the political order as well.
How Many Gods?
Theo Sundermeier, professor of theology at Heidelberg University, makes an insightful distinction in his Was ist Religion? Religionswissenschaft im theologischen Kontext between primary and secondary religions. The former, Sundermeier explains, developed over hundreds, if not thousands, of years, usually within a single culture, society and language with which the religion is inextricably intertwined. These would include the Greek, Roman, and Egyptian religions as easily as Hinduism. The latter category of religions are those that originate from an act of revelation or foundation and are monotheistic, universal, and of the Book. Secondary religions denounce primary religions as paganism, a collection of superstitions, and idolatry. The three Abrahamic faiths fit this description well.
This seemingly obvious categorisation holds an evolution of great import. From primary to secondary, religion changes from being a system that is irrevocably embedded in the institutional, linguistic, and cultural conditions of a society to become an autonomous system that can transcend political, ethnic, and other boundaries and transplant itself into any alien culture. As Jan Assmann, an Egyptologist at the University of Konstanz, describes in his Die Mosaische Unterscheidung: oder der Preis des Monotheismus, this change, which he calls the Mosaic distinction, is hardly about whether there is one god or there are many gods, but about truth and falsehood, knowledge and ignorance.
Monotheistic faiths rest firmly on the distinction between their true god and the falseness of other gods; their truth does not stand in a complementary relationship to other truths but relegates any such claims to the realm of falsehood. They are exclusive, antagonistic, and explicitly codified and clearly communicated. As Assmann explains, the truth to be proclaimed comes complete with an enemy to be fought - only they know of "heretics and pagans, false doctrine, sects, superstition, idolatry, magic, ignorance, unbelief, heresy, and whatever other terms have been coined to designate what they denounce, persecute and proscribe as manifestations of untruth."


Before the Mosaic distinction, knowledge and faith were not separate concepts. Pagans knew their gods but did not believe in them for they were not objects of faith; like myths, they were unverifiable to science but not necessarily devoid of knowledge. Before the Mosaic distinction, there were four kinds of fundamental truths: experiential (water is wet), mathematical (two plus two is four), historical (the life of Mokshagundam Visveswaraya), and truths conducive to life (ethics). The Mosaic distinction cleaved faith from knowledge and installed the former as a fifth truth that claimed knowledge of the highest authority even if it could not be verified on scientific grounds.The psychological and social impact of this differentiation is most visible in how Greek or Hindu science never conflicted with its philosophy, myths, or religious practices - each operated in its own domain. In fact, there are several anecdotes of highly acclaimed Hindu scientists subscribing to superstitions - S Ramanujan's belief in astrology and CV Raman's concern about the ill-effects of a solar eclipse come most readily to mind. But the monotheistic preoccupation with untruth in conjunction with faith-as-truth caused much acrimony in Christendom and the Dar al-Islam.
Alterity and Exclusion
If the conflicts between primary and secondary religion had been merely about how many gods there were, the world might have been spared much strife. Hans Zirker, emeritus professor of theology at the University of Duisburg-Essen, sees monotheism also as a statement against being influenced by strife between divine powers, being divided permanently between a dualism of Good and Evil, or being trapped in the incessant wars of self-affirmation of pluralist people. This is the political dimension of monotheism. Eric Santner, professor of Germanic Studies at the University of Chicago, suggests that the universalism of monotheism is imposed upon all, thereby forcing them to acquiesce to the Mosaic distinction or to be regarded as failures.In The Psychotheology of Everyday Life, an obvious play on the title of Sigmund Freud's work on psychopathology, Santner makes a case for the stranger - pagan? - to be the Other not for his spatial exteriority but because of his internal alterity (otherness). Externalities could be tolerated or influenced but internal alterity was far more insidious as it challenged faith-as-truth.

What makes Judaism different from Christianity and Islam, Assmann argues, is that Jews posit this universalism to be implemented at a messianic end-time whereas Christianity and Islam see it as an event at the time of their foundation. Judaism is no less exclusive than its Abrahamic descendents but as a result of a future date of redemption, Jewish communities have excluded themselves from the social and cultural customs of local gentile populations. Self-isolation has no need to resort to violence or persecute those with differing beliefs; for the Jews, goyim (usually meaning non-Jewish peoples) were free to worship whomsoever they wished. As a result Jewish communities have existed in harmony amidst pagan societies or found themselves to be co-victims of their own monotheistic cousins, alongside pagans, in the lands which came to be dominated by secondary religion.
In contrast, Christianity and Islam excluded the pagan rather than themselves. The Great Commission of Christianity and the Islamic obligation of da'wah not only excludes the pagan but directly puts them on a path of conflict. This intolerance stems from the absolute certitude that faith brings to Christianity and Islam. As Assmann points out, it makes no sense to talk of tolerance in pagan systems because there is no notion of incompatibility: one can tolerate something that is incompatible and irresolvable with one's own views but how does one tolerate something that is not so steadfastly oppositional?
Translatability

Among the practitioners of primary religions, there has always been a translatability of divinity - the cosmology of different communities was believed to be compatible with each other. In a practice that has been the norm since at least Sumerian times, pagan communities sealed contracts upon oaths to their gods. For example, if the Akkadians wanted to consecrate a treaty with the Egyptians, the former would swear by Utu and the latter by Ra, the solar deities of their respective civilisations. There was no question of the falsehood of the other's cosmology. The worship of each others' gods was not unknown either - the Egyptian goddess Isis had a popular cult in Rome and the Syrian Atargatis and Phrygian Cybele and followers all around the Mediterranean. Usually, these gods would travel to foreign lands with traders and with increasing commerce and familiarity, would be established in the local pantheon as well.
In the Indian context, the spread of Vedic Hinduism in India occurred along similar lines. The philosophical precepts of the Vedic Hindus were laid over the beliefs of the local communities and their gods were integrated into the Vedic pantheon. Many temples in Indian and Sri Lankan villages are dedicated to gramadevata - village deity - the legends behind whom trace their lineage back to a
This is not to say that there were no conflicts among pagans - there were, and quite a few, but to go to war over theological differences was largely incomprehensible to them. In fact, conquerors often stole the idols of the vanquished to re-consecrate the deities back home with the dignity due to them. Hercules has thus been around the Mediterranean quite a few times in the wars of Phoenicia, Greece, Carthage and Rome. Religion, however, functioned as a medium of communication rather than as a criterion to exclude and eliminate. Varro, the Roman scholar who lived at the end of the 2nd century BCE, did not understand the need to distinguish between Jupiter and Yahweh as "the names are of no importance so long as the same thing is intended."The Mosaic distinction prevented this translatability, for Allah could never be Zeus nor Jesus be Apollo. This is another political ramification of monotheism.
Dominus Unum
The Mosaic distinction, if understood correctly, is, thus, a new political order rather than a cosmological order. The importance of this can be seen in that the primus inter pares status of the Abrahamic god and the prohibition of graven images is cemented in the first two of the 10 commandments in every version. According to Assmann, this implies that monotheism does not deny the existence of other gods but merely holds them to be false and their worship, therefore, is not meaningless but disloyalty. The former is a cognitive category, a matter of knowledge, while the latter is a political category. In essence, one could not serve two masters. Christians themselves felt the repercussions of this tenet during the Reformation in the Early Modern era when Catholics were viewed with suspicion by monarchs belonging to the breakaway sects.Historically, monotheistic faiths made outlandish accusations against pagan religions to keep their base radicalised while turning one community against another. The Book of the Wisdom of Solomon, for example, spoke of pagans sacrificing their children in sacrifices and secret ceremonies, living in communities defined by adultery, murder, theft, corruption, and all other manner of immoral behaviour. Idolatry, the faithful are told, is the beginning of spiritual fornication and the corruption of life. Thus, idolatrous religions are depicted as completely lacking in ethical orientation. Though this critique might be dated to a specific period of monotheistic radicalisation during the third century, it nonetheless lays claim to proper worship and ethical conduct. This dispute is not merely about the number of gods one worships but about the negation of all gods but one.
Strictly speaking, most polytheistic faiths do not claim there to be many gods but that a singular divine presence animates itself in many ways. In that sense, the unity of divinity is not a monotheistic invention. However, the monotheistic spiritual binary is incapable of allowing for a primary god and several subordinate gods - it must insist on the exclusion of all gods but theirs.There was no such paranoia in the lands where primary religions flourished. Monarchs patronised all religions in their kingdom despite their personal beliefs. Admittedly, at times, some received greater favour than others but never was a faith and its adherents exiled or made into second class subjects. Such pluralism was evident even in recent times. In Nepal, during the monarchy, Hindu and Buddhist holy days were both observed despite the official status of the state as Hindu and an overwhelming portion of the population - about 85 percent - being Hindu. The closeness between the Hindu and Buddhist communities has historically been so great that it is difficult to demarcate the two in terms of social customs even today. During the famous Bunga Dyah Jatra festival in Laliptur, for example, the Hindu kings of Nepal participated during the climactic Bhoto Jatra phase during which they had to climb up the ceremonial chariot and display a sacred vest to the crowds.
Disenchanting the World
Another reason monotheism stands as the Other is that unlike polytheistic faiths, it disenchants the world. Pagan myths usually involved humans cavorting with the gods, in war as well as in love. This entanglement gives structure to the cosmos, describing its oppositional and synergetic forces in a manner that can be easily grasped by all. Furthermore, the gods bring order to society: with each trade, settlement, and resource associated with a patron deity, a network of duties and obligations is created. Each cult, so to speak, must be balanced with others in the greater community. As Assmann argues, this can even be extended to human destiny in that the stories of the gods give meaning to human relations as well. "By telling stories about the gods, myths bring order to human life."
Polytheism is synonymous with cosmotheism, and the divine cannot be divorced from the world. It is this theology that monotheism attacks. The divine is liberated from its ties to the cosmos, society, and the people, and in its place is the relationship of the individual with a divinity that stands outside the world, time, and space. Monotheism changes not only the image of god but man's image of himself as well; instead of being in a seamless and symbiotic relationship with nature, he now stands alone and above it, to rule over it freely and independently, subservient only to a true god. To secondary religions, divinity is transcendent whereas for primary religions it is immanent. Through this distinction between transcendence and immanence, the mosaic distinction also achieves a distinction between man and the world.In pagan religions, justice was of this world for even the gods were of this world. A Roman or an Egyptian who had been wronged could appeal to the local magistrate for justice for its own sake without reference to the gods. Indeed, in Hinduism, dharma is not only properly a function of kaala, desha, and paristhiti but the chaturanga purusharthas mention it along with artha and kama as one of the three goals of mortal life. The ultimate goal, moksha, is beyond short-term earthly consideration. As Hindi novelist Gurudutt explains in Dharma tatha samajwad and Dharma, sanskriti, aur rajya, the individual is free to interact with the divine in a manner of his choosing but wherever he must interact with another, their conduct must be guided by the precepts of dharma, artha, and kama. Ethics and the law were intrinsically this-worldy and had no business to be under divine purview. Thus, justice, or ethics at least, existed much before secondary religions came on the scene but were not truly a part of the religious system.In a world enchanted, this caused no philosophical problems. The famous story of Indra, the king of the Hindu pantheon, being cursed by Gautama Maharishi for seducing his wife, Ahalya, illustrates how virtue reigns even above the gods in Hinduism. Monotheism did not usher law, justice, or ethics into the world; these had long been in existence. Yet monotheism first made justice a matter of direct interest to god; before then, the world had not known a law-giving god. Any claim that law, morality, and justice are terrestrial and not celestial goods still arouses feelings of deep unease in theological circles; even today, the Church defends the dogma of the inseparable unity of monotheism and justice.
* * * * *
Behind the Mosaic distinction between true and false in religion, there ultimately stands the distinction between god and the world. This worldview is not only fundamentally alien to Hindus but it is also antithetical and inimical to their way of thinking. The emphasis of secondary religions on universalism and all its attendant political baggage keeps them at an arm's length from the pagan practices of the sub-continent. Were the rejection of Christianity and Islam by Indian traditionalists merely a matter of geography, it would be silly. Yet the grounds for suspicion and Otherness are two-fold - a predatory proselytism of exclusive monotheisms and the entire cosmology of secondary religions. Neither of these traits has mellowed over the 1,000-plus years secondary religions have been in India, and until they do, the two religions will remain outsiders to the Indosphere.

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Re: Indian Interests (09-08-2014)

Postby ramana » 13 May 2015 20:53

X-posting...

Singha wrote:heard on radio interview today from mohandas pai. more indication that blr has leap frogged chennai

- 3rd highest GDP after delhi and mumbai though almost no PSU except HAL books its revenues here, they are all HQ'ed in mumbai and delhi
- 4th biggest lending market
- highest per capita income (I thought the conventional claim was chandigarh but maybe it changed)
- 12L people in IT among a working pop of 40L in official sector (largest itvity workforce among world cities)
- $45b itvity revenues booked in itivity alone...
- highest number of workforce phds among any city in yindia
- largest number of people in semicon design among world cities
- 400 of the fortune500 have ops here
- some 5000 automobile engineers and 2000 aerospace
then he talked about his conversations with politicians incl the CM
- BBMP is broke - it has 8000cr debt and 3000cr of unpaid bills
- BBMP has lot of corruption
- all political parties have their snout in the feeding trough here
- other than splitting it up, he was not clear what the CM has in mind to clean the mess


--
to add to that , I would say most of the ITI diploma trained manufacturing workers in the industrial estates around the town tend to be from the 4 southern states only, almost none from the vast mass of people in UP, Bihar and eastern states. these states are exporting manpower to the south and west in security guards, retail assistants, cooking only. even in smaller places like kerala and goa. unless they pull socks up , train people for manufacturing and higher skill trades...they would not even be able to make an entry in the basic stuff like clothes, shoes, plastics that Bangladesh and Vietnam are dominating now.

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Re: Indian Interests (09-08-2014)

Postby Prem » 13 May 2015 20:57

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05tlvb2
Story of Panini ( Not the Sandwich)

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Re: Indian Interests (09-08-2014)

Postby ramana » 15 May 2015 22:40

X-Posting to mull over and carry discussion here.

LokeshC wrote:
gakakkad wrote:the moguls and moslems set not only India backwards but also the entire world... evidence suggest that by 800 AD Indian mathematicians had the knowledge of gravity , could predict eclipses and even rudimentary calculus , perhaps even differential equations were known..Oirope knew those things in 1600-1700 AD. And in 3 centuries we had electronics... Why India could not make the transition back in 800 AD is never though about ...perhaps because the work of momeens needs to be hidden by shamless Romila Thapad and the like...Imagine having compooters and peee are af back in 1200 AD...


This is OT, but this topic has fascinated me for sometime, so chiming in (let us take it to a different thread if there is interest):

There is a key difference from how knowledge seeking industry developed in India and in post Byzantine cultures of Europe that exists to this day.

Any corpus of human communication (be it science, arts, technology), cannot grow without frequent exchanges of ideas between the people involved in its development. The growth is not necessarily exponential, but some conditions can make it grow exponentially. Such growth cannot happen in silos. Exponential knowledge growth in one field is almost always a result of cross-polination from other fields.

For example: Some mathematician (i think it was Guass) figured out he could fit a quadratic curve to explain the trajectory of a cannonball. That led to a lot of improvements in gun design, that then pushed the need for more math to understand newer dynamics that emerged from the new design. There was a transfer of knowledge from the "Brahmin-like" folks :- Mathematicians, to the Kshatriya/Vaishya like folks :- "Army/Engineers" and vice versa.

This frequent transfer of knowledge from a theoretical field to a practical field and vice versa creates something similar to "velocity of knowledge" (I have heard this term used in BR before). Knowledge has to change hands, change fields to grow this growth pushes some performance envelope and requires new knowledge to understand the new limits. Which creates demand for new knowledge.

This is very similar to demand-supply economics. Knew knowledge creates new technology which pushes envelopes which demands even more knowledge. It creates a demand supply curve and causes an exponential explosion of knowledge just like a demand supply curve causes an exponential expansion of the economy.

Byzantine empire was very knowledge centric. It emphasized collection and integration of knowledge and had a very well developed system of keeping records. In doing so they setup this framework that will cause such an exponential growth in knowledge. The church/abrahamics were almost successful in destroying this completely, but they did not succeed thankfully.

I dont know much of Indian history, but from whatever little I know, I think that the key "difference" from the above is that Indian knowledge system grew in silos. The threoretical folks (Brahmans) to my knowledge were separate from the Kshatriyas/Vaishyas.

Thus we never had the DNA to cross polinate knowledge. It is still true to this day. Recent posts on LCA thread point to the same root cause.

We can take this further in some other appropriate thread if someone is interested.

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Re: Indian Interests (09-08-2014)

Postby ramana » 15 May 2015 22:42

LokeshC, Did you know before the advent of EIC, matchlocks were quite prevalent in North India and Vijayanagar used guns in their battles with Bahmani Sultanate?

Also Maharaja of Jaipur had a artillery gun foundry set up during the Mughal days?

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Re: Indian Interests (09-08-2014)

Postby member_22733 » 15 May 2015 22:55

ramanaji,

On the original thread, Dishaji also pointed out the errors in my argument (I will xpost it here). As I said, my knowledge of Indian history is weak. Maybe I should have said that it has been "silo-ed" only in recent history, more so after the advent of Moguls and the Brishits. The former destroyed universities (destroyed knowledge transfer), the latter destroyed credibility (indologists, racial studies, AIT etc).

In any case, it is in our own interest we go back to our former self.

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Re: Indian Interests (09-08-2014)

Postby member_22733 » 15 May 2015 22:56

x-post
disha wrote:
LokeshC wrote:I dont know much of Indian history, but from whatever little I know, I think that the key "difference" from the above is that Indian knowledge system grew in silos. The threoretical folks (Brahmans) to my knowledge were separate from the Kshatriyas/Vaishyas.

Thus we never had the DNA to cross polinate knowledge. It is still true to this day. Recent posts on LCA thread point to the same root cause.

We can take this further in some other appropriate thread if someone is interested.


LokeshC'ji you drew a very wrong observation and stretched it all the way to the DNA.

You forget Takshashila, Nalanda and Magadha and other great center of learnings. If the assumption is that there was only theoretical knowledge that was separate from Kshatriyas/Vaishyas then that is a very wrong assumption -

Since., we do have the Gupta's "Ashoka Pillar" which was a height of metallurgy. Further the concept of metallurgy made it to the exquisite "bronze idols" the likes have never been seen before and will never been seen at least in the next 2-3 decades. For example the life size Buddha statue housed in the Brishit museum.

Metallurgy is just one example (do you know that inspite of the malsi destruction, the guns developed by the Rajputs/Marathas/etc after the cannon was absorbed were both powerful and exquisite?) - let us take the ship building into account. Lot of ships were designed and built in the Bombay dockyard and infact the contribution for a cutting edge ship design was a Chozhan? (Catamaran)!

Construction? Check out Grand Anicut? Or the 1000 pillar temple or the vimanas that sit on those temple. Cannot? Check out the Great Wall of India? Do not know - Check out Rana Khumbha.

Indian civilization was at peace and it reached several zeniths which other civilizations are yet to reach. What you are seeing currently when you bring the LCA discussion is the gasps of a dead civilization trying to revive itself like a phoenix. It has nothing to do with "Brahmins keeping knowledge away from Kshatriyas and Vaishyas".

The holocaust wrought by the islam was followed by the xtian and still the civilization is not quite dead.

So stop this self loathing where you blame it on the DNA of the Indians (it is quite old BTW) to not able to x-pollinate across "silos".

The reason for lack of "x-pollination" is elsewhere. It is the wooly headed mai-baap sarkaar of the past that destroyed the very entrepreneurial basis of the Indian society. It takes a two generation or three before the risk taking appetite and application of ideas from different fields comes to fore.

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Re: Indian Interests (09-08-2014)

Postby panduranghari » 15 May 2015 23:22

disha wrote:
The reason for lack of "x-pollination" is elsewhere. It is the wooly headed mai-baap sarkaar of the past that destroyed the very entrepreneurial basis of the Indian society. It takes a two generation or three before the risk taking appetite and application of ideas from different fields comes to fore.

It's Patrick French! I know. But still it's interesting.


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Re: Indian Interests (09-08-2014)

Postby member_22733 » 15 May 2015 23:27

SwamyG wrote:
LokeshC wrote:I dont know much of Indian history, but from whatever little I know, I think that the key "difference" from the above is that Indian knowledge system grew in silos. The threoretical folks (Brahmans) to my knowledge were separate from the Kshatriyas/Vaishyas.

Thus we never had the DNA to cross polinate knowledge. It is still true to this day. Recent posts on LCA thread point to the same root cause.

What do you mean by cross polination of knowledge?

All growth, velocity, transfer itiyadi are tempered by wisdom and ambition. And before that the reason one seeks knowledge is crucial. Seeking knowledge in India had a purpose and that was not exactly what other civilizations had. Vedic mathematicians were interested in geometry and astronomy because they were motivated in constructing altars and getting the right time to conduct ceremonies. One thing led to the other, and we saw massive growth in Astronomy and Mathematics.

The societal setup was different, as wars raged foreign travelers have reported that farmers continued to plough the field - meaning war did not touch ALL people like it did in another part of the world. Check on Damascus Steel and its origins.


Cross polination of knowledge == interdisciplinary knowledge transfer. The main crux of what I have been saying is that this interdisciplinary focus on knowledge transfer seems missing in India as of today, I wonder if that was the case before. The jaati system makes it convenient to keep it that way. There are patterns that indicate that it is so, but then I am not sure as I have been too focused on American and European history.

Dishaji and ramanaji have pointed out the holes in my argument. I need to look a little more closely and carefully into Indian history, I guess.

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Re: Indian Interests (09-08-2014)

Postby shiv » 16 May 2015 07:24

LokeshC wrote:
I dont know much of Indian history, but from whatever little I know, I think that the key "difference" from the above is that Indian knowledge system grew in silos. The threoretical folks (Brahmans) to my knowledge were separate from the Kshatriyas/Vaishyas.

Thus we never had the DNA to cross polinate knowledge. It is still true to this day. Recent posts on LCA thread point to the same root cause.

We can take this further in some other appropriate thread if someone is interested.


In fact I believe this is a misrepresentation of the relationships between brahmins, kshatriyas and others. This misrepresentation is British construct. It was not as if brahmins did not want to share knowledge. They had no technical knowledge that would make life easy. they only had spiritual knowledge that would make one take life as it came. the actual technical knowledge was among the people who made the weapons and the wheels and the temples and extracted iron and made steel. These were the shudras. The latter skills had nothing to do directly with brahminism because as a society Hindus admired the values of minimalism as a goal that one had to aspire for. There is a cultural problem here - but it is not about the lack of sharing of knowledge. It is about not seeing of personal wealth,comfort and glory as the ultimate goal of life.

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Re: Indian Interests (09-08-2014)

Postby member_22733 » 16 May 2015 07:32

I may have asked this before (and it needs to be a sticky thread). There needs to be a "mythbusting" book to bust the facade that colonialism has built in our minds. I will pay good money to who-ever writes it :)

I am tired of reverting back to thinking like a colonialist when distressed. Soon after reading some posts on the LCA/tech threads, I went into <<"bah, there must be something terribly wrong with us">> mode and pulled out the "history" I know :).

Trying to see through the smoke of colonial propaganda is hard work and has to be done carefully.

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Re: Indian Interests (09-08-2014)

Postby member_22733 » 16 May 2015 07:38

Colonial myths:

1) India was full of people running around wearing only langotees and <Moguls/Brishits> came and civilized us (langotee is a tie worn to cover the pubic region).
2) Indians were opressing each other using a rigid social stratification system known as jaati system.
3) Indians have no history
4) Indian technology was/is inferior
5) 1 mogul = 10 Indians. 1 Brishit = 20 Indians.

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Re: Indian Interests (09-08-2014)

Postby shiv » 16 May 2015 09:16

Lokesh it took me decades of cognitive dissonance in which what I saw was not what i was told was the truth.

Social stratification that exists everywhere - and which was particularly vicious in feudal Britain was, naturally, never questioned by colonizers and invaders. It was Indian social structure that had to be broken down. Indian society was built around protection of dharma - and that dharma had its roots in the vedas. Those vedas were maintained by the brahmins and the rest of society helped maintain dharma by ensuring that brahmins had their place to maintain the roots of Hindu society. So when Hindus paid money to temples they were not paying brahmins directly. It was temple wealth (as it is today). And when Hindus fought for their culture they were not fighting to keep brahmins as their leaders. Brahmins were merely a social tool to uphold vedic dharma. But the British and missionaries among them found it convenient to bring brahmins down as lazy mumbo-jumbo chanters who held society under a spell. That is the vision that most educated brahmins now have of their own ancestors.

We have earlier discussed words that we misinterpret while we use them - like history and religion. Another word that we simply do not understand is "feudal". We love saying that India was a feudal society that democracy changed.

Feudal societies in Europe arose from the Christian concept of God being the complete and utter sovereign owner of his domain. When humans (under protestantism) gave themselves rights - they decided that they would be complete sovereigns over land that they owned. thus a king in Britain owned everything on the land and when he created a lord by giving him the title to some estate - that lord even owned the people in that estate. When a war was to be fought that lord demanded that all able bodied men in his estate join him as soldiers to fight. They could not refuse. That is real feudalism. A similar system was imposed by Muslim rule that we got accustomed to living by. But before that Indian villages were autonomous and people were not "owned" by their "lords". So traditional Indian society does not have feudalism and brahmins or upper castes were not traditionally feudal lords who owned other caste people, keeping them under slavery under a corrupt Hindu regime.

Hinduism's biggest issue for the modern day is that it did not encourage any move towards unrestricted acquisition of wealth and physical comfort, but instead recommended that these were fine for some stages in a lifetime but had to be discarded in favour of charity, voluntary poverty and spiritualism. Some groups - like Brahmins were required to be poor in terms of possessions. Rulers could be wealthy but they had to do their duty of charity and holding up society including temples, public services and education and the personnel needed for all that.

All tools and worldly goods are a result of the need to make this life more comfortable and personally, individually fulfilling. Technology in Europe was invented to make European lives better - for sailing out, fishing, trading and later conquest. Hindu culture is more about sacrifice and self negation and the idea that great pleasures in this life must not be the sole goal and that there are goals that can be reached only by sacrifice discarding of personal wants and needs. These Hindu ideals are not incompatible with technology and personal fulfilment. All those stories of people doing extra unpaid work to make missiles fly are part of that. we need to steer in the right direction.

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Re: Indian Interests (09-08-2014)

Postby Hari Seldon » 16 May 2015 10:26

^^Nicely put, hakimji.

Hinduism is also as close as it gets to an "open-source" faith. It changes the environment and is changed by it. It can be rebuilt, redesigned, repeatedly reconceptualized, reorganized, taken apart and put together again etc etc and still retain its intangible soul.

Therein lies opportunity. E.g., Swami Vivekananda took some steps in the right direction by saying that one can get closer to God by playing football and building better health than by reading the Gita.

As an open-source faith, it is hence also, by default, a foe of proprietary architectures in the religion business. Time will tell how this goes. But there's nothing to suggest that Hinduism by itself is incapable of change or reform or reprioritizing. Perhaps.

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Re: Indian Interests (09-08-2014)

Postby Arjun » 16 May 2015 11:11

Hari Seldon wrote:As an open-source faith, it is hence also, by default, a foe of proprietary architectures in the religion business.

Excellent analogy !

The Indian version of secularism needs to incorporate an explicit stance - in favor of open source religions and against proprietary architectures.

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Re: Indian Interests (09-08-2014)

Postby johneeG » 16 May 2015 11:41

shiv wrote:
LokeshC wrote:
I dont know much of Indian history, but from whatever little I know, I think that the key "difference" from the above is that Indian knowledge system grew in silos. The threoretical folks (Brahmans) to my knowledge were separate from the Kshatriyas/Vaishyas.

Thus we never had the DNA to cross polinate knowledge. It is still true to this day. Recent posts on LCA thread point to the same root cause.

We can take this further in some other appropriate thread if someone is interested.


In fact I believe this is a misrepresentation of the relationships between brahmins, kshatriyas and others. This misrepresentation is British construct. It was not as if brahmins did not want to share knowledge. They had no technical knowledge that would make life easy. they only had spiritual knowledge that would make one take life as it came. the actual technical knowledge was among the people who made the weapons and the wheels and the temples and extracted iron and made steel. These were the shudras. The latter skills had nothing to do directly with brahminism because as a society Hindus admired the values of minimalism as a goal that one had to aspire for. There is a cultural problem here - but it is not about the lack of sharing of knowledge. It is about not seeing of personal wealth,comfort and glory as the ultimate goal of life.


Brahmins and Kshathriyas(or the rulers) seem have had a very close and cozy relationship throughout history. From the times of Vishwamithra or even before, one can see this cozy relationship. Its not surprising because even today the ruling class and the intellectual/journos have a very close and cozy relationship. Unfortunately such relationships augur badly for the society in general because it leads to monopoly on power. A sureshot monopoly on power is the system of Jaathi/caste.

There also seems to be a competition between the Brahmins and Kshathriyas to prove their own superiority vis-a-vis the other. This could have led to many social movements in the history. Mainly, the Brahmins seem to be haggling for the post of minister and advisor. At certain point, such posts might have been reserved for the Brahmins. Later, during colonial era, this competition extended to govt jobs in general. During colonial era, all other jobs had vanished and only the govt jobs remained. So, other communities also wanted a share in govt jobs. This led to the justice party in Madras presidency led mainly by landowning castes. So, ruling castes(landowner castes) were in conflict with the Brahmin castes for govt jobs.

When Brahmins try to use their favourable position to acquire monopoly on power, it creates reaction. Generally reaction is led by another powerful faction like landowners or rulers or powerful businessmen. Small castes(Shudras) are just pawns in the games of these powerful factions. So, most of the time, they hardly care for these things and simply carry on with their lives.

I think one of the reasons for the phenomenal success of invaders against Bhaarath was the castes. Mostly, the other castes never cared if there were invasions as long as they were personally protected because they were not part of the ruling caste.

And once a caste was subverted/penetrated by the invaders/opponents, then the whole caste(and the special knowledge which that caste had) was lost to the society and gained by the invaders/opponents. So, caste system provides an easy way for the invader to break the society and wean away certain parts of it. I think both muslims and europeans must have taken ample advantage of this system to gain ascendancy in Bhaarath.

Does caste system exist in other countries? Similar structures might be in existence in other countries. That does not justify an unfair system of monopoly on power.

PS: Brahmins became the ministers/advisors of even the invaders/ghazi muslims or colonial Europeans. Purnaiah - Minister of Hyder Ali, Tipu Sultan, British & KrishnaRaja Wodeyar Just goes to show that as long as each caste got its share of power, it didn't mind conniving with the rulers(even if they were invaders or despotic).

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Re: Indian Interests (09-08-2014)

Postby shiv » 16 May 2015 15:36

johneeG wrote: Small castes(Shudras) are just pawns in the games of these powerful factions. So, most of the time, they hardly care for these things and simply carry on with their lives.

Bullshit. "Pawns" means calling them congenitally stupid. Guess who were the butchers, servants, soldiers, swordmakers and leather workers for the Islamic raiders and the Brits. They were gradually converted after being instigated to revolt. Colonization runs deep - especially for those who believe in "Dravidianism". Step out of parts of of Tamil Nadu and you won't see this.

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Re: Indian Interests (09-08-2014)

Postby schinnas » 16 May 2015 18:18

Caste system and ridigification of varna concept into a by-birth classification from its original articulation of a skill based classification mentioned in our Shrutis did contribute to the downfall of Hinduism and India.

At the same time, misrepresentation of Advaita into Mayavada caused an even bigger damage amongst Indian intellectuals who ended up shunning life and going after an escapist concept of Moksha that is in essence going away from the world. A sort of intellectual lethargy set in all fields as the world is maya and the only sincere focus needs to be on Moksha. As Sri Aurobindo so eloquently put it we went from All is Brahman from the Upanishadic times (Ex: Isha Upanishad- Isha vashyam idam sarvam) to Everything except the world is Brahman (or Brahman is Truth and the material world is untruth indicating that Material world is not of Brahman)! Ex: Brahma Satyam Jagan Mithya). Knowingly of unknowingly some sayings and interpretations of Shankaracharya's work contributed to this dangerous escapist Mayavada which led to rusting away of Indian intellectual prowess from being applied to improve the material world.

Note that the Upanishadic Rishis did not condemn the material world even when they stated that BRahman is the ultimate reality and worth being considered as the highest goal. They created astrology, astronomy, ayurveda, grammer, etc., to help improve the material world. Compared to that there has been a big fall in the past 1500 years or so (or even past 2000 yrs) which led to India's downfall. Enslavement of India started after the fine balance in focus between inner and outer realities were broken due to Buddism and evolution of Mayavada. It also coincided with more superstition and caste / varna based rigidity in Hindu social structure.

Interestingly India's revival coincides with purification of Hinduism from superstition and rigidity of caste based notions which were spearheaded by Hindu religious leaders - from Dayananda Saraswati to Vivekananda to Sri Aurobindo to present day Sri Sri. In addition to cleaning Hinduism of superstitions and practices not in harmony with current evolution of civilization, they also did their part to pull down Mayavada and are focused on both material reality and inner Spiritual reality.

johneeG
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Re: Indian Interests (09-08-2014)

Postby johneeG » 17 May 2015 06:08

shiv wrote:
johneeG wrote: Small castes(Shudras) are just pawns in the games of these powerful factions. So, most of the time, they hardly care for these things and simply carry on with their lives.

Bullshit. "Pawns" means calling them congenitally stupid. Guess who were the butchers, servants, soldiers, swordmakers and leather workers for the Islamic raiders and the Brits. They were gradually converted after being instigated to revolt. Colonization runs deep - especially for those who believe in "Dravidianism". Step out of parts of of Tamil Nadu and you won't see this.


'Pawns' doesn't mean stupid, it means powerless. Stupidity and power are not connected at all. Stupid can be powerful and powerful can be stupid. If you think that powerless are powerless because they are stupid, then I don't agree with you.

Yep, butchers, servants, soldiers, swordmakers, ...etc worked for the islamic invaders and europeans colonizers. But, these are small players because they are not leaders. They don't make the policy decisions. The policy decisions were made mostly by Ksathriyas(rulers) and Brahmins(ministers). The money was controlled by Vaishyas. The rest of the society was just pawns in this game. Thats exactly what I am pointing out: each caste did not mind cooperating with the enemy as long as that particular caste interests were taken care off. This trend starts from the top and goes to the bottom of the social pyramid. The fish rots from the head. Society rots from the top. Its the elites who set the trends and others follow. Brahmins and Kshathriyas have been the elites of our society. The local kshathriyas were defeated and replaced with the foreign invaders and some plaint local subservient Kshathriyas. Brahmins continued to enjoy their position until the Justice party movement. Even then, Brahmins continue to enjoy power only. It seems to me that many so-called elite commies are Brahmins(like Yechury).

Justice party movement was mostly led by landowning castes against Brahmins for Govt jobs. Its a fight between two powerful factions.

Does that mean the so-called 'Shudras' are totally powerless and nothing going for them? They have one thing: sheer numbers. If there were only 4 castes(as in 4 Varnas), then the 4th caste would triumph all others on sheer numbers. So, further division of castes is needed and this is where 'Jaathi' comes in.

Anyway, it seems to me that the whole concept of caste(whether Varna or Jaathi) was essentially a tool to monopolize power in the hands of few elites(who themselves may have questionable origin and rise). The concept of Varna has some philosophical underpinning to it. Jaathi concept is much more brazen about what it wants to achieve. I think originally the concept of Varna came about as a normal social division of labour. Then, the top elites modified it to create the concept of Agra-Varna and Adhama-Varna. Once they got to the top, they created favourable rules to stay on top forever which meant keeping others suppressed forever. The Kshathriyas and Brahmins were fighting for the pole position of the Agra-Varna.

Both Kshathriyas and Brahmins were claiming that they were direct descendents of Brahma. Some consider Buddhist and Vedhantha movement to have been led mainly by Kshathriyas as opposed to the Vaidhik ritualistic movement of Brahmins.

These are supposed to be words of Buddha(I don't know how correct the translation is, I haven't read the original):
The Sutta begins when the Buddha is staying in Savatthi, in the temple donated by Visakkha, the mother of Migara. At that time, two brahmins, Bharadvaja and Vasettha, are training with the monks (bhikkhu) and aim to be a member of the Sangha. As usual in the evening, the Buddha rises from his meditation and strolls in the open yard near his dwelling. Vasettha sees his Teacher strolling, tells his friend, Bharadvaja, and suggests that they meet the Buddha to see if they can hear a Dhamma exposition from the Buddha.

They both approach the Buddha and after some formal proprieties, the Buddha asks the two if they received insults and denigration when they left their caste and layman's life in order to join the order. Vasettha and Bharadvaja answer that they did receive a 'flood of insults'. They say that the other Brahmins maintain that the Brahmin caste is the best, as the Brahmins are of high social status and authority, pure-bred, have radiant complexions, and are born from the mouth of the God Brahma, unlike the other lower castes. So, by the opinion of the other Brahmins, how can Vasettha and Bharadvaja leave this good caste and status, thus joining together with fraudulent ascetics with shaven heads from other castes, lower in status as they are born from the feet of Brahma?

To this remark, the Buddha tells them that the Brahmins have indeed forgotten about their past if they said such things. The fact is that the women in the Brahmin caste can get pregnant, give birth, and take care of their children. But the Brahmins still say that they are born from the Mouth of the God Brahma and other (castes) are born from Brahma's feet. Thus, the Brahmin's words are untrue. The Buddha said that the Brahmins are not speaking truthfully and they will reap a bad result from their own deeds.


Agganna Sutta

Brahmins being born from the mouth of Brahma seems to be an allusion to Purusha Suktha where Brahmins are described as being born from the face/mouth of Viraat Purusha while other Varnas are born from lower limbs.

schinnas wrote:Caste system and ridigification of varna concept into a by-birth classification from its original articulation of a skill based classification mentioned in our Shrutis did contribute to the downfall of Hinduism and India.

At the same time, misrepresentation of Advaita into Mayavada caused an even bigger damage amongst Indian intellectuals who ended up shunning life and going after an escapist concept of Moksha that is in essence going away from the world. A sort of intellectual lethargy set in all fields as the world is maya and the only sincere focus needs to be on Moksha. As Sri Aurobindo so eloquently put it we went from All is Brahman from the Upanishadic times (Ex: Isha Upanishad- Isha vashyam idam sarvam) to Everything except the world is Brahman (or Brahman is Truth and the material world is untruth indicating that Material world is not of Brahman)! Ex: Brahma Satyam Jagan Mithya). Knowingly of unknowingly some sayings and interpretations of Shankaracharya's work contributed to this dangerous escapist Mayavada which led to rusting away of Indian intellectual prowess from being applied to improve the material world.

Note that the Upanishadic Rishis did not condemn the material world even when they stated that BRahman is the ultimate reality and worth being considered as the highest goal. They created astrology, astronomy, ayurveda, grammer, etc., to help improve the material world. Compared to that there has been a big fall in the past 1500 years or so (or even past 2000 yrs) which led to India's downfall. Enslavement of India started after the fine balance in focus between inner and outer realities were broken due to Buddism and evolution of Mayavada. It also coincided with more superstition and caste / varna based rigidity in Hindu social structure.

Interestingly India's revival coincides with purification of Hinduism from superstition and rigidity of caste based notions which were spearheaded by Hindu religious leaders - from Dayananda Saraswati to Vivekananda to Sri Aurobindo to present day Sri Sri. In addition to cleaning Hinduism of superstitions and practices not in harmony with current evolution of civilization, they also did their part to pull down Mayavada and are focused on both material reality and inner Spiritual reality.


It is true that Mayavaada does lend itself to escapism. It is its strength and weakness. Mayavaada is very useful to cure depression or sorrow of any kind as it simply says that the world is illusory. But, it also encourages escapism.

However, Mayavaada is just culmination of the process which already started in Vedhantha. In Vedhantha itself, the concept of Nethi Nethi to define the soul/self/Aathma seems to have negated the world. But, even this is just continuation of Saankhya's thinking which divided the world into Purusha(living soul) and Prakruthi(the world). Saankhya does not negate the world but it is clear that the Prakruthi is different from Purusha. Then, Vedhantha developed this thought further as: Soul or self is universally pervasive - vishnu. But, the question was what exactly is this soul or self. To answer this question, the concept of Nethi Nethi was brought in which negates the entire worldly elements. But, says that the soul is pervasive in the entire world but none of the worldly elements we know are the soul/self. Mayavaada builds on this thinking and comes to the conclusion the world is just Mithya.

From philosophical point of view, Mayavaada is the ultimate height of philosophical thinking which shows great depth and subtlety.

Shankaracharya's philosophy was Mayavaada only. And it is very similar to the Vijnanavada of Buddhism. Vijnanavada Buddhism talks only about Jagath Mithya. Vedhantha talks only about Brahma Sathyam and that Brahma is Vishnu(pervasive universally) which means that every soul is Brahma. Mayavada combines both of them and comes up with Brahma Sathyam Jagath Mithya Jeevo Brahma eva na Aparah.

Dayanand Saraswathi is important in the sense that he was one of the first ones to critique X-ism. Dayananda Saraswati was working when EJs under brit patronization and macaulyte education were churning out systematic and incessant propaganda against Hindhuism by targeting idolatory. Dayananda Saraswati reacted by accepting the EJ narrative and rejected the idolatory. He tried to clutch on to the stray Vaidhik verses taken out of context and mis-interpretations. Then, Swami Dayananda turned on the abranists and critiqued their theologies. He was the first one to do so in the raj of east india company.

I think Dayanand Saraswathi may have come to the conclusion that the idolatory was not originally Vaidhik. I can agree with him because I think that idolatory is based on Agamas/Tantra which are distinct from Vedhas. But, that does not stop idolatry just because its not sourced directly from Vedhas. So, Dayanand Saraswathi wanted to prove that Vedhas oppose idolatry. This is not correct.

Swami Dayananda Saraswati had argued that Vedhas oppose idolatry by citing a verse from Vedhas where the God/Goddess is described as 'not having a prathima'. He seized on to this verse and claimed that Vedhas oppose idolatry. But, the word 'prathima' means 'match'. This can be seen in Valmiki Ramayana. So, when Vedhas say that God/Goddess 'has no prathima', they mean God/Goddess 'has no match' i.e. God/Goddess is 'matchless' or 'incomparable'.

सा सुशीला वपुः श्लाघ्या रूपेण अप्रतिमा भुवि |
तव अनुरूपा भार्या सा त्वम् च तस्याः पतिः वरः || ३-३४-२०

"She is a highly gracious lady, laudable by her bodily structure, incomparable by her appearance, and she will become a seemly wife of yours, and you too will become a best husband of hers. [1-34-20]


Link

Note the use of the word 'a-prathima'. It means 'incomparable' i.e. 'matchless'.

So, Vedhas neither propose nor oppose idolatry. Tantra/Agamas are the basis for idolatry. One could compare Dayanand Saraswathi to Moses. The only difference was that Moses was much more successful.

Agnimitra
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Re: Indian Interests (09-08-2014)

Postby Agnimitra » 17 May 2015 07:18

Arjun wrote:
Hari Seldon wrote:As an open-source faith, it is hence also, by default, a foe of proprietary architectures in the religion business.

Excellent analogy !

The Indian version of secularism needs to incorporate an explicit stance - in favor of open source religions and against proprietary architectures.

+1
Doing this means the "wrappers" of those proprietary architectures must be destroyed.

Priest-craft: Managed solutions vs. Unmanaged customizations

johneeG
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Posts: 3473
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Re: Indian Interests (09-08-2014)

Postby johneeG » 17 May 2015 08:26

Agnimitra saar,
your theory of 'Triangulating Hindutva: The Fundamentalist, Reformist & Traditionalist' is very thought-provoking.

I think Fundamentalism would be a person who 'insists that we go back to fundamentals of a creed'. Generally, in most other creeds, fundamentalists and traditionalists are on the same side which makes it a very powerful block. So, in most other creeds, fundamentalists and traditionalists are one and the same. The major movements come when they oppose each other.

Reformists are strengthened when they either side with fundamentalists or traditionalists. This is possible only if fundamentalists and traditionalists are not on the same page.

In Hindhuism, fundamentalism is a difficult thing because there are so many schools, sects, Gods, Goddesses, ...etc. Each school, sect, caste, ...etc differs on what is the definition of foundations.

One could say that Arya Samaj of Dayananda Saraswathi was a Vedhic fundamentalism i.e. going back to Vedhik religion and rejecting all other ideas which may have been developed along the way. This fundamentalism was opposed to the Tradionalist views on many issues. This allowed reformists a chance to enter the field by siding with traditionalists and fundamentalists on different issues.

The present day Hindhuism is actually closer to Agamas and Tantra than Vedhas. One could say that Agamas/Tantra are continuation of the Vedhic tradition. In which case, the question is: why are these considered as distinct from Vedhas?

Another doubt I have is: when did Bhakthi come into the picture in Hindhuism? Generally, Naradha is said to be the Guru of Bhakthi. Right now, I am assuming that Bhakthi came into the picture just before or just after the Agamas came. I think Agamas/Tantra developed somewhere around 1800 BCE. Wikipedia says that Tantra developed in 500 CE. According to Wiki ji, Ganapthi worship first appeared around 500 CE and became prominent in 1000 CE.

sanjaykumar
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Re: Indian Interests (09-08-2014)

Postby sanjaykumar » 17 May 2015 10:21

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/josh-schr ... 86099.html

An adequate description of the god project. Brief and cogent.


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