Author: Ujjwal Kislay.
Eden Frontier Dichotomy 9 – It refers to a Biblical Christian myth that where the life of Christians is civilized, developed because of providence is Eden, and whatever is beyond their influence is a Frontier, land of the “others”, pagan and Satan worshipers, evil and barbaric, and that it is their burden to civilize and convert, if needed conquer. History reveals the same pattern in sad episodes of the encounter of Christianity with Pagans, African and Native American and their subsequent destruction. Asia is the last frontier. China and India are two large civilizations still largely outside Christian and western Influence. China has strong communist dictatorship that censors and control Western Universalism in its own peculiar ways, quite successfully, I must add. India being a secular democratic nation of Hindus, that is proud of its soft power, is easy target and is under grave threat to which most are blissfully ignorant. As Rajiv ji has vividly explained, we must diligently study and learn how Native Americans were conquered, converted and reduced to museum artifacts, in a not so distant past. David Stannard’s research on the indigenous peoples of North and South America including Hawaii has produced the conclusion that Native Americans had undergone the “worst human holocaust the world had ever witnessed, roaring across two continents non-stop for four centuries and consuming the lives of countless tens of millions of people”. While acknowledging that the majority of the indigenous peoples fell victim to the ravages of European disease, he estimates that almost 100 million died in what he calls the “American Holocaust.”
U turn Theory 10 – My personal favorite and perhaps the best of these terms coined by Rajiv ji. Logical, easy to understand, powerful and brilliant idea of U – turn explains a very important but hardly touched area of East-West relationship. Many Westerners came to India, sat at the feet of great saints and masters, studied our shastras, knowledge systems and then took a U- turn to disown and even hijack Indian traditional knowledge and declare themselves as its rightful and in many cases legal owners. Rajiv ji explains it as 5 non-linear, non-chronological stages where people may move into each stage arbitrarily.
Stage 1 – Immersion, reverence of India and Hinduism, like the 1960s Hippie movements
Stage 2 – As learning increases, reduction of Indian concepts into generic ideas, customization, trivialization, secularization, de-contextualization
Stage 3 – Recontextualize into a WJC (Western Judeo-Christian) framework, Reformulation
Stage 4 – Criticize, dismiss and trash the source, taking custody (adhikara)
Stage 5 – Brand and Repackage to sell around world, even India, as their own work
Tolerance Vs Mutual Respect 11 – European nation states have a history of bloody struggles in the era of Reformation as Christianity split and nations distanced themselves from the Vatican to form their national brand of Christianity. It was an era of sharp sectarian divide where people of one sect of Christianity were persecuted in European states dominated by another sect. As a result, the concept of secularism emerged and it was accepted that States will “Tolerate” people of other faith in their nation. Toleration essentially means that there is no true respect and acceptance of another point of view or way of life, yet one is allowed to exist. It is a negative concept that only prevents persecution but does not give respect and equality. Rajiv ji raised this issue and made a point that tolerance is not good enough, the world needs “mutual respect” for a true and lasting peace. Mutual respect provides true equality, validation and legitimization to each other. Abrahamic religions have exclusive claims and others are seen as doomed for eternal damnation. They may tolerate but cannot offer mutual respect to proclaim other religions and faiths as equally valid and able to lead to same God. It will mean accepting the other’s way of life and giving it equal status. Hindus are inherently secular and have no problem with mutual respect either but Abrahmic religions find it hard.
Digestion 12– Another masterpiece of Rajiv ji that explains the subtle process of how hegemonic religions have preyed upon weaker native cultures. It’s another less understood phenomenon and touched upon process of East-West relationship. It’s an ongoing process that poses a major threat to Hinduism and India. It’s vital to refer to the increased activity of the Christian missionary in this respect. Rajiv ji explains cultural digestion in 4 stages –
Stage 1 – Identifying desirable and vulnerable parts of prey, assert “sameness”.
Stage 2 – Isolate, slice and secularize those parts to make it edible.
Stage 3 – Frame using Western-Judeo-Christain (WJC) ideas to re-contextualize.
Stage 4 – Predators gains nourishment as the prey dies and waste is expelled.
Sanskrit Non Translatables 13– There are certain words in Sanskrit that simply cannot be translated into any other language without losing much information and causing distortions leading to confusion. Such terms are “technical” in nature that encapsulates deep concepts and ideas and hence cannot be translated literally. These terms are solid defense mechanisms that will prevent digestion and hence must be preserved. There are many such terms but below we list a few along with common translation, wrongly, considered as their equivalent.
Eg – Brahman/Devta – God, Atman – Soul, Dharma – Religion, Murti – Idol, Guru/Rishi/Yogi – Saint, Moksha – Salvation,Yajna – Sacrifice, Kundalini/Shakti – Holy Spirit, Avatar – Jesus, Jati/Varna – Caste, Veda – Bible etc
Porcupine defense and Poison Pill 14– These are another set of defense mechanisms that will prevent digestion by predator. Some of them are like sharp quills of porcupine that repel enemy while others are more sophisticated and act like poison if ingested.If Hindu culture holds onto and preserve such potent concepts then it gives defense against Cultural digestion. Eg – Karma, Reincarnation, Female Divinity as God, Hindu good news vs Good news of Christ, idea of living saints etc
Having acquainted ourselves with some important terms coined by Rajiv ji in preparation to enter Kurukshetra it is vital to have a game plan. Academic intellectual responses are necessary but at the same time creating mass awareness to attain tangible results is also important. In the Battle for Sanskrit, Rajiv Malhotra offers some very important suggestions such as –
1. The Sanskrit ecosystem must be revived in a holistic way.
2. Non-translatable Sanskrit terms must enter the mainstream.
3. Shastras must be seen as a platform for innovation.
4. New itihasas and smritis must be written.
5. ‘Sacred philology’ must compete with political/liberation philology.
6. The purva-paksha tradition must be revived.
7. Well-qualified home team and institutions must be developed.
He also identifies various obstacles that prevent masses to participate as follows –
2. World-negating interpretations of Vedanta
3. Naive notion of “Sameness” that non-Hindu groups do not reciprocate
4. Bombastic escape and complete refusal to understand the dismal and dangerous situation to willfully remain in bliss of ignorance
5. Glorifying the past
7. Inability to see ‘others’ clearly
—- Hari Om Tat Sat —-
Ujjwal Kislay, age 27, is a resident of Patna, India. He is a voracious reader with interest in varied fields and subjects having own analysis and interpretation of contemporary issues. He sense grave concern over activities of Breaking India and Hinduphobic forces and determined to defend the, Read More…
ITS – Invading the Sacred 2007
BD – Being Different 2011
BI – Breaking India 2011
IN – Indra’s Net 2014
BFS – Battle for Sanskrit 2016
WJC – Western Judeo Christian
9. ITS Ch 18 and 27, BFS CH 2, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Stannard
12. BD Ch 6, IN Ch 12, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84agoVdaycE
13. BFS Ch 11, BD Ch 5, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMW3f5N7_RA
14. IN Ch 12 and Conclusion