I (Maneesh Taneja) am in conversation with Arihant Pawariya. Arihant is a senior editor with the Swarajya magazine and an influential voice in the right-wing ecosystem in India. In a freewheeling conversation, Arihant talks about the ‘Core’ agenda and how he sees the Indian state behaving were India to turn into a Hindu state.
My take away, the as positions on both sides of the ideological divide harden, the window of bringing in a Uniform Civil Code in India will close in a decade.
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Look forward to your thoughts and feedback.
@maneesht and @haryannvi on Twitter.
Authors and books mentioned in the episode:
M. N. Srinivas: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M._N._Srinivas
Caste in Modern India: https://www.jstor.org/stable/2941637
Social Change in Modern India: https://www.jstor.org/stable/24431229
Thomas Sowell: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Sowell
The Vision of Anointed: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Vision_of_the_Anointed
Nassim Nicholas Taleb: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nassim_Nicholas_Taleb
Ayan Rand: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayn_Rand
Atlas Shrugged: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlas_Shrugged
Who is John Galt: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Galt
6 thoughts on “Browncast: Core Agenda and India as a Hindu State-In conversation with Arihant Pawariya.”
Illuminating conversation! One quick reaction I have is that, though I am completely on board with education being the highest priority of the state, it isn’t clear to me that the Swarajyamag folks seek the same things I do. In addition to teaching kids about our history and heritage, I would put great emphasis on a liberal scientific education that makes kids understand critical thinking (not to be confused with CRT) and opens kids’ minds to the opportunities and possibilities of our world. I didn’t get the sense that Arihant was at all concerned about the latter.
Also, Arihant didn’t discuss his (or his faction’s) views on economics, other than to say that he doesn’t subscribe to libertariansim (after a very brief flirtation with Ayn Rand). I have heard other people (of a more liberal bent) say that the Hindu RW doesn’t really care about economics one way or the other, and I couldn’t come to a different conclusion after listening to this podcast.
Talking about Ayn Rand, here is my personal experience. I had a brief (year or two) flirtation with socialism and communism in my mid-teens, and the book that shocked me out of it was Ayn Rand’s first novel “We the Living”. To anybody who wants to get the most out of Rand’s philosophy without being either totally seduced or totally repelled by her, I suggest the following sequence: We the Living, followed by Fountainhead, followed by Atlas Shrugged. Then either read her tract on Objectivism (critically) or jump to other writers of the libertarian bent (and then, of other ideologies). I still consider We the Living to be her most balanced and un-hyperbolic book, though one that starkly brings out the brutality and unworkability of communism. I liked Fountahinhead for exalting individualism and making a cogent argument that even socialism is unworkable. Atlas Shrugged was very frustrating reading, with massive repetitions and interminable speeches, and by that point, I had already determined what I liked about her philosophy (free market economics, individualism, celebration of excellence and denunciation of mediocrity, critique of religion) and disliked about it (terrible model of interpersonal relations, not recognizing that groups evolved for a reason and are crucial to human flourishing, we all often need help from each other and that such help should not degenerate into purely transactional relations).
Excellent take on Ayn Rand…. both about her books as well as her pbilosophy. I too had the same sense on reading her, but you have articulated my own assessment in very precise fashion.
A request…..how would you differentiate between socialism and communism.
Moreover, My life experiences have made me more cautious about separating excellence and mediocrity, unless we are narrowly defining associating these terms with skill or specific talent.
Moreover, My life experiences has taught me to be more cautious about separating excellence and mediocrity unless these two terms are very narrowly applied to specific skill or talent.
I agree. Luck (right place, right time) matters a lot in my experience. These terms should not be taken as absolutes but in shades of gray. Also, one can be excellent at times but mediocre at others. We all owe it to each other to be considerate and not too harsh in judgment (this is why Rand rubbed me the wrong way in many places, and why the present day cancel culture also repels me).
Honestly, I can’t give a neutral definition of “excellence” and mediocrity” beyond saying “I know it when I see it”. I suppose what rubs me the wrong way is when relatively incompetent people get past more competent people through political and rhetorical skills. Anyway, I’ll think more about it.
Socialism is, to me, a blanket term that describes wealth redistribution regardless of one’s contribution. At the extreme: “from each according to ability, to each according to need”. More moderately. it’s a philosophy practiced to greater or lesser extents by most governments on the planet. Within limits (i.e., a limited government philosophy plus welfare state), this is fine and can even be beneficial. but without a limiting principle, it can become a cancer.
Communism is a totalitarian dictatorship with a cult of personality leadership that ostensibly seeks socialist goals. It can be attractive to teenage and young adult boys who seek validation and respect through comradeship.
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