Last updateSat, 16 Jun 2018 7am


AAP – a Reincarnation of Congress?

AAP a Reincarnation of Congress

Delhi’s recent watershed event has far greater significance than the experts have appreciated. The rise of AAP should be seen as the beginning of a new nationwide phenomena, not limited to Delhi. One may think of AAP as Congress 2.0 – having the same base of popular as well as elite supporters, minus only the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty.

For the past century, certain communities used to combine their political voices under the umbrella of the Congress, until the party started to meltdown as a revolt against the dynasty. For a while, these ‘homeless’ communities of voters wandered in different directions, experimentally and opportunistically supporting different parties including the BJP. These forces – which I have termed ‘fragments’ – have now found a new home in AAP and have reinvented for themselves a Congress like new political entity in AAP.

Kejriwal wears a Gandhi cap. In the eyes of his support base, he projects a Mohandas Gandhi style simplistic lifestyle, humility and dharmic values. His integrity has been accepted by an immensely broad base in Delhi, and it may be expected to spread elsewhere.

It brings together caste groups and minorities by providing them a shared umbrella. It attracts many well-educated and wealthy supporters who prefer this choice on idealistic grounds. All this resembles the old Congress before Sonia Gandhi killed it. The collapse of Congress due to Sonia Gandhi’s misrule and too much family domination is what its support base has rejected, not the so called ‘big tent’ ideals it once had.


Geopolitics And Sanskrit Phobia

Geopolitics And Sanskrit Phobia


This paper discusses the historical and contemporary relationship between geopolitics and Sanskrit, and consists of the following sections:

  1. Sanskrit is more than a language. Like all languages, its structures and categories contain a built-in framework for representing specific worldviews. Sanskriti is the name of the culture and civilization that embodies this framework. One may say that Sanskriti is the term for what has recently become known as Indic Civilization, a civilization that goes well beyond the borders of modern India to encompass South Asia and much of Southeast Asia. At one time, it included much of Asia
  2. Interactions among different regions of Asia helped to develop and exchange this pan-Asian Sanskriti. Numerous examples involving India, Southeast Asia and China are given.
  3. Sanskrit started to decline after the West Asian invasions of the Indian subcontinent. This had a devastating impact on Sanskriti, as many world-famous centers of learning were destroyed, and no single major university was built for many centuries by the conquerors.
  4. Besides Asia, Sanskrit and Sanskriti influenced Europe’s modernity, and Sanskrit Studies became a large-scale formal activity in most European universities. These influences shaped many intellectual disciplines that are (falsely) classified as “Western”. But the “discovery” of Sanskrit by Europe also had the negative influence of fueling European racism since the 19th century.
  5. Meanwhile, in colonial India, the education system was de-Sanskritized and replaced by an English based education. This served to train clerks and low level employees to administer the Empire, and to start the process of self-denigration among Indians, a trend that continues today. Many prominent Indians achieved fame and success as middlemen serving the Empire, and Gandhi’s famous 1908 monograph, “Hind Swaraj,” discusses this phenomenon.
  6. After India’s independence, there was a broad based Nehruvian love affair with Sanskrit as an important nation-building vehicle. However, successive generations of Indian intellectuals have replaced this with what this paper terms “Sanskrit Phobia,” i.e. a body of beliefs now widely disseminated according to which Sanskrit and Sanskriti are blamed for all sorts of social, economic and political problems facing India’s underprivileged classes. This section illustrates such phobia among prominent Western Indologists and among trendy Indians involved in South Asian Studies who learn about Sanskrit and Sanskriti according to Western frameworks and biases.
  7. The clash of civilizations among the West, China and Islam is used as a lens to discuss the future of Sanskriti across South and Southeast Asia.
  8. Some concrete suggestions are made for further consideration to revitalize Sanskrit as a living language that has potential for future knowledge development and empowerment of humanity.


Gandhi: Quintessentially Different and Non-Digestible

Gandhi Quintessentially Different and Non-Digestible

My book brings to the foreground some fundamental differences between Indian and Western civilizations, and explored at length the spiritual, metaphysical, philosophical and historical basis for such differences. I argue, that to gloss over these differences, reveals a dismal lack of civilizational self-awareness and wishful thinking on the part of Westerners, and low self-esteem by Indians resulting in part of an education system that seems to be still fulfilling the mandates of colonial educators.


Hinduism In American Classrooms

Hinduism In American Classrooms

Dave Freedholm teaches world religion and philosophy at a nationally recognized independent college preparatory school in the U.S. Recently, he was a delegate to the World Congress for the Preservation of Religious Diversity in Delhi, India. A frequent speaker on Hinduism and religious pluralism, Dave is currently co-authoring Hinduism: An Introduction for High School Students with Prof. Arvind Sharma.


How ‘Gandhara’ Became ‘Kandahar’

How Gandhara Became Kandahar

Afghanistan’s epic history starts when it was an important region of ancient India called ‘Gandhara’. One of its most frequently mentioned cities in the world today is ‘Kandahar’, made infamous by the Taliban. The earlier name of the city was ‘Quandhar’, derived from the name of the region of Gandhara. Erstwhile home to Al-Qaeda today, it was always a strategic site, being on main Persian routes to Central Asia and India. Hence, it has a long history of conquests. Kandahar was taken by Alexander in 329 B.C.E., was surrendered by the Greek to Chandragupta in 305 B.C.E., and is dignified by a rock inscription of Asoka. It fell under Arab rule in the 7th century C.E., and under the Ghaznavids in the 10th. Kandahar was destroyed by Genghis Khan and again by the Turkic conqueror Timur, after which it was held by the Mughals. Mughal Emperor Babur built 40 giant steps up a hill, cut out of the solid limestone, leading to inscriptions recording details of his proud conquests. In 1747 it became the first capital of a unified Afghanistan.


10 Targets of Subramanian Swamy

10 targets of subramanian swamy

The Income Tax department is likely to issue notices to Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi asking them to pay tax and penalty on "income" of Rs 1,300 crore that investigators believe they earned from the transfer of shares of Associated Journals Ltd (AJL), publishers of the now-defunct party newspaper the National Herald, according to a report in The Indian Express.

Officials told the newspaper that the move follows investigations conducted on a complaint received from BJP leader Subramanian Swamy who alleged that the Gandhis misappropriated AJL assets while transferring their shares to the newly formed Young India Ltd. According to I-T records, 83.3 per cent of Young India Ltd is held by Sonia and Rahul, 15.5 per cent by Congress veteran Motilal Vohra and the remaining 1.2 per cent by party loyalist Oscar Fernandes.


Dharma Bypasses ‘History-Centrism’

Dharma Bypasses History-Centrism

Most of the religious conflicts and wars involving the Abrahamic religions (Christianity, Judaism, Islam) stem from disputes over what exactly God said and how he said it and what exactly it means. To ensure that order prevails, canons of “authentic” texts are formed and creeds, or condensed forms of crucial affirmations and beliefs, are debated, written down, and carefully observed as litmus tests for participation in the faith.