Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Quote-Unquote: Part I

Name the people who said the following:

1) [Any attempt to reorganise our society on the basis of hatred of the Muslims] “would therefore be to court degeneration and disaster. For that would pollute our minds by constant remembering of their heinous crimes."

2)“We are not so mean as to say that with a mere change in the method of worship an individual ceases to be a son of the soil. We have no objection to God being called by any name whatever …he can not be a Hindu at all who is intolerant of other faiths.

3) “I have said that I am proud of our inheritance and our ancestors who gave an intellectual and cultural pre-eminence to India .How do you feel about this past? Do you feel that you are also sharers in it and inheritors of it and, therefore, proud of something that belongs to you as much as to me? Or do you feel alien to it and pass it by without understanding it or feeling that strange thrill which comes from the realisation that we are the trustees and inheritors of this vast treasure…You are Muslims and I am a Hindu …but that does not take away from that cultural inheritance that is yours as well as mine.”

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Chiru and the 'S' in 'YSR'

It is a known fact that the 'S' in YSR stands for 'Samuel'.
It is also known that he was the one behind allowing Seventh Day adventists to build churches on Tirumala hills (No! Not the Tirumala Hills of Malakpet, Hyderabad-- the real actual ones in Tirupati).
It is also known that Chiru is seen either siding with communists, or is seen hosting Iftar parties and puts Mother Teresa as one of his mascots.

Now what is really interesting is a site that is apparently run by Chiru fans (Chiru will, of course, claim innocence and deny awareness of it and you will see why). So this site, from its content makes it clear that it is devoted to Chiru's Prajarajyam party, and promptly does an 'expose' of YSR's Christian bias. Whats interesting is that Chiru's followers found proselytisation and Christianity as negatives and found it worthwhile to denigrate our CM YSR because he supports Proselytism and Christians, while on the other hand, Chiru himself has openly given in to that attractive politics of minority appeasement and vote-bank politics.

Does this go on to show how incoherent and confused Chiru's political campaign is?
Or does it simply show that Chiru's fans have simply not come around to understand what kind of leftist and vote-bank politics Prajarajyam intends to represent?
Perhaps the people want to give Chiru "a chance" (as they say in Indian political parlance), a shot at power and see what he can do, tired as they are of other people.
Thinking out of the box, it could well be that Chiru has come to realise that to counter congress and obtain power, no other party has so much capability as the BJP (seen as the front-runner in the next Lok Sabha polls), which made Chiru meet Advani the latter visited AP.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What is the problem with "The Hindu"?

This newspaper, traditionally the frontline newspaper of most South Indian elite, has of late become a questionable bigot at best, and a Chinese-Communist-AntiHindu rag at the worst. Many people have openly come out against its reporting ethics (or the lack of them), its selling of Chinese propaganda to Indians (especially before and during the olympics), and blatant anti-India, esp. anti-Hindu bias (by now, we Dhaarmic people have become accustomed to bias against us anyway) of the paper.

B.Raman, international terrorism and intelligence expert, felt compelled to react against the abject surrender of the The Hindu to the Chinese official media agency "Xinhua", so much that he calls paper "People's Daily of Chennai". He has also written about Shri N.Ram, who heads The Hindu now.

"The Chindu" (a take on the Chinese angle of The Hindu), a blog run by a group of vigilant Indians is doing a superb service in this regard by exposing the bigotry of this once-great newspaper. Till recently, it had become a habit for me (before I stopped buying The Hindu) to first read the editorials and guess where the factual inaccuracies are and how "The Chindu" would blast them. What fun!

The latest claim of The Hindu is that Hinduism was also involved in forcible conversions at one time, just as other religions do.
Here is the article:
And here is a firm rebuttal of the article.

Please do follow the blog and understand what sort of Goebellian propaganda we are being fed with, everyday. Of course, one can always say that the blog is a rightist one and they have their own perspective of looking at things, but then, they are atleast open for a discussion on their blog, unlike The Hindu (or is it Chindu?).

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Whither Dharma?

We seem to be having a lot of debate regarding future government for India and the relevance of Dharma for such a government.
So, is it going to be
1) the Nehruvian model of progressive liberalism, victimisation and guilthood ridden socialist government?
2) the No-holds-barred hyper-consumerism driven capitalistic system of the USA where everybody is rich and bankrupt at the same time?
3) the time-tested ideal of Dharma--the law the country has followed since ages, which the people are already conditioned to?

So let us start with a basic question: What is this government and why do we need it?

Nitin at Acorn writes an excellent post on this:
"Let’s start with an axiom: all individuals are free, and from this freedom, they possess certain inalienable rights. They possess these rights and freedoms at all times, but in a state of nature, their ability to enjoy the freedom and exercise the rights is circumscribed by their individual power. In Indian philosophy, the state of nature is termed as matsya nyaya, or the law of the fishes, a condition under which the stronger fish eats the weaker fish. Thomas Hobbes, the 17th century English philosopher, describes this as the time when “men live without a common power to keep them all in awe, they are in that condition which is called war; and such a war as is of every man against every man (bellum omnium contra omnes).” Life, therefore, is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.”
To better enjoy their rights and freedoms, individuals trade-off a part of their freedom for the security offered by a state.
(In the present context, it is also important to consider what the Arthashastra says regarding internal security, upholding law and order, and disaffection.)

Now, coming to the kind of governance that our country needs, I belive that the first form of government largely stands discredited because it is based on negativistic concepts of guilt and victimhood (as you can see more about this below from some of the articles on Dharma) and not on positives of growth and national interest.

The second concept of governance, while being attractive, is not suitable for Indian psyche, because we are not known to be huge spenders. While capitalism as an ideal of allowing private enterprise is very much according to our Indian tradition, such reckless consumerism, as we have witnessed in USA resulting in mass-bankrupcy, is not in our blood. To paraphrase what M.R.Venkatesh says in this highly entertaining talk on globalisation, "The Indian wife will not allow such reckless spending and makes sure that the economy of the family is always sound." (as an aside, he had predicted the market crash as far back as February 2008).

Regarding the third one, Yossarin over at Offstumped (who, I consider to be my mentor) has written a series of articles on what Dharma is and how it protects us (regardless of our personal affiliations), as a nation, if we stick to it:
Dharma 101:What is Dharma?
Dharma 201-Part I
Dharma 201-Part II
Dharma 301: There is no Ninth Schedule in Dharma
Dharma 401: Extracts from Constituent Assembly Debates
Dharma 501: Responsible Exercise of Freedom
National Interest First, Not Human Rights
The Rise of Beedi Activism
War on Terror: Justice, Not Vengeance
Dharma 701: To Violence or Not?

That explained, he goes on to explain what Hindutva, based on Dharma means and how can it work in the current setting:
Flat World Hindutva-1: Freeing Religion from State Control
Flat World Hindutva-2: Uphold the Rule of Law as Dharma
Flat World Hindutva-3: Of Liberty, Licentiousness and Bigotry
Flat World Hindutva-4: Individual Freedom & Socio-Economic Choice
Flat World Hindutva-5: A Moral Compass to guide on Contemporary Issues
Flat World Hindutva-6: Integral Humanism and Flat World Hindutva
So after going through all of these, readers will find that the all important question "So if we desire a Dharmic government, what should we, as individuals, do?" or put in other words, "what does Dharma ask us to do?" is answered comprehensively.

First of all, any fears that if I subscribe to a Dhaarmic perspective,
--I have to shop for a brand-new Trishul and brandish it at every given opportunity yelling "Har Har Mahadev", or
--I have to start decrying and dengrating other religions just because I dont like them, or
--I have to join a gang of like-minded individuals and start playing tit-for-tat with those who have no Dharma in them, because fighting injustice is advocated in Bhagavad geeta
are plain nonsense.

Dharma is all about doing righteous actions at all times and in all circumstances. As Yossarin says, it is not about "what" of things, but "how" of the things.

As far as the Dharma of an ordinary citizen is concerned, it lies in the following three steps advocated succintly with brevity by Yossarin:
- Volunteering to join the Armed Forces or the Security Forces
- Forming Citizens Vigilance Group to work with your local police to keep an eye on suspicious activities
- Finally if you want to be a hero be a Simon Wiesenthal, make it about “Justice and not Vengeance” while not being a “Hater”.

It is time that Indians understood what real Hindutva means and work towards national interest using the Dharma as propounded by our forefathers who,
--were used to living in a society with multiple, often conflicting, ideologies,
--wanted to create sound principles, for the Indian psyche, towards betterment of all citizens,
--mostly importantly, did not wish to eliminate dissenting ideologies and wanted to include everyone in their stride.

Such an overarching, all-inclusive non-exclusivist, yet intuitive and simple principle is unheard of in any other civilisation at any point of time in history. And knowingly or unknowingly, we have been following this dharma in some way or another even before our current constitution was written down.

It is time we understand what really we should be aiming for.