Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo and The Mother.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

History of liberalism in India: From Keshub Chandra Sen to Kamasutra

After Protestant polemics developed the concept of priestcraft as religious fraud, missionaries travelling throughout the British colonies eventually dispersed it into the lexicon of Hindu reformers. These nineteenth–century reformers translated the religious insult into vernacular languages like Hindi and Gujarati, breathing new life into the idea in the context of their own tradition. Used to vilify religious hierarchy and celebrate the ideal of the autonomous individual, priestcraft rhetoric also became important to the liberalism in India. Indeed, as Scott shows, the history of liberalism in India cannot be separated from the history of subjectivity. Scott draws on close readings of texts in multiple languages from powerful thinkers of the day, such as James Mill, Keshub Chandra Sen, William Howitt, Karsandas Mulji, Helena Blavatsky, and many more, to provide a broad, transcontinental perspective. Uniting writers across time and space, Scott sheds much-needed light on how priestcraft rhetoric and ascetic religious practices in India played a surprising part in creating a new moral and political order based on ideals of self-governance for twentieth century India, demonstrating the importance of viewing the emergence of secularism through the colonial encounter.

Conservatism, rooted in tradition, hierarchy and duty and sceptical of progressivism and rationality, provides a superior framework for understanding and engaging with the formerly colonised world than do the liberal and socialist foundations on which Western thinking about colonialism initially depended, as in de Tocqueville’s defence of imperialism, the ambivalent views in J S Mill and Marx and the unequivocal critiques of Diderot, Hobson and Lenin.

This exciting book moves beyond and against the current postcolonial orthodoxy. Instead of arguing that all colonization is wrong and inherently unjust, Dr. Kartar Lalvani argues that Britain made a crucial contribution in providing India with its lasting physical and institutional infrastructure which continues to underpin the world's largest democracy. The indisputable fact is that India as a nation, as it stands today, was originally put together and created by a small distant island nation. That India has endured as a democracy and a unified nation is thanks to the all important and fully functional infrastructure of an independent civil service and judiciary, a disciplined and apolitical army and a well drilled and efficient police force--all developed by an imperial power. This finally explodes the myth that all India's problems are caused by outsiders' interference
Dr. Kartar is himself Indian and is fully aware that his book will create great controversy, but it is a meticulously argued and researched history of the people of India since the 17th century.

The Public Sphere From Outside the West by Divya Dwivedi (Editor), Sanil V (Editor) Sep 24, 2015
The essays bring to attention the formation of geo-politically and historically distinct public spheres from South Africa, India, America and Europe. Such formations are found not only in the postcolonial histories of print, photography, cinema and caricature but also those underway in the digital era, such as the Arab Spring, Occupy movements and Anonymous. Through critical engagement with philosophers such as Kant, Heidegger, Benjamin, Habermas and Arendt, the determining concepts of the Public Sphere - privacy, secrecy, reason, the people - are shown to be undergoing epistemological and practical ruptures.

Transnational Social Work and Social Welfare argues for the increased importance of the transnational perspective in social work theory and practice. The book challenges the idea of the nation state as a given entity and argues that globalization, new media as well as an increasing number of people crossing borders must have an impact on the theories and strategies of social work. The international contributors are critical of a restricted focus on a geographically defined space and the negative impact on work with clients.

The Kamasutra is best known in the West for its scandalous celebration of unbridled sensuality. Yet, there is much, much more to it; embedded in the text is a vision of the city founded on art and aesthetic pleasure. In Foucault and the Kamasutra, Sanjay K. Gautam lays out the nature and origin of this iconic Indian text and engages in the first serious reading of its relationship with Foucault.
Gautam shows how closely intertwined the history of erotics in Indian culture is with the history of theater-aesthetics grounded in the discourse of love, and Foucault provides the framework for opening up an intellectual horizon of Indian thought. To do this, Gautam looks to the history of three inglorious characters in classical India: the courtesan and her two closest male companions—her patron, the dandy consort; and her teacher and advisor, the dandy guru. Foucault’s distinction between erotic arts and the science of sexuality drives Gautam’s exploration of the courtesan as a symbol of both sexual-erotic and aesthetic pleasure. In the end, by entwining together Foucault’s works on the history of sexuality in the West and the classical Indian texts on eros, Gautam transforms our understanding of both, even as he opens up new ways of investigating erotics, aesthetics, gender relations, and subjectivity.

Khajuraho कामसू‍त्र-और-खजुराहोकामसू‍त्र-और-खजुराहो-मंद/

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