The Civilization Thread

Discussion in 'Religion & Culture' started by fyodor, Jun 18, 2019.

  1. fyodor

    fyodor Regular Member

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    Here we will post/discuss articles & videos related to India's civilizational history which is the only existing and thriving 5000+ year old social continuum in human history.

    The idea of a Rashtra(or common nationhood) has always existed in Indian consciousness throughout its unique history and today we see the manifestation in its temples, scriptures, festivals & ceremonies across its vast frontiers.

    How a society sees its own history has a tremendous power in determining its future. Therefore, it is imperative that we have a clear understanding of our past so that we can shape our own future.
     
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  3. fyodor

    fyodor Regular Member

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    The Cultural Weakening of India and the Hindu Civilisational Continuum


    What is common to the two avoidable events that occurred recently, viz, the so-called #MeToo dog-and-pony show, and second, the pushback against and persecution of the lakhs of Sabarimala protestors?

    In a line, the common factor in both is the near-total erosion of the identity of the Indian woman who has proudly (sic) been reduced to nothing more than her sexual organs. Needless to say, this pathetic state of affairs is the direct outcome of sustained lobbying at multiple fronts by a determined cabal of the usual suspects who are breeding and unleashing Incurables at a frantic pace. In very basic terms, what this means is really simple: the cultural strand that unifies a nation as a civilisation has become dangerously frayed. Perhaps irreversibly frayed.

    Look at any at any great power in the world throughout history and see what bound them together: Greece, Rome, Egypt, and so on. All these became powerful primarily through a common cultural strand. When that weakened, they were all extinguished. Look no further than England. What Great Britain was just 80 years ago has now been reduced merely to Londonistan. The United States is perhaps heading the same way.

    At any rate, one definition of cultural weakening is where our own people begin to feel ashamed of our history, culture, traditions, heritage, and most importantly, our own ancestors. Once this happens, a country reaches a point of no return. This has exactly what has happened and is happening in the case of Bharata. I won’t go into the details of why it has occurred. The details are already familiar to the regular readers of The Dharma Dispatch. A representative quote by Ananda K Coomaraswamy will suffice. For his time it was prophetic and has turned out to be a horrifying reality in our time. And I will never tire of repeating this quote.


    A single generation of English education suffices to break the threads of tradition and to create a nondescript and superficial being deprived of all roots; a sort of intellectual pariah who does not belong to the East or the West, the past or the future…Of all Indian problems the educational is the most difficult and most tragic.

    As we witness today, hundreds of thousands of Indians especially in the cities have turned out to be exactly this way: intellectual and cultural orphans who belong neither to India nor to the West. They know neither their past nor have moorings in their own roots that inform them workable ideas for their own future. Even worse, they take pride in deriding the same culture that their fathers and forefathers took immense pride in. Their derision comes not from knowledge, and not even from ignorance—it comes from spurious knowledge that they’ve acquired from Western experts on India. They take to Yoga because it’s such a big phenomenon in America. They learn about Indian traditions and culture from patently bogus books written by agenda-pushing scholars and writers in the West. They need a Julia Roberts to convince them overnight that Hinduism…you know, the dhaRma is cool. But once that movie is out of the theatres, they’re back to the same old, self-loathing ways.


    How swiftly have we fallen.

    [​IMG]

    The best minds of yesteryears spent a lifetime researching, rediscovering and recovering our civilisational and cultural treasures. These minds, physically, were subjects of colonial rule. Almost in every other respect, they were proud and confident Bharatiyas. Confident of belonging to a culture which possesses the innate nobility ensconced in such lofty ideals as Rta, Dharma, Yajna, Daana and Tapas. Confident that the key to Bharata again becoming Bharata lay precisely in recovering these ideals.

    From one perspective, the political freedom movement of India was preceded by a tidal wave of Sanatana cultural resurgence which gave it its inspiration, foundation, and motive power. By all accounts, the freedom movement was almost entirely powered and driven by Sanatanic deities, festivals, Gods, heroes, inspiration, ideals, idioms, pictures, poems, songs, stories, symbols, and writing.

    But weakness set in the moment this vital element of culture was diluted, and the freedom struggle mutated and became an unrecognisable creature that attempted to do everything at the same time: politics, social reform, service, and piety. That weakness gave us serial disasters beginning with say, the Khilafat agitation. Cultural resurgence was soon abandoned in the pursuit of illusions as a result of which we lost culture and these illusions continue to give us the Sabarimala verdict, waterless Holi, crackerless Deepavali, and the rest.

    And the aforementioned best minds of today are continually being lost to engineering, technology and management, primarily. Some of these minds have migrated to the opulent safety of alien lands, far, far away from the “bloody Indians,” a term I have heard mostly from the mouths of this species of Hindus. Other similar minds have imprisoned themselves in gated communities, those sprawling, poor-Indian-cousin versions of Xanadus meant to replicate the American Experience in our cities. This is the physical expression of a voluntarily-chosen cultural alienation. [Bonus info: the gentle reader is referred to Dr S L Bhyrappa’s classic, Tabbali to understand in vivid detail how this alienation works.]

    The picture I’ve painted so far is not a picture. It is lived, living reality. However, given the sheer vastness of Bharata, the situation isn’t this horrid. What I broadly call Cultural Regeneration in the truest sense of the term is happening in tiny, unseen, unknown, and obscure pockets. And it’s good that it is so. This is also a testimony to the resilience of the Indian Spirit, which has in the times of extreme crisis risen up and asserted itself. However, the challenge this time is far more formidable than at any previous time in our history. It’s the challenge posed by the impersonal being called technology.

    Put another way, despite the crass politics and ideological assaults that have plagued Hindus for over seven decades, dragged them twenty notches down each time they climbed up two, there is something that still keeps the Sanatana civilisation going; there is something that still keeps us united as a single nation despite the Jihad-spewing Mullahs, despite the rapist-pedophile five-star Christian priests, despite the global NGO lobby, and increasingly, despite the Wise Lords Who Know Everything.

    And that something is the Hindu Civilisational Continuum.

    To understand what this continuum is, we must essentially look at the past. And by past, I don’t mean merely history but at things that inform the history of this Bhoomi.


    Link: https://dharmadispatch.in/the-cultural-weakening-of-india-and-the-hindu-civilisational-continuum/
     
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  4. fyodor

    fyodor Regular Member

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    A brilliant takedown of Romila Thapar's inconsistent and colonized worldview.

    I would recommend watching all the 5 parts.

     
  5. S.A.T.A

    S.A.T.A Senior Member Senior Member

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    Rajiv Malhotra's complaint that leftist historians stonewall any debate with the opposite school is not without ground,but ultimately it's irrelevant. What are they going to achieve with a face to face debate between right and left historians, it will be a pointless academic exercise between two scholars, which will be forgotten the moment the debate ends. If right wing historians want to make a serious and long term impact, they need to carry out research, publish research in respected peer reviewed journals, publish extensively researched books. Once this happens their views will automatically percolate into mainstream academia and will be well received by the general intelligentsia.

    Indo-Aryan studies are part of the larger stream of Indo-European studies, forget right/left there are very few Indian specialists in this field. We conduct very little research and even fewer get published, how do we expect the world to listen to us.

    Rajiv Malhotra's objection to Romila Thapar's use of the term Aryan is nothing but semantics. The term Arya may not have had the connotation of a social group in early veda texts, but surely it did appear to have such meaning in the later period. The term 'Aryavarta' in India and 'Airyavenun' in ancient Iran clearly alluded to a racial group limited to a specific geography.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2019
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  6. fyodor

    fyodor Regular Member

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    If the matter was just of semantics then it wouldn't matter. But unfortunately that's not the case.
    Romila Thapar & Aryan theory peddlers don't stop at historiography but they concoct grand social theories around this theme. For ex: They create a conflict based viewpoint of Indian history where the foreign "Aryans" came and "forcefully" imposed Vedic culture on the native "Dravidians". This paves way for conflicts within communities in India.

    According to this worldview, colonialism by Mughals & British is not wrong. Since, India is a conflict based society where foreigners come to civilize the natives, why bother about Hindu revivalism? Islamic invasion of India & the British colonization is seen in the same light of foreigners bringing new "culture" to the natives as has been going on for 5000 years.


    Regarding debate between Malhotra & Thapar, it isn't going to happen. Go through Malhotra's recent TL on Twitter. There is some exchange between Audrey Truschke and him.
    The academia is crumbling, people have stop giving f*** to these people. Universities in US are increasingly becoming redundant due to huge debts & democratization of education due to Internet. Right now, it is only the momentum which is keeping the current system going. They will evanesce sooner or later.

    What will matter most in the current era is not academic mutual jerk circles, but reaching the people directly through democratized mediums of blogs, books, youtube, seminars etc. It is our responsibility to educate the masses.

    There is no point in just sitting and doing rona-dhona that universities/academics don't listen to us.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2019
  7. S.A.T.A

    S.A.T.A Senior Member Senior Member

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    Left historians have been for the most part nationalist historians, this is largely because their pedigree emerged as a protest against the prevailing imperial narrative of the post industrial Europe, Indian left historians were no different. No doubt the overwhelming concern of Indian left historians appears to have been their self declared enterprise to rescue Indian historical narrative from the upper Caste hegemony. It's unfortunate that, as it happens often in India, mere academic exercise tend to veer towards ideological posturing and political parties and non academic entities come to fish contested waters.

    Historiography is a science, while one can argue if it can match the exacting standards of other scientific disciplines, It must be subject to the same rigors of data collection, data analysis, drawing inferences based on such analysis and then hypothesis - theorizing. History is too important to be left in the hands of the politicians, businessmen, medical professionals or failed actors to act as interpreters of history.
     
  8. Indx TechStyle

    Indx TechStyle War Mongerer Veteran Member Senior Member

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    Factually incorrect. Indian centre left have been very lenient towards British.
    For instance, RRR.
     
  9. fyodor

    fyodor Regular Member

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    Without any scientific empiricsm, sociology is a fraud field. What goes around as theories is "reviewed" by the same circle of mutual jerkers.

    And as for there "nationalism", I would be interested to know which kind of "nationalists" want to malign the history/authencity/religion of their own country and call for its breakup based on class lines.
     
  10. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    Left historians have largely been "leftist historian" with a settled approach and ideological purpose rather than being "nationalist". In fact the British Leftist had been more penetrating and critical of British imperialist activities in India than the the Indian Leftist like RP Dutt the famous author of "India Today" and the then general secretary of CPGB.
    Have a look at this example :
    https://books.google.co.in/books?id...volution in England and looy of India&f=false

    Please give an example of so called "Upper Caste Hegemony" in history writing in India. There were only two narratives- the Muslim narrative and then the European narratives. Where was indian upper caste narrative?

    Never ever was history writing a science. Everyone wrote history as it they required and to suit their aims and objectives. One may be a little wiser to read this :

    https://archive.org/details/WhatIsHistory-E.H.Carr
     
  11. S.A.T.A

    S.A.T.A Senior Member Senior Member

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    I meant British and European left historians who were anti imperialists in their approach to their discipline. This strain can be observed in the works of Gordon Childe and Toynbee. I cannot recall any left historians in India of reasonable standing during the raj days, although if you allow it, Nehru was also quite nationalist in his approach to history but then as a nationalist leader he may be accused of working under an agenda.
     
  12. S.A.T.A

    S.A.T.A Senior Member Senior Member

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    Let me clarify I was mostly referring to British left. Most leftist historians in India are Marxist.

    Leftist historians in India, at times unfairly, have accused such doyens of Indian history like R. C Majumdar, professor Bhandarkar, Rajendra Lal Mitra, professor Nilakantashastry, Sreedhara menon etc of being hand maidens of oriental indology with their greater emphasis on sourcing their history from brahmanical sanskrit texts or Epigraphical records left by the ruling classes in the form of rock edicts or temple grants.
     
  13. S.A.T.A

    S.A.T.A Senior Member Senior Member

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    The sources of history is often the product of scientific discipline like archeology, philology,linguistics, geology and these days genetics. The historians is not necessarily trained in all these disciplines to judge the authenticity of these sources. This is where he /she depends on the verdict of subject experts in their respective discipline. Peer reviews are a well established tradition in these scientific disciplines to separate the chaff from the wheat. What you disparage as mutual 'jerk off club' is actually a well established multi disciplinary scientific method.

    The historian culls together inter-disciplinary data to construct a historical process. These processes then become fodder to others who wish to construct narratives from that process, whether it is nationalist, social, economic or religious narratives it is the prerogative of the author. A good historian is rarely interested in constructing any narratives and can scarcely be blamed for the narrative that vested interests construct.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2019
  14. Indx TechStyle

    Indx TechStyle War Mongerer Veteran Member Senior Member

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    Being anti-culture is a more prominent attribute of left wing than being anti imperialism (specially historians if not anyone else).
    If it wasn't so, they wouldn't have ignored and bent facts to assign the credit of eliminating bad cults to company than Indian activists and rulers.

    For instance, Sati was tackled Peshwas actually.
     
  15. S.A.T.A

    S.A.T.A Senior Member Senior Member

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    Left historians generally, European or non European, took a dim view of traditional culture which they subscribed to was a orthodoxy of established entitled elites of the society. Imperialism and religion was considered by them to be the culmination of the the historical process through which the powerful entitled class sought to suppress the non-entitled, i. e power over production (imperialism) and intellect (through religion&culture) For left historians imperialism and culture were two sides of the same process, one reinforced the other. Hence they attacked both.
     
  16. Indx TechStyle

    Indx TechStyle War Mongerer Veteran Member Senior Member

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    The brief problem is that we don't get the harsh criticism of imperialism against India from so called "left historians". Most of our colonial agonies and losses have always been downplayed.
    The British left still holds a very strong antipathy against India and it often comes out on various events when they go mad and start to argue irrationally.

    Be it for rape, be it crimes, be it Indian achievements in economic sector, be it military or other techs.
    The self proclaimed "left" was always a strong advocate for British empire.
     
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  17. S.A.T.A

    S.A.T.A Senior Member Senior Member

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    Karl Marx was a harsh critic of British empire in India. His dispatch to the tribune magazine of New York on the question of the India bill being debated in house of commons in 1853, is considered to be one of the earliest denouncement of the east india company and its predatory practice of revenue generation in India (Marx accuses the house of commons as a willful accomplice in the destruction of Indian industry)
     
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  18. Indx TechStyle

    Indx TechStyle War Mongerer Veteran Member Senior Member

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    Individual.............
    :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:
     
  19. IndianHawk

    IndianHawk Senior Member Senior Member

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    Marx was harsh critique of any kind of state.
    He was also criticising german state apparatus.


    Sent from my C103 using Tapatalk
     
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  20. IndianHawk

    IndianHawk Senior Member Senior Member

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    Left has inherent contradiction. They want to suppress nationalism and promote a global enlightened tolerate elitist government.

    So left will always malign Indian national momentum.

    Sent from my C103 using Tapatalk
     
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  21. S.A.T.A

    S.A.T.A Senior Member Senior Member

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    With all the talk about Marx and British left, we've digressed too far. The point is study of Indian civilization, Indology, involves a broad stream of inter-disciplinary subjects, from the dry but rigorous field archeology to freewheeling abstract philosophy. In order to weave a historical narrative, which is both subjective and still informative, the historian needs to be trained in the academic rigors of science, but also skilled with the flair of a storyteller.

    All the brouhaha about leftist history and right wing history would dissolve if we start treating history like any natural sciences, whose foundation is secured by data and facts. My idea of a history text is the one which has the longest bibliography, the most extensive footnotes and arguments which are substantiated with proper citation and references.

    P:S - I think it would better serve this thread to discuss the actual contentions /disagreements of the various historians, than waste time on dissecting the underlying ideology.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2019

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