All entries for Tuesday 22 January 2008
January 22, 2008
I’ve had more than my share of conflicts with Gandhian philosophy. I guess I moved on since then, pursued various other schools of thought, reflected on them and experimented upon them. Now looking back, I don’t quite seem to remember what exactly I had in mind that conflicted with Gandhi.
I guess its just a natural process where every generation tests the collective knowledge assimilated by its previous ones to take a stand, sometimes on the same and sometimes on the other. Without this, mankind’s progress maybe hindered or even haltered.
Non-violence, abstinence, non-materialistic lifestyles and selflessness go together.
I’ve heard people blame Buddhism for India being ruled by foreigners for over 1400 years in the last 2000 years of its existence. While Buddhism did put an end to Ashoka’s and Ajatashatru’s conquests, it also did spark off violence down south. The Kalabhra’s conquered the south of India patronizing Buddhism and Jainism. The return of the Cholas, Cheras , Pandyas and the Pallavas was marked by the fall of Buddhism and Jainism to reinstate Hinduism or the brahmanical cults.
Emotions and motivation play a very important role in uniting people. The freedom struggle against the British was marked by prayer meetings. Prayers – the farmer’s cry for rains and the street performer’s cry for a clear sky, however shallow and superficial it may seem to the intellectual’s eye roped people in together for a common cause. Besides, while the British had every ethical authority to curb a political gathering would’ve never been able to curb a gathering in the guise of religion. It was a religious and superstitious cause that gave rise to the sepoy mutiny of 1857. We humans and Indians in particular are probably religious and superstitious fools afterall.
I dream of a society that shall live in smaller self-sustainable communities with minimal materialistic pursuits. Every successful nation that has built a closely knit society with a strong economy is smaller than the political superpowers. The people shall collectively work in agriculture, industry and services with minimal hierarchy. Children shall be raised collectively. The aged shall contribute to society with their expertise and wisdom. Population control, conservation of energy and materials, peaceful co-existence and preservation of the environment shall form the fabric of the society. This requires a society with a high level of integrity and intellectual maturity. This shall be ensured via a holistic educational system that groom the children while they are still moldable.
I do not desire an economic boom. I would like to see prosperity and happiness. Prosperity and happiness are relative terms.
Chaos is fundamental in natural. When a system of governance degrades or collapses, chaos prevails. The best example of this would be the highest levels of drug addiction in war raged Afghanistan, countries with a regime collapse – Russia & Yugoslavia, countries with unstable political regimes in South America
I personally disown all the religions of the world. The purpose of religion is to induce and upkeep morality in a society. In an intellectual society, a logical and rational collection of philosophies may do this and in a more ignorant society, the same philosophies may need to be referred to an arbitrary reference called god.