Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Quick notes: Rise of ISIS, Pankajism...

  • Obama did nothing: How Iraqi 'Fat Cats' and a liberal US president watched ISIS gain strength. PBS Frontline's 'The Rise of ISIS' airs on Tuesday night.


  • The Problem With M/s Mishra and; Roy: Pankaj admires Jamaluddin Afghani and his fantasies of Muslim power and its conquering warriors so much, he promoted him as one of the great thinkers of Asia in his last book. This is a recurring pattern. Strong men and their cults  become heroic and admirable when an “anti-Western” gloss can be put on them, especially if they are not Hindus.


  • Ramnad Address: This is the motherland of philosophy, of spirituality, and of ethics, of sweetness, gentleness, and love. These still exist, and my experience of the world leads me to stand on firm ground and make the bold statement that India is still the first and foremost of all the nations of the world in these respects.

    I have heard it said that our masses are dense, that they do not want any education, and that they do not care for any information. I had at one time a foolish leaning towards that opinion myself, but I find experience is a far more glorious teacher than any amount of speculation, or any amount of books written by globe-trotters and hasty observers. This experience teaches me that they are not dense, that they are not slow, that they are as eager and thirsty for information as any race under the sun; but then each nation has its own part to play, and naturally, each nation has its own peculiarity and individuality with which it is born. Each represents, as it were, one peculiar note in this harmony of nations, and this is its very life, its vitality. In it is the backbone, the foundation, and the bed-rock of the national life, and here in this blessed land, the foundation, the backbone, the life-center is religion and religion alone. Let others talk of politics, of the glory of acquisition of immense wealth poured in by trade, of the power and spread of commercialism, of the glorious fountain of physical liberty; but these the Hindu mind does not understand and does not want to understand. Touch him on spirituality, on religion, on God, on the soul, on the Infinite, on spiritual freedom, and I assure you, the lowest peasant in India is better informed on these subjects than many a so-called philosopher in other lands.

    I have said, gentlemen, that we have yet something to teach to the world. This is the very reason, the raison d'ĂȘtre, that this nation has lived on, in spite of hundreds of years of persecution, in spite of nearly a thousand year of foreign rule and foreign oppression. This nation still lives; the raison d'ĂȘtre is it still holds to God, to the treasure-house of religion and spirituality.

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