Thursday, 25 May 2017

A well, and swimming, and caste in Chittoor.




A well breaks caste barriers. Suresh, Naidu landowner, sits on the steps with his son. Sasi, SC, in the water calls his son to jump in to learn with him.

And this is normal practice in the village, and is not so after some new caste assertion. Come summer and every child of every caste and colour and gender is in the well.


Parthasarathy VM Yup.. Everyone got to use the well.. It was a common space. others were the open grounds where the kids used to convene for Cricket and other games - Though there was demarcation for the guys and girls as the games were different. But that also was put aside when they played hide and seek / Police & robbers.. 40-50 kids of all communities playing together.

Aparna Krishnan There are certianly SC problems which need correcting, but it is not a unidimensional 'feudal, castist, patriarchal' world as in modern sociological discourses is my understanding.

Aparna Krishnan I see caste in my village as not a unidimensional villianous srtucture, but something that curves and adapts in many many ways. Some processes in it need correcting, while some are affirmative.
 

Sunday, 14 May 2017

FB Discussions - Khap panchayat

15 May 2016 at 08:43 · 

To a post celebrating the end of khap panchayats -

Aparna Krishnan The State is the greatest violator and oppressor. I can only rejoice the day the State withers away and small communities come into their own strength and independence. Gram Swaraj. But that day they will be in charge of their own policies and production and justice also. So its all rather nuanced, and can only be understood by those rooted in the communities, and not by outsiders.

Every place may have a differnt storyline. Our village holds madhyasthams with elders of the village chairing. Over twenty years I have only seen two cases of unfair judgements. Overall is it fair and empathetic and intelligent. People clearly prefer the madhyasthams, to going to police and courts. In the local, many local realities are understood and addressed. I suspect adivasi local panchayats would be even more egalitarian and fair. Yes, the horrendous jugdements one hears of in media need to be done away with. But interestingly I asked a Jat friend if the khap panchayats were really that violative in her part of the country, and she said that there were more meaningful addressels than violative ones. 

The media and the intelligensia consider villages backward and stupid, and therefore the worst may be getting reported with glee has been my suspiscion. In that case, the worst need to be dealt with a iron hand on a case by case basis.
Devika Jayakumari Sorry to disagree with you on this, Aparna Krishnan . I don't think you can generalize from a couple of cases or hearsay. There is a mountain of evidence outside just press reports for caste repression in villages - in ethnography done over years, in the testimonies of lower caste people of their lives. The village is not an unchanging island; again, there is so much rigorous work by historians and anthropologists that confirm this. Khap panchayats have also not remained the same and there is excellent historical work on Haryana that shows how their present virulent misogyny took place. I truly appreciate your efforts to resist the egregious urban-fixation that is ruining this country, but I do hope that does not mean defending truly nefarious, inhuman and misogynistic practices that are very often part of rural life.
 
Aparna Krishnan All I am saying is that in our village madhyasthams function, and people largely approach this before approaching the State. they have only suspiscion towards the police and the courts.
 
Ananda Ganesh caste repressions ? the usual phrase colonized newspapers and the readers believe in without having any clue about jAti.
 
Sanjay Maharishi There was once talk here of banning the Khap panchayat. But if you think about it, it doesn't mean a thing. Khap is just a name. It is after all a panchayat and in that sense, what was being demanded was a banning of panchayat, which is like beating the already dying horse. Gruesome stories were being circulated of the panchayat's excesses - which I am not defending - but hardly a story in the media of the importance of the institution of panchayat in village life, the localisation of the justice machinery. It seems to me, we are always in search of the next villain. Who is it going to be next, on whom will we unload our righteous anger?
 
Aparna Krishnan In this social media day and age everyone has become a social reformer. But everyone wants to reform everyone else - and not ever have to look at themselves. Gandhi is passe.
Aparna Krishnan The village is looked down at by the activist (whatever that overused word means) and the mainstream, as backward and superstitious. Whayever story reinforces that image is lapped up.
 
Aparna Krishnan Nobody wants to see and reinforce the inherent strengths of a village, its roots and identities. They want to be the superior being, criticising them, and advising them, and sometimes fighting for them. After Gandhi, no one has essentially respected the villages and the villager.
 
Aparna Krishnan Why can the activists, usualy living in citiies, not simply clean up their cities - of the ulginess, overflowing landfills, rivers now sewers, obscene disparties ... rather than take om the mandate of reforming villages ! Nosey busybodies.
 
Sanjay Maharishi In fact, there can be a mohalla level panchayat in the city, like we now have clinics. Only the big cases could go to court. The local ones like land grab, domestic violence can be dealt with at mohalla level. The district level courts are already too big, over crowded, over worked and impersonal. The legal system itself is over worked with too much of centralisation. A lot can be solved at mohalla level.
 
Aparna Krishnan People today, activist or mainstream, are unable to see that common people have sense and sensitivity to handle their own issues. There will be some deviations as will anywhere - which need to be handles as deviations. You have incidentally made a case for local panchayats, and I too have. And that currently goes totally against the mainstream and alternative educated opinion !  
Raghunandan Tr Permit me to clear a bit of confusion that I think seems to exist. The word 'Panchayat' is used to describe many institutions, and thus, these institutions tend to get confused with each other. A khap is a traditional body. A nyaya Panchayat is a legal institution, which exists in 5 or 6 States, created through State law. A Gram Panchayat is a constitutionally mandated body that has several provisions for inclusion, such as reservations not only for elected seats, but for leadership positions as well. I am emphasising this because sometimes conversations are held where people have different institutions in mind, when using the term 'Panchayat'. I have long favoured the use of the term 'Grama Sarkara' (village government) to describe the Grama Panchayat, so that the actions of Khaps and Nyaya Panchayats, both good and bad, are not attributed to the local government.
 
Aparna Krishnan I meant the traditional panchayats, the 'khap panchayats' are they are termed in some places, and the madhyasthams with pinna peddas (village elders) in our place. I have found then sane and sensitive. Naren, our friend, universally respected in the panchayat made it a point to sit thro' every madhyastham (and they can drag on interminably) he was called to to stand by the process of local justice systems. Our village people prefer this as a first linem rather than police and courts which they find pointless and corrupt. Media does not talk about all this, but focusses on some vile khap judgements. So I suspect that the media is as usual seeking sensation over a balanced picture.
 
Raghunandan Tr Yeah. The media focuses on a few insane decisions and thereby undermines the value of traditional institutions. Khaps are judged by the worst of them, IAS officers are judged by the best of them. Sad. We came across terrible prejudice against the idea of Nyaya Panchayats, when we piloted the idea in the Ministry of Panchayati Raj. Ultimately, what sailed was the Ministry of Justice's plan for Gram Nyayalayas, which were not at the village level really, but extensions of the formal judicial system to the taluk level,
 
Aparna Krishnan Glad you agree. I value your opinions. There is such a blanket mindless opinion against the 'khap panchayat' today that to speak for sanity of traditional justice systems is to get abused by the activist and the mainstream ! The activists are getting rather mainstreamed !!
 
Raghunandan Tr There are many instances of Khaps having arranged for 100 percent immunisation, and total sanitation. That's not reported. Not sexy enough.
 
Aparna Krishnan i see ! I did not know this. Tired of a mindless media and a more mindless public that parrots the media. Sadly many of them decide policies.
 
Raghunandan Tr If you go to Switzerland, there is a clear distinction between the elected Panchayats, known as Communes and the traditional bodies, known as the 'Bourgeoisie!'

There is sometimes tension between them, because the latter usually comprises of the old land owners and the former may have some Johnny come lately types elected, but the latter are not banned.
 
Raghunandan Tr Madhu Kishwar has written some excellent stuff on Khaps, opposing the anti-Khap sentiment. I agree with her views, in this case.
 
Aparna Krishnan Our elite are more english than the english. and more mocking and dismissive of tradition than the english were. mores the pity. will look for kishwar's articles. she has many time brought out fairly sensible views counter to mainstream thought. if you have a link please pass it. i currently differ with her on many things, but thats beside the point !
 
Raghunandan Tr I think I have the email link. Regards Madhu, she is a good friend of mine, though her views of late have brought in a distance between the two of us. She has done wonderful work for the street vendors' rights in Delhi, braving physical threats and violence.
 
Aparna Krishnan we are all entitled to become a little cranky as years go by - so far as we have done some meaningful work earlier !
 
Sanjay Maharishi Thanks for the clarification. I do feel that panchayats have been successively undermined over the years because it would become too difficult otherwise to get large projects passed like big dams and mining etc. What a nightmare it would be to go take permission from every panchayat with some saying yes some no, some laying restrictions some conditions etc etc.
 
Aparna Krishnan The governments agenda is clear. When the concerned and unconcerned public also play the same tune of 'down with traditional systems' rooted in a deep disdain of villages and village strengths, and when this public includes the opinion forming intelligensia the tragedy gets compunded vastly. This is our colonial heritage. Only those who have actually engaged with villages closely, refusing the trap of preconceived ideologies, seem to be able to see more honestly, and accept the real strengths (and weaknesses) in villages. They are sadly too few.
 

Stories from Annasamy Anna (8)


"One wise man in the village saw the youth going to seed because of arrack. The village godess Gangamma is the goddess Ganga, the river, which is also all water, including the water in the womb where the foetus grows, said Annasamy Anna.
He then asked Gangamma in the liquor bottle what she thought of herself, destroying communities thus. And Gangamma answered, 'The fate (talarotha) of the Gangamma in arrack is different from the fate of the Gangamma in well water. And each have to follow their role.' "
So man can take God to task. And God also follows the dictates of a higher law.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Gandhi and his religiousness


"Of late years it has been the fashion to talk about Gandhi as though he were not only sympathetic to the Western Left-wing movement, but were integrally part of it. Anarchists and pacifists, in particular, have claimed him for their own, noticing only that he was opposed to centralism and State violence and ignoring the other-worldly, anti-humanist tendency of his doctrines.
But one should, I think, realize that Gandhi's teachings cannot be squared with the belief that Man is the measure of all things and that our job is to make life worth living on this earth, which is the only earth we have. They make sense only on the assumption that God exists ... "
 
 
Mark Johnston Perhaps some of us Western pacifists and anarchists have been influenced by Gandhi within the limited frame that our experiences allow us to understand and, whilst accepting that our understanding is limited by this, the influence has been positive. Gandhi learned from the bureaucracy and laws of the British establishment and from anarcho-pacifist critics and this knowledge along with his far more important understanding of the ordinary peoples of India helped him in the campaign for independence for India but, sadly, was not as successful in achieving swaraj. Well not yet anyway. I cannot experience life through the same spiritual lens that Gandhi did so I have to try to understand him within the context of my own beliefs, history and cultural traditions. Those of us trying to create a better future within or as an alternative to the violent and oppressive British State perhaps could be allowed to respect and try to learn from Gandhi. Claiming him as our own whilst remaining unable to comprehend the cultural and religious context of the man and his philosophy and campaigns would be wrong.
 
Aparna Krishnan Gandhi has lessons for everyone. That many Indian intellectualts pride themselves on deriding him is what is most unfortunate. Not learning the vast lessons that he has pointed out to, and instead choosing to nitpick on his compromises - far fewer than one's own.
 
Aparna Krishnan Anyway the intellectuals in my land are all coconuts - brown outside, and white inside. Quite irrelevent, but sadly powerful.
 
Aparna Krishnan The sad legacy of colonialism. I wonder is any colonized nation escaped this abject mental colonization of the English educated elite.
 
Mark Johnston Certainly my country hasn't, it hasn't even escaped from being part of the British Empire yet.
 
Aparna Krishnan But our current intelligensia love to deride Gandhi. Thats how far we have reached. No one denies that he made his compromises, but I am sure far less that his modern day critics have.
 
Mark Johnston If you value the accumulation of money and power over community and sacrifice then deriding Gandhi may seem to make sense. Perhaps they fear that the continuing influence of Gandhi risks turning a little boy into someone who will point at them in the street and tell everyone that 'The Emperor has no clothes!' causing the masses to see them as they are and laugh their power over others away. Hopefully that is not mixing stories, cultures and metaphors too much.
 
Aparna Krishnan Maybe you are right. Because many of these intelligensia who claim to write for the poor, I am now suspecting, are attached to name and fame. And yes, engageing with Gandhi means facing oneself very squarely, and the million concsious and subconcsious compromises. 

Aparna Krishnan Yes, Gandhiji threatens the intelligensia and their super opinion about themselves. The ordinary people have no great image of themselves to protectm and are able to face and respect Gandhi  more simply.
 

The traditional EGS

The true Employment Guarentee Scheme. 

All cooking was done in mud pots. A community close by, 4 km away in Kumarapalle near Kothapeta, makes these from the local tank mud. There are rituals built into festivals which make creates sustainability in a community. Every Govindalu festival the food has to be cooked in a new pot. The potters have a huge sale prior to the festival. Every marriage had a significant role for the potter as the arivenis were central to the marriage.

The kumaravaalu are part of the 'caste system'. The intellegensia damn caste, damn rituals - and then they can please also create such systems of employment guarentee.

Komakkambedu Himakiran Anugula We had a mandatory number of vessels we bought every year. Like potters, barbers also had a mandatory quota of haircuts! We anyways paid them in grains for a year.

Aparna Krishnan And each caste, lower or higher, had a deeply respected role in some context. The barbers are low in the caste hierarchy, but they alone play the melam in the temple thro' the pandaga nela of Sankranthi. And are respected and given dakshina for that. The while man unable to understand the nuances due to a language handicap labelled it uniformly bad. The elite intelligensia (maybe due to the same reason) also gave it the same uniform dismissal.

Komakkambedu Himakiran Anugula Local economy, business transactions ensuring harmony, guaranteed career scheme!

Aparna Krishnan Chuck out caste. Put all in school. Make all aspire for desk jobs. Make all unemployable. The modern state is what we have now.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Marxism to Gandhiism

·            

Someone sent me this. Your comments ?
" Let them take possession of your beautiful island, with your many beautiful buildings. You will give all these but neither your souls, nor your minds. If these gentlemen choose to occupy your homes, you will vacate them." Pardon me, but this is unadulterated non-sense and false interpretation of Ahimsa which is not based on Dharma, but on Leo Tolstoy's preaching of Orthodox Christianity to Gandhi. I recommend you to read this brain formatting letter that Tolstoy wrote to Gandhi and share your opinion on the same.   http://www.brainpickings.org/.../leo-tolstoy-gandhi.../

He is reacting only to a part of the comment. I am familiar with this letter but it is brain-formatting only in a positive manner.
Ahimsa, in its purest form, is not palatable to most. Only when it is presented as a workable strategy, people are willing to accept it. I think that was Gandhi's biggest regret as well - that people adopted ahimsa as a strategy and not The Truth.
What he is saying is that Dharma (as propounded by Krishna) demands that one 'fight' for right, and not surrender ?
Gandhi saw in Tolstoy and Gita, or for that matter, even Ruskin, what he wanted to see. He departed from 'passive resistance' in making surrender a form of fight. 
The surrender was active and not passive.
The Geetha did not suggest that ?
I don't think so. I thinking that morphing happened only in Gandhi and Vinoba's interpretations :-)
Kural suggests active surrender...Tolstoy cites from Kural as well : இன்னா செய்தாரை ஒறுத்தல் அவர்நாண நன்னயம் செய்து விடல்.
 Do you think the Geetha also suggested active surrender as much as war ?
'The best way to punish someone who harmed you is to shame them by doing good.'
In Tolstoy's words: The punishment of evil doers consists in making them feel ashamed of themselves by doing them a great kindness.
My reading of Gita is not as deep as Kural.
Kural also talks about warfare for the kings. 
His interpretation of Unto the Last also went beyond where Ruskin ventured. 
Btw, I find the implication that it is nonsense because it is based 'on Leo Tolstoy's preaching of Orthodox Christianity to Gandhi' very offensive. So what is wrong if it is based on orthodox Christianity? Gandhi himself said Sermon on the Mount went 'straight to my heart'.  
 His work with Shanti Sena deserves more attention, and it is an idea whose time will come again. 
While you are exploring why people hate Gandhi: You'll find this interesting - my blog on SN Nagarajan, an original Marxist thinker, who rejects the political Gandhi but embraces the ideological Gandhi in formulating his idea of Eastern Marxism ...
 Why do you think people hate Gandhi ?
The right has its obvious reasons - primarily his love for Muslims.
The left is generally ill-informed on Gandhi. While they find enough reasons to love and excuse Stalin or Mao, they just don't read the right books on Gandhi.
Also, both right and left are fascinated by armed revolutionaries. 
SN Nagarajan rejects armed revolution and modern science (he was a biologist in 50s) - hence, through the Marxian method, he has arrived at Gandhi.
But Marxism exists without armed revolution ?
He calls it Eastern Marxism or feminine Marxism - yesterday, there was a conference about him. His primary student, another respected Marxian scholar in Tamil, said as much - that there was hardly any Marx in his Eastern Marxism 
We call that Gandhism :)
Actually, that is what I felt listening to him and about him for hours - that if you take away the ideas of arms, technology and centralization from Marxism, we get Gandhism
 SN is Gandhian in another way - he loves to speak in the people's language unlike the elite Marxist leaders - no wonder he was expelled from CPI in the 60s.
Dont ordinary Marxists stay people oriented ?
Yes. But their leaders, especially the national leaders?
True. A senior gandhian would still have personal values intact.
What about the 'capitalist stooge' logic ? They say Gandhi took money from Birlas and so was soft towards them after independence.  
He was patronised by Birla and Bajaj. Tata sent him money anonymously even in South Africa. But that didn't make him espouse their cause. He took money from the poorest as well.
They say he espoused their cause. I do not see where. They quote some dam story !!
Rajmohan has written about the dam issue in his refutal of Arundhati Roy.  
After his book on Gandhi, he wrote extensively on Ayothidasar, a pre-Ambedkar Dalit intellectual.
This Gandhi Ambedkar debate needs to be tabled and discussed widely with SCs centrally on board.
Jeyamohan is has written well about Gandhi-Ambedkar debate. His understanding of caste and religion may be quite close to yours.
 In TN, the OBC vs Dalit scene is quite bad. That could be playing a part. And his involvement with Dalit organizations - he wrote a work set in 19th century famines, involving a Dalit uprising.
But in any case, Jeyamohan is a person of literature, first and foremost. It is not easy to bracket him into any slot.

I have been meaning to ask him about this change - I'll do it when he comes to Coimbatore in December.
 Met him a few times. Wrote him a few letters. But we have a lot of common friends. Suneel Krishnan, who runs the Gandhi Today website, is a close disciple of Jeyamohan.
With a few originial works and many translations of Gandhian books into Tamil.
My interview with Narayan Desai appeared there, first.
Btw, Suneel is an Ayurveda doctor too. This is his site: http://www.gandhitoday.in/
I will add some more grief to your worries about Tamil fluency :-) Jeyamohan has been recreating Mahabharatha in Tamil. He has already come out with a few novels on it - has plans for the next 10 or 15 years.
But why ? he's given a different angle to it ?
I read a couple of them. Couldn't keep up with the pace. Sometimes it is a retelling but usually with a different angle, exploring the gaps and giving it a modern structure.
In Tamil, there is Kamba Ramayana. But no comprehensive great work on Mahabharatha. So there is a need, definitely.   
Getting to the essential root of the ethos of the community is critical ? Gandhi tuned into it, respected it, and the masses moved with him.
Economics is one part, the cultural identity is another equally (or more) important part.


    

Monday, 1 May 2017

FB Discussions - The place of religiousness

" You would be surprised, but it is true that the study of The Bhagvad Gita is mandatory for every student joining Seton Hall University in New Jersy (USA), The course is titled 'The Journey of Transformation'. And sadly in our country the language of the Gods that is best suited to the computer scripting when proposed to be made compulsory is being opposed tooth and nail by our so called intellectuals, free thinkers and secularists. If we in India make stury of the Bhagvad Gita compulsory, all hell will break lose, and every intellectual, writer, scholar worth his name would fight it out in the name of secularism, "
 
Vidyasankar Sundaresan Everything about this is true, except that phrase about "best suited for computer scripting". That is a misunderstanding of both Sanskrit and computer languages.
Aparna Krishnan
Aparna Krishnan yes - and that is irrelevent also in this post imo !
Aparna Krishnan
Aparna Krishnan but why are we educated indians so insecure and defensive and apolegetic and strung up about our heritage ? is it only because we were colonized ? 
 
Vidyasankar Sundaresan The pains of decolonizing our minds. This process makes people on both sides of such arguments very insecure!
Aparna Krishnan
Aparna Krishnan yes actually. both sides are defensive and highly strung.
 
Karthikeya Sivasenapathy Aparna Krishnan because bhagavath Gita is not everyone's heritage including me .
 
Ansu VT Seton Hall is a Catholic affiliated university which has many religion based courses. 'The Journey of Transformation' is one such course. This is news from 2008 Seton Hall Magazine. See page 9. https://blogs.shu.edu/.../2008/03/winter-spring2008.pdf
 
Suraj Kumar One of the reasons why Maharishi Mahesh Yogi left India. You can teach someone who doesn't know, but you can't teach someone who thinks he already knows.
Aparna Krishnan
Aparna Krishnan I have no idea why he left. 1. All the more reason to bring back people into the fold. 2. Its only the EnglishEducated who have or feign disdain for their roots. Ordinary people are rooted in a simple religiousness.
 
Mohammad Chappalwala Aparna Krishnan In some of your posts you fall into the same trap as the right wing wants the public to. This claim of know all being superior is being done by followers of all religions and their text, language is the superior
 
Vidyasankar Sundaresan :-) Sanskrit is the language of the Hindu gods, Arabic of Allah, Hebrew of Jehovah and Aramaic of the Christian god. Simple solution! With no claims to superiority or any hierarchy.
Aparna Krishnan
Aparna Krishnan i see Mohanned. Yes. But I did not mean it that way at all. About the superiority of any text or religion over any other. I was addressing the defensiveness of the EnglishEducatedindian about anything traditional and hoary. The Geeta does have a sublime message, but we will not allow it into schools. I partly understand that we are a multi religious community and need to be sensitive - but the reactionariness of this community of EnglishEducated goes beyond all this.
 
Mohammad Chappalwala yes there are subtleties but Vipin is not seeing that
Aparna Krishnan
Aparna Krishnan I think Vipin Sharma is seeing that clearly. He is not positing one religion over another. He is simply referring to the defensiveness of the EnglishEducatedIndian that I am, I think.
 
Mohammad Chappalwala i think this is subtle right wing propaganda
 
Mohammad Chappalwala ALL texts are only for the elite, the one who tills, makes his own roof, hunts and knows how to live with the land dont need any text
Aparna Krishnan
Aparna Krishnan some of my positions match what the left says, and some what the right says. I need to stand with my own understanding even if it is also mouthed by those I differ with on other counts. Left or Right.
 
Aparna Krishnan
Aparna Krishnan Of all texts beings redundant is an oversimplification. I stand by Charaka and Sushruta and the Geeta. My neighbours are illiterate, but they know the details of the Mahabharata as I do not.
 
Mohammad Chappalwala yes that proves that there can be oral traditions too
Aparna Krishnan
Aparna Krishnan true. All existm and need to co-exist.
 
Mohammad Chappalwala like the factory and the farm
Aparna Krishnan
Aparna Krishnan i did not say that !!
Aparna Krishnan
Aparna Krishnan like the potter and the farmer and the local priest also.
 
Mohammad Chappalwala Yes i know that the reason this co-exist understanding
Aparna Krishnan
Aparna Krishnan meaning ?
 
Mohammad Chappalwala the local priest is the problem
Aparna Krishnan
Aparna Krishnan well, if my neighbours do not feel so, i will reserve my opinion. He is a simple soul in the neighbouring village who ties the amulets and sometimes asks for a hen for a more detailed intervention. there is also a brahmin priest further away, also simple.
 
Aparna Krishnan
Aparna Krishnan the immediate gangamma priest is the local SC washerman. Lowest within the SC caste hierarchy, but most important as far as his priesthood goes !!
 
Vidyasankar Sundaresan Actually, I feel most of us have inherited a colonial prejudice against our ministers and priests, whether it is a local temple pujari (brahmin or otherwise) or a mullah. Most of them are very good people, with only good will towards their fellow human beings, even in the big cities.
Aparna Krishnan
Aparna Krishnan Probably.. We are deeply colonized in ways we cannot even see.
 
Karthikeya Sivasenapathy Vidyasankar Sundaresan why will Hindu gods not understand Tamil ? Are they also having a national language of the gods ?
 
Karthikeya Sivasenapathy Aparna Krishnan not only religion geetha is not the culture of South Indians, north east 7 states , Punjab Sikhs , Jammu and Kashmir plus orissa , etc . Than take tribals , Dalits , Muslims , Christians etc, I don't know how you got trapped in this . Take the village you are working will geetha help them or education of Macaulay
 
Aparna Krishnan
Aparna Krishnan I am only an observer. I am not a reformer, I gave up that mantle long ago. I see that my village equally incorporates both Krishna and Gangamma, and that is the reality I am presenting.  That they have the ability to absorb all over aeons, and still hold their own. Yes, they do not 'know the Geeta', but in their philosophises i see the eternal truths in the vedanta. I suppose the vedanta was built out of these eternal wisdoms of this land.
 
Mohammad Chappalwala like i have heard that Arabic is the best language and the language is of "GOD"
 
Mohammad Chappalwala similarly we can subsititute "your" language in Vipin's post and still it will read the same
 
Karthikeya Sivasenapathy Geetha does not mean Hinduism . Geetha is trying to project vaishnavite philosophy and supremacy of Krisha who is no God to anybody I know . Idyll notice right wingers always preach only geetha and krishna or Ram why not Muruga ? Karuparayan ? Muniapan ? Mariamman ? Valli ? Shiva ? No they will not the Hindutva brigades only God is Vishnu and they will go all possible to convert all of us . 
 
Aparna Krishnan
Aparna Krishnan I see things as my village neighbours do. That has become a habit. To them traditionally Bharatam (Mahabharata) has been as central as the Gangamma jathra. And Krishnamurthy is revered as deeply as Yerpachchamma. I think the Indian way is to rever all, accept all divinity and in that sense win over and never get vanquiched. The Naidus and the Malaa (SC) continue with their animal sacrifices to Gangamma while revering a local saint Brahnaiyya garu who advocated not killing animals.
 
Siva Vats Bhagavad Gita, brahma sutra and the Upanishads are called prasthana traya - the three exits to after life. The old and new testaments and the holy Quran are not so viewed. They are viewed by most as guides on how to live in this world whose reality is suspect in the prasthana traya. Those who will fight on this very comment need to read and understand all the said scriptures first. When they do so there will be only silence and no fight.

Siva Vats Illanai illalum vendal eentradutha thai vendal cellathu avan vair chol. Means, the one lacking wealth is not sought even by wife and mother and his views have no value. Till China became rich Chinese was only formally a language of a veto holder in the UN. Now Chinese language and culture, as those of the wealthy, are studied in many countries.

Gita, Brahma sutra and Upanishads deal with reality of Life, also called God with the name "I am". Old testament calls God "I am that I am". Jesus said "I am light of Life" and the Holy Quaran refers to name of God as "An" which translates as "I am". World known by knower "I am" in mind is projected outside mind and withdrawn into memory in mind in every moment "now". Can anyone see world of past or future moments outside their mind ever?

Science and History create in mind their model of a permanent world, by recall of memory and expectations of the future in the mind, as ideas. Their models are imagined to be outside the minds of human beings as a reality; this asserted reality is suspect in some Eastern religious thought. Yet predictions with models of science (though not always of history) come true in the present moment now. That is why models in sciences and histories created by the wealthy are taught in schools and colleges, including in educational institutions of the "have nots".

The "have nots" lack the power of wealth to create more accurate models after reaching the frontiers of the sciences and histories based on the research of the wealthy. Without scientific and historical models replacing dogmas in religious thoughts of the "have nots" the science of person "I am" will not develop in the terminology of the wealthy.

The science of Person "I am" was a true science in the past, but now it is a religious text with dogmas which are not reconciled with the terminology of science. The religious scriptures were true in terminology of Person "I am" but are unable to give predictions which models of modern science do. History is more of subtle foreign policies of the wealthy and is less the issue on hand.

Religious scriptures are used by "have nots" as divine laws to govern their bodily behavior and for the brutal enforcement of subaltern behavior on others, especially women, The so called divine laws are in their application misguided dogmas but are called divine religious edicts. Tyrants used to be afraid of going against them. Now democratic power invites mob madness if it goes against them. Science cannot explain that madness. But science of person can do in terms of predispositions and latent tendencies. Chinese party workers altered predispositions of people in China, even if brutally over some. It covered a whole generation. Doing it democratically requires study of Science of Person which goes beyond scientific models that ignore the predispositions and latent tendencies with which human beings are born.
Vipin Sharma
Vipin Sharma You have summed it up very nicely, China under Mao Xe Dung right from the year 1949 when he brought about the so called cultural revolution by killing millions of the aristocratic classes and political opponents in his country and establishing Communism, and drawing an iron curtain so that the world could not peep inside China. It was his iron discipline that started bearing fruit after his death in 1976 when China slowly opened up to the world. It was the next twenty year period when China worked on its infrastructure development and opened up the country for the world to come and manufacture whatever they wanted, roads, ports, warehouses, electricity, water and no Communist regulations in free economic zones of China was a great leap forward for the Chinese economy and today China has become an economic superpower. They have worked hard for it and it is very difficult to emulate their amazing economic feat because a country like India needs at least next twenty five years for large scale infra development and to deal with the red tapism and bureaucratic hurdles, creating a mind set for doing business and most importantly minimizing the menace of corruption. But it is true that if a person lacks wealth his words and ideas are of no value at all even to his wife and mother. This is the physical part, now on the meta physical side, India remains the leader despite the fake Gurus who have mushroomed all over India and the gullible sheeple who follow such frauds. But the fact remains that India remains a treasure house of spirituality and it is the ill fortune of Indian people who are running after the consumerism and glamour of the West rather than making the best use of the storehouse of spiritual wealth that India symbolizes. And yes you are very riught when you say that throughout the history, it is the rich who have ruled and made laws for the masses and as Voltaire had very aptly put it The comfort of the rich depends upon an abundant supply of the poor and nothing much has changed over the centuries. Very well summed up by you as to why the influence of the 'haves' continues to be immense upon the 'have nots' the fight goes on.