Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

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Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby Keshav » 01 Mar 2009 07:38

shiv wrote:Are you not implying that conformity is necessary among Indians? Even if you are I do not oppose that - but I would like to see w very wise selection of ideals for conformity - ideals that do not destroy the libertarian nature of Indian society.


Conformity in what sense? Value conformity or cultural conformity? Gerard had a great article in one of the threads about the death of ideologies.

In it, the author talks about the ideologies of governments and the people who thought that ideologies or some particular world view were required to have a functioning society. He contrasts that with Western societies who have since, abandoned the ideology in favor of a "free for all" with the most basic of rights for every individual.

I suppose, in a way, this "live and let live" philosophy is an ideology, albeit a loose one.

With that framework in mind, what conformity is required for a country like India to function.

I agree with Chanakya that economics is the basis of the government. Whatever can be done to increase the material well being of the people should be considered good and otherwise bad (generally speaking, of course). Why do we need cultural conformity in order to make money?

In fact, diversity is ripe for some form of capitalism. So, what type of conformity are you talking about?

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Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby brihaspati » 01 Mar 2009 08:43

Shivji, just felt that the response to some of your issues might go OT in the covert-to-overt thread. But your post here reminds me of an old dilemma I faced myself as a teenager. Used to bash up hoodlums and eve-teasers, especially those who wanted to become "muscle-men" and "dadas". But faced the dilemma - If I was bashing up those who wanted to bash up others, am I contradicting my own principles? At that time came across an old copy in my dad's collection of "a critique of pure tolerance" by Wolff, Marcuse, and Moore. Now the same dilemma arises in the issue you raise - is it anti-libertarian to suppress or not to allow any viwepoint or creed that itself does not want to allow libertarianism? How far do we allow our own principles to jeopardize the preservation of those very same principles? This is why my instinctive response in teenage was a measured tit-for-tat, a conditional response. And with reason of age, I feel that it can be extended to the national sphere - one escape route from the dilemma is a conditional response, being anti-libertarian to all who propose demise of this libertarianism, but then that again is a self-goal - because I would qualify too for changing the natire of "libertarianism" itself. :mrgreen:

Sophistry apart, we do need to qualify the unrestricted and ever-stretchable "libertarianism", to preserve the core principles of "libertarianism" itself. The question is actually of "values" and where they clash with a given system of "libertarianism". In reality none of our libertarianism has ever been unqualified boundless ones - our libertarian society still never really accepted homosexuality, among many other things. Similarly adultery seems to have drawn a mixed bag of reactions - with only some divinity's exploits in this regard being considered worthy enough to be celebrated, and some not being spared in spite of being divine. The famous rhinoplasty example of ancient Indian surgery was mentioned in the context of reconstruction of the nose of a princess de-nosed on suspicion of "adultery". So I do not see a great deal of difficulty in posing a core set of values as the basis of our libertarianism, and make them unassailable. That is all libertarianism proposed should not jeopardize these core set of values.

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Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby shiv » 01 Mar 2009 09:23

brihaspati wrote:Sophistry apart, we do need to qualify the unrestricted and ever-stretchable "libertarianism", to preserve the core principles of "libertarianism" itself. The question is actually of "values" and where they clash with a given system of "libertarianism". In reality none of our libertarianism has ever been unqualified boundless ones - our libertarian society still never really accepted homosexuality, among many other things. Similarly adultery seems to have drawn a mixed bag of reactions - with only some divinity's exploits in this regard being considered worthy enough to be celebrated, and some not being spared in spite of being divine. The famous rhinoplasty example of ancient Indian surgery was mentioned in the context of reconstruction of the nose of a princess de-nosed on suspicion of "adultery". So I do not see a great deal of difficulty in posing a core set of values as the basis of our libertarianism, and make them unassailable. That is all libertarianism proposed should not jeopardize these core set of values.


I do agree that libertarianism needs to be qualified for its own preservation.

I have some quibbles about your conclusions regarding homosexuality and adultery.

I believe that when we use those words we spark off fractal recursivity in our own minds and use those words to describe actions that are viewed (in our minds eye) just like Western liberals who have broken the bonds of Western religious conservatism. In doing so we summarily close our eyes to and summarily reject the manner in which Indian libertarianism handled homosexuality, adultery and sexuality in general.

Very little research has been done into how homosexuality may have encouraged the congregation of homosexuals into special minority groups such as "hijras" who were given their own place in society.

Another aspect of society that is seldom discussed is "secrets of society". Societies kept some things secret and did not discuss them in the open. Indian society still keeps homosexuality secret, and homosexuals often marry and have children too. If you look at this from the Western viewpoint (as we invariably do) we see this as "a denial of homosexuality and the forcing of a homosexual into a heterosexual straitjacket"

But what if you apply your rules in a different way? Western society has started acepting homosexuals - but western society still does not accept sex with children. Now if you have a society that accepts sexual acts (not necessarily intercourse - maybe fondling/masturbation) with children below the age of say 10 years and place yourself in that society you would find yourself commenting critically about western society in the following manner "Western society denies the sexual needs of people with children and forces them into a sexual straitjacket of sex with adults only"

This also brings me to how sexuality was handled in Indian joint families. Adultery and even a bit of child ***** hanky panky was par for the course within large joint families. This was normal. It is only when you look at this through the eye of modern Western morality that it would shock you. Modern westren morality is liberalism that has broken out (partially) of western religious conservatism"

I would suggest Sudhir Kakar's "The Indians" here. He writes of the loyal servant who lived with his employer for two years - away from his wife in Himachal Pradesh (IIRC). One day the servant asked for leave to go home and see his newborn son. The astonished employer said "But how? You have been here for more than a year!". The servant replied in a matter of fact way "But my brothers are there at home"

Another example of society's secrets gets documented by Mark Tully. But he is neither the first nor the only one - only we get astonished when we apply our Western morality soaked minds and view it from that Fractal recursive mindset. The story is of a "holy man" - a "Baba" of some sort who had the reputation of making childless women have children. From a Western viewoint - this was a scam. He would smoke opium (or some hallucinogen) in a smoke filled room/tent/cave in which the woman who came to him would also get intoxicated. then he would merely have sex with her.He had a female assistant who would help the woman imagine that Lord Shiva would appear. For dozens of women who were being taunted at home for not having children, or not having sons - this man was literally a godsend - a god in fact. How you view this depends on how you have structured morality in your own mind.

A 5000 year old society has solutions for all sorts of things. Some may surprise or shock us (often because we use western morality as a standard) - but it does not mean the society has not found some way out.

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Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby brihaspati » 01 Mar 2009 16:36

Shivji,
I did not dispute practical innovations in Indian society with respect to sexuality. I was quoting narrative texts which represented more the views of official social mores claimed or sought to be imposed as part of world-view by the state. This intolerance is supported by explicit condemnation of homosexuality in men, bestiality and various fetishes in Arthasastra and other legal works. I too have come across specific instances of DIL being forced to share the bed of the FIL in the north - but it is not soically approved, if you look for such approval formally. In all societies, strong sexual urges are expressed in spite of social mores in various compromise forms - for example the Hijra is very much part of the sexual scenario in Pakistan, shall we say that TSP is tolerant of transsexualism or homesexuality?

There is always a dynamic of a group more and individual more. We agree to suppress or compromise on individual desires at a social level for optimal functioning of both group and individual interests. I would rather not take individual exceptional behaviour to be representative of moral ideals or ideology at the group/social level. This is not denying deviations from the group ideals at the individual level.

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Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby shiv » 01 Mar 2009 18:37

brihaspati wrote: This intolerance is supported by explicit condemnation of homosexuality in men, bestiality and various fetishes in Arthasastra and other legal works.



Well you have illustrated one difference between India and Islam. What the text says in Islam (and it really is just about one single text isn't it?) is imposed ruthlessly over the whole population.

For all the wisdom in Indian texts - they were never sought to be imposed on everyone. The implication is quite clear. The Arthashastra's view on sex that you have quoted remains one man's view and gets as much mileage as it can get based on how many are exposed to it and how many choose to follow it as a guide. Tantric rituals may involve necrophagia and necrophilia. Is the presence or absence of reference to this in any ancient text an endorsement or a condemnation?

For India - the texts and knowledge were all there - but none was imposed. From the viewpoint of a rigid system this is a weakness, but from an individual viewpoint India was a haven of individual freedom. Freedom was invented and applied in India long before the word America was coined. But that freedom led to weaknesses that have taken a centuries to resolve.

The way forward demands the imposition of some rules, but in my view we now have history to learn from. No single set of rules has ever been rigidly and uniformly imposed all over India on all Indians. Not even the all powerful force that is greatly worshipped on this forum - Islam.

To me it appears that Indians still want freedom to live their lives as they wish. Imposition of ANY rule is bound to be met with fierce resistance. That was Islam's failure in India. It must not be the failure of anyone who seeks to preserve India. No ancient force is stupid, but like evolution all of them are patient and successful in their own way over large timescales.

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Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby ShauryaT » 01 Mar 2009 19:21

shiv wrote:A 5000 year old society has solutions for all sorts of things. Some may surprise or shock us (often because we use western morality as a standard) - but it does not mean the society has not found some way out.
That brings us to some interesting dilemmas in our modern minds. Since, almost everything we do and say is shaped in the western framework there is a tenedency to look at most things and crticially evaluate its rightfulness in the western framework and forget that there is another framework that did exist.

In my own mind, I have not been able to resolve if the modern western framework centered around the "individual" is a unifying way forward for all of us. As far as I understand, the Indic mind never completely spearated the individual from the society he lived in. The individual was intrisicly linked with his family, jati, region and eventually looked at as part of Brahman, in its highest state. The rights and duties of the individual were intrinsically linked with the larger society he lived in. Absolutism was kept to its minimal state and what was absolute for one generation was not so for the other.

Each community did form their own rules, even if there were large parts of a shared heritage/culture/learnings that binded many such communities.

My biggest issues with the modern individual centered/rational mind oriented framework is it does not seek to link itself with Brahman at any stage. It largely deals with the outer world as opposed to the inner world. Maybe it will evolve to realize these linkages, maybe it will not.

The concepts of democracy, a rational framework, human rights, etc all stem from this focus on the individual. These concepts are getting embedded in national and international laws. The applicability of these laws are largely governed by what the powerful deem to be worthy of protection, in their own interests.

So, the question is. Is there a way forward for the rational mind of an individual, as currently understood and practiced as a unifying way forward for all of us?

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Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby shiv » 01 Mar 2009 20:38

ShauryaT wrote:That brings us to some interesting dilemmas in our modern minds. Since, almost everything we do and say is shaped in the western framework there is a tenedency to look at most things and crticially evaluate its rightfulness in the western framework and forget that there is another framework that did exist.
<snip>
The concepts of democracy, a rational framework, human rights, etc all stem from this focus on the individual. These concepts are getting embedded in national and international laws. The applicability of these laws are largely governed by what the powerful deem to be worthy of protection, in their own interests.

I think you have brought out two interesting points

The fact that what a lot of us say and do is shaped in a Western framework. I accept this, but I would also like to point out that at least some of what we say and think might also, in the same manner, carry Islamic baggage or influences. I am dead certain this is the case - but it is very difficult to try and address the degree of influence Islam may have had on Indian psyche without getting into emotion and controversy. Saying that there may be unquantifiable Islamic influence in the modern Indian mind on this forum is a bit like alleging that there is a bit of rapist in every man's mind. the idea causes anger and revulsion (on here) - but it may be the anger of cognitive dissonance.

If we can accept that we have swallowed a part of the Western mindset to arrive at the modern Indian, the idea that we may also have swallowed an Islamic mindset is not difficult to construe, but more difficult to dissect and examine objectively in an environment that sees Islam as a rigid embodiment of murder, intolerance and mayhem.

But the possibility exists that we have internalised certain Islamic influences for whatever reason and those Islamic influences are mixed with older indic influences and newer Western influences to make the modern Indian.

We get a real problem here (or a real solution) depending on how you want to view it.

The Indian mind today could well have a mixture of influences. Claiming that a given mind has more of one influence and less of another is exactly the game of politics that is being played by various groups and parties in India. When you speak of a "battle for the hearts and minds" of Indians - this is exactly what it means.

That brings me to the second point you make - in the second para quoted above. What is the way forward. Do we seek "forward" by engaging reverse gear attempting to remove X, Y or Z influences as Pakistan is doing?

Or do we battle the people who are trying to do that and say - we need "forward" not "reverse"?

If we do, what is forward?

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Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby brihaspati » 02 Mar 2009 00:45

I don't think there is a reverse or a forward, for the Indic root concept is "impermanence" and "perpetual motion/non-stationarity". Shivji may accuse me of selective reconstruction of the Indic, and maybe I am partially guilty of that. But I have repeatedly stated that I am never averse to re-exploration of all components of the Indic that we now take for granted, and reject what we feel to be rejectable without trepidation, and similarly retain or reconstruct what we feel is worth retaining or reconstructing. In this claim to the right of the human mind to seek supreme authority to reinvestigate older or current understanding that I am being consistent with the Upanishadic concept of "charaibeti" and therefore this right also being part of the Indic root itself. From this I arrive at the position, that the Indic basis allows one to contantly reinvestigate and upgrade if necessary, older understanding with current/later/increased/updated knowledge. It is here that my first major difference with the Abrahamic traditions emerge - for the Abrahamic tarditions deny this right of supremacy of the human mind of inquiry and upgradation of knowledge and understanding.

Islam in most virulent form, and Christianity in a less virulent form (probably also a case of "turning vegetarian after losing teeth") tries to impose what appeared or is claimed to have worked for a particular group, at a particular time in a particular place for all times, people and places. Moreover the imposition is justified as coming from outside the human mind, and of suprahuman and superhuman authority, which can never be questioned, cricticized or deconstructed. This fundamental denial of "motion" is that which sets them up as contradictory and incompatible with the Indic.

Now the superficial question is, in denying Islam or similar ideologies their access to impose their ideology of "staionarity" are we denying or contradicting the Indic principle of motion that allows experimentation and reinvestigation, in this case experimenting with Islamic components? The problem is, that the basic principle of "motion" and constant reinvestigation/reexploration/upgradation cannot include a component that reinvestigates this basic principle itself with explicit option to deny the principle itself. Because leaving such an option open, provides a possibility by which this principle may forever be suppressed.

The question is, do we want to lose this basic Indic principle from our future ideological basis for our nation? I personally do not, and I am sure many fellow Indians would not, want to. My persoanl reasons are rooted in my concept of the fundamental right of the human mind to explore and question, everything, and as far as we can so far scientifically infer, has been the basis of our evolution. On this basis we cannot accept any ideology to be part of the core that denies us this fundamental right.

We should try to carefully analyze how much of the Islamic "influence" absorbed was a direct, unadulterated, unmodified absorption or rather a development of a new feature in reaction to specific aspects of Islam as experienced in India. For example one specifc question could be explored was that how much of restrictions on women's rights was a direct copy of the Shariati claims of the Ulema and the Qazis and how much of it was in reaction to protect women from depredations of the Islamic elite or armed forces. We should not give in to blanket hypotheses about Islamic influence that tend to submerge such crticial and crucial differences in the mode of absorption.

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Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby Atri » 02 Mar 2009 01:18

How will the scenario be after 4 years of Obama administration?

* Traditionally, democrats have been favouring Pakistan and China over India in past 20 years. Obama is showing similar signs. Unkil is in hurry of removing their troops from Afghanistan at all costs as early as possible. This will inexorably lead to return of Taliban in Afghanistan and increased Talibanization from grass-root level to higher social strata of Pakjab and Sindh under camouflage of TSP army-ISI establishment.

* Taliban will cross Sindhu river and enter Bhaarat (not India which was created in 1947) and will formally establish its presence.

* Economic aid will be distributed to TSP and Talibanized Afghanistan and all the investment of India in Afghanistan will be lost. Unless India does not make its peace with Iran, we risk at loosing our investment in Afghanistan.

* Russia is going bankrupt. Although the ties with Russia are refurbished, there isn't much technological potential difference left between India and Russia. Due to low potential difference, the flow of knowledge from Russia to India will reduce in magnitude and speed.

* Hindus are still confused about their identity.

* It will be a pity to have Obama in USA when BJP is ruling in New Delhi. Its not that Bush helped Vajpayee a lot in his initial years. But after this increased Indo-US rapport in past couple of years, I wonder how Advani and McCain (or some Republican) might have interacted.

* If USA manages to exit in next 4 years (somehow) and India is not prepared, then the cycle will repeat again until US suffers again a big time.

* PRC will increase its interference in South Asia lot more, because of winking gestures by GoTUS.

* All in all, I guess, India can expect to return of pre-9/11 conditins in Indian subcontinent; not fully but to certain extent.

US is surprisingly myopic as compared to its predecessors, the British. Although British messed up big time all over the globe, they showed higher understanding of the problems than US does. US policies consider nothing beyond 8-10 years of coming future.

It will be an interesting time to be in India in next 15 years. To put forth dramatically, this is the choice been placed in front of India. To accept her true identity and rise to the glory of her past; or to suffer the Hanuman syndrome where small punks will keep on inflicting thousand cuts India continues to live in oblivion.

The policies of Vajpayee government were designed to live in pre-9/11 world. 9/11 and Afghanistan invasion gave Indians hope that they will be able to clean the mess without them having to enter the gutter. They were ready to give Unkil its share of dominance in Indian subcontinent if Unkil cleans the gutter for Indians. Most of the policies of UPA government were designed with the hope that gutter will be cleansed, if not fully at least substantially by USA. In this hope, they reversed many of the fundamental strategies of Vajpayee government. Now if US leaves without cleaning gutter but creating more mess, India will be in funny situation, thanks to the policies implemented in past 5 years. Mellow response by international community towards 26/11 Mumbai attacks shows what funny situation lies ahead for India.

I guess, Vajpayee's policies will resurface. Increased spending on defence, increased emphasis on "look-east" policy. Increased emphasis on indigenization and emphasis on ToT deals with developed nations. Slightly slower growth rate. Efficient courting of Iran and Israel. Better Indo-Israeli relations. Increased expenditure on infrastructure development. Slight freezing of Indo-US relations with apparent irreverence for US from GOI. Better Indo-Russian relations (which I am not sure about since I doubt how much is India in need of technology transfer from Russia. We have achieved quite a lot in past 10 years).

On Indo-Pak front, things will continue as they are. India's non-response will continue. Slow death of TSP will continue, although that death will be increasingly painful and foul smelling for India as the gangrene of Taliban crosses Sindhu river and spreads in Pakjab and Sindh. Its difficult to read how Sino-Indian relations will be..

My question - Has anything changed in India that if pre-9/11 conditions return in Indian subcontinent, the response of India will be better this time? How much is India prepared to deal with the return of pre-9/11 conditions?
Last edited by Atri on 02 Mar 2009 01:48, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby Prem » 02 Mar 2009 01:31

Chiron, indians act onlee whn water reches near neck line. lets hope this time they re/act with the flash memory of last few hundred years. there is greater chance Pakbanis get trapped in Pakjabs alone unable to cross the border. Then terrorism is something we need to tackle inside India.Best to keep eyes on the diferent sections within India trying to dilute forceful response to this security threat and then separate doodh from paani.

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Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby Keshav » 02 Mar 2009 02:09

brihaspati wrote:We should try to carefully analyze how much of the Islamic "influence" absorbed was a direct, unadulterated, unmodified absorption or rather a development of a new feature in reaction to specific aspects of Islam as experienced in India. For example one specifc question could be explored was that how much of restrictions on women's rights was a direct copy of the Shariati claims of the Ulema and the Qazis and how much of it was in reaction to protect women from depredations of the Islamic elite or armed forces. We should not give in to blanket hypotheses about Islamic influence that tend to submerge such crticial and crucial differences in the mode of absorption.


The restriction of women's rights and the implementation of a patriarchal society was done over the period of several thousand years, long before the existence of Islam. Women's rights is a problem everywhere in this world, not just in the Middle East. My beat is, if you looked at domestic abuse among all the religious groups in India, the percentage would be about equal.

You can argue that extraordinary situations, like Rajput jauhar or sati are responses to Muslim barbarity, but to say that a lack of womens' rights is due to the advent of Islam sounds like you're giving way too much credit to the average male.

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Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby brihaspati » 02 Mar 2009 02:29

Keshavji,
Lack of women's rights are something thats slammed on Indian Hindu more often than on the IM. You can also see regional differentiation with a perceptible worsening of the situation as you go from south and east towards the NW. If you really assess, you will find that longer the presence of Islamic regimes close by, greater is the tendency to keep women at home or early marriages, thereby reducing chances of education or opportunities to support independent lifestyles. Just before the advent of Islam, in the west of India, we see repeated comments by Arab chroniclers that Indians have the strange custom of allowing their women to appear in public without veil or before "unrelated men". Chachnama describes, how Chach, reported to be a Brahmin actually was able to meet the queen of the ruler of Sind who apparently fell in love with him and later helped him liquidate her husband. Two angles emerge - even if the narrative describes a possible indication of the reluctance of the king to allow "unrelated males" to visit in the audience chamber where the queen happened to be present, the queen is shown as successfully arguing to be allowed to be present. The second is that Chach, a Brahmin, later marries this widowed queen and necomes the ruler of Sind. Because the older king is mentioned as being related to a Rajput prince, this implies that either supposedly strictly endogamous and conservative Rajputs (if it is a case already of thousands of years before present) married into exotic "liberal" families or that at this time it was okay for women to insist on and get away with such liberties. And a widow marries a Brahmin - what do you think of it in late 600's? Much later, we have refernces to women driving their own chariots, moving freely without male escorts, and getting education before Islam overcame the original kingdoms.

Just one factor to be considered - the early British presence, before coming under direct crown rule affected in a deliberate British attempt perhaps to intervene and weaken the native feudal forms - a policy they explicitly changed under Victoria into nonintervention. So we see that the earlier presence areas saw greater attacks on the native feudalism and their undermining of cultural hold on society and therefore signs of reversal and trends of liebralization and modernization. Since the northern heartlands came in later, we see relatively greater persistence of the pre-existing feudal hold. This is to clarify in case we cite Hindu Bengal or the coastal Hindu South and west.

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Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby Keshav » 02 Mar 2009 02:46

brihaspati wrote:Because the older king is mentioned as being related to a Rajput prince, this implies that either supposedly strictly endogamous and conservative Rajputs (if it is a case already of thousands of years before present) married into exotic "liberal" families or that at this time it was okay for women to insist on and get away with such liberties. And a widow marries a Brahmin - what do you think of it in late 600's?


Why does it seem odd to you that he might have indeed married into an "exotic 'liberal' family"? The one situation you gave was from the Chachnama, which I accept, but the other comments on women's freedom you talked about don't even have sources.

Plus, even assuming it was true, that's only 5 or 6 women in the history of India. I realize that's not your point, however.

Consider this. Muslims kings (or any pre-modern leader) did not have control over a region beyond their palace and city grounds. If Hindus did not convert to Islam, how much influence could they have really had in the rural areas where female foeticide and infanticide is more common? Rural areas were beyond their reach.

Even Krishna was flirting around with all the girls in Vrindavana. That doesn't mean everybody was doing that.

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Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby brihaspati » 02 Mar 2009 03:25

Well, Krishna's example would be too far back. In that context, the liberties enjoyed by some of the ladies in Mahabharata can seem fantastic by current standards. However that is still a narrative of very remote past. Female foeticide etc., are complex issues. However do we find narrative refernces to widespread female foeticide among pre-Muslims of India? The other references you seek may become OT - i will try to give references perhaps in the Indian interests thread. Then again, one or two citations in a narrative text is usually taken to mean that the practice could be widespread enough to merit mention in popular contemporary texts. Without this logic, many of the reconstructive claims about Indian history will also fail - for how frequent are the references to claims of "caste"-based repressions in contemporary narrative texts? Sometimes a single instance of Hindu-Muslim collaboration is cited as implying a society wide phenomenon, or a single instance of apparent atrocity based on "varna" is taken to imply a society wide phenomenon, or the absence of references to Islamic atrocities are taken to imply society wide absence of such atrocities. By that same logic, single refernce instances of women's liberties in pre-Islamic period compared to the absence of refernces to such liberties or rights in the Islamic period should also represent common practice or society wide practices.

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Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby Keshav » 02 Mar 2009 08:54

brihaspati wrote:Without this logic, many of the reconstructive claims about Indian history will also fail - for how frequent are the references to claims of "caste"-based repressions in contemporary narrative texts? Sometimes a single instance of Hindu-Muslim collaboration is cited as implying a society wide phenomenon, or a single instance of apparent atrocity based on "varna" is taken to imply a society wide phenomenon, or the absence of references to Islamic atrocities are taken to imply society wide absence of such atrocities. By that same logic, single refernce instances of women's liberties in pre-Islamic period compared to the absence of refernces to such liberties or rights in the Islamic period should also represent common practice or society wide practices.


You make a good point, especially with reference to caste oppression but I still don't see the correlation to Islam being the repressive force.

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Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby Dipanker » 02 Mar 2009 08:59

Keshav wrote:You make a good point, especially with reference to caste oppression but I still don't see the correlation to Islam being the repressive force.


Just visit a few of the "Islamic nations" like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan etc. you will be able to see the correlation, or may be do a a little bit of reading about these "Islamic Republics" perhaps or about history of Islam?

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Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby shiv » 02 Mar 2009 09:48

Dipanker wrote:
Keshav wrote:You make a good point, especially with reference to caste oppression but I still don't see the correlation to Islam being the repressive force.


Just visit a few of the "Islamic nations" like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan etc. you will be able to see the correlation, or may be do a a little bit of reading about these "Islamic Republics" perhaps or about history of Islam?


Even if you accept that womens rights are routinely trodden upon all over the world and not just in Islamic countries, Islam stands out as promoting a self contradicting system with regard to women. If we were in a group discussing how women should be treated and someone came up with Islam as an example - it would be hilarious - but reality is to serious to be funny.

Islam demands denial of sexuality - but the demands placed on men are far more lenient than those placed on women.

Men are supposed to repress their sexual feelings towards women in general nd behave with modesty and respect towards women. In theory, women in Islam too are expected to repress their sexual feelings towards men in general nd behave with modesty and respect towards men. Both are expected to cover themselves up.

But the equality ends there.

Women must cover their faces too - because the exposure of a face is immodest. The woman is not trusted to be modest by herself. She is a temptress and her status of being a temptress may tempt the poor helpless male and shake him from his austere self denying path of sexual repression.

Men have a lot more freedom - and while they may suffer punishment for adultery with a Muslim woman, liaisons with non Muslim women are allowable. The allowing of liaisons with non Muslim women is a self justifying rule. "Non Muslim women are immodest devils. They tempt the modest Muslim and hence it is not his fault"

I spoke on another thread of society's secrets. One of the secrets that will never come out of Islamic society is the number of illicit affairs and immodest "affairs using one's eyes" that Muslim women have with non Muslims. Obviously - anyone who says this like I have done will be accused of lying in order to sully the name of Islam and Muslim women.

So even in the worldwide phenomenon of abusing women till they are down in the dirt - Islam stands out as a particularly hypocritical example. Just because someone else is bad does not make Islamic treatment of women good and vice versa.

Having said that it is not clear that some societal tendencies were not pre islamic. Islam certainly swallowed up and internalized some pre-Islamic traits. It is entirely possible that some of those pre-Islamic traits may also have been present in non Islamic societies. So when Islam and th non Islamic society came together the pre-Islamic traits and the official Islamic manner of treatment of women may well have added up and potentiated each other.

But how do you get your priorities right?

If you choose womens rights as an example - you are better off improving them in all societies. by doing that you are automatically breaking down Islamic misogyny.

However if you choose to say that Islam is responsible for all ill treatment of women - you end up fighting Islam alone and run the risk of being accused of being blind to women's ill treatment in your own non Islamic society. That would be a bad tactic, apart from being bad for women.

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Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby Keshav » 02 Mar 2009 10:27

Dipanker wrote:Just visit a few of the "Islamic nations" like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan etc. you will be able to see the correlation, or may be do a a little bit of reading about these "Islamic Republics" perhaps or about history of Islam?


I was talking about Islam as a repressive force in India, not other countries. I don't think its affected Indians that greatly with respect to womens' rights.

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Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby nsa_tanay » 02 Mar 2009 10:48

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1090302/jsp/opinion/story_10583353.jsp

MAVERICK, ANYONE?
- The fight against terror in the subcontinent is useful to the US


Swat is a metaphor, but a metaphor representing a harsh reality: parts of Pakistan are already Taliban territory. Another metaphor has, however, failed to attract any worthwhile attention, even though it reflects, at least for the subcontinent, an equally harsh reality.

India’s vote-on-account budget has not been taken seriously, and for honest good reasons. Forget its income side, even its expenditure accounts are by and large an imaginary exercise; the new government, to be installed three months hence, is going to rework both the arithmetic and the priorities. And yet, one particular proposal in the interim budget is bound to be considered sacrosanct; the new regime would not dare tinker with it. The item is defence outlay. In the light of the grave event that is now ponderously described as 26/11, the outgoing government has suggested an increase in defence expenditure by as much as Rs 40,000 crore, that is, by 35 per cent over the year. Nobody, whether in Parliament or outside, has expressed concern over this inordinately large rise in defence outlay. Discretion is the better part of valour. Whoever questions the rationale of fortifying the country’s defence network so as to cope effectively with the menace of global terror would run the risk of his or her patriotic credentials coming under close scrutiny.

India’s formal recognition thus of 26/11 as a watershed in the nation’s affairs signals a major gain for the American administration. The Indian government had already prided itself as a strategic partner of the United States of America. It has taken a further step forward, its explicit endorsement of the American point of view that the Taliban — along with its various associates such as the Lashkar-e-Toiba — is as much India’s sworn enemy as of the US; henceforth it is a global war for India too, a common global war against a common enemy.

The American administration can claim to have squeezed out of the developments taking place in the wake of 26/11 another substantial victory. It has persuaded Pakistan’s ruling circles, including the army brass, to admit, even if obliquely, that they are no longer in full territorial control of their country. In the circumstances, they are ready to bury the hatchet with the Indian establishment and join in a grand alliance with the US and India to put down the pestilential enemy, the Taliban. Pay to the devil the credit that is its due: the US administration was in a state of transition during these weeks; that did not prevent it from a most deft handling of the situation. It went to relentless counselling sessions with both Indian and Pakistan authorities, finally convincing both parties to let bygones be bygones, from now on they are going to fight unitedly to destroy the demon of global terror, represented, at this particular moment and in this particular region, by the Taliban.

It needed some doing. Pride is everybody’s prerogative. For Pakistan’s ruling politicians, enjoying a democratic mandate, it must have been an excruciatingly devastating experience to be cajoled into agreeing of the fact of their not being in effective charge of many parts of their country. For the Indian authorities too, it was a delicate decision to agree to suspend the season of belligerence, the Lok Sabha polls are proximate enough and political adversaries could have attempted to condemn the tacit understanding reached with Pakistan as an unjustifiable climbdown injurious to the nation’s dignity. American diplomacy triumphed once more; what a relief, the Bharatiya Janata Party leaders chose to play along. The BJP actually can have no mental reservations in joining the concordat against global terror. It has its pet theory about saboteurs at home, and the kith and kin of these saboteurs across the border. If, along with the Taliban, the LeT too could be given a bloody nose, Kashmir, in the reckoning of the BJP, would be safe for India.

This grand arrangement between the Indian and Pakistani establishments, under the benign overlordship of the Americans, has other ramifications as well. The US is passing through trying financial times. The Obama administration has its hands full even as it tries to ride out the economic crisis; resources have to be harnessed and carefully disbursed with the object of saving the nation from the prospect of an economic downslide that would equal, or even surpass, the Great Depression of the 1930s. It would be thankful for whatever help, big or small, its strategic partners might provide. It would suit its interests if, while its own defence budget is kept on leash, strategic partners like India and Pakistan raised their defence spending. A gesture of this nature on their part would not only ensure the satisfactory conduct of the war against the Taliban, it would offer some subsidiary advantages as well.

For instance, India’s defence spending has always had a high import content; the bulk of the proposed increase in its defence outlay is bound to help the military-industrial complex in the US gain some extra breathing time. India’s politicians need not feel unhappy either; when international arms dealers sign contracts, it is standard practice for them to set aside a commission of 10 per cent or thereabouts for the parties offering the contracts. The issue of H1-B visas should not be allowed to intrude into this happy picture. It would also be lèse majesté to ask how that alien outfit, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, could acquire the right to grill Indian citizens right on Indian soil.

Everything falls to its place and the outcome might be certified as a genuine non-zero-sum game. Difficulty arises only when likely developments over the longer run are taken into account. Iraq remains a disaster. In Afghanistan, despite fresh infusion of American troops, the puppet regime of President Hamid Karzai has a tenuous toehold in Kabul, and nowhere beyond. Things are deteriorating so fast in Pakistan that Islamabad’s reign could soon be reduced to less than nominal, not only in the North West Frontier Province and Balochistan, but over sizeable segments of Punjab too; Saudi money, made generously available to important mosque functionaries, might not be able to stem the Taliban tide for long. And if Pakistan remains wobbly, the no-man’s land between the Taliban and those arraigned against it — the so-called international community united against global terror — could simply disappear. Or, rather, the no-man’s land could shift steadily eastward and penetrate well into the territory of India. That apart, the warriors who have joined together to fight global terror deserve to be forgiven if they occasionally mix up their text and target what some people describe as Islamic terror; that kind of mishap could set in motion untoward reactions. To forget the fact that, of all countries in the world, India commands the largest Muslim population and their sentiments and susceptibilities are to be shown due respect in all seasons, would be a major catastrophe.

It would be fatuous to suggest to decision-makers in New Delhi that they should look before they leap. But is it too much for this nation to expect at least some candour from those who aspire to lead it? Is there not even one political maverick who, defying the wrath of the patriotic lobby, would dare to expose the goings-on as what these truly are: eradicating poverty, malnutrition and illiteracy is no longer at the top of our agenda; fighting the Taliban, as loyal subservient of the hegemonic power, is. The proposed rise in defence spending in the vote-on-account budget is one-and-a-half times the total annual outlay for the nation’s rural employment guarantee programme.

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Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby svinayak » 02 Mar 2009 11:22

ShauryaT wrote:
In my own mind, I have not been able to resolve if the modern western framework centered around the "individual" is a unifying way forward for all of us.

My biggest issues with the modern individual centered/rational mind oriented framework is it does not seek to link itself with Brahman at any stage. It largely deals with the outer world as opposed to the inner world. Maybe it will evolve to realize these linkages, maybe it will not.

This modern outlook is mostly illusion which is unravelling after 100 years of so called modernism.

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Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby Rudradev » 02 Mar 2009 11:45

Acharya wrote:
ShauryaT wrote:
In my own mind, I have not been able to resolve if the modern western framework centered around the "individual" is a unifying way forward for all of us.

My biggest issues with the modern individual centered/rational mind oriented framework is it does not seek to link itself with Brahman at any stage. It largely deals with the outer world as opposed to the inner world. Maybe it will evolve to realize these linkages, maybe it will not.

This modern outlook is mostly illusion which is unravelling after 100 years of so called modernism.


I agree. The whole business of "individual liberties" seems to be far more hype than substance. Asiatic civilizations, in fact, have successfully resurged by enforcing rock-solid conformity on pain of mass death... without Mao's great leap forward there'd be no foundation for a Chinese economic miracle today, and without Stalin's purges there may never have been a Soviet superpower.

America, meanwhile, for all its breathless carping about the power of individual freedom, hasn't practiced "small government" successfully at all. Every time they've tried, they've failed... the fanatical deregulation of Nixon, Reagan, Bush I and Bush II have all ended in either protracted economic doldrums or all-out fiscal disasters.

The truth is, America has been coasting along for a couple of centuries not on the strength of any BS its "founding fathers" may have come up with about individual liberties. It's been doing well because of sheer good fortune at occupying the best square on the game board... resource rich, with abundant land-to-people ratio, isolated from the conflicts that dragged the erstwhile European and Asiatic superpowers down to a relatively inferior level.

Let's face it. America got rich and powerful, not because of its "commitment to individual freedoms and liberties" or any of that Jeffersonian cr@p. They got rich from the same sorts of brutal, genocidal, exploitative colonial practices followed by their cousins across the pond. They just happened to be lucky enough to keep their ill-gotten gains, while their cousins across the pond blew it all on fighting World Wars against each other.

Individual Americans have achieved a great deal... there's no question about the greatness of a Henry Ford or a Richard Feynman or a Bill Gates, for instance. To that extent, maybe there's something to be said for the creative freedom encouraged by a culture of individual liberties, that enables talented individuals to aspire to unbounded heights of achievement. However, as a nation, the United States has really had an easy time of it for most of its history. If the same thing had been tried in China you might have had a handful of geniuses emerge but in the big picture, undisciplined laissez-faire could very well have produced an ungovernable, chaotic and self-indulgent morass.

Ultimately, as the current financial crisis shows, the Americans' fanatical indulgence of "individual liberties" has led to a colossal failure of collective responsibility that has brought their very economic system to its knees. One of the arguments about not nationalizing the failing banks, for instance, is that "the bank shareholders will lose money". It doesn't occur to these asses that priority MUST go to the people who put their money in bank accounts as SAVINGS... they're the ones who are entitled to security. People who bought SHARES in banks, by contrast, made an INVESTMENT... and at the heart of any investment is risk! Obviously these "shareholders", who took such a risk in order to grow their money, now think they should be protected from the consequences of that risk even at the cost of the WHOLE system failing and the general public's savings being wiped out! Even as they demand that their "investments" be protected, they whine about how bailouts equal socialism.

Let's give them all a big :roll: :rotfl:

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Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby ShauryaT » 03 Mar 2009 02:22

shiv wrote: I would also like to point out that at least some of what we say and think might also, in the same manner, carry Islamic baggage or influences. I am dead certain this is the case
There is absolutely no reason to deny this influence, it will be nothing but coginitive dissonance as you call it to deny these influences from the ways of Islam on the Indic mind. It is a fact, since time immemorial that the subjects follow the religion of the King, in large parts. In India, it is true that most conversions did not happen through the sword, directly, neither was it the peaceful and brotherly message of Islam but the conversions were largely through patronage. One does not have to look very far to prove the influence of Islam, on the Indic mind.

Islamism as you know, is a well developed framework that makes changes where necessary, subtle and temporary sometimes to suit the circumstances. Call it Sufism or the development of the Hanafi variants of Barelvi and Deoband or Akbar's proclamation to disband Jaziya or the eventual hardening of Aurangzeb to the Tablighi movement in early 20th century, resulting in Maududi's vision of TSP today. Even now, it changes depending on circumstances as one can see between TSP and India. It hardens and softens based on the need of the hour.

Even in the language we speak, where does Hindi end and Urdu begin (only purists would know)? My grand mother wrote in Guru Mukhi, a persian derived script widely used to write Sindhi and Punjabi. It will be downright stupid not to acknowledge the varied influences on the Indic mind, including that of Islam.

However, I do make one small or large exception, for both the Sanatan Dharmic systems and Islam. Islam did not have any signifiant impact on the evolution of Indic spiritual works (there is evidence that the advent of Islam shut the evolution of Hinduism). Islam did have a large impact on the social and political life of India, for that is what Islam is, in large parts. Very little, if any, Indic spiritual systems were added to or changed, because Islam offered little to none by way of the spirit, as understood by the Indic mind.

Likewise, Islam may change its profiles and be wielded by rulers of various shades, but at its core there is a constant and written unyielding framework, adhered to by the Sunni theologians across, Arab, Turkish and Indic lands, across time spans. The Sunnah and Quran together will arrest the variants and seek to move them in a common direction. For, till these books exist, no other path breaking ways are open.

In the interaction between Islam and Sanatan Dharam, people changed and bent, but not their respective inner cores. For one cannot change and the other did not find anything worth changing to. It is this lack of acceptance of the other's theology that was, is and will continue to be the source of friction.

That brings me to the second point you make - in the second para quoted above. What is the way forward. Do we seek "forward" by engaging reverse gear attempting to remove X, Y or Z influences as Pakistan is doing?

Or do we battle the people who are trying to do that and say - we need "forward" not "reverse"?

If we do, what is forward?
Indic way of life has been an evolving concept - always. There is no question of a "reverse" to a certain golden era. However, it is important to recognize and be conscious of the two "external" frameworks that were imposed on the Indic people.

I will repeat this again, our forefathers (over 70% were lawyers, trained either in England or in the English system) in my view, erred in not seeking to understand this and seeking to restore the balance. They did something worse, they ignored the Indic frameworks and gave it a cold shoulder. They did not stop there, they went further and institutionalized the two external frameworks. Islam by way of secularism and the west in the name of democracy.

The way forward needs to restore the primacy of Indic thoughts and processes. For once, we have to stop being afraid and seek ready made answers in other frameworks, primarily western today, be it the language of freedom, democracy, secularism, human rights of the individual or the rational mind. Indic systems, are not in denial or opposed to any of these but these things need to be viewed and prioritized and given its due place based on the needs of Indic society.

I do not have any ready made answers to the way forward but at the same time, we need to shed our fears and get comfortable in our own skin and develop our own answers. We need to restart the evolution of the Indic framework without shackles or doubt.

I will say one more thing. It will be a mistake to dismiss the evolution of the modern individual centered rational mind and associated systems. Although, I think it is limited, it is an evolution of the people of the west and we should all welcome it.

The world my children and theirs will inherit is going to be very interconnected. If we do not have mind bridges to connect with the west, it will produce conflict as has been the case with Islam.

The way forward has to take the two models, one of the Indic spiritual mind and the modern rational mind and make them connect. For, either of them in their extremes is not proven to work!

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Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby ramana » 03 Mar 2009 02:28

In this thread or the BD thread had anyone predicted the crisis that the Awami League is facinn in BanglaDesh today?

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Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby brihaspati » 03 Mar 2009 03:08

Continuing from Shivji's cautious note : my main issue in raising the issue of womens' rights in this thread was to explore one of the possible aspects where Islam might have had some impact in changing attitudes and practices on the Indic side. Now, I agree that it is possible that some aspects of attitudes towards womens' rights could have pre-existed before Islam's advent. But this is exactly the issue - how much do we really know or are confident about elements that pre-existed or elements that did not pre-exist? When we start thinking of elements that the Indic has absorbed from Islam and whether or not such elements are a necessary part of Indicness, we do need to be clear about whether they were really there from before Islam or not. I simply used this as an example, that if we really go about searching for such elements, we may find scant evidence for many of our modern beliefs about Indicness itself - things we feel bad or guilty about - and may have to face up to the possibility that such elements developed in reaction to some ideology that essentially goes against the fundamental pre-Islamic philosophical core.

Keshavji has raised the question of the range of influence of Islamic urban power centres floating in the vast rural sea of non-Islam. To this I have to say, that the ultimate test of power is not presence everywhere, but ability to be present whenever desired. The vast rural sea of non-Islam would still be under Islamic regime, if that regime could extract tax at will, march with military forces at will, and threaten or swoop down on any corner or hamlet at will - through this sea. From family anecdotes, what I have heard confirms my impression from chronicler claims and non-Thaparite historians - that in most territories under Islamic penetration, Muslim armies or elite literally rampaged around at will looking for loot, and non-Muslim women. There was a basic underlying system of education for girls (before the advent of Islam) shared with boys outside of their homes. This system broke down because of the increasing risks of abduction. At some stage, my ancestors migrated with their adherents to a remoter part of their region and setup again to maintain their basic practices. However the girls from remote corners away from the new well-defended centre gradually dropped out of the educational process, as both the Sultanate and the Mughal soldiers did manage to sometimes still penetrate this rough/less productive area from time to time. My early childhood experiences among the descendants of these forced to migrate people made me aware of the impact of the Islamic regimes in a way completely different from what is officially represented and what many of us still work under the delusion of.

I strongly urge all interested to really search out on their own what the impact of Islam really could have been on Indian society. In this not only official sources but oral history and tradition, and use of plain clear logic can help. Unless we clear up what really is the external and what the internal, we cannot start afresh.

I would agree in one aspect with Keshavji that we have this thread because not everything we have done in the past turn out to be the best possible to happen to us. I always had this feeling that part of our difficulties in the past were not knowing when to stop and say "no". We failed to distinguish between what is "us" and what can never be part of "us" - especially that part which jeopardizes the very existence of "us". By overlapping and clouding boundaries we failed to take up positions of strength from where we could survive with what we defined ourselves to be and not forced to become something else in order to survive.

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Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby brihaspati » 03 Mar 2009 03:24

Ramanaji,
not here, but wrote something here
http://dikgaj.wordpress.com/2008/10/19/future-scenario-for-the-indian-subcontinent-1-bangladesh-elections-hopefully/

Although this was written in the context of elections to come, my basic distrust of the factions within the core of the BD military remains intact from last year:

"The promised elections in December will not be held unless concrete commitments are obtained from both elite factions to follow and toe the line given by the army, and this will involve the strengthening of the Jamaat’s role in Bangladeshi politics, as well as overall gradual manifestation of the agenda of Islam for the subcontinent. In its turn it means continued sheltering of Islamic militants for infiltration into India through the border state of West Bengal ruled at present by a sympathetic “Left”, continued protection and enhancement of the madrassah system of education, continued attacks on cultural items deemed “un-Islamic”, and providing a second base for the flourishing and operations of the Islamic theologians hell-bent on returning the world to the looting, raping, genocidic, ethnic cleansing ideology of 7th century Arabic Islam.

The media has had a field day in blaming the politicians for this situation. But in reality the politicians were never strong enough to override the military, and the nationalists who emotionally fought for a “Bengali culture” as distinct from the “Urdu-Pakistani” Islamic state were of necessity too humane to match the cunning, ruthlessness and pathologically Sadistic upbringing of the Islamic elite of Bangladesh. It was only a matter of time, before the Islamic leadership panicked sufficiently that if they delayed any further they might never recoup their agenda at all."

I still hold that a faction within the BD military and MI helped to pull this off. I had written in the sequence of posts that the military even went after its "own" if necessary.

"The army needs the two main factions within the ruling class to converge to this overall agenda, and for this it is prepared to sacrifice or coerce individuals from among its own class who have become more a liability than an advantage - as it eliminated Jia or sent Ershad to jail, and turned the “next generation of political inheritors” either “physical wrecks” like Jia’s sons or ensure Haseena’s son’s virtual exile in the USA. Political legitimacy independent of Islamic control and dependent on charismatic tradition is an obstacle in the army’s overall plans, and it appears that the army is desperate to ensure subservience of the two elite factions into a national “consensus” framework, and in this a key role will be played by the hardcore Islamic faction led at least superficially by the Jamaat. The Jamaat’s involvement in crucial “dark episodes” of Bangladesh’s history ensures its continued influence within the elite including perhaps even the core driving the military - with mutual dependence and “sensitive knowledge” about each other. The Jamaat is the hidden trump card to “soften up” one faction and “threaten” the other, and will be used by the military to enhance its agenda for Bangladesh."

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Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby shiv » 03 Mar 2009 07:48

brihaspati wrote:
I strongly urge all interested to really search out on their own what the impact of Islam really could have been on Indian society. In this not only official sources but oral history and tradition, and use of plain clear logic can help. Unless we clear up what really is the external and what the internal, we cannot start afresh.


Brihaspati "internal" and "external" are not only inadvisable words to use but politically incorrect in a topic loaded with possibly xenophobic and reactionary innuendo :mrgreen: Easy to "misuse" such words and unbecoming of your normally immaculately diplomatic style IMO

Leaving aside political correctness - all human minds are a composite of many influences. For example my own grandmother used to be scathing about the idea of onions in rice and yogurt (mosaranna/thayir-saadam) and dismissed the idea as "shoodara mosaranna" - i.e curd-rice - rice/yogurt fit "only" for shudras and "not us Brahmins". To my grandmothers ignorant mind - the shudra was the lowest of low and the question of thinking about the pwople who were "lower" - i.e. SC/ST/Dalit did not even occur to her. Mleccha and crap were on par.

But IMO people of Karnataka do not have the cojones that people of Tamil Nadu have (my opinion - no insult intended to my fellow Karnatakanians :lol: ). So when I went to college I found people being completely scathing about "Paapaan" (Brahmin" - cross belts (sacred thread wearers) and their thayir saadam (curd-rice). And when the odd North Indian in college referred to a local as an "Idli-Dosa" the prompt reply was to classify anyone North of the Vindhyas as a "chappati" - a word that was spat out like a piece of dirt. It is another matter that we are all extremely close pals - actually brothers now.

The reason I write all this is that personalities of humans are in "layers". There is an initial layer laid on as an infant that is child like - attention seeking and selfish. It is into this layer that my knowledge of "shoodara mosaranna" has been laid. This layer taught me that Brahmins are superior. But a layer that was laid on to my personality later was the "Stupid cross belt wearer" layer which taught me that other people had other view of these superior Brahmins.

In this manner it is possible (with a lot of careful effort and objective research) to peel away layers in what we call "Indian" behavior to arrive at what is "internal" and what is "external" depending on where you choose to draw the line between internal and external.

But when you remove some layers, you are invariably exposing other layers that may not necessarily have been right, just or rational in the first place. Each layer affects the other layer in some way and cannot really be removed after the layers have been fused across many generations.

Every attempt at changing psychology by pop-insight and pop-conclusions in the absence of serious peer reviewed objectivity is doomed to trip up somewhere. This is what Hitler experienced. This is also what Pakistan is experiencing. In a way this is exactly what Rudradev points out about the experience of America and its forced "individualism" imposed more by popular belief than any serious insight into psychology.

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Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby svinayak » 03 Mar 2009 08:37

shiv wrote:
For example my own grandmother used to be scathing about the idea of onions in rice and yogurt (mosaranna/thayir-saadam) and dismissed the idea as "shoodara mosaranna" - i.e curd-rice - rice/yogurt fit "only" for shudras and "not us Brahmins". To my grandmothers ignorant mind - the shudra was the lowest of low and the question of thinking about the pwople who were "lower" - i.e. SC/ST/Dalit did not even occur to her. Mleccha and crap were on par.


But IMO people of Karnataka do not have the cojones that people of Tamil Nadu have (my opinion - no insult intended to my fellow Karnatakanians :lol: ). So when I went to college I found people being completely scathing about "Paapaan" (Brahmin" - cross belts (sacred thread wearers) and their thayir saadam (curd-rice). And when the odd North Indian in college referred to a local as an "Idli-Dosa" the prompt reply was to classify anyone North of the Vindhyas as a "chappati" - a word that was spat out like a piece of dirt. It is another matter that we are all extremely close pals - actually brothers now.


These are mostly indoctrination and leftist induced attack on the Indian social order which started after independence.
The mocking and teasing of Hindus and 'Brahminism' which started with the British continued with Marxist and leftist.

Hindu memory of the traditions makes sure that non-traditional food/culture is kept away due to repeat invasions and force to change the social traditions
Older generations still had that memory.

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Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby shiv » 03 Mar 2009 09:03

Acharya wrote:
Hindu memory of the traditions makes sure that non-traditional food/culture is kept away due to repeat invasions and force to change the social traditions
Older generations still had that memory.


Is that why non traditional food like Chapati must be kept away from Tamizh Nadu and Dosas from the North? This "Hindu" memory of traditions?

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Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby shiv » 03 Mar 2009 09:13

I believe that the name "Hindu" is a case of fractal recursivity with both good and bad consequences.

Bad because it is of "foreign origin" and the fact that it describes a diverse group of people who know their own local traditions but are completely blinkered and ignorant of "Hindu" traditions (and diet) in other parts of India making them dub other Hindus as foreign. This is a serious issue and cannot be blamed on leftists or assorted outsiders. Outsiders need to be given credit for seeing the unity and coining one single word "Hindu"

The name "Hindu" is good because confused Hindus are unable to see what unites them and struggle for words and blabber when asked - but at least they have this word that they can use to show that there really is some commonality that they are unable to describe.

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Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby svinayak » 03 Mar 2009 09:17

shiv wrote:
Is that why non traditional food like Chapati must be kept away from Tamizh Nadu and Dosas from the North? This "Hindu" memory of traditions?

Local ingredients influence the local food habits and food preparations. It is similar to language also. But good question anyhow

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Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby shiv » 03 Mar 2009 09:24

When you ask "what is Hindu"" or "Who is a Hindu" - I hear many answers.

I personally think that "Hindu" represents the "Society of pagans and kafirs of pre-Christian and pre-Islamic India" along with their traditions, gods and respect for the local land, rivers, mountains, forests, plants and animals (respect for nature) and the culture that resulted from that.

Vedic "Hinduism" is a prominent child of this pagan/kafir society.

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Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby harbans » 03 Mar 2009 09:52

Some interesting points have been made here. My take on some for example..when we say we're thinking from a 'Western' or what i prefer 'Modern' moral perspective, is it unfair to ask how much of these modern moral perspectives have been influenced from Indian thought and literature. Indeed most Renaissance thinkers openly acknowledged most of the much debated schools of Western philosophy having 'Eastern' roots. Voltaire was most brazen and unashamed about it. Even as Europe colonized India, it's vast knowledge made available fired up the thoughts of some of Europes greatest thinkers that resulted in Modern perspectives and mores. When Europeans came in large numbers to India, it would seem surprising and strange that this land of Fakirs was indeed the source of much of their knowledge and humanity. Compare the Hindu code of War with the Geneva convention formed possibly 5 millenia after..the former is still more humane. Additionally the Europeans that made it into India started justifying Western morality as superior basically on Race issues. Justification took the course of exceptions being applied as rules for natives (e.g Sati) so 800 Sati deaths in few years was more for us, while 800 witch burning incidents in Europe was just an aberration. The moral distortion originates principally from a racial perspective and sought to be justified even till the present day, though in lot subtler terms by the Wendy Doningers and Mark Witzels. But a reason for our own sense of inferiority possibly lies in not comprehending how 'Western' morality was really developed through Upanashidic and Vedic shruti and thought even as we were being colonized. Looking at it this way helps also solve the dilemna, why of all British colonies India turns to Modern (and not Western) democratic tradition so much like a duck takes to water. Why India gravitates continuosly towards guaranteeing minority rights, valuing Human rights and other so called Western moral initiations to the savage world. One has to see how easy it is for those that move out of a village setup forget a so called deeply entrenched and discriminatory caste system, or how easily abhorred we are of a single case of Sati in a decade, or even in the 18th century how easy it was for the Arya Samaji's to propagate a rational system of thought amongst the 'pious Casteist Hindu'..while the Arthashastra would have had some verses on how it's ok for 25 year olds to marry 9 year olds, the marriage was essentially a social pledge and the book not exactly one that was implemented on a large scale before that era. Because it states so, it is solving some moral dilemna in a village type set up in that era and because it deems it Ok, it indeed was a moral problem of sorts even then. The point is not what a smriti said or what society started implementing after it was written, the point is today it is considered abhorrent very easily. It is not resisted. So while discrepencies might and had indeed creeped into our societies, the moral initiative to curb those always lay within the spiritual and philosophical framework of Hindu society.

JMTs etc..

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Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby harbans » 03 Mar 2009 10:11

Just a little continuation from what i posted above..it was the protestent denominations that gathered the maximum from India..whether Germany or England or France. It were philosophers and thinkers from here that discovered Grammar as analyzed by Panini and then thought about analyzing their own languages in such detail. The interest of the Max Muellers in India originated essentially from the firing up of knowledge in Europe that was happening from large influx of Indian thought (though only to top level thinkers in Europe). And as mentioned racial motives to morality sought to be exemplified by Schopenhauer and implemented using contorted Hindu symbols by Hitler for example. However as society developed the protestent denominations did realize the folly in colonization and sought to rectify the same by implementing fairer laws within their own societies. A look at catholic countries such as dominated by Spain and Portugal shows a much lesser infiltration to Indian thought and thus lagging behind the present moral standards of the "West". One look at the South American continent confirms why democracy and human rights comes more easy to India than essentially catholic and European origin ruled states, while India does this steadily for 6 decades and more. Same with the Phillipines and other Catholic dominated countries. Democracy and rights issues don't come easy. The least influenced by Indian thought, philosophy are ofcourse the Arabs and Islamic countries. We know where they stand in the 'rights and morality department'. The third lot come are those countries of East and South East Asia (most were influenced over several centuries by Hindu/ Buddhist) thought. They've had trouble implementing democracy too as they did not imbibe philosophical influences like what protestent denominations did. India subtly passed the 'Morality' baton to the protestent denominations even while it was being colonized them and besieged by Muslim conquerors. A clever thing to do..coming to think.

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Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby shiv » 03 Mar 2009 10:46

harbans wrote:Some interesting points have been made here. My take on some for example..when we say we're thinking from a 'Western' or what i prefer 'Modern' moral perspective, is it unfair to ask how much of these modern moral perspectives have been influenced from Indian thought and literature. Indeed most Renaissance thinkers openly acknowledged most of the much debated schools of Western philosophy having 'Eastern' roots. Voltaire was most brazen and unashamed about it. Even as Europe colonized India, it's vast knowledge made available fired up the thoughts of some of Europes greatest thinkers that resulted in Modern perspectives and mores. When Europeans came in large numbers to India, it would seem surprising and strange that this land of Fakirs was indeed the source of much of their knowledge and humanity. Compare the Hindu code of War with the Geneva convention formed possibly 5 millenia after..the former is still more humane. Additionally the Europeans that made it into India started justifying Western morality as superior basically on Race issues. Justification took the course of exceptions being applied as rules for natives (e.g Sati) so 800 Sati deaths in few years was more for us, while 800 witch burning incidents in Europe was just an aberration. The moral distortion originates principally from a racial perspective and sought to be justified even till the present day, though in lot subtler terms by the Wendy Doningers and Mark Witzels. But a reason for our own sense of inferiority possibly lies in not comprehending how 'Western' morality was really developed through Upanashidic and Vedic shruti and thought even as we were being colonized. Looking at it this way helps also solve the dilemna, why of all British colonies India turns to Modern (and not Western) democratic tradition so much like a duck takes to water. Why India gravitates continuosly towards guaranteeing minority rights, valuing Human rights and other so called Western moral initiations to the savage world. One has to see how easy it is for those that move out of a village setup forget a so called deeply entrenched and discriminatory caste system, or how easily abhorred we are of a single case of Sati in a decade, or even in the 18th century how easy it was for the Arya Samaji's to propagate a rational system of thought amongst the 'pious Casteist Hindu'..while the Arthashastra would have had some verses on how it's ok for 25 year olds to marry 9 year olds, the marriage was essentially a social pledge and the book not exactly one that was implemented on a large scale before that era. Because it states so, it is solving some moral dilemna in a village type set up in that era and because it deems it Ok, it indeed was a moral problem of sorts even then. The point is not what a smriti said or what society started implementing after it was written, the point is today it is considered abhorrent very easily. It is not resisted. So while discrepencies might and had indeed creeped into our societies, the moral initiative to curb those always lay within the spiritual and philosophical framework of Hindu society.

JMTs etc..


:shock: :shock:

Gosh that was a gem of a post - a real cracker! I take my (virtual) hat off and bow to you. A real keeper.

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Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby chiragAS » 03 Mar 2009 17:59

Sorry for being off topic.

After recent 26th attacks, comes TSP's varoius statments.
Now attack on SL team by some AK carrying guys.
First official statement of foreign office of TSP, was the weapons had indian markings.
refering to LTTE.

Gains for TSP from this
a.) Diverting attention from 26th investigations
b.) SL's Increased animosity with india thanks to affiliations of tam politicos with tigers. while great friendship with TSP and its love affair with TSP's free AK weapons.
c.) Chicom gaining more strong hold on High seas in south.

one more important thing.
=>Dont know what Sl prez was doing in Kat on our eastern border with those maos.

Guess we need to stock up on the fat ladies now.
we have perfect recepie

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Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby brihaspati » 03 Mar 2009 18:02

Shivji's cautinary note noted. :D Even the eternally cautious have to let their hair down from time to time. But in this case my choice of words were deliberate. Delayering of the encrusted layers on our psyche is a task only for the most brave. Such an investigation forces us to face our own worst fears and aspects of development of our cultural process that might appear most unpalatable. I did not say that we should rely only on volk-kultur or oral traditions to arrive at historical inferences - but I said that both normal academic (? assuming that such academic history again is free from the dangers of distortion and bias ) investigation as well as folk-memory should be combined. The folk-memory should primarily be used for explorations into past conflicts and especially with respect to ideologies we are investigating for non-Indicness. I would rather stay away from the "food" business. Items like food and dress to a partial extent are more inflouenced by the geography rather than ideology - although ideology can play a role to a certain extent but a minor one.

Shivji's example on onion reminds me of parable my mom told me as a child - that possibly there was a famine when the clan scattered and went to neighbouring places to survive as best they could. When conditions improved, they all returned and saw that one particular group had become quite healthy and rounded. So the others asked how did they manage when they had all become sort of emaciated. The "healthy" group replied that they found plenty of onions to munch on. And this led to immediate jealousy and banning of the group for having survived on onions. Okay this is just a parable told to teach me how human jealousy could lead us to adopt some of the most stupid positions ever imaginable. But this is one reason I would choose carefully the items we explore for differences and origins.

Internal and external does not have to immediately lead to antagonism or phobia. This is more about identifying what we mean as "us" and what we would like to realize as "us" and distinguish from "them". I understand Shivji's unease at the possibility of such a move eventually leading to a "Hitler". But to a greater or lesser extent, we have seen this process of differentiation at work in all the anti-imperialist anti-colonial movements - for example most of MKG's moves were calculated in part definitely to set up the difference between what was essentially Indian and what was British. He left his European clothes deliberately and took up an approxiamtion of the "desi" , he took up khadi, etc. His primary mobilization tactic was to resestablish the difference of Indic from the British. We can look for a parallel in Rabindranath Thakur (deliberately using the Indic version of his surname) in his parallel attempt at reconstruction of an Indic mode of education etc.

Every nation has to periodically clean up and reconstruct its core. We can think of it like the periodic removal of barnacles and scrubbing of the keel of a fishing boat. The business of a nation is liek going out to the sea and fish for survival. But in the process, there is the risk of the hazards of the sea, and the steady wear and tear and encrustations. The ideologiacl framework is the keel of the boat, on which the rest of the boat floats. It must be brought to the shore of introspections and explorations to identify damages and wear and tears, see if a timber somewhere has bent out of shape, and if too far bent have to be replaced entirely. But we do not throw the boat away, because its basic shape and structure has stood us in good stead and allowed us to survive. It is the periodic inspection and not necessarily a compulsion to make drastic changes whether needed or not - that is important.

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Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby brihaspati » 03 Mar 2009 18:05

The SL angle could be a connection between the LTTE and TSP Jihadis. There has long been speculation that organized crime and Jihadis, LTTE, Maoists all coordinate in a mutual web. It could be a move on the part of this web to score in favour of LTTE.

Long ago, towards the begining of this thread, perhaps we have talked about the Jihadi encirclement by spreading its tentacles around the periphery of India. The tactic is significantly that of the mobile warfare philosophy of the Chinese Red Army in its earlier phase - the cliche quote of Tsun Zu - when attacking in the west raise a din in the east. We can think of a coordinated move, probably inspired and helped on by PRC, by which "outrages" as well as actions aimed at achieving political and tactical scores will be spread around the periphery, from one place to another. This is designed to paralyze the main centre of resistance within India which cannot predict where the next attack is going to come.

India is making the same mistake as Unkil in AFG. The long term aim should be expansive, and forward looking initiative taking. PRC has to be removed further from the subcontinental arena, and from Indian Ocean presence. For this PRC naval presence around the subcontinent have to be removed and Tibet made independent. The Jihadis from AFG and the neo-Caliphate should be forced to move towards NW China, and the fundamental bases of operation in Nepal and TSP liquidated. TSP has to be brought under Indian military administration to root out the bases of Jihad, and Nepal surrounded by independent Tibet. PRC presence in Myanmar and Thailand, Malysia replaced. BD and SL will fall in line if this happens.

Sounds fantastic? But targets to be achieved if India has to survive.

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Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby harbans » 03 Mar 2009 21:43

Shiv ji, appreciate the thums up on that from you. But in the continuing post, i did want to emphasize a linkage between those who prospered firstly through devouring knowledge and philosophy from here, then through wealth attained part by colonization and part by ethics that encouraged industriousness and hard work from here. Germans, French and the British are leaders in that and they subsequently dominated. Knowledge in Medieval Europe flowed from these centers more than from Greece unlike ancient times where Greeks again prospered and learnt from their links to India. Europe has always benefitted from India's amazing quest for knowledge and more, ancient as well as medieval times. Take China for example, they'll not say this open, but India is reverred as an elder brother. This countries quest for Truth is continual, and sometimes we do self flagellate more so than citizens of any other nation..precisely because we search deeper for Truth,. When large sections of our population were beseiged by onslaughts lasting more than a thousand years, it was prudent that knowledge be kept confined for fear that open bearers of the same would face the fate of the monks in Nalanda or Taxila, but it was prudent so too that it be transmitted. Like the ancients said about Knowledge..it would to the best future bearers of it,.with all their shortcomings and growth pangs, the protestent denominations of the Christian religion did do a fair enough job of revitalizing and translating texts to significant sections of their own population, even though through their own kind disseminating those views in hardly subtle different ways. The consequence of such was an enlightenment within their own societies that disengaged the Yoke of Islam from large parts of India and freed it not only of themselves but of Islamic rule. That was India's destiny and it achieved it with understatably some pain. The quest for truth remains alive on this forum, heartburn too in varying degrees, but it's all too visible. I've met too many Westerners and Chinese and Japanese who are simply too astonished at India's leap into the knowledge fold. It took them much too long to attain a society that prides a large part of it's GDP from a knowledge based economy. India did that easy. More stark is many of their knowledge based economies and tech shortages are propped up by a disproportionately large percent of Indians..coupled with the fact that Indians compromise the least percentage of people in their prisons or with criminal records of all other nationalist or religious denominations. (US maintains such records and available on adherents.com). Thus this is not just a fluke as some make it out to be. Or a result of British influence..it runs much deeper and it's something we've all carried within our souls for thousands of years and amongst the greatest trepidations. So while their may be exceptions to what i say, the general thrust is that ancient and medieval societies with max contact with India and it's culture were the biggest beneficieries of wealth and moral values. To think we're falling for 'Western' morals may be very incorrect to assume in case we look at things this way. JMT though think their is much value and truth to this POV IMHO.

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Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby brihaspati » 03 Mar 2009 22:11

Harbansji raises some important issues and I agree with him for most parts. My question on this future strategic scenario thread is however, do we drop the middle-east from having benefited from the prolonged contact it had with India? What about Turks, Iraqis and Arabs? They did benefit technologically - yes, and this knowledge they used to further their imperilaistic and hegemonistic designs and ambitions. But they failed to learn the crucial lesson of India - the permanent quest as a method. The ability to return to older questions and answers and reexamine them in the light of newer knowledge is crucial as a modern scientific method - this is what changes paradigms, and keeps the search for optimal models and methods adaptive to self-induced or external changes. The failures of western or middle-eastern cultures stem from their insistence on fixed, predetermined solutions - they took the results of the Indian quest but failed to learn from India's method. Knowledge itself is not enough - it changes and upgrades, the quest itslef is more important than the knowledge it has delivered up to the time point being explored.

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Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby shiv » 04 Mar 2009 07:05

harbans wrote: Thus this is not just a fluke as some make it out to be. Or a result of British influence..it runs much deeper and it's something we've all carried within our souls for thousands of years and amongst the greatest trepidations. So while their may be exceptions to what i say, the general thrust is that ancient and medieval societies with max contact with India and it's culture were the biggest beneficieries of wealth and moral values. To think we're falling for 'Western' morals may be very incorrect to assume in case we look at things this way. JMT though think their is much value and truth to this POV IMHO.


harbans - another great post that I find myself agreeing with, but there is a layer of "Western thought" (or non-Indic thought) that soaks most people on this forum - even some of the most ardent supporters of the idea of a good core Indic culture.

We have all been taught to think in reductionist terms. In reductionism - you take something and break it to see what is inside to arrive at an explanation of how it works. For example - you take a clock and break it open to see what makes it tick. You blast elements to bits to find protons, neutrons and electrons and then try and blast those to bits to find something more fundamental. You take a medicinal plant and try to isolate one single purified compound from it that you claim is the actual ingredient that makes it work.

In reductionism, you break something to understand the whole. This approach certainly has some benefits - but not all of the world can be broken to find the whole picture. Many examples exist - but let me start with a silly one - "The goose that laid the golden eggs" - Cutting open the goose gets nothing. More to the point, I mentioned medicinal plants being assessed for a single component. This has worked in some cases but one failed example of reductionism is coffee - which has never given itself up to reductionist analysis. What you get is a parody of the original in instant coffee. Yet another example would be sub-atomic particles. Breaking them up by bombardment gets more and more difficult, and explanations of the universe get less and less clear from what one finds.

If you look at the runaway success of Western science which I acknowledge and salute - you find that it has grown from the root of reductionism. But is you dip into ancient Indian sciences - you find that reductionism plays a much smaller role (not zero). The Indian method has always been to preserve the whole and gradually understand the inside without breaking it open. This is not always possible. For example a clock may not be amenable to this kind of analysis.

But when you take the two different approaches together, you find that

    1) The Western system has arrived at answers that the Indian system did not reach
    2) the Indian system has answers that the Western system did not reach or has not yet reached
    3) Most interesting are the overlap areas where both reductionism and the Indian method analysis of the whole have reached the same conclusions. Some outstanding examples exist of this in medicine, and in other areas.

Despite pressure and the "halo effect" to forget and ignore the Indian system, what Indians have by and large done is to retain cultural memories of the ancient Indian method while taking up reductionism with gusto and enthusiasm. The fact that both these routes often reach the same conclusion adds to the Indian's confidence that he is on the right track - a thought process that cannot occur in anyone who is not exposed to the Indian way. But a knowledge of the Indian system offers another advantage even when the answers do not exist in one or the other. The reductionist system can be followed with rigor where the analysis of the whole has no answers, and where the former gets you nowhere - there may exist ancient analyses suggesting a direction to search. What often happens is that what appears to be a "nonsense" conclusion from one method actually makes sense from the other method when viewed from a completely unexpected angle (I have real life examples from medicine)

The point I am getting at is that in order to move forward we need not reject one or the other. We need not necessarily be too enthusiastic about drawing lines about what is internal and external, lest that be misused by our own agnanis. We already have the double advantage of having invented and internalized one method and being compelled to utilize the second method.

All we need to do is NOT throw the baby out with the bathwater. Acknowledge that both methods have advantages and both together contribute to the "whole" the "unity" of knowledge/gnana. The implication of this goes beyond science. for example the Arthasastra may have a huge body of usable knowledge. But rejecting other thought processes - say an Islamic view of war and politics would be rejection of gnana. Rejection and weeding out of knowledge because it does not fit into what we define as "our tradition" is a non Indic characteristic. We must not fall into that trap.

The great lament here and has been that Indian knowledge has been sidelined by "Macaulayism" and Islam. What lesson can we learn from this? The lesson that I take home is that we must not make the mistake that Macaulayism and Islam have made of throwing out useful Indian knowledge as trash. In our effort at rejuvenating and reinstating what our ancient knowledge and traditions had we must not to a mirror image of Islam and Macaulayism and throw away usable information that forms the wholeness of gnana/knowledge. But I fear that many of our traditionalists are behaving like agnanis and are doing just that just to spite the hated Macaulayism and Islam. Brihaspati wrote of the effects of jealousy and perhaps rage. This could be a prime example.


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