Last updateSat, 16 Jun 2018 7am


Hindus And The Restoration Of Cultural Diversity


If we turn back the clock 2000 years we would see a world full of diverse societies and cultures. Though there were indeed clearly identifiable markers that represented distinct civilizations, be they Chinese, Indian, American Indian, African, Persian, Greco-Roman, Egyptian etc a plurality of diverse cultural expressions always existed within each civilization.

As the Europeans began their colonization of the Americas, initiated by the voyages of Christopher Columbus, they came across thousands of diverse communities with different languages, customs, beliefs and lifestyles. Yet at their core, each of these peoples overwhelmingly shared a common civilizational ethos and functionality. The same patterns had in fact existed in Europe as well and this is still evident in the multiplicity of languages to be found on the continent. However by the time of Columbus an enforced cultural homogeneity had created a common identity based upon religion. Despite the various sectarian rifts such as Protestantism, the entire region from Russia to Iceland was clearly Christian and was often referred to as Christendom.

The spread of Islam from Arabia, North Africa, Persia to Indonesia soon led to the homogenization of that entire arc of Planet Earth. Yet again we see that the development of various sects and the diversity of languages remains. Regardless of these differences Islamic civilization remains clearly identifiable.


The Power of a United Hindu Community

The Power of a United Hindu

Now it is time to increase our efforts to work together and make Hindus a concerted force that is recognized by everyone. Of course, we know this is not easy and is going to take time, but the sooner we all get started, the sooner we can accomplish it. But there are those of us, such as those I am sharing the stage with, who have already been working on this for years. We only ask that you all make a stand to join together, to make a powerful and strong Hindu community.

Vedic culture has been changing the world throughout the ages. For example, many have offered their respects to the Vedic culture, such as Henry David Thoreau who said: “In the morning I bathe my intellect in the stupendous and cosmogonal philosophy of the Bhagavat Geeta, since whose composition years of the gods have elapsed, and in comparison with which our modern world and its literature seem puny and trivial.”

Or Arthur Schopenhauer: “There is no religion or philosophy so sublime and elevating as Vedanta.”

And, of course, Ralph Waldo Emerson who mentioned, “I owed a magnificent day to the Bhagavad-Gita. It was as if an empire spoke to us, nothing small or unworthy, but large, serene, consistent, the voice of an old intelligence which in another age and climate had pondered and thus disposed of the same questions which exercise us.”


Study Of Hindu Culture: The Misplaced Theories Of Western Indologists

Study Of Hindu Culture

Judging from the interview, the proposed book by Dr Parpola seems to be providing the proverbial old wine in new bottle.

His scholarship is subsumed by his attachment to the Aryan migration/invasion framework and his selective politicking with India’s own establishment historians of the old school.

The recent interview of Finnish Indologist and Sindhologist Dr Asko Parpola was interesting for two reasons. First, this is the interview of a person, who has devoted decades in studying Hindu culture. Second, the interview shows what was wrong with Western Indologists, who spent a lifetime studying Hinduism.

Dr Parpola states at the beginning of the interview that the earliest literature of South Asia is generally dated between C 1300 and 1000 BCE. He accepts it. This chronology forms the edifice on which he builds his arguments.

So, he speculates in the interview:

Could they come from the advanced civilisation of the Indus Valley that flourished between about 2600 and 1900 BCE, long before the Vedic texts came into being?

And again:

The tradition of the earlier wave, coming to South Asia already around 1900-1700 BCE, infiltrated into the Rigveda in its late books I and VIII-X, but is best represented in the Atharvaveda. By the time the Yajurvedic Samhitās and the Brāhmaṇa texts came into being, the two traditions had already fused together. The Upaniṣads and the “heterodox” religions of Jainism and Buddhism bring to the surface religious ideas that may be new or that may have survived from older times further east, outside the Vedic realm.


Islamic State Assault on India and Indian Islam

Islamic State Assault on

The unravelling of the Islamic State (IS) module in Lucknow following the operations by the Uttar Pradesh ATS is the tip of the iceberg. Amongst other incriminating material recovered from the encounter site, there was the railway network map of India. The operations were launched in wake of Bhopal-Ujjain train bomb-blast. Ominously, there was sufficient intelligence about the jihadis targeting the Indian Railway network across the length and breadth of India. 

…the police forces have become an unwitting tool of Pakistan military-intelligence establishment in furtherance of its political designs in India. Politicians using look-alike of Osama bin Laden is surely an invitation to Jihadi forces. It gets votes and that is the horrible truth.

The most critical rather providential lead originated from the Bihar-Nepal border. This was again, in the wake of the derailment of Indore-Patna express near Kanpur on 20-November -2016, which killed 150 people. The sabotage angle was palpable. Given the election season in the state, the timing was suspicious. For many years now, the Pakistan military-intelligence establishment has been trying to influence the politics of India by means of terror and violence.

The Bhopal-Ujjain train bomb blast could have averted if the our police machinery was politically not subverted and had the professional education to see the Jihadi and Islamic State threat in global and regional perspective. The country will have to bear unacceptable consequences for the restricted, compartmentalized and politicized mindset of police forces of respective states in dealing with internal security threats. The Jihadis and the Maoists suffer from no such constraints and operate on pan-India basis. Probably, the police forces have become an unwitting tool of Pakistan military-intelligence establishment in furtherance of its political designs in India. Politicians using look-alike of Osama bin Laden is surely an invitation to Jihadi forces. It gets votes and that is the horrible truth.


Shankhnaad For Mahabharat Of Civilizations!

First International Yoga Day (IYD) will be celebrated tomorrow (June 21st, 2015) with big fanfare across the globe. It touches me personally, as I've anchored my whole life in yoga philosophy. Today, the world is very stressed; from individuals, families, societies, and countries to even mother nature. Yoga is an excellent solution (in my view - the best), to address the big challenges that humanity faces in current times.  Yoga provides a robust philosophical foundation for the harmonious existence of humanity, where diversity gets celebrated among cultures; along with a sustainable co-existence with nature.

The acknowledgement  from the United Nations is a good step to popularize the importance of yoga. It also solidifies that Indian heritage is the "home/ owner" of yoga and India should get credit for creating and nurturing it through the ages. Yoga is a great example of what India has and continues to offer to the world. While we celebrate this day, there are risks to watch out for. In the current west dominated globalization times, India is losing control over discourse of yoga. If not managed well, yoga may be downgraded as secularized (an inferior concept compared to Saapeksh Dharma); becomes "just" science; gets westernized and loses its linkage from traditions of Dharma. If that happens, Yoga will lose a significant part of its essence and it'll be sad state for the whole humanity. There are forces on both sides, some for Indian heritage & yoga and others  against it; and the stage is set for the "Battle of Yoga" in the Mahabharat of civilizations.


Eight reasons why the ‘Clash of Civilizations’ is already upon us

Eight reasons why the Clash of Civilizations

We are witnessing one horrific terrorist attack after another the world over and it shows absolutely no signs of stopping. Since 2015, there seems to be at least one incident in Europe every month.

In 1993, American political scientist Samuel P Huntington had talked about the Clash of Civilizations and that term still sticks 23 years later. (One Indian politician, who regularly spoke about this in India was the BJP’s former Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani.)

But what exactly is this clash? While Huntington put up this hypothesis in a Foreign Affairs article, it is defined succinctly on Wikipedia as: People’s cultural and religious identities will be the primary source of conflict in the post-Cold War world.

The 1990s was also the decade when Al-Qaeda caught the global imagination and a lot of commentators started talking about the Clash of Civilizations in terms of Islam’s clash with the West. While it seemed quite far-fetched at that time, it seems more realistic now in 2016, with a more brutal and ambitious Islamic State replacing Al-Qaeda as the world’s Number 1 terrorist group.

Meanwhile, a lot of Right wing groups have also risen all over the world calling Islam as their enemy.

But there are many reasons why a clash may have already begun.


Where Is Article 370 Now That Rohingyas And Bangladeshis Are Being Settled In Jammu And Ladakh?

Where Is Article 370 Now That Rohingyas

The Jammu and Kashmir government should either implement in toto or abolish Article 370. It can’t be one rule for Rohingyas and another for all Indians.

Jammu is up in arms against the authorities. This time, it is not against discriminatory policies being pursued by the successive Kashmir-dominated and Valley-centric governments in Jammu & Kashmir since 1947, but against the settlement of Rohingyas from Myanmar in Jammu and Ladakh, both strategically vital for national security.

According to the late Jammu and Kashmir chief minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, the number of Rohingya Muslims living in different parts of Jammu city and around it, was 5,107 in 2010 (AINS, 10 October 2015). And, as per Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s June 2016 Assembly statement, there were 13,400 Rohingyas and Bangladeshis living in camps in Jammu. She said “Bathindi Ka Plot is home to the highest number of Rohingya Muslims” (The Hindustan Times, 5 December 2016).
The break-up of Rohingyas settled in the state is as follows: Jammu – 5,086, Jammu’s Samba district – 634 and Ladakh – 7,664. The total number is 13, 334.

The Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and several civil society groups are urging the authorities to deport forthwith the illegally settled Rohingyas and Bangladeshi from the state, saying they pose a threat to not only the security of Jammu province, but also to the nation.