Some one who considers whole world to be his family, thereby endeavours to help others in need can be considered as humanists.
However those who refuses to take cognizance of the fact that evil exists, who denies any distinction between moral and immoral, good and evil, who vehemently rejects the truth that sometimes it might be necessary to indulge in violence and destruction to save what is vital, and critical, those worthies are not friends of humanity. By their acts of falsification unintended or deliberate, they become worse enemies of mankind.
The moral of story is to be wary of do- gooders.
Friday, September 29, 2006
Some one who considers whole world to be his family, thereby endeavours to help others in need can be considered as humanists.
J & K CM seeks clemency for Afzal,
Unbelievable ! Bloody Traitors! Azad & other like him should be hanged along with Afzal.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
ISI backs Al Qaeda: British Intelligence,
This is predictable. Now Indian media will flaunt this as a evidence that Pakistan supports terrorism. If the next news cycle doesn't kick in, it might be turn into a gleefest as well.
I admit, I find this puzzling. The so called "evidence" is required for whose satisfaction exactly ?
Surely, not for Indians or at any rate those who have been in touch with real world during last decade (rules out most of the progressives and few journalists turned bloggers I admit, but we are talking about reasonably sensible person, not those who have leaped off the cliff of reality).
It would be beyond absurd if Indians require convincing at this juncture.
But of course the evidence is not meant for Indians, it is meant for west in general, and Uncle Sam in particular. And at least to me this is truly astounding. Presenting evidence to USA implies that we expect them to save our skin. This kind of idiocy is only the result of ideological bankruptcy. In real world, which is invisible to those living within thick walls of moral equivalence & Utopian ideals, but which is what matters; the very simple rule is, everyone is on his own.
If India thinks that terrorism is a significant threat (as opposed to a platform to launch libertarian rant about traffic signals being worse than terrorism) then it is up to Indians to evolve a solution. No one will be coming forward to take the burden off our shoulder.
We should have the capability and the willingness to punish those whom we find as perpetrators of crime against Indian citizens.
AfterThought : There is another issue involved, demanding US to solve our problem and at the same time criticizing that country for crimes (real and imagined), pretending poverty to be intellectual (or spiritual depending on which side one stands) superiority as opposed to American hedonism is not only hypocritical or delusional, it is beyond pathetic.
It is my speculation that a man's worst enemy ,more often than not, is he himself.
Same goes for civilizations. Today the only power that can stop India is not US, China or Pakistan. It is our own moribund world view.
Update: gems of posts from Nitin.
Assume (hypothetically of course) that amongst the current crop of Aym-Gramds, few not so eminent ones decide to establish a church of roarkin' creed. These devotees of Ayn Rand (the only purveyor of truth), declare that to them imposition of tax, in fact the very existence of state is anathema and acceptance of authorities is violation of their religious principles, there they can not pay any kind of taxes.
According to our proponents of individual rights and freedom, since this action doesn't violate any one Else's rights, no one (least of all the state or heaven's forbid society) has any right to coerce or compel them contrary to their wishes.
This is why the proponent of individual rights are induhviduals.
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
India needs secularism as much as Boeing needs propeller.
This blogger has discovered some blatant and nauseating incidences of Muslim hatred from people hitherto unsuspected of communal leaning.
Mussalmans have an ordeal to pass through. There can be no doubt that theyThis said by Mahatma Gandhi, 80 years ago, after murder of Swami Shraddhanand. Outrage, how could he say this, knowing that except for few extremists Islam is just like any other religion.
are too free with the knife and the pistol. The sword is an emblem of Islam. But
Islam was born in an environment where the sword was, and still remains, the
supreme law. The message of Jesus has proved ineffective because the environment
was unready to receive it. So with the message of the Prophet. The sword is yet
too much in evidence among the Mussalmans. It must be sheathed if Islam is to be
what it means - peace."
But the oppression against Muslims and Islam doesn't stop here.
Islam divided the world into Dar-ul Islam ( Abode of Islam) and Dar-ul Harb
(Abode of War) and that it is incumbent of Muslims to wage war against any
country that is not controlled by Muslims.
My cup of woe runneth over ! This said by Mr. Ambedkar ! He must be denounced (here cognitive dissonance must be setting in, after all it is one oppressed group vs. another oppressed group)
I assure you this is just the tip of the iceberg. Our leaders, whose fossils are revered as leading figures of secularism, have frequently been critical of Islam and its adherents.
Which automatically means that they are communal. For isn't this criteria (i.e. criticism of Islam) applied to brand Bankim Chandra Chattopadhaya and Vande Matram as communal.
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
The 32 months of violence in the Moslem south have so far caused nearly 4,300 casualties (40 percent of them fatal). During that period, there were some 5,500 incidents of Islamic terrorist violence. That's an average of 5-6 a day, among a population of 2.4 million (some 80 percent Moslem). The violence was largely directed at the 400,000 or so non-Moslems.
The terrorist attacks have had the effect of doubling the normal murder
rate in the south. A religiously inspired crime wave, so to speak. But the
terror is very real as well, especially for non-Moslems.
Since most of the deaths are among the non-Moslem minority, the
death rate for that community has risen to about 15 per 100,000 per
year. The rate in the U.S. is about 6 per 100,000 people per year.
While the number of bombings has increased this year, the casualty rate has gone down. This is largely because of the thousands of additional soldiers and police
sent to the south. These security forces are everywhere down there.
But the damage has already been done, and thousands of non-Moslem Thais have fled the south. The main objective of the Islamic terrorists is to expel all non-Moslems from the south, and then
set up a religious dictatorship. (Emphasis mine)
This is of course a repetition of what happened in Kashmir during 80's. And I am reasonably sure this results will turn out to be same. Modern civilization has lots will to defend itself because its instinct for survival has been lost by the progressive shenanigans. This is a civilization ripe for destruction. Perhaps this is how Kali Yuga culminates.
Saturday, September 23, 2006
In previous post, I added the possibility as an afterthought mostly, that modern liberalism can still survive.
But before that rambling in his popular work The Selfish Gene Richard Dawkins applied the concept of Evolutionary Stable Strategy to genetics. This is a familiar term in game theory (not for me though)
While explaining the correlation between genes and behaviours, he gave an example of a game for purpose of illustrating prisoner's dilemma. To simplify there can be basic strategies hawks and doves (explained here in detail). Hawk is a high risk strategy whereas dove is not. But irrespective of risk, none is stable with respect to other, a hawk population can be attacked by a dove and vice verse.
However the interesting point is that a mixed population of hawks and doves will be stable against attack.
Now I come back to a semblance of coherence.
"Western" atheism and religion are antagonistic, but none is stable on "its own".
First Christianity tends to dismiss reason, result is stagnation of civilization or the dark age.
Faith is one of the foremost devices which attempts to resolves one of the primary human instincts ,which is self awareness and resulting curiosity about unknown. One crucial factor for continuation of civilization is how it reconciles this tendency to abstract with material world.
Faith therefore provides a sense of purpose, a meaning, however flawed or rudimentary which can be shared by the society and civilization.
Problem occurs when "western"atheism dismisses religion, thus shutting off faith.
Not only this it doesn't offer (because it can not offer) any substitute for it, (saying life is a random although rare event is not much of a substitute).
Hence exclusive presence of either is detrimental to continuance of civilization.
However when both are present it is possible for civilization to survive and for an appreciable period even progress.
Religion bestows with faith and social values. Atheism on the other hand provides with reason and scientific ideas.
This is akin to Yin and Yang, however there is a crucial difference. Yin and Yang are opposing but complementary, it is in their harmony that human thrives.
Western religion and its negation on the other hand are in state of permanent struggle.
One survives by devouring the other , and it is in this mutual cannibalism that civilization thrive. Of course when one dominates, some aspect of civilization suffers.
Therefore a more appropriate comparison will be with Auryn (two snakes devouring each other).
This is the wrong picture, this is the correct one.
Friday, September 22, 2006
This is a rant, brought by tasteless cups of tea and the realization that UPA is still in existence
This is manure, not ordinary, this is khaalis progressive (the holy word for modern times) manure. (link via DesiPundit)
This is the glorious age where you find two equally intellectually challenged "religions".
One side (which claims to be rational) has consigned God, religion (or anything which reeks of abstract) to heap of rubbish and instead elevated individual as the "one and only God".
Of course they have no scientific proof for omnipotence of individual, but "arggh, get you grubby hands off my rights". For these gentlemen (and ladies) Atlas Shrugged is the supreme word and The Selfish Gene the revered canon.
But this is not about these "chosen ones". This is about "the other side".
The other side starts with same premise (imagining a world without religion), but goes in opposite direction.
This creed worships the poor, the downtrodden, the unfortunate. And in this devotion, any appeal to logic, any attempt to reason is swiftly (and contemptuously) dismissed.
"How dare you?", gasps the outraged devotee, "blaspheme against our god, sacrilege !".
It is a religion of masochism, every ritual, whole theology of which is ridden with guilt.
"How dare you", thunders the righteous, "enjoy your cup of mocha when millions die from hunger". "How can you", moans the believer, "argue against reservation, when the poor Dalit's son has no access to primary education".
Every trick in the book is applied so that the sucker feels ashamed nay mortified for being alive let alone happy. Every where you look it is self-flagellation Having trained thus the sucker in truly Pavlovian fashion, salvation is offered.
The commandment handed over to generations of bleeding hearts goes, "thou shall not use your brains,thou shall legislate", further it goes " and there shall be much joy".
Therefore legislation is the panacea to the suffering. That whether mere legislation can bring the change, that even whether state is capable of implementing the law or there exists valid reasons for state intervention at all, demands thought. And thinking is affront to jealous God.
So legislation is passed against dowry, result nothing. Legislation is passed against caste discrimination, result nothing. But who cares ! It is the matter of hollow principles, and self pleasure. It is the rhetoric that counts !
As usual a legislation is passed, palms are greased, rules bypassed, and life continues.
But only at cost of making people corrupt, poisoning the society with hypocrisy. This of course is the intention, make everyone thief so that no one can challenge the theft in name of poor.
I have discovered a new market. Although I am not an expert in matter of economics, I think this market should succeed.
This market deals with vaccination against ideological atrophy characterized by Aym-Gramdism.
I think that venture capitalists should pool up money and launch a start up which will develop cure for impressionable teenagers from degenerative disease of soap box grabbing and vacuous speeches spread by virus of Ayn Rand.
There is no reason why it shouldn't work.
Thursday, September 21, 2006
A single owl can ruin the beauty of an orchard. If an owl sits on every branch what will be the result.
So goes a saying in Hindi. Sometimes I think Hinduism suffers from too many owls.
Case in point Following message from orkut (I have to waste my time)
Bhargo devasya dheemahi**Dhiyo yo nah prachodayat*Gayatri mantra has been bestowed the greatest importance in Vedc dharma............. The mantra, however, has a great scientific import too, which somehow got lost in the literary tradition.
The modern astrophysics and astronomy tell us that our Galaxy called Milky Way or Akash-Ganga contains approximately100,000 million of stars. Each star is like our sun having its own planet system. We know that the moon moves round the earth and the earth moves round the sun along with the moon. .........
(A) Om bhur bhuvah swah:Bhur the earth, bhuvah the planets (solar family), swah the Galaxy. We observe that when an ordinary fan with a speed of 900 RPM (rotation Per minute) moves, it makes noise. Then, one can imagine, what great noise would be created when the galaxies move with a speed of 20,000miles per second.This is what this portion of the mantra explains that the sound produced due to the fast-moving earth, planets and galaxies is Om. The sound was heard during meditation by Rishi Vishvamitra, who mentioned it to other colleagues. All of them, then unanimously decided to call this sound Om the name of God, because this sound is available in al the three periods of time, hence it is set (permanent).
Therefore, it was the first ever revolutionary idea to identify formless God with a specific title (form)called upadhi. Until that time, everybody recognized God as formless and nobody was prepared to accept this new idea. In the Gita also, it is said,"Omiti ekaksharam brahma", meaning that the name of the Supreme is Om, which contains only one syllable (8/12). This sound Om heard during Samadhi was called by all the seers nada-brahma a very great noise), but not a noise that is normally beyond a specific amplitude and limits of decibels suited to human hearing. Hence the rishis called this sound Udgith musical sound of the above, i.e., heaven.They also noticed that the infinite mass of galaxies moving with a velocity of 20,000miles/second was generating a kinetic energy = ? MV2 and this was balancing the total energy consumption of the cosmos. Hence they named it Pranavah, which means the body (vapu) or store house of energy(prana).
(B) Tat savitur varenyam:Tat that (God), savitur the sun (star), varenyam worthy of bowing orrespect. Once the form of a person along with the name is known to us, we may locate the specific person. Hence the two titles (upadhi)provide the solid ground to identify the formless God, Vishvamitra suggested. He told us that we could know (realize) the unknowable formless God through the known factors, viz., sound Om and light of suns (stars). A mathematician can solve an equation x2+y2=4; if x=2;then y can be known and so on. An engineer can measure the width of a river even by standing at the river bank just by drawing a triangle. So was the scientific method suggested by Vishvamitra in the mantra in the next portion as under
(C) Bhargo devasya dheemahi:Bhargo the light, devasya of the deity, dheemahi we should meditate.The rishi instructs us to meditate upon the available form (light of suns) to discover the formless Creator (God). Also he wants us to dojapa of the word Om (this is understood in the Mantra). This is how the sage wants us to proceed, but there is a great problem to realise it,as the human mind is so shaky and restless that without the grace of the Supreme (Brahma) it cannot be controlled. Hence Vishvamitrasuggests the way to pray Him as under:
(D) Dhiyo yo nah prachodayat:Dhiyo (intellect), yo (who), nah (we all), prachodayat (guide to right Direction). O God! Deploy our intellect on the right path. Full scientific interpretation of the Mantra:The earth (bhur), the planets (bhuvah), and the galaxies(swah) are moving at a very great velocity,the sound produced is Om, (the name of formless God.)That God (tat), who manifests Himself in the form of light of suns(savitur)is worthy of bowing/respect(varenyam). We all, therefore, should meditate(dheemahi) upon the light (bhargo) of that deity (devasya) and also do chanting of Om. ?May He (yo) guide in right direction(prachodayat) our (nah) intellect (dhiyo).So we notice that the important points hinted in the mantra are
1) The total kinetic energy generated by the movement galaxies acts asanumbrella and balances the total energy consumption of the cosmos. Hence it was named as the Pranavah (body of energy). This is equal to ?mv2(Mass of galaxies x velocity2).
2) Realising the great importance of the syllable OM, the other later date religions adopted this word with a slight change in accent, viz.,amen and Ameen.
3)The God could be realised through the saguna (gross), upasana(method), i.e.,a) by chanting the name of the supreme as OM andb) by meditating upon the light emitted by stars (suns)
What is wrong with the people! Yes I also believe that Hinduism does hold great promise. However manufacturing accomplishments where none exists is beyond stupid. For the last time Hindus did not invent light bulb or anti-biotics or aerodynamics. We have to thank modern science for this.
PS. And murtis do not drink milk for God sake ! ^*& #&## ! Religion is not a conjurer's trick.
I have a theory.Modern liberalism (which means Atheism, individualism, libertarianism and the paraphernalia) is doomed.
It is self-destructive, for the simple reason it does not have anything to aspire for, no role model.
Hence it is in evolutionary terms extinct species. Problem then is not any havoc created by atheists, but different and two-fold.
One is too much of resources are spent on something which is goner anyway.
Second this creed is, barring limited utility a dead weight. This is my main fear, this ideology will sink sooner or later but has the capability to take one (or two) civilization along with it.
PS. Actually I simplified it. Modern liberalism can survive, but in a very interesting way.
Bush is the Devil: Venezuelan President Chavez
What exactly was Manmohan Singh doing with this guy ?
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
It is such a delightful change to have Ratzinger as the pope. Gone are those days when Catholicism was increasingly becoming a new age religion.
Understand this, I do not agree with what this pope or the earlier pope have said, further I do not even agree with Christianity or other religion which are inspired by Abraham covenant with God (based on my understanding of these religions), but I am unimpressed by weasel wording which was wont of earlier pope. This pope on the contrary is considered to be an authority on matters of theology, as well as having more rigourous as far as discourse on religion is concerned. So bye bye to inter faith dialogues and such exercises in futility like that, and welcome to traditional catholic values.
But why should this matter ? Well I think that Europe is disintegrating (I may be wrong). Granted that a lion's share of blame must be apportioned to the touchy feely socialism pursued by most of western Europe. But I think the problem goes deeper, it is this, Europe is forgetting its social values, in absence of any social bond it is disintegrating. This fracture in turn is not a cosmic accident.
May be it is my religious bent of mind, but to me society and civilization forms around some basic premise, a central idea. This need not be belief in God (although most of the time it is), to give an example while Greeks had mythology and rituals, they didn't have much of religion. Yet even Greek cities owed allegiance to different world views. The important thing is that the basic principle should be able to engage people at social level. Sadly Europe has rejected her faith, which acted as her glue. To make the matters post world war - II intellectual space has been monopolized by individualism, when individual is worshipped as God in exclusion of any social ethos, the results are expected. It is almost as if Europe is busy in devouring herself.
It is in this that intervention of Pope is significant. While he started his carried as a liberal, today he is a strong votary of Europe recognizing her christian roots, he is also critical of secular nature of European countries, especially the atmosphere of multiculturalism and moral relativism.
In a paper titled "If Europe hates itself" he wrote "The West reveals ... a hatred of itself, which is strange and can only be considered pathological; the West ... no longer loves itself; in its own history, it now sees only what is deplorable and destructive, while it is no longer able to perceive what is great and pure".
I think his lecture which launched thousand protests was his most significant gesture till this date.The protests drowned out the main thrust of his lecture which was about need to reconcile modern reason with "christian" faith, his familiar refrain.
However this time there was a difference. The difference was his uncharacteristic criticism of Islam and its founder by invoking words of Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Palaiologos in his lecture (as recorded by Theodore Khoury)
"Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached"
While conservative commentators have tried to explain away this as unintentional on part of pope
(as has pope himself). However I think the pope used the phrase intentionally. The primary intention was not really to provoke Muslim (though I suspect, pope couldn't but have guessed its reaction on Muslims).
The main intention (that I can surmise) was to signal those in west, in general ( and Europe in particular) who are alarmed by the rising Islamic fundamentalism.
It was a message to those who are not deluded enough to be mortified by the prospect of Eurabia and Londonistan. The message is simple (if controversial), to stop the disintegration of Europe and to prevent the assimilation into Islamic influence, Europe must rediscover her roots.
As I said earlier I am hardly a fan of Christianity, of any flavour (hard to be, when the basic tenant is if you do not confine yourself to Jesus you are doomed to eternal punishment of hell)
I also think that Church's opposition to birth control and evolution is, to put it mildly, dogmatic.
That said, I do believe that it is crucial, not only for Europe, not only for West but for the world that Europe finds back its foothold. Increased interaction with Church can go a long way towards this.
One assumption that I am making is that it is possible to co habitat with church. I do not think it is unreasonable, all said and done, it is true that Jesus preferred to die and Prophet Mohammad did lift sword to slay.
PS Swapan Das Gupta writes brilliantly on this, "We are all papists now".
Monday, September 18, 2006
I am really skeptical of prophesies which foretell coming of messiah or plans which require for a great sacrifice from one individual.
The reason is, unless there is a grave danger to society or unless the society itself has a spartan discipline, people in general will hesitate from any sort of sacrifice. As a general rule how far people comply with even far more mundane regulations for contribution (i.e. taxation) depends on an effective evasion detection mechanism as well as social milieu culture.
This brings me to the story with some value. During the last decade there arose, in the eyes of nation a young man who despite of his most un–hero-like appearance quickly went on to become a national hero, a champion feted by all.
In fact his rise went beyond this. In this land of countless Gods, he was added to pantheon. He was adored, worshipped. His exploits in the arena launched and sustained debates, engaging and furious, across the nation. People prayed for his triumph, celebrated on his stroke play, sacrificed their first born for his health (ok so they sacrificed their neighbour’s first born, the point is clear).
Devoid of heroes, in fact so utterly lacking in any modern accomplishment, he was the salvation for billion hopes belied. It came to pass that the team, except for one or two “pinch hitters”, used to give up as soon as this man was out. After a time, shoulders of our hero started to fail him, his failure made the nation in turns distressed and discontented. The master was tired and it showed.
Then something happened, a new generation took over, in skill they were no match for master, but they were eager and they were aggressive. Soon this young generation took over from the master, now the burden was on collective shoulder; the team is performing irrespective of which specific player is out of the form. The young man is no more that young. He is no longer treated as God either, he is now a player again.
This more than anything can act as template for India.
Do not try to make Gods of mortal they invariably fail.
Instead just try to become a citizen with all the pride that the word suggests.
Posted as comments for this post (thanks to Frog for conversation)
For starters I define myself as cultural nationalist. This means I am interested in rejuvenation of Indic civilization, resurgence of India back to her place. This means progress, not only in terms of GDP, but also in arts, music, literature, science ,philosophy and everything else.
To accomplish this, in order to lift India from morass, two conditions must be fulfilled.
One willingness of Indian citizen to work for self - improvement instead of depending on others, including state. (when I say self -improvement, material acquisition is just a part , although significant, to me self-improvement or rather self realization implies discovery in the field of ideas, in essence curiosity to explore the uncharted territory).
Second The confidence and the pride in nation and fellow citizens. Civic sense follows from pride. I know any talk of national pride is too politically incorrect in this age of progressivism.
This is why I support free markets. Free markets imply that each individual earns according to a combination of factors such as skill, labour, intelligence and job profile. I find it more conducive, in fact the required condition for national resurgence. While creed of egalitarianism may appeal to our loftier instincts, welfare state or "from each according to his capability to each according to his need" will invariably be foiled by our baser instincts, free riders in other words.
To me introduction of free markets is a hope, a spark if you will, which can ignite Indians in the same way as our freedom struggle did at one time.
Why am I a cultural nationalist is matter for separate post
Saturday, September 16, 2006
One of the characteristics of any human organization (social institutions being one specific subset) is their similarity to an individual organism.
The parallel is two-fold.First, “the purpose behind existence of organization”, in my opinion (admittedly cynical one) whatever be the initial justification behind the organization, it is soon buried under the matters of technicalities and details, the final result that after a period the organization exists for sake of its existence.
To put in precise words, while initially the organization might have been meant to provide benefit to the society at large, but eventually in most cases the only one benefiting from the organization is the organization itself (i.e. entities which constitute organization, this might be some officer or some NGO point stands) with the society at large paying the banker (or to be more precise sucker).
Second, “the reproduction and evolution”, both to justify its existence in eyes of bankers (superficially, of course) any organization as well as to maximize the pay off will constitute processes (new rituals, or regulations) which willy-nilly give rise to new processes.
Ultimately a time comes that the society is bogged down both by the restrictions placed on it through these customs and laws as well as by the enormous amount of energy, time and cost required for preservation of these.
The reason such organizations which serve no purpose (except of their constituents) exists at cost of larger society, is that the society can always be beguiled with promise of some unrealistic, fantastic but highly desirable goal.
To give just two examples taking the advantage of natural sentiment for departed ancestors, priest class prescribed complicated rituals for shaanti of departed, this doesn’t have any sanctions from basic world view of scriptures but this is rewarding to the class and hence a burden on society is added.
Modern example is that of welfare state, even though it doesn’t work, politicians, progressives and bureaucrats can announce one poverty alleviation program safter another with no danger of recrimination because it appeals both to the basest desire of greed as well as lofty and yet superficial ideal of egalitarianism.
Hence welfare state is best understood in terms of a modern adaptation by a modern organization (that is bureaucracy) to survive.
In my carefree days when my primary task in life was to read all the jokes (without discriminating about quality) on Internet, one particularly good one was about corporate fascination with buzz words without regards to reality and following a path of action just for sake of pretending again unmindful of the consequences.
The continuing NAM fascination of Indian leadership is one such examples of Indian politics being more comic and farcical than Internet jokes.
The main objection is not whether America will be angry, but that there is no relevance of NAM (if ever was) for India either as an ideological platform (non alignment in a unipolar world, why just not rename NAM as "rag tag of stuck in the time wrap third world politicians, out of work progressives and uncouth megalomaniac dictators opposed to American hegemony" ) or for purpose of striking strategic alliances for political or other purposes.
But horse is being flogged and the fact that it is dead is a trivial matter, to be ignored for sake of
outdated fantasies rarefied ideals of our deluded righteous leaders.
Meanwhile the India which aspires to be taken seriously as an emerging superpower is attending unhinged show (spewing bile at Israel for aggression, defending Iran, Chavez, Castro etc etc.)
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Related to earlier post. Repeating the point as response to end note of confused's post
1. Appropriating Gandhi for free market is contradiction. For me, it is not possible to disconnect the means that Mahatma Gandhi employed with the goals he had in mind.Ideology of Bapu was highly altruist, to say the least, and it is with respect to this world view that he set out his paths and his methods .
Whereas the basic premise behind capitalism and free market is pursue of self interest. It is this as a guiding light that role of state as well as form of policy is defined. Therefore expectation of a Mahatma like figure evangelising about free markets is a paradox in itself.
Here I do not object only for the sake of the principle but for the reason that this expectation to me seems a fundamental flaw.
( Frog pointed out that a person can embrace free market for sake of altruism. However I do not think (I may be wrong) that free markets are a very attractive solution for an altruist. In all probability altruist will go for welfare state. Further for someone to spread the "gospel of free market" he must be convinced about primary importance of free market and not just as a system (not very efficient one at that) to deliver welfare.)
2. However the greater problem with this for me is social (or philosohipical).
By the very expectation that one person is going to take burden to reform the present rot, to me betrays another form of messianism.
More important than free market, more important than globalisation or capitalism is the question on what premises we want to base our society, our nation.
In my opinion the society which depends on some individual or some entity (i.e. state) for its welfare or progress can not succeed.
Dependency in any form can only breed intellectual feebleness. And it is from lack of ideas that a nation or a civilization wither away. I do not think (or to be more precise I do not know) that altruism can be done away with entirely.
However we should stress on individuals to be self-dependent. When I say self-dependent, I do not only mean that he should earn his own living but he should actively contemplate , explore and contribute ideas too. In other words he should also earn his own ideals and beliefs.
This misplaced expectation of salvation through an avataar, Kalki if you will, this faith in saviour is typical of all the religions (including Hinduism).
This is not characteristic of a strong society, these prophesies of mahdi are either psychological support for vanquished or mirage for ignorant.
The best way, the surest way to progress is for each one to be his own guiding light. Any society which expects someone else to wear crown of thrones for its salvation is bound to be disappointed. Let us not heap our crosses on someone else's shoulder, even God needs rest.
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Often after Islamic terrorists have carried out an attack the aftermath is a debate over banal phrases. Progressives/liberal/apologists would proclaim but for a small minority of extremists, Muslims are moderates, this proclamation is meant as an assurance, lest there is any alarm or panic or animosity. Yet this proclamation even if true doesn't hold much comfort. The reason is simple , moderate has more than one meaning. One someone holding views which are middle of the road that is moderate views.
Other and more appropriate (in the present context) meaning is person(s) who are willing to take path of least resistance, who will prefer to get along rather than to enforce their beliefs through means of violence. Whereas radical are those who spread their ideologies aggressively ,many times though not necessarily always using violent means. Osama Bin Laden and others of his ilk are radicals in this sense.
Now the difference between "moderates" and "radicals" means that above a certain percentage it will be "radicals" who will set the agenda for the community. What is more crucial the radical faction will become more significant with the passage of time.
Thus it is analogous to evolution or chain reaction
The only way to counter this is for moderates to turn radicals albeit for different cause, the cause assumed to be more worthwhile than that of terrorists.
Fighting terrorism is first and foremost a battle of ideas. And yet regrettably this aspect is most neglected, more than that time is of importance in this, because if the extremists are not checked in time, they will be unmanageable. One can excuse "moderates" in various Islamic countries (in west or central Asia) for not doing enough, however what can be said about those in India.
The "moderates" who are the first to take umbrage over real or imagined transgressions and lament over exaggerated grievances are suddenly coy when it comes to self introspection, instead there is a persistent effort to obfuscate the issue.
This apologia may save "face" for the moment but does nothing to help the situation
Thursday, September 07, 2006
Fatwa that is,
First the good, Osama if Salafi not Muslim
The bad, Insurance is unislamic, against the will of Allah
As far as I am concerned, the clerics can issue as many fatwas as they like, loony or sensible, as long as it is not in violation of laws.
However what is worrisome is that these clerics have influence among Muslims and when they issue edict it has effect on the nation.
What is more crucial for nation building as well as for welfare of all citizens is rejection of the dogma and superstitions.
Scriptures can not be allowed to supersede national values.
should be heard by all especially secularists.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Alternatively titled "Inside a single track mind"
The story of that remarkable survey is not over yet. The other part of the survey carried out by our comrades (N. Ram, Rajdeep Sardesai) presented the priorities of "common man". It turns out that common man is more concerned about theft or robbery or riots than terrorist attacks, well I don't know what is surprising about it. What however surprising is when Hindu declares breathlessly that findings challenge,
"…`security experts (who) have made us believe that security has become a paramount national concern, that people have become much more anxious about terrorist attacks, that they hold the Centre responsible for the lapses, and that they would support hard, aggressive policies to tackle terrorism."
Nitin in his post illustrated how the conclusion (that people do not consider threat of terror significant) is at best incorrect and at worst disingenuous.
What I find amusing is even if granted that terrorism is not concern number one for public, how is that refutation of security experts. When security experts call terrorism a national concern it doesn't reflect the mood of hoi polloi, rather it is concerned implications to national security and the harm that it may cause to Indian citizens either in short run or long run.
This sort of obfuscation is typical of progressive establishment. Faced with facts which challenge foundations of its make believe world, it resorts to "the common man" argument other wise known as soapbox. It goes thus, it is not important to common man, hence it should not be discussed/debated.
The first (and the easy one) refutation is that even if subject 'X' is not priority number one for common man, it in no way no implies that the subject 'X' should be dismissed without any debate, it only means that the discussion (thread for geeks) will be, well of lower priority.
If the debates in public debate are to have any meaning they have to be concurrent.
The second point is not immediate, to take the example of the survey I am sure foreign policy would not have entered anywhere in the top ten. Indeed it will not be a stretch to imagine that worrying about Afghanistan is not part of common man's life. Does this imply that Government should shut down all its embassies and foreign ministry?
This is where our comrades make a mistakes. In democracy state is responsible to will of majority,however this doesn't mean state should limit its functions to the latest opinion poll.
State has well defined duties which it should discharge. If it is incompetent in any area(s) which matters most to majority, it will be punished by the voters. For others it is held accountable by analysts, and those who are interested in that area.
The attempt of our progressive brethren to confine role of state to some cleverly crafted questionnaire and refusal to hold it responsible for what are its important functions and duties does a great damage to body polity. Governance can not be held captive to bullet points.
Alternatively titled "Spinners Narrative"
Recently Hindu/CNN-IBN published a survey on mood of the nation.The wisdom that flowed through the exercise was (in short newsworthy bites) that if elections were to happen today BJP will perform poorly. Well, bad news about BJP are not exactly something which is rare nowadays so this blogger being an unabashed BJP shill did what one could do in this situation, that is suppressing minorities, secularists and progressives.
However Prasanna had the forbearance to read the whole thing and he found the survey well a little hard to digest.I mean Congress getting 240 seats, very doubtful !
I admit this was a surprise to me, because while no one can accuse likes of N. Ram and Rajdeep Sardesai of being neutral or unbiased, Yogendra Yadav even though being a socialist was tolerably objective .
This means he has become a life time member of Sonia bhajan mandali, the other option (of him being correct) will no doubt warm the cockles of "secular rights".
Of course this will mean erosion of freedom and return of mai-baap government is a small price to pay for defeating the communal forces
Afterthought: I should make it clear, I have no problem with N. Ram or Rajdeep Sardesai being partisan (I have made it clear). What I object is,
1. The unwillingness on part of secularists in media to come clean. Please if you want to fight, do it in open. The way our progressive clique apportion the role of Judge, Jury,Prosecutor,Witness, Executioner & Priest is what riles me.
2. The failure of "common man" in light of surmounting evidence to see through this partisanship and chicanery of the ELM.
If it is any consolation, it is that Journalists were always like this. To confirm one just has to read Mark Twain description of journalism in his age. Journalists are modern civilization's answer to rumour mongers of ancient years.
The recent detention of 12 Indians (who happen to be Muslims) on a Mumbai bound North West flight has resulted in levelling of the charge of racism by a section of English media against west.
Frankly speaking one is little puzzled by this charge. Was the decision of crew to alert security agency for the behaviour of the passengers was excessive? It might have been, in the good old days, when terrorist was your neighbourhood anarchist,or our favourite communist or some disgruntled ethnic group from backwaters feeling shortchanged.
Unfortunately these are not the good old days, west is facing the menace of Islamic terrorism, and it is bewildered by it, partly because the religious zealotry exhibited by those groups was last experienced by west around more than 600 years ago and it has no memory of Crusades or for that matter Charles the Hammer.
But the most important reason is that under the influence of 20th century liberal movements, west has assumed that the liberal values it espouses are universal accepted which of course is divorced from reality. This assumption ,however results in setting up of a false moral equivalency.
To cut a long story short this puzzlement ("why do they hate us!") leads to state of fear. Faced with a enemy who has no accomplishment (and hence nothing to lose), and whose values are framed by dogmas of bygone age and feeling of revenge and hatred by indoctrination of selective historical injustices (How many times you have heard Christians lamenting loss of Constantinople or Jerusalem), west is apprehensive (to put it mildly).
So to put it bluntly if the crew was alarmed by the obnoxious behaviour of few Indians, it was perfectly justified in taking the actions it did.To accept west to behave as if everything is normal when it is not, is disingenuous to say the least.
This doesn't mean that knee jerk reaction is the right way, overhauling of intelligence apparatus and society can only ensure the safety of citizens.
PS It is not that only brown skinned and/or bearded people are at risk. Even "absent minded geeks who play nerdy games" are not spared. One wonders who they will target next ? Age Of Empires ! Deva, Deva [link via confused]
Monday, September 04, 2006
Hypothetically, If one were to point out that the idea of a Gandhi like figure (whose ideology was anything but self-centred) to advance notion of a society based on self - interest is a contradiction in terms, what fallacy one would be committing ?
PS And no the argument that this notion (that is of someone selling the reforms) has nothing to do with end which Mahatma sought does not stand. His ends and his means justified each other.
PPS. I wonder wouldn't it be better if instead of indulging in messianism and ,one takes initiative himself. Instead of pining for Gandhi, why doesn't one become Gandhi himself?
Related Since I am talking about initiative, where is my initiative and what I have done.
Answer, nothing. I prefer comfort of my cubicle and assured salary at the month in comparison to arduous and thankless task of enlightening others (assuming I have the capacity intellect wise and communication wise, in itself a doubtful proposition). This makes me a hypocrite.
Friday, September 01, 2006
President Bush in his recent address to American public termed as "Islamic fascists", the world wide coalition of Islamic (or islamist, take your pick) terrorists engaged in bloody conflict with opponents from diverse background, including but not limited to west . [CNN link via confused]
This nomenclature has provoked a debate. Those opposing the term claim that such terms stereotype entire Muslim community. This, in my opinion is disingenuous. That the terrorists draw inspiration from a certain strain of Islam should be beyond dispute. The most frequent text cited by likes of Osama Bin Laden for why they do what they are doing is not Das Kapital or some anarchist publication but Quran. So yes the present attacks have something to do with Islam. However, here I differ from those supporting the nomenclature.
Fascists has become a convenient handle to group together any ideology which opposes democracy and freedom. While this misnomer may be allowed for discussions in usenet or blogs, it is misleading to confuse the ideology of terrorist as fascism, for there are fundamental differences between that ideology and fascism (A useful pointer, via Instapundit)
In original form fascism was not merely limited to opposition to these fundamental attributes of a liberal west. The basic premise of fascism was that existence of state had justification beyond its services and utility to citizens and individuals.
In particular, the ideology promulgated by Mussolini characterized state as a vehicle for existence and progress of civilization, [Wiki] and hence justification and extent for state has to be derived from consideration of civilization and not from mere view point of liberties of individual citizen.
To repeat, for a fascist existence of state is independent of its usefulness to individual.
Further to a fascist state and its strength is more important than the individual.
Hence while suppression of liberty and democracy is one of the basic characteristics of fascism, it is not its most basic premises. This distinction is important because the ideologies which oppose democracy and freedom are not limited to fascism while having different premises.
Marxism for example is such ideology, in order to protect the proletariat from exploitation of capitalist and manipulation of bourgeoisie it advocates dictatorship of proletariat.
Socialists while not as extremists as Marxists also favour circumscribing individual liberty for "the greatest good of greatest number".
In both the cases state is not the most important but an instrument to carry out the wishes of the common mob. In principle this of course implies descent to mob rule. In practise however since human affairs tends towards order,Marxism invariably transforms into tyranny of individuals.
In a way, the strain of Islam terrorist adheres to is more similar to Marxism.
In both Marxism and Caliphate the state serves a higher purpose.In Marxism it is the common man, whereas in Caliphate it is Allah. The will of individual is secondary to will of downtrodden in former, whereas in latter it has to submit to will of Allah (as revealed by the last Prophet).
The canons are different, but the dogma is same.
"Zindagi aur maut uparwale ke haath mein hai, Jahanpanah. Hum sab rangmanch ki kathputliyan hain jinki dor uparwale ki ungliyon se bandhi hui hai. Kab kaun uthega koi nahin bata sakta. Ha ha ha." [Link]
(Life and death is in hand of God, your highness. We all are puppets whose strings are controlled by a supreme power. No one knows when he will take bow )
So said Rajesh Khanna in Anand,
But Hrishikesh Mukheji was not mere puppet, he was director, the ace, the best.
Thanks Babu Moshai for all those laughs, thanks also for all those and also for all those pleasent evenings.
You will live forever in our hearts.