Are the (TV) Mahabharata and Ramayan “Right Wing”?

In 1987 and 1988, India’s official (and at that time, only) TV channel (Doordarshan) broadcast serialized version of the famous Indian epics, the Ramayan and the Mahabharata. The series were hugely popular and with no competing TV choices, there was the kind of nationwide common viewing experience that is less and less common in the internet  and cable TV age. I dont know if Left-liberal Indians (mostly Hindus themselves) were agitated at that time (i dont remember it being an issue, but I was not really reading Indian media at that time) but over time a narrative has developed that the broadcast of these serials led to a rise in Right wing Hindu nationalism, which culminated in the demolition of the Babri masjid by a Right wing mob in 1992.  THe subsequent rise of the BJP to power is then the next step in a sequence that began with the broadcast of these “Hindu” serials.

As India has gone into lockdown due to Covid19, Doordarshan has announced that it is going to rebroadcast these serials. This step has revived the complaints about these serials being the first step in the rise of Hindu nationalism in India, exemplified by tweets like this one from “engaged historian” Audrey Truschke:

To me, as an outsider, this is quite fascinating. It seems that there is a significant segment of the Indian intelligentsia (which hapens to be the dominant faction in terms of foreign coverage of India; Western news organizations almost all pick up their own view of India via these “native informants”) that believes that: Continue reading “Are the (TV) Mahabharata and Ramayan “Right Wing”?”

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India and COVID-19

India Is the World’s Second-Most Populous Country. Can It Handle the Coronavirus Outbreak?:

India has conducted nearly 5,000 COVID-19 tests so far, according to the World Health Organization, which says that the “country is responding with urgency as well as transparency.” But so far, India has only reported 74 confirmed COVID-19 cases and one death, on Thursday. Dr. Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute tells TIME that count is “just not right.” He believes there must be many more cases, but they have just not been identified. “I’m deeply worried that there’s a lot of community transmission and we are just not aware of it because there is not widespread testing,” he says.

Kushal Mehra assures me the hospitals don’t report anything crazy. It’s been a while, how come there hasn’t been a major outbreak? Some researchers suggest a warm climate (others are skeptical).

What are you guys hearing? While India and Pakistan have very few cases, Iran is now above 10,000 (likely far more). There are mass graves being dug outside of Qom.

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Rock and Roll of Sri Lanka; Papare

I would assume some here who watch Cricket have heard the Sri Lankan music at the Cricket matches. The Rock and Roll of Sri Lanka; Papare a mix of kavadi (old indigenous beats), African beats and the adoption of trumpets with gusto.

Kavadi is age old music/tribal drums for dance that was a catharsis of the psyche of frustration and repression.

Do discos and drugs play a similar role in modern society. Holy water, Holy ash, Talking in tongues, Possessed by the Spirit all the same sides of a coin.

In Europe, Christianity  almost able eradicate and replace the ancient Gods, Woden, Thor.

Unhappily, the agnostic philosophy of the Buddha never eradicated or replaced the ancient gods.

People need God/Gods, be it the rock and roll, or some theoretician like Marx or Adam Smith or variations of those.

This is the Western Christian version of being possessed by the Spirit.

A quote from the Video above
The power of Gods sometimes moves them to dance before the Lord .. (They get drunk in the spirit).

Replace above with Kali
The power of Kali sometimes moves them to dance before the Goddess .. (They get drunk in the spirit (of Kali).

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Many who do these “dances for gods/s” in style, i.e family, extended family are probably doing the rituals to atone for “sins”. Plus a big donation to the temple/priests.

In a mainstream Christian context, like donating a wing for a Church or University.  Evangelical church context, like singing and dancing and making a big donation for the pastors Jet-stream plane.

Many think the world has become more rational. Maybe the minute, even then I doubt it.

===
This is a secular Papare band

 

The ancient and the modern music meet at one of the oldest cricket matches in the world.  The Royal–Thomian played since 1879.

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What are the orthodox Hindu views on Mohamed?

The banter (at least from my POV) on the other thread has got me thinking. What are the orthodox Hindu views on mohamed, assuming there are any in literature?

Do orthodox Hindus believe mohamed was just another mleccha (barbarian) with tall claims (like the Orthodox Jews do)?

Or imbue him with some “spirituality”, like a guru but not divinely inspired, ie mohamedanism as another of the various forms of bhakti cults?

Or actually an avatāra / āhvāyaka of īśvara (supreme God)?

I do not know much, if anything, about this topic and will be happy if people can comment on what they think/know of the views of Hindu orthodoxy are on Mohamed.

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Browncast episode 81: An Israeli in the world

Another BP Podcast is up. You can listen on Libsyn, AppleSpotify,  and Stitcher (and a variety of other platforms). Probably the easiest way to keep up the podcast since we don’t have a regular schedule is to subscribe to one of the links above! d

You can also support the podcast as a patron. The primary benefit now is that you get the podcasts considerably earlier than everyone else. This website isn’t about shaking the cup, but I have noticed that the number of patrons plateaued a long time ago.

I would though appreciate more positive reviews! Alton Brown’s “Browncast” has 30 reviews on Stitcher alone! Help make us the biggest browncast! At least at some point.

On this episode Razib talks to his old friend David Boxenhorn. Raised in New England as an American Jew, David made aliyah to Israel in his early 20s. There he married and raised a family, and now he considers himself an Israeli of the. National Religious persuasion.

We discuss the diversity and discrimination in Israeli society, the difference between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism, and how international geopolitics is impinging on Israel.

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Delhi riots (a)

This is a follow up to:

The Delhi riots

What happened on the ground is very murky. This is more a request for information rather than describing what happened.

 

Question 1: Did any violence take place outside of 7 neighborhoods in North East Delhi (Seelampur, Jafrabad, Maujpur, Kardampuri, Babarpur, Gokulpuri and Shivpuri)? Did violence really take place in all these seven neighborhoods or are press reports inaccurate?

Question 2: If violence did not take place outside these 7 neighborhoods or took place in fewer neighborhoods than the press reported was this really a major riot?

Question 3: Why would the Chief minister of Delhi–Arvind Kejriwal of the Aam Aadmi Party or Kejruddin as many affectionately refer to him–allow a riot where muslims get killed? Many of his supporters and leading aids are muslims. One of his six ministers is muslim:

Note that previously there was an inaccurate list of Delhi assembly persons and cabinet ministers that is now deleted. Hat Trip Scorpion Eater for letting me know the list was inaccurate.

Granted these muslim supporters of Arvind Kejriwal likely support CAA, NRC, the Ayodhya temple, and abrogating section 370. Don’t know this for sure but they might be Shiites, Sufis, liberal muslims or atheist muslims–a majority of whom vote against the left and conservative Sunni friendly political parties in India.

But if this is so, then why facilitate a riot in these neighborhoods? Are they conservative Sunni heavy? They strike me as full of muslims sympathetic to the non left (in India most conservative Sunnis vote for the left and most of the muslims who are not conservative sunnis politically ally with the non left). There are multiple reports of local muslims forming human chains to protect nonmuslims and nonmuslim sites–including temples.  Many local muslims in press reports are insisting that the attackers were not local muslims but out of towners. If this is correct, why would the muslim leaders of the Aam Admi Party attack their own political base? {In Delhi the majority of muslims vote for the non left political parties and against the left political parties.}

The attacks that killed many Indian police officers–including police head constable Ratan Lal, that stabbed Ankit Sharma–a Security Assistant working in the Intelligence Bureau–four hundred times, the attacks against non muslim holy sites; and the attacks against non muslim people have the feel of a professionally organized military strike.

Could this have been organized by foreign militaries and global Islamist organizations to coincide with President Trump’s visit to the USA? It would match their modus of operations and thought process.

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Completely seperate from the above speculation about who caused the North Eastern Delhi riot, is critiquing the operational response by the Delhi state government, and the Indian central (federal) government. Here I have a lot of thoughts, but would like to ask the following questions first:

  • Did Delhi Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal call for the Indian Army to be deployed in force within hours of the attacks begining?
  • Why didn’t Indian PM Modi comply with this request, assuming it was made?
    • Was the Indian central government and her various agencies afraid of a “Black Lives Matter” style take down of the Indian Army and Indian police by the global media and by global academia?
      • If this is so, one lesson that should be learned from this is to mostly ignore what foreign media, foreign academia, global human rights organizations and global activists say. It is more important to do what is right (dharmic or haq (حق)) than to be respected, let alone liked.
  • Did the Indian police really retreat in fear after getting violently attacked?
  • How good of a job did the Delhi state government do in having rapid two way communication with Delhi locals and the global media?
  • How good of a job did the Ministry of Home Affairs (of the Indian central federal government) do in having rapid two way communication with Delhi locals and the global media?
  • Were the above the only two public sources of communication and information regarding the North East Delhi riots? If not, what other governmental organ was communicating with the Delhi locals and the global media?

Note that this post is likely to change as new information becomes available.

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Update 1

Tareq Fatah–one of India’s most popular and respected muslim leaders–describes some of the out of area Islamists who coordinated their attacks on North East Delhi during President Trump’s visit:

Mobbywick, thanks for sharing how probable Islamist attackers tore the school clothes of North East Delhi girls. What do you think of my speculation that out of area miscreants rather than locals orchestrated this? Is there any evidence that Islamist out of area people targetted liberal/atheist/sufi/shia muslims in North East Delhi alongside nonmuslims people, holy sites, schools, shops, police, Intelligence Bureau. (Many anti CAA NRC “protestors” in recent months have violently attacked liberal/atheist/sufi/shia muslims.)

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Update 2:

Growing evidence that the Pakistani Army ISI Directorate coordinated the Islamist attacks on North East Delhi to coincide with Trump’s visit.

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Pre Buddhist Music and tradition in South Sri Lanka

Pre Buddhist music and dance of Sri Lanka

Its just the rhythms, so complex and for the uninitiated so out of tune. That said whats with the court jester head gear.

As crainsy1337 says

The yakun natima, or devil dance ritual of Sri Lanka, is nothing if not full of drama. Not just a charade or interval designed to entertain, the yakun natima is a carefully crafted ritual with a history reaching far back into Sri Lanka’s pre-Buddhist past. It combines ancient Ayurvedic concepts of disease causation with deft psychological manipulation. Lasting up to twelve hours, it mixes raucous humour with deep-rooted fears to create a healing catharsis for both patient and community.

I just like the words in the first part. Is it about Seenigama Devol Kumaru.

Nondi Kumaru …….
Demala mau ….. (means Tamil mother)

 

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Predictable, enormously surprising

[ cross-posted from Zenpundit — read these in sequence, and tremble ]
.

Here:

  • New Yorker, Citing climate change, BlackRock will start moving away from fossil fuels
  • New Yorker, Will Big Business Finally reckon with the Climate Crisis?
  • World Economic Forum, The Global Risks Report 2020
  • BlackRock, A Fundamental Reshaping of Finance
  • Guardian, European Investment Bank to phase out fossil fuel financing
  • IEEFA, The terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year for oil and gas
    .
    **

    Climate scientists caught on first, then the US military, and now financial risk analysts. Things are shifting: if BlackRock ‘s C-suite officers (they control a dime out of every dollar in the world) were the jurors, the current US administration might not like their verdict.

    And money doesn’t just talk, it votes.

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  • Poems: climate, impeachment, climate

    Scorched earth

    Scorched earth used to be a military tactic —
    Samson caught three hundred foxes,
    and took firebrands,
    and put a firebrand in the midst between two tails,
    sending them through enemy fields —
    but what if nature out-flames the foxes?
    What if floods engulf
    those waterboarding Khalid Sheikh Mohammed?

    Hosing down used to be a police tactic —
    against dissenting crowds,
    with dissent almost a badge of honor,
    police visor and shield
    almost an admission of guilt —
    ah, earth, water, air, mind — all ablaze!

    **

    For sure

    No sense in wasting a poem on impeachment,
    those things pass
    like leaves in the wind,
    Nixon, Clinton,Trump, and
    by the time you read this
    another fistful, maybe no doubt —
    on second thought, poems too
    are leaves in a high wind, sacred altitude at best.

    Han Shan sent his poems floating downstream,
    scribbled them on the walls of caves
    and hermitages,
    wrote them on beech-bark
    on the off-chance someone would find them —
    Pulitzer-winner Gary Snyder for sure found them!

    **

    Forecast

    Floods and firestorms:
    the planet is not so much burning as oscillating,
    floods, the element of water,
    fire would evaporate them,
    but only after bringing them to boiling point,
    firestorms, wrathful,
    water would quench them,
    but boiling point is hardly the issue.

    We are deep into future problems,
    the courage of our blind denial
    blithely fire-walking
    with water-walking ability
    granted us solely in scriptures —
    prediction succeeds, prophecy fails, what next?

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