Sunday, September 21, 2008
A TRADITION ALIVE AND KICKING
PUNYA BHOOMI BHARATAM
In this divine land of Bharat, everything is dedicated to the Lord. Whenever a new dress is worn, first it is kept in front of God and kumkum applied on it and then only worn. My mother and many mothers will make a small ‘Pillayar’- even in the floor paste prepared for making Chappatti and Murrukku. My wife will murmur “Krishnarpanamastu” (Dedicated to Krishna) after every dish was prepared in the Kitchen. Such is the character of this punya bhoomi.
In the same manner, music , dance, painting and all fine arts were dedicated to the Lord only. In the entire Karnatic music, you will see almost 99% of songs are on one God or another. Ditto for Bharatanatyam.
THE MOVIE SANKARABARANAM
This is the outstanding scene from the immortal movie 'Sankarabaranam'. The Thyagaraja Kriti "Broche Varevarura...." comes alive in this beautiful sequence.
When I was fourteen or fifteen years old, the Telugu movie “ Sankarabaranam” was released. The movie made such an impact that in non Telugu areas like Kerala and Tamilnadu, it ran to packed houses for months together without dubbing.
The movie resurrected an image for the traditional music of Bharat, the Karnatic music. The story itself was such that a traditionalist singer remains uncompromising till the end even at the grave prospect of poverty. He regards his art as the ultimate music that started with God and leads to God. Finally the world rediscovers him and he leaves to the world another talent that will carry forward his tradition.
ONSLAUGHT OF TECHNOLOGY
But, I was a bit unnerved at the onslaught of modern technology on every aspect of music. And I feared it will impinge on traditional music too. With many youngsters moving onto the soulless western music and the new generation Indian light music , the danger to traditional music was real.
Recently I watched in youtube, some videos during my search for songs to help train my son in his classical music classes. These videos left me stunned. These videos were of small kids of age 9, 10 and 16 singing like accomplished Vidwans.
Erode Anantaraman, a ten year old sweet kid, with his ‘Pibare Ramarasam” "பிபரே ராம ரசம்..."
Abhilash, aged nine , with his majestic ‘Ananda Nadamaduvar…” " ஆனந்த நடமாடுவார் தில்லை ......."
The 16 year old, Kashyap Mahesh, in a sublime voice, with his “Kaithala Niraikani..” "கைத்தல நிறை கனி ....."
I am now a much reassured man. I know that traditional music is in the hands of some prodigal talents. The level of performance of these kids are beyond description and is simply divine as is our very tradition.
PLEASE SAVE OUR ARTS:
I request every reader of this blog to make efforts to patronize our fine arts. We should let our children learn at least one art form and keep the chain of ancient arts alive. This will also help feed poor artists who will have enough to make ends meet. The whole world will be a better place when our peaceful, divine arts remain supreme.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
The Rubbishness of Indian History as taught in Indian schools
As a boy, I grew up in the government schools that taught standard curricula for everyone. In my fifth standard, I first studied the History of India. The best thing that I read was that the Vedas were written about three thousand years ago. I also ‘learnt’ that the Vedic Aryans did yagyas and drank soma. That was all.
Now, thirty five years later, when I opened my first son’s history book who is in Ninth standard (he is 14 years old), I saw nothing about Hinduism . But it had significant chapters on new religions like Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Another notable addition was a large chapter on new European thinkers such as Marx, Engels and so on.
HONOURING A GREAT CIVILIZATION
Obviously, I was aghast. My revulsion is understandable. There is proof in our existent literature and the internet not to mention the new archaeological proof
1.that the Aryan Invasion Theory is a hoax created for the benefit of the British.
2. The term Aryan never meant a race but just an attribute of a people who strived to be noble.
3. The Vedas were the world’s oldest living texts, preserved by an ingenious way and presented with the brahmanas and six angas(limbs) for an error proof study for anyone who wants to study it. It predates every civilization in the world.
4. Even the modern religions inside the Hinduism such as Vaishnavism, Saivism are at least three millennia old.
5. There is emerging proof that the whole world including the
Americas, Europe, Arabia and and Africa were practicing Hinduism once Australia
6. Indians were the world’s first intellectual race par excellence and have been responsible for major scientific advancements since the beginning of creation.
(please click on the highlighted texts to actually verify the proof for yourselves)
(Shiva Statue in a public fountain Bologne, Italy and misrepresented as Neptune . Courtesy www.stephen-knapp.com)
THE RUBBISH HEAP OF OUR HISTORY BOOKS
Now despite all this evidence, our history books are not updated. I think our children must grow up with a feeling of superiority of our heritage. I wonder who is in charge of fixing syllabi for Matriculation and CBSE curriculum. They all bear contorted versions of our history and bear nothing relevant to enable the child to know its own country, its people and history.
I learn from my sources that apart from the British, treacherous writing belittling India started with Jawaharlal Nehru himself who, for political reasons, advised the historians of his day not to dwell on some horrible events of the past such as the demolition of Somnath temple, Akbar’s massacre of 32,000 Rajput soldiers in a single day, the desecration of Kashi, Mathura , Ayodhya temples among lakhs of others.
The Historians sensed an opportunity and have clung to the pattern. One of the universities where such historians are most active is the
Jawaharlal Nehru University, . I hear that the whole university has been hijacked by politically coloured professors who owe allegiance to Marxist ideologies. Delhi
And I am sad. We know the Marxist led propaganda that Hinduism is bad and Indian culture is bad and horrible. With the whole world turning to
for its unique culture be it in terms of Familial love, Educational virtues, piety, righteousness and spirituality, these claims of the Marxists have been defeated. But still these people are calling the shots in fixing the official history in India . India
But the worst thing in all this is that NO Government at the centre barring the BJP tried to correct this menace in the 60 years after independence. It is a shame that such things are happening in a democracy. All the elected representatives of the people are overly afraid of this or that section of the people. For example, calling Akbar a murderer of the innocent might offend the muslims and so on.
This is outright cowardice.
WHAT EDUCATION SHOULD BE ?
In a recent seminar on education , a disciple of Aurobindo, Mr Michael Denino told the gathering about Aurobindo’s views on Education They are
- Nothing can be taught
- The Child must learn from the near to the far
I am interested in the second point. The child’s education must progress from his near to the far. From his village, then his town, his district, then his state, his country and this world , this universe and so on.
But what is the situation ? Afifth standard child of age 10 learns about American democracy and nothing about his own beautiful district which has many unique features. Is it not rubbish ?
HONOURING OUR TRADITIONS:
Take, for example, Vedic Mathematics. When it was introduced during BJP rule, many newspapers even wrote editorials stating that it was totally rubbish. Now, just five years or so, Vedic maths created a niche for itself. A newspaper, The Hindu, which wrote so caustically on this, now voluntarily teaches it in schools. The trend is so hugely popular that, all those ‘get rich quick’ institutions which once offered abacus , now offer Vedic Maths. You will find many CD s marketed by many people in this subject alone.
Everyone knew the Indians were proficient in Mathematics, but not to this extent ! It is one area where the truth has come out. But we have to bring out the historical truths of our superiority in the fields of textile, armour, agriculture, medicine, education, astronomy, linguistics, literature, story telling( all the fairy tales are crude copies of Indian stories), science, hydraulics, geometry, navigation and many others.
THE WAY FORWARD:
should write to the newspapers, to the concerned schools, education departments, ministers and the union government of the disaster of this self defeating education system which is based on self degradation than truth. Most important, every parent, every elder must educate the child on what is not taught in the schools. They must be made proud of our heritage. India
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Dissent is Democratic, Consensus is Fascist
I still remember those days in my early twenties when I got to read the novel `Atlas Shrugged' by `Ayn Rand' loaned to me by my cousin sister. Ayn Rand was a born rebel who had her own vision of a society based on an idealistic objectivism.
If someone mentions `capitalism' to me ,then Jefferson , Washington and Ayn Rand only come to my imagination. Such has been her influence on American society.
Ayn Rand and democracy:
She will tell in one of her works- " Whenever you hear words such as `unanimity, consensus, etc, immediately know that the organization is fascist. Democracy has dissent built into it. No two men think alike and act alike.
So , in a large organization like a business corporation or a political party, if there is such a thing as consensus, it simply means that views of one man or a few are pushed down the throats of those down the hierarchy. The result ? Oppression , obviously.
Think of an organization or society where plurality of opinion is accepted rather than tolerated and even welcomed. There, my friend , democracy blooms. Where the freedom to think, speak and act is inherent in the society, democracy shows its fragrance.
Suppression is fascism. Liberation is Democracy.
The ideal society
Rabindranath Tagore, in his Gitanjali, writes
Where the mind is without fear and the held is high
Where knowledge is free
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Have you ever heard of a land where these values were actually practiced ? Well, it was the wonderland called Bharat. The sons of Bharat , a fearless intellectual group, dared to differ from the mundane and visualized a society based on free enquiry. We see much of it even now in India though the society lost many of its golden standards.
The village level self management, freedom for self enquiry and self realization ( as later summarized in the Gita) speak volumes of the society. It was in Bharat that is India that the 'free education for all ' policy was proclaimed and practiced till 1850 when the indigenous Gurukuls were destroyed.
An example of a Democratic village:
A small village in the erstwhile Chola Kingdom , Uttiramerur, Tamilnadu, (which is a temple village), has a written constitution in the temple complex devoted to Lord Shiva. This temple is typical of Chola Grandeur in stone. There , in a mantap, the gram Sabha met and elected its chief. The tenure was fixed and the election process was by dropping the choice written on a palmyrah leaf into a pot. The votes were counted and the winner declared by the village nobles.
The norms were also stringent. The contestant must not have married more than once, not have had illicit relationship, who has not usurped public property and so on. This happened thousand years ago under Rajaraja I.
The Present India
The India of present is a mix of honest, pious, religious and law abiding citizens headed by a few dishonest, deceitful, bigoted , nepotist and corrupt leaders. They have perfected the art of dividing the population on the basis of religion, caste and language in order to keep the throne for perpetuity.
Democracy was made into a laughing stock when a single family of Father, Daughter, Grandson, and his wife were all raised to the throne in almost regular succession. The family employed all the untruthful means to remain in power thus ridiculing the price of the blood of freedome fighters.
Undoing of Indians in Democracy
They realized that the only true bond of all Indians is their religion. So, they employed all means to keep the Indians disconnected from their umbilicus. To this end, they invented a novel formula of secularism which meant several things to several people.
The Hindu was taught that secularism meant sacrificing his rights of his religion over his motherland. It also meant forgiving of all oppressions of the past by other religions. It also said that tolerance even in the face of grim oppression was secularism.
The Muslims and Christian were free from such indoctrinations. For them secularism meant they were free to practice their religions and convert anyone to their religion by whatever means. They could even use force on Hindus who had to be complacent as a rule.
The Hindu, by such vicious inculcation of untruths, became indifferent to his society. His temples were nationalized and their lands and properties were stolen by the government. He dare not show off his religious affliction as it is a sign of aggression. If he formed a party, he was termed as communal. But the other religions were free from such injunctions and they were as secular as ever.
The average Hindu is longing for real democracy. His plight is his own making. He simply has to look back in time and realize what a tradition he belongs to. His tears will vanish and so will the suppressive , fascist , secularistic bondage.