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Archive for the ‘Ideology’ Category

The struggle of ideas in politics.

Politically correct British Liberals still love India, bashingly

Posted by desicontrarian on July 18, 2013

India’s deadly mid-day meals.

“Can’t India do anything right?”

“Tell me, if there is anything this misconceived entity India ever got anything right from the time of its premature infantile?”

“India is a failed State covered with a well polished veneer of respectability.”

“The problem with free school meals in India is India itself – a place in which appalling corruption takes place on a daily scale and bribery is the only way to get anything done. Why do you think that so many Indians want to move to the UK / Europe and the US? Precisely because such appalling injustices do not take place in these countries. You should count yourself fortunate to have been born into a first world country.”

“The country of 1.2 billion is in gargantuan mess. Both these articles must be put on top of the Guardian site for the world to know the excrement India has become.”

“And no, it is not because the first world imposed these conditions on poor countries. Britain will always prosper because of Britons and their greatness. Any country that doesn’t prosper is because of themselves. India is a largely lawless place of bribery, violence, corruption, and oppression of women and minorities on a massive scale. Slavery is also commonplace.”

Delhi’s Traffic Chaos

“I was considering a motorcycling holiday in India, after much research and fear for life and limb I think I may go somewhere else..”

“I agree that Asians only should be restricted to bicycles.”

“I have been to Delhi 3 times in my life, and promised myself the last time that I would never make myself go back. Just existing there was so tiring, unless you lock yourself in your hotel room to hide “

“Sounds like my experience of Chennai… went with work a couple of years ago and was convinced I was going to die.”

“I can confirm that the traffic is as bad as this article says – though thankfully my son-in-law was able to negotiate the traffic – I just closed my eyes.”

“The stench from clapped-out cars and lorries is eye-watering. Quite often you find yourself behind a cloud of soot so thick that you can’t even see the vehicle it’s coming from.”

“in 2005 I went to West Bengal for 10 days, by the time I came home I still wasn’t sure which side of the road they drive on”

“I’m reading Between the Assassinations by Aravind Adiga at the moment. It echoes the general sentiment that India is totally mental.”

You’d think that a left liberal British Newspaper would have decent readers. But the amount of head-shaking, how-can-you-Indians-be-so-wretched, why do you create and live in such hells etc  – is predictable on the Guardian of left-liberal values. It is a favourite opinion-maker for Indian left-liberals  and radicals as well – like Ramachandra Guha, Arundhati Roy, Amartya Sen etc. They write quite regularly for the newspaper. Is it difficult to detect the  Raj Nostalgia? They seem to think that if only they were in charge, Indians would be much better off, everything spic and span, gleaming children, shiny hospitals, a toilet for every one and so on.

Do these enlightened readers remember the man-made Bengal famine of 1943, the British Raj-managed impoverishment of India, or Britain’s role in the partition of so many  nations ? That would lead to less head-shaking, so they don’t. And after all, their great humanist pioneer – the writer of A Tale of Two cities – thought Indians deserved extermination. So its not surprising that perhaps up-to 10 million Indians were killed in reprisals after 1857.

What IS surprising is the idea that today, the British have had a change of attitude and things are really nice between erstwhile Masters and Subjects. Robert Clive was of course astonished at his own moderation! According to Lord Macaulay, Clive gave peace, security, prosperity and such liberty  to millions of Indians, who had for centuries been the prey of oppression. What we need to remember is that they still want to be arbiters of huge collective fates. The British populace thought then, as now,  that they always were and are angels. The colour of their political correctness is just  a surface mask. Wait for the next relatively small Indian mishap to be pounced upon by these disaster news vultures.

It is our tragedy as programmed mimic men that we think the same, and are eager for visas to the land of the angels that love us so bashingly.

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Posted in Ideology | Leave a Comment »

The elephant in the room – problem with defenders of Hinduism

Posted by desicontrarian on July 3, 2013

As I went through Dr. Elst’s analysis of the Hindu defeat in the California Textbook controversy, I found myself welcoming the bitter medicine, while wondering if defenders of traditional Hindu POV can come out of the denial of reality.

The major problem is ignorance of own tradition, and unwillingness to correct this defect.  This problem is compounded by the sophistication of what is there to learn. It is akin to right away trying Quantum Physics, Chomskian Deep Structure Linguistics, and Genetics – without knowing basic building blocks of science, maths, theorems, proofs and so on. For example, most of us (English Medium Educated) do not know Sanskrit. Therefore we cannot read and understand sources, in the original. We depend on translations. The next wrinkle is the fact of Vedic Sanskrit, which is quite different from the Sanskrit that gets taught to normal students. So Vedic Sanskrit needs to be mastered! Already the mountain has become too big to trek.

An antipathy-filled Wendy Doniger, a Michael Witzel or their armies of followers work on mastering these things. And they occupy academic positions of power. Their interpretation of sources become the received truth where it matters. Their primary tool for this is philology and hostile or vulgar interpretation. Risa Lila is one such example of a battle lost, or at least not won. “Our side” does have a Srikanth Talageri, a Rajiv Malhotra, a Koenraad Elst, a Nicholas Kazanas, a Subhash Kak and so on, but they do not have comparable respect and influence where it matters. We also have plenty of self-goal scorers, who might be called amateurs in the game.

So when discussing AIT among ourselves, we almost always assume that it has been accepted universally as false. AIT continues to enjoy widespread acceptance in the ivory towers. We compound the problem by assuming that OIT has won! This is denial of reality. This denial syndrome has also manifested itself in the CAF case.

The primary philological problem is the deliberate ambiguity of sources. Look at the sophistication of semantic encodings in Sanskrit. We are looking at The Sun and The Moon! But we have cataract, and can’t really figure out their shapes. It is the multiple-semantics part that leads us astray and gives a handle to the hostile interpreters. Philology is the main weapon used by the Goliath called White Indology. In spite of contrary evidence from Genetics, Archaeology, Hydronomy, and satellite imagery of lost rivers, White Indology marches on with the same denigratory interpretations as before. The biggest problem is that the hostiles hold ideological and academic power, unlike in the case of Sinology, Jewish Studies, Christian or Islamic studies. This is what makes these repeated defeats likely.

A comprehensive  and brief argument against the AIT was given by Rajeev Chandran a long time ago, but it is not widely disseminated.

1. There is no archaeological attestation of aryan invasion/migration in spite of more than a hundred years of archaeological effort.
2. There is no traditional memory or mention of aryan invasion/migration/intrusion in any of all the diverse historical traditions of India.
3. There is no genetic trace of foreigners to attest to such a historical mixing. If at all Indian genotypes not only closer to each other but substantially more diverse and much older than European or middle eastern genotypes – therefore suggesting a reverse migration. After Africa the most ancient and diverse population happens to be that of India. In essence most other non-African people descended from prehistoric Indians.
4. Philology is a tool of uncertain provenance and its conclusions are highly debatable. Aryan invasion/migration are hypothesis emerging basically from philology – hence open to debate.
5. Development of historical theories on ancient India through more accurate means (archaeology & traditional history) rather than philology points to the indegenity and antiquity of Indians.
6. Self references in many ancient Indian texts points to indegenity of Indians in a time-scale far older than those proposed by Aryan Invasion theory.
7. In ancient Indian texts Arya means ‘noble of conduct and character’ rather than a race. If the oldest texts negate Aryan being a race – the idea of Aryan being a race of people can be traced to the rise of British imperialism and German nationalism – both historically discredited and defunct ideologies.
8. Geology (mapping of the old Saraswati), archeo-metallurgy (iron working in ancient india), archeo-agriculture (maize, rice farming) etc points to a far greater antiquity of ancient Indians (which does not agree with Aryan Invasion Theory).
9. Archeo-astronomy, archeo-mathematics, hydronomy (river names) seem to corraborate ancient indian texts on thier antiquity and claims of indigenity.
10. Study of ancient Indian history has been held hostage to various extraneous constraints notably – euro-centricism, communism, various kinds of religious and regional chauvinism, and hence must be discarded

Posted in Culture, History, Ideology | 1 Comment »

The new British historical revisionism

Posted by desicontrarian on October 1, 2012

The ‘idea of India’ was a European not a local invention, as the name itself makes clear. No such term, or equivalent, as ‘India’ existed in any indigenous language. A Greek coinage, taken from the Indus river, it was so foreign to the subcontinent that as late as the 16th century, Europeans could define Indians simply as ‘the natives of all unknown countries’ and use it to describe the inhabitants of the Americas.\

Could it be because India is an English word ? It does seem to your humble self that until “Indian” languages could acquire this idea, they would struggle to complete the phrase Idea of India. This underdoggest of all cultures has been slowly overcoming its dim-wit handicap, thanks to the all-knowing scholars and master definers that the British Raj still emanates.

Gange cha Yamune chaiva  Godavari Saraswathi,

Narmada Sindhu Kaveri  Jale asmin sannidhim kuru

What does this hymn mean? Where does it come from? How old is it? A 64-karod rupee question, equal to a Bofors scam 🙂

Problems. (please have your tongue-in-cheek when some of these terms are used by an English educated Bhaiyya).

  1. It does not mean much, coming from a dead language(pdf) . However, a difficult linguistic-archaeology-level translation effort can be made.  “Hail! O ye Ganges, Jamuna, Godavari, Sarasvati, Narmada, Sindhu and Kaveri, come and approach these waters.”
  2. Indians (unlike the north american red indians) have difficulty recollecting it, understanding it or resonating to it.  Bharatheeyas may be somewhat better. However, they do not matter, being remnants of a dead people, somewhat like Tasmanians, Yukis  and Herero (pdf) people.
  3. Are a refuse-of-the-dead people allowed to make up these hymns?

Aa sindho: sinduparyantham yasya bhaaratha bhoomikaa maathru bhoo: pithru
bhoo (punya) schaiva sa vai Hindu iti smruthaa:

whomsoever, is considering the land between the sapta sindu ( Indus valley river) upto Indian ocean as the motherland/ fatherland and holy land, is known as Hindu. This land is known as Hindustanam which is defined as
follows:

Himaalayam samaarabhya yaavath hindu sarovaram tham deva nirmitham desam hindustaanam prachakshate.

The land created by god himself and which is lying between Himalayas
Indian ocean is known as Hindustanam .

Liberal patronizers should allow it, it is as politically correct as a Pukka Saahib.

What is this nonsense about geographical, political, cultural and Dharmic unity? About the continuum in history?  Sorry, Perry Anderson (PA) Saahib will not allow it. Not based on the revered  Westphalian model. Let’s not have more of such nonsense. As Humpty Dumpty says – “When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean- neither more nor less”.

I understand that the North-East was never a part of “India”. I am enlightened now. The Mahabharata (MBH) misled me earlier, with fairy tales like Chitrangada , Naga kingdoms and Uloopi.

Sorry again, PA Saahib says that  it is ridiculous that

Mahabharata could be invoked as proof that the North-East Frontier Agency had been part of Mother India from time immemorial, rather as if the Nibelungenlied were to clinch German diplomatic claims to Morocco. Such notions have not gone away. The facts gainsay them.

Utter ignorance is my problem. What is this Nibelungenlied ? Even educated Indians don’t know it. It is as unknown to us dimwits as Peccavi. (The mists lift slowly though. It seems this a myth written in middle high german.) Oh, the paisa drops – he means that MBH is as unreliable as Nibung-watcha-ma-callit.

Still un-Westphalian, I gamely want to say that “North-East Frontier Agency” is his precise new term, while I am happy to rename it as  ishaanya Bhaaratam and thus grab it. Sigh, I see you shaking your head. Is it speculative to say  that Burma etymologically comes from Brahma Desham? Please don’t shake your head, I get the no-no signal. How about the clear asymmetry in the Germany-Morocco relation (separate continents) and the Bharatam – ishaanya Bharatam  relation (same subcontinent) ? Sorry again, we can’t forget Humpty Dumpty’s criteria, can we?

I am tired of learning this heavy-burden white man’s concept – The Idea of India. Let me move on.

Foreign conquerors were no novelty in the subcontinent, whose northern plains had known successive waves of invaders from the tenth century onwards. For many, the British were not necessarily more alien than previous rulers. The latest invaders would, of course, always require their own soldiers too. But if the British could gain and keep a firm grip on such a vast landmass, it was because they could count on its multiple fragmentations – ethnic, linguistic, dynastic, social, confessional.

In other words, it is fait accompli that matters. Invaders are ok. Aryans invaded Dravidians too, and Dravidians invaded Mundas. Invasion is the continuum. See, the British gave us railways, roads, urbanity, sewage systems,  telegraph, cutlery, table manners and above all, English. Why don’t we let them off the hook?

Let us move on. Saar, saar, gora lefty master above says that Gandhi basically saturated the freedom movement with Hindu-ness. His congress party had 97% hindus.  There was no secularity (new term for me), it was all Nehru’s fantasy. What else could un-religious, urbane, down-the-hatch whiskey secularist Jinnah do, but

  1. raise the separatist Muslim flag ,
  2. wait for the opportunity called the Quit India movement,
  3. offer his Muslim league support to the British war effort and thus fill his vote banks with more Muslim separatists?
  4. call for direct action day, “India divided or India destroyed” etc, when push cameto shove?

Very understandable. This cranky faddist called Gandhi with his suspect celibacy experiments, loin-cloth in Buckingham palace, fasting, enema, goat’s milk etc is such a hindu saturationist.  How such an inferior intellect in contrast to position paper writer Dr. Ambedkar, still gets to win the Poona pact is beyond reason. It has to be the Asiatic backwardness of the masses, as Karl Marx says.

Look how brilliantly the enlightened gora teacher deconstructs this so-called Mahatma for us.

  1. Gandhi called of the Satyagraha after Chauri Chaura because violence had been perpetrated by his followers. Yet he was a volunteer for the Boer war, the Zulu crushing, the inter-imperialist slaughter in WWI and so on. So he was not always the apostle of non-violence.
  2. He would tell compatriots: ‘We have to take the risk of violence to shake off the great calamity of slavery.’ And a few months later: ‘Supposing a non-violent struggle has been started at my behest and later on there is an outbreak of violence, I will put up with that too, because it is God who is inspiring me and things will shape as He wills. If He wants to destroy the world through violence using me as His instrument, how can I prevent it?’
  3. He was not a hypocrite when he did all this, but always thought of himself as a semi-divine vehicle escaping the trammels of human logic and reason. How can a million-strong nation follow him. Beyond reason, right? Asiatic backwardness.
  4.  Hind Swaraj, its battery of archaisms a stumbling-block to those who pointed out that he was using railways and doctors and not actually rejecting schools, he defended to the end, writing in 1945 that he still stood by its system of government. … Throughout his career in India, he claimed both to rise above consistency – growing ‘from truth to truth’.

We Indian dimwits get the point. He should have played by the rules of European reason  and ideological frameworks, not this Asiatic voodoo. He cannot possibly be inventing a new grammar of mass communication, can he?  Especially now that we are adequately educated, and have thoroughly internalized what left, right and centre are supposed to be. How could ever have been such Luddites, waxing about the vedas, sanatana dharma, the yamas and the niyamas of Patanjali, asses that our ancestors were?

So Satyagraha did not avoid checkmate by the Raj. At the round table conference he is confronted by demands for separate sikh, muslim and untouchable electorates. He saw off the Ambedkar challenge through emotional blackmail, but others were a different kettle of meat-eaters. Thank Heavens for Jinnah.

When I can get more educated about orientalism, I will try to see if this gora saahib from the left has in-the-box thinking limitations, and (dare I say it) help him to rise above it.

Update: A scholarly rebuttal by Ananya Vajpeyi. Money quote – “…an only half-embarrassed defence of British imperialism and its century of colonial rule on the Indian subcontinent”. I wish she could flush him out even more.

Posted in Ideology | 3 Comments »

Why Indians were colonized

Posted by desicontrarian on July 13, 2010

We would not have been so impotent if our country had understood Krishna rightly. But we have covered our ugliness with beautiful words. Our cowardice is hiding behind our talk of non-violence; our fear of death is disguised by our opposition to war. But war is not going to end because we refuse to go to war. Our refusal becomes an invitation to others to wage war on us. War will not disappear because we refuse to fight; our refusal will only result in our slavery. And this is what has actually happened.
It is so ironic that, despite our opposition to war, we have been dragged into war again and again. First we refused to fight, then some external power attacked and occupied our country and made us into slaves, and then we were made to join our masters’ armies and fight in our masters’ wars. Wars were continuously waged, and we were continuously dragged into them. Sometimes we fought as soldiers of the Huns, then as soldiers to the Turks and Moghals and finally as soldiers for the British. Instead of fighting for for our own life and liberty we fought for the sake of our alien rulers and oppressors. We really fought for the sake of our slavery; we fought to prolong our enslavement. We spilled our blood and gave our lives only to defend our bondage, to continue to live in servitude. This has been the painful consequence of all our opposition to violence and war.
Osho Rajneesh In “Krishna”
I have been enchanted by Osho’s writings for a long time. His lectures on Zen Buddhism attracted me first. No one explained the unexplainable as well as he did. The quality of freshness was there in his words, like morning dew on a newly blooming flower.

The way he weaves in stories, parables, jokes (vulgar or sophisticated) into his themes are absorbing. There is never a dull moment in the passages. The lectures are actually answers to questions asked by various people in gatherings. They have been recorded and transcribed later.

The inspired insight in passages like these,  feels like a great truth. It cannot be empirically validated, and proved. Nevertheless, I remembered this passage when reading this remarkable study by Anuraag Sanghi.

I used to believe that our Anglophilia and slavish mentality was a result of the Macaulayite Education System. It is true enough, but what caused us to succumb to it in such a wholesale manner – slavishness above and beyond the call of Macaulay 😦  ? What is the force that continues in our collective mind?

Many people have gone deeper into it and found causes in the recesses of our collective mind. The Saraswathi-like insights of   Ms. Bachelet comes to mind.  I do not find any one to compare in depth of root cause analysis on this question.

Yet I am undecided. As a fan of Bhagwan Buddha, I am uncomfortable with a rather strident and negative view of Him as the cause of this decline. Sometimes he is described as a Ruse of the Supreme in the line of 10 Avatars of Vishnu. Sometimes even as a Deluder – which actually describes  Maara in traditional Buddhism! These words are unfortunate, to say the least.  It seems to me that the idea of The Buddha as an opponent of Vedic Hinduism is at work here. I don’t agree with that view. I think that He  found that the Vedas were being ritualized, and Knowledge was becoming  fossilized  under the priesthood.  So any mention of the Vedic truths would have  been trapped in the same mind set.  Thus it was wise to refrain from commenting on the Vedas. He was never against the Higher Hinduism and the Doctrine of Atman. Shoonya Vaada and the Doctrine of Non-Self was an invention of the later Buddhists. This cannot be held against Him.

Posted in History, Ideology, Philosophy | 2 Comments »

Secular syncretism – half-baked patch-works

Posted by desicontrarian on June 5, 2009

Justice Katju has undertaken a cultural  initiative. He has started a Kalidas-Ghalib Academy to foster cultural understanding. It looks like a secular, Nehruvian mind-set to me, without an inkling of religious feeling behind it.

This is my reaction to it.

1. “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”  (I wonder who said that).

2. a)The underlying axioms are invalid.

b) There was no Aryan Invasion of India. Aryans were indigenous to India.

c) Thus India has only historically recently become a “country of immigrants”.

d) This is typical of modern intellectuals, looking to define India as another America.

e) Similar false analogies are there between American black movements (black panthers) and Dalit movements (Dalit Panthers). Can these intellectuals never be original? Do they have to borrow all ideas from Anglos or Americans, even if black?

3. a) Ghalib was a worldly drunkard.

b) He was not in the same class as Omar Khayaam, Rumi and Amir Khusro.

c) Whenever he used the word Nasha, it meant alcohol-induced.

d) Not so with the others. They meant divine intoxication, caused by meditation practices.

e) This is the true unity of religions, authentic sufism is close to vaishnavism, sikhism and bhakthi movements.

4. a) However, the content on Akbar is interesting and largely true. Some new information is there.

b) My quibble is about calling him the greatest of them all, and founder of modern secularism! Secularism is about separation of religin and state, whereas din-e-elahi was about finding the One True Emperor!

c) What about Asoka, Vikramaaditya, Bhoja, Kanishka, Harsha Vardhana, Raja raja Chola, Krishna Deva Raya and so on? Such comparisons wiil turn out to be as foolish as Outlook and Filmfare awards for lifetime achievements.

5. a) Industrial development is not a satisfactory answer to the problem of poverty. It pollutes the environment.

b) We need to find other ways to get rid of poverty, perhaps by reducing the value of being rich?

c) The quality of living in out mega-cities is much worse than rural and semi-rural towns. Cities have much less time and much more stress than towns.

6. a) Divisiveness is a product of the competitive processes in a democratic setup.

b) Politicians, intellectuals & ideologues need to mobilize people on their behalf, in support of their views and agendas.

c) Dividing people into ‘Us’ and ‘Them’ is a time-honoured, universal way to climb the ladder of power.

d) The constitution of India was not organically developed from our soil. It is a foreign graft & is part of the problem, not the solution. It is not a good vehicle for the expression of our spirit.

7. The intention of the initiative is good, but secularists should be aware of the possibility that the opposite may be achieved, due to faulty assumptions and paradigms!

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Godless happiness?

Posted by desicontrarian on June 5, 2009

Phil Zuckerman in Outlook magazine (4 Feb 2009).

In clean and green Scandinavia, few people speak of God, few people spend much time thinking about theological matters, and although their media in recent years has done an unusually large amount of reporting on religion, even that is offered as an attempt to grapple with and make sense of a strange foreign phenomenon out there in the wider world that refuses to disappear, a phenomenon that takes on such dire significance for everyone — except, well, for Danes and Swedes.

What are societies like when faith in God is minimal, church attendance is drastically low, and religion is a distinctly muted and marginal aspect of everyday life?

Although they may have relatively high rates of petty crime and burglary, and although these crime rates have been on the rise in recent decades, their overall rates of violent crime — including murder, aggravated assault, and rape — are among the lowest on earth.

But aren’t they a dour, depressed lot, all the same? Not according to Ruut Veenhoven, professor emeritus of social conditions for human happiness at Erasmus University Rotterdam. Veenhoven is a leading authority on worldwide levels of happiness from country to country. He recently ranked 91 nations on an international happiness scale, basing his research on cumulative scores from numerous worldwide surveys. According to his calculations, the country that leads the globe — ranking No. 1 in terms of its residents’ overall level of happiness — is little, peaceful, and relatively godless Denmark.

I have lived in a Scandinavian country for more than a decade. The main character of these people is their lack of excitability. The darkness and dampness through most of the year makes outdoor activities leading to crime are low.

But domestic strife, divorce, suicide and separation are high. They do not beat their children, which is good. But they do not let a new-born infant lie for a few days at-least next to the mother, as it invades her sexual privacy rights! The child is left in another room, with an electronic alert whenever she cries, so that the infant can be attended to. They use modern plastic diapers for their children, and do not regularly change the diapers. I think Indians, who leave their infants free of underwear, and clean them with water whenever they soil themselves, are more eco-frindly and sensitive.

The criteria of happiness used in the Veenhoven survey: 1) Freedom – Political & economic 2) Happiness – as expressed by themselves. If you read the survey you’ll see the extraverted and temporal nature of the questions.

One can easily see that these happy people actually equate material well-being with happiness. Material well-being is a fortunate circumstance, because these small populations have a lot of natural wealth. It is the opposite of what Malthus described. Take that away, and the Scandinavians would become another unhappy people of the world.

Selecting what you want to see is a great human habit. If I now select Tibet, I will see a different type of happiness.

Tibet is a nation in exile. It was not part of the above-mentioned survey. They are a poor nation. They have waged a non-violent struggle for independence which shows that they are the children of the Mahatma. They do not have material well-being like the Scandinavians. Their upbringing teaches the transience of material prosperity. They study the nature of their own minds. They contemplate mental virtues & vices. They research death, and prepare for it throughout their lives. And they are a happy people, even in exile and adversity!

See this article for more depth on the nature of happiness. Here is a better link.

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Yours truly answers the defender of Dawkins

Posted by desicontrarian on June 5, 2009

I normally avoid slanging matches with readers. They tend to divert attention from the theme being discussed.

1. “The operative word in this meaningless pedagogy is “spirit” , “malevolent ” too. No problem with benign spirit.”

Spirit is meant in the sense of ‘Attitude’, not in the sense of ‘Ghost’. Yes, I would welcome a friendly, benign spirit to theists, and there are plenty of atheists who do have that attitude.

2. You dare not tell the rest of the story for fear of being exposed as counterfeit theist; a benign spirit appear?

The rest of the story has not happened in this case, so let me keep the dramatic tension intact 😉 Google Hiranyakashipu, if you don’t know. Its well-known or can be easily read on the internets.

3. Why is God the only other tiny probability?

There are the 2 mutually exclusive options that theists & atheists take positions on. A) God exists B) God does not exist. 

If option A has probability X, option B will have probability 1 – X. if X is zero, then 1 – X is 1.

If X is more than zero, no matter how close to zero, then 1 – X is that much less than one. Unless you prove that X is equal to zero, the tiny probability can become actualized. That is, a person can experience God. And I think Dawkins would agree that there are no other options, apart from A & B.

4. “is this “tiny probability” suddenly transforming into “equal or greater” probability shenanigan of benign spirit? “

This is a non sequitur. ‘Shenanigan’ is used here to show punditry in English. The rhetoric does not address the fact that such a phenomenon called Life appeared on Earth, even though the odds were very much against it.

5. “What conceit! And why bring Dawkins into it? Is’nt Dawkins passe’ by his own volition , true scientist that he is? A beautiful mind!”

You mean I dare not question Dawkins, God of the militant atheists? Then I accept that I’m conceited. As a reductionist biologist, Dawkins has not spelled out his position on how possibilities become actualized. It is said in quantum mechanics literature.

“If N mutually exclusive events can happen at a particular instant, we can assign probabilities p1, p2 …pN to each of these events. When event J happens, its probability pJ becomes 1, and all the other probabilities become zero.”

So some quantum physicists believe that all the other events did not happen because their probability became zero and the probability of the event that happened became one. Other scientists are not sure why the probabilities changed at that instant. And the phenomenon is called the collapse of the wave function. People like Fridtjof Capra believe that the event that happened is determined by the observer, i.e. the scientist. Reductionists of the Dawkins variety do not agree. And its Dawkins’ knowledge of the collapse of the wave function that is below par.

Posted in Ideology, Science | Leave a Comment »

A defender of Dawkins reacts!

Posted by desicontrarian on June 5, 2009

” Their uncontrolled diatribes in the name of scientific rationality show a most peculiar impulse, a possession of malevolent spirit”

The operative word in this meaningless pedagogy is “spirit” , “malevolent ” too. No problem with benign spirit.

” Hiranyakashipu knocked the pillar with his fist.”

You dare not tell the rest of the story for fear of being exposed as counterfeit theist; a benign spirit appear?

” It means there is tiny probability of the opposite, that God exists”

Why God exists is the only other tiny probability?

Don’t remember Dawkins considering that’s the “only” other probability.

“And that probability is equal to or greater than the probability of life appearing on Earth.”

Is this “tiny probability” suddenly transforming into “equal or greater” probability shenanigan of benign spirit? The quantum model does not make that apparent. Rubbish!

“I don’t know how well Dawkins understands the quantum mechanics model of probability”

What conceit! And why bring Dawkins into it? Is’nt Dawkins passe’ by his own volition, true scientist that he is? A beautiful mind!

“Survival itself implies mental volition.”

A lot of hot wind.

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Dawkin’s irrational exuberance!

Posted by desicontrarian on June 5, 2009

“The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, Philicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sado-masochistic, capriciously malevolent bully. ” (The God Delusion)

Reminds me of Hiranyakashipu.

 “Prahlada replied: He is unquestionably the strength not only of mine but yours as well. It is by him these creatures high and low, animate and inanimate, commencing from Brahma have been held under sway. He is the ruler, He is the mighty Time, He is the embodiment of organic and mental powers, physical strength and fortitude. The supreme controller of Nature and its three qualities (Sattva, Rajas and Tamas), It is he who creates, protects and destroys the universe. Abondan this demoniac disposition of yours and keep your mind equipoised. There are no enemies other than an uncontrolled mind. Some consider to have conquered the four directions without having curbed the thief in the form of mind.

Hiranyakashipu replied: Evidently you are keen to die, now that you are bragging too much. For the words of those who are anxious to die are sure to be incoherent. Where is that Lord of the universe other than me? If it is urged that he is present everywhere, why is he not seen in that pillar? I being the master of everything, am going tosever your head, a braggard that you are. Let Hari protect you today if he is present in the pillar.

Thus tormenting his son, Hiranyakashipu sprang from his seat, taking his sword and knocked the pillar with his fist”

Let us theists understand what makes the Dawkinses of the world tick. Their uncontrolled diatribes in the name of scientific rationality show a most peculiar impulse, a possession by a malevolent spirit. They use words and thoughts in a sloppy manner. What does ‘probably’ mean? It means that there is a tiny probability of the opposite, that God exists. And that probability is equal to or greater than the probability of life appearing on Earth. I don’t know how well Dawkins understands the quantum mechanics model of probability. When the potential for several things happening exists, that which happens has a non-zero probability, just like many other things that could have happened. So why didn’t the other non-zero probabilities happen? Because only one of them appeared to our perception in the manifest world, the others remained in the unmanifest world, and can manifest at another time!

Dawkin’s language in both The Selfish Gene and God Delusion is full of attributions of volition to things like genes, species, life forms etc. They are always at war with each other for dominance and survival. Survival itself implies mental volition. And yet he is attributing these to abstractions like species. His fixed idea is Survival of the Fittest, and therefore everything has to fit into that framework. His language is a moral language, the language of a fanatic. Its not a cool, objective and rational one.

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Secularism

Posted by desicontrarian on August 13, 2008

Basically this is a hybrid idea. Its popular form is of course shown in the fillum Amar, Akbar and Anthony – 3 brothers belonging to 3 different religions. The unintended absurdity of the fillum seems like a good metaphor for the absurdity of the idea. Hybrids are never authentic. They are grafts on a social body which puts up with the foreign bodies uncomfortably. They are also violent and unhealthy grafts.

Secularism is a mask for what one can call Brown Sahibism. It starts with Macaulay’s appreciation of Indian civilization. And its adherents, from the illiterate to the sophisticated were all schooled according to the famous Macaulay’s Minute. The relevant passage for me is this.

“We must at present do our best to form a class who may be interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern; a class of persons, Indian in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinions, in morals, and in intellect. ..I have no knowledge of either Sanskrit or Arabic. ..(But) I have conversed with men distinguished by their proficiency in the Eastern tongues. I have never met one among them who could deny that a single shelf of a good European library was worth more than the whole native literature of India and Arabia. ..The dialects commonly spoken among the natives of this part of India contain neither literary not scientific information, and are so poor and rude that, until they are enriched by some other quarter, it will not be easy to translate any valuable work into them. The intellectual improvement of the people can at present be effected only by means of some language not vernacular amongst them. ..I would at once stop the printing of Arabic and Sanskrit books, I would abolish the Madrassa and the Sanskrit college at Calcutta. ..Are we obliged to teach false history, false astronomy, false medicine, because we find them in company with a false religion. ..Assuredly, to encourage the study of a literature admitted to be of small intrinsic value, only because that literature inculcates the most serious errors on the most important subjects, is a course hardly reconcilable with reason, with morality, or even with the very neutrality which ought, as we all agree, to be sacredly preserved. ..The superiority of the Europeans becomes absolutely immeasurable.”

Thus, the conditioning of the young child’s brain (a process called imprinting) was started by abolishing the traditional systems of education (Gurukulas and Madrassahs (pdf)) into class-room based, English-medium, mass-oriented, factory-like production of good clerks and bad clerks. The uprooted children naturally were conditioned into admirers of English civilization. The first prominent one was Ram Mohan Roy (I know, I know, he was the fellow used by Macaulay in the Minute!) . These people were called Reformers, by the newly emerging anglicized class. They were actually the desi version of the British orientalists. The first thing they thought of when observing any Indian social phenomenon was, how would it look through European eyes? The normal emotion they felt was shame. The normal reference point was something akin to the Greenwich Mean Time. kaaLidaasa (6th century CE) had to be the Indian Shakespeare(16th century CE) i.e. he was defined in terms of a later-period British playwright. The subliminal message was to define the English measure by which the ancient Indian had to be thought of! Telugu (1500-1000 BCE) was the Italian (10th century CE) of the East. Well, the vernacular sounded like that to the English gentleman! Arabia was situated in the Middle East!

From such a conditioned collective brain comes the notion of modern Indian secularism. The formal idea is of course that religion and the state have to be strictly segregated. This is a pure European idea, which grew organically in that soil, out of that continent’s own history (1, 2). Hindusthan’s history was qualitatively different. There were periods of religious and sectarian harmony, and periods of animosity (1, 2). A religion was a belief system followed by a certain community. Different laws applied to different communities. There was room for atheism within a particular religion or sect. There was room for parallel ideas of devotion, conjugal love and surrender to grow in vaishanvism, sikhism and sufism. But all this background did not matter. The brown sahib intellectual elite were probably unaware or uninterested in it. They certainly had no emotional connection to that kind of history. The idea of separation of church and state was grafted on to the Indian constitution. It is even translated into Hindi today as Dharma Nirapekshatha i.e. religious indifference!

So today we have the secularists in a frenzy over the continuing rise of Hindutva among the larger populace and a new generation of counter-intellectuals. The former, with their alienated mind-set, were responsible for this backlash. And now they mount the same old intellectual assaults on their (younger) rival ideology. As I read these arguments, I am bored by the stale thoughts that have been repeated since Nehru and Nurul Hasan’s time. As George Santayana has said, those that do not remember history are condemned to repeat them. And the secularists do not remember their own part in the rise of Hindutva.

Update : Remarkable coincidence! Minds greater than mine think like me! Jayakrishnan Nair has a more knowledgeable, in-depth look at the preamble to this tragedy.

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