Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Platform is not Nirvana

I opened facebook, searched for a common name. It returned a ugly explicit picture.  If our society was more involved, somebody probably had complained about it and removed.

 On the subject of platform,

The Platform is not complete, context free to describe 'facebook age', its measure, compliments deficiencies are missing.

  Counter argument :
     Platform provides new relationships in a way that was not possible. Quality of relations though questionable for an odd man, probably works great for campus communities and others.

Khilafat Movment and Pickthall

Khilafat movement is important political discourse in pre-independent India.

For many, the demand for Khilafat has  been a mystery. Many muslim leaders working for nationalist cause with MK Gandhi, and it was real. Many muslims in India had retained a lot of  hindu culture of their ancestors. So there was a strong chance for a peaceful future of India  in the context of Indian  culture.

As far as Congress was  concerned,  Khilafat can't be a nationalistic  perception, as such away from the  nation in turkey. The thing was viewed partisan and divisive in nationalist context. MK Gandhi tried to accommodate it to gain support of muslims.  Such diversion of focus to affairs in turkey probably was viewed as an islamic solidarity.

  It can be as well be seen as symptom of of  brewing   pan islamic ideology.

 Multiple people associated with London were involved in this movement, including Jinnah. One influential was Marmaduke Pickthall - A white british citizen who had converted to Islam. Pickthall was a novelist, with good reputation among the elite authors of London, including EM Foster. Pickthall  was also a journalist and was quite influential . He was an ally of Ottoman Empire.

  Whether this alliance with Ottoman empire was instrumental for Indian Khilafat movement or it is a pointer in the direction ? Pickthall  had lived in India during british rule for about 15 years.

  Muslim league  became more influential in 1930s.  What was influence of Pickthall   during these years ? A British citizen, converting to islam would carry double contempt for Indian hindus.  Pickthall    was not only British, he was an influential and well versed with contemporary literary practices of his time. That makes him interesting on his influence in Indian independence movement.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Islam - Materialism and literary criticism

Following the beastly and demonic actions upon Yazidis, there has been a debate in USA and international media on Islam.

It shows that modern critical branches have been used in modern times to supported literary interpretation of islam, and in other cases explain away the violence by pointing historical and geographical issues :

1-Apologists :  'Scholars'  like Reza Aslan using marxist methods, argue Islam as a doctrine is reflective of the political and pre-existing tribal/cultural conditions or tribal culture that reflects  the violence.

However - 
2- ?   (1)  direct verses are actually available in Islam for murder of infidels. (2) There are movements to take it literally. ISIS does it. An alternate view from an Iraqi politician/former MP.

3-Muslim Brotherhood:  Aly Salem discusses   influence of Sayyed Qutb - "principal theorist of the Muslim Brotherhood". To quote him " It is not an exaggeration to say that Qutb is to Islamism what Karl Marx is to communism."

Mr Sayyed Qutb uses Western-style literary criticism to reject many of the philosophies and ideas ( "Greek empiricism and liberal democracy to socialism, Persian poetry and Hegelian philosophy" ) that has influenced others to various degrees.

With  series of wars, violence over thousands of years, disintegrated cultures in colonial periods ,  lack of education, lack diverse political experience, one would expect some skepticism and lot more diversity in islam. However the crisp and clear focus of Islamic movements  - some are so good that it has been acceptable to liberal west - belies that expectation.

   Thus it has been suspected that that there has been reliance on/validation through  concepts/blocks popularized elsewhere to create a 20th century worldview. Some of the concepts of this world viewcould be  as following :

   (3-1)  Emphasis on People of Book - "but this doesn't apply to people of Book" - A frequent argument to rebut some of violent verses, This argument also appeals to western identity - who are people of book.
     Similarities : During the colonial era,  One book/ following a book/Prophets  etc were considered foundational characteristics of religion by many, thus people of book has been used as a western argument with cultural appeals to order, empire  and ...(humility ?).

     For alternatives, it is possible to be  people of rationals, experiments, skeptics, People of tradition, nationality, shrine, principle. People of  Dhamma, Sangha(organization as in Buddhist monastery) etc.

   (3-2) Attitude towards law and Philosophy - So much political demand for separate Sharia law,  aspects of enforcement, while drawing almost blank of philosophy,creativity and expression.[ex: rejection of persian poetry as  mentioned by Aly Salem, Taliban banning music etc]

       3-2-1 Similarities-1 : Imposition of law and control, even by violent means is practiced in variants of marxism, such as Maoism. Implementing a set of laws through activisim has been popular in maoism, the understanding and questioning is discouraged through doctrine.

      3-2-2 Similarities-2 : Critical concepts (1) Brotherhood/Comrade/Fraternity/Communities as franchises (2) Goal of Political power (3) Law  (4) Armed Revolution  etc are foundational concepts of many other political movements, accompanied by rejection of  introspection, individuality, philosophical criticism.

     Thus, Rejection of Hegelian philosophy is opportunistic, modern Islamism likely to burrow or validate key elements  from systems influenced by Hagel, such as the Hegelian left to construct 20th century worldview .

Monday, October 27, 2014

Ebola owned by US Govt

Composition of Ebola virus is owned by ...USA govt ! 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Monotheism : An Hindu perspective and criticism

The Yzidi are "polytheist".  That is enough to bring primal horrors onto  these people.
Otherwise 'monotheisim' is a profound brand, people associate absurd value judgement with it .

The argument here, for worship of god, mono-theisim, two-theism is totally irrelevant and distraction.

1. One -  Colonial Context, 19th century Issue :

 The 'One' has been sought in counting prophets, holy books. The highly influential Max Mueller counted prophets/holy books etc to  classify Hindus with Jews in 19th century.  He put Islam, Christianity and Buddhism in a separate category.

 This classification later altered, instead of prophet requirement, One god was considered desirble, the jews flipped into the christian/muslim column as monotheists.

  Other than the prophet and god, race and nation have also fascination with the 'One' .

   Backed by empire, Oil Kingdoms and enterprising...the count of gods - number one - became a profound brand  in modern times.

2. The Human Issue of Number One:

      Cultural impact in India is profound.  While the 'One' was found in places like Pakisthan (Religion), Pre world war Germany ( Aryan), India suffered from the lack of a 'One' .   Reformers are acting hard to rectify the situation :  to make it 'One' .  For example,  Many popular groups have removed Hindu gods from the temples,  some have Prophet/Avatar is installed in new  temples and is worshiped.

    And then there are people who are obstacles to the One -  starting with most of traditional India.  Most of it won't survive much longer.

    Therefore, it requires an answer why monotheism is basically irrelevant and an explanation of Hindu view.

 3.Why Hindus considered monotheism /two-theism as irrelevant:

  It looks obvious the Brahmins of old villages and forests didn't make a big issue of counting One. However as philosophers and practitioners of numbers since few millenniums ,  how did they view this subject of one god ?

   I must add this is not an debate to be won in the Bazaar. The least it should show, the issue is more complex than an mob assertion of   'one' is better than, say, many  numbers from  one to  nine.

    Getting to numbers,  0, 1,2,3 are just points representing different values - except value of zero is not obvious.  Assume,  monotheists don't worship the value associated 'One'.  Here 'One' is a position, characteristically similar to 'two' which is a position. So  characteristically, 'one' is a 'lot' similar to the two.  When worshiping the 'one' is possible, worshiping the 'two' should be highly possible - characteristically one and two represents positions .mono-theism should be close to  two-theism .  If it sounds odd, this monotheism, polytheism is indeed an odd way to look at it.

      Now, One is a  whole number with certain extra properties.  This gives some space for special importance to one. However we will see that, by making 0 as the first digit,  One doesn't look so special.. So the details of  one are ignored for now.

    One may appear special, but when you look all, minimum it is paired with one more in a binary system - the zero.  At first sight, zero  indeed appears valueless.  But in hindu system, this zero exists, it doesn't have a obvious value, that doesn't mean that Zero lacks any value to be useless. It is obvious in indirect ways.  It can be viewed as a special  whole number, it is placed before one [0,1,...9].   The implication -  by addition of zero, 'one' is no more as unique as it appears at first sight. By adding Zero, it shows a  more complex and philosophical picture. By philosophical discussion, deep meditation and scriptural interpretation, religious worship of cosmic existence of un-manifested  Zero is followed in Hinduism. Same for Buddhism in terms of zero.

 So far we far we have seen,  'one' doesn't  start  it  once zero is recognized. In hindu system, there is a inter-ply between zero and others, including the 'One' . 'One' is not assumed independent, unique.   Therefore there has been no fixation with 'One' in orthodox hinduism . That doesn't mean that hinduism was ignorant of 'One' , 'two', 'three' . The point is orthodox hinduism  never forgot to start with zero.

There is a close concept in hinduism, it is not part of the number system, the adwita , many bring in the irrelevant argument that adwita  implies Hinduism is monotheism.  This misses the point ,  'One' doesn't uniquely describe the god.  One as itself is no so fundamental. There is an interplay between numbers, and then engima of  Zero .  People miss the totality when they are obsessed with the 'One' - because 'One'  doesn't represent god  any significantly differently that 'two' represents.

                                 * OM Ganeshaya Namah *

Monday, October 13, 2014

Yazidi women in Un-Holy war.

Updt : This is brutal. A lot of these people are destroyed.

It is as brutal to be a Yazidi. Husbands are killed infront of wives, who then are enslaved. Like capturing animals and trading them. There has been religious justification for the whole thing.

Beastly acts on infidels are taken to demonic levels in an interpretation of Islam that is rising in middle east,  and it had raised its ugly head in  history.  CNN has a heart breaking report.

“Unlike the Jews and Christians, there was no room for jizyah payment… After capture, the Yazidi women and children were divided according to the Shariah amongst the fighters of the Islamic State.”  : Gatewaypundit cites these brutes from Iraq and middle east.

  The  Yazidi worshipped  a pre-islamic deity   Tawûsê Melek  who is not from new testament or has issues with Adam from the new testament.

News in :Fox.   RT.

Updt:  a letter published in WP - It looks to violent history of islam. Yazidi coverage.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Syria Part-II

A lady defector from isis, in CNN"Everything around us was chaos,"...."My problem was I ran away to something uglier." . ...."At the start, I was happy with my job. I felt that I had authority in the streets..."

US paying to Syria rebels.

A NY Times article  on creating rebel force. McCain - a total warrior - on   Mujahideen: they didn't kill Americans. He can't think the relation between the mujaheddin, the taliban and not bothered violence that was unleashed.

Massive disruption and atrocity to Kurds. Hundreds of thousands leave their home in 24 hours.  It might be like getting herded across hindukush, Taimur Lang, Kala Pahad . However The kurdish events in 21st century. Time didn't change much.How to describe the unfortunate events ?

Historical articles :
The USA ambassador Ford and French diplomat traveled to meet the protesters.( 2011)

NY Times story ( 2012 ) :  there is no sign yet of a simultaneous mass uprising in any of the major cities. 80,000 Christians were cleansed by the Free Syrian Army in the Homs province.