Categories
Thoughts

India’s love for peace? ( you can conquer but not rule).. tibet chapter

The Iraq war has clearly validated that you can conquer the country in a matter of hours, but it will take a heavy toll if you wish to establish a rule there.

A thousand Americans lost their life in Iraq not while fighting but while acting as a sentry, guarding the outposts and regular patrol duty. The people strongly condemn the foreign rule and they violently express their opinions.

Well, bringing this to the context of India- China relation opens up a new dimension in the secret wars and foreign policy disaster which I was talking about.

Tibet was a buffer state between the 2 Asian Giants. The presence of a buffer territory is a time tested method of reducing the tension and border incidents between the two super-powers. Chinese acquisition of Tibet did not go very well with India.
1) We condemned the Dragon of being an aggressor.
2) Gave shelter to the spiritual leader Dalai Lama.
3) Questioned the validity of the puppet govt. and the new Dalai Lama which Chinese govt. installed.
Chinese saw it in this way:
1) In order to rule Tibet, the Dalai Lama’s presence has to be quenched.
2) In future, if India gets powerful and it can use absconding leader as a pretense to expand its territories.
3) Over years the British had slowly and steadily expanded their territories into the weak Tibet, the Mac-Mohan line was forced on Tibet kingdom.

The war preparation at that moment was next to nothing. In fact India lost so much ground without even a single fight that Pakistan’s thought of capturing the buffer state of Kashmir could be put into action.

If China would have been an aggressor, it could have simply flag marched into New Delhi and we would be standing and accusing it of back-stabbing. Chanakya esp. said that there is friendship among equals. Humble states may call their alliance friendship, but it is actually submitting and seeking protection. It is a misfortune that the work of such a wonderful manager of diplomatic relations gathers dust.

 

Categories
Thoughts

India is a peace loving nation?

Well we are as much peace loving as USA..

I always wondered why none of the neighbors on India (except Bhutan) support us in the international community. Digging a bit deep I find:

1) Sri-Lanka: we bred, supported and armed the LTTE and pushed the country into civil war which lasted for decades.

2) Bangladesh: We for them, liberated them from the oppressors in Pakistan (atleast our history books say so) yet when there is a match between India and Pakistan, I see more Bangladeshi support for the green flag. Indira Gandhi actually nurtured and armed MUKTI BAHINI for the liberation of bangadesh

3) Nepal: we are arming and training the dictator army who just recently over-threw an elected democratic parliament.

4) China: we are regularly fighting for the seat in the UN council. Due to opposition for communist governments, the state of Taiwan got the permanent Veto powers rather than the communist china. India is said to be the forefront campaigners who helped China to get back its seat. Yet there is no mention of reciprocating this favor.

5) Afghanistan: We were hand in glove with Russia in establishing and running the unpopular communist regime there and burnt our fingers.

6) Pakistan: no explanation needed.

7) Myanmar: read the papers there. Every other day you hear about Indian’s violating there territorial rights.

8) Sikim: we were supposed to be the protectors of this small hill state. But alas we gobbled her up.

Please correct me if I missed any neighbor.

Haven’t you ever wondered, there is no country who thinks highly of us or whom we have done some good. I wish someone catches the foreign affairs ministry for an explanation.

 

Categories
education Thoughts

Did Indian education system exist?

Was there ever a glorious education system which India always boasts about?

Well ever wondered why we always mention about the glorious past, well agreed that the Vedas and Upanishads were master pieces at their time, but those were written in the early age of Aryan culture what was there after that? Takshila and Nalanda lay as ruins soon.

Dark Age of Indian education!

Propagators of Gurukul system seem to be very sure that teachers selected were of high caliber in knowledge and character. Well the reality is that there was no central authority controlling the appointment of teachers. There was no fixed syllabus.

Each and every person by virtue of being born as a Brahmin had an inherent right to be a teacher. He could open an ashram and take pupils as and when he likes, and he could give certificate of completion of studies as and when he chooses. He was not bound by any law of land nor any convention of teachers’ body. There used to be guilds and bodies of merchants and craftsmen, but I am unaware if some institution was established to supervise the teaching and conduct of the teacher in such gurukuls. Most of the gurukuls were single teacher residential ones free from any royal or academic control. What was the guarantee of quality under these circumstances? It is a matter of egotism, vanity and conceit to think of quality in such teaching institutions. These gurukuls had no respect in foreign lands and never attracted any foreign students.

Course Content

There seems to be misconceived idea that a student coming out from such a school had all the requisite qualities of a good citizen. This is far from the truth. He used to have learned by heart the Brahmanic sastras, which hardly make him versatile. He could never think of outside matters. What is not in his books does not exist for him. Al Biruni, for example, mentioned that Indian scholars have no knowledge of civilization abroad, and they disbelieve if somebody tells them about it. Their thought process centered on the rituals, vratas and ceremonies.

The Brahmanic knowledge consisted of recital of Vedas, without understanding the meaning of what is being recited, and was miles away from the actual life of productive castes. As a matter of fact, it was enjoined that the recites must not try to understand the meaning of what he reads.

The education was more centered around training some parrots who could sing than create some educated civilized citizens. Writing new books or literary texts, doing scientific study was never encouraged. The medium of instruction was Sanskrit which is a dead language of any value for the community.

Infact, there was no medium for scientific study till the 18th century. The educated class predominately used Sanskrit and Farsi. ( Haath kangan ko aarsi kya, padhe likhe ko farsi kya… meaning like you are not expected to need a mirror for the ornaments in your forearm, you are expected to know farsi if you call yourself educated)

Sanskrit was constructed in the poetic lines (where the stanzas need to by rhyming) which makes it tough for any recording work. The Hindi which we very proudly say as ours was never a written language. It was first written in a paragraph form ( like it is today) by British scholars in the 18th century.

And we blame British to ruin our education system.

One cannot stick for a couple of centuries with the same book in hand and say it is the ultimate source of all knowledge and is written by god himself. Like civilization even books need to evolve. Saying that this scientific discovery was already mentioned in so and so stanza of this ancient book is ridiculous. If you already knew about it then I would say… shame on you Vedic scholars. You are sitting on a gold mine of knowledge and have gained nothing from it.

———————————————————————————–
Chanakya’s views (Now writing as DeadManWalking)

I have heard about the glory of the upinishads and vedas since I was born. Everything we have now is already in the vedas. Recently a girl told me that we have had no progress in the field of medicines new in medicine thats not in ayurveda or ancient Chinese medicine! were her exact words. I dont know much but i definitely don’t think this is correct. I don’t believe penicillin is mentioned in the vedas is it ? Coming to the vedas its all about interpretation isn’t it. A shlok praising the sun god calculates the value of pi to huge number of decimal places. I don’t know Sanskrit but i found that to be awesome (i am not being sarcastic here).

Between Chinese and Indian aurveda a huge amount of knowledge is covered. However one still has to remember that we still have no cures for a huge number of diseases and we seem to be very apt at finding new ones. diseases which were not even there in ancient times definitely have no cure today. Oh yhea and cancer and radiology and tumors. Let me see the ancient method for tumor in the brain was to remove a part of the skull so that the pressure on the brain decreases (practiced in very few places most places would just kill off the person calling him crazy) . Nowadays i can choose to have my brain fried in case of tumor.

But medicine has not improved much over the ages. However the others parts of the medical world has improved. Surgery for example. We are so intent on glorifying our past that we tend to forget the present. the past is always perfect isn’t it? We keep on hearing about the great things being found in the vedas. The design of an aircraft for example, however within a few months of the claim there was no longer any more information about it. If the vedas are such a huge storehouse of knowledge then why hasn’t it all been brought out?? just random parts from people who disappear over the horizon.

The vedas have information there is no doubt about it. but what i don’t know and as far as i see no1 else really does except that they know its there.

As far as the ancient education system goes which denied every person the right to study. The immorality of it all is still beheld as being a great system by a majority of the country. Considering that even today the caste system is so prevalent in India i find it absolutely ridiculous. Not that our present system is any better, if you can afford it u can get education. What was initially being denied by virtue of caste is now being denied by virtue of cash. and lets not talk about the government mid day meal programs and its education effort. when the process will be able to lift a person from the downtrodden to reach one of the premier institutes of the country without reservations then ill say it has succeeded.

while i cannot comment about the course content of the gurukul system especially since i wasn’t there nor have i really seen anything other than in the serials and movies. If the vedas were that good i believe then all those stuff must have been imparted into the disciples by the gurus. But somehow it doesn’t look like it happened did it? were the teachers so righteous that they forgot to impart knowledge written in books ? or did the books come to be written at a time when all knowledge had been forgotten. But one thing is guaranteed the aim of an education system such that the knowledge is limited to a particular caste is bound to fail in one way or the another. if education in those times was how and why we are better than the person whom we have conquered in the past then no thanks i say. i cannot believe that we can stil think about that as being a great system of education

Categories
education Thoughts

Education and Casteism in ancient india

What was the essence of Gurukul Education?

Those who are fond of Gurukul education, know well its draw backs, but will not speak because of their vested interests. First thing gurukul was never open to the majority of masses. About 85 to 90 percent of population was outside the pale of Gurukuls. Only the 15 percent population was being catered by Gurukuls. That too, only the boys were admitted and not the girls, thus bringing the total possible population to be only about seven percent.

There were no criteria for admission apart from the caste and whims and fancies of the teacher. Examples of denial of admission to very meritorious candidates on the basis of caste are seen. Glaring example is of Eklavya. Not only the guru Dronacharya denied admission to Eklavya, but demanded Eklavya’s thumb as gurudakshina for education NOT imparted by him. Many people feel it is irony of fate and mockery of awards, that such a name is associated with highest sports awards in this country, without any protest from the sufferers of the system.

Second example is of Karna, who got admission to Parashurama’s class, which was exclusively reserved for the Brahmins, on false statement of caste. Benefit of his knowledge, labeled as unlawfully obtained, was withdrawal when his caste became known, which ultimately lead to his death.

Example of Satyakama Jabala is mentioned by many orthodox people to erroneously show that education in Upanishadic times was open to low caste people. This is a wrong inference drawn from his story. Satyakama was asked by his guru his caste. His mother sent a word to the guru that she did not know the exact father of the child as she had relations with many people. This frank statement, the guru declared, can only be a statement of a son of a Brahmin. So the admission to the gurukul was done on the basis of Brahmin caste. Not only that, the test applied by him, and his presumption of Brahmin caste, was derogatory to non-Brahmins, because it was his belief that only Brahmins could speak such a truth and non-Brahmins could not have uttered such truth. It may be noted that the declaration was made by the child’s mother, who had no right to education. How a bold statement by mother can decide the caste of putative father, is a mystery, nobody has ever talked about.

 

Categories
Thoughts

Did Buddhism die out so easily?

Well according to the history, every religion requires patronage from the local king and should be able to capture the minds of the people to flourish.

Both Buddhism and Jainism were equally popular, but were still in the nascent stage in India before the time of Ashoka. Ashok’s father Bindusara and probably his grandfather Chandragupta left the kingdom and adopted a simple Jain living. Then all of a sudden Ashok adopted Buddhism and spread it across the length and breadth of the world (known to him at that time) and Buddhism in India reached its peak.

A very good indicator (although an indirect one) is the mention of religious clashes. There were various places where Ashoka asked his people not to fight against each other and maintain religious harmony. Since such reference of clashes between Buddhist and Hindus were never heard before or afterwards, it directly refers to the growing chaos and changing demography of India. After the death of Ashoka, Hindu zealots led by the Gupta dynasty re-established the Hindu rule (within 50 years of end of Ashoka’s reign of 44 years).

Was loss of political patronage the only reason why Buddhism in India peaked and died within 50 years? A remarkable point to be noted is.. tough both religions ( jain and buddism) are quite similiar, Jain never had a patronage of a king during the period of his rule. This is the reason why Jain religion never peaked, and there was an attempt to wipe it out. In a way the attempt of Indian kings to wipe out Buddhism allowed it to break the cultural and demographic barriers and spread.

————————————————————————————-
Chanakya’s views —–
Did Bhuddism in India die a natural death? I cannot to believe it. If you take a look around one still finds that jaininsm still exists in some parts of the country especially in rajasthan. In restaurants we get jain foods. Jains are so powerful in jaipur/jodhpur that they were able to stop the opening of a Macdonalds there. Yet the religion which far outstripped them vanished from the very face of the country in which it was born. I cannot remember a single ruler that has patronised jainism. the death of bhuddism coincides too much with the rise of the Hindu kings – the Guptas. State apathy cannot alone be the cause of the death of a religion.

Indians have resisted change against the greatest odds. While there were so many muslim rulers never once was there a decrease in the faith so drastic that an entire religion was wiped out from a singleplace. Bhuddhism spread rapidly through China. A look into their history shows the rise to be phenomenal and very fast without patronization from the kings. A mass exodus from this country seems to be the most plausible explanation for this (at least to me). An exodus because the unfavourable conditions in india seems to me he most likely explanation.

Don’t believe it when you heard it being said that India is a very peaceful country. A country which was never an agressor. If we always had friendly relations with our neighbors they why is it that we have 15 territorial disputes with China itself. Forget Pakistan. and Bangladesh ?? The country for whose independence so many indians laid down there lives happily shoots indian jawans on any pretext. We have a very voilent past. Our religion is anything but tolerant. Ok its tolerant with comparison to other religions but like all other reliions and other countries histories we have this wonderous belief that we have nor can do wrong (but we have bad politicans though — an oxymoron if i ever saw 1)

Bhuddhuism died out because we had an enthusiastic hindu ruler. Ever notice that before akbar everytime there was widespread peace between all religions,the dynasty got wiped out in half a centuary, Yes i admit 50 years is a long time especially in the history of this country, but for a religion to die out? i dont think so.

 

Categories
Thoughts

History

The flames have died out. Yet still within the burning embers we hunt. History is written by the victors, but within these embers the clues stay. What happened to the losers ?
How much is myth and how much is the truth.
What is the truth?
Where is the truth?
Do we have to believe all that has been told?
Am I being unpatriotic as I search for the answers. Am I ridiculing my religion my value system. If it is so then let it be. I cannot be or will be a part of a system which lays its foundation on lies. Am I so moralistic ? No I am not. Morals are a pennies worth to me. What is it but that which I have been taught as a young child. I refuse to believe all that has been blindly accepted. For within me still burns the fire. I cannot just accept everything as the others do. Living my life as per others wishes. Doing things because others do the same. I need to know. And the need drives me here. The pages of our past. Glorious past as they call it. I am not sure I am not certain. To put in distinctively as Pegasus once asked.
Did the metal age come to all parts of the world simultaneously ?
Did Buddhism die out in India so easily?
Why weren’t Ram and Krishna Gods before the Bhakti movement?
And so it begins