Thursday, January 29, 2009

Talibanization of India

This is with reference to the recent spate of events where people, even the CM of a state, have started setting standards for Indian Culture. I'm very sure that all these people are just a bunch of illiterate thugs who don't even have the intellect to assess the depth of the Indian Culture.

Firstly there's nothing called a Hindu Culture or Hinduism. It's just Indianism - the traditional way of life of the Indians - influenced greatly by the thoughts and traditions of the Aryans and updated and modified number of times through the ages, assimilating the cultures and thoughts of people from round the world. That's what we vaguely refer to as Hindu Culture or Hinduism. Even the term Hindu is not present in the literary works of the Vedic Age. Hinduism and Indianism are just synonymous and that's what make our religion or our way of life perhaps the most flexible and also tolerant in the world. It's no one's business to teach the Indians about the dos and dont's of our culture. 

We're perhaps the only people who worship a God named Indra who is known to be addicted to Soma, a form of intoxicating drink. We've Gods for love, sex,  passion. We've worshiped sex for thousands years. Even the Shiva Linga that we worship is actually Shiva's genital dipped in Parvati's vagina. It fascinates me how without the knowledge of Engineering Drawing, that we read in our first year Engineering, some one could conceive the idea of Shiva Linga as a cross section view, as seen from within Parvati's body, of a moment of intercourse. Kamasutra speaks of fashion among women to expose love-bite marks on their breasts as prestigious signs of their lovemaking. The walls of Konark Sun Temple, Ajanta/Ellora Caves and many other places have extremely artistic pictures of sex and nudity because we never associated any taboo with any of these things ever in our culture. We had our Gods of love and sex long before Valentine's Day came into being and we had the most revealing dresses even before the French Fashion gurus exhibited their traits. India has been advanced in all spheres of art, culture, science and education ever since civilization started in the world. This was possible only because of the all inclusive, free and tolerant atmosphere of India without any policing and restrictions. It's not that everyone had the same ideas or ideologies. There were always contradictions and counter views. But the unique part of Indian Culture has been that it had space for all ideas and contradictions. There was Kamasutra and also there was severe austerity and abstinence. There was atheism and also religiosity. There was Kalidasa and his classical romanticism and and also Meerabai and Surdas with their Bhakti. Indian Culture doesn't belong exclusively to anyone. It's the existence of everything that makes our culture so vibrant. We've been a diverse nation for ages and we've preserved each ethnicity with great care. Unification doesn't mean imposing a common code for all, but to give space to all the diverse elements and allow them to mingle with each other and co-exist together with peace and prosperity.

Personal behavior or choice or things of interest have nothing to do with the culture. Swami Vivekananda himself never gave up drinking and smoking. Does that make him a lesser Indian? Yes, Mahatma Gandhi did lead a different life, full with austerity and renunciations, but then he never disapproved of anything that's different. Even Tagore wrote in favor of and against renunciation at different phases of his life. Our Indian Culture includes all these contradictions and differences. That's what have made us so unique and we should go all ways to ensure that the all inclusiveness is never lost!! 

Anyway who talks about restrictions in Indian Culture actually don't know what the culture is and we should just ignore them.


Sudipto Das said...

by Mukesh.

It is election time and funds are needed. Appropriate noises against appropriate industries/ establishments will ensure smooth flow of election funds. Our CM today stated 75% of the murders are because of pub culture ! wow !! The government first fills its coffers through duties and licenses on liquor and bars/pubs. Than collects election funds and finally blames the industry !! Astronomical sums were demanded from the pub owners to allow dancing in the pubs. Some of the them refused as there was no business sense in paying up unless the timings were extended. And of course the kith and kin of top politicians (who have a stake in most of the pubs any way) keep pestering the pub owners to give them partnerships.

It is amazing that for the sake of a few rupees (in the form of haftha) or political power people stoop to any level and convert it into a ‘Indian culture issues’ and are forced to want us to conform to their way of life instead of ‘live and let live’. It was hilarious to watch the legal advisor of ‘Sri Rama Sene’ claiming on TV that the ‘girls were boozed’ . I mean, what does he expect people to do in a pub ?? (with license fee duly paid to the government and hafta to all those who matter). The honourable home minister himself stated that this was a haftha issue. And at Athena in Leela, KRV ransacked the place again in the name of Indian culture because someone connected to them was not allowed to get in as he was wearing slippers ! So the moral of the story is you can get away with anything as long as you bring an ‘Indian culture’ angle to the entire issue.

What next ? Will they make it mandatory for women to undergo ‘Agni Pariksha’ in line with ‘Indian culture’ ? ? Let the lady undergo agnipariksha to prove that she is your wife ?” as per Indian culture or psst pay us Rs 1,000 and we will give you a certificate stating that you are husband and wife !

Jeez donot we need to work on Roti, kapada, makaaan and sadak, bijli, paani in this country ?

Sudipto Das said...

by Vivek Shenoi

Why is the uniquely Indian? I cant think any *any* place that does not have contradictions and does not have space (eventually perhaps, as is with India) for contrarian ideas. What is so unique about India, other than the fact that we seem to use this to tom-tom India's past and point out to lost glories? And berate the present?

I am a little sick and tired of "promoting" India's glories - it sounds like "ente apoopanoru ana undayirunnu" - loosely translated as "my grandfather owned an elephant" (this, by the way, is the title of a book by a great mallu writer - Basheer)

My point is that we are not better than anybody else. And by the same argument, no worse than anybody else.
Just that we have much less documented history than a lot of other people and the past is painted more rosily that it actually could have been.

Looking at the past for supporting your future predictions is like driving a car looking in the rear view mirror! Being better that a many others is hardly a thing to cheer.

Read up on problems of induction (Hume and others) for some really interesting insights on Induction (note the capitalization, because it is such a complex problem). Or read "Black Swan" by Taleb. This is an easier and far better read!