Doklam

Doklam is the border between India and China. Recently there was a military standoff between India and China. As an idiom it means a souring relationship between two countries and hostile bickering.

Example: The Cold War was an ideological Doklam.

The Doklam between America and Cuba has been eased.

There is a Doklam between America and North Korea.

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Analysis of Nirad C Chaudhri’s Thy Hand Great Anarch

Nirad C Chaudhri lived during the time of India’s freedom struggle and he had recorded his experiences in the book: Thy Hand Great Anarch. He was a polished man supportive of the British regime and he was highly critical of the freedom struggle.
He begins his memoir by recording his life as a clerk. Having failed his MA he could get no other job. He rails at the Non Cooperation Movement stating that it was a mass brainwashing of the people. The non cooperation movement was a civil disobedience movement started by Mahatma Gandhi to eject the British from India. The non cooperation movement included withdrawal of Indians from work areas and civil protest. The aim of the non cooperation movement was to paralyze the British government. The agitating masses were illiterate and Chaudhri records an instance where he was physically harassed by the non cooperation agitators.
After the Non Cooperation Movement came the Chauri Cahuri incident when an irate mob torched a police station and burnt to death British policemen. Then Gandhi withdrew the non cooperation movement. This was followed by the massacre at Jalian Wallah Bagh incident where peaceful protestors gathered and they were shot to death under the orders of Colonel Dyer. This brutal assassination was met with a storm of protests from the country.
Then came the Simon Commission to placate the Indians and to offer partial autonomy to India. The Simon Commission was met with hostile resistance. People waved placards saying: ‘Simon go back’ and burnt effigies. After the Simon Commission, Gandhi adopted the Salt Satyagraha at Dandi where people marched to the shores of sea to make salt. This was done in protest against the harsh taxes imposed on commodities by the British. For Chaudhri: Gandhi was no apostle of peace and he indulged in moral and psychological violence.
The times leading to the independence were severe for India. There was much causality. The British were fed up of ruling India so they decided to leave. Lord Mount Batten was appointed as the British representative in India. Along with India the Muslims in Pakistan wanted a separate nation. Jinnah was vociferous in the creation of Pakistan. Gandhi was very disturbed Independent India was besieged with many problems. They were unemployment, poverty, death and starvation. Nehru decided to make India a socialist country.
Chaudhri’s struggle is so poignantly portrayed in a pristine language. For the average India life was queasy. The British exploited India’s economy by taking away its resources and bringing in finished goods. Cottage and handicraft industries the backbone of the Indian economy was severely in a ditch. A positive development of the British rule in India was the spread of the vernacular press the development of the railways. Railways united the country. Post independent India was one of quarrelsome princely states. It was the iron man of India Sardar Vallabhai Patel who united India and made it into a single country. The press played an important role in spreading the gospel of freedom. Partition of India and the creation of Pakistan created a lot of problems. There was a mass exodus of refugees from Pakistan to India and from India to Pakistan.
Chaudhri’s work is highly philosophical and literary synthesizing India and its turmoil into a political catharsis. Nehru remarked in his opening speech that we have made a tryst with destiny. When the world sleeps India will awake to freedom. Chaudhri marvelous rendition of India’s political and cultural landscape is an essential reading.

Chabahar

Chabahar is a strategic port in Iran. Pakistan’s refusal to transit wheat from India to the beleaguered Afghanistan resulted in India, transporting goods from Chabahar. As an idiom it means entering goods into battle weary country through an exit point when the same is denied by a neighboring country.

Example: India’s goodwill gesture to Afghanistan resulted in a Chabahar.

During the Berlin blockade America became a Chabahar through the conduct of operation vittles.

Soiled Currency

In India, people have the strange habit of writing on money. It becomes irritable as some establishments will not accept a written currency. The ego of such people is strange and eccentric! What pride is there to make a scroll with a pen? Are they satisfying a writer’s ego? After demonetization new currencies which are written over will not be accepted. Strange are the ways of people’s habits.

Smoking Zones

The Indian Judiciary has taken a hard-bite at smokers. They have banned smoking in public places and they have imposed a burdensome fine. I believe that smoking is my privilege as I live in a democratic society. At least the judiciary could have shown humane kindness by introducing smoking zones. I have lived in Indonesia which is a smokers country. In all establishments including airports there are smoking zones. So is the case with Singapore and Malaysia. Sartre has said a smoker experiences the universe when he or she smokes. I hope the Indian Judiciary will introduce smoking zones in places.

Body Language of Modi and Trump

Recently Modi, Indian Prime Minister and Trump had a get-together in US. It’s interesting to analyze the body Language of Modi and Trump. Let’s take the hug. Trump is so stiff necked and showing a posture of defiance and arrogance. Trump’s posture hints at neo-colonialism. Modi on the other hand is condescending, obeisant and giving in. So crude is the handshake, an outcome of sheer, polite barbarism. Look at Trump’s palms; they are rejecting the friendly posture of a Chief of a country. Trump’s gestures towards Modi shows his attitude as that of being a primitive colonialist. The diplomacy inherent in the posture is an empty sign. Trump is royal and patronizing where as Modi is meek and humble. Is Modi is begging for patronage? This is quite unlike Modi who lambasts his opponents at public forums with clenched fists. I can bet that Trump is unaware of the Capital of India. Modi Sir, Please inflate your ego before Trump no matter what he is or who he is. Yes, Trump should learn some yoga to avoid being stiff-necked.

A Post Modern Reading of Ancient Indian Philosophy

The major texts of ancient Indian Philosophy are the Samahitas, the Brahmanas, Aarnyakas and the Upanishads. The Samahitas are divided into the Rig Veda, the Yajur Veda, the Sama Veda and the Atharva Veda.

The Rig Veda contains songs of praise to Gods. Gods personified nature and they were represented as deities. Fire sacrifices have to be done to appease the Gods. There is no clear cut view as to whether Gods were singular or plural. The Vedic society also saw the development of Caste or the Varnas. There were four castes, the Brahmins, the Kshatriyas or the warriors, the Vaishyas, traders of merchants and the Shudras or the slaves. It was believed in Vedic Society that Brahmins have emanated from the mouth of God, the warriors from the arms and legs, the merchants from the legs and the slaves from the feet. A postmodern reading of this phenomenon would see how the priestly class rendered hegemony, separating themselves from the rest of the society. This theory of the origin of the caste system is inferior, autocratic, demeaning and mythical. The slaves or the Shudras had no rights and were subject to the whims and fancies of the other castes. A Brahmin could rape or have intercourse with a Shudra woman and no questions were asked. The sacred texts have an ideological apparatus that signifies dominion and subjugation. Another point of interest from the feminist position would be women were strictly debarred from practicing priestly rituals. Thus ancient Vedic society can be described as theocratic, autocratic and hegemonic.

The Vedas address the problem of creation of matter from a primordial substance. They also posit the existence of an absolute Self or a God Head. They are not sure of what this primordial substance was. If it was God, the questions to be asked are how or why did creation come into being. The question for Philosophy is, can matter evolve or come into fruition on its own. The Vedic texts on creation are vague and inarticulate. We can look at it, we see problems encountered in a text to articulate meanings. The texts in articulating meaning attain the ontological status of subjective solipsism. More than answers Vedic texts ask questions.

The Satpada Brahmana is a text that asks questions like what is man. What is his essence? What do his senses consist of? These questions have been given an ontological status as being, meaning, and a becoming of meaning. Post structuralism adheres to the status of the meaning of being as a textual norm where there is a binary divide of texts—were privileging and marginalization occur simultaneously. The status of being is an ontological problem and has never been redressed by philosophy to an ultimate goal.
Again the Vedic texts adhere to the goal of human life to become merged with God. Here the doctrine of Karma comes into being. Karma or acts determine the status of reincarnation. One can escape the cycle of birth and death only by good Karma. Reincarnation is a myth and is subjective. The nihilists adhere to the view that there is no purpose or meaning in life. Thus we come across Sartre’s famous dictum: man is condemned to be free. Karma in postmodernism is not a moral obligation but a factual necessity that perpetuates life. Good and Bad in Karma are relativistic phenomenon. Taking a psychological viewpoint one’s Ego and Id are controlled by the laws of the society the super Ego.

Next we come across the Caravaka school of thought. Caravaka espouses materialism and atheism. Some of the tenets of the Caravaka school are objects exist outside human consciousness. The world is subject to the laws of nature. Sense experience is the source of knowledge. The Caravaka School questioned Vedic religion of the soul being a vehicle of consciousness. They also emphasized that there is no existence outside death. Phenomenology in modern philosophy discusses the modality of consciousness. It is the subject that perceives, cognizes and experiences the data emanating from the senses. Human consciousness can be subjective or objective. It is subjective when experiencing love and it is objective when facts are being cognized. The secular view of life is that life is tinged with materialism. Life is driven by the pursuit of satisfying needs and wants. It was Marx’s philosophy that brought into existence the principal of dialectical materialism that of class struggle. Today we find all societies veering towards becoming capitalistic societies. Postmodern societies should be rooted in a materialism that is dialectical and human and that can be called humanistic materialism.

The Vysesika School adhered to the belief that everything is composed of atoms. This view is coherent with a scientific world view. Today we have embarked on to the existence of subatomic particles. A scientific world view cannot answer the questions of meaning, purpose and destiny. Human and life and its subjectivity are a poetic dialectics of rendering meaning. The reductionist view of Science has been combated by the postmodern philosophies. Meaning results in manifold articulations and cognition of meaning excluding a fact is subjective, personal and marked by emotional empathy and intimacy.

The Samakya School adhered to the view that there is a cause and effect in matter. For them there are Gunas or forces and those being Satva (light), Rajas motivation and tamas meaning heavy and restraining. The causality of matter is one of credibility. Motivation is an aspect of Human will and is dependent on the emotions placed on it. Light, and heavy and restraining have no conjectural possibilities. Their juxtaposition with matter is rather awkward. Their meaning is a rendition of incoherence. Talking of motivation, I would like to quote Schopenhauer,: The Will to Live and the Will to die.
Next I would like to embark upon Buddhism as a Philosophy. According to Buddhism, elements are a carrier of Dharma. Dharma here refers to the moral pinnacle. This is rather a fictitious view. Buddhism is not clear on what elements are. Dharma the moral code is enunciated in modern societies as the civil law. The world of phenomena is both empirical and transcendental. Here rests the dialectics of confusion. How can the world of the Phenomena be transcendental? Phenomena becomes objective and subjective facts for cognition and experiencing emotion. Buddhists do not stress on an absolute God but posit that the goal of life is salvation. This is very much similar to the Christian world view. Nirvana for the Buddhists is an exalted status. Salvation is a disputed entity. In a Christian World View it is essential for a person to be saved by the grace of Jesus Christ. In Buddhism salvation is self attainment. Buddhist view of salvation is rather anachronistic and it’s rather unclear on the means of attaining salvation. A more appropriate term would be the goal of self realization. The goal of self realization would be existentially meaningful. One has to come to terms with the acceptance of the self, its weaknesses and strengths.

Next we come across Yoga. Yoga is a philosophical system were we attain Samadhi or contemplation of the self through meditative techniques. Yoga has attained brand popularity in the world due to its unique systems of meditation using physical exercise. However the effectiveness of Yoga is yet to be ascertained. The earth is not going to fall down if one does not do Yoga. One need not meditate to attain the tranquility of the mind. Inner joy does not rest on meditation but is a quality that emanates from within.