Sunday, April 15, 2007

Another Leftist's anxiety
Pratap Mehta maybe a JNU-leftist-has-been , but he does come up with some original thinking. Here he tackles the "intellectual anxiety" of India.
This piece is very well written and prescriptive. I have long bemoaned what I call the 'derivative society'. Simply put, the Indian intellectual class merely apes - first the USSR and now America. Whatever is the issue in America - gay rights, greenhouse gases, ersatz feminism etc. - is made the issue in India six months later. Naipaul has spoken rather abrasively (but aptly) about such people as well
The problem is of course that if you engage with "that most foreign of countries: the past" - as Sita Ram Goel or Ram Swarup or K.S Lal did - if you open India's antiquity to inquiry so as to "have meaningful ways to talk about how we got to the state we are" - you can only come up with one conclusion the likes of Mehta cannot stomach - that India is Hindu (or Santan Dharma), and man's deliverance in life cannot come out of economic determinism (sorry Marigold Brothers). That integral humanism of the four noble goals (Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha) are a better key to understanding and harmonising the world than semitic death-cults

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