Monday, June 29, 2009

Is Secularism Alien to Indian Civilization?

Indian Political Thought

A Reader

Edited by Aakash Singh, Silika Mohapatra

Price: $41.95

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  • ISBN: 978-0-415-56294-2
  • Binding: Paperback (also available in Hardback)
  • Published by: Routledge
  • Publication Date: 31st December 2009 (Available for Pre-order)
  • Pages: 312

Table of Contents

Foreword Amartya Sen Introduction: What is Contemporary Indian Political Philosophy? Aakash Singh and Silika Mohapatra Part 1: Provocation 1. The Poverty of Indian Political Theory Bhikhu Parekh Part 2: Evocation 2. Gandhi's Ambedkar Ramachandra Guha 3. The Quest for Justice: The Gandhian Perspective Neera Chandhoke 4. The Making of the Mahatma Shahid Amin 5. In Search of Integration and Identity: Indian Muslims since Independence Mushirul Hasan Part 3: Secularization 6. Is Secularism Alien to Indian Civilization? Romila Thapar 7. Secularism Revisited: Doctrine of Destiny or Political Ideology? T.N. Madan 8. The Distinctiveness of Indian Secularism Rajeev Bharghava Part 4: Consecration 9. Sikh Fundamentalism: Translating History into Theory Harjot Oberoi 10. The Blindness of Insight: Why Communalism in India is about Caste Dilip M. Menon 11. Dalit Political Theologyand Its Reception in Indian Academia Aakash Singh Part 5: Modernization 12. Gandhi, Newton and the Enlightenment Akeel Bilgrami 13. Scientific Temper: Arguments for an Indian Enlightenment Meera Nanda 14. Outline of a Revisionist Theory of Modernity Sudipta Kaviraj Part 6: Revolution 15. Reconstructing Childhood: A Critique of the Ideology of Adulthood Ashis Nandy 16. Subaltern Studies as Postcolonial Criticism Gyan Prakash 17. The Commitment to Theory Homi Bhabha Part 7: Emancipation 18. Justice of Human Rights in Indian Constitutionalism Upendra Baxi 19. Imperial Parody Ratna Kapur 20. Righting Wrongs Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak Part 8: Conclusion 21. Contemporary Political Philosophy in India: Concluding Remarks on Concepts East andWest Partha Chatterjee

About the Author(s)

Aakash Singh is Research Professor at the Center for Ethics and Global Politics at Luiss University, Rome, Italy.

Silika Mohapatra is Research Scholar in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Delhi, India.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Leader's Digest by Jim Clemmer

Shipra has left a new comment on your post "Applied Ethics in Management: Book Review by Ranja...": Hello,

Hey this is agreta collection of management books, currently i'm reading The Leader's Digest by Jim Clemmer, it is quite interesting. Regrds, sarah_9 Leadership Management Posted by Shipra to Savitri Era Open Forum at 9:44 AM, June 27, 2009

Leadership Development and Organization Improvement Getting through tough economic times involves a lot more than struggling to cut costs. It takes strong leadership and vision. Jim Clemmer's practical leadership approaches have inspired action and achieved results for clients around the world. His best-selling management books, leadership performance articles , and free newsletters are filled with tips & tools you can apply immediately. Jim Clemmer's proven track record of success with change management, customer service, and developing high-performance organizations can help your team thrive in turbulent times. His leadership development workshops are available in half, one and two-day increments. Click here for sample topics and more information.

The Leader's Digest: Timeless Principles for Team and Organization Success (Paperback) by Jim Clemmer (Author) "While interviewing the legendary Jack Nicklaus, a reporter once remarked, "Jack, you have had a spectacular career..." (more) Key Phrases: timeless leadership principles, leadership wheel, team member lives, The Leader's Digest, Harvard Business Review, Growing the Distance (more...) Citations (learn more) This book cites 27 books:
Primal Leadership: Realizing the Power of Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman page 25, page 60, page 108, page 143, page 191, Back Matter (1), Back Matter (2), Back Matter (3), Back Matter (4), and Back Matter (5)
The Moral Compass: Stories for a Life's Journey by William J. Bennett page 129, page 164, Back Matter (1), and Back Matter (2)
The Hungry Spirit by Charles Handy page 52, page 146, and Back Matter
Going Deep: Exploring Spirituality in Life and Leadership by Ian Percy page 132, page 135, and Back Matter
The Tao of Leadership: Leadership Strategies for a New Age by John Heider page 183, and Back Matter
In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America's Best-Run Companies (Collins Business Essentials) by Thomas J. Peters page 44, and page 198
The Fortune Sellers: The Big Business of Buying and Selling Predictions by William A. Sherden page 38, and Back Matter
Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life by Martin E. P. Seligman page 61, and Back Matter
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey page 167, and Back Matter
Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham page 163
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas S. Kuhn page 35
My Fair Lady by George Bernard and Alan J.Lerner Shaw page 158
Beyond the Bottom Line by Alan Warner Back Matter
Conversations with God : An Uncommon Dialogue (Book 1) by Neale Donald Walsch Back Matter
Executive Success: Making It in Management (Harvard business review executive book series) by Eliza Collins Back Matter
The Motivation to Work by Frederick Herzberg page 176
A Christmas Carol (Bantam Classic) by Charles Dickens page 191
Peak Performers by Charles Garfield Back Matter
Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't by Jim Collins page 40
Blood Ties by Warren Adler page 103 More Citations: 1 2 Next 1 book cites this book:
Growing the Distance: Timeless Principles for Personal, Career, and Family Success by Jim Clemmer Back Matter, and Back Cover

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Kireet Joshi resigned from IAS in 1956 to join Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pudicherry

Home > India > GEIC gets functional head
Paras K Jha / DNA Thursday, June 25, 2009 9:16 IST Ahmedabad:

With the appointment of noted educationist Dr Kireet Joshi as its first executive chairperson, the recently set up Gujarat Educational Innovations Commission (GEIC) is expected to embark on its mission of bringing a revolution in the education system in Gujarat. Joshi is now an education adviser to chief minister Narendra Modi.

Principal secretary (education) Hasmukh Adhia on Wednesday confirmed the appointment of Joshi. "The state government made his appointment 15 days ago and now GEIC is functional. It will be the apex body for education in the state. It will conceive innovations in the field of education system that will be based on Indian philosophy of education," Adhia said...

"There will be four more full-time members who will be working on the innovations in science and technology and vocational courses, innovations in programmes relating to humanities, art, craft and other cultural courses and value-oriented education,innovations in the areas of pedagogical methods including those related to curriculum, evaluation and teaching-learning aids, and innovations in physical education including courses related to gymnastics, aquatics, athletics, combatives, Indian and universal games, yoga, health, scouts and guides, national cadet corps and national service scheme programmes," said Adhia.

Joshi is known for his significant contribution to the education at national and international level. He studied philosophy and law and had become an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer in 1955. He, however, resigned from IAS in 1956 in order to devote himself completely to the study and practice of yoga of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother at Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pudicherry. He was involved in various activities in Sri Aurobindo Ashram till 1975.

After that, he was appointed as education advisor to the Government of India in 1976 by the then prime minister Indira Gandhi. During this period, he held high offices in bodies such as Indian Council of Philosophical Research, University Grants Commission, and National Commission for Teachers. Joshi is a nationally acclaimed Aurobindonian scholar and has served as chairman of Auroville.

Nationalist ideologues sought a specific solution to India’s predicament

Historiography and Writing Postcolonial India
By Naheem Jabbar
A critical examination of post-colonial Indian history-writing.

In the years preceding formal Independence from British colonial rule, Indians found themselves responding to the panorama of sin and suffering that constituted the modern present in a variety of imaginative ways. This book is a critical analysis of the uses made of India’s often millennial past by nationalist ideologues who sought a specific solution to India’s predicament on its way to becoming a post-colonial state. From independence to the present, it considers the competing visions of India’s liberation from her apocalyptical present to be found in the thinking of Gandhi, V. D. Savarkar, Nehru and B. R. Ambedkar as well as V. S. Naipaul and Salman Rushdie. It examines some of the archetypal elements in historical consciousness that find their echo in often brutal unhistorical ways in everyday life.

This book is a valuable resource for researchers interested in South Asian History, Historiography or Theory of History, Cultural Studies, English Literature, Post Colonial Writing and Literary Criticism. ISBN: 9780415488471 Published June 25 2009 by Routledge.

“Language Hegemony and the Construction of Identity” - Excerpts ... By B Shantanu Their interpretation and condemnation of a 'world negating', inferior and poor Indian society caused many scholars' U-Turn to Christian exclusiveness, and to assert German nationalism. .... Sri Aurobindo was a champion in this endeavor, basing his seminal work “The Life Divine” upon his large commentaries on the Vedas, Upanishads, Yoga, and Gita. That he was not promoting a 'western progression' idea against a world negating Indian civilization is evident from his and the ... B Shantanu's Blog -

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The credit for inscribing the caste iniquities on the socialist agenda goes to Ram Manohar Lohia

The Hindu : Revisiting socialism
27 Jan 2003 By Surendra Mohan
PUCL Bulletin, March 2003

The supremacy of the market in economic relations and the dominance of consumerism in all other social relations prevail today all over the world. They have seriously challenged not only the welfare state model of social democracy but also the validity of the communist model as was put into practice in the Soviet Union and China.

On the other hand, the Southern Hemisphere where the evolution of productive forces was suppressed by the rise of imperialism and capitalism continues to wallow in poverty, backwardness and hunger. The former colonial world of the Northern Hemisphere has made big strides in technology and in the living standards of large sections of the population. However, during the last two decades, disparities in incomes and wealth between the few and the many have increased ever in the wealthiest countries of that hemisphere.

As for the sharp division in the living standards in the two hemispheres, it has, possibly, surpassed even the period of colonialism.

All sensitive minds and world over have rejected these conditions. The urge for another kind of world order has grown with the turn of the century. The absolute irrationality of a system in which the advance of technology has given new boosts to productive forces while their fruits are cornered by a very small segment of the population makes it totally unacceptable. So is the destructive use of advanced technology in exploiting the natural resources of the globe for gratifying the consumption needs of the present generation. For, it denies to future generations those resources which nature cannot replenish. The wastefulness of human knowledge, energies of the people and the productive forces in order to build arsenals of armaments which can eliminate scores of generations of human beings is not only irrational but also defies all norms of human civilisation.

When it was argued in the early 1950s that ideologies had been made redundant by the advances in technology, the assumption was that technology is value-neutral. Also that the course its progress has adopted was the only one available. That it was fully autonomous and human beings could not change it. This was not just the liberals understanding of the phenomenon; scientific socialism also agreed with it. The means of production were changing it argued, and they would determine the relations of production as well. It postulated that when the means of production, which had brought about the capitalist relations of production, attain their maximum capacity, a qualitative change would then occur in the relations of production and capitalism would be replaced by socialism. It was not appreciated, however, that the advance of technology in a particular direction would go on sustaining the system, using up the surplus value of the vast masses of the less developed countries. Nor where the disastrous consequences of that advance in destroying the natural resources given full attention, even though the description of the new order included as evocative vision of harmonious relationship between man and the natural environment.

However, socialists of all hues would have to recognise that a technology which led to the present situation, and the means of production which were its authors as well as its product, cannot be the foundation of a new, human system based on the expropriation of the expropriators. Sustainable growth is incompatible with it; so is a socialist society in which consumerism can have no place. The new social order in which "each will get according to his needs" will clearly define the needs, and ostentation cannot be part of the definition. It is not only a question of which class exercises hold over power, but the choice that class will make about the technology it desires to employ. In fact, most of the armament industry, and the technology associated with it, will be totally redundant. Moreover, the huge productive capacity of the present technology by which the United States, for example, claims to be able to feed the entire human population, may not be of much use.

For, its retention could deny to most human beings the opportunity to work "according to their capacities"; and the enjoyment associated with work, with creation and achievement, might be greatly restricted.

In this sense, a technology which enables the masses to engage in mass production of goods would have to be evolved, in place of mass production of goods by a few with the help of very sophisticated, modern technology. The latter is based on extremely specialized knowledge and skills, thereby creating alienation between the vast masses of the people and the means of production. Its major tendency is centralization which, in respect of power return to the people, in their Soviets or gram Sabhas. That is, the parameters of a non-consumerist lifestyle, availability of work to all and the need for all to engage in it, power and its distribution among the people and the sustainability of the natural environment should help in the formulation of the technology appropriate for a socialist social order.

While gender equality and equality among peoples of all races, nations, regions and all other social formations and all economic relationships were implicit in the socialist idea, some of these have not been fully respected in practice. Hence, the rise of feminist groups or women's empowerment movements. If one scans, for instance, the structures in communist parties or their governments wherever they achieved power, to determine the proportion of women, it would become obvious why leaders of women's movements are dissatisfied. One finds an identical situation in the trade unions.

Among those societies where feudalism still defines gender relations, or where the patriarchal social system has nor substantially weekend, and this is the case in most societies in the east and the south, special efforts are necessary to ensure that gender equality obtains. Yet, even in capitalist systems in Germany and Sweden, women's representation in Governments and parties is quite substantial. But this is not the case in the US and some other Western societies.

Castes in India, tribes in Africa and races in South and North America provide similar paradoxes. So do religious minorities wherever they have some presence. Economic backwardness, illiteracy, feudal social relationships and the legacies of colonial rule had created conditions of gross iniquities. The kind of universalism and humanism which socialists have always espoused will have to be brought about wherever such iniquities dominate. Unfortunately, even in some post-literate societies of West Europe, racialism has become a force. Socialists and communists have been active there since the 1850s. Yet a different picture obtains now. In the Soviet Union too, these tendencies had shown up, owing mainly to the centralist nature of authority wielded there, in spite of significant improvements in the living standards in various regions. In India, caste iniquities did not receive the necessary attention in the beginning; and the credit for inscribing them on the socialist agenda goes to Ram Manohar Lohia.

In the developing economies, significant disparities have appeared in the unorganised and the organised sectors of the economy. These must be removed by providing social security, education, and health on a priority basis. Both the capitalist and the communist systems accumulated capital for industrial growth from agriculture; the consequent imbalances have to be corrected by deliberate planning, including dispersal of technology in villages. Home Index

DEMOCRATIC POLITICS GLOBALLY Surendra Mohan underlined the need for a political activist to understand the society or samaj in which he wishes to work. Marking the rise of the backward castes since the 1950s, Mohan said that the Socialist Party was the first to give expression to the political assertion of the backward castes.

He said that while backward-castes put up a joint fight in seeking justice, in the quest for power they were divided and even the caste system got strengthened in the process. The backward castes moved away from the concept of ‘serving the people’to ‘getting a share in power’which is a unique behaviour of the Indian society. He pointed out that values in India are relative and defined in terms of caste/class.

DEMOCRATIC POLITICS GLOBALLY Thus, by the time they became landless to possess full radical potential to be organized by the Marxist Parties, they were neatly weaned away by those who were engaged in caste politics of Dalits like Mayawati. They may still be siding with the leftist parties for a short while on issues like minimum wages but when it came to vote they were clear about supporting the bourgeoisie party basing its politics on Dalit mobilization.

Before the radical Marxist-Leninist variety of communists took up the centre stage, Dubey said, the landless people were not considered to be peasants by the mainstream communist parties. The credit went to the Marxist-Leninist politics to mobilise landless people. The tragedy, however, was that by the time small or marginal farmers were reduced to landless people, their hatred for communist politics got concrete and they were not going to become any lasting ally of the radical parties as such.

As the party was oblivious of caste-class confusion, similar situation existed for the issue of culture. Citing an example of a condolence meeting of a great writer Nirmal Verma the other day where he found not a single Marxist intellectual representative, Dubey said that there had been an inexplicable hostility among the Marxist-Leninist Parties regarding the classical culture. The Marxists were so preoccupied with the classical position on culture expanded by the great predecessors in Russia and China that they explained away Indian situation almost mechanically without bothering to attempt an honest appraisal of culture. Thus, while they stood half-heartedly for the folk culture, they almost demonised the classical tradition as something that took away the radical potential of the society. Thus they did not bother to develop any original or honest understanding of Indian culture all through, said Dubey.

Coming to gender issue Dubey explained that he looked at this issue in a more comprehensive manner rather than an issue of women’s liberation. It was an issue concerning man-women relationship, man-man and women-women relationship also. In fact gender issue for him was the issue that concerned the complex world of relationships in society and the world, which was intricately linked with the issue of social change. But the Marxist parties had been so obsessed with their political goal that they did not bother about social change. In fact their preoccupation with political change was so blinkered that they could not read nuances of political process even, he said.

Substantiating this point, Abhay Dubey pointed out that communication revolution under globalisation, where electronic media and others means of communication have mushroomed, had impacted social behaviour and relationships in a major way and social relationships had got into a flux. Thus, issues of alternative sexuality and divorce that used to be taboo subjects had come to the centre. But the Marxist parties, have been completely out of this debate and were non-players even as these issues swept the society in a tangible manner today. Thus Marxist parties which were popularly known as change-seekers are not concerned at all when the entire society had become a crucible of change; perhaps because the change was not happening as per their liking or wish, he quipped.

To conclude, Dubey said, the Marxist-Leninist movement failed completely to appreciate crucial issues of caste, culture and gender and thus had lost its universal relevance. This also resulted in their lack of taking any clear stand whether it was the caste-issue or the religious fundamentalism. They remained trapped in a time-warp as it were. Thus when you lose insight into society, you lose foresight to the course of future and this described the tragedy of Marxist parties in India, said Dubey...

Douglas Lummis queried if the failings to which Dubey referred are attributable to individuals or the ideology of communism itself. He also referred to Marx's writing on India which stated that the local culture is to go under the historical process of transformation. Dalit activist Mahendra Pratap Rana complemented Abhay Dubey for the candid and honest admission that the Communist parties failed to grasp the reality of caste in the Indian society. He attributed the emergence of parties like the BSP to the failure of the Communist parties to understand the caste dynamics in India. He accused that some of the leaders of the Communist parties in fact subscribed to the ideology of caste-discrimination even while publicly they maintained a progressive façade. He said that no purpose could be solved by denying the existence of the issue of caste-discrimination as did the then minister Omar Abdullah in the UN General Assembly. He pointed out that Ambedkar was acutely aware and concerned about the issues of women for whom he organised a huge meeting in Nagpur. In fact, he resigned from the Union Cabinet on the issue of securing equal right to Indian women.

Abhay Dubey said that he was drawn to the Marxist-Leninist fold by the stories of revolution. He did not agree that disillusioned Comrades turned anti-communist, but rather they remained sympathetic to the Communist values. They may go in hibernation and try to think in alternative ways. He said that it was not the leader, who certainly had impeccable integrity, intelligence and sacrifice to their credit, but the ideology which was to blame for this failure to understand the Indian reality. As for the recent debate about West Bengal Chief Minister inviting foreign capital into the state, he quipped that ML-stream never considered the CPM as a Communist Party but as ‘social democrats’. Dialogue Report II draft 6 Feb 2006 5-6 November 2005, New Delhi, India Vagish K. Jha, Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam. The Network Institute for Global Democratisation (NIGD) organised a two-day dialogue titled 'Democratic Politics Globally' on 5-6 November 2005 in New Delhi with the help from colleagues in Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Centre for Public Affairs and Committee for Cultural Choices and Global Futures.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Rejection of religion leads to a deep longing for a substitue religion, or in extreme cases, a messiah

Characteristics of the Fundamentalist

Fundamentalism in the broader sense
Characteristics of Fundamentalism: the Findings of Four Scholars

The phenomenon of Fundamentalism has been discussed by scholars of religion, sociologists, psychologists, political scientists, and, with less exactitude, by journalists and others. There is no generally accepted list of the characteristics of fundamentalism, but there is enough agreement between experts to permit the formulation of a model that most would accept. Before attempting such a formulation, we will review lists prepared by Marty, Nagata, Antoun, and Lifton, looking for similarities as well as differences.

In an early article on fundamentalism, the scholar of religion Martin E. Marty (1988: 20-23) lists nine things fundamentalists are not, and twelve things they are. The positive list is as follows:
(1) Fundamentalists always act in reaction to a perceived threat.
(2) Fundamentalists engage in “selective retrieval” of what they perceive to be the essentials (fundamentals) of their beliefs.
(3) Fundamentalists set rigid boundaries, using their “fundamentals” to attract some and alienate others.
(4) Fundamentalists are always exclusivist, casting out those who do not accept their dictates.
(5) It follows that fundamentalists are oppositional, seeing themselves as the children of God and the others as children of the Devil. This justifies radical action.
(6) Fundamentalists have absolutist beliefs, with no room for pluralism, variety or complexity.
(7) Fundamentalists are authoritative, never engaging in discussion with those whom they condemn.
(8) Fundamentalists are anti-evolutionary; they see no possibility of development in the teachings they claim to defend.
(9) Fundamentalists are antipermissive, taking a puritanical stand against perceived moral relativism.
(10) Fundamentalists are literalist: the sacred texts have only one possible meaning.
(11) Fundamentalists see themselves as actors in a sacred drama, the forces of light against the forces of darkness.
(12) Fundamentalists are teleological, seeing themselves as the guardians of the great cosmic purpose.
Marty’s list is comprehensive but suffers from some repetition (points 3 to 5 might be reduced to a single point; points 5 and 11 are more or less the same). Nevertheless it provides a good starting point.

Judith Nagata, an anthropologist, looks at fundamentalism as a social phenomenon observable in many fields besides religion. A brief list of its characteristics in an essay of 2001 (481), includes the following characteristics, most of which also are found in Marty:
(1) Fundamentalism is a quest for certainty, exclusiveness and clear boundaries.
(2) Fundamentalism must identify, and demonize, an “Other”.
(3) The fundamentalist has a fixed, anti-relativist mind set, opposed to all ambiguity or complexity.
Nagata also points out that most fundamentalists are attached “to a set of irreducible beliefs or a theology that forestalls further questions.”

Another anthropologist, Richard T. Antoun (2001: 1-2) lists five “compelling themes” that characterize the fundamentalist orientation:
(1) a quest for certainty;
(2) a search for authenticity, totalism and activism;
(3) the need of certainty, resulting in a literalist approach to scripture;
(4) selective modernization;
(5) the centering of a mythic past in the present.
All of these points are also touched on by Marty, Nagata or both.

The psychologist Robert Jay Lifton has never written a book on fundamentalism per se, but his famous work Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism, first published in 1961 and reprinted in 1989, is often consulted by those interested in the fundamentalist mind set. In chapter 11 of this book (extracts available at this site) Lifton lists eight methods used by “totalistic” thinkers to enforce uniformity of belief and action. These are:
(1) Milieu control: exclusion of any form of communication not in agreement with the totalistic environment.
(2) Mystical manipulation: provoking patterns of thought and experience in such a way that they appear to be natural and spontaneous.
(3) The demand for purity: presenting the world in black-and-white terms in order to compel members of the community to conform to the group ideology.
(4) The cult of confession: compelling community members to own up to infringements of the group’s arbitrary rules in order to enforce control.
(5) The “sacred science”: presenting the group's ideology, as interpreted by the totalizing agency, as ultimate Truth, beyond any question or dispute.
(6) Loading the language: using obscure and manipulative language in order to stifle discussion; a notable example is the use of “thought-terminating clichés”.
(7) Doctrine over person: subordination of the experiences of individual members of the community to the totalizing environment.
(8) The dispensing of existence: claiming the right to decide who has the right to exist and who does not.
Some of Lifton’s “methods”, such as the cult of confession, seem to have more to do with specific regimes he focused on, such as that of Communist China of the fifties, than with totalistic communities in general. But his model clearly applies very well to fundamentalism as described by Marty, Nagata and others, and we will refer to it as needed in what follows. For more on Lifton, see this section.


Cognitive Disorder of Progressives
(Blog Update 2009: Rewritten by Gaghdad Bob to true DSM-V format and then modified a bit by myself See farther down the page for my original format Home) Progressive Personality Disorder
from One Cosmos by Gagdad Bob
DSM-IV 301.95 PROGRESSIVE PERSONALITY DISORDERA. The following is based on a perceptive post by someone named John Moore, which I found through a link to a link on Dr. Sanity's grand rounds of the psychosphere. It looks as if it were hastily composed in a manic burst of inspiration, but it's so accurate that it deserves wider dissemination. I've taken the liberty of cleaning it up, editing it, adding a number of criteria, and putting it in the actual format of the DSM (the diagnostic manual for mental health practitioners).

A pervasive pattern of progressive political and inter-personal thought and action, rooted in discredited leftist (neo-Marxist) beliefs, beginning in early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by at least five of the following (individual must be at least 18 years of age to qualify for the diagnosis of Progressive Personality Disorder, as many of the criteria are age-appropriate for adolescents). This disorder often coexists with Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

1. Utopian thinking: A delusional belief that there exist simple, linear, side effect-free solutions to all social problems.

2. Lack of historical knowledge and perspective, and repression of personal memories dissonant with this belief system. For example, the national mood post 9-11, including that of PPD patients, is suppressed in order to avoid conflict with subsequent reversal of beliefs as the PPD delusions were reinstated - hence the downplaying of terrorism as a threat and the obsessive concern for the "rghts" of temporarily feared and hated terrorists. (Note to clinician: please differentiate between mere historical ignorance, e.g., a doctorate in history from an elite university, vs. neurotic or psychotic delusions necessary to sustain these beliefs. )

3. Anthroplastic ideation: The delusion that behavioral conditioning performed by the government or some other collective will cure all behavioral and social problems, rooted in denial of fixed human nature. Implicit in this delusion is the idea that human beings are infinitely malleable and subject to behavioral manipulation leading to perfect control and predictability. Free will, personal conscience, and objective morality are denied, devalued or denigrated.

4. Anti-theistic rebellion: An emotional antagonism to the Judeo-Christian tradition, rooted in an abnormal persistence of adolescent rebellion (may also be related to the need to avoid counter-arguments that would question utopian, anthroplastic ideation). This behavior ranges from a mere antagonism to Christianity to a hatred of all forms of religion. The rejection of religion leads to a deep longing for a substitue religion, or in extreme cases, a messiah. The more Western a religion is, the more it is despised. Thus, these patients may openly accept more primitive pantheistic, neo-pagan, or animist belief systems, such as Wicca or fraudulent "new age" philosophies, e.g., Deepak Chopra, Tony Robbins, etc.

5. Animist delusion: The belief that mankind is evil and nature is benign. The incidence of this symptom is inversely related to practical knowledge and experience of nature. Collective self-hatred is a feature in this area, paradoxically existing side by side with egomaniacal omniscience, e.g., ability to accurately predict climate 100 years into the future. Typical thinking includes the self-hating belief that mankind is a cancer on earth and that the planet (subjectively felt as a "feeling being") will "retaliate." The animist delusion includes considerable cognitive dissonance, since the typical Progressive Personality is a believer in natural selection, which has resulted in untold suffering and cruelty, mitigated only by mankind's presence.

a. For example, the belief that an eagle egg or four-toed salamander is entitled to more legal protection than a human baby.

6. Environmental spasm: Chaotic, unreasonable, or incoherent episodes of manic activity on behalf of the environment or "mother nature." The delusional nature of this activity is evidenced by misanthropic attacks on works of man, and also by a manic focus on visible or totemic biological objects of little rational value. The patient is typically obsessed only with cute or cuddly creatures, often a displacement of the nurturing urge (often unfulfilled due to abortion).

7. Control obsession: A tendency to strive for excessive control over others through state intrusion. A contemptuous projection of unconscious envy which is subjectively experienced as "compassion." Through the magic of this unconscious mechanism, PPD patients typically want the state to appropriate your wealth while imagining themselves to be generous and "compassionate." Use of state coercion often substitutes for true acts of igenerosity; a low rate of charitable giving is often present.

8. Racist/feminist hypocrisy: Passionate advocacy of government-enforced discrimination based on sex or race, with aggressively proclaimed opposition to policies which are "racist" or "sexist." Obsessive conformity of thought within a racially diverse population. For example, a PPD patient might favor seating a racist on the Supreme Court, so long as the person is of the "correct" race. Often the cognitive dissonance normally associated with such beliefs is rationalized by the delusion that the "oppressed" cannot themselves be racist.

9. Overemotional perception: Excessive concern with how a social action "looks" or "feels," to the exclusion of actual resulting benefits or harm; in particular, any effects beyond the immediate. Resistance to, and denial of, objective evidence proving the adverse consequences of progressive policy. Superficial cognition about most matters of significant import, as the progressive personality relies on the "feel" of issues rather than truly understanding them. Obsession with "fairness" or "social justice" as opposed to what actually works.

10. Sexual dysfunction: Significant anxiety about sexual matters, manifested as:
a. Obsession with sexual and gender roles.
b. Passionate celebration of nontraditional sex roles and preferences.
c. The compulsion to define individuals by their "sexual preference" and to design social policy as if all individuals share the obsession.
d. An inordinate interest in preserving inappropriate, lewd, perverse, or antisocial forms of sexual expression.
e. Fascination with immature or deviant expressions of sexuality; reduction of human sexuality to animal sexuality.
f. The projected belief that the contradictory beliefs are a result of fear (e.g. "homophobia").
e. Obsession with contraception and abortion ("reproductive freedom").

11. Replacement of patriotism with matriotism: Unwillingness to defend country when attacked or threatened, allied with inability to name or recognize evil and General devaluation of the masculine virtues.

12. Cultural and moral relativism: The fervent belief that all cultures are beautiful except one's own, and that it is immoral to judge another's morality unless they are conservative.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sri Aurobindo’s writings are a ‘Gift Unopened’

Sangh Samachar Organiser - New Delhi, India Page: 19/38
Home > 2009 Issues > June 28, 2009
Sangh Samachar 100th anniversary of Sri Aurobindo’s Uttarpara Speech Nation and spirituality were one for Sri Aurobindo - P Parameswaran

Aurobindo Ghosh’s British loving father sent him to London to forget about Bharat and Hinduism, but the inborn nationalist and Hindu traits in him only got strengthened. He returned to Bharat fully immersed in Hindu culture. After passing ICS exam, he resigned from the job, became a teacher, a freedom fighter, a revolutionary and a journalist. In 1908, the British falsely implicated him in a bomb blast case and put him in solitary confinement at the Alipore Jail in Bengal. In 1909, he was released and at a public reception accorded to him at ‘Uttarpara’, in the suburbs of Calcutta, he made a historic speech, which was a turning point in the life of Sri Aurobindo and this immortal nation.

The Bharatiya Vichara Kendram (BVK) and Aurobindo Study Circle jointly celebrated the 100th anniversary of this speech at Sanskriti Bhavan, Thiruvanantha-puram, recently. Addressing the elite audience, Padmasri P Parameswaran, RSS ideologue and Director of BVK, said though the 1893 Chicago address of Swami Vivekananda, 1947—Nehru’s Tryst with Destiny speech and Churchill’s speech during the World War II were historic orations, it was for the first time, that the centenary of a speech was celebrated world wide by the devotees of Sri Aurobindo.

“The Uttarpara speech was a turning point in Aurobindo’s life. He became Maharshi Aurobindo after Uttarpara. He migrated to French controlled Pondicherry, which was the safe heaven for nationalists, and attained spiritual bliss. Through 40 years of Yog Sadhana, he attained knowledge and ecstasy. For Sri Aurobindo, nation and spirituality were one and the same and his heart was always throbbing for Bharat. He believed that if a nation does not have a mission it would collapse. Bharatiya civilisation has outlived the ravages of time and invasions due to spiritualism and Sanatan dharma, Shri Parameswaran said.

Quoting Arnold Toynbee, he said, “Twenty civilisations live only in museums. God created Bharat to sustain Sanatan dharma,” Shri Parameswaran said. “Sri Aurobindo considered politics and Sanatan dharma as interwind. If Aurbindo’s message to Nehru from Pondicherry asking acceptance of Cripps Mission had been approved, Bharat would not have been Partitioned. Similarly his speech from AIR Trichy on August 15, 1947 asserting that Partition will take place, Asian unity and mankind’s unity will come and that man’s vision will go to a higher stage throwing away identity crisis, shows the spirit of nationalim and spiritualim in him,” Shri Parameswaranji said adding that Sri Aurobindo’s writings are a ‘Gift Unopened’ and asked people to read more on Sri Aurobindo.

Presiding over the function former Union Minister Shri O Rajagopal said Sri Aurobindo had earlier planned to speak about Hinduism at Uttarpara, but it became a message for the nation at God’s command. “He got enlightenment at the tough surroundings of the jail and realised the concept of Gita that God is everywhere and in everything. At Uttarpara speech, Sri Aurobindo described Bharat as the heart of the world. Bharat is a spiritual factory for emancipation of the world. He described Sanatan dharma as nationalism. If Santan dharma suffers a setback, Bharat is doomed. At Uttarpara, Sri Aurobindo foresaw a free Bharat. But he realised that a free Bharat without a spiritual mission would go astray. Hence he proceeded to Pondicherry from Uttarpara for acquiring spiritual sadhana to guide the nation and give it a new direction”.

“Maharshi Aurobindo’s works have great priority in American and European Universities,” he said. Leading poet Shri Vishnu Narayanan Namboothiri also spoke on the occasion. By S Chandrasekhar

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Islam in a new light; with a spirit of compassion and wideness

A comment has been posted in reference to an article titled: Sanatana Dharma: III—Swaraj and the Musulmans by Sri Aurobindo posted by: ned permalink: RYD, let me get back to you on this after some time (too busy at school right now).

This is a topic I am deeply interested in, given my Pakistani and Muslim background. I agree that Sri Aurobindo's words here are timeless. But given recent tensions in India, Pakistan and elsewhere in the world, we would do well to approach the subject with a spirit of compassion and wideness, and having done our homework on Islamic theology and history, as the Master has instructed us: "We shall make it a main part of our work to place Mahomed and Islam in a new light before our readers, to spread juster views of Mahomedan history and civilisation..." Wonderful and timely words, these.

By the way I was deeply moved and impressed by the even-handed way in which you handled this topic in your essay "Perfumes of Arabia".

Sri Aurobindo was a nationalist and freedom fighter, poet, philosopher, and yogi

Sri Aurobindo – A biography « Hindutva Ebooks By bharateeya Hindutva Ebooks Books every Hindu must read for survival and revival of Hindu Dharma!

Sri Aurobindo – A biography
June 19, 2009 by bharateeya

An exhaustive biography of Sri Aurobindo (1872 – 1950) who was an Indian nationalist and freedom fighter, poet, philosopher, and yogi. He joined the movement for India’s freedom from British rule and for a duration (1905-1910), became one of its most important leaders, before turning to developing his own vision and philosophy of human progress and a spiritual path which he termed Integral Yoga. He wrote over a hundred poems, many plays and several books on Vedas, Yoga, etc.

In his famous Uttarpara speech, he proclaimed,

“I say no longer that nationalism is a creed, a religion, a faith; I say that it is the Santana Dharma which for us is nationalism. This Hindu nation was born with the Santana Dharma, with it it moves and with it it grows. When the Santana Dharma declines, then the nation declines, and if the Santana Dharma were capable of perishing, with the Santana Dharma it would perish. The Santana Dharma, that is nationalism. This is the message that I have to speak to you”.

Of India’s future Sri Aurobindo prophesied:

“India of the ages is not dead nor has She spoken Her last creative word. And that which She must seek now to awake, is not an anglicized oriental people, docile pupil of the West and doomed to repeat the cycle of the Occident’s success and failure, but still the ancient immemorial Shakti recovering Her deepest self, lifting Her head higher towards the supreme source of light and strength and turning to discover the complete meaning and vaster form of Her Dharma”. DOWNLOAD DOWNLOAD LINK 2

'New-Age Gurus Are The New Form Of Hindutva' Tehelka - New Delhi, India There is a sense the RSS influence is lessening in society. ... We have borrowed it from Swami Vivekanda, Sri Aurobindo and Dayanand Saraswati. ... 8:51 AM

Friday, June 19, 2009

After all God does exist and if He exists, you cannot shove Him into a corner

Home Page Workings Works of Sri Aurobindo Karmayogin
Vol.I. Saturday 19th June 1909 No.1

THE KARMAYOGIN comes into the field to fulfil a function which an increasing tendency in the country demands. The life of the nation which once flowed in a broad and single stream has long been severed into a number of separate meagre and shallow channels. The two main floods have followed the paths of religion and politics, but they have flowed separately. Our political activity has crept in a channel cut for it by European or Europeanised minds; it tended always to a superficial wideness, but was deficient in depth and volume. The national genius, originality, individuality poured itself into religion while our politics were imitative and unreal. Yet without a living political activity national life cannot, under modern circumstances, survive. So also there has been a stream of social life, more and more muddied and disturbed, seeking to get clearness, depth, largeness, freedom, but always failing and increasing in weakness or distraction. There was a stream too of industrial life, faint and thin, the poor survival of the old vigorous Indian artistic and industrial capacity murdered by unjust laws and an unscrupulous trade policy. All these ran in disconnected channels, sluggish, scattered and ineffectual. The tendency is now for these streams to unite again into one mighty invincible and grandiose flood. To assist that tendency, to give voice and definiteness to the deeper aspirations now forming obscurely within the national consciousness is the chosen work of the Karmayogin.

There is no national life perfect or sound without the chaturvarnya. The life of the nation must contain within itself the life of the Brahmin, — spirituality, knowledge, learning, high and pure ethical aspiration and endeavour; the life of the Kshatriya, — manhood and strength moral and physical, the love of battle, the thirst for glory, the sense of honour, chivalry, self-devotion, generosity, grandeur of soul; the life of the Vaishya, — trade, industry, thrift, prosperity, benevolence, philanthropy; the life of the Shudra, — honesty, simplicity, labour, religious and quiet service to the nation even in the humblest position and the most insignificant kind of work. The cause of India's decline was the practical disappearance of the Kshatriya and the dwindling of the Vaishya. The whole political history of India since the tyranny of the Nandas has been an attempt to resuscitate or replace the Kshatriya. But the attempt was only partially successful. The Vaishya held his own for a long time, indeed, until the British advent by which he has almost been extinguished.

When the chaturvarnya disappears, there comes varnasankara, utter confusion of the great types which keep a nation vigorous and sound. The Kshatriya dwindled, the Vaishya dwindled, the Brahmin and Shudra were left. The inevitable tendency was for the Brahmin type to disappear and the first sign of his disappearance was utter degeneracy, the tendency to lose himself and while keeping some outward signs of the Brahmin to gravitate towards Shudrahood. In the Kaliyuga the Shudra is powerful and attracts into himself the less vigorous Brahmin, as the earth attracts purer but smaller bodies, and the Brahmatej, the spiritual force of the latter, already diminished, dwindles to nothingness. For the Satyayuga to return, we must get back the Brahmatej and make it general. For the Brahmatej is the basis of all the rest and in the Satyayuga all men have it more or less and by it the nation lives and is great.

All this is, let us say, a parable. It is more than a parable, it is a great truth. But our educated class have become so unfamiliar with the deeper knowledge of their forefathers that it has to be translated into modern European terms before they can understand it. For it is the European ideas alone that are real to them and the great truths of Indian thought seem to them mere metaphors, allegories and mystic parables. So well has British education done its fatal denationalising work in India.

The Brahmin stands for religion, science, scholarship and the higher morality; the Kshatriya for war, politics and administration; the Vaishya for the trades, professions and industries; the Shudra for labour and service. It is only when these four great departments of human activity are all in a robust and flourishing condition that the nation is sound and great. When any of these disappear or suffer, it is bad for the body politic. And the two highest are the least easy to be spared. If they survive in full strength, they can provide themselves with the two others, but if either the Kshatriya or the Brahmin go, if either the political force or the spiritual force of a nation is lost, that nation is doomed unless it can revive or replace the missing strength. And of the two the Brahmin is the most important. He can always create the Kshatriya, spiritual force can always raise up material force to defend it. But if the Brahmin becomes the Shudra, then the lower instinct of the serf and the labourer becomes all in all, the instinct to serve and seek a living as the one supreme object of life, the instinct to accept safety as a compensation for lost greatness and inglorious ease and dependence in place of the ardours of high aspiration for the nation and the individual. When spirituality is lost all is lost. This is the fate from which we have narrowly escaped by the resurgence of the soul of India in Nationalism.

But that resurgence is not yet complete. There is the sentiment of Indianism, there is not yet the knowledge. There is a vague idea, there is no definite conception or deep insight. We have yet to know ourselves, what we were, are and may be; what we did in the past and what we are capable of doing in the future; our history and our mission. This is the first and most important work which the Karmayogin sets for itself, to popularise this knowledge. The Vedanta or Sufism, the temple or the mosque, Nanak and Kabir and Ramdas, Chaitanya or Guru Govind, Brahmin and Kayastha and Namasudra, whatever national asset we have, indigenous or acclimatised, it will seek to make known, to put in its right place and appreciate. And the second thing is how to use these assets so as to swell the sum of national life and produce the future. It is easy to appraise their relations to the past; it is more difficult to give them their place in the future. The third thing is to know the outside world and its relation to us and how to deal with it. That is the problem which we find at present the most difficult and insistent, but its solution depends on the solution of the others.

We have said that Brahmatej is the thing we need most of all and first of all. In one sense, that means the pre-eminence of religion; but after all, what the Europeans mean by religion is not Brahmatej; which is rather spirituality, the force and energy of thought and action arising from communion with or self-surrender to that within us which rules the world. In that sense we shall use it. This force and energy can be directed to any purpose God desires for us; it is sufficient to knowledge, love or service; it is good for the liberation of an individual soul, the building of a nation or the turning of a tool. It works from within, it works in the power of God, it works with superhuman energy. The re-awakening of that force in three hundred millions of men by the means which our past has placed in our hands, that is our object.

The European is proud of his success in divorcing religion from life. Religion, he says, is all very well in its place, but it has nothing to do with politics or science or commerce, which it spoils by its intrusion; it is meant only for Sundays when, if one is English, one puts on black clothes and tries to feel good, and if one is continental, one puts the rest of the week away and amuses oneself. In reality, the European has not succeeded in getting rid of religion from his life. It is coming back in Socialism, in the Anarchism of Bakunin and Tolstoy, in many other isms; and in whatever form it comes, it insists on engrossing the whole of life, moulding the whole of society and politics under the law of idealistic aspiration. It does not use the word God or grasp the idea, but it sees God in humanity. What the European understood by religion, had to be got rid of and put out of life, but real religion, spirituality, idealism, altruism, self-devotion, the hunger after perfection, is the whole destiny of humanity and cannot be got rid of. After all God does exist and if He exists, you cannot shove Him into a corner and say: “That is your place, and, as for the world and life, it belongs to us.” He pervades and returns. Every age of denial is only a preparation for a larger and more comprehensive affirmation.

The Karmayogin will be more of a national review than a weekly newspaper. We shall notice current events only as they evidence, help, affect or resist the growth of national life and the development of the soul of the nation. Political and social problems we shall deal with from this standpoint, seeking first their spiritual roots and inner causes and then proceeding to measures and remedies. In a similar spirit we shall deal with all sources of national strength in the past and in the present, seeking to bring them home to all comprehensions and make them applicable to our life, dynamic and not static, creative and not merely preservative. For if there is no creation, there must be disintegration; if there is no advance and victory, there must be recoil and defeat. Karmayogin. 19th June 1909 No.1

Thursday, June 18, 2009

RSS plays Pope in the BJP

FRONT PAGE Sunday, June 7, 2009 Politicians face credibility crisis Swapan Dasgupta

Till the late-1960s, the Congress, for example, had a reasonable degree of inner-party democracy. Elections to the All-India Congress Committee and its State counterparts were held regularly and were often fiercely contested. The annual AICC sessions were marked by speeches that were robustly critical of the Government’s policies and the party leadership. Open, rumbustious discussion was also a hallmark of the Socialists. Ram Manohar Lohia fought bitter inner-party battles with the likes of Asoka Mehta, Chandra Shekhar, NG Goray and Nath Pai. His flamboyant followers such as George Fernandes, Raj Narain and Madhu Limaye were great votaries of the “change or split” path.

Communism in India was nominally wedded to the Leninist tradition of party organisation that ensured a paramount role of the Central Committee and Politburo-the proverbial vanguard of the vanguard. Yet, and particularly after PC Joshi injected intellectual vibrancy into the party in the mid-1940s, the undivided CPI boasted a culture of political discussion. The subjects of concern-the class composition of the Indian state and the relevance of “bourgeois democracy” were two all-time favourites-may have been abstruse. There was also an exaggerated reliance on what Lenin “himself” or Mao Zedong may or may not have prescribed, and cravenness before discreet instructions from Moscow. However, despite these constraints, the political “line” was thoroughly dissected. The Communists moved seamlessly from “correctness to correctness”.

The tradition of political openness received a grave setback after the Congress split of 1969 and the Emergency. The emergence of an all-powerful leader and the dynastic principle meant that decision-making was arrogated to the one and only leader. In the 1990s, the Congress suffered three major electoral defeats. Yet, apart from one brain-storming session in Panchmarhi, the party did nothing to address the grave problem of political erosion. The Congress’ recovery in 2004 and the awesome advance in 2009 owed little to any well considered plan of rejuvenation. It was an outcome of happy circumstances.

Rahul Gandhi has proclaimed his intention of democratising the Congress. The intention is noble and suggests that the heir apparent may have cottoned on to the root cause of the decline of political culture-a problem he has tried to circumvent by making politics into a caste. However, the extent to which the Congress reverts to its original moorings will depend on the calibre of its top leadership. It is one thing to promote inner-party democracy in the good times. Bad times often prompt a regression.

Curiously, it is the BJP which faces a problem not dissimilar to that of the Congress. If the Nehru-Gandhi family acts as an adhesive in the Congress, it is the RSS which plays Pope in the BJP. The BJP’s problems have multiplied on two counts.

  • First, the RSS has eroded its moral authority and social influence thanks to its unwillingness to face contemporary realities.
  • Second, success in electoral politics has triggered a breakdown of ideological certitudes and added to the charms of aggregative politics. The RSS has tried to hold things together by command. Diktat has replaced informed choice and this enforced regimentation has in turn stymied the party’s renewal.

After Atal Bihari Vajpayee and LK Advani, the party’s presidents have lacked the depth to pursue creative politics. Since the defeat in 2004, the BJP has curtailed inner-party debate, not least because the minders and their nominees have lacked the competence to handle intellectual scrutiny.

Restoring the credibility of politics and the political class is a national challenge. As democracy strikes deep roots, more and more people want a say in how parties behave and who they project. The Primary was once an American quirk but it has now become crucial to the British system as well. In India, people are offered choices on election day but have no say in determining the shortlist. To strengthen the quality of democracy, a system of constant interaction involving the top and the bottom is imperative. The country pays lip service to the argumentative India; it is time to show similar respect to the arguments.