SATYASHRAMA: A CONCEPTION OF DHARMIC POLITICS

My good friend MJ wrote an interesting piece on Dharmic Politics. I debated against him last week against the Union. I really enjoyed his speech since it was so well laid out.

SATYASHRAMA: A CONCEPTION OF DHARMIC POLITICS

Gerua: Rediscovering a tinge of renunciation

The full name is bhagwani i.e. the colour of bhagwan which Forbes translates cloth dyed with geru (red ochre), another common name is jogirang i.e. the colour worn by religious mendicants. I collected a few samples and am told that they are all shades of cinnamon brown; the popularity of the colour may be judged from the blazons, seeing that tenne is in every instance only a representative of the lighter shades, and murry (sanguine) in most instances a representative of the darker.

Ṛtaniti and Satyashrama: New Age Dharmic Politics

I see the meta-dynamics of the Universe quite clearly, particularly being a student of Physics myself. A set of laws here, a manner of movement and interaction between entities and forces there. The Universe could have been a vast number of possibilities (in the multiverse picture, they all exist independently) but it is what it is. There is a certain order in the Universe, seemingly self-organizing but yet directed. This is what ancient Indian philosophers and seers called Ṛta. That which maintained this order and respected the nuances of this reality was the Truth or Satya. You may start feeling that I will embark on a detour of philosophy and spirituality next. Not quite. After a lot of reflection and meditating on the nuances of these concepts, I feel there are two core ideas and nuances that matter when one speaks of that wisdom that maintains the  universal order (Ṛtaniti).

An Economy of Social Capital, Personal Social Responsibility and e-Democracy

However, having said that, I also strongly believe in the idea of Swadharma: the tendencies and capacities of the individual, and a system that provides for opportunities and liberty to the same. Some are born with innate abilities to solve mathematical conundrums. Some are born athletes or singers or artists. Not only at the level of abilities but also comfort in undertaking certain pursuits, every person is distinct. Only when this idea and reality is respected can society remain harmonious and efficient. In today’s age, we have a rush to pursue certain kinds of activities. These are guided by aspects of remuneration and prestige many a times, over and above the comfort and interest of the individual in pursuing them.

In Conclusion

In this essay, I have looked at some core ideas of ancient Indian philosophy and tried to synthesize by reasoning and reflection a truly Indian political philosophy – Satyashrama. Today people speak of Hindu nationalism and communal politicking in the same breath. Today people talk of fascism and a culture that has always believed in tolerance and dignity of the individual since times immemorial, again, in the same breath.

Mrittunjoy Guha Majumdar – Mj to his friends – likes to be called a student of science, society and sensibilities. He is currently pursuing his postdoctoral research in Physics in the University of Cambridge and is the current Vice President of the Graduate Union of the University of Cambridge.

Having completed his PhD at 25 from the University of Cambridge, he looks forward to exploring Physics at greater depths in the future. His current work relates to studying the symmetries in physical systems and their correlation with entanglement patterns in these systems. This work, being done in collaboration with the Hitachi-Cavendish Laboratory, is all the more relevant given the industrial interest in the application of quantum entanglement in quantum computation. Mrittunjoy enjoys actively engaging with the world of science popularisation, policy and diplomacy, as much as pure research. He has worked actively with the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, and bodies such as the Cambridge University Science Policy and Exchange (CUSPE) and BlueSci – the science magazine of Cambridge University, in these areas, both in India and the UK.

Continue reading “SATYASHRAMA: A CONCEPTION OF DHARMIC POLITICS”

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Pakistanis must give up “tit for tat”

Kabir Bhai writes:

My understanding is that “Vande Mataram” is a hymn to the mother goddess and thus goes against the monotheistic nature of Islam. It also comes from an anti-Muslim novel.

If Majlis is a group that includes both Indians and Pakistanis, then its logo probably shouldn’t refer to an Indian nationalist slogan which Pakistanis shouldn’t be expected to be comfortable with. Many Indians wouldn’t like it if the logo included “Pakistan Zindabad!” or something like that.

Then it is perfectly logical to change the name “Majlis” to Assembly or something neutral. The point is that Islamicate culture never seeped into the Subcontient through peaceful trading routes.

It was accompanied by violent conquest and if we have to ask Indians/Hindus to accept Islamicate culture, with its extraordinarily bloody history, then we have to accept the difficult bits of Indian nationalism.

I find Pakistanis are always focussed on “retaliation” and are the masters of cutting off their nose to spite off their face. Then they complain as to why their country is teetering on bankruptcy and not thriving (Survival is not enough).

In real life though I simply will never accept any alteration to the traditional logo, no matter whatever some Pakistani says. It is a matter I will simply not compromise on..

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1971, Majlis & Vande Mataram

We wrapped up the debate on 1971; as I quipped I had been forced to “Defend the Indefensible. Most of the audience who spoke up did so in our favour (the audience was very mixed).

Pakistaniyat

I found this an interesting debate because it was extremely difficult subject area; I could have argued for either side but it so happened I was slotted into “Team Pak”, which frankly suited me.

My “Pakistaniyat” is surging at the moment after Iran, Queen of the East, was slighted last week. I’ve realised Pakistan is the Persianate Shield and a stalking horse for our Turanian civilisational-complex. Once we cede the Satrap on the Indus; all chaos follows.

So this debate, which was rather serendipitous since it was only a matter of “timing” (I had gone for Chaat & Chat and then got drafted/enlisted myself in the debate) chimed with my own awakening Pakistani identity; dormant for so long.

However this does not change my pro-Hindu anti-Islam convictions (contradictory much I know). The latest controversy at Majlis is that the old logo had Vande Mataram on it, to which the Pakistanis are objecting to.

Vande Mataram

I’m extremely upset about this since as a Briton I’m rooted in a love for tradition. If the Majlis logo had Vande Mataram when it was founded in 1891 then it must continue the same tradition.

There are understandable concerns about VM’s anti-Muslim bias but Pakistanis must transcend the tit-for-tat mentality. Otherwise I will be making a move to change the name of Majlis to something neutral like “South Asian Gathering.” The Persianate culture did not come to India peacefully but forcefully and if we Pakis are to take on historical slights at every opportunity then we must also accept the dismantling of our shared culture.

VM is a rousing anthem about an ancient people waking up to defend their Motherland. It is a historical fact that those invaders included the Muslims and therefore just as God Save the Queen has some problematic verses so will VM. It doesn’t mean that we have to deny it but rather accept and understand the context in which it arose.

As a Kaffirstani I dislike the intense Pakistani attachment to Islam. Pakistanis must learn now to slice away this reflexive association and start immersing ourselves in a Hindu cultural framework. Just because India destroyed Babri Masjid and assault Allahabad does not give Pakistan any permission to destroy Hindu temples or rename Lakshmi Chowk. In fact Indo-Islamic culture has always been syncretic and Pakistan must embrace the Indian as well as the Islamic.

Cambridge as a South Asian Hub

Incidentally I was the first speaker of the first debate, in over 30 years, of a 128 year old Society that was extremely influential in the politics during the Raj.

As an aside Cambridge has always been a hub for South Asian politics unlike Oxford; Allama Iqbal, Chaudhary Rahmat, Nehru, Rajiv Gandhi are all associated with the college. I imagine this has to do with Cambridge’s more “radical” politics as opposed to Oxford being more conservative and establishment driven.

What I enjoy about Majlis is that it chimes so well with my online interests in BP and BC (BrownCast). A decade (patchy at times) of BP gives me a rather deep familiarity with the minutiae of South Asian contemporary politics and history..

The arguments on 1971

I made two arguments (we were limited 5 minutes each) and I got a bit carried away so I thundered them (at heart as a Kaffirstani, I’m quite the chameleon in my relentless need to blend in I take on lots of different roles):

(1.) The cause for a Just War. India did not sufficient explore diplomatic or international consensus. India as an “aggressive power”; 1948 Hyderabad, 1963 Goa and of course 1971 East Pak.

Furthermore the need to establish some greater consensus was not geniune as the Soviet Union was trying to avoid conflict a month before.

(2.) The nuclearification of the Subcontinent stemmed immediately from 1971 (December 1971 the war was lost, Jan 1972 Pakistan began the nuclear program).

I’ve heavily condensed my two arguments but I was only meant to deliver the main thrusts.

I was followed by my very good friend MJ, who’s a brilliant postdoc physicist (he’s Indian Hindu but his ancestors are from Dhaka). He structured his arguments as follows:

(1.) India was forced to act on its principles and help midwife the Bangladeshi people to freedom.

(2.) The genocide of the Bangladeshi people (he prefaced his remarks with gonimoter maal).

Following that we had some other argument (3 Prop, 3 Opp including ourselves) however my second Prop focused on the “hypocrisy” of Indian foreign policy.

To cut a very long story short I do think the Prop carried it because we did not contest the need for Bangladeshi independence but rather drew upon the reasons for Indian interference in 1971.

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Does the nuclear arsenal “protect” Pakistan?

I don’t know the answer to this but it’s interesting to speculate.

(1.) How much stronger is India’s conventional army to Pakistan’s; specifically the airforce?

(2.) If Pakistan didn’t have recourse to nuclear warfare; what would it do in the case of a conventional army attack by India?

(3.) Would China/another power interfere; “could” they interfere?

(4.) In the last thirty years India-Pakistan have gone from a 20% per capita advantage in Pak’s favour to a 20% per capita advantage in India’s favour. What is the comparable geopolitical relationship between the two countries; is it Taiwan-China or Japan-China. What’s the closest analogue?

(5.) Is Pak’s High Command motivated to adopt unconventional warfare in the knowledge that any escalation would be nuclear-tipped.

(6.) Does the precedent of Pakistan (and maybe N. Korea/Israel) have nuclear weapons incentivise other nations (Iran, Saudi) to reach “nuclear status” to make sure that it is similarly immune to any sort of attack.

For once I’m not venturing opinions but asking for informed commentary.

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Trevor Noah disses India?

I wrote a rather incendiary post about the whole incident. However I posted it to my private blog as I’m trying to be less polemical. I’m surprised by how unnecessarily “personal” Zainab’s attack on Trevor was but that is a very Muslim thing to do*.

I would have said that he dissed South Asians but the fact is that if one parses his words; it’s directly targeted towards India.

I thought Omar’s analysis was the best I’ve read so far but I disagree with his conclusion. Trevor called the war for Pakistan; in the battle of global perception Pakistan, which is a bankrupt & failed state, has won a huge win as being seen as an equal & rival to economically ascendant India.

When a lion fights with a mouse, he makes the mouse his equal. India managed to do that in the latest round when she should pick her enemies more judiciously.

It really takes a particular type of strategic genius for India to have turned Pakistan back into a Sino-Arab Satrapy, echoing the Achaemenid ownership of the Indus, when it should have been India’s Muslim frontier.

India should have made turned Pakistan into an Austrian Bantustan**, an ineffectual state but exceptional useful respository of pan-South Asian High Culture, the demotic version of which is Hindustani.

Continue reading “Trevor Noah disses India?”

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Arundhati Roy on Kashmir; Pakistan is simply another Bantustan

A quick note on Ms. Roy’s thoughts:

NEW DELHI —With his reckless “pre-emptive” airstrike on Balakot in Pakistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inadvertently undone what previous Indian governments almost miraculously, succeeded in doing for decades. Since 1947 the Indian Government has bristled at any suggestion that the conflict in Kashmir could be resolved by international arbitration, insisting that it is an “internal matter.” By goading Pakistan into a counter-strike, and so making India and Pakistan the only two nuclear powers in history to have bombed each other, Modi has internationalised the Kashmir dispute. He has demonstrated to the world that Kashmir is potentially the most dangerous place on earth, the flash-point for nuclear war. Every person, country, and organisation that worries about the prospect of nuclear war has the right to intervene and do everything in its power to prevent it.

I followed another link to this article, In Pulwama Bomber Adil Ahmad Dar’s Village, It’s Another Day, Another Death, and I was shocked to see that the bomber was a native Kashmiri.

In Pulwama Bomber Adil Ahmad Dar's Village, It's Another Day, Another

Kashmir is on fire and the Indian government doesn’t seem to have realised just how much of an own-goal this incident has been.

India should be viewing Pakistan and Bangladesh as the West Bank & Gaza Strip of the Subcontinent. These Muslims Republics are a great place for India’s demographics to be absorbed and in retrospect 1971 was not the great victory for India.

India pretends to be Israel but Israel has a strict Jewish First policy whereas India is territorial focussed. Israelis don’t hunker for a land between the Sea & the Euphrates but stay within defensible borders and hold on to their cantonments.

India shouldn’t be fighting corrupt Pakistani generals and businessmen; it should be bribing them. If Pakistan tomorrow becomes 5 banana republics; the Punjab border would be overwhelmed with Muslim refugees.

Post 1971 India was left with:

An estimate made in the year 2000 placed the total number of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants in India at 1.5 crore, with around 3 lakh entering every year. 

I imagine the majority of these illegal Bangladeshi immigrants are not Hindu.

Like Israel, India will soon have to decide whether it wants to have a solidly Hindu future (with compliant Hindufied minorities) or a “Akhand Bharat.”

But deep down Indians, of all stripes (Hindutva included), cannot bear to part with Pakistan & Kashmir. There is an atavistic bond Hindus/Indians have to this mythical Mughal fantasy, that they just can’t quit Pakistan.

Any sensible Hindu leader would be advocating partition upon partition to isolate and quarantine these bantustan Pakistans. Isolated, weak, divided and led by a corrupt Muslim elite drunk on Indian money; these little Pakistans would have been wonderful pawns of India.

Instead India’s loss will be China’s gain; Israel doesn’t do such mistakes.

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Complete Victory For Imran Khan

Pakistan is offering to return the pilot as a gesture of goodwill. Huge humiliation for India on every level.

I’m extraordinarily impressed with Imran’s handling of the crisis. This is the end of Modi, who should have been the Indian Benjamin Nethanyahu.

Pakistan has been cool, strategic and conciliatory while India has been bombastic, hotheaded and bloodthirsty. Completely outfoxed and to lose in a dogfight with Pakistan is a big shame on the Indian air-force. Continue reading “Complete Victory For Imran Khan”

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Tensions and BP Readership

I just was rifling through our readership numbers.

We are average 8x our average daily readership; 5x the views of our highest ever readership count.

I have no idea what’s causing the traffic specifically (it could just be general events) but to be honest it’s a tense day.

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