Friday, March 25, 2016

Combat intellectual dishonesty in scholars who canonize their views

Salil Tripathi, yesterday, put Makarand Paranjape on the mat but left Sampadananda Mishra lightly. It made my Holi unhappy as I was dithering to make a direct attack myself. This post was put on hold somehow (went out and enjoyed Rukmini Haran from Assam) and today came this brilliant riposte to Rajiv Malhotra, and of all places, at

This is what unbiased and rigorous scholarship can do to discourse and disabuse millions of Indians of disinformation. So, be on the caution before signing any new petition. Sandeepweb had rebuffed me on Twitter apropos of Sri Aurobindo and I still nurse a grouse against him but now, of course, we can forgive if he promotes such objective and disinterested interrogation. [TNM55]

He has also signed one misguided petition. Since then, in a curious turn, he has been defending the act by deploying arguments lacking the same nuance he expects of others... Paranjape explained his stance in an article in The Indian Express, which was an odd mix of economic, polemical and nationalistic arguments... 
There is a sensible way to challenge the Murty-Pollock project: to compete. Sampadananda Mishra, director of Sri Aurobindo Foundation in Puducherry, is planning a library called Vande Mataram, which will be an open-source, volunteer-driven project. Livemint 

The Indian Express-20-Mar-2016
I signed the petition for the removal of Sheldon Pollock as mentor and general editor of Murty Classical Library, first of all, because the project ... The second reason is more ideological and anti-colonial. In the heyday of imperialism, the West’s study of the rest was not always benevolent nor impartial.
Instead, it was involved in the West’s agenda to conquer, subdue, exploit, and even exterminate several nations, societies, and cultures. We Indians need to remember, as Bernard Cohn famously put it, that “The conquest of India was a conquest of knowledge”. No wonder, the cultural and historical memory of our own struggle against foreign domination is still fresh. What is not equally obvious is that the battle to regain India’s civilisational poise, equilibrium, and self-confidence is far from over. In matters of culture, education, and thought, we are still largely colonised and subservient. The Indian mentality, particularly that of the elites, remains a prisoner of Western categories. Not just the clash, but the clasp of civilisations, is as much a struggle over epistemic categories and representations, as it is over economic and political interests. Mohammed Uzair Shaikh on March 23, 2016
Inspired by the writings of Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin and Leo Trotsky, Bhagat Singh had developed a different sense of nationalism. Although it struck a chord with a huge section of Indian youth who were subjecting themselves to western ideas, this version of nationalism varied to a large extent with with the kind of nationalism expressed by revered patriots of the era – Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Aurobindo Ghosh. While the latter used religion (especially elements of faith of majoritarian community) to link masses with the independence struggle, Bhagat Singh was firm on delinking religion from Independence movement.
The short revolutionary struggle of Bhagat Singh had only one slogan – ‘Inquilab Zindabad’. Neither Maa Bharati, nor did Bharat Mata ki Jai was part of any of his speeches or writings.

The upshot is that – much like Gandhi’s Congress’s biased approach before Independence – the cases of communal disturbances are treated selectively. Every incident – the Dadri lynching, the assassination of rationalists, the Rohith Vemula suicide and now the JNU controversy – is made an occasion to pin the blame on the so-called ‘Hindu radicals’. Ever since the Modi government came to power in 2014, the country has witnessed a consistent trend, with the Opposition picking up themes from academic theories and magnifying the otherwise small incidents in their frame. Thus, while 2014 saw the Opposition training its guns on the government on ‘pro-poor’ socio-economic issues, 2015 marked the debate on intolerance and 2016 has witnessed the debate on nationalism, in the wake of the JNU controversy. Read full article

Abstract Whereas epics essentially sing the glory of a hero who is a celebrated, major
character of folklore, Sri Aurobindo's Savitri is an experiment in language which intends not
only to infuse Vedic qualities into English verse or subvert epic conventions, but also to synthesise. Sri Aurobindo's socio—political ambitions with his philosophical ... character of Mahabharata is transformed by Sri Aurobindo into a voice that ... ...

Gandhi Today EDITOR Eva Pfºst | Page 2. Between Ethics and Politics Page 3. Ethics, Human Rights and Global Political Thought Series Editors ...

The Indian Express-20-Mar-2016 Written by Ashutosh Bhardwaj March 21, 2016
The revolutionary Aurobindo Ghose wrote in a letter to his wife Mrinalini Devi in August that same year: “I look upon my country as the Mother. I adore her, I ...
The first critics of the metaphor too came from among its inventors. Fifteen years after the Partition of Bengal, in August 1920, Aurobindo underlined the limits of the slogan and sought a greater mantra:

8. madurai today The Hindu-19-Mar-2016
Sri Aurobindo Study Forum: Discourse on Sri Aurobindo's 'Life Divine' by Subramany, Nithyatha, Auro Lab, Veerapanjan, 10 a.m.

Auroville Radio
Today from GM to theater, peak of the weekend will be on 26th and 27th at 8pm at BN Auroville Choirs in concert.

Sri Aurobindo Studies -
Sri Aurobindo has already made a distinction between the true Intuition of the gnostic level of consciousness, and what is frequently mistaken for it in ...

Sri Aurobindo was certainly not for the Disintegration of India – by Raman Reddy. Secular intellectuals obfuscate the obvious, by which I mean, they use every ...
Coming now to Sugata Bose (TMC MP), I was taken aback when he quoted Sri Aurobindo to support what I would term as the disintegration of India... [1] Is this not quoted totally out of context? 
Secondly, the chapter on Indian Polity that Sugata Bose is quoting from was written by Sri Aurobindo in 1919-1921, long before the independence of India. [An edited version of the article was published on on 17 March, 2016.] Posted by General Editor at 3/25/2016 11:28:00 am

Friday, 25 March 2016 - 2. Bande Mataram,1907: Aurobindo Ghosh was arrested for habitually publishing seditious matter in Bande Mataram but had to be acquitted.

It was this tendency to pick up things, particularly from "foreign" sources, that made Sri Aurobindo call Gandhi "a European… in an Indian body." Interestingly ... › Reviews POSTED ON MARCH 25, 2016 BY SHATAVADHANI GANESH - Similarly, in the 20th century, Sri Aurobindo gave his own esoteric interpretation to the Vedas. Who is to say what the right version is? Which of these schools ...
In the Indian tradition, different schools of Vedanta – advaita, dvaita, dvaitadvaita, shuddhadvaita, vishishtadvaita and others – revere the Vedas equally but claim that the others have misrepresented the Vedas and that only their interpretation is the right one. We find this also in the commentators on the Veda. Consider the commentaries of Skandaswami (10th century), Venkatamadhava (12-13th century) and Sayana (14thcentury). In the 19th century, Dayananda Saraswati gave a completely different interpretation to the Vedas while paying due respects to it. Similarly, in the 20thcentury, Sri Aurobindo gave his own esoteric interpretation to the Vedas. Who is to say what the right version is? Which of these schools qualify to be ‘the traditionalist view’? Who is the ‘ideal insider’?
Once we realize that our own tradition has diametrically opposed views, we must consider the facts. We should rely on universal experience and not on personal revelations. We must operate in the material plane, not a metaphysical one. And we must always remember that a debate can proceed only after the pramanas have been agreed upon by both sides. Here is a historical example to illustrate this point. The great 11th century scholar-sage and proponent of vishishtadvaita, Ramanuja ....
Like we have discussed earlier, there is no single group that one can call ‘Sanskrit Traditionalists,’ and the distinctions Malhotra tries to make are rather shallow and even impertinent. For example, he says that the traditionalists see Sanskrit as sacred while the orientalists see Sanskrit as beautiful but not necessarily sacred. Why this divide between sacred and beautiful?
Further, he seems to be ignorant of the voluminous writings of D D Kosambi, Debiprasad Chattopadhyaya, R S Sharma, and Rahul Sankrityayan, who opposed Sanskrit ... And more importantly, he fails to mention (or seems to be ignorant of) the luminaries who have categorically rubbished such attempts – A C Bose, A C Das, Arun Shourie, ... Sita Ram Goel, Sri Aurobindo ...
While it becomes clear from Malhotra’s study of Pollock that the latter’s intent is far from noble, there is no use playing a blame game. One has to counter Pollock with facts, and that will come only from a deep study and understanding of the Indian tradition... Malhotra confuses adhidaiva fora dhyatma, thus taking the discussion nowhere. 

While we recognize the battle and continue to fight on the side of Sanskrit, we must also realize that diversity is the way of the world and should learn to tolerate opposing views, however different they might be from our own. And indeed, when we encounter intellectual dishonesty in scholars who tried to canonize their views as facts, we shall combat them with facts.

15. Savitri Era Party @SavitriEraParty  Mar 23

I have not read @devduttmyth works but seems like he is doing a good job in injecting rationality & critical inquiry 

"Two Streams Converge at the Religion and Ecology Summit" by Robert McDermott of @CIIS_SF …

17. 8th Ankiya Bhaona Samaroh - A Festival of Ritual Plays of ...
Live Webcast of the event. 8th Ankiya Bhaona Samaroh - A Festival of Ritual Plays of Assam - 21 to 24 March 2016, Delhi ...

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