Friday, April 26, 2013

Philosophy and Religion

 When Philosophy becomes Stagnant and Dogmatic, the sludge that is formed at the bottom goes often assumes the name of Religion.
Dogmas are ritualistic believes. They generate ISMS and people following it in herds. A Dogma pre conceives suspension of conscience. It adopts a “Follow Me” phenomenon. In all such formations, individual becomes a speck in crowd. He is merely echoing someone else’s logic.  
Religion has been long pursued as a Philosophy in Hinduism. Here the ISM is broken into a ‘Do it Yourself” project. You define the shape that you wish for it and chose any number of pieces from the available lot. You may use some and leave some or use all.
It allows you a panoramic view of the Humanity and its desires and concoct a shape that you deem suitable for it. It allows you to define your reach and leave any number of pieces and yet claim completion of the assembly.
 Religion as largely understood is akin to Commandments. Thy shall do this and Not do that. A rigidly defined tunnel vision. Disobeying the Commandments is sinful. Each of the different ISMS tries to project an exclusive right over the salvation of an individual’s soul.  Till French revolution happened most of the European States had religion playing a very important role in their Statecraft. Religion was being used as an instrument to rule and subjugate people.
This concept of religion had caused major strife among communities and nations
The concept of Rights of Catholics and or Protestants were replaced by rights of nationals only post French Revolution.
Philosophy as defined by Protagoras is: “Logical Quest for truth”. Religion often Values Myth and Veneration over logic. Merely because certain Thought process has been venerated since long and certain Myths are adduced to it, It gains precedence over Common Logic.  
A common man prefers religion over philosophy. Religion as commonly understood renders certain  illusory powers to its followers. Religion implies an “Eyes Wide Shut” syndrome, much easier to follow and abide.
It entices him with the pleasures of certain illusory heaven, and alternately  frightening him with certain hellish calamities.
These illusions to him are tools to alleviate his misery.
Philosophy on that count is cold and unreceptive.
So till the cause of this misery is removed, his needs for these illusions is Live. Religion like OPIUM shrouds his thinking and dulls his pain. The solace though illusory , yet the  mitigation of pain is real.
Hence its necessity can not be wished away till the roots/real causes of misery are removed from the society.
Religion often believes in language and phrases. The words gain precedence over the spirit. Chants and Rituals form its core. It is easier to motivate herds with dictums and rituals vis-à-vis trying to engage them in an Intellectual intercourse. A conscious thinking demands a constant live introspection, certainly a painful and an arduous task.
This all may look like a typical leftist prattle. However the so called proletariat revolution in different parts of world too could not achieve the objective of
सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः, सर्वे शन्तु निरामयाः in its 100 years of History.
Broadly all religions have spoken of a society where the ABLE people take care of the “Lesser Children of God”. State through the Taxes collected by it, is expected to bring “Salvation” to the said disadvantaged segment of the society. Marxists incantation too is no different.
The so called Marxists have also failed. Their FALLIBILTY is related to the commonest human failing i.e. GREED. It is a basic Instinct or malaise present in both Humanity and Animality. The ruler / ruled equation is common to all formats, maybe except in ‘ANARCHISM’. The Leftist Rulers too indulged in their Greed and behaved same as The Aristocracy or the Monarchy. Such bourgeois behavior is a desire common to the entire class of Elitist. Marxists in their march towards power fell for the same trappings, forgetting their ideology.
If the 5000 years of Hindu or Vedantic Philosophy and nearly 1400 years of Islam and the 100 years of Leftism could not make any dent in human behavior, then necessarily the prescription is defective. The ready over the counter (OTC) drugs can not cure difficult maladies.
Lately this  OTC drug is often damaging the society. Suddenly followers of a particular religion are  feeling threatened and have made a cult of Violence as their signature. Violence by one segment acts as a Fodder and Fuel for the retaliation or a recoil by the other group/victim Group, Principally in the name of Religion” illiterate young people are being indoctrinated, to kill.”  Religion devoid of philosophy, is a dead institution. Such dead institutions can be extremely dangerous. One can not ask questions from a dead institution. A Dead Institution can only be venerated and or revered. No space for a debate makes any institution akin to an Expired or “Past Use by Date” medicine. Hence religion instead of emancipating people, its original Tall claim, is killing people.
Religion guided by Philosophy free of any ISMS alone can help mankind. There has to be a constant introspection and debate. Using conscience as Google Map marking one’s milestones, chalking the route alone can satiate the quest for truth. Let us throw away all used maps and old signages.
Buddha said, I can merely show a finger and indicate a direction, you must walk on your own, and chalk out your roadmap........................... to be continued.      

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Friday, April 05, 2013

Too Much of Democracy or Too Little of It

Spent a week in China in Guangzhou and Dongguan. Immediately on return to my Janani Janmbhumisch Swargadapi Gareeyasi and as spoken by Lord Ram Api Swarmayee Lanka Me Lakshaman Na Rochyate...had a sense of ‘Déjà vu’ with Lord Ram (Though I could not fathom Lord Ram’s reasoning. As I understand the concept of Nationalism is not as old as Lord Ram, it is of very recent origin.)
Whenever I have traveled to China, it has never ceased to amaze me. These cities in China at least, are as modern as that of any developed country in the emancipated West.
China used to be much below India in all indices in 1949, the year of their Independence.
It had more or less the same problems, only in bigger magnitude, as that were ailing India then. Large burgeoning population, no structural edifice for either Law and Order or Health or Education. Infrastructure too was no better than India.
Today China is already World’s SECOND Largest economy. What is the raison d’être of the distinction between the Status of India and China? Has it been aptly explained by Mr. Mahathir of Indonesia’s this statement, “India has too much of Democracy”.
How a Nation has too much of Democracy? Does India really has too much of Democracy? First query puzzles me and the second query prods me to say ”Too much of Democracy” can never be the fault line for the ills of mine or any one’s जननी जन्मभुमिश्च.
Then The answer was once again visible in the sound bytes of the shrieking TV News anchors. The Captains of Indian Industry were listening to School Boyish essay/speech recited by the Heir Apparent in the manner of participating in an elocution contest. Nearly all the senior functionaries were singing paeans in RG’s honour. The National President of CII, Mr Adi Godrej categorized the speech as Inspiring. Certain another equal big wig called it Visionary and Clear headed.
I though a diminutive Industrialist has been privy and participant in the deliberations that precede these Invitations to the Poltical Big Wigs. It is well understood that the sole reason behind inviting them is to pamper their ego, a mean to keep them in Good Humour. Nothing else but Networking in plain terms. Mr Tarun Das a mere paid minion of CII courtesy these “Role Playing” was able to build enough clout to participate in the “King Making” game. What these Political Mafiaso say in their speeches is of no significance to any of the Doyens or Billionaires sitting in the hall. None of the Industrialist have made their BILLIONS courtesy the policies of the state. They make money courtesy the HUGE discriminatory power lying in the hands of BIG and Powerful political masters who implement the policies. All policies and rules are merely a façade meant to goad the plebeians. To actually benefit from the system, one must be “Networked”.
The problem or the raison d’être of the said DISTINCTION between India and China is not the Democracy, but the CORRUPTION. The corruption not only of the fiscal nature but of the Intent and attitude. RG specifies the raison d’être of inadequate growth as that of “exclusion of certain segment of society” read Muslims. His intent of words/speech is not to interact with the Captains of the Industry and deliberate, but merely to use a photo opportunity for playing the number game. Here too though speaking amongst the Captains of Industry he talks mumbo jumbo about secularism in other words is trying to castigate BJP and garner secular (sic) Votes. To a politician in India all photo opportunities have one singular purpose, “Garner Votes”. Elections that actually are means to serve democracy, have become the End themselves.
This blinkered vision is not the prerogative of Politicians alone. More or less It has become the cause célèbre for the entire society and is the actual raison d’être of the ills of my जननी 
Horizon of the thinking faculty of Politicians of all colour and hues is limited to the number game. Industrialist chose not to think beyond their Bottom line and or saving their Bottoms. This corrupt system makes scumbags like Abhishek Varma and Neera Raadia kosher. Media is busy using its clout in making BIG Money via Black Mailing or Fixing deals viz., Barkha Dutt episode. Judiciary has collapsed under the weight of THIRTY MILLION pending cases. Bureaucracy is busy acting as hand maidens of their political bosses. The endemic corruption prevalent in the political system is a win-win situation for them.
No “too much of democracy” is not to be blamed for this morass. The GANGOTRI Or the Fountain Head is the Political College of India. The money to be made by landing a toe hold in the said “Band wagon” is mind boggling. People landing a seat in this college earn in TEN digits (at least) and that too in Dollar or Euro terms (the accepted currency in swiss banks).
Actually it is the lack of democracy that is the true raison d’être. Common man’s voice is of no significance. He is merely a number and the significance of his existence ends the moment he gets his finger Inked in the poling booth. Thereafter the Neera Raadia, A Rajas and RG’s take over. The individual though like a pixel in the 1080X640 resolution, has little role in the picture that emerges out of the Idiot Box. Pixels are programmed/choreographed by the Ekata Kapoor’s of the system. The picture visible is neither of the pixel, nor by the pixel, nor for the pixel.
It is the too little of democracy that’s the Bane of India and not too much of democracy