Sunday, April 16, 2006

gurumurthy: Indian elixir for the world

apr 16

that all semitic religions (incl marxism) suck big time is well known.

there is basically no difference among them all. the oldest ones have mellowed a little because they have been beaten and bruised so much by their more recent offspring, that's all. otherwise jews are quite bigoted, and i suspect zoroastrians would be, if they were not oppressed by mohdans.

i categorize them as:

paleo-semitic: zoroastrianism, judaism
meso-semitic: christism, mohammedanism
neo-semitic: marxism, maoism, 'dravidianism', 'arjun-singh-ism', 'dalitism' etc etc etc

in fact, inventing a new neo-semitic religion is a surefire way of making money these days. just ask paul dhinakaran, that detestable, oily bloke who appears on indian tv.


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Ram

Indian elixir for the world as 'saffron evil' in India

S Gurumurthy

Does monotheism -- belief in a single, omniscient God - impede globalism? If it does what other kind of religion or God will be compatible with globalism? Here is likely an interesting debate.

For over a decade the world has been debating about clashes among civilisations powered by religions. Samuel Huntington triggered this debate in the year 1993 foreseeing clashes emerging between orthodox Islam and modern West.

For many in the West the Islamist attack on the World Trade Centre was validation of Huntington eight years later.

The West viewed 'illiberal' Islam as incompatible with 'liberal' West. And this incompatibility was seen as the source of the emerging civilisational clashes.

Since the 9/11 terror, this debate, premised on Islam as the bad boy and the West as its victim has dominated the world, particularly the West.

But this debate now seems to be moving up, logically, to another level. Slowly some in the West seem to feel that the debate should not be limited to merely examining the clash between the 'liberal' West and the 'illiberal' Islam.

Says Jean-Pierre Lehmann, the advisor to Dr Supachai Panitchpakdi, the previous head of the World Trade Organisation, that organised, monotheistic religions as a class - that is not just Islam but also Christianity - are incompatible with globalism.

Presently Professor of International Political Economy at the International Institute of Management Development in Switzerland, Lehmann heads the Evan Group, a global think-tank composed of government, industry and opinion leaders from Asia, Europe and the US.

Asserting that there is link between monotheistic religions and violence and intolerance, Lehmann points out that 'monotheistic religions have caused so much turmoil throughout history - and continue to do so even now'. He sees 'a new global ethical and spiritual model' as today's need.

He sees - what will shock, even shame, the seculars here at home - India as the best candidate to supply that model to the world!

In a provocative article in 'the Globalist', a daily on-line magazine, he makes some profound points on globalisation and religions.

He says that both Christianity and Islam, the fountainhead of monotheism, have been hijacked by fundamentalists.

He argues that for progress of human civilisation all organised religions have to be eradicated by persuasive secular humanism, but admits that people cannot live without God or religions.

His suggestion is 'rather than eradicating religion per se, 'we should instead eradicate monotheistic religion in favour of polytheistic religion'.

Why prefer polytheism - the worship of many Gods - over monotheism?

He answers: 'If you have only one god, and you believe that god is all powerful and omniscient and you come across someone who does not agree, then you may feel it is your duty to kill him.

If, on the other hand, you believe there are hundreds, indeed thousands of Gods, and that none can be totally almighty or omniscient, then you are likely to be far more tolerant'.

Precisely for this, Lehmann looks to the only surviving polytheistic society in India as the hope for the world.

For him India because of 'its remarkable ability to have managed multiculturalism to such a brilliant extent' is a living illustration of how globalisation can work.

What has made this possible is obvious. Hindus have millions of Gods to worship. Divergent Gods are inadequate rather than wrong or objectionable.

Hindu Gods are related by marriage and other relations. Such vast range of inter-related Gods to worship itself has ruled out clashes among the followers in the name of the only God without a second.

Lehmann admits that 'India is not a Utopia' and has its own problems of inequality part of which, he says, is sanctioned by religion.

Yet asserts that the 'global environment is desperate for ideas, philosophy and religion'.

'India is the most prolific birthplace of all three' due to 'the great synergy of democracy and diversity' and greater degree of 'self-confidence' in Indians now'. He adds 'Indians and members of the enormous Indian Diaspora are thought leaders in economics, business, philosophy, political science, religion and literature'.

He asserts that 'the Indian religious and philosophical traditions can provide' the 'sense of moral order, spirituality and an ethical compass' which the world desperately needs.

Recalling his conversation with an Indian religious guru Lehmann says, 'I could adhere to his religious tenets' and still 'maintain my secular convictions', which, he says, 'no imam or priest would allow'.

For him Indian philosophic traditions are secularism-compatible and monotheism is not.

Lehmann asserts that the planet needs an alternative geographical force to the American Christian fundamentalist thinking that drives the Bush establishment. Who could be that alternative?

Europe being 'spent force' and China 'dictatorship', he rules them out as alternatives. He disqualifies the Islamic world as it is going through, putting it mildly, an 'awkward moment'.

That is how he zeroes in on 'the important role India must play both because of its innate qualities and also because there no other serious contender'.

He hopes that 'the 21st century better becomes the century inspired by the virtues of Indian polytheism'.

Else, he warns, 'We are headed for disaster'. This is precisely what Arnold Toynbee, the famous historian, said decades back.

But, ironically, as Lehmann looks to Indian polytheism to save the world, the 'seculars' here condemn it as 'saffron poison'.

Thus what according to Lehmann is the elixir for the survival of the world is evil for India and the world according to our seculars! How positive he is and how perverse they are.

Comment: gurumurthy@epmltd.com

4 comments:

iamfordemocracy said...

Good article. Sensible hypothesis. This had to happen. The monotheists kept on shouting about Hindu 'Fundamenalism', but sooner or later, people will find out that the allegation is a huge paradox (if a paradox could be huge).

I expect things to move in either of two diametrically opposite directions. We could either be headed towards total control of some highly oppressive group/cult (the net and the computers would give an almost insurmountable power to such a group once they gain total control) OR we could move towards a society where people despise intrusion by state/religion/rulers and where the domination of any monotheistic religion including marxism will simply be infeasible.

Cacoethes said...

Does Hinduism not fall in the group of monotheistic "religions". (Provided of course that you call it an "ism" and consider it to be a "religion", as opposed to a "culture" or "philosophy" .) I have reproduced below an excerpt from my scrapbook.

"Om Namo Narayanaya [Vyakti Vikas Kendra, India; #19, 39th ‘A’ Cross, 11th Main Road, 4th ‘T’ Block, Jayanagar, Bangalore-560041; (E-mail: vvm@vsnl.com; Website: www.artofliving.org. Advertisement in The Hindustan Times, 5 November 1999; The Times of India, 6 November 1999] “The saints of India [several Hindu religious heads including the Shankaracharyas of Sringeri, Edneer, & Ramchandrapur Maths] cordially welcome Parama Poojya Pope John Paul II to India — the land of the Vedas and Spiritual Wisdom.” ... “We also urge the Pope to dispel the fears and miscenceptions in many Christians by clarifying the following: ☼ Religions of Asia like Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism are not satanic but originate from one Divinity. ... ☼ Hinduism is Monotheism — contrary to the belief that it is Polytheism.”

Cacoethes said...

Continuation of my earlier post. I forgot to add my admiration for Gurumurthy. He has given a concise, lucid explanation of what "secularism" is, in The New Indian Express, February 8 2005: (http://www.newindpress.com/Newsitems.asp?ID=IEH20050113115554&Title=Top+Stories&Topic=-97& or http://www.hvk.org/articles/0205/23.html)

For ‘secular’ India, secularism is not divorced between the state and religion. For them secularism is exclusively for the benefit of the minorities. Extend it, secularism means pampering the minorities. Go further, it includes being allergic to the majority. That is, unless one explicitly appeases the minorities and is overtly allergic to Hindus, one is not ‘secular’ enough. How did secularism acquire these new dimensions? Simple: it became a tool of politics. Politics is all about uniting the supporters and dividing the opponents. In Indian politics, uniting a minority for votes is ‘secular’. It is ‘secular’ to divide the majority into this or that caste for votes. Consequently, uniting the majority is anti-‘secular’. And organising the majority is fundamentalist. In contrast, protecting organised minority is a ‘secular’ duty. This is the high point of ‘secular’ India. A novice in Christian history would know that secularism originated in Christendom as a rule of separation of the Christian church and the Christian state. But how come what started off as an issue of Christian church versus the Christian state has become an issue of majority versus minority?
Now we need to trespass into some history — not an interesting subject for many. With Martin Luther’s revolt against the ‘Catholic Church’ arrived the ‘Protestant Church’. This weakened the Papacy and eventually broke up the Holy Roman Empire. The broken pieces of the Empire, by permutation and combination, became the modern nation-states in Europe. But these separated nation states also owed allegiance to Christ and Bible. These developments were all intra-Christian, within Christendom. No other religion was in the picture. The Church had ensured that no indigenous faith survived after Christianity took charge of Europe. Till this point no one had heard of secularism. It was only when the national Christian churches clashed with the national Christian states for primacy that a formula had to be worked out. That formula was that the Christian State would prevail in worldly issues that were considered to be ‘secular’ in Christian theology. In the Abrahamic world all matters pertaining to the ‘other world’ were sacred, and the worldly issues ‘secular’. This was how secularism was born. It separated what Christianity regarded as ‘sacred’ from what it classified as ‘secular’. But the common denominator was the Christian theology and what it certified as sacred and ‘secular’. In the European model, the Christian state was not actually creed-neutral. It was neutrality between the Christian state and the Christian church within Christianity. Secularism mandated that the Christian church would not interfere in matters of the Christian state.
It was the advent of democracy, not secularism, which gave the survival space non-Christian faiths in Christendom. The Christian states ruled by Christian monarchs began clashing with the people when the people began demanding more rights. This is where individualism began conflicting with monarchies. The clashes triggered movements for democracy. It was democracy that really shaped the institution of secularism as later understood in the modern West. With individualism becoming the supreme institution, the society in the West lost its legitimacy. So religion became a personal affair, an individual right. Still, secularism in the West was an all-Christian affair. It was an intra-Christian discipline. The state stood neutral between the Christian church and Christians, whether faithfuls or heretics. But democracy offered space for atheists and agnostics. Added to that was emigration from the rest of the world which turned the Christian West multi-religious and multi-racial. This brought in the issue of religious minorities. But in the West the religion of the majority, the Christian faith, was organised through the Churches of various denominations, around the Bible and Christ. So the secularism of Christendom stood between the organised majority and equally organised minorities, both being essentially Abrahamic in character.
But here in India, while the minorities are organised around their book and their prophets, the majority faith, the Hindu faith, is totally unorganised. In fact, it is not organisable at all. With 33 crore Gods to be propitiated one can understand how impossible it is to organise Hinduism. So we have organised minorities on the one hand and unorganised — why un-organisable — majority on the other. With the result secularism as understood in India protects the organised minorities. It leaves the unorganised majority completely unprotected and undefended. Vote bank politics made it worse. Since the minorities are organised they become readymade vote banks, mere ballot papers. But the Hindu majority does not behave or vote as majority. This is so even on issues of faith as the divergent faiths and Gods within Hinduism makes it difficult for them to unite like the minorities. ‘Secular’ India denies to the majority the rights it reserves for the majority. So secularism in essence treats the ‘secular’ state as a majoritarian institution. In Christendom, the majority is Christian any way. And they are also organised additionally.
But, ‘secular’ India will not allow the Hindus to unite. It will snuff out any attempt to organise the Hindus, label those who attempt it as communalists and fundamentalists. But, unless Hindus get organised, ‘secular’ India will not allow Hinduism to survive. Then, will ‘secular’ India not do to Hinduism what Christianity did to Roman paganism? The Encyclopedia of Britannica says that Rome did not know how to handle Christianity that negated all other faiths. The inability of Roman Pagans to handle an intolerant faith, as the encyclopedia repeatedly refers to Christianity, caused the collapse of the Roman Paganism. ‘Secular’ India’s intolerance to Hindus is similar. The Hindus have to handle ‘secular’ India like the minorities do. That is, the Hindus have to get organised and create a majoritarian regime. This is a rule of survival for them. And for the survival of a faith-neutral state itself! The question is, will they do it in spite of ‘secular’ India’s hostility?

averageindian said...


Religions of Asia like Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism are not satanic but originate from one Divinity. ... ☼ Hinduism is Monotheism — contrary to the belief that it is Polytheism.”


Yes, in reality Sanatana Dharma does believe in only one Brahman but also believes that there can me mulitple manifestations of that Brahman (therefore the acceptance of multiple divinities), sequentially (as in avatarams), or parallelly as in seeing the all pervasive God in everything (animate and inanimate as in Prahalada's case). In other words, Sanatana Dharma respects the concept of God, no matter how and by whom it is viewed, period. On the other hand the "monotheist" religions view the concept of God as "our" versus "theirs" -- the very notion is an oxymoron, a contradiction and a negation of the concept of that one supreme reality, which they seem to espouse!! If God is omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent, then are the "monotheists" right or polytheists right? Perhaps the following quote can give us a hint!

"Sarva Deva Namaskara Keshavam Pratigachhati"