Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

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shiv
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Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby shiv » 22 Apr 2016 21:41

To reconcile this problem, the Dharma-Karma philosophy comes up with the concept of 'Heaven-Hell'. The point is simple: an unrighteous person may enjoy for now, but eventually he will suffer. If not in this world, then in the after-life. Similarly, a righteous person may suffer now, but eventually he will enjoy a lot. If not in this world, then in the after-life. So, Dharma-Karma has now added the Heaven-Hell to its system.

Heaven/hell is hardly a universal Hindu concept and the above is a very simplistic "karma-dharma for dummies" explanation. Most individuals are a mix of righteous and unrighteous their next life may well be enjoyment for righteous acts and suffering for unrighteous ones. A good wealthy and admired man say a very well respected professor loses his son. the explanation to rationalize the situation would be that he is both reaping benefits and paying for past unrighteousness.

It is also possible to dismiss these ideas as pure delusions to give comfort to people. If I kick a man of lower caste and tell him that I am repaying him for some unrighteousness he committed on me in a previous life. I can hide behind the excuse that all this is pre-ordained and that the fact that he was going to be born lower caste and I would be born upper caste and that I would kick him was all pre-ordained and pre-decided.

The fact is that Dharma demands that I do not hide behind this sort of bullshit rationalization. I must not do what is wrong. Whether I am gaining karma points or not is irrelevant. The idea that I am gaining karma points could simply be a fake promise like houris in heaven. This "karma-dharma" matrix business could well be a complex set of cooked up fables to make people feel better about themselves when in grief or maybe when they feel guilty about too much fun

However it is the right of people to believe this sort of stuff. It is their prerogative. I am not going to force anyone to think the way I think, but I will state my viewpoint. There may be no such thing as "truth for everyone" And it is the search for "truth for everyone" that came up with the concept of "Brahman" or "Vishnu", whatever one may choose to call it.

The concept of the universal soul/Brahman/Isvara/Vishnu is much more robust and difficult to break down than all this karma-dharma matrix business.
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It was concluded that the individual soul must have come from the universal soul. Either the individual soul is part of the universal soul or the individual soul is the same as the universal soul. Either way the qualities of individual soul would be largely similar to the universal soul.

There is a problem in this statement

If the individual soul is "part of the universal soul" it cannot be the same, it is only part
If the individual soul is the same as the universal soul it is the same

So the conclusion that follows is nonsense: " Either way the qualities of individual soul would be largely similar to the universal soul." This cannot be concluded from the statements made. The expression "largely similar" is not "same". My wife is largely similar to my sister - profession, height, complexion etc. But they are not the same.
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The following argument is very weak rhetoric
How was universal soul born and why? There really was no answer to the question of 'why?' The only answer could be: the world was created by the universal soul because it wanted to. Why would the universal soul want to create many individual souls? Hmm...perhaps, because it wanted company. Perhaps, it wanted to enjoy the world. So, many individual souls and the entire world was created by the universal soul out of nothing but itself. Is there any such example on the earth where something can be created out of nothing but self? Actually, there is one and only one example: Dreams.

So, is the creation of world similar to dream creation? But the dreams are merely illusions. They are not real. This was the start of Maya Vada or Theory of Illusion. It was concluded that the world was merely an illusion just like a dream.

If a dream is the creation of something from nothing it proves that something can be created out of nothing.

If a dream is nothing then the statement denies itself. Dreams do not exist. Why argue about the non existent? If dreams exist then something has been created out of nothing.

If dreams are illusions, then illusions can be created out of nothing. If dreams are reality then reality can come out of nothing

The other statement that I personally find idiotic (to be perfectly frank) is the idea that the universal soul has human or animal desires like wanting company or wanting to "enjoy the world". The same universal soul created rocks and fire and supernovas. What emotions would be needed to create those? He wanted to watch nuclear war in action for 1 million human years?

The universal soul gives no reason for creation; it gives no reason for its own existence. It just is. That is all. If something gets created out of it that creation is not because of love, lust, anger, hunger, pain, enjoyment, loneliness etc. Mapping human emotions of the Hindu concept of God looks very similar to the Christian idea of God making man in his image. That may be an attractive way of making humans understand "God for Dummies", but it is a misrepresentation of the Universal soul/Brahman
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I have heard this traditional view that Vedhantha is a continuation of Vedhas. But, that doesn't seem to be the case because Vedhantha books criticize the Vedhik rites. Who said that that Vedhas are a preparation for Vedhantha? It is only Shankaracharya(and later) schools which insist on this. Did Vedhas or Vedhantha itself say that they are linked in this manner?

Vedanta is the end of the Vedas not the continuation. Vedas could not have predicted Vedanta. But if Veda did not exist there would be no Vedanta. That is the connection. The fact that the link is not claimed means nothing. Empty argumentation to reach a nonsensical conclusion that is a personal opinion.
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But, if the world is an illusion, then Karma-Dharma matrix would also be an illusion. Just a farce. So, either Karma-Dharma matrix is real or illusion. If Karma-Dharma matrix is illusion, then Moksha(Freedom) is possible. If Karma-Dharma matrix is real, then Moksha(Freedom) is not possible.

The Karma-Dharma matrix is an illusion. It is a farce.

Remember what you wrote earlier
an unrighteous person may enjoy for now, but eventually he will suffer. If not in this world, then in the after-life. Similarly, a righteous person may suffer now, but eventually he will enjoy a lot. If not in this world, then in the after-life. So, Dharma-Karma has now added the Heaven-Hell to its system.

The idea of a "matrix" has simply been cooked up. In fact if you want to dig deeper into individual beliefs - refusing to give water to a man will apparently result in his being born as a lizard in his next life. Now a dog attacks that lizard and kills it. So you make up a story that in a future life the lizard is born a crocodile that eats a man who was a dog in a previous life.

These are simply rationalizations that beat about the bush. Waste of time. There is no "Karma-Dharma" matrix. It is simply a way to encourage good righteous behaviour and cannot be proven any more that you can prove the existence of a universal soul or that individual souls are parts of a universal soul. All these come mainly from the epistemology and hermeneutics of 5000 plus years of Hindu history and tradition of debate. It was never dogma and it will never be dogma. It it up to the individual to get it. He can read but he cannot be made to realize. If he gets it fine. If he does not get it, he does not get it. That's all.
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Modern Hindhuism is Agama + Vedhantha(along with Yoga and Saankhya) + Puraanas.

Vedhas and Vedhik rituals are largely irrelevant to modern Hindhuism. Even the priests have moved on to Agama rituals

This is your claim - - that you know exactly what "modern Hinduism" is. I would be inclined to give your claims the same degree of weight as I did when you were insisting that incest is (or was) normal among Buddhists or a normal part of Buddhist practice

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Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby RoyG » 22 Apr 2016 22:32

The word used is "qualification", अधिकारः - Which should explain the fallacy of the assertion that re-calibration on a grade-scale destroys the very idea of it. No, Dharma is what "supports" the virtuous spiral and scaffolds against a vicious spiral at any and all levels. It is not an ideal placed on a pedestal called "liberated".

Therefore, at different levels in a maturity model, one can calibrate the "qualifications" (or "rights") or any individual based on his guna and karma in that context, and by allowing him to express that nature Dharmically he can graduate to the next level, and so on. Therefore, I see no philosophical problem with the word "freedom of expression" either, in that very context of the journey to "liberation" and the different types of grade-appropriate expression. But I would word it as "freedom to choose one's grade-appropriate context of expression": The most sophisticated and wise socio-political Rashtra can create various circumscribed "islands" or windows in its area of control or influence, within which different grades of peoples can express themselves appropriately without subverting or choking the overarching direction and power of the system. An individual should have the freedom to move to his most preferred social context, but he cannot insist on a particular vitiating expression within a different, inappropriate context. The Rashtra must allow (or alternatively coerce) him to move to his appropriate geographical or social context. Thus, delineation of desha-kaala-paatra is intrinsic to the Dharmic discussion of "rights"/"qualification" - most of which are not manifestly "omnipresent".

[This is also not to say that this Dharmic model is purely elevationist, as opposed to some salvationist model. But it is one component of it.]


'Qualification' does not = rights. Placing it within the framework of 'freedom to choose' aka 'right to choose' dilutes its original anthropology (working model) to certain degree. Freedom asserts that an external force is actively denying you space to exercise your will. Liberation on the other hand is the path to nullification of self. Indian political thought doesn't give 'freedom' as if man carries within him an instrument to accept it. Instead, it creates conditions so that the self can be adequately discharged until it ceases to be. Although the result in certain contexts overlap the two terms are born out of and propound completely different world views. Let us take a look at the caste rights in India:

Certain castes assert the "right" to occupy seats at a medical college.

They lack adequate knowledge/skills to keep up with the program.

However, the "right" which they have been given "justifies" their continued enrollment.

Now you have a problem, on the one hand they lack qualifications, on the other it is their right to be there.

One was born out of expression, the other out of reception to governmental grace.

Let us take another example (Balu's fav):

Freedom of religion, ah yes also every BRFites fav.

On the one hand you have Christian Missionaries coming to India.

They transform the identities of individuals which ends up pitting communities against each other.

This results in a backlash and you are left with growing societal instability.

Now it is the "right" to adopt and propagate faith (non-duress) which gives the individual 'freedom'.

Now the gov is placed in a very odd situation.

If the gov takes away the freedom to propagate and adopt religion, you are violating the "right" of the individual.

On the other hand if you do nothing, you are left w/ growing societal instability.

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Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby Agnimitra » 22 Apr 2016 22:53

RoyG wrote:Let us take a look at the caste rights in India:

The politics of caste quota "rights" as it is found today (and in ages past - for a different set of castes) is a good example of how to go wrong with the concept of "rights" that is disconnected from "qualification" + "elevation". I agree with you on that, and I hope you see that this was not what I was talking about.

RoyG wrote:Freedom asserts that an external force is actively denying you space to exercise your will. Liberation on the other hand is the path to nullification of self. Indian political thought doesn't give 'freedom' as if man carries within him an instrument to accept it. Instead, it creates conditions so that the self can be adequately discharged until it ceases to be. Although the result in certain contexts overlap the two terms are born out of and propound completely different world views.

Of course, different worldviews, and therefore different semantics. But those terms are applicable in each context, albeit with a very different semantic.

However, the caricature of "freedoms" or "rights" using a divergence of the view of "self" is not something I can readily agree with, unless you can explain what you mean by "nullification" of the self... The ego can be a horse that takes one to the destination, or it can be like riding the proverbial tiger... "Rights" inform the potentially confused individual of what he can claim to "deserve" in society. Since "deserve" tends to be a loaded word, easily manipulated using real or imagined guilt OR a sense of elite entitlement, it sometimes needs to be defined so that any individual can claim those rights without thinking about it, as long as he also subscribes to the concomitant responsibilities of the group. By then exercising those rights, he cultivates within himself the ability for certain responsibilities that go with them, and develops a certain self-control within. Thus, knowledge, responsibility and control form a psychological triangle.

Regarding quota-politics: A very limited spurt of affirmative action could help to inform backward castes that they have a "right", and by implication an "ability", to HAVE and BE something that they never believed they could be. They never believed it because of a prevailing legalism which said they couldn't, or shouldn't, experiment with it, in order to progress towards some nebulous goal of "liberation" across multiple tortuous lifetimes in a miserable world that only deserves to be "nullified". But now by exercising this new "right" they can then actually gain the "qualification" for the responsibilities that go with it, and with that the self-confidence and possibly self-development and self-control. This blossoming is using the same principle in reverse, and it can be used in reverse in a very limited way. But beyond a point it becomes perverted, like anything else.
Last edited by Agnimitra on 22 Apr 2016 23:19, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby RoyG » 22 Apr 2016 23:07

Agnimitra,

Thank you for the response. Please wait for my response on Sunday. Have a few ideas which could be mutually acceptable.

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Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby Agnimitra » 22 Apr 2016 23:17

No hurry, RoyG

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Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby A_Gupta » 23 Apr 2016 01:59

ShauryaT wrote:Regardless, the Ambedkar challenge cannot be met via disbanding or being apologetic the key tenets and experiences of our heritage. They have to be met head on by keeping the principles, objectives, goals and key processes (including values systems) intact but reinventing the social, political and cultural frameworks to suit our times.

No one has done this yet and I will posit one cannot do such a reinvention by junking the two anchors of SD based on Varna and Ashrama. One cannot do this by junking the high principles of SD. One cannot do this by being "shameful" of our extremely rich repository of dharma shastras.

What we have done is junked the baby out completely by forsaking the principle, values, goals, objectives of SD and at best are in the reaction business of pointing out flaws of the western system. In this muddled thinking, while we have formally junked our entire heritage as it applies in our social elite and political frameworks - the vast masses including most of the middle class largely live and evolve in a muddled manner straddling between the high principles of SD, the evolutions and ravages of time of SD and the formal systems that we have adopted that continues to shape us.


If we understand better the ideals, principles and goals of Sanatana Dharma, and then ask - how should society be organized to follow these principles and achieve these goals, I'm not sure that varnashrama dharma will turn out to be the unique answer. Obviously, I am not among those who think that varnashrama dharma is the ideal of Sanatana Dharma; to me it is a means to an end. In stating so, maybe I'm going completely against tradition. So be it. There is at least one paper on genetics that suggests that what MK Gandhi's generation thought of as an ideal (no "intercaste" or "interjaati" marriage) is really a practice that began only 70 generations ago, which translates to 1400-1750 years ago; and thus cannot be an eternal practice; certainly not one from Vedic times.

In general, the idea that every Hindu practice has extended from time immemorial is simply not true; and I consider myself completely free to examine each practice and keep it or reject it, unapologetically but firmly.

Secondly, BR Ambedkar's challenge is not to the means of achieving these goals, but with the very ideals themselves. If varnashrama dharma is a means to an end only, but not an ideal, then we have to examine what ideals bother BR Ambedkar.

To continue the discussion, it might be fruitful neither to raise varnashrama dharma to an absolute requirement, nor reject it, but to understand how it does or does not produce a sustainable society in this era. It is fairly clear that the modern challenge is that neither Dalits nor women in general -- whether after contact with western modernity or on their own - do not accept varnashrama dharma as it has been practiced in the past several centuries or as the modern narration of varnashrama dharma has been given. Therefore, by definition, we no longer have a sustainable society when a sizable and significant part of it rebels against its structure. If we take it that we are potentially as capable as the people of the past in unearthing truths; and if we do not take the attitude that only the past is good and everything good was determined in the past, then we should be able to come up with a new synthesis. Or are we the dead tree, still standing, just waiting for a good wind to be knocked over, but with all its creative power gone and only in the past?

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Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby shiv » 23 Apr 2016 07:49

A_Gupta wrote:BR Ambedkar was arguing with Gandhi; Gandhi had a practical response - he largely changed his mind.
This article shows Gandhi's evolution via his own writings:
https://www.academia.edu/326347/Changes ... ermarriage

Thanks for posting this fascinating paper. I have the following comments after having read about 2/3rds.

First, both Ambedkar and Gandhi are struggling because they are both looking at Indian society in the terms used by the Portuguese and the British - that is, they refer to "caste". The definition of caste (my views) fudges jati and varna in a manner that I believe has led to the current day confusion about how the system evolved and what to do about it for the future, In some aspects both Gandhi and Ambedkar were right (my views again) - and I will try and explain.

I agree (somewhat) with Gandhi when he said this
My own opinion is that the varna system has just now broken down. There is no true Brahmin or true
Kshatriya or Vaishya. We are all Shudras, i.e. one varna. If this position is accepted, then the thing becomes easy. If this does
not satisfy our vanity, then we are all Brahmins. Removal of Untouchability does mean root-and-branch destruction of the
idea of superiority and inferiority.


But as the paper points out Gandhi believed that the varna system actually supported and preserved society by encouraging the son to learn the father's vocation and Gandhi believed (initially) that this was a good thing. I believe Gandhi was voicing outdated thoughts here. It is one thing to say that a carpenter can teach his son carpentry so the son will have a job. It is also entirely feasible for a learned Veda scholar to teach his son. But modern professions like engineering, medicine or even a career as a pilot do not lend themselves to this father-son transmission.

Yet I think Gandhi instinctively realized that jatis could not be erased easily but he tried a hotchpotch mix of solutions including saying that the son should learn father's vocation upto age 16 and then study something of his choice up to age 25.

Ambedkar on the other hand said:
Ambedkar: There will be outcastes as long as there are castes, and nothing can emancipate the outcaste
except the destruction of the caste system.

Caste Has To Go. Varnashrama of the shastras [the Hindu sacred scriptures] is today nonexistent in prac-
tice. The present caste system is the very antithesis of varnashrama. The sooner public opinion abolishes it the better.
...Prohibition there is [in varnashrama] of change of one’s hereditary occupation for purposes of gain. The existing
practice is therefore doubly wrong in that it has set up cruel restrictions about interdining and intermarriage and tolerates
anarchy about choice of occupation....
The most effective, quickest and most unobtrusive way to destroy caste is for reformers to begin the practice with them-
selves and, where necessary, take the consequences of social boycott. The change will be gradual and imperceptible


Ambedkar's view of "caste" is very clearly the most obvious view that the arises from the way jati and varna were mixed up and varna (occupation/trade) became hereditary within jatis (ethnic, genetically related family communities). Why things panned out in this way starting 70 generations ago (as per genetics papers) is an issue I would like to bring up for discussion separately.

But I do believe that when Ambedkar said that the "caste system must be destroyed" he walked into a minefield because the statement does not specify how jatis (all "castes") around which family links are built all over India could be destroyed. Nothing has managed to destroy that yet. On the other hand Ambedkar probably meant that the linking of varna to jati would have to be destroyed, and any retention of any varna by name would automatically create hierarchies.

Given that both Gandhi and Ambedkar were wrestling with that vague word "caste", at worst Gandhi was wrong about maintaining varna based occupations and Ambedkar was right. But Ambedkar probably did not think about how jatis could be eliminated. In the end both Ambedkar and Gandhi seemed to have agreed that intermarriage between jatis ("castes") is the best solution.

This is a vexed and complex issue at the best of times, but I think that modern India has failed to remove the prejudices linked to varna by demanding that everyone keeps tab on his or her jati forever and constitutionally agreeing that jati decides varna. That means that a person like me, who deals in blood and flesh every day - an "ati-shudra" by profession can claim privilege as Brahmin forever,adding to the feeling of hurt a person like Ambedkr may have had. To add insult to injury Indian laws have made it advantageous for some backward "castes" to cling on to their castes because they have a reservation advantage. Who can blame them? After all the so called "forward castes" were doing exactly the same thing- by making vocation hereditary and part of the jati/family lineage so one was always born into a family of say physicians and stayed that way and being born into a family of sweepers kept people writing that jati+varna combination.

The problem we face now is that the "caste" column in application forms becomes mandatory - keeping alive the hereditary caste sentiments while completely ignoring the fact that jati is jati and varna is varna. Varna should not be decided by jati, nor should jati dictate varna. But this is exactly what transpires when you freeze the "jati-varna" mess and call it "caste"

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Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby vishvak » 23 Apr 2016 11:26

Church And Court
Posting in full.
It is unfortunate that courts have become arbiters of what constitutes true religion.
..
The Supreme Court’s recent observation that the ban on the entry of women, between 10 and 50 years of age, into Kerala’s Sabarimala temple must pass the constitutional test highlights the tension between religious tradition and the reformist impulse of the Constitution. This tension has surfaced whenever the courts have had to judge whether religious traditions or customs should be reformed. This tension is, of course, not restricted to India but often appears in a more acute form because of the court’s historical tendency — backed by Article 25(2) — to intervene in religious matters.
Over the years, the courts have put in place what is known as the “essential practices” test, used to decide a variety of cases. These can be classified under a few heads. First, the court has used this test to decide which religious practices are eligible for constitutional protection. Second, to adjudicate the legitimacy of legislation for managing religious institutions. Finally, to judge the extent of independence that can be enjoyed by religious denominations. The first is particularly relevant for the Sabarimala case, where the temple authorities have argued that the ban on women is part of their religious tradition.
There is a long line of cases in which the courts have stepped in to decide what constitutes religion. In Shirur Mutt, the SC observed that a “religious denomination or organisation enjoys complete autonomy in the matter of deciding as to what rites and ceremonies are essential… and no outside authority has any jurisdiction to interfere with their decision”. At the same time, the court said that the state can legitimately regulate religious practices when they “run counter to public order, health and morality” and when they are “economic, commercial or political in their character though they are associated with religious practices”.
In the 1950s, in another landmark ruling, the SC denied the plea of the Gowda Saraswath Brahmins to claim exemption from a law allowing Dalits and lower castes to enter the Shri Venkataramana temple. Here the court gave the reformist thrust of Article 25 precedence over the group rights enshrined in Article 26. The competing claims of the freedom of a religious collective and the state’s power to regulate religious practices have, however, continued to haunt the courts.
From the 1960s, the SC circumscribed the religious practices that were guaranteed constitutional protection. In the Durgah Committee case, for instance, it ruled that “practices though religious may have sprung from merely superstitious beliefs and may in that sense be extraneous and unessential accretions to religion itself”. It added that unless such practices are found to “constitute an essential and integral part of religion”, their claim for protection would have to be carefully scrutinised.
In the Sabarimala case, the court will have to decide whether the ban on women entering the temple is a bona fide religious custom, and if it passes the essential practices test. Indeed, the Kerala Hindu Places of Public Worship (Authorisation of Entry) Rules, 1965, permits the prohibition of women from accessing places of worship where “custom” or “usage” requires it. Like in earlier cases, the SC could decide that the ban does not meet the essential practice test. It could also strike down the rule on the grounds that it discriminates on the basis of gender as well as infringes on a woman’s right to freedom of worship.
Whatever the decision, it is unfortunate that the courts have become the arbiter of what constitutes true religion. Rajeev Dhavan and Fali Nariman have pointed out that the judges have “virtually assumed the theological authority to determine which tenets of faith are ‘essential’ to any faith”. This situation has arisen because the Indian state is the agent for the reform and management of Hinduism and its institutions. It would preferable, as Pratap Bhanu Mehta has noted, if “all communities begin to accept that the arc of moral and social demands bends towards individual freedom, non-discrimination and equality, particularly on the issue of gender”. So long as that does not happen, we are likely to see religious issues being repeatedly taken to court.

That the Indian state has become an arbitrator of what is essential to any faith, and only for Hinduism, is prolly a continuation of pre-independence colonial times.
By the way in UK now, an umbrella body supports temple management, link called The National Council of Hindu Temples UK.

Some other info relevant to topic
A secular state that runs Hindu temples
The Parliament (Prevention of Disqualification) Act of 1959 was amended in August of 2006. The amendment was more popularly known as the Office of Profit Bill. The Bill shot into fame on account of the political controversy around Congress President Sonia Gandhi’s role in the National Advisory Council. It is thirteen pages long. It includes a table with the names of 55 public sector entities across India that would be not deemed to be Offices of Profit, and thus eligible to be occupied by sitting members of the legislature.
..
the history of British control goes back much further. With the Nawabs of Arcot becoming vassals of the East India Company, the Tirupati temple came under the control of the East India Company in 1801. In September 2007, The Hindu carried a detailed account of the various transitions that took place prior to 1932 quoting from the Mackenzie manuscripts the infamous 1821 Bruce Code and the 1843 decision in assigning a Mutt to manage its affairs.

Read it all.

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Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby Pulikeshi » 24 Apr 2016 03:24

A_Gupta wrote:In general, the idea that every Hindu practice has extended from time immemorial is simply not true; and I consider myself completely free to examine each practice and keep it or reject it, unapologetically but firmly.

Secondly, BR Ambedkar's challenge is not to the means of achieving these goals, but with the very ideals themselves. If varnashrama dharma is a means to an end only, but not an ideal, then we have to examine what ideals bother BR Ambedkar.

Or are we the dead tree, still standing, just waiting for a good wind to be knocked over, but with all its creative power gone and only in the past?


Mostly agree with your writings... Dharma is Sanathana, Vedas as part of the construct is also held in similar light, but not every practice can be held to be, nor is it a successful strategy for anything that desires to be Sanathana to hang tightly to specific practices, there is more evidence that there is a tighter bonding to eternal principles and a way of life. In the end the people who are adherents of Dharma are the ones that constitute it, and tautologically are beneficiaries of the protections it endows.

You and Shaurya correctly point out that taking on BR is important as he represents, a limited Western Universalism, challenge to Hindu ideals. However, lets look at the irony in the challenge. I don’t mean to overstate this - Hinduism's Varna/Jati tradition is being asked to defend why someone outside the ambit of Varna/Jati, therefore Dalits, are not treated fairly. At an intellectual plane, ignoring the social and other responsibilities, a very minimalistic base response would be those who are outside the ambit of Dharma are not protected by it. Lest I be accused of being elitist, Manuvadi, Chaddi wearing fascist, let me clarify. At a foundational level, the Dalits are Avarna (not belonging to any Jati or fallen from whatever Varna/Jati they came from). Then, comes the question, if you bear to hold your repulsion in check on my train of logic, How should the Avarna be treated?

The lack of logic in treating the Avarna, imvho is the foundational problem. When these "fallen" ones were historically not even in hundreds if not a few thousand people across the vast continent of India, it probably did not matter as much. However, when that number over time became millions - the balance of power and the lack of redressal by the overwhelming Hindu system in place opens up ground for external forces. The next important question: When the Huns, Greeks, Turks, Arabs, European, etc. came into India, how and what was the response of the Hindu system to these others? Again, imvho, the system has fallen short. This may have happened over time with the external systems becoming more and more rigid before they came at India. Even today when there is alignment between Dalits and Muslims or Christians election after election - what is the response of the Hindu system - again imvho nada, zilch, zippo!

Regarding the dead tree, can’t expect something dead to introspect and ask itself tough questions, but all life and living systems tethers on this edge!
A more reasonable position to adopt would be - You a’int dead till I tell you so! :mrgreen:

So, imvho the summary - if the Hindu System of Dharma is built on the tautology: धर्मो रक्षति रक्षितः
The defense of Dharma and its adherents by all means - Dharmic and otherwise is prescribed based on context. In this sense there is no mandate to protect, preserve or provide shelter to anyone outside it.
Stated this way, perhaps a more fundamentalist view of what Dharma is -
It is but natural that those outside the system impacted by it will ask for it's destruction.
Then the correct counter question to ask is how can those who do not adhere to Dharma demand protection from it? As BR is doing!

PS: I am asking a rhetorical question - will be answering this question in my follow up posts.
Hang on to your happy hats before you misunderstand my intellectual rhetoric ~

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Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby Pulikeshi » 24 Apr 2016 06:58

johneeG wrote:If Karma-Dharma matrix is real, then Moksha(Freedom) is not possible.


Pulikeshi’s idea of Karma and Dharma:

(Karma: Action without tying it to its result or even tying it to Human Action. This Moksa business is not my primary concern and is a special case of the results of ones action, so will take it up later.)
This Universe that I exist in arose due to implicit and explicit Karma. Neither can I quantify all the Karma and their results that led it to me perceiving this Universe, nor can I quantify what is to come due to the Karma of myself and others in the future. What I can do is learn and discover the nature of Prakriti (patterns) - some of them are natural and eternal, others exist within a certain context and compete in a market of such ideas, others are more fleeting and so temporary that they may not even be perceived by me. To provide a concrete example: The stars, solar system, even Earth has more longevity, than say comets, asteroids, etc. The climate has more longevity than say weather. The forest has more longevity than say one specific animal living in it. A house has more longevity than say one individual that owns it. These kinds of understanding leads one to the question eventually - is human consciousness long living and does it have an existence beyond the body that it occupies temporarily.

That is if all Karma committed by the individual and all the knowledge and the experience gained is valid, is it also essentially lost at the time of death. If your answer is yes, then here are several schools of thought that one can learn and discover more with… If your answer is no, then here are several schools of thought that one can learn and discover more with… This is infact my summation of various schools of thought. Karma is the fundamental principle of this universe - explicit or implicit. What happens with Moksha is pure speculation, unless someone can bring empirical evidence as accepted by one of the schools. So what enables stability, longevity and evolution?

The principle that arises from those observations from Prakriti (patterns) that enables stability and longevity to any entity is summed up as Dharma. Thus for anything that is observable as an entity in Prakriti - its Dharma could be defined as a natural state of stability and longevity. Further, in the case of social grouping - natural systems - there could arise established patterns in Prakriti that enables stability and longevity. Those principles that enable evolutionary stability exist via convention within each society. In the case of Hindu society, the Rishis decided to codify some of these principles and provide an example for emulation and influence.

johneeG wrote:But, if the world is an illusion, then Karma-Dharma matrix would also be an illusion. Just a farce. So, either Karma-Dharma matrix is real or illusion. If Karma-Dharma matrix is illusion, then Moksha(Freedom) is possible. If Karma-Dharma matrix is real, then Moksha(Freedom) is not possible.


Adhi Shankara tried to reconcile these two, but I think He failed in doing satisfactorily.


Now let me come to Moksha - let's say it is not possible. Then everything I stated above still exists - per your terminology Karma-Dharma matrix. Nothing is lost. Whether this is the way of the Vedas or not that of the Vedanta is all just intellectual exercise.

Let's say Moksha is real - leave alone that none have been able to quantify Moksha's Dharma in Prakriti - meaning what does it mean to be in Moksha, is it stable, does it have longevity, etc.
Lets also look at the real meaning of this word (closest in English anyway) is 'release.' What kind of release has longevity, stability, evolves, etc. there is really no way to speculate on this. So constructing this principle is essentially to give the consciousness some purpose to live and carry on - in the darkest night. I could construct a thousand ways to reconcile your question, but none would be based on anything observable. It would be mere speculation like the existence of ideas such as Heaven or Hell.

To borrow a phrase - "Get busy living or get busy dying" :mrgreen:

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Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby shiv » 24 Apr 2016 06:59

This is from Wikipedia. I cannot vouch for its authenticity, but it is. IMO an important data point in understanding how teh Brits and hence we view the issue today.

The point to note is that the British themselves accepted the social gradation that they made as a test of the worth of a human being and whether he could be given a specific job or not. Hence the British were perfectly happy to speak of people as "martial castes" or "criminal castes". These attitudes definitely sank into Indian attitudes.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caste_system_in_India
Jati were the basis of caste ethnology during the British colonial era. In the 1881 census and thereafter, colonial ethnographers used caste (jati) headings, to count and classify people in what was then British India (now India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Burma).[176] The 1891 census included 60 sub-groups each subdivided into six occupational and racial categories, and the number increased in subsequent censuses.[177] The British colonial era census caste tables, states Susan Bayly, "ranked, standardised and cross-referenced jati listings for Indians on principles similar to zoology and botanical classifications, aiming to establish who was superior to whom by virtue of their supposed purity, occupational origins and collective moral worth". While bureaucratic British officials completed reports on their zoological classification of Indian people, some British officials criticised these exercises as being little more than a caricature of the reality of caste system in India. The British colonial officials used the census-determined jatis to decide which group of people were qualified for which jobs in the colonial government, and people of which jatis were to be excluded as unreliable.[178] These census caste classifications, states Gloria Raheja, a professor of Anthropology, were also used by the British officials over the late 19th century and early 20th century, to formulate land tax rates, as well as to frequently target some social groups as "criminal" castes and castes prone to "rebellion".[179]

The population then comprised about 200 million people, across five major religions, and over 500,000 agrarian villages, each with a population between 100 to 1,000 people of various age groups, which were variously divided into numerous castes. This ideological scheme was theoretically composed of around 3,000 castes, which in turn was claimed to be composed of 90,000 local endogamous sub-groups

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Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby shiv » 24 Apr 2016 13:52

Someone please riddle me this

There were, according to the British census of the humanimals of India 3000 castes and 90,000 subcastes spread out in 500,000 villages each with a mix of these "castes".

If we are to apply the rigor that we Indians take so much frickin pride in when we work in medicine or physics and sticking religiously to honest facts someone please inform me how the conclusion was reached that 4 "top castes" were invariably brutal towards every caste below them. Is there any correlation between the number 4 and 3000 and 90,000. And what is the documentation. Where are the sample surveys of 500,000 villages?

I think our entire country is operating on shaky assumptions and premises taken straight out of speculation from cloud cuckoo land. Our "science talent" works only for gora masters to win Nobel prize. When it comes to ourselves what gora master said 150 years ago is - yeah, you guessed it "Gospel" truth. We deserve what we have - all the reservation, self loathing and infighting because we have shown ourselves to be a nation of cargo-cultin' stupids with no independent thought or verification of what has been pushed down our throats. And sure enoough someone will come down on me saying I am denying something or the other when I ask for the same standards of inquiry, hermeneutics if you like that we apply to the STEM subjects that we think we are oh so clever at.

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Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby A_Gupta » 24 Apr 2016 17:29

^^^ Some excerpts from a Rajiv Malhotra post:
It never ceases to amaze me how many of our folks cannot see the forest for the trees. Their cognitions are fragmented and broken into tiny views, much like the two small openings in a burqa. I have called this the burqa of the mind. When I point this out, there is outrage as if they are threatened that they might be asked to remove this burqa from their minds.
...
As part of my research for a book titled, Moron Smriti (unpublished), I developed the thesis that during the Islamic plunder, Indians survived by lying low, submitting themselves to foreign authority and learning to be satisfied with very little. Those with strategic minds would be seen as dangerous by the rulers. Small thinkers were not dangerous because they could not think strategically to subvert the authority of the rulers. Notice how the Pakistani army of General Yahya Khan in the 1971 genocide in Dhaka had focused on rounding up all the intellectuals quickly. After they were brought together in one place, they were mercilessly killed. Why? Because it is those capable of thinking strategically that post the gravest threats to any rulers. The morons do not pose threats.

I theorize that the British made this moron-ization of Indians even deeper. They encouraged otherworldliness, tactical and not strategic thinking, the pursuit of small-time petty details and inconsequential pursuits that would make no big impact. Most of all, they encouraged bickering among Indians. Indians who learned to live below this ceiling were rewarded and this is how we became a moron people.

Today, our industrialists have re-learned to think big and not accept second-class status to anyone. This is happening in many other domains as well. Unfortunately, our scholars especially in the humanities (and Indology) are still living in awe of Westerners.

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Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby shiv » 24 Apr 2016 19:05

A_Gupta wrote:^^^ Some excerpts from a Rajiv Malhotra post:
It never ceases to amaze me how many of our folks cannot see the forest for the trees. Their cognitions are fragmented and broken into tiny views, much like the two small openings in a burqa. I have called this the burqa of the mind. When I point this out, there is outrage as if they are threatened that they might be asked to remove this burqa from their minds.
...
As part of my research for a book titled, Moron Smriti (unpublished), I developed the thesis that during the Islamic plunder, Indians survived by lying low, submitting themselves to foreign authority and learning to be satisfied with very little. Those with strategic minds would be seen as dangerous by the rulers. Small thinkers were not dangerous because they could not think strategically to subvert the authority of the rulers. Notice how the Pakistani army of General Yahya Khan in the 1971 genocide in Dhaka had focused on rounding up all the intellectuals quickly. After they were brought together in one place, they were mercilessly killed. Why? Because it is those capable of thinking strategically that post the gravest threats to any rulers. The morons do not pose threats.

I theorize that the British made this moron-ization of Indians even deeper. They encouraged otherworldliness, tactical and not strategic thinking, the pursuit of small-time petty details and inconsequential pursuits that would make no big impact. Most of all, they encouraged bickering among Indians. Indians who learned to live below this ceiling were rewarded and this is how we became a moron people.

Today, our industrialists have re-learned to think big and not accept second-class status to anyone. This is happening in many other domains as well. Unfortunately, our scholars especially in the humanities (and Indology) are still living in awe of Westerners.

As usual expressed 10 times better than I could have done...

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Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby peter » 24 Apr 2016 19:12

shiv wrote:Someone please riddle me this

There were, according to the British census of the humanimals of India 3000 castes and 90,000 subcastes spread out in 500,000 villages each with a mix of these "castes".

If we are to apply the rigor that we Indians take so much frickin pride in when we work in medicine or physics and sticking religiously to honest facts someone please inform me how the conclusion was reached that 4 "top castes" were invariably brutal towards every caste below them. Is there any correlation between the number 4 and 3000 and 90,000. And what is the documentation. Where are the sample surveys of 500,000 villages?

......

Well Have you read Swami Vivekananda? His travels in Kerala are well documented.

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Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby peter » 24 Apr 2016 19:16

A_Gupta wrote:^^^ Some excerpts from a Rajiv Malhotra post:
It never ceases to amaze me how many of our folks cannot see the forest for the trees. Their cognitions are fragmented and broken into tiny views, much like the two small openings in a burqa. I have called this the burqa of the mind. When I point this out, there is outrage as if they are threatened that they might be asked to remove this burqa from their minds.
...
As part of my research for a book titled, Moron Smriti (unpublished), I developed the thesis that during the Islamic plunder, Indians survived by lying low, submitting themselves to foreign authority and learning to be satisfied with very little. Those with strategic minds would be seen as dangerous by the rulers. Small thinkers were not dangerous because they could not think strategically to subvert the authority of the rulers. Notice how the Pakistani army of General Yahya Khan in the 1971 genocide in Dhaka had focused on rounding up all the intellectuals quickly. After they were brought together in one place, they were mercilessly killed. Why? Because it is those capable of thinking strategically that post the gravest threats to any rulers. The morons do not pose threats.

I theorize that the British made this moron-ization of Indians even deeper. They encouraged otherworldliness, tactical and not strategic thinking, the pursuit of small-time petty details and inconsequential pursuits that would make no big impact. Most of all, they encouraged bickering among Indians. Indians who learned to live below this ceiling were rewarded and this is how we became a moron people.

Today, our industrialists have re-learned to think big and not accept second-class status to anyone. This is happening in many other domains as well. Unfortunately, our scholars especially in the humanities (and Indology) are still living in awe of Westerners.

You know this is oft repeated that somehow Hindus had this magic wand that they waved and they survived the "Islamic plunder" . Why is it so difficult to see that it has got nothing to do with religion that Hindu Dharma survived in India?

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Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby shiv » 24 Apr 2016 19:40

peter wrote:Well Have you read Swami Vivekananda? His travels in Kerala are well documented.

This question is actually a more pertinent one than might appear on the surface. Everyone knows caste bad, upper caste only screw lower caste. And for this the Government refers to the caste classification made by the Brits 150 years ago. No one has done any verification since.

But ask someone if he has read Swami Vivekananda? Wha? Duh? Yesterday's news is that Shakespeare has more devotees in India than Bilayat. So who is Swami Vevekawhatsit?

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Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby A_Gupta » 24 Apr 2016 21:50

peter wrote:You know this is oft repeated that somehow Hindus had this magic wand that they waved and they survived the "Islamic plunder" . Why is it so difficult to see that it has got nothing to do with religion that Hindu Dharma survived in India?


Because the Buddhists did not survive.

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Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby shiv » 25 Apr 2016 05:45

The British conducted a caste census in 1891 and 1931 and published the results. As far as I know independent India has never published teh results of a caste census and I am certain that all discussions around caste in India staring from judiciary down to the street are based on what the British told us about us.

The 1931 caste data is available for download here
https://ia802506.us.archive.org/14/item ... 201931.pdf
Lots of interesting stuff - will post snippets from time to time

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Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby shiv » 25 Apr 2016 08:12

From the 1931 census of India, about whether a caste census should be done
https://archive.org/stream/CensusOfIndi ... 1_djvu.txt
Caste is still of vital consideration in the
structure of Indian society and of intense importance as well as interest to the
majority of Hindus. It impinges in innumerable ways on questions not only of
Tace and religion but also of economics, since it still goes far to determine the
occupation, society and conjugal life of every individual born into its sphere.
Some consideration of its origin cannot therefore be avoided and & number of
different explanations have been offered for the existence of what is, as it is found
to-day, a system unique in the world, since there is no other country or nation
which possesses anything approaching the elaborate caste system of India, nor is
there any other country known to have ever possessed one of the same kind. It has
been described on the one hand aa leading to " a degree of social disunity to
which no parallel can be found in human history*", though on the other it has
probably played a very important historical role as a great contributor to political
and cultural stability, and there is much that is true in the Abbe Dubois'
eulogium of the caste system. Roughly speaking, there may be said to be five
important theories of the origin of caste, apart from the minor variations and
combinations of these five ; there is first the traditional view of the origin of caste
typified in the Code of Manu ; there is the occupational explanation, of which
Nesfield was the best known exponent ; the tribal and religious explanation, of
Ibbetson ; the family or gentile explanation offered by Senart, and the racial and
hypergamous explanation of Risley. None of these explanations are at all satis-
factory by themselves, though all contain a definite appreciation of what should
perhaps be rather described as features than causes of the caste system.

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Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby peter » 25 Apr 2016 12:18

shiv wrote:
peter wrote:Well Have you read Swami Vivekananda? His travels in Kerala are well documented.

This question is actually a more pertinent one than might appear on the surface. Everyone knows caste bad, upper caste only screw lower caste. And for this the Government refers to the caste classification made by the Brits 150 years ago. No one has done any verification since.

But ask someone if he has read Swami Vivekananda? Wha? Duh? Yesterday's news is that Shakespeare has more devotees in India than Bilayat. So who is Swami Vevekawhatsit?

Ok so you have not read him. Here it is:
"The poor Pariah is not allowed to pass through the same street as the high-caste man, but if he changes his name to a hodge-podge English name, it is all right; or to a Mohammedan name, it is all right. What inference would you draw except that these Malabaris are all lunatics, their homes so many lunatic asylums, and that they are to be treated with derision by every race in India until they mend their manners and know better. Shame upon them that such wicked and diabolical customs are allowed;"

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Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby peter » 25 Apr 2016 12:19

A_Gupta wrote:
peter wrote:You know this is oft repeated that somehow Hindus had this magic wand that they waved and they survived the "Islamic plunder" . Why is it so difficult to see that it has got nothing to do with religion that Hindu Dharma survived in India?


Because the Buddhists did not survive.

Neither did Parsis in Persia. What inferences do you draw?

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Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby shiv » 25 Apr 2016 13:49

peter wrote:
shiv wrote:This question is actually a more pertinent one than might appear on the surface. Everyone knows caste bad, upper caste only screw lower caste. And for this the Government refers to the caste classification made by the Brits 150 years ago. No one has done any verification since.

But ask someone if he has read Swami Vivekananda? Wha? Duh? Yesterday's news is that Shakespeare has more devotees in India than Bilayat. So who is Swami Vevekawhatsit?

Ok so you have not read him. Here it is:
"The poor Pariah is not allowed to pass through the same street as the high-caste man, but if he changes his name to a hodge-podge English name, it is all right; or to a Mohammedan name, it is all right. What inference would you draw except that these Malabaris are all lunatics, their homes so many lunatic asylums, and that they are to be treated with derision by every race in India until they mend their manners and know better. Shame upon them that such wicked and diabolical customs are allowed;"

Thanks

Here is the full quote from Viveknanda. His view reflect modern secular views

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Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby shiv » 25 Apr 2016 14:09

In contrast to Swami Vivekananda's observations about conversions, the 1931 caste census book (about 30 years after the Swami passed away) has this to say
https://archive.org/stream/CensusOfIndi ... 1_djvu.txt
Caste, however, as pointed out else where is by no
means ignored after conversion. Only last June (1932) a writer in The Guardian
(Madras) quoted the case of a Christian pastor in Madras, who, after presiding
- at a church committee meeting, went for a meal to the cathechists house. As he
was an Adi-Dravida he could only be allowed to eat by himself in the veranda and
" had to remove his leaf-plate himself ". The same writer laid stress upon the
part played by caste in church polities and the greater tolerance with which the
institution is regarded by the Roman Church


About Swami Vivekananda's view of the peaceful spread of Islam quoted in my earlier post I have nothing further to say

For all his brilliance Swami Vivekananda, like Gandhi and Ambedkar were all products of Macaulayite education that had nothing positive to say about Hindus. Their own self loathing of Hindu practices without the inquiry were exactly what I and many of us have been taught, and mirrors that of modern day DIEs, but all 33, Vivekananda, Gandhi and Ambedkar were too smart to swallow everything whole. The whole point now is to look at all that has been written and check it for validity.

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Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby shiv » 25 Apr 2016 14:59

If we must parse modern Hindu thought with a view to going back to the past and trying to get a glimpse of what thought might have been, one thing is to first look at how the British saw Hindus and how they interacted with them.

In the 1700s, the British actually saw upper castes as racially superior to others and favoured them, and probably got favours from them. Here is how they looked at Brahmins
Link
race sentiment - far from being a figment of the intolerant pride of the Brahman, rests upon a foundation of fact which scientific methods confirm, that it has shaped the intricate grouping of the caste system, and has preserved the Aryan type in comparative purity throughout Northern India


Another source has this to say:
Jesuit activity in India by Italian and French Jesuits tended to be adaptive of Hindu customs. A notable practitioner was the Italian Jesuit Roberto de Nobili who tolerated the hierarchy of caste as part of the natural order and worked with some success to evangelize Brahmins


But in the late 20th century we have this - from the same source:
In the latter half of the Twentieth century the rise of dalit theology the politicized theology of the oppressed or most marginalized groups shows a new trend in Christian attitudes. Most Indian Christians belong to dalit communities and the theology formulated in their name seeks to incorporate many hereditary beliefs and practices in an attempt to affirm dalit history and to identify the Sanskritic tradition as the source of their traditional oppression


Dalit theology. Nice name. I think this is what Rajiv Malhotra refers to in "Breaking India" - but I don't recall that expression

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Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby shiv » 25 Apr 2016 15:04

"Dalit Theology"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dalit_theology
Dalit theology is a branch of Christian theology that emerged among the Dalit caste in India in the 1980s. It shares a number of themes with liberation theology, which arose two decades earlier, including a self-identity as a people undergoing Exodus.[1] Dalit theology sees hope in the "Nazareth Manifesto" of Luke 4,[2] where Jesus speaks of preaching "good news to the poor ... freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind" and of releasing "the oppressed."


A major proponent of Dalit theology was Arvind P. Nirmal (1936–95), a Dalit Christian in the Church of North India.[4] Nirmal criticised Brahminic dominance of Christian theology in India, and believed that the application of liberation theology to India should reflect the struggle of Dalits,[4] who make up about 70% of Christians in India, as claimed by Poor Christian Liberation Movement (PCLM).[5][6] Nirmal also criticised the Marxist element within South American liberation theology.[1] Nirmal drew on the concept of the Suffering Servant in Isaiah 53[7] to identify Jesus himself as a Dalit – "a waiter, a dhobi, and bhangi."[8]

Dalit theologians have seen passages in the gospels, such as Jesus' sharing a common drinking vessel with the Samaritan woman in John 4,[9] as indicating his embracing of Dalitness.[10] The parable of the Good Samaritan is also seen as significant, providing a "life-giving message to the marginalized Dalits and a challenging message to the non-Dalits."[11]

M. E. Prabhakar expanded on the Dalitness of Jesus, stating that "the God of the Dalits ... does not create others to do servile work, but does servile work Himself."[12] He also suggested that Jesus experienced human, and especially Dalit, brokenness in his crucifixion.[12] Prabhakar has developed a Dalit creed, which reads in part:

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Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby A_Gupta » 25 Apr 2016 15:22

peter wrote:
A_Gupta wrote:
Because the Buddhists did not survive.

Neither did Parsis in Persia. What inferences do you draw?


The minimal inference : Organized centers of religion/society were destroyed. The widely distributed survived in some form, greatly mutilated no doubt.

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Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby peter » 25 Apr 2016 19:06

shiv wrote:....

About Swami Vivekananda's view of the peaceful spread of Islam quoted in my earlier post I have nothing further to say

Agree that Swamiji is wrong here. But do note he is talking about events which happened many hundred years before him. So if he is not fully informed about that period it is acceptable.
shiv wrote:....
For all his brilliance Swami Vivekananda, like Gandhi and Ambedkar were all products of Macaulayite education that had nothing positive to say about Hindus. ....

I would not accept that Swamiji was a macaulayite.

His first hand observations from Malabar castigating caste system are undisputable.

Are you really rooting for no oppression against Dalits?

The rise of BSP is because of true and not perceived angst amongst dalits in Uttara Pradesh.

The rise of Balasahab Thackeray in Bombay was by beating up and terrorizing of tamil brahmans who got booted out of Tamil Nadu by Periyar goons aka the dravida movement. The dravida movement was also anti brahman and pro lower castes.

Do you not see any cases of caste discrimination in your vicinity and nearby?

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Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby peter » 25 Apr 2016 19:09

peter wrote:
A_Gupta wrote:
Because the Buddhists did not survive.

Neither did Parsis in Persia. What inferences do you draw?


A_Gupta wrote:The minimal inference : Organized centers of religion/society were destroyed. The widely distributed survived in some form, greatly mutilated no doubt.

Yes. So religions with a "centre" got smashed. What about kingdoms with a centre? Same fate is'nt it?

Why did Hinduism survive?

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Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby chetak » 25 Apr 2016 19:15

^^^^^^^

The rise of Balasahab Thackeray in Bombay was by beating up and terrorizing of tamil brahmans who got booted out of Tamil Nadu by Periyar goons aka the dravida movement.


This is highly self serving and patently untrue.

thackeray was catholic in his violence and terrorizing. It wasn't only tamil brahmans but pretty much all south Indians. Very difficult to identify and tag a Tamil brahman in Bombay, then as now, for folks with violence on their minds.

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Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby peter » 25 Apr 2016 19:25

chetak wrote:^^^^^^^

The rise of Balasahab Thackeray in Bombay was by beating up and terrorizing of tamil brahmans who got booted out of Tamil Nadu by Periyar goons aka the dravida movement.


This is highly self serving and patently untrue.

thackeray was catholic in his violence and terrorizing. It wasn't only tamil brahmans but pretty much all south Indians. Very difficult to identify and tag a Tamil brahman in Bombay, then as now, for folks with violence on their minds.


Hmm.
Are you saying lower castes also were made to migrate out of Tamil Nadu by Periyar goons?

BTW my information is from Tamil Brahman friends in Bombay. So YMMV but my information is not false.

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Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby chetak » 25 Apr 2016 20:08

^^^^^^^

peter wrote:
{quote="chetak"}

The rise of Balasahab Thackeray in Bombay was by beating up and terrorizing of tamil brahmans who got booted out of Tamil Nadu by Periyar goons aka the dravida movement.


This is highly self serving and patently untrue.

thackeray was catholic in his violence and terrorizing. It wasn't only tamil brahmans but pretty much all south Indians. Very difficult to identify and tag a Tamil brahman in Bombay, then as now, for folks with violence on their minds.{/quote}



Hmm.
Are you saying lower castes also were made to migrate out of Tamil Nadu by Periyar goons?

BTW my information is from Tamil Brahman friends in Bombay. So YMMV but my information is not false.


I first set foot in Bombay in the fifties as a kid because my parents had transferable jobs. Have lived there on and off for decades for school, college and work and as recent as 2010. I have tons of blood relatives there even now.

we know tamil brahmins as also many many other south Indians who were harassed by that goon thackeray. so please don't lecture me on credibility. A great many south Indians, a vast majority from the southern rural hinterland, not just urban, including some tamil brahmins moved to Bombay for purely economic reasons. peryiar goons as you call them, had little to do with it. The pull of economic opportunity and prosperity was far greater on a majority of the south Indians who moved there. This ersatz idea of perriar goons driving folks out is just that, an over blown and over hyped concoction. That he troubled brahmins is undoubtedly true and he was an antisocial, unpatriotic and an eager EJ puppet

BTW, was a Periyar was a Kannadiga by upbringing but a Telugu by origin and he oppressed the tamils but arseholes are arseholes.
Last edited by chetak on 25 Apr 2016 20:14, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby shiv » 25 Apr 2016 20:14

peter wrote:Are you really rooting for no oppression against Dalits?

Are you really interested in my answer?

If you are, read on. Or else others will read.

Like n1g.gers and c.h.i.n.k.s I want to point out first that from a constitutional viewpoint there is no community called "dalits". They are called scheduled castes/tribes. Dalit is word coined deliberately with a political purpose and I am the sort of person who will question a lot of assumptions. I am happy with the word Harijan. I will use the word harijan

When a Muslim asks another "Do you believe in the Prophet of Islam" it is a sort of threat. If the man says no he can be punished.

Among Indians, if anyone asks "Are you rooting for no oppression against Dalits?" it is like a Muslim asking another "Do you or do you not believe in the Prophet Mohammad as the last and final Prophet?" A threat that is waiting to lampoon,criticize and rail against any moron who says "I believe harijans were not oppressed".

The truth is that harijans were and still are oppressed. But harijans are not Prophet Mohammad and we are not required to stop and shut up saying "Harijans were oppressed"

I ask questions like:

1. There are 90,000 jatis. How many of these jatis opressed harijans? Was it only Brahmins and Banias? Did all the other OBSs, SCs and STs simply love the Harijans?

2. If a list of 10,000 or 20,000 backward caste jatis also discriminated against harijans let us put it on record. It will only help harijans and make the record honest

3. I have pointed out in another post how Brahmins practice untouchability to this day. There is a scientific basis for that practice. You need not accept that. It is still untouchability. If I make that information public why should anyone get upset and start having delusional thoughts that I am somehow denying the cruelty shown to harijans?

I am not. I am opening out the discussion. And definitely this discussion starts with the knowledge that harijans were oppressed. But I warn everyone who reads this that the discussion could also throw up areas where harijans were not really oppressed, there may be people and groups who treated them well. Why should we be unfair to those people and act like Mullahs who will allow no word that even begins to appear like a denial of the Prophet.

I am certain that for every nine people who oppressed harijans, there must have been one who did not oppress them. There were people who treated them well at the risk of being thrown out of their jati. Why ignore that as if it did not happen? 10% of 200 million (India's population in 1850 or so) people is 20 million.

What is the exact evidence available that all harijans were always treated badly by all people 100% of the time? If there is only circumstantial evidence, I can offer circumstantial and anecdotal evidence of their being treated well by some people.

Why should anyone be scared if someone asks "Surely there must have been a few harijans who were treated well. or better than others over a 5000 year history

And what is the exact reason for taking one quote from Manu and not looking at much else about what he is supposed to have said? And even if Manu said "Pour lead in the ear of a shudra who hears the veda" what does that have to do with harijans. Shudras are not harijans. If they are someone please explain to me how shudra become harijan. Swami Vivekananda does not answer that - or at least I have not read his answer.

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Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby shiv » 25 Apr 2016 20:30

chetak wrote:BTW, was a Periyar was a Kannadiga by upbringing but a Telugu by origin and he oppressed the tamils but arseholes are arseholes.

Darn these bloody Kannadiga influenced people! Jayalalitha. Rajnikant.

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Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby Arjun » 25 Apr 2016 20:31

shiv wrote:1. There are 90,000 jatis. How many of these jatis opressed harijans? Was it only Brahmins and Banias? Did all the other OBSs, SCs and STs simply love the Harijans? What is your answer to that question?

Don't know about Banias but Brahmins seem to have been responsible for putting in place the 'don't come near me' type of untouchability (though as you say there may have been scientific reasons underlying the phenomenon).

On the other hand, the records collected by sociologists over the last several decades are very clear that the bulk of actual çaste-based violence (or hate crimes in US parlance) in India is largely of the OBC-Dalit variety. This is definitely something that deserves more detailed study - if only so that the root causes are properly identified and no section of Indian society remains oppressed.

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Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby shiv » 25 Apr 2016 20:44

Arjun wrote:(though as you say there may have been scientific reasons underlying the phenomenon).


I must qualify that. I am certain that some aspects of untouchability practised by Brahmins had a basis that "was rational from a modern scientific viewpoint, in the 20/20 hindsight of modern day bacteriology and sterilization practices"

But what Brahmins were actually doing was selfishly protecting themselves (and to a certain extent their environs - like temples and wells). They likely described harijans and other castes as "impure" without realizing or understanding that they were right in a perverse way, but they did not give any explanations as to why their practices were right. It was a sort of exclusivist nazi-ism - i.e those who knew it, knew it was necessary but did not know why it was necessary an did not give a sh!t for those who suffered.

Unfortunately I am unable find any statistics for mortality of castes in epidemics from the 1800s. If it can be shown that Brahmin mortality was lower than other jati mortality then it would be really interesting. But unfortunately the idea of collecting such data started fairly recently and immunization etc came in soon after so we will probably never know.

Mortality stats per se may not mean much. Brahmins were possibly better fed to start with. if you read Manu smriti you find that the duties of a Brahmin are severe and austere and clearly there were thousands of fake Brahmins. And these fakes probably got a boost after the Brits came in and said that they were the real keepers of racial purity. That would have only made them even more viciously anti lower caste.

The meta point I want to make here is that the British in their early years made a lot of castes feel good about themselves while the Brits assumed that dark skinned lower castes were impure heathen aborigines. I think Brahmions, Jats and others were made to feel really proud of themselves and their exalted caste because of reinforcement from the early Brits. I see echoes of that fake pride to this day

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Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby chetak » 25 Apr 2016 21:16

shiv wrote:
chetak wrote:BTW, was a Periyar was a Kannadiga by upbringing but a Telugu by origin and he oppressed the tamils but arseholes are arseholes.

Darn these bloody Kannadiga influenced people! Jayalalitha. Rajnikant.


rajnikant's mother tongue is Marathi, saar.

periyar was a bully who could do whatever mischief he did only among the bishop caldwell psyched "dravidian" tamils who were influenced by the protestant church.

Had he attempted to do the same in Karnataka, the enlightened Wodeyars would have had him drawn and quartered and then slaughtered him publicly. he would have met a similar fate among the telugus.

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Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby Karthik S » 25 Apr 2016 21:24

^^ Highly doubt that sir, Tamil hindus are as religious as Telugus or Kannadigas if not more. The reason for his success in gaining popularity is same thing then as now, divided hindu community.

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Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby chetak » 25 Apr 2016 21:43

Karthik S wrote:^^ Highly doubt that sir, Tamil hindus are as religious as Telugus or Kannadigas if not more. The reason for his success in gaining popularity is same thing then as now, divided hindu community.


Do the telugus and kannadigas consider themselves "dravidian"??

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Re: Tradition, Culture, Religion & Law in Indian Society

Postby Karthik S » 25 Apr 2016 21:55

^^ Sirjee, people of TN were distinguished based on dravidian identity and almost only brahmins were considered non dravidian. Your point that telugus and kannadigas don't have dravidian politics is right, but the point I am making is in a society that's divided in either caste, regional etc lines, there will be such personalities who'll make use of such divisions.


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