Freedom leads to freedom, not anything else

Since posts are being deleted, thought this response would be necessary.

Ambedkar himself admired ramanuja , advaita . He said in his annhilation of caste ” no foreign ideology is necessary…” . So, no, he didnt see Hinduism as without hope. As for moral development in India is concerned, Coming of Islam was a big factor in all round under development altogether. There are many more people in Hinduism who stood up on issues of caste and they were allowed to criticise religion in its entirety. Ambedkar was made chairman of constitution by Gandhi and congress whom he criticised a lot. He visited and praised rss in its service as well. One cant say that of Islam. Islam kills its critics. so, no, I dont hold the same degree of hope for thee. As for borg, that is more apt for christianity and islam. It is not Hinduism that seeks converts.

Islam comes into it just as british are brought into it to explain harmful effects of colonialism to understand the relative under development. Europe succeeded because of 3 things, science, printing and freedom to criticize, India was the pre eminent place for new math and astronomy, it allowed freedom to criticize, atheists existed in India till the coming of Islam. Ramanuja , was the second greatest theologian in last 1500 yrs possibly and he stood against caste discrimination and so did many others in past 1000 years. Without Islam to worry about, people would have possibly be worried about these issues instead. Atheists existed in India for longer period than entire history of christianity thus far or the entire peak period of greeko roman civilization. To understand the influence of Islam, one only needs to wonder, what would have happened to western civilization had it been occupied, its universities destroyed, oxford and Cambridge being replaced with taj mahal and qutb minar. It was knowledge that changed the west and it would have been knowledge that would have changed India too, and knowledge production under Islam in India was bad.

The extraction under mughals was one of the highest, this point with evidence was already made here before. There seem to be many people out there who seem to fail the most basic test of understanding how progress whether it be in science or moral issues are made.

There is only one rule that leads to progress. Disagreement. Allowing critics to live and voice their opinion .  This freedom is of course not absolute anywhere in the world.  But is the bedrock of all progress. With this freedom, all other progress can be captured with time, but without this, it isnt sure how much progress can even be made. Freedom leads to freedom, not anything else.

With this in mind consider this.

 

girmitsays:

You can convert someone by appealing to their conscience, as christianity or islam do, or you can claim that a people belong to your fold (and they just don’t realize it), as brahminical hindus and their affiliates do, both are strategies to strengthen one’s identity group. The latter isn’t more compassionate. And if shudras criticize the hinduism of brahmins, it is not something that is permitted to them through enlightened reasoning, it is something that no one can do anything about and must endure. Weakness is not tolerance.
In some parts of India we are seeing shudras and others (who have force of numbers and willingness to take personal risk) aligning behind brahmins, and we are now seeing the so-called tolerance to criticize hinduism. Targeted assassination of writers, ransacking history departments, its all happening. Hindu exceptionalism is dangerous, the idea that we are uniquely peaceful and open to a multiplicity of viewpoints, and the Abrahamics are violent logocentric absolutists.
I’m not drawing a complete equivalence between all faith communities, there ARE qualitative differences, but we don’t know the history of dissent in hinduism. The people who used to get flogged for casting a shadow in the wrong direction or drawing from the wrong well, it doesn’t occur to me that their dissenting opinions on theological matters would be well received.”

 

This person cant seem to recognize, that west made strides of progress because of this very reason.Even if you were to credit this new progress in India due to enlightenment values in west, it would amount to the same idea.  As for history of dissent in hinduism, one can count the success of buddhism, ajivika, jainism, atheism in Indian history along with ramanuja, bhakti movement, veera shaivas among others,  eventual displacement from India of buddhism, atheism was not due to Hinduism either.

And one is infact thankful and should be thankful that people to a large degree are obeying laws of the land, constitution introduced under chairmanship of Ambedkar, with An atheist like Nehru being the Prime .This happened because  Gandhi built the social capital and entrusted it to them.   The chap seems to not realize,  without this social capital won and entrusted, which is what actually happened, the constitution remains but a piece of paper no one read. A formality. Without this trust if people had taken it upon them to destroy the social contract, massive amounts of damage could have been done . Especially if those people are the elites. So, yes, everyone must be thankful for combined cooperation that keeps the society working.To try to explain  this away by calling it “so called tolerance ” is outrightly moronic. It is a form of leftist delusion that has become all to common to see all progress as a product of forcible extraction. There is such a thing as win win deal or one earned through trust. One makes progress by making it so, otherwise, degree of fighting would lead to civil war as it happens in real failed states. People who make the above arguments live under delusion that things could not have been worse. No, they could have and could go south in future as well. One must make sure it doesnt happen so. And be appreciative therefore of progress made and one continues to keep making. The assembly that passed important bill on hindu code bill had many hindus of upper castes origin.

And one must look only across the borders to realize what freedom really means.  And one shouldnt make false equivalence even in partial way. And it is indeed right to praise polytheism to be better than monotheism on this issue. As for allowing dissent, it is the only freedom that counts, everything else is product of this one freedom. So, yes polytheism is most certainly more open for allowance of criticism. Infact I would argue that a world without monotheism would have developed far faster.  Even the success of the west is under girded on the knowledge and practices of hellenic and roman civilizations.

 

Author: Bharata Bharatavanshi

https://en.gravatar.com/bharata999

37 thoughts on “Freedom leads to freedom, not anything else”

  1. bharat, I don’t see that people are obeying the laws of the land, that success is yet to be achieved. People are constantly breaking the social contract and the lok sabha is hardly a sacred symbol. And yet, I’ll admit a certain peace prevails that could be distinguished from other societies. It doesn’t flow from the constitution or the police as much as you credit. Thank the ethos of the masses, those who lie outside the sanskritic high culture. It is the tolerance of the Shudra and Dalit that the upper castes should be thankful for.
    And as others have said before, all of the comparisons to “across the border” are empty as I doubt you’ve been there and you’ve imagined something much more dire than actually exists.

    1. Again, idiotic thinking. your opinion of obedience of laws is irrelevant, what matters is comparison of India in comparison to the world. India has among the least police forces per population in the world. And again, comparison to the world is also the standard for what is happening across the border. You should recognize there is a world beyond yours and my opinion. As for tolerance of those outside the dalits, shudras, this again is only partially true. It is tolerance of those in power/elite to give up that power through the system of democracy that matters as much as those who gain to exercise power. This opinion is also therefore idiotic. It is this kind of idiotic loony talk of the left that can potentially lead to society’s downfall. The assumption that society only works because of tolerance of people below, no, its often the tolerance of those above that matters too and historically mattered more. This brings the example of loony thinking of the left, that everything good is product of some extraction of power and not one of understanding or trust or win win deal. society’s that think like this can kiss good bye to peace altogether.

      1. “It is tolerance of those in power/elite to give up that power through the system of democracy that matters as much as those who gain to exercise power”

        Shudras ARE the elite in the states. You are conflating brahmins and vaishyas with the political elite on the state level. Im proposing a realism in looking at the power structure, not bitching about it, and not shedding tears over past injustice. Just saying that the sanatana dharma culture is not the only prestige culture , the masses have other options, and are not necessarily on board with that social agenda.

        1. I am talking of India immediately post Independence and pre Independence and the rules of constitution being adopted. Ofcourse the masses have other options because that is what was accepted in constitution voted in by congress party led by gandhi and nehru who were of “brahmin and vaishya background as u see it” and a significant number of people who infact voted for it were of those backgrounds as well.

          ” Im proposing a realism in looking at the power structure, not bitching about it, and not shedding tears over past injustice. Just saying that the sanatana dharma culture is not the only prestige culture , the masses have other options, and are not necessarily on board with that social agenda.”

          This option was available for past 3000 yrs too. When exactly was this not an option?

  2. “girmint
    Hindutva has aims that go much beyond the muslim question. This preoccupation with Islam serves a purpose, for communities with a legacy of high ritual status to consolidate their control over the wider society, and protect their interests, in the face of globalization. If the discourse around Islam ruining India wasn’t ratcheted up constantly, then the perennial background conversation about brahminism ruining Indian civilization would come to the fore.”

    The incredible conspiratorial thinking is truly amazing. One can if one were less conspiratorial, actually say, lets discuss both, separately. The idea that one ratchets up one in order to stop another conversation to come to the fore is once again conspiratorial. There has been no partition of India on basis of castes, there has been on religion. There have been reforms made into Hindu code and reservations, by comparison uniform civil code among other issues are not discussed. Which is the branch that historians and academics unwilling to discuss today, in India and around the world? Hinduism or Islam?. left loony conspiratorial thinking is incredible.

  3. You project too much if you think it implies conspiracy. Its the psychology of a group. Muslim leaders were very attuned to it before partition and cited it often as a reason for separation. They had more unity early on as they belonged to a transnational identity. If you don’t think caste mobilization is a thing, and that it isn’t negotiated fiercely, then you are distant from the context here. And if you don’t think that some hindus see certain other castes of people as bigger threats than Muslims and Christians, enjoy your ignorance on that matter. If you want to comfort yourself that they are all deluded post-modern leftists, suit yourself. But good ole ethnocentrism is everyones prerogative.

    1. delusion?. Put a number to it. quantify it. no one here denies any of that. Dont put words in my mouth to say things I never said. I am not in denial of caste discrimination at all. If you would read my article “should Hinduism survive?” you would realize this . One has to quantify it , it isnt enough to mobilize creation of nation state. And many of these issues are going to be settled anyway if the boat is not rocked hard enough by these loony bin ideas. Because technology will provide answers to all these issues to create opportunity in next 100 yrs when combined with civil discourse .

      1. “Dont put words in my mouth to say things I never said. I am not in denial of caste discrimination at all.”
        Read more closely. I could care less if someone IS in denial of caste discrimination, I’m not on a crusade. You mistake me for someone who is trying to take you to task. I suggest that you may CHOOSE to be deluded about the amount of goodwill that exists between the masses and brahmins/vaishyas. And if you chose to do so, I wouldn’t blame you. And again, if you read closely, I don’t speak about demanding justice from brahmins. Tell me the power of brahmins in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, or Kerala? People will make their own destiny, the brahmins and other “high church” hindus have to make a future with masses, not the other way around.

        1. Again, that is true by definition of democracy giving greater weight age to masses. Who again is in denial of that?. this statement is equivalent to saying 2+2=4. That is just true.
          what exactly has any of this to do with polytheism, monotheism?

          1. “what exactly has any of this to do with polytheism, monotheism?”
            you should ask yourself before launching into all of this. I suggested nothing in my earliest comments other than that “hindu exceptionalism” is dangerous because we have an incomplete history of hindu dissent. Its a well crafted myth for all we know, which might have some supporting historical anecdote, but not enough to be imprudent and waste all our “tolerance” capital in the belief we have infinite stores of it.
            Religions aren’t discrete structures with theoretic constraints on possible cultural expressions. A beautiful culture can become a beastly one.

          2. again, one can only study human culture in comparison to global one. “Hindu exceptionalism is part of polytheistic exceptionalism” with all its good and barbaric aspects as well.Including human sacrifices too as I mentioned in my earlier article “should Hinduism survive?”. And it is not a myth . even virulent critics of Hinduism do not deny this much. The way i see is that, if the most strident critics concede to this, then there is more probability of this being true than otherwise, infact, these are the only places one can get to near unanimity on any issue.

    2. girmit, you are saying things that are new to me. Would you be willing to contribute an article to BP posting examples of:
      “some hindus see certain other castes of people as bigger threats than Muslims and Christians”

      In general Hindus don’t have a problem with most Christians (the partial exception being some evangelicals), with most Sufis and with most Shia. So I can see where you might be coming from. Please elaborate.

      1. Anan, I’m genuinely surprised that this could be thought of as new to you since you have engaged in discourse with such diverse groups of people. Next time you are in India, if you don’t stay their now, you should tap into a different scene. The term “brahminism” itself evokes strong reactions and accusations of conspiratorial lunacy, so its kind of exhausting to explore in depth. I’ve read the right-wing press and hindutva sympathetic literature broadly, not to mention lots and lots of people, I know the constituency well enough.

        1. Again, what one is claiming conspiratorial lunacy is not about talking of such thing here or anywhere else. But of saying, people are ratcheting up on Islam to stop conversing about that. That is conspiratorial lunacy. In any society, people should have the freedom to speak about things that they give value to.

          1. Most thinkers who have written on the long arc of Indian history have a theory of civilizational decline. The opinionated layman nationalist has one of those theories (or something similar) as his priors. Lets just say ethnicity informs ones biases. If this seems like an improbable conspiracy and not the natural coalescing of interest groups and ideologies, than you have a very atomized view of society perhaps.

  4. “Most thinkers who have written on the long arc of Indian history have a theory of civilizational decline. The opinionated layman nationalist has one of those theories (or something similar) as his priors. Lets just say ethnicity informs ones biases. If this seems like an improbable conspiracy and not the natural coalescing of interest groups and ideologies, than you have a very atomized view of society perhaps.”

    http://www.brownpundits.com/2018/02/15/evolution-of-societies-a-perspective/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

    There is a way to look at the world without ethnic biases, one can study world history. This is my view. I am in total agreement with idea that brahmins/vaishyas should step away ,let others lead and demand better economy. This in some sense is necessary. Please read. Yuval harari is a good read as well. In next 100 yrs, technology will outshine almost everything else in determining human destiny. we will have nuclear fusion, we will have AI. in last 100 yrs, the biggest ideas were capitalism and communism, in next 100 yrs, technology will be above other ideas.

    1. Quite possible, all of our narrow prejudices will seem bizarre perhaps. The question id like to know is, will national integration precede global integration? technology might favor the latter to supercede.

      1. it most certainly will, especially for countries like India that are backward and have already given up on its internet market space. we will not develop ai, we dont even build own chips. apart from modi speeches that impresses idiots, nothing much has been spent on r&d, infact it has been cut down. As yuval harari points out in a discussion, control of technology will push us to global rule of somekind. already with facebook, and internet in general, one could say that we already are at beginning of this global view. And in order to succeed well also requires global cooperation too. unlike nuclear bombs where we can afford to build some 20-50 yrs after others, this isnt the case where we will even have the time.

      2. This is an interesting question that I dwell on a lot. As it stands today, I think only China, and to lesser extents Russia and Iran, have independent “national” Internet spheres. In other places, the global might precede and hence subsume national integration. The only way for a global integration to have been truly global was if China was included.. otherwise it will be western-led and western-defined, a poor outcome for India and others.

        I don’t even see any real will in India for a different outcome. The best-case scenario for India in my mind, admittedly fanciful, is technology allowing a massive colonization of Mars where humans and surplus-human societies will be valuable again. Indians might then become the Italians in USA and Argentina, not colonizers but settlers following colonization.

          1. @Vikram, Sporadically. I don’t have any particular expertise in these subjects, just like to think through things as far as I can. I’ll stop now and not overstay @bharatavanshi’s welcome.

  5. girmit, reading most of your comments it would seem that India is ruled by an elitist Brahmin-Baniya combine, who are of some different race and follow an irredeemably flawed ‘Sanksritic High culture’, which is deeply resented by the vast majority, who only put up with this gross suppression and exploitation because of their grounding outside this High Culture.

    Also, you have some ground sense of the seething masses that all the rest of us lack.

    It is not my contention that either Hinduism or Indian nationalism is flawless. But I think its high time you upgraded your comments from innuendos and vague assertions to a more concrete set of views.

    Do you think the vast majority of Indians are being tricked into declaring themselves as Hindus in the census ?
    Do you think Indian nationalism has been a failure and harms the growth of the majority of the populace ?
    Do you think Sanskrit literary traditions are incompatible with a rational and humane existence ?

    1. I would prefer if u were to take this out on new place. This is about as the topic has been said, freedom and ability to criticize.

    2. Vikram, I didn’t talk about oppression really. People make their own destiny. I don’t approve of allocating one’s resentment towards those with the most cultural power. Whether it be a radical in the middle east seething against the west, or an agricultural caste Indian feeling the same towards brahmins, I think its a cop out.
      I think that the high sanskritic tradition is one of many in India, and it doesn’t fulfill the cultural needs of every group equally. Sanskritization of OBCs will ebb and flow I guess. Mainstream literature and film are experimenting quite a bit with language in that way.
      Its kind of a knee jerk thing for some, who are perhaps left-skeptics if not firmly centre-right politically, to take any mention of brahminism, sanskritization or other critiques as coming from a social justice perspective. Some of us, however, have no grievance in that regard. In fact I’ve seen more evidence that my own people oppress other classes of people, and I don’t wallow in self-loathing. This isnt about virtue, oppression, innocence , justice, whatever. Its an attempt at a detached commentary on the cultural economy, and to temper the view that hindus are anything close to consolidated internally, as well as vis a vis out groups like muslims/christians. I’ve participated in many real life discussions where people were blaming societal decline to brahmins and baniyas , and my initial contribution to that discourse is that they attribute to much power to these groups retrospectively and too little agency to others.
      [Do you think the vast majority of Indians are being tricked into declaring themselves as Hindus in the census ?] no,some, but not the vast majority. out of the 82% of indians that are accounted for as hindus, i’d say at least 1/3 of them aren’t really in a meaningful way if we take hinduism to be a faith. The 82% percent makes the most sense as just a anthropological cultural category. I’ve seen hindu social organizations up close who work to convert tribals, and donate money, much like missionaries, to “upgrade” temples and reinterpret the myths around them to align with pan-indian deities.

      [Do you think Indian nationalism has been a failure and harms the growth of the majority of the populace ?] Not yet, and the best way to keep it from being a failure is a reasonable amount of community self interest and negotiated devolution of powers.

      [Do you think Sanskrit literary traditions are incompatible with a rational and humane existence ?] No. But it isn’t the primary heritage of many of us. And for the same reason we don’t jettison the Sanskrit canon for the perfectly suitable Greek one, for reasons of heritage, we look to preserve some cultural autonomy and continuity.

  6. bharata, i’m posting two comments here, that kabir deleted on his post:

    1.
    The hindutva project is not antithetical to Ambedkar’s embrace of buddhism or the religion of buddhism or the dalits embrace of buddhism. From the hindutvavadi perspective your argument reads like a non-sequitur.

    Now as per islam, ambedkar, right now, is burning in hell. And in this hell, he is to face eternal torture with absolutely no chance at redemption, because he has committed the worst crime that can ever be attributed to a human being, that being shirk (the worship of any other than allah). The same applies to every single hindu.

    Now no hindu has any right to define what islam should mean to muslims, and if shirk is the worst crime imaginable then so be it.

    But then one has to ask, what sort of a relationship can exist between a mushrik and a muslim? Can they really be friends? Does islam permit friendship with mushriks? Can they ever be equal citizens of a state which nominally privileges equality of all citizens, but where in one citizen blatantly believes that his political, moral and philosophical framework be based on a religion where in the other citizen is a hell bound mushrik whose religion is patently false.

    Now the same argument can be presented by a dalit against a savarna hindu, and as long as the savarna hindu doesn’t acknowledge the faults of his faith, right down to the scriptural sources that became the justification for his prejudices and injustices against the dalit, doesn’t acknowledge the horrors of the past and then comes up with a political, social and economic framework to address the legitimate grievances of the dalit, he cannot, in good conscience ask for the dalit to consider extending his loyalty to the indian state.

    The muslim too can make an argument that he or she doesn’t want to be partake in a charter of citizenship where in he or she has to have a relationship with a religion whose ideals doesn’t match hers.

    The only way then to solve this conundrum is to come up with a shared political and moral framework whose values are acceptable to all, which allows people of different faiths, backgrounds and histories to practice their religions and cultures, but where in the religion is neither the basic of citizenship, nor can it enforce any veto over the shared political and moral framework.

    Now when it comes to such a framework the hindu is more than willing to meet the muslim halfway, and the best example of such a framework is the Indian constitution, but a document like the indian constitution would not have come into force if the hindu had not been open to the faults of his faith and acknowledged the horrors of history.

    The muslims on the other hand show no inclination to do the same. No criticism of islam is permissible. Muslims for the large part insist that their political and moral framework will be based on islam. Further more there is a militant mindset which produces a fair amount of violence.

    Hindu nationalism or hindutva always was and remains a reaction against an islam that is unwilling to get with the times.

    2.
    AnAn;
    Don’t disagree with anything you have written.

    girmit;
    “If the discourse around Islam ruining India wasn’t ratcheted up constantly, then the perennial background conversation about brahminism ruining Indian civilization would come to the fore.”

    Highly speculative considering political power in India is now firmly in the hands of the shudra. Secondly the shudra or the OBC has not only been a beneficiary of the caste system, but most crimes against dalits are committed by the OBC. So it is the Jut sikh in punjab, the jat in harayana, the patel, patil, yadav, reddy, gowda, vellalar who in maintaining his feudal status exploits dalits the most. Beneficiaries of brahamnism taking up cudgels against it seems, well, speculative.

    Why do you think sanskitization has worked so well with the OBC?

    Ambedkar demolished the intellectual and scriptural framework that produced casteism, and no savarna hindu has come up with or can come up with a revisionist framework to demolish his work.

    “This preoccupation with Islam serves a purpose, for communities with a legacy of high ritual status to consolidate their control over the wider society, and protect their interests, in the face of globalization.”

    This is typical leftist spiel. The economic reality of India is much more complex than clever reductionism.

    1. I have a problem with people taking on girmit on issues that are tangential to the topic. Please, you and vikram can take it with him somewhere else. My issue with him was mostly about him being wrong on dissent in Hinduism, even the worst critics of hinduism including ambedkar concede to this. so he is wrong here. And yes, this is not absolute but infact relative to monotheism. yuval harari points to this in his book, he agrees to aryan invasion,later imposition to caste etc, but even he doesnt deny this case.

  7. I am sad, that repeatedly people are posting things tangentially to topic, please do contribute on importance of freedom of thought first in Indian history and in general. Also, I have in interest of fairness allowed all 3 posts by 3 individuals to persist. From now on, I will delete. There are other places to discuss. Over here, please do post on polytheism vs monotheism. Also girmit. Polytheism allows different strands of belief to co exist. That was the case in India. sanskritisation, brahminisation is post fact reasoning when in fact all there existed was this many chains of belief systems co existing, connected to each other. And those other systems of belief in periphery have died out much faster to xtianisation or islamisation more quickly. And once it breaks that way, there is nothing that can be done to turn things again.

  8. Let me try to put sanskritisation, brahminisation in their context.

    ————————————————————–

    Let’s take the example of today’s world –
    In modern we have some set of values that we consider as ‘modern’ & thus their increase means a step towards goal of achieving modernization.

    Now let’s consider the powers that have defined what it means to be modern –
    If you were to put a circle around these people they would be very small in numbers since most of them would be elites & they would be encouraging every person to explore the world around them.

    Now let’s put a circle around upper to center of middle class which will consist more people than elites & most of them would agree with elites {esp. if they are from upper middle class} but the majority of the people would disagree & would be more interested in securing their own interests to gain a certain level of financial security.

    Now let’s put another circle for the rest of the middle class, the no. of people will again increase in this circle but there would be even fewer takers for the preposition ‘to explore the world…..’ since they are struggling hard just to maintain themselves at the financial levels they are at.

    Now let’s put the last circle around all the poor people below middle class & again the number of people will go up & these people don’t even have time to listen & respond to words like ‘explore….’ since they are too busy for their survival.

    Now take any liberal discourse {before 2015} & you will find the precedence for the position of the elites.

    ——————————————————————

    Look at link between social classes & their food, behavior, life choices etc. This form of link {among social hierarchy} in Indian context was termed as Brahmanization & Sanskratization by famous sociologist M.N. Srinivas.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanskritisation

    What is Westernization in modern world ? Isn’t it linked to status, social class hierarchy ? Is it not just another form of Brahmanization ? But oh wait the Sociologists who coined these terms understood the connection but was confused to explain the true situation on ground {as you can notice his struggle in trying to describe social relations from oriental & Indian concepts} but politicians won’t tell that, here is his paper about the issue {You can find it if you know where to look for} –

    A Note on Sanskritization and Westernization

    https://www.jstor.org/stable/2941919?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

    Note – Do remember to note that his understanding emanates from the perspective which is framed in ‘Oriental Knowledge’ of ‘Colonial Masters’.

    Remove Oriental blinkers & search these in Google – relationship social Class & Behavior, social class and education inequality, Social class & choice & so on……

  9. // Ambedkar himself admired ramanuja , advaita . He said in his annhilation of caste ” no foreign ideology is necessary…” . So, no, he didnt see Hinduism as without hope. As for moral development in India is concerned, Coming of Islam was a big factor in all round under development altogether. There are many more people in Hinduism who stood up on issues of caste and they were allowed to criticise religion in its entirety. Ambedkar was made chairman of constitution by Gandhi and congress whom he criticised a lot. He visited and praised rss in its service as well. One cant say that of Islam. Islam kills its critics. so, no, I dont hold the same degree of hope for thee. As for borg, that is more apt for christianity and islam. It is not Hinduism that seeks converts. //

    You need to read Ambedkar’s work, esp. – The Buddha and His Dhamma & Pakistan, or, The Partition of India, to understand why he said ” no foreign ideology is necessary…”.

    In one book he basically praises one religion over another i.e. Buddhism over Hinduism since that’s what he experienced in his life, while in another he shows why Islam was foreign & why Pakistan is necessary.

    He believed that Hinduism can’t survive without caste that’s the central point of his book – Annhiliation of Caste.

    As far as criticism of human social division goes it has been going on even since the human society has came into existence but from Hindu texts the best examples i can provide are –
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vajrasuchi_Upanishad
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apastamba_Dharmasutra

    So no Islam was not needed for criticism of social division but i guess the number of such work increased substantially probably because of increased number of deprived people.

    // Islam comes into it just as british are brought into it to explain harmful effects of colonialism to understand the relative under development. Europe succeeded because of 3 things, science, printing and freedom to criticize, India was the pre eminent place for new math and astronomy, it allowed freedom to criticize, atheists existed in India till the coming of Islam. Ramanuja , was the second greatest theologian in last 1500 yrs possibly and he stood against caste discrimination and so did many others in past 1000 years. Without Islam to worry about, people would have possibly be worried about these issues instead. Atheists existed in India for longer period than entire history of christianity thus far or the entire peak period of greeko roman civilization. To understand the influence of Islam, one only needs to wonder, what would have happened to western civilization had it been occupied, its universities destroyed, oxford and Cambridge being replaced with taj mahal and qutb minar. It was knowledge that changed the west and it would have been knowledge that would have changed India too, and knowledge production under Islam in India was bad. //

    I agree with the views expressed in this paragraph though.

    // There is only one rule that leads to progress. Disagreement. Allowing critics to live and voice their opinion . This freedom is of course not absolute anywhere in the world. But is the bedrock of all progress. //

    Well said.

    ———————————————————————-

    // You can convert someone by appealing to their conscience, as christianity or islam do, or you can claim that a people belong to your fold (and they just don’t realize it), as brahminical hindus and their affiliates do, both are strategies to strengthen one’s identity group. //

    Yes agree the people convert for vary many reasons but the process of such diffusion & change is lost and now researchers have started looking into this phenomenon of how beliefs {not necessarily religions} of different communities interact & affect each other.

    Hindus have had to make such claims due to historical reasons like from Oriental constructs {Orientalism 1979, Missionary Tropics. The Catholic Frontier in India} to hidden religious bigotry {The Nay Science}, to controlling the knowledge forming mechanisms the Hinduism survived by responding to such challenges {even if that meant responding in an incorrect manner, that’s what current Hindutva is}.

    // And if shudras criticize the hinduism of brahmins, it is not something that is permitted to them through enlightened reasoning, it is something that no one can do anything about and must endure. Weakness is not tolerance. //

    Problem is Indians are creating false narratives in Oriental framework since colonization to gain political patronage.

    https://www.academia.edu/17241604/Untouchables_and_Contested_History – Shraddha Kumbhojkar, Savitribai Phule Pune University Faculty.

    Yes weakness is not tolerance but unjust criticism only increases friction {as the no. of physical atrocities have gone up} & does not solve anything.

    // In some parts of India we are seeing shudras and others (who have force of numbers and willingness to take personal risk) aligning behind brahmins, and we are now seeing the so-called tolerance to criticize hinduism. Targeted assassination of writers, ransacking history departments, its all happening. Hindu exceptionalism is dangerous, the idea that we are uniquely peaceful and open to a multiplicity of viewpoints, and the Abrahamics are violent logocentric absolutists. //

    So you mean to say that we should disregard history of accepting criticism {Since you term it as Hindu exceptionalism} & accept that Hindus are also capable of perpetuating atrocities. Every group is capable of atrocities & so are Hindus too but to disregard history to put every ideology in the same basket is disingenuous & dishonest way to look at the world.

    // I’m not drawing a complete equivalence between all faith communities, there ARE qualitative differences, but we don’t know the history of dissent in hinduism. The people who used to get flogged for casting a shadow in the wrong direction or drawing from the wrong well, it doesn’t occur to me that their dissenting opinions on theological matters would be well received.” //

    I guess you simply didn’t put your own efforts to look into these things. For e.g. check the works of authors like Ludo rocher, Timothy Lubin or Donald R. Davis Jr.

    How many places in the world do we find the common religious centres of Abrahamic religions {except Jerusalem} ? In most Ancient Indian dynasties we find that they patronaged all belief systems {Brahmans & Sharmanas} during their regimes & their personal religion did not matter most of the times.

    // This person cant seem to recognize, that west made strides of progress because of this very reason.Even if you were to credit this new progress in India due to enlightenment values in west, it would amount to the same idea. As for history of dissent in hinduism, one can count the success of buddhism, ajivika, jainism, atheism in Indian history along with ramanuja, bhakti movement, veera shaivas among others, eventual displacement from India of buddhism, atheism was not due to Hinduism either.

    And one is infact thankful and should be thankful that people to a large degree are obeying laws of the land, constitution introduced under chairmanship of Ambedkar, with An atheist like Nehru being the Prime .This happened because Gandhi built the social capital and entrusted it to them. The chap seems to not realize, without this social capital won and entrusted, which is what actually happened, the constitution remains but a piece of paper no one read. A formality. Without this trust if people had taken it upon them to destroy the social contract, massive amounts of damage could have been done . Especially if those people are the elites. So, yes, everyone must be thankful for combined cooperation that keeps the society working.To try to explain this away by calling it “so called tolerance ” is outrightly moronic. It is a form of leftist delusion that has become all to common to see all progress as a product of forcible extraction. There is such a thing as win win deal or one earned through trust. One makes progress by making it so, otherwise, degree of fighting would lead to civil war as it happens in real failed states. People who make the above arguments live under delusion that things could not have been worse. No, they could have and could go south in future as well. One must make sure it doesnt happen so. And be appreciative therefore of progress made and one continues to keep making. The assembly that passed important bill on hindu code bill had many hindus of upper castes origin.

    And one must look only across the borders to realize what freedom really means. And one shouldnt make false equivalence even in partial way. And it is indeed right to praise polytheism to be better than monotheism on this issue. As for allowing dissent, it is the only freedom that counts, everything else is product of this one freedom. So, yes polytheism is most certainly more open for allowance of criticism. Infact I would argue that a world without monotheism would have developed far faster. Even the success of the west is under girded on the knowledge and practices of hellenic and roman civilizations. //

    Bro let me welcome you to the real world with the latest book that traces the account of equality & Inequality through human societies –
    The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality from the Stone Age to the Twenty-First Century (Princeton Economic History of the Western World)

    I wish it could have included India but it would help you in understanding how human societies have evolved.

    No matter what happens revolutions or wars or natural disasters only disaster leads to temporary prosperity. Secondly if social contract is working then why the protests & unrests continue in the same manner which Ambedkar warned against ?

    https://scroll.in/article/802495/why-br-ambedkars-three-warnings-in-his-last-speech-to-the-constituent-assembly-resonate-even-today

    Why such levels of inequality ushered by the social contract ?
    http://www.thehindu.com/business/Economy/Richest-1-own-58-of-total-wealth-in-India-Oxfam/article17044486.ece

    Same situation in world –
    http://fortune.com/2017/11/14/credit-suisse-millionaires-millennials-inequality/

    Who gets to decide what is progress ? If you look closely they are the elites you decried earlier. Yeah the analogy of troubled neighbor shows us exactly why inequality continues because humans prefer inequal peace over equal Bolsheviks.

    1. I am aware of prosperity/wars dynamic etc. can we speak of “importance of disagreeing” and its role in progress.

      1. I completely accept the “importance of disagreeing” for progress but other things that should be mentioned is that the disagreement needs to happen in a respectful manner & the disagreement should happen in constructive manner {not just for the sack of it}.

        Secondly the debate can only happen if one is willing to accept the new info which is brought forth during debate & if both sides are willing to change the arguments accordingly.

        Lastly the debaters knowledge about the issue is essential which leaves out large chunks of people from meaningful engagements.

        These are some of the limiting factors which affect debates & the ways they move forward.

        1. all of it is important, hence public consumption of new information is important.

  10. I am posting this here again.

    I am optimistic because I am pessimistic and see that to avoid something worse, we should want to deal with this now. In many places where free speech is not allowed, everything becomes tribal. everything becomes about numbers and demographic. Everyone eventually takes sides because they cant see another way. Only by bursting the bubble of religion with criticism, satire can one offer a different path. I see this potential danger and I must try, no?.
    India has no free speech. This directly affects everything I care for in this world that is personal to me. I see Indian politicians as being dum dums and India being outrightly idiotic in how it refuses to allow this gift of reason for its own citizens. The consequences are potentially frightful. I am also a bit worried about the west that is also being coerced through empathyjacking (hijacking people’s empathy) into abandoning free speech.

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