Browncast: Keerthik Sasidharan, author of The Dharma Forest

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In this episode I talk to Keerthik Sasidharan, an author and columnist whose debut book “The Dharma Forest” just came out in India in December 2020. Release in the US is awaited. We talk about his book, the Mahabharata, Indian tradition and whatever comes to mind.. Image result for keerthik sasidharan

The Dharma Forest

The great drama of battle between light and darkness

This is an opinion piece, you have been warned. Wokeism and the saviorology perhaps have its origins from zoroastrianism. Of battling the forces of darkness by the forces of light. So any disagreement is not seen as mere disagreement, but a sign of evil baring its fangs, a sign of corruption, a sign of being a puppet ,sellout etc. And in todays world of social media, the need for virtue signaling, need for social credit above what one can achieve through one’s own talents or achievements are alluring to many. As I joked,
“what is the price of milk?”
ans: ‘fighting fascism’
“what do you know about the issues?”
ans: ‘fighting fascism’
” what is your name?”
ans: fighting for human rights.
” did you watch baywatch?”
ans: ‘fighting sexism’

Everything is about fighting fascism, fighting the good fight against the great evil other who is only an hour away from committing genocide seems to be their case. And it is a good racket, because one can fight fascism now, fascism tomorrow and fascism forever for creeping fascism is always there, ready to expand. And the way to answer is not merely by arguments. Not merely by knowledge amassed on history, politics, business or science. But by actions, to help people, creating a literature to sensitize people and humor . And by lending a sympathetic ear, there is a good tradition of oratory in black community, one can see this in cornel west.

People will paint you as the bad guy, that is their model they are selling to their followers, their audience. Way to bust that model is to reach out, help, lend a sympathetic ear where possible, look for allies with same values, they exist. The monopoly of speaking out for various causes right now is largely in hands of left. This has to be competed . Its not the jerk in front of you that you need to convince. It is the audience they cater to, the audience that they feed the images of you being an ogre. In a world where many have been educated in the art of stringing words together, but dont have the talent to build anything else, there is competition for leading and stirring up movements for social credit. Everyone has an opinion and can share it online to thousands.

One cant just be a priest and utter the sacred verses and claim that is enough or give the correct view of history. One must beat trust deficit models as such by creating trust capital , among various audiences. And get people to move away from painting the other as incorrigibly evil . And also rightly accuse others where they double down or refuse to accept truth, turn their own weapons against them. Always try to steelman others arguments, because that is what goes missing most of the time. And if one scales this, it would have a wider audience than others that divide people up. But as swami vivekananda put it. “An ounce of practice is worth a thousand words”.

To Hindus in usa, reach out to jews, reach out to blacks, native Indians, members of other communities, speak, sensitize, lend a hand or a sympathetic ear where possible. Rss, bjp members outside India can also do the same, reach, help. Lies are broken by actions, not mere words. People can twist your words, it is harder to twist your good deeds where there is no intent of conversion or anything else. You have the power to make friends. And that is a great power . And so is humor, one must ask, “How many fascists did you find and slay today?”.

Hindus should also consider dialectical advaita/buddhism.
Again, do not reinforce their self imagery of being “liberal or left”, of them fighting evil, instead challenge their self imagery with probing questions and your behavior. cognitive dissonance should be our aim. The idea that everyone else are brainwashed and programmed except them is something to challenge. Ask them, when were they wrong?. Where does their models fail, If they were never wrong, then it is the best evidence of them being brainwashed.

Either you question and probe their identity or you fall for their essentialist identity trap they designed for you by getting you to become enraged. Freedom is in pushing back through first option, otherwise you too become dogmatic and shut yourself in completely. Remember that Identity looks for reasons , reasons dont make identities. The democrats focused on racial identity, republicans on religious identity.

Again, do not reinforce their self imagery of being “liberal or left”, instead challenge their self imagery with probing questions. When we do not turn Our Philosophy into dialectic methods of probing questions of identity, we fall for the trap they designed for us. To put us into a box they created for us to fall into. To contain and constrain one’s self expression and pursuit for truth.

Terms you use are extraordinarily important. Words you use have an effect, what is the effect you intend, just spout facts or challenge the identity of your opponent?. Question their self image of themselves and their belief, break their illusions. All else is wasteful. Our job is to seed doubts in their constructed identity . With every word, every sentence, we need to probe them again and again. And create a better literature to both study sociology and try to help create a better way by reducing animosity. We should try to understand the world through our ideas of nyaya/vedanta/buddhism. What is the buddhist view of Human history is an important question to consider. It can expand our imagination and perspective, they too are good tools to probe the current issues and move away from antagonism.

A very good article.
https://quillette.com/2021/01/27/beating-back-cancel-culture-a-case-study-from-the-field-of-artificial-intelligence/

https://nypost.com/2021/01/31/10-ways-to-fight-back-against-woke-culture/

Remember, they are here to paint you as an ogre. You only need to reach out, help in your own way and speak truth and build your trust capital to break their lies.

India Stack: The Art of Digital Alchemy

India isn’t exactly known for efficiency. The chaos that slams your senses as you step off the plane into the Land of Dharma stands in contrast to the sense of stillness that India’s old wisdom brings. Today’s India is in constant churn. Still shackling off the chains of colonialism and bureaucracy, India can appear to move at the cumbersome pace of an elephant; but sometimes, that elephant charges.

FinTech is an arena of speed and nimbleness. Firms move at the pace of a nimbus cloud as startups rise and fall in an increasingly competitive space that promises to transform a world moving from analog to digital. Security is also placed at a premium, as conflict transitions from firing mortars and metal to acquiring capital and computer power. But above all, what is needed in FinTech is efficiency.

A STACK OF INDIAN RUPEE NOTES AND COINS THAT WILL SOON TRANSMUTE TO CYBERSPACE BY DIGITAL ALCHEMY

A country known for a fetish for over-administration would be assumed to be one of the last places to find quite possibly the most advanced and successful FinTech “stack” on the planet. Cause and effect enjoy playing coy and serendipitous games with each other, and it is in India where we find the confluence of separate information streams merge into the exceptional India Stack.

Continue reading India Stack: The Art of Digital Alchemy