Sunday, January 11, 2015

OBCs and Affirmative Action - II

I talked about this friend of mine in one of my posts. I wondered how he reconciles his status as an OBC and his association with the Hindutva.

As I discussed, Hindutva and affirmative action are incompatible. Generally, the Hindutva narrative twists the caste history. According to them;
- The caste system was good (but became bad later)
- There is something great in the caste system and because of which India remained predominantly Hindu even after hundreds of years of Muslim rule (It doesn't bother about analyzing other societies, which of course beyond its scope and logical fallacies don't exist)
- Brahmins preserved India's culture (There is nothing more hideous than this propaganda. A classic twist of Brahmin monopoly of knowledge and deliberate exclusion of other castes)

Now, no OBC brought up in this propaganda can give any rational explanation for affirmative action. As I said, it generally leads to perversion of their thinking. My worry was this friend was one of the victims and that's the reason for him to forward  couple of malicious jokes against affirmative action. To top it, his basic education was in a school run by a Hindu organization.

However, I do have to acknowledge he is certainly not fooled by the Hindutva propaganda.

Well, he liked couple of posts of mine on Facebook. In the first one, I mentioned how becoming foot soldiers of Hindutva movement is demeaning for OBCs. In another post, I mocked at a Brahmin priest's contention that the Untouchability was the creation of Dravidians (I suppose the legacy of Brahmin apologist George L Hart).

There are many OBCs and my own cousins drawn to Hindutva among my friends' list. However, none of them 'like' my posts that attack the caste system or Hindutva. So, it does show he is aware of the contradictions.

It probably boils down to their inability to articulate their thoughts and also counter the pro-caste privileged caste propaganda. Also, as one of my friends who is associated with the RSS once confided that there was a fear among people part of the movement that if they counter many of twisted narratives of the caste system it wouldn't go well with the privileged upper echelons.

I'm sure the Hindutvites of privileged caste background will always be grateful that there are Muslims around.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Dubious Term Called Westernization - VII

I have argued before that any knowledge if it has to be learnt or a person has to use his/her brain then that knowledge is individualistic. It can't get any identity. However, this simple logic seems to elude Hindutvites. Unfortunately, India produces too many of them and they are set to mess up Indian education system(though unsure what we have is worthy of preserving) since now they are in power.

I was thinking about this phenomenon among many non-Christians world over. Can we come up with a solution which when not diluting the modern scientific knowledge also ensures that it doesn't instill a sense of alienation or inferiority complex among rationally challenged non-Christians?

The greatest danger of dumbing down of the education is in the field of social sciences. However, it's the achievements of some Europeans in physical sciences that has created alienation or inferiority complex among right wingers. One can find the evidence of that in Muslim preacher Dr, Zakir Naik's claim that, "the West is true when it comes to science and technology but we are true when it comes to religion".

The people behind development of knowledge and the regions where they got support and help to promote it aren't very important when it comes to imparting that knowledge to completely different set of people and regions where such people in the past and knowledge were either actively suppressed or never encouraged.So, we can create fictitious names and regions. Albert Einstein can be some Ramesh from Gujarat or some Saranya from Tamil Nadu depending upon the regions. Of course, caste and religious sensibilities have to be accounted for.

 I believe respecting a scientist or a philosopher is just an extension of patriarchal or feudal thinking or its internalization. We can take inspiration from Gandhi's words, "One shouldn't hate sinners but the sins". It's a brilliant non-hierarchical and in turn non-patriarchal thinking. Extending that we can say, "One should never respect/love/worship saints/scientists/thinkers but respect/emulate their deeds".

So with this we can address identity question of most of the physical and social science fields. However, there still is a problem with the study of history. I would think history should be only available as a research field. Anyway, majority don't learn anything in history classes and is very evident in the way  it's being easily twisted. So, remove history from school curriculum.

These studies should be taught in a way that they should show how the scientific Indian (or vernacular) school of thought has triumphed over other Indian schools of thought.

Eventually, students would know the truth. However, normal people who aren't bothered about 'westernization' may not care at all. But it would be tough for people with right wing disposition to suddenly reject everything that they thought was part of their identity throughout. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Soft Hindutvites' Caste System

Very amusing!

  • Stephen: Is there still a caste system over there?
  • Tharoor: There is a caste system.
  • Stephen: I wish we had one.
  • Tharoor: Well, if they invented the caste system today, I’m sure that talk show hosts would be right on the top.
  • Stephen: Oh, yeah.
  • Tharoor: Absolutely. Because it was a profession-based thing. It goes back three thousand years, and essentially the people in the so-called unclean professions were the bottom of the caste system …
  • Stephen: So, I would be a Brahmin over here.
  • Tharoor: Oh, you would be a Brahmin!
  • Stephen: Are you from the Brahmin caste?
  • Tharoor: No, I’m not, actually.
  • Stephen: You’re not?
  • Tharoor: Nope.

Source:

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Random Thoughts: Human tendency - II

I sort of think these are the mistakes people make while believing in stereotypical notions about god/religion, nationalism etc...

1. Generalization of exceptions that confirm their biases. Going as far as claiming those are better than scientific understandings.

2. A complete ignorance about being privileged and thus promoting their identity and their status as natural order of things.

3. Sidestepping glaring problems by only providing lip service as those don't hurt them (could be short sighted -> is that ableist? Am I allowed to use it since I'm short-sighted?).

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Random Thoughts - City planning

How should a city be developed? It should be planned in such a way that a future generation would be able to destroy everything easily and rebuild it from scratch.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Random Thoughts: Human tendency

There are many analyses of human regressive behaviours that in spirit try to explain but in reality legitimize  them. There could be is-ought fallacy in their usage but I feel many don't get it. One of them is;
In group identity:
    A research finds some kind of ingroup identity behaviours which would then used by others to explain hereditary castiest and racial behaviours. However, if you go through those studies there are many caveats for such behaviours. It depends on gender(mostly male specific) and other factors. If one observes caste, more than anything innate, it depends on societal factors like pride and shame, monetary and social profit. If one studies the caste associations and groups then one can observe imbalance in their camaraderie factor. These factors are something that need to be eliminated in a civilized society. However, people attributing the caste feelings to in-group love, forget that fact that they are legitimizing the factors which are inhuman. Even if their intention was to spread in-group love to whole of humanity, they fail to understand the implications of their words.

Some others:
- It's all bell curve
- It's all survival of the fittest
- Everything is like religion

Reference:
1. http://bantwal.blogspot.in/2010/01/individual-moral-man-i.html

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Original father of Dravidian Speakers - VII

Maybe 'appa' became derogatory word in Malayalam not because of Nair tradition of 'Sambandham', where 'appa' was a ritual father and not a biological father. The reason could be very silly. A dish common in Tulu and Malayalam region is called 'appam', a rice pancake puffed in the middle and the tapering sides, in southern Malayalam region, whereas, 'aapa' in Malabar region (or only in Kasaragod). In my opinion, when southern Malayalis for some weird reason turned 'aapa' into 'appam', children started making fun of 'appa' and 'appa' and father appa went out of favour.

The creation of a taboo on kinship terms can be very quick. It appears grandmothers of Tulu region no longer like to be addressed as 'grandmother' in local lingo. In Tulu, traditionally, it's either 'dodda' or 'ajji'. However, in its place they are making their grandchildren to call them 'ammamma'.  The other day, my mother said that her friend admonished her for allowing her grandchild to call her 'ajji'. So, it appears once a new kinship term appears, there would be  an active and concerted effort to make the old term obsolete by making it derogatory. In fact, making it derogatory is necessary for suppressing it. If I extrapolate this 'ammamma' in Tulu region to 'appa' in Malayalam region, I would say appa was used widely in Malayalam region once upon a time.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Random Thoughts - Communalism in India

India's new prime minister, Narendra Modi, is seen as a reincarnation of Adolf Hitler both by his admirers and detractors. I don't have any opinion on his supporters' view but I believe his opponents' views are irrational and trivialization. In my opinion, this deviates from the discussion of his actual faults. There are too many contradictions in seeing Modi as another Hitler.

1. Race superiority: 
Modi comes from a lower caste and any claim of Hindu superiority has to transcend many levels obvious contradictions. Also, Nazi Aryan supremacy stems from pseudo-science whereas Hindu supremacy is dependent upon pseudo-history.  At least, pseudo-science is falsifiable. Also, only Brahmins can be the proponents of this drivel. They have succeeded to a large extent by masking Brahmin face of cultural attributes(eg. Gurukul system) as Hindu face. But as lower castes become educated, they are able to question many of them (or at least that's my observation). However, they may still suppress these thoughts because of their hatred against the Muslims.

2. Muslim suppression: 
Will Muslims be the Jews of India? Not just Tamil Brahmins even I have my own reservations on this. There are many aspects of suppression if you go by many Muslims.
- Implementation of Uniform Civil Code(UCC)
- Banning Muslim centric parties like AIMIM and IUML
- Scrapping article 370
- Mob violence against them
The first two are steps in the right direction and the last one is the only true act of suppression. Third point is only restricted to one state thus not really a concern of majority Muslims.

It's a big surprise why male Hindutvites are hardcore supporters of UCC than Muslim women. It's more like they are jealous of Muslim male privilege. I believe that jealousy is valid. Curiously, it doesn't require Central Government ordinance to effect UCC in India. The state governments have full power to enact the law. It's unclear why BJP ruled states haven't done so until now. Since now they have  majority on their own in the central, they are probably in a good position to pass the law. This is probably the easiest one to do as opposing this would be a tall task.

Banning Muslim parties would be another step in the right direction.  Though I believe no such measures would be taken as that could be an existential question for the BJP itself.

Instead of scrapping article 370, I feel similar rights should be extended to all the states of India. I'm for turning India into an entity similar to European Union. Will it have any negative repercussions in Kashmir if the article is scrapped? I don't think so. The situation is already bad, so it can't get worse any further. Also, the two nation theory itself was absurd so any laws built upon it were equally untenable.

That leaves with the only true suppression that is instigating or turning blind eye on mob violence against the Muslims. I assume it could be the case occasionally. However, that would be a far cry from the final solution that the Nazis envisioned. Even though many Hindutvites have that kind of fantasy, they all know it's completely impractical. Thus while the leaders want to derive political mileage, the minions on the ground at the best have the desire for 'showing them their place'. This will become vicious cycle with the Muslims retaliating. Even though Muslim loss would be greater, I would think majority Hindus would soon get tired of these things and any party can't bank on this to rule or gain votes very long.

3. Military adventurism
Continuing with Hitler analogy, let's expect Modi to attack Pakistan. However, whereas for Nazis it was their birthright to rule over others, in case of India, it's just a measure for completing an unfinished job of nation building. I do think attacking Pakistan could be a noble cause. Even if that involves either annihilation of either of them or merging the region of Pakistan back to the Indian union, it should be welcomed. India didn't have its civil war like the one that the USA had. While Americans could kill identity based on slavery, Indians failed to kill religion based identity. But it will be a paradigm shift for the BJP from endorsing mob violence against unarmed minorities to sending an army against a country.

So in my opinion, the Hitler type of actions by Modi can in fact reverse Nazi like conditions in India. The real issues to be addressed are, the danger of anti-intellectualism becoming mainstream, casteist purity and pollution rules like vegetarian bigotism gaining momentum, lower castes being humiliated with goondas as their community leaders and spokespersons etc..

Friday, March 21, 2014

Idea of a Nation - VII

"The problem with Ukraine trading its most potent weapons for Russia's promise of good behaviour is now evident," he says.
"Kiev gave up its means of deterring Russian aggression. Now, Ukraine is overmatched in conventional forces and would have difficulty fighting off a Russian incursion."
He argues that current and future nuclear powers, such as Iran, North Korea, Japan, India and Pakistan, should take note: deterrence works.
Via BBC

I was thinking about this since the crisis in Crimea started. I was planning to write a post as Ukraine was another country with two languages and hence not a natural country and even though Russia claims to be a federation, it has an imperial language. But I just don't have enough time to write one.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Random Thoughts - Love_Lust


These fMRI scans show brain regions activated by sexual desire (in blue) compared to love (in pink) in healthy patients. The overlap in red illustrates how a patient’s brain lesion affected the area in the brain associated with decision-making in love.
Credit: Courtesy of Chris Frum and James Lewis/West Virginia University; Robin Weiss/University of Chicago

Via Science Daily

I assume the colours selected to represent love and lust have no significance.

Now we have definitions for love and lust.

Lust: Concrete representation of sensory experiences
Love: Abstract representation of those experiences

I guess it's not just visual experiences. You might lust after or fall in love with people just by reading their words without ever seeing them.
"The current work makes it possible to disentangle love from other biological drives,"