RMF Summary: Week of January 2 - 8, 2012

January 2
Dravidian Empire Strikes Back: Seminar for rebuttal on 'Breaking India
A. Neelakandan shares:
K. Veeramani, the Dravida Kazhagam (Dravidian Association) supremo, has made the following announcement:
"On January 8 and 9 there is going to be a seminar on 'Breaking India' to 'expose this book which is a cunning Brahmin conspiracy' fabricated by two Brahminical preachers, Rajiv Malhotra and Aravindan Neelakandan'."

The event will be held at Periyar Thidal, Chennai, and the title of the seminar is 'Breaking India or Breaking Aryanism'.

January 2
ISKCON website: Allah and Krishna Are The Same Person ?!
Rajiv Malhotra shares:
"Please read the attached discussion that Krishna and Allah might be the same person. Implication: In that case, Quran represents his more recent teachings than Gita, being newer than Gita, and hence a later "release" we must upgrade to. Bottom line: if they are same then whats the problem with converting to Islam???

My book BEING DIFFERENT was the result of hundreds of such views, debates, etc I encountered over many years, and formulating DIFFERENCES carefully such that the other side CANNOT ACCEPT OUR CORE IDEAS.

I did not include Islam in this book to prevent making it twice the size and diluting the focus. But similar differences are applicable. Examples: Krishna never says he is the only avatar or the only one, and acceptance of this makes the Islamic claim that Mohammed is the final prophet erroneous. Reincarnation and karma taught by Krishna are not digestible into Islam either.

Yet, by reading the attached interpretation you will realize how
massive is the campaign to digest us by offering arguments that praise us (on the surface) in order to have our naive masses and foolish leaders buy the sameness nonsense." 

Arun responds:
"There is in our tradition, Kabir, who allegedly sang:-

Alakh Elahi ek hai, nam darya do
Ram Rahim ek hai, naam darya do
Krishna Karim ek hai, naam darya do
Kashi Kaba ek hai, ek Ram Rahim

Alakh (the Invisible) and Elahi (the Lord) are one, with two names Ram and Rahim are one, with two names
Krishna and Karim are one, with two names
Kashi and Kaaba are but one, with two names.

The above teaching will also be found in the Sikh Gurus.

To understand this *fully*, we need to look at three points of view:
1. Hindu point of view,
2. Islamic point of view,
3. Outsider (neither Hindu nor Muslim point of view).

The summary is that to the Hindu, the sameness of Ram and Rahim is as real as the sameness of Vishnu and Shiva. This is a respectable position within Hinduism. In the Islamic point of view, Ram, Vishnu, Shiva are false gods. To the objective outsider also, Ram != Rahim.

In my opinion, Hindus need to both preserve their own point of view, as well as understand that it is meaningful only to them, and to no one else.....
Further, just as a plebiscite to establish a dictatorship is meaningless, since a dictatorship will terminate the supremacy of the people's will which is the premise behind the plebiscite; just as the right to sell oneself into slavery is likewise a contradiction of the theory of human rights; similarly, the
coexistence implied by "sarva dharma sama bhava" does not grant you the right to proselytize. Moreover, just as I do not abandon my commitment to democracy simply because there are so many states without it, I do not abandon my
commitment to religious coexistence, because there are so many peoples inimical to it. My ideas lead to peaceful coexistence, while yours require the extirpation of one side or the other; and in this, I claim a definite superiority of my ideas. Moreover, if one side has to vanish, it won't be mine."

Rajiv's response to Arun's comment:
"I want people to read Arun's well argued statement below. But I beg to differ in his interpretation of the Hindu view. The key to my position is the invocation of the famous verse ""sarva dharma..." in which the definition of WHAT CONSTITUTES DHARMA (AS DISTINCT FROM A-DHARMA) is usually left out. Not every "claim" of truth is truth. Ravana also had his claim of dharma, so did Hitler and Bin Laden. If all claims of dharma were valid, then why the need to have the Mahabharata? Why is Arjun asked to fight to protect dharma against a-dharma, if there is no difference between them? The catastrophic misunderstanding many Hindus have, as reflected in Arun's analysis below, is that all religious "claims" are regarded as valid dharma. They are not, as the above examples of Hitler, Bin Laden, Ravana illustrate. Organized religions are mere claims by some powerful institutions. The winners in world conquests got to write history (the word history itself comes from "His-Story" meaning God's story as claimed by some desert tribal leaders). But the criteria of what is dharma cannot be as facile as "might is right". There are 2 flaws in Arun's unstated assumption: (1) Whosoever happened to prevail historically in defining "religion" did an authentic job. (2) All such religions are to be equated with dharma. I vaguely remember that Arun and I have been around this block several times many years ago...I am glad to welcome him back and hope people will read his analysis carefully and with due respect "

Arun's followup:
"....  e.g., Taliban ideology won't pass muster to be considered dharma. Likewise, it rules out Hitler and it rules out Crusaders. The average follower of a religion is given an ethical discipline to follow that includes the golden rule, and it is with this aspect of the religion that we can hope to coexist.

The point I was trying to it should be seen as a Hindu ethical principle, not as a fact about the world. It is not something to be abandoned, but to be applied correctly. We should understand all the premises underlying the idea, and not
apply it in situations where these premises are being undermined. So, e.g., the evangelist's activities are contrary to this principle, and we would not apply this principle to him."

Rajiv's response to first followup: 
...I hope we can agree to the following propositions:

1) Dharma is not same as religion, hence all religious paths are not necessarily dharmic.

2) Even within the vocabulary of religion, what we have today are "claims" of truth, and like all claims in science, law, etc. they need to be put to test under some accepted criteria....

3) If you do step 2, you have to go through each verse of Qu'ran/Bible and apply the test to pass judgment whether it is dharmic or not. Examples: "Thou shalt not worship any other god besides me" - does that pass the test? "Kill the infidels" - does that pass the test? On the other hand, one can also find
numerous statements that DO pass the test of being dharmic. I dont know any guru who goes about pontificating all religions are same and all religions are dharmic to have done any such exercise with rigor...

4) Objects X and Y can have both similarities and dissimilarities. A bicycle is similar to a truck because: both have wheels, both are means of transportation; both use steel for construction; both require a human to drive; etc. That does
not make them the same.

I hope serious readers of BD will raise exception every time they hear this sameness nonsense.....

Please once again watch my Mark Tully video entirely, which I feel gets this methodology across very explicitly."

Venkat comments:
"...peculiar syndrome at work here amongst Hindus. When confronted with some disturbing verses in the semitic scriptures .. they will jump to their defend it as in "Oh no, Christians have actually misunderstood the verse.  Jesus never said that.....!"

Rajiv response: In chapter 1, I coin the term "difference anxiety from below" to explain this syndrome.

Jithu adds: 
" ... Aurobindo Ghosh, the great Hindu poet-philosopher, posed the question about Islam: "You can live with a religion whose principle is toleration. But how is it possible to live with a religion whose principle is 'I will not tolerate you'? How are you going to have unity with these people?... I am sorry they [Gandhi and Nehru] are making a fetish of Hindu-Muslim unity. It is no use ignoring facts; some day the Hindus will have to fight Muslims and they must prepare for it. Hindu-Muslim unity should not mean the subjection of Hindus.
Each time the mildness of the Hindus has given way. The best solution would be to allow the Hindus to organise themselves and Hindu-Muslim unity will take care of itself, it will automatically solve the problem. ...I see no reason why the
greatness of India's past or its spirituality should be thrown into the waste basket, in order to conciliate the Muslims who would not be conciliated by such policy." 

Desh responds:
"... "God" when verbalized is the God of the verbalizer, not the "real entity". Verbalizing of an entity defines it. The way God and its characteristics have been defined in various religions and Dharmic traditions are very very different. So, contrary to the claim of "Ishwar Allah tere naam" - the truth is that BY DEFINITION, Ishwar and Allah are NOT equivalent. ..."

Rajiv's response:
Even within the Abrahamic religions, there is one voice who says to one specific prophet "I am Yahweh, the only one, and here are my covenants..." Another voice at a different time says to a different prophet, "I am Theo... and here is my command..." Nobody has proven that based on this evidence Yahwek = Theo. The list of such voices with distinct names speaking to their corresponding prophets is very long. This gets more complex when supposedly the "same" God re-appears as Allah and that too not directly but via the archangel Gabriel who speaks to Mohammed. It is humans who CONSTRUCTED ideas like monotheism because for control over large numbers of peoples it was effective to impose One Book by One God and all others had to be demonized.
If you assume that all the invisible speakers calling themselves by various names were indeed the same fellow, a clinical analysis of what he said over time would show him to be schizophrenic. He is full of contradictions. Among his various personalities he is also sexist, racist, jealous, angry, and advocates genocide...."
Das comments:
"If Allah (the great one) is simply one of the attributes Krishna (all attractive) therefore Vedic religion is much wider hence can have the effect of islamic followers converting to Vaishnavas."
Rajiv's response:
This is logically flawed. Lets use some basic rigor. You cannot simply assume that X's attributes (i.e. Allah's) are a subset of Y's attributes (i.e. Krishna's) without looking at ALL of their attributes.
Imagine a Venn diagram you learned in high school, in which two circles partially overlap. But each has a lot of space outside the other. This is closer to the situation of Allah and Krishha - there are overlapping attributes but neither is a proper subset of the other.
The argument mentioned by Shri Das is very typical of the simpleminded pop dharma that's commonly taught" 

Arun's 2nd followup:
"Rajiv Malhotra acknowledges in his book, inspiration from Mahatma Gandhi; Mahatma Gandhi used to sing in his public prayer meetings, "Ishwar Allah Tere Naam..."; Gandhi was a stalwart of the Independence Movement; so something does
not square up here, I request that the writer reconsider his logic."

Rajiv's response: 
Obviously this is not the first time such a proposal has come.
But it is fallacious. It assumes that if you reject position X of someone on a given issue then you must necessarily reject that person's position Y on a different issue. It is like a physicist (such as Arun) saying that since one disagrees with a particular theory of a scientist then one must reject everything written by that scientist.

I have been ... one of the first to point out in these egroup the fallacy of "Allah = Ishwar" and have mentioned Gandhi and many others for this flaw. I doubt he has read BD: In BD I
also name Baba Ramdev for saying that Aum = Allah = Amen, and I point out that as explained in Patanjali's Yogasutra, Aum is non-translatable
. It is a vibration, not a concept that can be arbitrarily substituted with something else. So I definitely understand the falsity of equating such things.

Now my "use" of Gandhi is very careful, and by no means a blanket endorsement. (I do NOT given any human a blanket endorsement because I believe in making my own assessment on each claim on its individual merits.) What Arun needs to do
(after reading BD) is to point out specifically where and for what purpose I invoke Gandhi, and then criticize that per se. For instance, I give Gandhi credit for doing purva paksha of the British Empire in his 1909 book, "Hind Swaraj" that was one of the earliest works to launch the independence movement. I also cite him as an example of someone wanting to remain non-digestible into English language (so he coined a whole vocabulary of non-translatables like svaraj, satyagraha, swadhyay, svadharma, etc. in terms of which he explained to
his followers, rather than using the English substitutes), or his dress or eating, or his lifestyle amongst the Indians, etc.

Carpentier notes:
"Not to forget that so many western-educated Indians have mixed feelings or relatively little attention for their creed. They are vaguely embarrassed by the "polytheistic", "idol worshipping" label and often take refuge in some sort of secular Buddhism or universal mysticism with few specific cultural characteristics. By the way this is also the way most Westerners feel about their own Christian birth-faith. Secularism has yielded this result in most parts of the world." 

Ram asks searching questions:
"Indian academics in India itself and abroad,  have not done more for the Indian cause and the Hindu cause for various reasons, of which the main one is painfully simple. They do not see it as their job to do something dangerous like reversing the gaze on their western teachers and hosts.

The academic's job is to advance himself by research and teaching within the accepted borders and parameters, and doing a purva paksha of the west  or western models is not part of the game.

We Indians from the Caribbean (two million by the way) have been in the West a long time and have seen many of ours become academics and professionals since the fifties of the last century. We have been holding Indian conferences of academics since the seventies, and seen loads of papers, books and seminars taking place.  I would say less than one percent, maybe less than one tenth of one percent.  That's less than one in a thousand.

The next question would be even simpler. Why? We know the answer well- it's because academics are generally not brave people. They are not iconoclasts, questioners of the established order. They are conventionalists, system clones with no appetite for making waves. They are not keen to threaten their lucrative and high status posts by screaming out that the emperor has no clothes. Especially not for the sake of  lowly and despised ordinary Indians, the pool from which they emerged. The academics, like the professionals, try to stay as far away from the ordinary Indians as possible, physically and intellectually and socially too. They have been digested by the academic establishment of the west and turned into the caricature coconut- brown outside,  but white inside.

You would do well to expect little from them in the future, and you will understand why we have got so little from Indian academics in the past 60 years. But you will get attacks from them galore as they gaze with horror on us "unqualified" amateurs attempting to bring about social change for the downtrodden Indians and Hindus. We can say with conviction that Indian academics have played only a miniscule role in the many social, cultural and political movements among Indians, the ones that brought about significant social change.

In addition, academics tend to be fiercely loyal to the disciplines, the institutions and the countries in which they were trained, and would normally consider it heresy to even dream  of "criticizing" the system that gave them their treasured status in life. Rajiv is fortunate indeed in that he is self taught, and escaped the institutional treadmill that creates so many useless (to us Indians and Hindus) Indian academics.


It's a fair question to ask: What percent of those academics have attempted anything remotely like Rajiv Malhotra?" 

Mukund responds to Ram:
Mukund's response to Ram: What you are telling about Academicians is cent percent correct. They find their discipline more important (than anything else). This is mainly because they are blank in any of the other subjects/disciplines. That is the effect of Education System of Lord Macauley and developed by Descartes. The Education has been broken down in subjects and thereby your thinking gets restricted to the subject/discipline. You do not get knowledge since knowledge consists of integrated outcome of all (possible) subjects. That
is the problem with the modern education system

Rajiv comment:
How true! I just finished presenting my talk at the Vedanta Congress that is being held in Delhi. Did it via Skype. There was a lively Q&A in which the final comment from an Indian academic was precisely that my book fails to comply with established methodologies. I replied that his was a colonial mindset - to fence Indian minds into "sanctioned and approved methodologies of the humanities" each of which is imported from the west - marxism, subaltern studies, postmodernism, etc. I told him that I refuse to be
in a box defined by others, and that he should think of the methodologies I use (each chapter is almost a separate book with its own distinct methodology) as my original methodologies. I am under no obligation to comply with his kind of colonial mindset. I am told he is some senior/important professor so I might have offended him, but that's the way it goes. "

Viswa comments:
While I like the distinctions that Rajiv has defined to distinguish the Brahmanical philosophy from that of the Judeo-Christian, there may be another fundamental point of distinction: Cyclical (in the Brahminical) vs. Linear
Progression (in Judeo-Christian)

Rajiv response: 
First, lets not call it Brahmanical as thats a colonial term meant to de-legitimize dharma by calling it the construction by some evil/wily brahmins. It would be like calling Christianity "Pope-ism" for instance. BD explains the shrutis are a-purusheya (authorless), hence not some texts constructed by brahmins. ....  its already factored in chapter 2's notion of about history-centrism and the linearity of prophetic revelations, and contrasted with karma-reincarnation

Viswa: Many on this forum have tended that there is an "Indian" or a "Hindu" cause or agenda that is being addressed by BD. I, for one, do not know of any single Indian or Hindu cause / agenda. Just as Hinduism accepted even the agnostic and the atheist (at least, up until the point when Manu tried to
fossilize everything, including the caste distinctions) any "dharmic" tradition will have to be heterodox and cannot claim "to be one with the divine" as the only purpose of Hindu philosophy. There are the Samkhya / Charvaka / Tantric
philosophies that are extremely materialistic in their
fervor (as opposed to the spiritual ones). In the same context, the non-Brahmanical agenda in India cannot be ignored by a forum like this....

Rajiv response: BD (which you should read first) is careful not to define dharma in a limited manner. I consulted, debated and spent considerable time with thinkers of numerous dharmic traditions before developing these differences with
western universalism. I included non advaitic views of Vedanta, as well as Buddhism, Tantra, etc. I agree that there is an unfortunate tendency among some to see dharma in a narrow context. BD spends much time explaining the diversity
within dharma as one of its key features.
Srinivas comments:
".. I've put down my thoughts on BD at:
I want to know if is there a reason why Dvaita philosophy doesnt find a mention in BD? There is no reference to Madhvacharya or his Tatvavada (Dvaita) philosophy anywhere in the book! The irony is, Advaita, a philosophy that says "everything is same and all differences are an illusion" is used to argue for respecting differences while Dvaita philosophy which argues for diversity is left out all together."

Rajiv's response: 
It is FALSE that I use the philosophy of "everything is same and all differences are an illusion". I never use "illusion" - in fact in all my work i am highly critical of it.

In BD if there is one school of Vedanta I lean towards its that of Sri Jiva Goswami (who adapted, "enhanced" Ramanuja's school, and called it achinta-bheda-abheda) and this is elaborated in the appendix.

This type of reaction above is similar to the reaction of Shail Mayarama (subaltern Marxist scholar in Delhi, with whom I have scheduled a videotaped debate), who pompously read out a list of her favorite thinkers and complained
that I did not use them.

... my reading of the scholars she named was probably deeper than hers, but that it would be IRRELEVANT TO THE THESIS OF THE BOOK just do drop names and theories that are not required. This book is not your typical literature survey where the writer wants to impress how much he has read. The criteria here is fresh original insights that make a new kind of impact. Let us understand the GOAL OF BD.

So, back to Srinivas's point: This is not a treatise on dharma - i can refer you to plenty of works on that and I have NO INTEREST to write topics that are ordinarily pursued by many others. So what you as a dvaita proponent must ask is a different question about BD: Do the differences between dharma and Abrahamic faiths apply if one used dvaita as the dharma?

So, you must ask the following:

Difference-1: Is dvaita's notion of karma-reincarnation different than Christianity's Original Sin, Virgin Birth, Redemption, etc. (known as Nicene Creed), and are they mutually incompatible? I claim the answer is yes. If you
agree then you agree with my thesis-1. I need not have references to every darshana... I did not make the case on behalf of dharma without doing my homework.

Difference-2: Integral vs. Synthetic Unity: Here you might have a point because it would seem at first that dvaita falls into synthetic unity. But translating dvaita as dualism is misleading because it is not the same kind of dualism as
the western sense
. In BD, Integral unity is also argued for Buddhism to show that it does not depend upon the notion of Brahman. My case is not to prove sameness internally in the dharma camp, but to prove that they SHARE A COMMON
. The project here is not what you are superimposing based on your prior knowledge. I maintain that dvaita is NOT synthetic unity in the Abrahamic sense as explained in BD. The NATURE OF THE INTEGRAL UNITY differs between advaita, vishitadvaita, achinta-bheda-abheda, dvaita, madhyamika Buddhism, Tantra, Kashmir Shaivism, Sri Aurobindo. I could
write a whole book on comparative philosophy INTERNAL to the dharma systems - but thats irrelevant here....

Difference-3: Order-Chaos relationship contrasted with the Biblical view of "Chaos = Satanic". ...

Difference-4: Non-translatability of Sanskrit...

If you agree with each difference then your point is pedantic.

If you disagree then your post should show HOW IN THE CASE OF DVAITA THE DIFFERENCE WITH ABRAHAMIC RELIGIONS DOES NOT APPLY. Merely listing thinkers and
works I "ought" to have referred to is not a valid criticism - the same point I will argue once again with Shail when she lists Indian thinkers she happens to be familiar with as ones that I ought to have included. Why?

Going beyond these differences, does dvaita lead you to refute my thesis on Western Universalism - that WU is not a valid or certainly not the only kind of universalism?

Does dvaita lead you to refute my thesis that we have failed to reverse the gaze at the west and we better start doing that?


Now, it should be YOUR job as dvaita scholar to take BD deeper and show in greater detail how the differences and major theses work specifically from a dvaita school. ...Why is that my job as well? "

Srinivas follows up:
"...The central idea in BD is to establish irreconcilable differences between east and west while respecting them for what they are. Given this idea and the 4 main differences you have highlighted, you have picked the dharmic streams that at
their core do not accept any existence or reality apart from Brahman. So instead of Christianity's "I'll respect you only if you are Christian", the Brahman-is-all-there-is streams claim is "I respect you because you, I and everybody are essentially one and the same". So the respect here is not because of differences but because of sameness. This could be one critique of the book."

Rajiv's response to followup: 
The above is not accurate of my position, as Buddhism is a clear example of not accepting Brahman, and yet I made considerable efforts to include Buddhism within the "dharma civilization" in contrasting with Abrahamic.

Note my criteria for integral unity is NOT any specific "entity" (like Brahman) but merely that unity pre-exists and is not being "put together" by us - whereas in Aristotle (used extensively in this argument in BD) billions of entities
pre-exist as parts and then become wholes
. The implication is that when unity is put together out of parts, it runs the risk of falling apart no matter how strong the glue. This leads to the west's "fear of chaos", the subject of following chapter. Whereas if there is integral unity it being built into the
fabric of reality cannot fall apart - hence comfort with so-called "chaos. Chpt 3 (Integral/Synthetic contrast) serves as the foundation to argue in chpt 4 why westerners fear chaos.

Integral unity is NOT devoid of internal structure - that might be the point of confusion. It is not void, with all structures dismissed as maya/illusion. I have difficulty with ultimate reality as nothing, I prefer ultimate reality as everything. Unity has internal structure built into it. But these every "things"
are not by themselves as in Aristotle. In Buddhism, with no Brahman as the unity, all entities are co-dependent upon each other and hence comprise a unified whole.

... internal purva paksha is replaced by an EXTERNAL purva paksha. What would be nice is for dvaita thinkers today to do a purva paksha of Christianity, Islam, etc. Tell us what keeps you distinct from them - otherwise you ought to convert and join them to make life simple. This is the challenge I open up for you.

I am convinced that BD opens the door for numerous dharma traditions to do their own version of these differences,...

Once we reverse the raze, we emphasize difference with the west. Once we do that we do not get digested. That's the game plan."

Rakesh responds:
..shri chidambaram swaminathan.:

... advaitha does not negate differences, but sees a common
thread. Even the Sankara who preached impersonal Brahman, wrote devotional hymns to the various deities as well as recognized caste duties etc. At a phenomenal level, being different is the reality, advaitha does not dispute that. It
mentions that the same Brahman has become all of this, and since the Brahman has become all of this, we should respect the differences, knowing these differences should not blind us to the fact that there is a commonality

Maya vada (as opposed to advaita ) probably became strong when india was reeling under conquests and illusory escapism was important to forget the painful reality or one needed an excuse to start following practices of conquerors such
as meat eating or looking down upon idol worship."

Rajiv's comment: 
Watch my video at Swami Dayananda Saraswati's ashram in which at the very end he explains difference as a pre-eminent teacher of advaita today. Difference at the level of manifestation is there, it is the reality we live in. Achieving unity consciousness is through transcendence and NOT by evading the difference at the present level of consciousness. See ....

bluecupid responds to the original question on name:
When Muslims refer to the "attributes of Allah" they are refering to 99. That is known as the 99 Attributes or the 99 Names.


From the point of view of the Bengali Vaishnava writer Bhaktivinode Thakur (1838 - 1914), the names of Bhagavan can be divided into 2 types; gauna and mukhya.

Gauna names are those names which deal with Sri Krishna Bhagavan's relation to maya-shakti such as Ishwar, Paramatma, Shristi-karta, Jagat-pati, etc.

Mukhya names are the names used in Divine Lila and denote intimacy between Sri Krishna and his parikaras - such as Yashoda-nandana, Gopinatha, Radhanath, etc.

Chanting such names give rise to the experience of Braj-rasa in the bhakta's consciousness, whereas the gauna names do not. The gauna names are arasik, nir-rasa, or without rasa.

The concept of Allah as described in the Quran itself is an a-rasik concept of God. The 99 Names/Attributes of Allah found in the Quran are all gauna names relating to maya-jagat and do not denote any sense of Divine Lila or rasa of any

January 2
From Prof. Shiv Bajpai -on my response to Indian academic at Vedanta
NamaskarRajiva ji: Your response to an Indian academic is the correct one. [I.e. response when the academician asked what "methodology" of social sciences is ...

January 2
Difference Anxiety in Indian youth
Ramanathan posts:
An example of Difference Anxiety can be seen within the Indian context itself, when we see how the (westernized) younger generation distances itself from the customs and traditions of their parents. It is important to them that they find their chosen deviations as being normal, and they do not recognize/admit the “difference anxiety from below” that is in fact compelling them; and in order to achieve this, they resort naturally to the strategy of “difference from above”, typically in the form of isolation and inculturation....

Kundan's response:
Due to the lack of inner sciences and suppression of mysticism (first by Church and then by western science, as explained in BD) the western world has never really transcended thought and perspectives that operate in strict dualities or dichotomies. BD explains why one encounters various dualistic conflicts in the west like faith/reason (during the supremacy of the Church) or reason/faith, emotion/reason, etc.

If one critically inquires, then saying that or holding that REASON IS THE PANACEA OF ALL INSIGHTS AND KNOWLEDGE is actually a matter of FAITH. One then is able to see that reason and faith are not two distinct categories but are two sides of the same coin or as the Buddhists will say that it is only avidya which makes us see reason and faith as two independent entities. In reality they are two sides of the same coin and are interdependent--this is the principle of "pratitya samutpada" or dependent co-origination. Once the fallacy of this dichotomy is seen, the proponents of the inner sciences will recommend that the ultimate reality cannot be captured in dual and dichotomous thought--it is something beyond the dual categories which one needs to pursue.

Given the lack of inner sciences, the west has swayed from one extreme to another, which has manifested in various intellectual movements beginning with Church and Renaissance. You had similar conflict between Science and Romanticism, and then later in the United States between the mainstream and the hippies.

One of the other important dichotomous conflicts that has been prevalent in the West is between modernity and tradition--conflict between modernity and tradition is actually an important characteristic of modernism or Enlightenment. Modernism, therefore in the west also has been instrumental in effacing tradition. The westernized Indians, because of their uncritical acceptance of everything coming from the west as superior--as a manifestation of "Difference Anxiety from Below"--have internalized this modernity vs tradition conflict. You will therefore find that more western the Indians in their outlook, the more critical they are of the tradition. The hatred of the westernized Indians towards their "own" tradition actually comes from two sources: the internalization of the inferiority of Indians which the west in explicit and implicit ways has discoursed over a substantial period of time now, and the hatred of tradition that modernity carries within itself. It is a double whammy for the Indian traditions at the hands of their so called own. "

January 2
Re-clarifying what BD is and what it is NOT
1. Each of its 6 chapters is like a mini book with a stand-alone thesis. In fact, there could have been separate books as my publisher first wanted them to be,...

January 2
Interfaith Dialogue: why "Don't want any. Go Away" won't work
Below is response (on Rajiv's HuffPost blog for the BD book) to the typical reflexive Hindu posture on interfaith dialogues, i.e. "Don't want any. Go Away". ...

January 4
Anglosphere (the west's other stomach) and the Digestion of Indian C
Rajiv posts:
People tend to limit their thinking about the West to Christianity. But the West has multiple stomachs for digestion - I go into details in my forthcoming book. One such digestive mechanism of the west is known as Anglosphere. ...
 The wiki page for anglosphere defines the term as follows:

Anglosphere is a neologism which refers to those nations with English as the most common language. The term can be used more specifically to refer to those nations which share certain characteristics within their cultures based on a linguistic heritage, through being former British colonies. In particular this includes the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada (except Quebec), Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Ireland. [i.e. the white English speakers come at the top of the hierarchy...]
The U.S. businessman James C. Bennett, a proponent of the idea that there is something special about the cultural and legal traditions of English-speaking nations, writes in his 2004 book The Anglosphere Challenge:
"The Anglosphere, as a network civilization without a corresponding political form, has necessarily imprecise boundaries. Geographically, the densest nodes of the Anglosphere are found in the United States and the United Kingdom. English-speaking Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and English-speaking South Africa (who constitute a very small minority in that country) are also significant populations. The English-speaking Caribbean, English-speaking Oceania, and the English-speaking educated populations in Africa and India constitute other important nodes."
Andrew Roberts (http://www.andrew-roberts.net/) contends that anglophone unity is necessary for the defeat of Islamism.
The arrival of this syndrome into India is the topic of a book titled, "Masks of Conquest" by the Marxist/ feminist /subalternist Gauri Vishwanathan. I had some interaction with her at Columbia U in the 1990s....
The irony is that these very postcolonialists are proud citizens of the Anglosphere, unable to accept my thesis that it is just another stomach of the very same eurocentrism they criticize. This stomach includes many secular transformations such as literary works, fashions, aesthetics, international awards as legitimizers, white skin creams, white body language, etc."

Viswa responds:
"Differences per se are not a virtue. Understanding the differences and defending those that are virtuous are worthwhile goals. After all, death of what is
virtuous is a loss to all - both to those that know & understand them and also to those that don't know and/or understand."

"Agreed. We need more books that argue whats "virtuous" and what's "bad" about a given item of difference. Thats a value judgment and an assessment. I hope people will write their assessments. For example: Indians' comfort with "chaos" (the subject of chapter 4) is not always good, as it leads to laziness, sloppiness, "anything goes" mindset, irresponsibility. In BD I take a stand in chapter 2 about history centrism as a point of difference - showing my strong preference for the embodied knowing alternative..." 

Arun comments:
"While recognizing the Anglosphere as a digestion apparatus, in the spirit of Being Different, we should recognize, appreciate and even publicize the differences within the West, and not lump them together when they should not be.

So, e.g., we should separate out the political-legal traditions that grew out of the Magna Carta and events in the history of England (Anglosphere would be a convenient term) versus the Nordic traditions versus the French versus the German.

Rajiv's response:
1) BD goes through great pains to differentiate Catholic from general Christian from Judeo-Christian from Western Enlightenment and so forth.

2)BD thesis says if "West" has 10 entities and 7 of them are stomachs for digestion, we deal with those 7, and understand OUR difference with THEM in order to RESIST DIGESTION.

3) BTW, a lot of "German" tradition is a product of German Indology's digestion of Sanskrit texts and to a large extent French thought since Saussure onwards - the history of Indological UTurns is a separate book of mine.

4) We dont want to waste time addressing the west in totality - i.e. avoid knowledge for knowledge sake or just to impress..."

Manas shares:
"To add to Mr. Malhotra's points, here is another wonderful example of a leftist Indian historian, Neeladri Bhattacharya (a product/member of the JNU Marxist-historians cabal), who seeks to eschew Eurocentrism (at least in words), but then propounds the same Euro-American centric constructs of Indian history. Also note his aversion to "Indian civilization", specially any positive portrayal of ancient India. This reflects perfectly in the revised NCERT history and social science textbooks. The history books were revised under Bhattacharya's supervision (during the late Arjun Singh's watch as HRM during UPA 1.0), and end up propounding negation of atrocities during medieval period by Islamic invaders and a subtle to not-so-subtle negative deconstruction of ancient Indian (read Hindu) history. As someone who went through the NCERT system many years ago, I found the revised books worse than the previous ones in terms of their portrayal of Hinduism and Indian history.

Listen to his apologetics here ..."
Arjunshakti responds:
"This all reminds me of the Borg Collective. Anyone who is familiar with star trek would know of the Borg a race of cybernetic organisms who instead of destroying you assimilate you along with your culture but you end losing your own individual identity in the process of assimilation to become part of a collective consciousness but under the agenda of the Borg which claims this all part of enhancement and perfection .So these Marxists Indians s may be anti west but at the same time use the same western frameworks because they are
assimilated without even realizing it...."

Rajiv response: A nice metaphor to get the point across.

January 4
Database helped thwart UK digestion of Indian medical know how
Database helped thwart UK patent bid. TNN | Jan 4, 2012, 05.28AM IST NEW DELHI: Countering the patent claims of British pharmaceutical company on using ginger...

January 5
The German word used for science "Wissenschaften", is richer than the English word science; and is closer to the Indian "shastra". Quote: "The German...

January 5

Announcing: Hindu Good News
HINDU GOOD NEWS™ The world is in a time of transition. Globalization, increasing movement of people across national boundaries,...

January 6

Breaking India - Book Function in Chennai

January 6

Interesting compilation of many of my writngs
Thanks to Sunthar for compiling so many of my writings over the years, incl some I had lost...

January 7
Some thoughts on where things stand as I depart to India...
1) Egroup: I might not be able to actively manage this egroup for the next 5 weeks but will try to do my best from time to time when I get a chance. There are...

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