Sunday, December 25, 2011

Movements and ideologies - Secular Enemies

With the fall of the feudal system (not really true in many parts of India), there are no true secular enemies to fight against. Corrupts, the present day enemies,  pose a grey are for the general population. Because when it comes to money, many people have ambiguous attitude even though majority of them will never get a chance to commit corruption.

In such a situation, it becomes imperative that we change our definitions of right versus wrong. A person's integrity is irrelevant in the fight against corruption. The necessary thing is whether s/he accepts the view that an uncorrupt society is better for all and in fact can improve his/her financial status in the long run (which can be better or equal to benefits from the corrupt self). I think this attitude is better than hoping to have pure leaders to lead us in the fight against corruption. Following an ideal leader itself is self-debasing.

But the alternative of course requires our vision of future society where we can create jobs for everyone and distribute wealth justly. There are many countries with low corruption indices and which are highly successful. However, many of them have been colonial powers and others have benefited from these colonial powers. So those are not true models for a country like India. We need a model which is neither dependent upon colonies nor dependent upon exports oriented economy.

Update: 26-12-2011
There is no central point in this piece but there are some good observations along the way. The ones I'm quoting below are not.
When you're inside a myth it looks like fact, and for those who were inside the myth of the end of history it seems to have given a kind of peace of mind.
         Surely we would be better off if we put an end to our obsession with endings.

It appears some Europeans are losing big picture in their economic turmoil. Let's see the other side. Or the present society. A recent study sums up the situation quite beautifully.
Why do we stick up for a system or institution we live in -- a government, company, or marriage -- even when anyone else can see it is failing miserably? Why do we resist change even when the system is corrupt or unjust?

When we feel we can't escape a system, we adapt. That includes feeling okay about things we might otherwise consider undesirable.

The point of concern is not whether utopians really seek for a peaceful ending but the common people feeling that the present situation as the best of all endings. 

Random Thoughts - XI_a

Taking my previous post further and considering normal human behaviours (in contrast to different behaviours discussed in psychiatry), I would think it's impossible to find a general truth. We can certainly find individual truths but the summation or the averaging does not give a common truth. This might be obvious, but the disappointing point would be even if one finds an individual truth there is no guarantee that one can create an ideal society for that individual to live in. That kind of society is when obviously impossible in a herd society, it's also not feasible in an individualistic society.

This doesn't mean that an ideal society for an individual is utopian. The word itself is highly limited in its understanding and myopic in its meaning. The present day society is obviously a utopian dream for the past societies. It's a word used by reactionaries who undoubtedly in every barbaric societies of the past, with their position secured, would have justified it with similar vocabulary. These sophists would find true communism existing in the USA when its economy struggled.

The concept of global village or nation without boundaries, even when it comes to fruition, will not create an individual's ideal society. We may need to create nations of ideologies. I don't think there are many ideologies. We need to create only two societies. One is based on lust, where inviting for a cup of coffee is a civilized way of expressing sexual desire. The other is based on love, where any euphemism or physical hints for sex is unacceptable and one can only profess love. The lust is expressed not from words but hinted from the physical presence in lust spaces.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Thoughts - XI

If humans are born as mere FPTAs, I think the quest for self-discovery is absurd.
I wrote that and then started searching for information on self-discovery and discovered Thomas Szasz.

I did think earlier that Psychiatry should replace religion without thinking much about implications.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Movements and Ideologies : Berber-Arab Spring

In the relative success of "Berber Spring" and "Arab Spring", it was heartening to see that non-fundamentalist Muslims also have guts to oppose authoritarian regimes or Muslims do have courage without religious brainwashing. The corruption and humiliation felt with the rule of single families perhaps was too strong that it could mask the fear of Islamic take over. But I believe if democracy prevails, the political system could be better than that of Iran. In any case, the so-called secular regimes in these regions didn't do anything to further the cause of secularism among common people(with few exceptions). They just controlled the fundamentalists through force.

But this makes me wonder whether the secular support of the Iraq war even with the argument for democracy is valid or not. Perhaps it was just a matter of time before even Iraqis rebelled against the regime. Maybe secularists thought Muslim Berbers and Arabs were completely hopeless to bring about any change in their society.

Anyway, non-Muslim world is still few years away from becoming completely comfortable with the Muslim Berber-Arab world.

Update: 23-12-2011
A related article in the BBC magazine

According to the historian Eric Hobsbawm:
About the traditional Left;
The traditional left was geared to a kind of society that is no longer in existence or is going out of business. It believed very largely in the mass labour movement as the carrier of the future. Well, we've been de-industrialised, so that's no longer possible.

The most effective mass mobilisations today are those which start from a new modernised middle class, and particularly the enormously swollen body of students.

About Iranian model repeating itself;
The people who had made concessions to Islam, but were not Islamists themselves, were marginalised. And that included reformers, liberals, communists.

What emerges as the mass ideology is not the ideology of those that started off the demonstrations.

Idea of a Nation - v

I have argued before that India satisfies the requirements of a true nation because it doesn’t have a ‘soul’ of its own to irritate, subjugate or  compromise one or the other ‘souls’. But this argument shouldn’t overlook the creation of nation-state India.
When India was created the idea of faceless India was not there. It was a collection of regions where the Muslims were not in majority. The implication of that was;
The upper class Muslims, who were the most privileged class until the British took over the country, clubbed the faceless castes with no say in politics and social aspects of the country until then with the privileged castes

-  According to the privileged castes it was the caste identity (euphemistically known as Hinduism) that has given India the common identity in retrospect
We see mockery of the faceless castes in either of these scenarios.  The humiliation of the faceless castes implicit in the partition of the country has been mitigated by the “secular” identity of the country. Thus the secular India gives dignity and equal claim to not only religious minorities but also to the faceless castes that anyway form majority within the castes.
Now the question is whether we can compromise with secularism and allow a region to secede based on the two nation theory. But I believe there is a greater question than this. Are we insecure with our near perfect definition of nation-state in the definition of India?
Unfortunately, the idea of secular India was a work of few brilliant minds. The majority castes or Muslims have no idea about it. The castes within their caste framework and Indian Muslims(which includes Pakistanis and Bangladeshis) within their religious identity are some of the most barbaric people on earth. Ambedkar had remarked that the caste system never had an intrinsic virtue to liberate itself, which appears to be true for Muslims too. But of course, isolated religious identity or the caste identities are no longer practical in the present world.
Now the question is whether we are withholding our trust in the definition of India because there are people with no idea of secularism and who merely see it a Hindu-Muslim issue. I believe the nation-state India should show faith in itself and experiment.

With this background, in my view we should take the following steps for the Kashmir issue;
  1.            Ask Pakistan to change the name to ‘Islamic Republic of India’ from the present ‘Islamic Republic of Pakistan'
    •        of course, incomplete without Bangladesh but so is the name Pakistan which is prior to the creation of Bangladesh 
    •               This request is not a prior requirement for the points 2-4
    •        This requirement is not binding on Pakistan
  2.        Hold referendum in Kashmir with two options. Join ‘Secular Republic of India’ or ‘Islamic Republic of India’ (No independence)
  3.             Referendum should include separate ballots of Sunni Muslims, Shia Muslims, Ahmadiyas, Buddhists and the castes .
    •      There must be an initial ballot to decide whether Shias, Ahmadiyas would be part of Sunni Muslims or would like to have a separate electorate
  4.            If non-Muslims or non Sunni Muslims don’t approve joining the Islamic Republic of India with a simple majority then the valley should be divided and there should be complete population exchange.