Why has it become so cool to hate India

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Re: Why has it become so cool to hate India

Postby A_Gupta » 16 May 2003 21:29

Regarding "framing", an example comes to mind. The evangelists and the US board on Religious Freedom have framed the question of religious freedom to be their untrammeled right to go and evangelize.

Kind of like the right of telemarketers and spam-artistes and door-to-door salesmen to come and bother you whenever. There are increasing regulations on all of these in the US, with no concommitant outcry of "loss of freedom".

We have to reframe, that religious freedom is the freedom from that kind of assault.

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Re: Why has it become so cool to hate India

Postby Kuttan » 16 May 2003 23:03

When someone stands on a street corner and declares that his/her way is a good way, that's freedom of speech.

When someone comes into your neighborhood and tells your children and neighbors that you are a devil because you don't do things the way that s(he) does them, that's intrusive.

Those who do not accept this basic distinction of cultured behavior, are the real bigots and communalists.


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Re: Why has it become so cool to hate India

Postby Kedar » 17 May 2003 00:19

I didn't read the whole article but just going by the summary they are neither lying nor exaggerating. If we can't control the sh@t in our house then I don't fault others for pointing it out. I will keep repeating like a broken record; a good law and order situation is a must or our nation's progress will be impeded. Yes, I don't expect people overnight to change their attitudes but force them to keep their cr*p to themselves.

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Re: Why has it become so cool to hate India

Postby svinayak » 17 May 2003 00:24

There is a slow campaign with this topic. The main thing is to see if there is an attempt to create a dalit political identity with this campaign by the western media.

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Re: Why has it become so cool to hate India

Postby John_Doe » 17 May 2003 00:24

Originally posted by Kedar Bhandary:
I didn't read the whole article but just going by the summary they are neither lying nor exaggerating. If we can't control the sh@t in our house then I don't fault others for pointing it out. I will keep repeating like a broken record; a good law and order situation is a must or our nation's progress will be impeded. Yes, I don't expect people overnight to change their attitudes but force them to keep their cr*p to themselves.[/b]
Kedar you wrote just what I was about to post. We cannot allow the status quo to continue when millions of our citizens suffer at the hands of other citizens who are no different from Pakis.

Don't think all is well just because you don't like to hear the truth.

Untouchabilty is a stupid concept and needs to be driven out of 21st century India fast. If people are attacking any persons than we need a robust law and order system that will mercilessly prosecute the perpetrators to the full extent of the law.

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Re: Why has it become so cool to hate India

Postby S Bajwa » 17 May 2003 00:36

Well technically speaking India is a democracy where laws are passed by the elected officials now it is different that nobody follows the laws and our MPs don't have any ideas on how to implement the laws.

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Re: Why has it become so cool to hate India

Postby AshishN » 17 May 2003 00:39

Untouchability is a crime and a sin. But for NG to not

1. point out the various things GoI is doing to remove the "caste" system

2. keep harping on the false definition of varnashrama by using phrases like "all men are not created equal"

is tabloid journalism. Stinks of an agenda.

I lived in India 20+ yrs, I did not see anyone practice untouchability. It does happen, yes, as do rapes and robberies. But it is not institutionalized either be Hinduism or by the Goverment. NG desultorily mentions something about the government and then proceeds to entirely butcher Hinduism by saying that Hinduism in essence promotes untouchability.

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Re: Why has it become so cool to hate India

Postby venkat_r » 17 May 2003 01:09

Not only that, generalising Hinduism preaches untouchability is like saying Christianity preaches slavery or Islam preaches Jihad. Generalising is bad and shows only an agenda.

On the other hand, untouchability has to be removed, without any question. Whatever can be done in the local temples or schools to remove untouchability has to be greatly appreciated. Lessons against untouchability have to come into text books and the fight by the leaders to put out untouchability has to come too. Just like RM says we need to have a better judiciary system. But that does not come in a day and takes generally a long time.

I know lot of police people who come from poor backgrounds and who are friends with local people, who are afrid to take any action against the local people as these "people" are the very people who got them to such a position by funding for their education and position.

Also the untouchability exists more as a rich-poor divide more than a caste divide. Many people who are wealthy because of their education and hardwork, though might belong to a different caste but get a good treatment everywhere. Paisa bolta hai.

Also please do your part in removing untouchability. Kick the priest if next time he does not allow a person into a temple saying that he is a "dalit" or "untouchable" and also register a case against him in the nearest police station. Do not mix with the people who want to say "untouchable" to others.

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Re: Why has it become so cool to hate India

Postby Kaushal » 17 May 2003 01:29

Does anybody in BR really condone untouchability ? I seriously doubt it

Does anybody in BR practice it ? No,again

Have most in BR preached aganst the practice ? I am sure most of us have done so countless times.

Do most Indians that we know practice it ?I dont know hardly anybody who practices it or has practiced it in the last few decades.

Then why this breastbeating and mea culpa. If you personally can do something about it by all means , nobody is stopping you from acting and sharing your experiences with the rest of us.

Merely pontificating about it in BR (and thereby relieving oneself of any potential guilt in the matter) is not going to do diddly squat for the real sufferers of this blight which i am sure exists.

The purpose of the NG article is very much along the lines of the 'you farted game' mentioned by shiv. So NG has a game plan, what is our excuse ?

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Re: Why has it become so cool to hate India

Postby chola » 17 May 2003 01:38

Originally posted by AshishN:
Untouchability is a crime and a sin. But for NG to not

1. point out the various things GoI is doing to remove the "caste" system

2. keep harping on the false definition of varnashrama by using phrases like "all men are not created equal"

is tabloid journalism. Stinks of an agenda.
I agreed on the first. But disagree on the second. The varnashrama dharma does state that men are not equal though its definition of divisions and castes. NG did not err on this count. The problem is mainly with the first. India is trying to change this and that has to be spoken for.

I lived in India 20+ yrs, I did not see anyone practice untouchability. It does happen, yes, as do rapes and robberies. But it is not institionalized either be Hinduism or by the Goverment. NG desultorily mentions something about the government and then proceeds to entirely butcher Hinduism by saying that Hinduism in essence promotes untouchability.
Untouchability is produced by Hinduism in its most fundamentalist form. Perhaps being Tamil and American-raised, I have a different perspective. But I think we would be lying to ourselves if we say Hinduism which affects our lives in many good ways did not also have some baggage.

Even in America, castes influence our community. Don't tell me your parents have never discussed the castes of other desis they've met or those of perspective mates for their children!

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Re: Why has it become so cool to hate India

Postby JCage » 17 May 2003 01:40

Unfortunately caste discrimination is entrenched in rural india.In the cities,whether they like it or not,people have to mingle and work at various levels and discrimination/taboo is a hindrance.In rural areas,this is avoided via clearly delineated "codes of conduct".Anyway ,the NG article sucks.Time to avoid NG.And I was a subscriber.

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Re: Why has it become so cool to hate India

Postby Rudra » 17 May 2003 01:53

interesting...the psyops and demonization of indian
culture seems to have gained some new converts.
first vijay singh case, now this....

Its part of a far larger attempt by southern baptists to

- put their opponents in india on backfoot
- drive a wedge and form a huge constituency in india...reap the harvest of souls long desired.

expect a lot of "congressional hearings", "teach-ins by dalit activists", "book discussions" and such in coming months. bidwai, roy et al will also gleefully join the fun.

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Re: Why has it become so cool to hate India

Postby AshishN » 17 May 2003 02:29

chola:
The varnashrama system does not say who is to decide who is greater than whom. All that is man-made. "Brahmins" of yore did their best to get this "hereditary" thing ingrained. And damn, they succeeded! "Low castes" have written some of hinduism's holiest books. "Low castes" in quotes because they were not low castes. The world around them had decided that they were low castes.

Caste, as described in varnashrama, comes from inside the person. As to whether you are predisposed to spiritual matters (not rituals), or consolidating power, or collecting money, or serving others. These tendencies exist in people, they come from deep inside a person. Every single person in the world belongs to a certain varna. All sorts of varnas mixed through at all levels of society. Unfortunately, most people cannot look at the original description of varnashrama without reading a non-existant superiority-inferiority claim in it.

And there are lots of people within Hinduism who make their lives comfy by calling themselves Bramhin without having any saintliness in them.
And oppressing others etc.

And then other proselytizing religions take advantage of this and say to the world: look at Hinduism with its wicked caste system.

___________________

If NG has an agenda, it has to be exposed. I personally give a little lecture to people who throw around the caste word. And I am pretty harsh on repeat offenders.

Of course, goes without saying that if I see anyone doing anything like not allowing access to temples etc I will have a talk with them. Luckily I have not come across anyone like this.

No, my parents have never discussed caste except as groups of people with the same language. Even then I have corrected them on the usage of the word. It has indeed become something indians say without thinking. Because no one wants to think. Or only a few do. As to whether a 'religion' that says "all sincere worship in any form leads to God" could actually have advocated a heinous system of discrimination. It is far too easy to parrot what others say. How many people do any serious reading/thinking/contemplation on sanatan dharma (what we call Hinduism)? And these same non-thinkers want to pronounce (or parrot) opinions on what sanatan dharma says!

***None of this is directed at you personally. Keeping the post more impersonal than this can be done, but is time-consuming, and laziness is a virtue for me. ;)

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Re: Why has it become so cool to hate India

Postby shiv » 17 May 2003 07:12

Originally posted by nitin:
Unfortunately caste discrimination is entrenched in rural india.In the cities,whether they like it or not,people have to mingle and work at various levels and discrimination/taboo is a hindrance.In rural areas,this is avoided via clearly delineated "codes of conduct".
A super summation of what really transpires in India. But I have a major quibble with the way language is used - especially the phrase "caste discrimination" - a "double whammmy" that is not truly descriptive of an ancient social system.

Ultimately urbanization and economic development will change things but caste stratification is alive and healthy in India. While this may come as a shocker to most of us "modern" Indians consider the way the word caste has deevloped a "cast iron" connotation in English.

For millennia there has definitely been endless stratification in Indian society, with innumerable layers - and not the four or five usually described layers. This society with all its good and its bad has actually survived longer than any other society - for whatever reason.

For the last 200 years or so the society has been described in terms of "Western" society and the word "caste" has been relegated to a position where it means "All bad. Nothing good. Backward. Discriminatory. Pagan. Loathsome. Horifying. Ungodly". The word is an english word and as such recognised as an unflattering and negative description only by the RAPE equivalent of India and political activists.

To most Indians "caste" does not carry this unashamedly negative connotation because they do not practise the active discrimination that the word connotes.

May I suggest that we recognise that there are two separate issues here:

1)The traditional structure of Indian society
2)The negative and undesirable fallout of that structure.

May I further suggest that No.2 above is what is called as "caste", or "caste discrimination". No 1 requires a descriptive term to include the life and habits of the majority of Indians (5 out of 6?) who DO NOT practice the negative aspects of the social system known in English as the "caste system?"

There is no reason for ALL Indians to go on the defensive when confronted with this word - but the way the word "caste" is used does exactly that and I see that as both unfair and not conducive to better knowledge and understanding.

I want some suggestions for a suitable decriptive term (word or acronym) that needs to come into common usage at least on here to differentiate between the negative "caste" system and the social stratification system without active discrimination that most Indians represent.

I am suggesting the acronym I.S.O. - for Indian Societal Organization, (or Indian Social Organization) - but the name falls short by failing to show that such social organization exists in South Asia, South East Asia and even West Asia to an extent.

Comments please.

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Re: Why has it become so cool to hate India

Postby debjani » 17 May 2003 07:23

Originally posted by Rudra Singha:
interesting...the psyops and demonization of indian
culture seems to have gained some new converts.
first vijay singh case, now this....

expect a lot of "congressional hearings", "teach-ins by dalit activists", "book discussions" and such in coming months. bidwai, roy et al will also gleefully join the fun.
What about that Udit Raj or whatever man. He somehow cannot carry his suited and booted look because he is too hot under the collar in the hot Indian sun!

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Re: Why has it become so cool to hate India

Postby AshishN » 17 May 2003 07:37

Shiv:
For the "caste" systems as 5 of 6 indians practise it, ISO is a great name. (ISO stands for Indian Students Org in any University here). :)

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Re: Why has it become so cool to hate India

Postby Atish » 17 May 2003 07:55

As a matter of theology, Caste is no more illogical than the idea of Jinns or the immaculate conception of Jesus Christ Allaihsalaam. If the Good Lord can be born out of immaculate conception, why cant I be a direct descendant of the Sun God? No reason to take crap from Non Hindus, particularly non Indians on this count. Ultimately its a social issue only not a religious/ theological one.

Caste also to a goodish extent represents communities, sometimes with particular set of values, which explains the endogamous tendencies among even Indians who do not otherwise practise or believe in caste in any form. Nothing very wrong with that either. I know for a fact that American parents (those who are involved in their children's lives), care a whole lot about the antedecents and value systems of their future in laws.

Thats said, a trip to Rajasthan is an eye opener in terms of what caste means. Unfortunately even in semi urban / urban areas active discrimination exists. However, this is not a backward or forward issue. The second lowliest of the low in any area would not break bread with the lowliest of the low, and behave with them as horribly as a high caste might with them.

Also do notice that in case of intercaste marriages,, lot of times the lower caste has just as much objection as the other party.

India's unique civilizations problems need different solutions that will undoubtedly emerge from our unique civilizational strengths. Unlike us, a very very small minority of westerners/ foireigners would make any attemt to understand this without making value judegements that make them smell better. Hyphenated Americans (2nd generation Indian Americans) also suffer from this malady to a goodish extent (this is based on my wide interaction with a large student body in a US university). God forbid we solve our problems and these jokers would actually have to do something worthwhile for their self esteem.

Of course (and this is perhaps my sense of fairness / Indianness), when it comes to finger wagging at other cultures, Indians are not too far behind either.

Cheers.
Atish.

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Re: Why has it become so cool to hate India

Postby A_Gupta » 17 May 2003 08:15

Now, this is a much better story about Vijay Singh, etc.

http://www.sulekha.com/redirectnh.asp?cid=309448

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Re: Why has it become so cool to hate India

Postby Arvind » 17 May 2003 08:43

Why was the DAM thread dumped? There was an important issue regarding which I would have appreciated a clear reply from Sridhar.

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Re: Why has it become so cool to hate India

Postby shiv » 17 May 2003 08:50

Originally posted by Atish:

Caste also to a goodish extent represents communities, sometimes with particular set of values, which explains the endogamous tendencies among even Indians who do not otherwise practise or believe in caste in any form.
Excellent post Atish.

That is why I believe that appropriate terminology is important to differentiate between the negative fallout of the social stratification system (called "caste") vesrus the system as in "social fabric"

That is why I suggested the acronym ISO to denote the unique Indian social structure, with the word "caste" being left to retain the meaning it has now been made to assume - a derogatory one and not at all descriptive of the non discriminatory social system that the majority of Indians belong to and follow.

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Re: Why has it become so cool to hate India

Postby Sridhar » 17 May 2003 09:09

HH: you are welcome to send me mail at nsridhar74@yahoo.com in case you have anything to discuss. I did not see your question before the thread was deleted.

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Re: Why has it become so cool to hate India

Postby Sai » 17 May 2003 10:30

Somebody only needs to proclaim "you farted because you are upper caste guy", and people here on even BR will rush to demonstrate how anti-caste they are, forgetting that orginal accusation about farting.

The one-dimensional portayal of caste system in that article is more a refelction of the holier-than-thou attitude of its sermonizing authors (I can actually visualize them smirking as they wrote it) than an accurate reflection of state of affairs in India.

I have a right to pride and dignity as a Hindu and an Indian, no matter what sewers of my country National Geographic or any other entity digs up and throws the mud of at me.

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Re: Why has it become so cool to hate India

Postby Kaushal » 17 May 2003 10:48

Endogamous tendencies exist in all societies in the world. Although there is some intermarriage, itis generally negligible and blacks and whites remain largely separate societies in America. Overt discrimination in America is no longer widespread, but the fact remains they are separate societies. In India, among the socially affluent, communal barriers are breaking down and money essentially marries money, but at the rural level that will not happen for a long time. It is by and large a system(endogamous marriages that is) that works, and i do not see anything wrong with it, as long as it is not accompanied by identification and exploitation of untouchables.

Here is an article by an Englishman on the
Indian Caste system

"Contrary to what the British appear to have believed, it seems doubtful that the Brahmans were dominant within the material world in pre colonial Indian society. A cursory examination of any of the ruling families quickly shows a dearth families of the Brahmin caste. Rather, one finds that the majority, though by no means all, of rulers were Kshytria and occasionally Vashnia. This suggests that although the Brahmin caste had power in spiritual matters, their power and control within the material world was limited to the amount of influence that they could gain with individual rulers. No doubt there were instances when this was quite considerable but there is also little doubt that there were times when Brahman influence was very weak and insignificant. With this in mind, it is not difficult to imagine a situation where, Brahmans, seeing the ascendancy of British power, allied themselves to this perceived new ruling class and attempted to gain influence through it. By establishing themselves as authorities on the caste system they could then tell the British what they believed the British wanted to hear and also what would most enhance their own position. The British would then take this information, received through the filter of the Brahmans, and interpret it based on their own experience and their own cultural concepts. Thus, information was filtered at least twice before publication. Therefore, it seems certain that the information that was finally published was filled with conceptions that would seem to be downright deceitful to those about whom the information was written. The flood of petitions protesting caste rankings following the 1901 census would appear to bear witness to this. To fully understand how the British arrived at their understanding of Indian society it will now be necessary to look at where British society was during the 19th century in both its concepts of self and of other."

It is also a fallacy to believe that the Dalits were at the bottom of the pecking order.see for instance

Appalling poverty

"In this connection it would be revealing to quote the per capita income of various communities as stated by the Karnataka Finance Minister in the State Assembly on July 1, 1978: Christian Rs.1562, Vokkaligas Rs.914, Muslims Rs.794, Scheduled caste Rs.680, Scheduled Tribes Rs.577 and Brahmins Rs.537."

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Re: Why has it become so cool to hate India

Postby Pulikeshi » 17 May 2003 11:43

Originally posted by Kaushal:
Endogamous tendencies exist in all societies in the world. Although there is some intermarriage, itis generally negligible and blacks and whites remain largely separate societies in America.
Kaushal,

Your posts are very educational and informative. I guess you are making a point here, but please do not make the same mistake made by western experts. Race dynamics are very different from caste dynamics. Caste is more dynamic and less understood by western and most Indian experts. Caste is not Race! The problem for us “educated” Hindus is thus: We denounce caste as a social evil, yet we marry within caste and live by it unconsciously all our lives.

Hindu society has been the strongest when the castes: Kshatriya, Brahmana and Vyshaya and Shudra worked as a cohesive unit. They were all considered Arya. Clearly through our history the power struggle between the Kshatriya and Brahmana has caused grave danger to Hindu society. Examples are plenty of our Kshatriyas flirting with Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism, etc. This they did to offset the powerful Brahmins. The mess we are in today is a direct result of this power struggle. Kashmir is one example of how the disruption of the four castes has caused a weak Hindu minority. Fiji is another. We are to find such weak splinter groups in the Hindu Diaspora.

Given that the present (and hopefully future) generation has denounced the caste system as a social evil, what does the future hold for the Hindus? We hate the very system that gives us strength, yet we do not know what to replace it with!

I don’t know why we are hated by others, but I know why we hate ourselves and our culture . Since I outlined the problem, let me present my hopeful solution. If each Hindu works to be a better Kshatriya, Brahmana, Vyshaya and Shudra, there may yet be a Platinum Age of Hinduism rid of caste. We need to strive for being the best of these four qualities, which is our salvation. No one can defeat men and women, who are powerful warriors, intellects, businesspersons and workers all in one!

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Re: Why has it become so cool to hate India

Postby shiv » 17 May 2003 12:55

Originally posted by Pulikeshi Varma:
but please do not make the same mistake made by western experts.

We hate the very system that gives us strength, yet we do not know what to replace it with!
there may yet be a Platinum Age of Hinduism rid of caste.
:D

Note that there is more than one "trap" here for "westerners" and while pointing out one to Kaushal you have yourself fallen into the most common trap.

Sorry if I keep repeating myself.

The word "caste" is the problem. I wonder if you would be kind enough to go through two posts of mine above this one and Atish's post.

The Indian social system works but has some negative dicriminatory features. The word "caste" has come to mean those negative discriminatory features when it is used in NG/Western press and Pakiland. That DOES NOT mean that the entire social system is at fault. Confusion is cause by using the SAME WORD i.e. "CASTE to refer to an existing social system as well as the negative features of that system. One word with two meanings is a formula for confusion.

The best analogy I can think of (off the cuff) is the word "Gay" which started off meaning happy but now means homosexual. Describing a happy person as "gay" in this day and age would be inappropriate if he was not homosexual.

Similarly, I think the word "caste" originally meant "the social system of India" but it has now degenerated to mean everything negative and causes only defensive reactions such as your post implies, or accusatory articles from NG and the like. That need not be so. We do need to understand that just as people have moved away from the word "gay" when they mean happy, WE need to move away from the word "caste" when we are referring to the Indian social system, which is not all bad.

We just need a new word to refer to the social system.

For example I would say that the Indian social system is a good and largely successful one but over the millennia some aspects have been misused and have degenerated into a discriminatory "caste system" that is practised by a decreasing minority of Indians. :D

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Re: Why has it become so cool to hate India

Postby Pulikeshi » 17 May 2003 13:24

Originally posted by shiv:

Note that there is more than one "trap" here for "westerners" and while pointing out one to Kaushal you have yourself fallen into the most common trap.

Sorry if I keep repeating myself.........
[/QB]
Shiv,

Mea culpa! The very post colonial system that produced us causes us to slip back into the strait jacket of western terminology/ignorance imposed on Hindu ideas. You are right, about Caste; it comes from Casta which is Portuguese for Race among other things. I guess using Varna would have made my point more Bharathiya. However my point still stands, that we hate ourselves and the very system that made us great. Now, with our progress and new sensibilities we denounce the system, without any thought as to what should replace it.

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Re: Why has it become so cool to hate India

Postby shiv » 17 May 2003 13:58

Originally posted by Pulikeshi Varma:
I guess using Varna would have made my point more Bharathiya. However my point still stands, that we hate ourselves and the very system
No No. I think you got me wrong.

We may hate the caste system/Varna - but that is not the WHOLE SYSTEM that made us. The social structure in Indian society (or for that matter in any society) is very comprehensive and complex. We are products of a complex Indian social system. Varna/caste is only one aspect, one part of that system. Hating varna does not mean the whole system is wrong.

I would have to sink into a description of the Indian social system in its entirety (if that is possible) in order to show that varna/caste is only one small part of that system. .One need not hate the whole system or hate oneself because one part of the system is undersirable.

I'm not sure if I have made my point clear, but caste/varna is not "the entire social system" in India. When one speaks of caste - one is referring to only part of the whole, not the whole.

People who insinuate that the entire social system in India revolves around caste discrimination and untouchability are making a "you farted" allegation about us. That is just not true and the sooner WE can make this differentiation the better it wil be for us to set the qibla of the "you farted" accusers right.

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Re: Why has it become so cool to hate India

Postby Sai » 17 May 2003 14:47

Thanks to Shiv for bringing clarity to the caste issue. Just want to add one more point: caste is not about discrimination (alone); it also defines kinship and confers identity. An India Today survey done a few years ago revealed that close to 75% of respondents preferred to marry within caste.

That said, many Indians carry such a huge chip on their shoulders on the issue of caste -- possibly because most of them are from the "oppressor" "upper" castes -- that they get extremely defensive in any discussion of caste, and offer themselves up for flogging even before the opponent threatens to do so: yeah, whip me, whip me bad, I've been a bad boy getting born in an evil caste-ridden society booo hooo... Methinks the adversary exploits this defensiveness pretty well.

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Re: Why has it become so cool to hate India

Postby Kaushal » 17 May 2003 20:22

I continue to maintain that if Caste (for which there is no exact Indian word) is understood to be Jati, it is no different than what is practiced in different parts of the world. That does not excuse man's exploitation of man (or woman) but the causes that make people behave the way they do are no different in India than elsewhere and the same remedies apply.

Unfortunately while commenting on my paragraph, there has been no comment on the excellently researched paper on the Indian Caste system, which underwent a major change during british rule.

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Re: Why has it become so cool to hate India

Postby svinayak » 17 May 2003 20:30

However my point still stands, that we hate ourselves and the very system that made us great

It is a frame of mind and is a product of indoctrination over the last 100 years and still going on.
WHo has taken the study of the caste and social system of India. The british before independence and their brown sahib children after independence with the help of south asian history dept in western universities. The main idea is to keep the myth to perpetuate and expand for long term aims.

Instead of Bharatiyas taking up the study and doing progressive changes it is the firangi who is manipulating the soceity with the help of their brown chelas. Indian soceity is considered as a gaint experimental ground.

That said, many Indians carry such a huge chip on their shoulders on the issue of caste -- possibly because most of them are from the "oppressor" "upper" castes -- that they get extremely defensive in any discussion of caste, and offer themselves up for flogging even before the opponent threatens to do so: yeah, whip me, whip me bad

Again a product of indoctrination.

People who insinuate that the entire social system in India revolves around caste discrimination and untouchability are making a "you farted" allegation about us.

This is the right perception.

That is just not true and the sooner WE can make this differentiation the better it will be for us to set the qibla of the "you farted" accusers right.

They will not set it right since it is in their interest to accuse 'you farted'

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Re: Why has it become so cool to hate India

Postby Kaushal » 17 May 2003 20:56

We denounce caste as a social evil, yet we marry within caste and live by it unconsciously all our lives.

You are not reading my post when you make this comment and have chosen to ignore an important part of my post. There are now substantial number of intercaste marriages in the cities, but in the villages this is not the case. But such behavior (endogamous marriages) is not by itself evil. Who i choose to marry is a personal decision. Who is to say marrying for money, status , position,correcting social evils, or even love is a better alternative than marrying within a caste. When people marry within their social circle(in India that means generally jati)they do so for any number of reasons - common religious habits, common food habits, common way of life,common approaches to bringing up the next generation with the same set of values, common approaches to solving interfamilial problems etc. etc.The general approach to choosing a life partner (till recently at least) is why rock the boat and invite unnecessary differences.Marriage is a difficult enough proposition,at least so the argument goes,without inviting additional headaches . While such an approach can be characterized as lacking in boldness, it can hardly be termed as evil.

The evil lies in the fact that we tend to generalize on the basis of birth and that is of course wrong, but such an attitudinal change is not created overnight. I agree prejudice is the culprit but such prejudice whether it is directed at a person of another caste or a person of another race , it is still prejudice based on misconceptions and is not peculiar to India. It will take a lot more than the arguments presented here to convince me that prejudice based on differences in Jati is unique to India.

I have lived in 3 continents and even more number of countries, and one common behavioral trait that I have noticed is that, when an aberrant mode of behavior is pointed out for what it is, the response usually is , the person indulging in it is not from the right social strata. This is a universal prejudice that exists in all societies, despite the fact that crime and aberrant behavior is certainly not restricted to any section or strata of society. My point is such prejudice is not restricted to India and the remedies for correcting such behavior are not unique to India either.

The simple remedy is to start treating each individual as an individual with respect and dignity (unless his behavior warrants otherwise). Obviously there are other attitudinal changes necessary, but this is a good start.

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Re: Why has it become so cool to hate India

Postby Anindya » 17 May 2003 21:34

While "Pakistan puts Lashkar on stand-by talks should talks fail" and Hindustan Times looks into rainwater conservation as a way to face the water crisis, Kuldeep Nayyar speaking on behalf of Pakistan says:


"New Delhi should not do anything which could raise even an iota of doubt in the minds of Pakistanis. The places from where Pakistan's three rivers rise are located in India. The people of Pakistan live in fear: India can easily divert the waters of these rivers to harm them."
"Reversal of Opinion" is now complete - Pakistan can now claim that its viewpoint is supported by "most" or "all" Indians.

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Re: Why has it become so cool to hate India

Postby chola » 17 May 2003 21:43

I agree that we should not let outsiders dictate the worth of our culture.

But that said, within ourselves, we should be able to point out what is wrong. This is what makes us better than the idiotic failed Islamic state to the northwest and the repressive communist dictatorship to the northeast.

This is similar to our discussion in another thread. The one on the state of Mumbai International. In a free society, one should be able to point these things out so they can be fixed. Yet, there were many who attacked me and others for mentioning it.

Now, I'm rather left wing on social issues (in America, most people of color are) though I am to the right on business and fiscal ones. I mention that to set the table on my perspective.

I believe that discrimination of groups, whether it is caste in the European sense or the division separating each varna from the next, is a problem in India. This should not be construed as an attack on the whole society.

Every society has its blemishes. But the greatest power for one living in a free society like ours is the ability to talk about the bad and so press for change.

In the US, people began pointing out in the 1960s that even though the US is a free nation, there were many who lived under oppression. Being able to to point this out, led to great changes in the US which today benefit everyone, including American desis too.

Now our motherland is not that different from America. A great land. A free land. But many people still suffer from discrimination. One must not deny this.

India is a democracy. It works under the will of the people. Okay, the babus have their own agendas once they're in office. But the point is: if Indians don't point this out then why will it change? The GOI like any other government falls into inertia unless there is constant pushing.

Therefore, people with education and means must be the ones to agitate for change because the poor don't have the resources. It was thus in the United States and so it should be in India.

This is the power of a free people. If the Indian people don't exercise it for fear of being labeled "unpatriotic" then they are no better than neighbors ruled by tinpot dictators and geriatric communists.

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Re: Why has it become so cool to hate India

Postby Kaushal » 17 May 2003 21:44

Kuldeep Nayyar is a lost cause.

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Re: Why has it become so cool to hate India

Postby Arvind » 17 May 2003 22:15

Shridhar, I have unfortunately lost your original post on that thread as well. So the contest is gone. But, will try to revive the general issue later.

.....
Got this by e-mail, see the way secularists warp even recent history, leave alone the distant past:
http://www.boloji.com/voices/v034.htm

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Re: Why has it become so cool to hate India

Postby Arvind » 17 May 2003 22:41

regarding varNa: The maturity of the discussions on BRF thus far is a healthy sign. In most other Indian cyber-conglomerations you will here people fretting and losing sense over the issue of varNa.

Human inequality and social stratification are facts of life and we need to learn to accept it, rather than being idealistic about these issues.
In case people thought that the traditional caste-ridden Indian society had no churning, even during the height of the "dark" ages, then they must pause and think of the following cases:

-Shivaji: He came from a family of small time chiefs who would be classified as OBCs in the modern nomenclature (Which in itself is problematic).

-Shinde, Gaikwad and Holkar: shepherd and hill tribe origins to royal kshatriyas

-the toNDaimAn kings of puddukoTai: local foresters from TN and AP who trapped elephants, who later became kings.

-Saints in Maharashtra and TN from what would today be classified as BC, have gained acceptance even amidst the orthodox brahmins of those local societies.

So, while there were difficulties, mideaval Indian society allowed people of backward backgrounds to rise. Was this true of Europe of the same time???

Many say reforms to improve conditions of the backward groups, especially regarding untouchables were due the British- NO

Eg. ekanAtha in Maharashtra, a well educated classical brAhmaNa, led many reforms regarding achUtas that actually contributed indirectly to the rise of these communities.
Eg. The founder of vishishTAdvaita rAmAnujachArya in TN led similar reforms.

So for their times Indian societies were fully capable of self-analysis and caliberated reforms.

Finally we should note the following: though today westerners like to smear us with caste, in the past they used to praise our caste system. See the earlier translations by Indologists.

So we do not need the NG to lecture to us- they are actually merely exhibiting the backward class people as animal specimens they other wise exhibit in their magazine.

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Re: Why has it become so cool to hate India

Postby Anindya » 18 May 2003 01:38

Just when we thought, we were safe ...

As part of a two-day EMS seminar on `Fascist Threat: Underlying Processes', organised by the AKG Centre for Study and Research -

Presenting a paper on `Fascist depredations on the media', N. Ram, Editor, Frontline, called for efforts to strengthen ``serious radical journalism'' to fight fascist forces in the country. He said young journalists should be taught to pursue socially responsible and ethical journalistic practices in order to take on the fascist forces. ``Young journalists should be told that you can't be a decent modern journalist if you are not secular. Just as it is said you can't be a decent modern journalist if you are a racist,'' he said.

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Re: Why has it become so cool to hate India

Postby Kuttan » 18 May 2003 01:46

He said young journalists should be taught to pursue socially responsible and ethical journalistic practices in order to take on the fascist forces. ``Young journalists should be told that you can't be a decent modern journalist if you are not secular. Just as it is said you can't be a decent modern journalist if you are a racist,'' he said.
Ah! As I thought! So, according to Naxal Ram, its fine and dandy to be an idiot, as long as you're a commie idiot. "Socially responsible and ethical journalistic practices"... :eek:

IOW, selective "truth". How would Naxal Ram know "ethics" any way?
BTW, who is "AKG"? Is this in Kerala? If so, "AKG" stands for "A.K. Gopalan" prominent Red Communist neta from the 1970s. Happily (for India, that is) dead now.

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Re: Why has it become so cool to hate India

Postby Anindya » 18 May 2003 01:54



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