Sunday, January 28, 2007

The dubious term called Westernization - II

"Indians are argumentative by nature," Professor N.D. Siddharthan of Delhi University told the BBC. "That makes them better at creative industries like software development."

Simpleton. Naive. Ignorant. Let people not find a national character in a country which celebrates "unity in diversity".

Sunday, January 21, 2007

I am a Haratushtrava!

Nitin at "The Acorn" blogged about divergence of Vedic and Avestan cultural/religious values. That is Persians preferring the morals of "Asuras" and Indians going for the might of "Devas". The passage he quoted (from Rajesh Kochhar's book on Vedic people) talks about Zaratushtra emphasising on ethical conducts(that of Asuras) and rejecting Devas.

I am not clear if schism in Aryan society can be exactly pinned to that point. In my opinion, the only change brought about by Zaratushtra was monotheism. I still have my doubts if Asuras were not the supreme even before that in Persian society.

Consider Norse mythology. Even Norse had two sets of gods. Aesir and Vanir. While Aesir cognates with Asura of Indo-Iranian society; the Deva equivalent can't be found in Norse myths. There Deva is generally a single god or God. I am not sure about Vanir equivalent in Indo-Iranian society. If we observe Aesir were supreme and Thor, one of the Aesir (equivalent of Asura), whose 'might' finds an echo in Indra of Devas.

And, of course, many Indians will have problem if somebody makes a statement like we choose Devas because of their warlike, materialistic and amoral nature. Aren't we the nation of peace loving and not-so greedy people with overflowing morals?

Asuras and Tulu tribes:
Anyway, that is not main point of this post. What I found interesting was that Zoroastrians had Asuras as their supreme God/gods. The most important mythical emperor of Tulu tribes , Bali, was an Asura.

Note: The myth of Bali precedes b->v changes in standard Malayalam language. Also, Bali is hailed as a Tulu emperor in Tulu region. The biggest Malayali celebration of Onam in his honour was a later development in Kerala society but that has given an impression that Bali is relevent only for Malayalis. But the fact is Malayali identification with Bali reaffirms they being part of Tulu tribes.
The myth of Bali probably gives an indication of an Aryan group where Asuras held in high esteem inhabiting Tulu regions. Probably, the religion and culture of this group was overwhelmed by the later aboriginal Indians(Hgs H and R2) mainly from Central and East and then by Dravidians(J2b and L) and in the end by Semitised Vedic people . But more than these the greatest impact was the of the first maternal clan of India(mtDNA M). However, some of the cultural things like that story of Bali survived of the Asura worshipping Aryan group.

My uniparental lineages and my cultural identity:
Considering my paternal lineage is Haplogroup R2 which has a greater presence in the Eastern regions of India; the worship originated in that region, that is phallic worship, is one of my cultural identities. I have not tested my maternal lineage. However, it is most likely mtDNA M. So, spirit worship and goddess worship are other two cultural identities. Being a Malayali more than phallic (or later Shiva), spirit worship and goddess worship are my dominating identities. However, being also part of culture of Tulu tribes, the identification with Asuras is also of utmost importance to my cultural identity.

However, in the present day Hinduism with a stronger Semitic influence, the greatest king of Tulu tribes is a tragic hero. And Vishnu and other Devas(now just demi gods) , responsible for his tragic end, are the mainstream gods. This probably tells Indians are morally neutral. Anyway, I cannot accept this. So I have decided to join a religion where Asuras were the highest and the religion which has ethical values( I like it when Parsees following non-materiliastic Asuras are very rich).

But conversion...
I really don't understand why I have to convert. What is the problem in declaring yourself as a follower somebody or some religion? You can study without teachers. Can't you? Initiation from somebody is alright if converts are children (which I don't agree) as they may not understand the things. However, an adult can inititate himself to a new religion.

I am a Haratushtrava!
So here I declare that I am a follower of Zaratushtra and initiate myself to his religion and teachings.

Now, I need some Indianization since I am not a Parsi(or Persian). I think 'h' replaces 'z' in India. Therefore, the name of Zaratushtra must be Haratushtra. Now, the follower of Haratushtra in Kannada;
Haratushtra + avanu -> Haratushtra + he -> he follows Haratushtra -> Haratushtravanu(masc); Haratushtravalu(fem) or

Haratushtrava (unisex)

Saturday, January 13, 2007

The dubious term called Westernization - I

Westernization is an absurd term.

- Many of the the cutlural aspects attributed to West had their beginnings elsewhere or had independent origins in non-European countries.
- The adoption or acculturation of these cultural aspects in mainstream by non-European countries make a generalization that those societies, prior to that, cultivated their own cultural aspects. This is not only wrong when it comes to majority of the population but also humiliating for those people in many countries. The west was fortunate that it escaped from its own culture in the lines of India, China etc...
- Westernization is an evil and cunning term.
- Non-European who thinks s/he is "Westernized" or who opposes something what s/he calls "Westernization" are both wrong and nonsensical.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Identities -1

The identities in Indian context show a strange mix of ignorance, hypocrisy and shortsightedness. Ignorance, of course, has nothing to do with lack of knowledge but the unscientific knowledge from folklore and from the interpretations of the parsimonious explanations of anthropologists. While ignorance and hypocrisy work at community level ; shortsightedness work at individual level.

This applies to a community in two different societies. Here the migrant community might develop a kind of identity that has nothing to do with the identity of that community in its former homeland. In fact, the new identity may turn up to be out of character to the original identity.

A community in two different spheres of influence. It takes two definitions of its identify. From a neutral point of view those two may sound diagonally opposite. But this is required considering the position of that identity in two different spheres. But the fact remains that one definition negates the second.

The reason for this could be sense of belonging not only with his identity but with other identities part of his/her sphere. This identity involves a father and son. A person can rebel thinking he can change the society or remain slave with a sense of helplessness whatever might be his intelligence or financial situation. However, a son without the shortsightedness born out of sense of belonging may find himself prisoner of proud or unfortunate legacy of his father. But his sense of non-belonging without any actual act of creating one identity for himself(if it is possible) may force him to face the mockery of his ideals, as he is still part of his father's identity, throughout his life .