Tag Archives: Hyderabad

Dharmic Development

Oordhva
Maharishi Veda Vyasa explaining how prosperity & happiness come from righteousness

Grohwth, grohwth, vee need grohwth, increase our grohwth, vee must have grohwth”—And what will you do with all that growth, eat it?

The fact remains that while modern infrastructure development is important and educational advancement is good, they must not be done at the expense of destroying the environment, pillaging nature, and most importantly, losing culture.

Culture should improve, culture should progress, and culture should innovate—but all should be done in a way that makes timeless values relevant in a changing modern context. Just as we have Sanatana Dharma (Timeless Dharma) and Yuga Dharma (Dharma as per the Yuga or Era), so too should core aspects of our Samskruthi be eternal while others adaptable.

Why “Debelopment” above all is not a Strategy for Success

China has made a great many strides over the past 30 years—clearly well ahead of India on the development front. But it has also paid a heavy price, not merely in the widespread decline in air quality due to coal power plants (India is not far behind here), but also in the depletion and degradation of its water sources. Indeed, so disastrous has the decline in the PRC’s environmental quality been that the Chinese themselves have been calling it “low quality growth”.

The rapid push for rapid and lop-sided urbanization and unaccountable industrialization has resulted in a slow motion catastrophe that has not only impacted the quality of the land and the quality of life, but life itself. Many pictures are too horrifying and tragic to show (particularly the human toll), but the ongoing health disaster due to cadmium rice and other such gifts of globalization should be cause for pause.

Is the massive deluge of humanity into rotting cities and under-piped settlements a humane let alone dharmic existence for its denizens? Are smart cities the solution for every citizen? Wouldn’t balanced development seek to enhance life in the village, town, and city alike rather than simply constructing gigantic megalopolises conceived as smart but ending as slum?  But why take the word of an Indian on China, when a Chinese person himself speaks on the topic:

“Chinese culture has traditionally been rural-based,” says Feng Jicai, a well-known author and scholar. “Once the villages are gone, the culture is gone.”

Due to increase in the “Landless and jobless”,  the vibrant traditional culture of China is dying in favor of the supposed greener pastures of materialism and hedonism (India not too far behind here either). Let me clarify. Preserving rural lifestyles does not mean promoting the primitive. Villages and even smaller towns can connect to the modern world without disconnecting from the holistic and symbiotic lifestyles they frequently offer, as opposed to the current parasitic model of our vastly mushrooming urban agglomerations. But why should the word “farmer” be perceived as a four letter word? There is great dignity in the life of the kisan, for civilized life is dependent on him and his hardwork. Rather than be viewed with contemptuous eyes, the agriculturalist should be thanked for making city life possible at all.

What’s more it is industrial life and commerce that is driving not only the consumption of resources but the pollution of our natural resources, even our sacred rivers.

Gangaclean

Living in harmony with the land is not the hallmark of the barbarian but the callsign of the civilized, for the highest form of civilization is not material but spiritual. Understanding and recognizing that all life is interconnected, and that we too have duties to Mother Earth and her other children, is essential.

Man’s Greed Devastating Mother Earth

It is this ahankar (false ego) mentioned previously that creates the sick desire in men to dominate others and all other life. Man does not have dominion over the Earth, how could he? Did he create it? Is his “conquest” of it so secure that a simple frown from Bhoomidevi  could not overthrow him like many ants upon a hill?

No, my brothers and sisters, the human being is merely a tenant, a guest in this vast resort of Life, here to improve, and even perfect himself/herself, not through artifice and robotics, but will to restrain the senses. The earth is merely a life-estate at best, and there are restrictions on what can or cannot be done before it is passed on to the next generation, and even to its Ultimate Owner.

It is svaartha (selfishness) that ever-present evil, that root of all evil that drives man mad in the desire to conquer other people and other things, rather than conquer himself (the first and noblest form of conquest). It is for this reason Mahatma Gandhi said the world has enough for every person’s need, not every person’s greed. He even decried the Industrial model of the West, saying

Recent estimates have concluded that for the developing world to consume and live like the developed, we would need 3 and ½ Earths. In fact, “urbanisation is accompanied by unprecedented consumption of natural resources”

Cities occupy 3% of the earth’s land surface, house half of the human population, use 75% of the resources and account for 2/3rd of all energy and greenhouse gas emissions. If developing countries emulate the model of developed countries, a resource base as large as four planet earths would be necessary to support their growth.

 

Despite ongoing efforts to tarnish his name and legacy, looks like on this count, Gandhiji was right after all.

It is the fundamental conceit and hubris of man to attempt to rule over the Earth as slavemaster rather than protect and safeguard it as steward.

The unsentimental and pragmatic Chanakya himself stipulated that “The root of Happiness was Dharma (Righteousness), the root of Dharma was Wealth, the root of Wealth was Power, and the root of Power was Conquest of the Senses”:

Sukhasya moolam dharmam, dharmasya moolam artham, arthasya moolam rajyam, rajasya moolam indriya vijayam.

Thus the key to our prosperity and happiness comes not from greed, but from good. Greed is not Good–how could it be? Goodness is good, virtue is good, self-restraint and consideration for others is good. Dharma is good. Therefore, it is incumbent on humanity to channel its energies within rather than be pulled by its appetites without.

Scene from the Movie “Clueless”

Scene from “modern” India

This is not merely spiritual/ritual mumbo-jumbo from “backward” India, but increasingly the view of Nobel-prize winning Western Economists themselves.

(For those ebullient and excitable arrivistes to America (AP boasts many of them) who proclaim the greatness of all things USA, some food for thought about its economic model. One, Two, Three.)

It is not enough to merely say India must safeguard its interests by competing with China. India should learn many things from China, but it should also learn from its mistakes (which they are experts at hiding or rationalizing—unlike our people who love airing out dirty laundry to outsiders). The fact remains, “certain rules of living are to be observed if we want to ensure sustainability and peace.”

 

Lifestyle & Development must be in harmony with our Land & Values

MBAMeatheadHeader

“B-school taught me that ‘Africa is under-polluted’ & an under-utilized asset”

Development must be in harmony with the land. As I’ve noted previously, the tragedy in Uttarakhand exemplified the importance of respecting the sanctity of the land and not turning everything into a sprawling tourist trap.

Unrestrained, shoddy infrastructure projects exacerbated the problem in the tragic flood of 2013. Thus, as the geographic focus of AP’s development plan shifts back to our ancestral towns and cities on the coast—let us keep this ideal in mind.

It also means not turning each and every town into a new urban conglomeration. Specifically, we must find a way to balance life at different levels—village, town, and city. We must be mindful to encourage prosperity at all levels. Some of our sarcastic saviors of society have posited that village life has retained many of the worst elements of casteism, and mass urbanization is the remedy.–But to get rid of the bathwater, do we throw out the baby as well? No, the answer therefore, is to combat casteism while preserving the village.

After all, agriculture is the backbone of civilization. Only when there is surplus crop is urban society even possible. Yet urban society today is driven by the big business urge to profit unethically from everything, whether its farming or mining. The Gali family of Bellary is the perfect example of the type of crony capitalism that should not be acceptable and certainly not respectable. The natural wealth and inheritance of all Indians was mercilessly and selfishly mined and sold to India’s neighbor to the North—without national security considerations. Does it make sense to sell strategic resources like Iron and Copper to a strategic competitor that actually has more of it than India does? (Does it make sense to buy telecom equipment from the same point of origin for that matter?—“IT superpower” indeed…)

What was done in Bellary was not entrepreneurship or responsible commerce, but national plunder. Commerce with Conscience should be a prime directive for modern India and society in general. Business as usual should no longer be acceptable. Becoming rich should not be the main criterion for respectability—and how one becomes rich should also matter.

As Seemandhra walks the road of bifurcation full of uncertainty, a number of questions have been raised about the path forward. In our previous pieces we extolled the hard work of the current Chief Minister in his first innings in office. However, as is commonly known, this also came at a price. The plight of farmers not only in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, but Maharashtra as well is well known and well documented. Faulty developmental paradigms have ignored the health and human tolls.

Having effectively put all their eggs in one basket, the people of new Andhra Pradesh state are now questioning the old models for development and economic growth. Given the continuing farmer suicides in not only Andhra but the rest of India as well, there are serious questions about whether the current model of development is ultimately sustainable and beneficial to all citizens.

Thus, an opening has now presented itself for a new paradigm: Dharmic Development.

To date, growth and wealth has been an either-or proposition. Poverty or Riches, Backwardness or Development,  Communism or Capitalism, Agriculture or IT (we can also add Communalism or Pseudo-Secularism to that list–but that is another matter…).  Perhaps it is time for our people to take a page out of the book of Andhra’s own Nagarjuna.  No, not this Nagarjuna, but this one. The legendary Buddhist monk hailed from our region and presented the philosophy of Madhyamika, or the middle path that ultimately originated from the Buddha himself. This third way, in between ascetism/deprivation and sensuousness/greed, if you will, offers a new approach to development–a Dharmic one.

Regular readers are familiar with the excellent article composed by Krishnarjun gaaru called Dharmanomics. This post attempts to move forward the foundation he laid with it and I want to thank him for giving his generous encouragement in this endeavor.

Read now the wisdom of Maharishi Veda Vyasa, who wrote the following at the end of the Mahabharata (Svargarohanika Parva, S.5):

Oorddhva baahurviromyesha na kashchit shrnothi me
Dharmaath artthasha kaamascha kim na sevyati?

I raise my hands up [in frustration] and say “The way to wealth and love is through Dharma—why doesn’t anybody listen?!”

The Dharma of Development

business number nahin, business log hai” (business is not about numbers (i.e. profit/growth), it’s about people)

What is Development and what is its purpose?

Too often our newly minted college and MBA grads rote cite assorted theories on GDP and manufacturing capacity without understanding the underlying definition and purpose of development. Development does not mean merely commercial development of a country.

Development also means national development. It is the ability of a country to provide for its citizens’ material, economic, political, and social needs through the harnessing of nature for technological purposes to responsibly meet the challenges of modernity.

Thus, at its core, development is about meeting the needs of a society’s citizenry. Our current era of technological advancement has necessitated not only financial and infrastructural capital, but human capital. For far too long the assumption has existed that farming and rural life is somehow the driver of poverty. Lack of resources to meet one’s needs is the cause for poverty. When far too much emphasis is placed on the needs of only one factor of production, the others suffer. That is the current state of affairs in a global economy that is staring at the precipice.

Land, labor, capital, and entrepreneurship are all the textbook factors of production for productive economic activity (and of course, the over emphasized “growth”). What is the value of each of these? Land provides terrain for agriculture, mining, infrastructure, and housing. Labor (over-emphasized by Marx and Engels) provides the ability to harness and manufacture. Capital, alternatively specie (i.e. gold, silver) is a means of exchange acceptable to others allowing for investing in productive enterprises and storing value. And lastly, entrepreneurship, which is the expertise and drive in conceiving, building, and managing organizations and endeavors (whether commercial or societal) that productively and usefully apply the previous three. But all four of these factors are finite. While new ways can be devised to productively apply or leverage them (also a function of entrepreneurship), total productivity, and more importantly, total utility to society will eventually level off. As such, unceasing growth is simply not possible and will be increasingly diminishing in returns. So how can it be the basis of value and the basis of the modern concept of wealth? How can it be the basis for all economic decision-making?

Empty bellies, but Exporting food

It is the height of folly and adharma that India is now joining the bandwagon of countries like China and the Gulf states to rely on African agricultural land for Agro-business. When India has the second largest supply of Arable land on the Earth, how on Earth can its business interests join the Adharmic rush to have Africans supply food to the rest of the world? A continent whose countries such as Somalia have become synonymous with famine and starvation cannot possibly be expected to supply food to wealthier nations when its citizens have vast numbers of empty bellies to fill. Proponents argue that it is a more efficient use of resources (presumably they come from the same school as this “genius”). But before citing David Ricardo and comparative advantage, MBA automatons would be well-advised to study Adam Smith–no, not his Wealth of Nations, but The Theory of Moral Sentiments (yes, he was a moral philosopher as well–imagine that!). There is no moral or ethical or dharmic basis for countries like India and China to lay claim to agricultural lands that would better serve an African.

It is imperative that business and political leaders see not only what is profitable or efficient–but also what is ethical. Even Bentham spoke of “the greatest good of the greatest number” in his theory of Utilitarianism. Does it make any sense to deprive Africans of arable land so that India and China can allocate theirs to manufacturing and IT sweatshops?! That is the importance of Dharmanomics and Dharmic Development.

 

Dharmic Development

DharmicDevelop

Dharmanomics Rules

  1. Dharmanomics is about blending natural economy, natural justice to the modern situation”
  2. “Food economy is the root of prosperity.”
  3. ” balancing food economy and high-end manufacturing is critical for prosperity and to defend that prosperity from external threats.”
  4. “farmland shouldn’t become an instrument of investment for profit. Only professional farmer have to be allowed ownership of farmland and the community.”
  5. “The Panchayat has to certify him as farmer ”
  6. Harmony of self and environment is the essence of Dharma and to see the possibility of such harmony in the economy is Dharmanomics

 

Dharmic Development Corollaries:

  1. State shall adhere to Dharmic mandates of Raksha, Palana, and Yogakshema of the land and its people
  2. Sanctity of Spiritual places must be observed/preserved
  3. Development must be Sustainable in nature with fair, productive, and ecologically harmonious distribution of resources
    • Emphasis on renewables/caution with permeables
    • Any drastic changes to or transformations of ecologies only at utmost to dire need
  4. Decentralized development should be premised on responsible & preferably decentralized ownership
    • Agricultural and Manufacturing Cooperatives for economies of scale
    • Life cycle planning-Corps have responsibility to not only plan end user marketing, but also end user goods disposal/recycling
  5. Prioritization of agriculture and the needs of agriculturalists
    • Arable land should be should be used primarily for agriculture
    • Individual farms the building blocks, not big business
    • Organic food & Community Ownership seed banks to preserve bio-diversity
  6. Emphasis on  societal/national interest and the family unit
    • Due consideration for weaker and vulnerable sections of society: i.e. pregnant women, children, the elderly, infirm, and disabled.
    • Corporations are not citizens…citizens are citizens
    • Prioritization of the needs of children in marriages
  7. Protections against exploitation of human beings, whether through means of force, finance, or enterprise
  8. Humane treatment of animals, especially livestock, whether for products or byproducts, in line with Bharatiya Dharma
  9. Balance of rights and duties. Duties come first.

Dharmic Development Corollaries Explanation:

1.State shall adhere to Dharmic mandates of Raksha, Palana, and Yogakshema of the land and its people

The Arthashastra emphasized Raksha (protection from external threat), Palana (internal law and order) and Yogakshema (welfare of the land and people) as the three obligations of Government. Thus, rather than brainless parroting of vacuous nostrums such as “reform”, “globalization”, “economic liberty”, public officials must bear these in mind when instituting and implementing policy. India’s telecom blundering is a textbook example of violating all three. Government is not subordinate to business, business is subordinate to government and the Yogakshema of the citizenry.

2.Sanctity of Spiritual places must be observed/preserved

I know some long time supporters may not like it (but healthy disagreement and civil discussion is good anyway), but I have to differ with the current push to turn spiritual places like Tirupati and Prayag into IT hubs and Smart cities). Opponents may argue that Tirumala is not Tirupati and Prayag is not what is called “Allahabad”, but the reality is the spiritual suburb itself is dependent on the greater urban area for supplies, workers, and atmosphere.

Golden-temple-in-Amritsar-Punjab-India

If the sanctity of Harmandir Sahib (Sikh Golden Temple) can be preserved cooperatively by even an Amritsar Domino’s Pizza reportedly refusing to serve alcohol within 1km of the sansthan, then there is no reason not to expect Tirupati or Greater Prayag’s sanctity to not be similarly respected. After all, pilgrims themselves stay in Guest Houses that are very frequently outside the Devasthanam, etc, should they not go with spirituality in mind rather than pubs and clubs?

3.Development must be Sustainable in nature with fair, productive, and ecologically harmonious distribution of resources

Resources such as water and other essential commodities for life are part of the common wealth. After security from external threat and internal disturbances are taken care of, priority shall be on ensuring fair and reasonable distribution to the public. In particular, treated waste water (grey water) should got to industrial use. Priority for clean water should be for personal consumption, then agriculture, and then only industrial use. Furthermore, the citizenry and the business community should be educated on how not to waste water and how to harvest it.

Next, there should be an emphasis on renewables & caution with permeables. Accidents with nuclear power in Japan (as well as gas in the US) are well known, resulting in countries like Germany preventing the construction of new plants and the phasing out of old ones. As such, while there may be a basic need for strategic reasons, India should proceed with utmost caution with respect to emphasizing nuclear power and mining of its required resources. While renewables such as solar, wind, and hydro come with their own host of issues, responsible use of them (coupled with R&D) may offer better alternatives.
Third, any drastic changes to or transformations of ecologies should only be at utmost to dire need. China has come under the microscope for its penchant towards giant dams (such as the Three Gorges). Hydrologists have established that smaller dams are better for ecosystems, displace fewer people, and better integrate with the land.

4.Decentralized development should be premised on responsible & preferably decentralized ownership

No state more bitterly learned the lesson of putting all its eggs in one basket than Andhra Pradesh. Investors and common middle class citizens alike focused on the development of Hyderabad as synonymous with the development of AP. The net result was not only neglect of other cities, but also the tragic and ongoing agrarian crisis that continues to plague farmers in both Telugu states. Thus, decentralized development is imperative. Furthermore, this should be premised on the notion of decentralized ownership.

Economies of scale has long been the sacred incantation of international economics. Joint Ventures, Corporate mergers and unrestricted FDI are pointed to as panaceas for society and “necessary reform” without proper evaluation or discussion. While productive and fair business should be encouraged, anti-trust measures must not only be firmly in place but firmly applied. Even the most famous among them can get eroded through disuse, carelessness, and misguided zeitgeist.

agrocoop

Agricultural cooperatives should therefore be encouraged as should artisan and manufacturing guilds like Ancient India’s Srenis. This will provide the necessary economies of scale (through collaboration) while ensuring that profits are fairly distributed among farmers themselves, rather than corporate fat cats.

R&D and innovation intensive strategic industries can of course continue with the corporate model, but with appropriate government oversight and accountability. Particularly for industries involving the use of harmful or polluting resources, Life cycle planning should be mandated by government. Byproducts and waste cannot simply be discharged untreated into rivers. Moreover, corporations have a responsibility to not only plan end user marketing, but also end user goods disposal/recycling. Corporate interest should not be allowed to harm national interest, in the name of “profits” & “economic efficiency”.

5.Prioritization of agriculture and the needs of agriculturalists

Arable land  should be used primarily for agriculture. As already touched on, countries like India should be more than capable of supplying their own food needs. Rather than having farmers mis-educated into emphasizing cash crops and questionable chemicals, organic farming should be encouraged instead. India instituted impressive land reform at Independence. As a result, rather than stumbling back to feudal, share-cropping farming under big business, the individual farmer should be able to stand on his own two feet as the building block of society.

Organic food & Community Owned seed banks should be encouraged and secured to further strengthen his hand while preserving the health of society. Rather than attempt to manipulate nature, the precepts of Dharma should mandate that man respect it, and follow its natural processes in animal husbandry and horticulture.

6.Emphasis on the family unit and societal/national interest

Due consideration for weaker and vulnerable sections of society: i.e. pregnant women, children, the elderly, infirm, and disabled should be pursued. While India already has legislation to protect these segments of society, law alone without promotion of societal interest in our culture and every day behavior cannot be relied upon. While India is woefully under-policed, who in turn are under-equipped (as 26/11 tragically demonstrated), it has nevertheless managed to have lower crime rates in general.

To ensure that they are lower still, this emphasis of society and Dharma must be promoted at all levels. After all, the common Dharma was not only for the proverbial Brahmins (scholars, teachers) and Kshatriyas (leaders, administrators), but Vaisyas (merchants) and Sudras (workers) as well. Modern day equivalents of Vaisyas, whether from Infosys or Bharti also have responsibilities to society. Thus, business must be pursued in harmony with the common Dharma–which means billionaire businessmen whether born a Murthy or a Mittal must be expected to ply their profitable trade in harmony with the national interest–rather than gainsay and undermine it. And political leaders, whether Rajput or a (D.) Raja cannot give in to graft, and must uphold the national interest.
Corporations are not citizens…citizens are citizens. Much ink has been spilled on this already, but as discussed immediately above, business interests cannot be allowed to stomp all over the rights of the average citizen. While the opinions of business leaders must be solicited to ensure their needs are taken into account while pursuing national interest, they cannot be permitted to outweigh the voices of the national citizenry. In a democracy, the ultimate sovereign is not the money-minded peddler, but the people.

Finally, for development to properly take place, the needs of children, elderly parents and stable marriages must be prioritized above individual caprice. Legal protections are in place to ensure individual rights are preserved, but national development can only truly take place if responsible adults act in the interest of the next generation (as well as the previous one) to ensure they grow up in happy, healthy homes to become productive and emotionally healthy citizens of the future. Though there are certainly exceptions to the rule, the ultimate purpose of marriage is to form a stable, healthy environment for the raising of children. Aged parents as part of the Indian joint family have historically facilitated this process. While elders surely should pass on the torch to the children once they retire (as Kings should abdicate at the right time), our young modern couples should be expected to look after their mothers and fathers, not dump them off in a retirement home or ship them off to Vrindavan. Our laws and civil society should reflect this through incentives–but respectable elite and middle class society and culture should also frown upon the selfish men and women who care only about themselves and their supposedly “progressive” lifestyles.

It also means worker hours should be reasonable and work life balance promoted to prevent exploitation. Corporations should not seek to squeeze every last drop of productivity out of their workers, but motivate them through a good work environment. A happy worker is a productive worker & strong families make happy workers & healthy societies.

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7.Protections against exploitation of human beings, whether through means of force, finance, or enterprise

The 2008 crisis is now a well-known facet of economic debate. Less discussed is the private debt crisis plaguing the average person in many countries. India must not replicate the same mistakes. Exploitation takes place through many means, whether socio-religious or socio-economic, thus it is imperative that India’s development not mortgage the futures of its labor force by driving to them graduate with the equivalent of mortgages on the backs of new graduates.

Furthermore, corporations, social enterprises and non-profits must also be checked from taking advantage of their role. Here is a classic example of a good idea with good intentions, gone wrong due to corporate greed. Finance and capital must be harnessed to support society rather than exploit it through usury and debt. Therefore, consumer protection must be in place to prevent the illiterate or unsophisticated from being taken advantage of. The freedom of contract must be balanced by laws against exploitation and unjust enrichment. Just as a pirate has not right to argue that his plunder came from “entrepreneurship”, neither can a corporate buccaneer with respect to employees and citizens.

8.Humane treatment of animals, especially  livestock, whether for products or byproducts, in line with Bharatiya Dharma

Whether its the living conditions of animals, the cruel methods used to acquire their products, or the manipulation of their nature, it is imperative that science and profit be tempered by the ethics of Dharma. The production of milk and meat should not be dictated by bottom lines but by the natural capacity of the animal for providing, the humanity of collecting, and the tempering of the human rapacity for consuming. It is not merely a spiritual stretch-goal but a matter of human health as well.

While vegetarianism is the ideal, it should not and cannot be legally mandated. At the same time the traditions of Bharatiya culture have spanned ages, and should be respected. This means respect for all animal life, and special protection for the Gau/Avu/Cow. The native species must be preserved as far as humanly possibly rather than employing unethical means to tamper with their nature and population. Most of all, adharmic means to extract their milk in a way that causes them or their calves distress should not be employed. At the same time, this must be balanced by ensuring that meandering members of the bovine species aren’t plodding down main roads of modern cities or their various flyovers.

Gopala

9.Balance of rights and duties. Duties come first.

While the modern liberal state is founded upon Individual rights, individuals must also be mindful of their duties to society. As such, law and cultural expectations must ensure that individuals not engage in crass materialism that jeopardizes national interest and society itself. This means that while individual rights should be protected, the individual must be educated to think about society and his or her dharma to it. Far too many people are still obsessed with caste privileges, but who remembers societal duty? Without duty there can be no privilege, and without society there can be no rights. Rather than get people to obsess about their caste, whatever their caste, let them be concerned about what obligations their privilege and modern wealth brings.

In sum, development must be conducted in a way that safeguards the preservation of Saamanya Dharma–the Common Dharma irrespective of varna/jati/occupation.

How to Implement

In a recent post, we wrote on how the well known adage Cleanliness is Next to Godliness must be our watch-word for our habits and neighborhoods, but it should also be the foundation for our approach to development. Economic and even strategic needs should not be pursued without due consideration for the impact on the health and pavitrata of the environment and its people. More than just corporate social responsibility, it means economic and national responsibility, which axiomatically necessitate not destructive development, but dharmic development. So how to implement all this?

Contrary to many of the alarmists, the objective of this proposal is not to turn the clock back 500 or 5000 years. Rather, the purpose is to take inspiration from our own native philosophies to fill the vacuum left behind by a society with only the steel frame of law sans cultural coherence or ethical mooring.

One of our greatest and yet most pragmatic political thinkers was a dasiputra (i.e. son of a servant woman). Yet Vidura was the most astute politician of his era and second in temporal wisdom only to Lord Krishna himself. Read now what this brilliant minister of Kings advised:

He that desires the highest success in all matters connected with worldly profit, should from the very beginning practise virtue [Dharma], for true profit is never separated from Heaven
He that followeth virtue, profit, and desire in proper seasons, obtaineth hereafter, a combination of all three.

Thus wealth and profit should never descend to lobha (greed). However, only an ethical culture and dharmic education can enlighten businessmen and businesswomen to  think this way.  Our business schools and colleges must train students to balance their quest for profit with virtue/dharma/obligation to society. This lays the foundation for ensuring a grassroots commitment to Dharmic Development.

Second, laws should be reviewed to establish a regime that keeps both business and government accountable in commerce, infrastructure, and general policy.

Kautilya provided principles for Fair Trade to ensure that business was conducted dharmically by merchants. Examples include injunctions against the creation of artificial scarcity and prevention of hoarding against the public interest. As we previously wrote in the foundational piece on “Cleanliness”, nuisance to the neighbors/public/and society in general should be punished. Industry cannot expect to continue its irresponsible behavior of build and dump. Furthermore, laws to impose punishment for cruelty to animals should also be examined and implemented where applicable.  More importantly, however, was the emphasis on agriculture.

He wrote that “Cultivable land is better than mines because mines fill only the treasury while agricultural production fills both the treasury and the storehouses“. Thus the ruler “had to ensure that agriculture was protected from harassment“.  Our politicians must therefore evaluate the needs of the farmer and reorient the top-down IT economy so that it starts from agriculture at the bottom before moving up to smart cities.

Above all, is the creation of a culture of responsibility and dharma. Law and stern law-enforcement can only do so much; it is the culture of a society that drives responsible, ethical, and dharmic development. Therefore, all sections of society must be educated on the common societal Acara and the common societal Dharma. That will create the ethical citizenry needed to properly develop India and the ranks from which moral leaders can be drawn.

Some may argue that many of Kautilya’s laws were antiquated, but the point is not to implement his laws or teachings verbatim. Rather, the purpose is to infuse his spirit of pragmatic Dharma while discarding whatever may be deemed casteist or unjust. Much as the religious aspects of Dharma change from age to age, so too do the practical aspects of Rajdharma.

One of the most common, even cliche, concerns about Dharma is “caste” (misnomer for varna/jati). Indeed, it is a matter of Debate even within the various Indic traditions. As such, the implementation of Dharmic Development and Dharmanomics should be under the precepts of Saamaanya Dharma, i.e. “The Common Dharma”. It is for this reason we have emphasized the importance of Bharatiya Dharma rather than Dharma as interpreted by a single religion, because Dharma transcends the narrow definition applied to religion (i.e. 1 book, 1 way, etc).  In fact, religion more correctly translates to Panth, thereby demonstrating that Dharma transcends religion, and why it is asserted that Indic Civilization is the home of Dharmic civilization.

Naysayers may argue by stating that this is just a ploy to “implement a brahminical conspiracy”, but this is patently motivated falsehood, as Sikhism, Buddhism, and Jainism all propound the importance and benefits of the common Dharma, only interpret it without caste. It is for this reason that this article is not called “Hindu Development” and ostensibly why the foundational article by Krishnarjun gaaru is not called “Hindunomics”.

Saamaanya Dharma in action means living our principles, which, more than any green technology could ever hope to do, create a society that lives frugally, selflessly, and prosperously, and all without ravaging the Earth. But rather than take our word for it, see what current research has to say on the topic.

Map of countries included in the greendex.

 “India, which has ranked first in food sustainability in every Greendex, came out far ahead again, thanks to its culturally dictated eating habits. Nearly one in four Indians is a vegetarian, and those who aren’t tend to avoid beef, the most environmentally damaging meat. Indians have reduced the amount of imported food they eat and increased their consumption of locally produced, homegrown, and organic foods.

Rebuilding Andhra…and India

Swacch Bharat is a great step forward for creating a clean, livable, and modern India. But the foundation for this vision will come not from a campaign for civic sense, a change in habits, or even sufficient infrastructure, but rather, from a fundamental shift in our philosophical outlook.

Colonialism left what was once the richest and most developed country & civilization of the world in ruins. Worst of all, was the  mental and cultural colonialism perpetrated that left naive Indians thinking they were always economically backward and culturally inferior–and that a foreign “savior” had to routinely present himself or herself to save India from superstition,caste and now (the modern reincarnation of this) “communalism”.

Rather than looking to the Middle east, Europe, or even China (we have seen how all these regions have fared–especially since 2008), perhaps it is time to look within for inspiration. It is time for a paradigm shift. Rather than continue to argue ourselves hoarse about the virtues of capitalism this, humanity that, or Confucian harmony there, it is time for the Indic concept of Dharmic Development to present itself as the middle way.

India was once the legendary land of not only philosophers and damsels, but righteous men and untold riches…with the right philosophy & guiding principles, it can be so again.

Oorddhva baahurviromyesha na kashchit shrnothi me
Dharmaath artthasha kaamascha kim na sevyati?
I raise my hands up and say “The way to wealth and love is through Dharma—why doesn’t anybody listen?!”

 

References:

  1. http://www.cnbc.com/id/101382610
  2. http://www.niticentral.com/2014/09/21/indias-economic-might-rests-villages-238957.html
  3. http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-andhrapradesh/guntur-district-a-role-model-for-development/article152219.ece
  4. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/stoi/all-that-matters/Kedarnath-to-Kashmir-the-tragedy-of-development/articleshow/42413181.cms
  5. http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/rainwater-harvesting-in-vogue-during-chozha-dynasty/article6422107.ece?utm_source=Most%20Popular&utm_medium=Tamil%20Nadu&utm_campaign=Widget%20Promo
  6. indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/holy-cow-desi-cattle-shows-dip-in-numbers-foreign-variety-up/
  7. www.mining.com/web/infographic-a-forecast-of-when-well-run-out-of-each-metal/
  8. http://www.niticentral.com/2014/08/29/cleaning-ganga-an-environmental-cultural-need-236845.html
  9. http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-by-trashing-the-gadgil-report-recommendations-did-we-just-kill-the-western-ghats-2014640
  10. theguardian.com/global-development/gallery/2013/jun/28/india-seed-corporate-grain-in-pictures#/?picture=411332809&index=9 …
  11. theguardian.com/global-development/2014/mar/18/india-rice-warrior-living-seed-bank?commentpage=1 …
  12. http://deshgujarat.com/2014/08/09/the-city-of-surat-starts-supplying-treated-waste-water-to-industries/
  13. http://www.filmsforaction.org/watch/bhutan_gross_national_happiness_and_sustainable_development/#.U9s80LZvgKk.twitter
  14. http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/prehistoric-sites-lost-to-rapid-urbanisation/article5973534.ece?ref=sliderNews
  15. www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/desecration-of-environment-has-made-uttarakhand-prone-to-floods-landslides/article1-1245075.aspx
  16. http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/before-the-light-turns-green/ – .Utdql9K1ZbU
  17. http://www.ipsnews.net/2014/03/kerala-throttling-golden-goose/
  18. http://www.ipsnews.net/2006/12/india-diseases-follow-environmental-degradation/
  19. http://qz.com/158815/chinas-so-bad-at-water-conservation-that-it-had-to-launch-the-most-impressive-water-pipeline-project-ever-built/
  20. Rangarajan, L.N.. Kautilya. Arthashastra. New Delhi: Penguin. p. 90, 91, 336
  21. Vidura Niti. p.150
  22. Dhammapada
  23. http://www.dlshq.org/religions/mahabharata.htm
  24. http://creative.sulekha.com/evolution-of-dharma-2-of-3_312794_blog

 Disclaimer: ACP understands that there may have been publications that may have touted the term “Dharmic Development” in the very recent past. This idea and article was independently presented here, without having read or having been inspired by them. 

Problem of Indians: Unrepentant Stupidity

At first glance, many of you may be taken aback by such a damning, and some would even say, questionable, assertion.

After all, aren’t Indians known for their intelligence? Aren’t we famous in the US as Silicon Valley “tech geniuses” and medical wizards? Aren’t many of us scoring off the IQ charts? Don’t we win Geography and Spelling Bees?

But the reality is there are many types of intelligence–even animals and robots now have some degree of intelligence and some types of intelligence. Nevertheless, the single most important type of material intelligence is strategic intelligence: raw ability to understand what happened, why it’s happening, and what one should do. And it is here that Indians (at least modern ones), fail miserably.

This, of course, is not the first time we have critiqued Indians (and as usual, Andhras represent exaggerated versions of both the best and worst qualities). We previously evaluated whether we were a Serious People, and then whether we were Talkers or Doers, but the reality is, the core problem of Indians is Unrepentant Stupidity. In this post, I will evaluate precisely why this is the case.

The prime reason for this disconnect is that mere acquisition of knowledge has become wisdom and accomplishment for our people. It’s as if this alone has become a substitute for actually doing. Winning all these math competitions or becoming exam toppers and getting into some “School from Phoreign” is akin to a monkey or poodle performing a trick on command. That is the problem with our parents today: Instead of raising wise men and women, they are raising poodles that they can showcase to make their frenemies jealous–all while their enemies plot against them and their civilization.

But the end goal of education is not a poodle. Rather, as a certain former resident of Anantapur district said, “The end goal of education is character”. What we choose to or choose not to do in this world. The knowledge that we gain is ultimately lost—all that echoes in eternity is our action.

Thus, thought without righteous action is not character, but our stupidity is so great, we don’t realize this.

Our stupidity is so great we talk more than we think, and we think the mere reading of a book or copying and pasting from an article is the attainment of knowledge. We think knowledge means intelligence, and intelligence is wisdom.

Our stupidity is so great facts can stare us in the face time and again and we’ll still fall back to emotional reaction  rather than an educated basis for argument and problem solving. Rather than reevaluating our previous views, in irrational prickliness, we hold onto them even stronger and without providing logical reason– as though letting go of an obsolete/invalid view would somehow undercut our fashionability or negate all our previous posturing (a commenter graciously acted out this role for us recently).

Our stupidity is so great we think our friends are our enemies and our enemies are our friends. We engage in fratricidal disputes to split already meager inheritances, while enemies smilingly wait to mop up the mess. We think the enemy is genuinely seeking to further our ambitions in the name of friendship, when he is merely acting with diplomacy (which is the art of letting someone else have Your way).

Our stupidity is so great, when the enemy declares exactly what he is about and what he intends to do, we think we can rely on our shopkeeper skills to negotiate our way out. We think that through some too cute by half rhetorical gymnastics, some last minute lungi dance will be enough to save our skin. But we forget that,”Some men aren’t looking for anything logical, like money. They can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.

The worst part is, Indians aren’t even apologetic, circumspect, or reflective about this ignorance. Even when the stupidity has been diagnosed and confirmed, they will arrogantly and petulantly declare “Are you saying I am moron (sic)?!” “Nuv evuru ra?!” “Who do you think you are?”, “Yes, that is how we do it!“.

Where does this undeserving entitlement come from??? Why this stubborn unrepentance?? Many don’t even feel bad about it, but practically bask in it, or hide behind fancy degrees, as if the brand name university alone conveys competence and intelligence.

Oh yes, we may have a “wily Amar Singh” here or a “clever KCR” there, but this is the low cunning of nimrods who think they are big deal guys when in reality they are buffoons. They are called smart because they gain today by losing (or more specifically, selling out) tomorrow. People forget what ultimately happened to Amar Singh—he was used as a money man in 2009 and then disposed—ejected from the very party he helped build. And there is no reason to think the same won’t happen to KCR as CM.

The recent alliance between the TRS and MIM is emblematic of this mind-numbing stupidity. The party of Razakars which committed untold atrocities against Telangana men and women in the lead up to liberation in 1948 is not only influencing government policy, it is changing logos, and seeking to marginalize and eventually displace Telugu with Urdu.

People may say “oh well, KCR knows how to keep them on leash”, “he is running the show”, but historically speaking, the Maharajah of Mysore famously promoted Hyder Ali in the name of fighting his enemies. But what ultimately happened? Hyder Ali ultimately used his military position to gain power—the Maharajah ruled only in name…

Thus, ultimately what does it matter that you have a 180 IQ, memorized the four Vedas, or are a chess grandmaster—did Chess Champion Gary Kasparov defeat Vladimir Putin or was it the other way around?

Worst of all is this Dhritarashtra, “pohnley paapam” approach parents take with their kids. Ee pohnley paapam tho chastunaamu.Parents don’t have the moral courage to correct their children’s stupidity and then whine about the disastrous end product.

Pohnley paapam tho brathukuthey, manam paapam loney padtaamu (consider that your saametha for the week).

Parents or not, we then get outraged by the fact that someone actually tried to give us advice. Some even have reached a level of malice where they habitually teach people lessons for no reason other than their own malice. Rather than trying to teach others a lesson, teach yourself a lesson in humility by learning the value of “Shut up”

The Value of “Shut up”

The rapid-fire hysteria that possesses Indians when their conceits or even passing assumptions are challenged by anyone held in anything less than absolute adoration, is astonishing.

Rather than trying to hear and digest what the other party is, or at least ending with “that is my opinion” and agree to disagree, there’s an immediate and uncontrollable urge to debate to oblivion. It’s as if our greatest fears will be realized if the other side doesn’t concede and agree to exactly what we think. It doesn’t matter whether or not we ourselves have examined the view—or even studied the subject matter in depth—they have to accept—otherwise, “ZOMG!!!, our fear!!!“Broader strategic alliance is forgone for immediate but minor differences in opinion.

 Rather than spending years understanding an area—the bits and pieces of received wisdom are congealed to create a walking moron of heuristics. Instead of firmly establishing views on logic—logic is contorted to fit the view. And the frenetic, even nervous, energy is fired off in a machine gun burst of buffoonery.

If someone points this out, then our beloved Indians burst out in an inane babble of “you are saying I am moron (sic)” –well you would have to be, wouldn’t you?

 Think, adjust your views as needed, and even modify your approach to new actors and new information—this is called strategy. If you don’t do this, then yes, “you are moron”.

Unfocused babble is not the means for civilized discourse or conversation, and simply repeating the past is not a strategy for victory. Victory is not determined by who fought the bravest, or was thought to be the most knowledgeable, but by whomever defeated the strategy of his adversary. So don’t proudly say you have “no knowledge whatsoever” in an area. If you don’t, then shut up and learn. Shutting up doesn’t mean you agree. It just means that you had the good sense to shut up…and LISTEN!!!

 “What is this Shtupidity”

Stupidity amongst Indians comes in many forms. The first is the inability to distinguish between poodle showmanship on exams and real intelligence.

Recitation of pointless facts and memorization of mantra is meaningless if you can’t protect those you love and perform your duty to them. Real intelligence refers to the ability to make the logical connections necessary to determine what is needed to preserve what matters. What is the point of your upanishadic knowledge if you don’t know how to save your land and women? For a Rajput, his honor was based on safeguarding his sword, his horse, and his womenfolk–the House of Mewar safeguarded all three. So if you call yourself a real man, remember that a real man is not determined by how many women he”scored with” or what his bank balance is, but by his will to stand up to fight for what he believes in and protect those for whom he is responsible.

Stupidity, on the other hand, misses the woods for the trees. It focuses on irrelevant minutiae, ignoring the broader patterns and strokes. In the process, it forgets right from wrong, and necessity from nice-to-have–thereby putting all at risk, in the name of its recalcitrance and false ego.

Stupidity also extends to foolhardiness, after all, it is not for nothing that they say that discretion is the better part of valor, and that there is a thin line between bravery and stupidity. It is also no coincidence that Odysseus survived the Trojan War and rescued his wife, and Achilles did not. Getting worked up into a fit of hyper-emotionalism due to some stupid movie that became fashionable (despite how it easily collapses under the scrutiny of logic) accomplishes nothing. Even worse is watching openly stupid, nonsensical movies that rot our brains (sorry Khiladi bhai, I’m a long-time fan, but you have so much more potential than this).

But the single-worst form of stupidity that plagues Indians today  is pointless malice and baseless jealousy, resulting in infighting. Andhras appears to have cornered the market here too, with the recent fight to split their state. In fact, it is often said that Maharishi Viswamitra cursed his 100 sons (who became the Andhras) to suffer from fratricidal infighting…sadly, it appears the tradition continues…If you take one thing from this article, hell, even the entire blog, it’s to stop picking avoidable fights with members of your own team.

You don’t have to agree with everything they say, or can even respectfully debate with them, but for God’s sake, stop airing out such disputes publicly and tearing down someone you feel is eclipsing you. If they are older, learn from them; if they are the same age as you, admire them and compete with them(in a friendly fashion that doesn’t tear them down) , or team up with them (if you can’t beat them, join them);and if they are younger than you, advise or encourage them. And if you absolutely 100% can’t get along with them, ignore them. It’s not hard guys. Indians have enough enemies, we don’t need more egotistical Jaichand’s who destroy the cause due to their own ambition and ahankaram.

 Indians could perhaps be forgiven for their gullibility, which time and again has been their undoing. After all, a civilization that posits truth above all, can’t be entirely faulted for believing others will keep their word or represent themselves truthfully. But what cannot be forgiven is refusing to learn from history. Time and again, the stubborn refusal to remember the lessons of the past, comes back to bite them. It’s as if Indians bask in this apoplectic amnesia. “Marchi po!”, “Bhool Ja!”. But that’s not a recipe for serious people, that’s a recipe for drunks…

For those of you who want to play “secular” with the mim

And for God’s sake, enough with this cine-obsession! Truly obsessed. Why do you care so much about who said what about your favorite star? Are they real life heroes who will beat up anti-nationals when they come after you? Chances are that when things get rough, they will be the first to relocate to Singapore, London, or Toronto. Same goes for politicians. After all, we all know who was partying at a farmhouse when Mumbai was under attack.

The origin of this stupidity however is the inability to focus. When the monkey mind is unrestrained, and hyper-actively driven to swing from mental vine to mental vine, it’s time to learn how to focus. In fact, Swami Vivekananda himself stated that the ability to concentrate is greater than actual knowledge. This is because the ability to focus in a disciplined fashion allows us to not only absorb knowledge, but also process it faster and better.

How to Stop being Stupid

Before we begin, please give yourself a firm slap across the face, so that you will remember the need to stop being stupid.  You’ll never remember the lesson if you don’t chastise yourself for prior stupidity.

The first step for Indians to come out of their mess (to some degree self-inflicted) is to self-diagnose this stupidity and accept it.

The cure is to follow a prescription of consistent and continuing doses of our Culture. Culture—real culture, not the chest-thumping, hot air gassing “kulchhar” of buffoons—will open our eyes, discipline us, and teach us about ourselves and our history.

Why is this important? If we don’t know what happened, we don’t know where we’re from. And if we don’t know where we’re from, we don’t know where we’re going. And to do nothing about it?—well folks, that’s effectively the definition of stupidity.

Second, as explained above, learn the value of “Shut up”.

Just read the comments of an R.Sowiyal and associates in this article. Instead of engaging with the wisdom of what the writer is communicating, the bozos are referencing– in a fit of irrational sentiment–irrelevant filmy songs that have nothing to do with anything. Rather than analyzing what is being said, a continuous bout of verbal diarrhea is projected. Thus, to counter this stupidity, Indians first need to know the value of shutting up (no one does this better than the Chinese). It is not for nothing that there is a saying “Better to be thought a fool and keep silent, than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt”. Indians are experts at removing all doubt. They need to know the value of shutting up—and where and when to do this.

What’s more, even our most celebrated strategists routinely miss severe dangers—off fighting the battles that they want to rather than the ones they need to. When this devastating propaganda campaign was launched, not one of India’s major strategists organized an immediate counter in Indian and International newspapers. It took many days for a lame-duck NSA to make a mild, half-heated rebuttal that barely scratched the surface. It fell to a naturalized Indian of European background to point out the ramifications of this—not only on international perceptions but domestic perceptions as well. Thus, if Indians ever want to rid themselves of this perception of being children (yes, it’s there…) they need to first slap themselves across the face, stop being stupid, and start being serious. This means knowing when to shut up–and when not to shut up. This also leads to the third point.

Third, understand how to analyze the world and current events. Merely running around like a chicken with its head cut off won’t solve the problems of the state, country, or civilization. You have to act, but also act wisely. This means not operating on the basis of assumptions, but on the basis of reality. Understand what happened, why it’s happening, how it will affect you/your people, and think of what to do. This comes not only from studying history, but from studying our classics, like the Arthashastra and Hitopadesa. Even Sanskrit plays like Mudrarakshasa can help us better understand the interaction between countries and the games played by their leaders.

Fourth: DO!!! My God, sometimes I honestly wonder if Telugus aren’t the laziest people in the world when it comes to doing what matters. Oh sure, they will run like the wind if there’s food, money or some other immediate incentive involved, but ask for strategic action–or even a contribution to those engaging in efforts for the public good, and a strange antipathy develops in them. It’s as if anyone who asks for even a modicum of help, is somehow being bossy and overbearing. The smallest request becomes an Herculean, even Sisyphean labor that immediately renders them in a state of suspended animation. Remember that being part of a society, especially a republic, means that each individual has a duty to do, and good conduct  is premised on this.

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Fifth, don’t just do your duty–do it properly! Of late it has become fashionable for people say that one should only be concerned about duty and not be concerned about the outcome. They even misquote Sri Krishna on this, saying this comes from him, and completely misinterpret the Mahabharata and Dharma. But this is nonsense (half our problems come from half-wits misquoting our scriptures—even to support AAP…further emphasizing stupidity as the problem of Indians) . Krishna says

Phalesu, or phalam is not outcome, but fruit. Thus, while we should be concerned about  the outcome, we should not be concerned about the reward or benefits or fruits from this performance of duty. Merely mechanically doing one’s duty without aiming for victory is no way to protect Dharma. We should be concerned about this outcome (and ensure its harmony with Dharma), but if we, or even society, do not enjoy the fruits or even attain this victory, that is another matter. It is similar to studying for an exam. You have an obligation to study as best you can and hope for a good result–but your motivation should not be the new car your parents will buy if you get an “A”. Just as elders say, “if you did your best, that is all that matters”, so to should we think “I worked for the best outcome, but God will determine it and whether I receive fruits from it”…

Conclusions on Stupidity

So dear readers, understand that the best correction for stupidity is action, because stupidity doesn’t like Action, it prefers Reaction, because rather than strategizing, it is used to navel-gazing. Simply reading, talking, tweeting will accomplish nothing.

 When W.Bengal is in flames, when riots are taking place from UP to Hyderabad (not to mention from Kashmir to Kanyakumari), when entire states are being undemocratically divided, and water supplies dwindling, it is time to wake the hell up and do something constructive that will change things for the better. To sit and watch as your civilization fragments due to loss of culture, loss of ethics, and a myriad of threats is not only stupidity, it is downright treachery. It is not the time to Padutha Theeyaga, but the time to act, for this is the price of lazy pleasures and brainless inaction and these are the type of dangers that lay ahead.

It is almost trite now to say Vinasha kale vipareetha buddhi, but what else can explain such unrepentant, even congenital stupidity?

No, my brothers and sisters in Dharma. No more. Enough of this thoughtless addling through life. It is time to wake up and reclaim your birthright with seriousness and strategy.

It is time to rise and break the shackles of helpless torpor. It is time to shake the gutless, knock sense into the brainless, punish the treacherous, and inspire the fearless.

 

Uttishta!

 

Indians are Talkers not Doers

Let us face the facts, Indians are Talkers, not Doers. As usual, Andhras are the worst example of this.

We can talk for hours on end, over tea, over toddy, over tokkudu ladoo—but what does it matter, still we are stuck at square one. We complain about current events, we complain about family, we complain about how other people are better at things—but what do we actually do about it?

The enemy can declare his intentions, he can even begin subverting a government, he will even declare he has no obligation to secularism, but still our people will only talk

Our people are such pathetic talkers they will even continue just talking even after getting all enthused about doing. Hyperventilating in a paroxysm of excitement, the talk itself becomes cause for celebration. To them sloganeering and rhetoric or even reading alone = accomplishment…but they should remember that wasn’t the lesson of the Gita.

But why take my word, that of a mere mortal, when the greatest Karma Yogi of all Himself explained thus:


Famous Talkers who weren’t Doers

Since the dawn of history, India has had no shortage of talkers. In fact, Satyajit Ray famously directed a movie on our dreaming “Chess Players”:

Based on the novel by Premchand, this exquisite cinema demonstrated how many zamindars and rajas of the time famously talked and played petty games in their heads, instead of playing the real game of life.

Nehru

Debate Kashmir at the UN instead of liberating it? Silly Indians!

People may say Nehru was responsible for “building Modern India”, but compare him to Vallabhai Patel, and it is the ultimate study in contrasts of talking versus doing. In one particular story, Nehru famously droned on and on, waxing verbosely on this and that while Kashmir was being invaded by a Pakistani tribal army, when an impatient Sardar finally interrupted and said “Jawaharlal, do you want Kashmir or not?”. It was the Iron man who advocated for quick action, gained the instrument of Kashmir’s accession, and sent troops to defend J&K. It was this same Sardar Patel who saved traditional Telugu land (what is now Telangana state) from the grip of Rizvi and his Razakars, while Nehru’s talking and dithering nearly led to a cancer in the belly of India.

Nevertheless, even the prolix Nehru failed to hold a candle against India’s most famous, or should I say infamous, talker of all time.

V.K.Menon

Vkkmenonfaintun.

The pompously self-important and unjustifiably arrogant V.K. Krishna Menon is without a doubt India’s worst defense minister of all time (though fellow Mallu A.K. Antony came perilously close).

Why does this man even have a statue? His most “impressive accomplishment” was famously (infamously?) giving an 8 hour speech at the UN Assembly. Just what was he hoping to accomplish with this nonsense?! In fact, he more than anyone else represents this disease of chat-alysis that plagues our people. Had he spent less time talking and insulting India’s generals and more time preparing for inevitable hostilities against Mao, perhaps India might not have been humiliated in the 1962 War.

So we know Indians are talkers rather than doers, but why is this the case?

The problem with habitual talkers is that they are so caught up in their own assumptions and rationalization, that they fail to realize that somebody actually has to implement.  Worst of all, by talking all the time (giving away their vulnerabilities to the enemy), they rarely know the value of silence.

Beyond not knowing the value of silence,however, a lesson that can be traced back to the Panchatantra (“Silence is Golden”), there are certain characteristics of the Modern Indian that stand out:

Lack of focus/seriousness

The Chetan Bhagat and Happy Days approach to problem solving may make life seem straightforward, but the reality is, the issues of the world cannot be solved with a simple song, poem, or thought. Furthermore, as Krishnarjun gaaru wrote in his excellent piece on Dharmanomics, far too many NRIs rely on mindless application of B-school frameworks. It must be recalled that irrespective of how well-intentioned many of these people may be, surface level analysis simply won’t cut it. And it should also be remembered that the road to hell is often paved with good intentions.

Furthermore, we consider talking or tweeting itself some sort of accomplishment. Rather than launching a successful institution or organization, we judge our success by the number of followers or facebook “likes” we get.

Additionally, our Twitterati style themselves as unquestionable Gyaanis. They imagine themselves doing a global service with their peer-edited encyclopedia pontification–because you see, copying and pasting something one doesn’t understand in order to sound profound is a productive and meaningful use of everyone’s time…

Worst of all, is the modern Indian approach to debating. The Children of Adi Sankara, Mandana Misra, and Ubhaya Bharata have fallen far from the tall tree of those days. To the modern (“Global”) Indian, debating is a means to entertainment (“arey time pass, yaar“) rather than ascertaining truth. Ironically, the idea of ascertaining the truth is at the very heart of the definition of the word dialectics.

Jealousy

The famed Indian crab-mentality is without equal in this world.

If we can’t get it, do it, or benefit from it, we’ll be damn certain no one else can. We go to great lengths to tear down our own people. Andhras, of course, are the most famous at this–a characteristic likely dating back to Maharishi Viswamitra‘s curse that his sons (who became the Andhras) be afflicted with perpetual infighting. This was seen again and again with the Rachakonda Rajas, the Araveedus, and the Madurai Nayaks.

However, one of the great tragedies in Medieval Indian history was not so much the obvious (Turk atrocities on civilians) or the oft-mentioned (destruction of Somnath), but rather, the little-known (Lahore). The great city of Lavanapura had an ancient lineage that dates back to the Ramayana. While it had eventually been taken by the Ghaznavids, it  came tantalizingly close to be recaptured by the Rajputs.

Indeed, while the current historical paradigm is slowly reconciling itself to the stout resistance to and even roll-back of invaders (courtesy of India’s Kshatriya houses as evidenced by the Battles of Rajasthan and Bahraich), less but steady light is now being shed on efforts at reconquest. The most notable of these efforts took place once the Ghaznavid invasions had been halted. In fact, the fractious Rajput clans actually invested the city of Lahore (then under Turkic) rule. Just as the city was on the verge of recapture, however, the squabbling Rais and Rajas called off the nearly successful siege. Why you ask? Not because of Turk reinforcements, or issues back home, but because they couldn’t agree on which petty ruler would keep the city. This crab mentality is emblematic of the costs of short-sightedness.

Selfishness

Everybody wants to be the big deal guy. More tragically, this is not even a question of being the best among peers, as our people are terrible at merely encouraging the next generation of talent. Even if there is no interest or the person seems rather naive, young people must at least be encouraged. But no–our gyaanis are far too concerned with advancing their own immediate agenda and preserving their cloistered little worlds of privilege. After all, God forbid anyone else outshines them.

The Madurai Nayaks are perhaps the most tragic example of this. At a time when the Vijayangara empire was in its greatest need, rather than coming to the aid of Raya, they actively encouraged the Bijapur and Golkonda rulers to invade. Why, you ask?–in the hopes that these self-same petty rulers could selfishly rule without Imperial overlord. But you see, this is the price such selfishness–because these same rulers stupidly dug their own graves, as the very sanguinary potentates they treacherously encouraged eventually turned on them and extinguished their piddly dynasty.

This is the cost of Ambition. Ambition is nothing more than burning a picture to collect the ashes.

Sometimes this selfishness also masquerades in the guise of selflessness. Those very men who pass themselves off as “men of conscience” are simply looking for excuses not to act–either out of attachment to their friends/loved ones, or even to a deluded idea.

 

Delusion

Sab kuch chalta hai

Let them bark! Who cares!

and WORST OF ALL: “Someone else will do it” or its latest incarnation (“Acche din aanewale hai!“)

In a previous piece I wrote at length about how moha is attachment rooted in the mistaken thinking that we are the body. But moha is also pure delusion–or stupidity. In nowhere in the world is this characteristic greater than in India.

 Mindlessly repeating “acche din aanewale hai’ like a parrot, won’t make it so. Even the most patriotic politicians can only do so much and have their own constraints. This slogan cannot be seen as some magic “mantra” that will free you of your cares  so you can go back to playing in your irrelevant, and eminently un-serious world.

The cult of personality must cease henceforth. We all sit around hoping for a Shri Ram or Shivaji , but they had their lieutenants and allies to help them too. Most of all, they built/maintained institutions that recognized and rewarded loyalty and talent. You too must do your part as well, as Ram Raj was not built in a day .

You must do your part. No one is saying you have to take a vow of celibacy and become a new Adi Sankara, but for God’s sake, do your fair share to contribute to the civilizational cause…even 15 minutes a day learning/teaching dharma, preserving/building from/beautifying our samskruthi(i.e. Artist Keshav), or at the very least, support those who do (and keep your word). Above all, you must pay attention!—because even the best intentioned can still make mistakes.

Worse, there are others who weren’t even concerned about the past election, and feel no concern about the state of affairs and the barbarians within and without.

Why would this happen?—this is all in past! Think of future!

Arey this is new era, we are new generation!!

Be progressive! Be Human first–why should we care of these regressives!!”

You should care, dummy, because this is what Razakars and Pakistanis did, this is what they are doing, and this is what they are planning to do. So wake the hell up and get your stuff together, you lazy bag of bones!

When our alliances mean nothing, when our promises mean nothing,when our actions equal nothing, then not only do you not have the right to complain, you don’t even have the right to talk…because your inaction, dereliction of duty, and even criminal negligence is the reason why your enemy gets stronger by the day in your own backyard.

…but yes, do go back to raving about how “Pawan is God”, how you are a Mahesh bhakt, or how your particular “caste is shupremely powerful”…just remember to fold your chairs and turn off the lights when the enemy comes to carve you up…

Knowledge without strategy is fecklessness, Strategy without knowledge is foolery. Action without aim is witlessness, Talk without action is buffoonery.

But for those of you who still do have some sense, who recognize that thinking and talking must be followed up with action, remember this wisdom. And if you yourself do not have the time to facilitate positive change, at least learn from those who do and support them:

On the Importance of History

While this is by now a line so well known that it is almost cliche, few of us meditate on it. But what is lesser known is that even fewer still meditate on another insightful history quote.

Frederick the Great was a brilliant Soldier-King of Prussia (a leading German kingdom of the 17-1800s) who is considered one of history’s finest generals. He wrote that[1]:

“History is the School of Princes”.

And yet, our parents today consider this history to be “fluffy stuff” and an unworthy pursuit for their little rajakumaras. Why? Because understanding history makes for good rulers but poor servants. Despite the silly conceits of Indians in general, and NRI Andhras in particular, engineers, doctors, and coders are not rulers—just glorified workers. Real ruling classes and true elites have a sound understanding of history, and how it is frequently manipulated.

But to understand the importance of history, let us first understand what history is.

What is History

Most people, in fact, will not take the trouble in finding out the truth, but are much more inclined to accept the first story they hear.”
― Thucydides, The History of the Peloponnesian War

History is the study of past events as they apply to the human condition. It seeks to understand what happened, why it happened, at what are the ramifications of it.  It is more than mere national myth, kaakamma kaburlu (old wives’ tales), or the dry recitation of dates and personalities. While an element of Romance and Adventure adds excitement to it, as Thucydides (the Ancient Greek historian) wrote, history is ultimately about the cold hard study of recorded facts weighed against the truth. Thus the entire modern Marxist method of emphasizing that “there is no truth, only perspective” is in fact the greatest lie of all. There is objective truth, there must be objective truth, for without it, we have only relativist subjectivity that allows fools to be led astray and the wicked to believe their own lies.

As such, while there may be a rhetorical flourish here, and a romantic tale there, history is ultimately about the the dispassionate and truthful study of human events and society.

What is the Use of History

Study history, study history. In history lies all the secrets of statecraft” – Winston Churchill.

While Churchill is surely no friend to any Indian (a matter which the deracinated among us still fail to grasp), he was surely no stranger to the uses of history,  given not only his prime ministerial but also his imperialist track record.

While Westerners point to Herodotus as the father of history, and the British routinely loved to insinuate that Hindus had no concept of it, the reality is that the Dharmic tradition is replete with not just assorted puranas, but also charitras (chronicles), avadanas (narratives) and true itihaasas (histories) such as the Rajatarangini of Kalhana (the Kashmiri historian). Itihasa literally means so indeed it was, “iti ha asa”.

History records how great deeds were accomplished

Our own Kautilya advised that a prince undergo strict training, for “intellect is the result of learning”and “in the latter part of the day, he [the prince] shall listen to Itihasas]”. Thus, lack of historical curiosity is not an historical trait of Indians in general, but a trait of colonized Macaulay-putras who reject their own heritage without understanding its value. When our ancient political thinkers themselves advised of the importance of history, particularly in political matters, why do we continue to propagate the British-imposed fallacy that Indians had no concept of history–they did and they do, they have merely forgotten or been made to forget…

How History is Used

Most of us think that the history we read in school should suffice and serve as the benchmark for how we view ourselves. However, what is taught in India today, and about India in much of the rest of the world, is colonial in nature and British in bias.

As we’ve said repeatedly on this site, if you don’t know where you are from, you don’t know where you are going. And Indians (especially Andhras) continue to remain the most clueless bunch. Easily swayed by praise, they thoughtlessly bring outsiders into their innermost ranks. They fail to recognize that China’s closest equivalent to Chanakya said this millennia ago: “All warfare is deception”. Yet we continue to sway under the naïve notion that for “civilized people” war and politics remain separate from economics, religion, culture, and even history. In fact, another great Prussian General, Carl von Clausewitz said “War is the continuation of politics by other means”.  Thus if war is political and politicized, why wouldn’t history be? If knowledge is power, why wouldn’t the war of ideas be a matter of life and death?

The British use of history was no accident. It was a conscious move to play with the native historical record and to alienate Indians from their own tradition. It is for this reason that the entire “Invasions” leitmotif continues in Indian history to this day. The colonial monologue goes that “India was always invaded and invasion brought civilization, i.e. “Aryans” so the British were merely taking the next step to “civilize” Indians. In fact, India is an invention of the British”.

The irony of course is that anyone remotely acquainted with British history realizes how many times those islands were invaded (Romans, Angles/Saxons/Jutes, Vikings, Norman-French). In fact, their entire culture is a product of invasion, and if one reads the History of the Kings of Britain, even their mythical history is traced to the Asiatic Trojan invader Britannicus. Perhaps it’s true what they say: superiority complexes are built upon inferiority complexes.

Irrespective, this reductive view of Indian history is nonsense. For starters, many invasions–in fact the majority–were beaten back. Ancient India historically had a reputation for defeating and utterly routing foreign invaders. Alexander of Macedon had himself been cautioned about India, having bean told of how few soldiers the Assyrian Queen Semiramis (circa 9th century BCE) returned after being humbled by the Indian King Stabrobates, and how Cyrus of Persia lost his life on the Indian frontier. Alexander himself did not fare much better–but remains the subject of debate due to colonial British lionization of him. The same Huns that killed the Persian Emperor Firoz  had been first defeated by Emperor Skandagupta and ultimately tamed by King Yasodharman of Malwa. Even the Arab Caliphate had virtually given up invasion of India, having been defeated many times, as established by their own histories (Chachnama). What’s more, even Bin Qasim’s conquest of Sindh proved short-lived, with the Rajputs of western India decisively defeating the Arabs, succeeding where Persia, Egypt, North Africa, Spain, and even Chinese-ruledTurkestan (in modern Xinjiang) had all failed.

Even the Indian worldview was reflective of this according to the Khorasani chronicler Alberuni: ” the Hindus believe that there is no country but theirs, no nation like theirs, no kings like theirs, no religion like theirs, no science like theirs. They are haughty, foolishly vain, self-conceited, and stolid…According to their belief, there is no other country on earth but theirs, no other race of man but theirs, and no created beings besides them have any knowledge or science whatsoever.

Given all this, what was the British tactic that was able to shake the foundation of Indian historical consciousness (or even arrogance as Alberuni would say) so thoroughly? A recent controversy regarding the historicity of a certain quote gives us a glimpse:

“I have traveled across the length and breadth of India and I have not seen one person who is a beggar, who is a thief. Such wealth I have seen in this country, such high moral values, people of such calibre, that I do not think we would ever conquer this country, unless we break the very backbone of this nation, which is her spiritual and cultural heritage, and, therefore, I propose that we replace her old and ancient education system, her culture, for if the Indians think that all that is foreign and English is good and greater than their own, they will lose their self-esteem, their native self-culture and they will become what we want them, a truly dominated nation.”

Now for the sake of argument , even if we accept that this quote attributed to Macaulay is not in fact valid and is apocryphal (bearing in mind a valid quote would have major European PR implications), is it really that much worse than the following Macaulay quote that all parties unequivocally accept as valid:

We must at present do our best to form a class who may be interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern,  –a class of persons Indian in blood and colour, but English in tastes, in opinions, in morals and in intellect.”

What better way to do this then to make Indians ashamed of their own history? After all, if an Indian had pride in his history (as Alberuni angrily confirmed was the case once) or understood the true worth of Sanskrit and other Indian languages such as Telugu, he would not think so overwhelmingly about English, and give importance to it regarding “tastes, in opinions, in morals and in intellect“.

Pandit Kota Venkata Chelam

In fact, whatever the validity of the first Macaulay quote, our own learned men of the time had recorded how British colonizers had in fact been playing with our history and even historical record, showing just how insidious the second Macaulay quote really was.

But before Macaulay-putras and their fellow travelers again attempt to attack the strawman of the first quote (crying “fascism, chauvinism, brahminical conspiracy,” and God knows what else), perhaps they should first recognize that Macaulay himself was an historian of sorts, and a dubious one at that by the accounts of his own fellow Englishmen. So it seems neither he, nor his fellow European imperialists, were unaware of the uses of history and how the past can be distorted to serve present and future ends.

…and is Still Used Today

KDRtankbund
Tank Bund Literary & Historical statues, even Krishna Deva Raya’s, destroyed for Razakars?

Nowhere was this better seen than in the unfortunate case of the Telangana agitation. While the bifurcation is said and done (so don’t worry my dear TG readers…), the way it was done was absolutely appalling. Not only was brother turned against brother, but history itself was turned upon its head. This gang went as far as to even praise the very oppressors of their own ancestors. Thus, the destruction of these statues, particularly that of Sri Krishna Deva Raya, who defeated and humiliated the  Qutb Shahis of Golkonda, shows whose dirty work they were actually doing. This is why it’s important to understand who the puppets and puppet masters really are.

A scholar/propagandist was enlisted to not only create a case for Telangana, but to even invert history by diluting the word “Andhra” (the glorious ancient name of all Telugu speakers to mean only those from the Coast).  While observers may glibly refer to this as a minor issue, the reality is, by diluting the Andhra brand, the case for another brand is slowly being made. After all, the best way to boil a frog is to slowly raise the temperature, rather than all at once.

Most ironically, the self-same politician who maligned Seemandhrites as “settlers” had no problem allying with Perso-Turkic “colonists” who advocate “Ganga-Yamuna Tehzeeb” in place of Telugu culture. They have the gall to demand privilege for their culture when they have never shown respect for our far more ancient and cultivated tradition, on our own land.

How Dharmic Indians must Use History

After seeing just how history has been used (and abused) in the hands of others, many Dharmic Indians may be think, let us just rebut this slander and write a glorious nationalist history. But two wrongs do not make a right. Replacing a nation-breaking history with an overly glossy nationalist one actually does a disservice to the nation. For a nation that only thinks of glorious achievements without understanding and analyzing past mistakes is doomed to repeat them.

Still others may say ask that if others have distorted our history  why should we not do the same? But for the very nation whose motto is Satyameva Jayate, such an action is not only contrary to our traditions, it is foolishness. For you see, the society that has ever-prized the truth above all things, even given the world such noble lovers of Satya as Satyakama Jabala, Satya Harishchandra, and Dharmaraja Yudhisthira, the truth will in fact be the very light the reveals our glory. For while the lie lives ever in fear and doubt of discovery, truth knows no fear.

Though it unmasks the machinations of others, with the sword of truth lies not only our greatest weapon, but our redemption itself. Lies divide, but it is the truth that unifies, whether it is all Andhras, all Indians, or all of Humanity itself. Therefore, it is incumbent on Dharmics to use history for precisely the purpose it was meant to–only we must do it better.

While our traditional scholars may have been meticulous at recording facts, communication of these facts must not be done in a mechanical manner. They must be done in a way that not only educates and inspires, but also instills a rational compass allowing the young student to read history, and if necessary, navigate it. As Frederick the Great of Prussia said, “Past facts are good to store away in the imagination and the memory: they furnish a repository of ideas whence a supply of materials may be obtained, but one which ought to be purified by passing through the strainer of the judgment“.[1] Even the great Greco-Roman historiographer, Polybius wrote in his work that “personal investigation” is the greatest quality of an historian. He went still further by emphasizing how men of action, rather than mere arm-chair observers, made the best historians–for they knew the value of what they were recording.

Thus mere rote memorization of history alone is not enough; one must use logic, analysis, and the historical method to understand the applicability and validity of these past ideas, so that students, politicians, and even generals, will draw the correct lesson–Acharya Kautilya would expect nothing less of us.

 In light of all this, the history of the descendants of Dharma and Indic Civilization must be based on the truth, rooted in our Indic tradition, weighed by the historical method, valid in educational purposes, and communicated in a way that inspires.

In doing so, the next generation of responsible citizens, Army Chiefs, and Prime Ministers will recognize that India’s unity is not only worth defending, but will also learn how best to defend India’s unity.  In tandem with that, they would see that our Dharmic Kings were worthy of emulation given that they were  manly and trained in the arts of war in addition to being equally cultivated and cultured (as seen here with Emperor Samudra of the Gupta dynasty and below where he uses a bow in one coin and plays a veena in the other)

The same Soldier-Emperor who became the paramount ruler of India was skilled not only in the force of arms, but in the mastery of music. This demonstrates that the among the archetypes for our leaders was not a dichotomy between unschooled barbarian and milquetoast musician, but the cultivated and cultured King, who could protect civilization all while engaging in its highest artforms.

Ultimately, it is not enough to merely study history in school or even earn a degree in it. Rather, what must be taught is how to navigate history using the historical method, logic, and analysis. While indigenous chronologies and chronicles can serve as a foundation for our historical record, they should be tested against the evidence of the time as well. Trust, but verify. For in an era where knowledge is power, the war of ideas becomes a matter of life and death…and what is history if not that?

the-past-is-behind-learn-from-it

References:

  1. Frederick the Great. p.47,49
  2. Arthashastra.p.143

Samaikya Andhra: Live to Fight Another Day

Andhra as Guernica

Alas, my brothers and sisters, it is done…

With the passage of the Telangana Bill in the Lok Sabha and now Rajya Sabha, bifurcation of our beloved state of Andhra Pradesh is all but certain.

This is truly a catastrophe for all Telugu-speakers. It is also a cautionary tale of the costs of disunity, ambition, greed, stupidity, and above all, loss of culture and dharma.

But rather than wring our hands in feckless emotion, let us take a page from the Musunuri Nayaks, and live to fight another day. Let us not lose our cool. Instead, let us recognize that those sections of our Telangana brothers (not all were pro-bifurcation) that sought separation may have made a terrible mistake–but they are still our blood. They may be childishly celebrating now, but in time, they will realize the full ramification of their error.

Let us also recognize that all Andhrites are responsible too–rather than blame the rest of India. It is Andhra Pradesh that gave maximum support to the adharmic UPA government not once, but twice (2004, 2009). An appropriate saametha for the occasion would be:  “Nuvve paamu ki paalu isthey, adhi karisina tharavaatha Amma meedha endhukani prathapam chupisthaavu?”

 It would not have been possible for these adharmics to come to power had it not been for the stupidity and selfishness and self-absorption of our own people. All sections have responsibility for this tragedy. So rather than primitively acting out in hasty anger–let all true lovers of Andhra treat this injustice as the karmic debt for the abomination that was inflicted on all of India these past 10 years. So let us do our prayascitta and svadhyaya before lashing out at others.

In such trying times, the solution is not to cave into sentiment (a perennial Indian weakness), but rather, to calmly and dispassionately reflect on what happened, why it happened, what can be done, and what should be avoided.

What Happened

This was not a new scheme. Dividing Andhra has been stratagem for power hungry politicians and a dream for anti-nationals for quite some time now. But this tactic was appropriated for the purposes of a certain “grand old party” and its dynastic puppeteers who specialize in pitting brother against brother. When people follow Duryodhana instead of Bharata & Lakshmana, why would anti-nationals not succeed?

If a book were written on the history of the T-state demand to this precise moment, it would be called Breaking Andhra. The idea may have come from within, but it was appropriated from without. False propaganda, by those ironically named for Sri Rama’s sacred bow, was then produced. Superficial and misinformed histories, erroneously claiming that the Andhra name only means Seemandhra,  by outsiders then added fuel to the fire. Then so-called “students”, aka unemployed 30-something naxal goondas, were hired to bully and riot. Some poor souls were then paid off to commit suicide–and there we have it, a non-Razakar rationale to create a Nizam Hyderabad Razakar state, oh, sorry, I mean “Telangana”. And oh, what’s this, a Union Territory for Old Hyderabad too?–just like a certain razakar descendant wanted…

However, even this well-coordinated operation stumbled in the wake of ferocious last minute Samaikya Andhra agitation. The Andhra Assembly even voted against the Telangana resolution and polls showed that almost 70% of united Andhra Pradesh was against division–but a little democracy never bothered the only really true fascist party in India which has the glorious heritage of the Emergency. In fact, not a few commentators remarked that the Media blackout in Lok Sabha by Congress was reminiscent of the actions of another “Mrs. Gandhi”. So a vocal and violent minority was again able to override the sentiments of the moderate majority. Perhaps it is true what they said after the Nazis. “If fascism ever comes back, it will be as anti-fascism”

In any event, though this game was played in the short term for votes, and in the medium-term for the cash cow that is Hyderabad (courtesy of Telugu Desam governance–pun intended), and a long term goal that should be obvious by now, others have pointed out that neither of the two main national parties did their duty to Seemandhra. While the Delhi gang of the BJP certainly does not have clean hands in the matter, let us not mix them up for the party in general.

Though it’s quite clear the TDP is the only party that genuinely and consistently cares about Telugu pride and resisting the “Delhi Sultanate”, let us not forget that they partner periodically with the BJP for a reason. TDP has state interests at heart, and at least the rank and file and literati of the BJP (like Arun Shourie garu) have the national interests at heart. So while actions speak louder than words, intentions speak more truthfully than actions. The BJP had a consistent stand on smaller states (rightly or wrongly). The Congress…well…the whole country saw what they were all about during the so-called “power glitch” in parliament…

How did it Come to This

Many today may point to volumes of movies produced by Tollywood and hail it as some sort of grand cultural accomplishment. But 99% are garbage–and most are flops. Others may say that even crooks like YSR  were proud Telugus–but they had no hesitation supporting and bowing before an unqualified foreigner. Still more may proclaim the development of Hyderabad–but is soulless material development at the cost of spiritual development true culture?

A culture bereft of dharma is no culture at all. Sophistication without sense.  Language without Etiquette.  Learning without Wisdom. Riches without Compassion. Ritual without Reflection. Power without Duty. And Culture without Dharma–these are all symptoms of a deeply sick people in a stupor of materialism and hedonism.

The word culture itself doesn’t mean crappy song and dance sequences–which are lame knock offs from the North– that we watch in an ignorant daze exclaiming “Aha Oho”. Culture itself comes from the word “cultivated”–meaning one who has sown and refined dignified qualities and interests. But do our culture and movies reflect dignity today? The highest form of civilization is spirituality–but what is the importance of spirituality in India today?

Sure, Superstars like Akshay Kumar and Salman Khan may be remaking Telugu movies–but they’re remaking the cultureless ones.  Akki and Sallu are both great actors and movie stars, but barring movies like 8×10 Tasveer and HAHK, how many movies of cultural value have they been producing of late? Their potential is being under-utilized as is our Andhra culture and Indian civilization.The fact that these atrocious Tollywood movies are being copied is a sign of cultural degradation in both Andhra culture and Indian civilization alike.

When movies like Annamayya (courtesy Nagarjunaare being remade or copied–then Telugu cinema and Andhra culture can be proud. Ours is now a popular culture so spoilt and rancid, that one of our greatest artistic jewels–Mangalampalli, Balamurali Krishna–had to leave for Tamil Nadu to get proper patronage.

Thus, the seeds for Telangana were sown not despite of our TV shows and Movies, but because of them–and the energy going into them that should have gone elsewhere.

What must our Ancestors be thinking 

GautamiPutraSatakarni.jpg
Satakarni overstruck coin of defeated Sakas

Satakarni must be spinning in his proverbial grave. The Trisamudra pitatoyavahana. The terror of the mlecchas, the destroyer of the sakas, yavanas, and pahlavas, must himself be appalled at the state of his people and land today. The Great Gautamiputra Satakarni of yore would be disgusted not only by the bickering and division among his Andhras, but the stupidity of putting national Indian interests in jeopardy in the wake of foreign imposed atrocity. He would ask, “Since when did Andhra, the land of those with a Lion as Mount (Satavahana), become those with a donkey mount”?

Musunuri Nayaks & Reddi Kings

Krishna “Kapaneedu” Nayak

Prolaya and Kapaneedu Nayaka gave their blood, progeny, and even lives in the cause of Andhra bhoomi. Despite being great aristocrats and Lords, they knew that their position existed to give people freedom. But the KCRs, YSRs, et al think the people exist to give them position.

The Reddy Kings proudly proclaimed themselves as Dharmic rulers and restored the agraharas to brahmanas and freedom to all other native sons who suffered under the depredation of the Turks. What would they say about the Reddies today who stirred this issue up in 2004 leading to the end game today?

Krishna Deva Raya

No man would be more enraged at the state of affairs today (or immediately after him…) than Andhra Bhoja himself. The sight of all the puke-inducing politicking, greed, and even anti-nationalism would make him wonder why he laboured so hard for twenty years, to defend Dharma, safeguard Indians, and nurture Telugu.

Liberation Struggle/Operation Polo

Rajanna and Telugu patriots of India

And what of the great Telugu patriots sprung from the soil of the Telangana region to fight the atrocities of the Nizam’s razakars? They sent their womenfolk and children to their Kosta and Rayalaseema brothers for safe refuge while they gave their own lives for freedom. What would they say to the kcr goondas who praised the very men who oppressed and outraged them under Vetti chakiri and worse?

Sardar Vallabhai Patel

What  would this man, this great man, this Iron Man, who more than any other, stitched together the patchwork of India from 565 princely states… What would he say in response to all the pro-nizam and anti-national cries today?

What must be done now

Ashoka Chakra is the Dharma chakra

Humpty Dumpty can be put back together again. Warangal may have fallen, but there is  still Kondaveedu, Kondapalli, and above all Adoni (the keystone fort of Vijayanagara). Like Prataparudra, we waited until the last minute to face the enemies of Andhra, and like the Rachakonda Rajas, KCR and company sold out to foreigners so they could (temporarily) rule Golkonda (Hyderabad).

Thus, the time has now come for the Musunuri Nayaks and Krishna Deva Rayas who will unite the people by revitalizing the culture and language. Sage Vidyaranya guided Harihara and Bukka Raya to refound a city dedicated to protecting Dharma. The same spirit must be reforged today . Telangana is a defeat to the hopes, aspirations, and rightful inheritance of all Telugu people–but it is not the end. It is the wake up call to snap people out of their stupor and stupidity and get them to start valuing and–most importantly–advancing and improving upon their own native culture and language.

This is done not once in a blue moon, nor in a last minute futile effort. Rather, it is done day by day, month by month, and year by year. It is done by turning off the pop culture garbage on TV and turning on some classical carnatic. It is done not by watching the next item number in theaters but in watching and encouraging the next great historical epic. It is done by demanding quality over quantity. It is done by not wasting all our time in malls or all our money on restaurants or all our education on being BPO coolies. It is done by not seeking to just become the CEO, but seeking to become the owner. It is done by paying attention to not just political rhetoric but policy, and not just reading cereal boxes, but serious classical literature. It is done by voting for good and dharmic governance rather than for political goodies .

And above all, it is done by putting family above individual, region above family, state above region, and country above all. That is true Dharma.

What must be avoided

The rank stupidity of Andhra politicians (even at this late hour) was nowhere better seen than here when they idiotically called for a separate Andhra country. These outrageously imbecilic ideas only play into the hands of India’s (and, by extension, Andhra’s) enemies. A balkanized India is precisely what China, and others including Pakistan want. Then Hyderabad (still on the lashkar/pak agenda) and Andhra would be easy targets.

Calling for a separate nation is no different than what YSR and company have been upto for the last ten years, by talking of Telugu while trampling on Andhra values and native culture. It represents a loss of sense and loss of identity (by pushing english as the language of schooling). It is also the result of loss of Dharma, which is the foundation of Andhra culture and Indic Civilization.

Many morons have been touting irrational and even anti-national ideas of India (“land of immigrants” and other such drivel…). But the truth of the matter is that India and Indic Civilization is defined by the concept of Dharma. It is this ideal that stitches together different traditions like Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism. That gave a place to orthodox Kerala Christians and Jews, and Parsi refugees to Gujarat and that honors true patriots like Ibrahim Khan Gardi. It is not a communal idea, but a community idea that gives India a shared history and a perceived future destiny. It is the motivating principle that transcends religions and emphasizes that this common idea of Dharma (righteousness) is rooted in the soil and in the common ancestry of all its citizens.  Remember, great Andhra personalities like Mallinatha SuriApastambha,  Krishna Deva Raya and P.V. Narasimha Rao are ALL INDIA figures to this day.

It is because of loss of Dharma that like the rachakonda rajas, kcr and the telangana advocates have betrayed Telugu Thalli (even debasing themselves by calling a certain foreign origin politician as “Telangana Thalli and constructing this disgusting abomination all while our own Hindu temples are decaying or destroyed). When temples are built for vishkanyas instead of Vishnu, what else can be expected? An ignorant and uncultured people have sycophancy. A dharmic and cultured people have dignity.  It is because of loss of Dharma that the masses voted in crooked politicians who abused their office for anti-secular/anti-dharmic purposes that changed people’s religion. It is because of loss of Dharma that the Telugu people have become–despite their wealth and ancient glory–crass, greedy, bickering, uncultured, and low.

Thus as a whole, Andhras must now avoid bickering, avoid taking what isn’t yours, avoid idle talk with no action, avoid emotional action without thought, and avoid expedience and convenience in place of Dharma.

All is not lost…

This was once the land of Satakarni, Krishna Nayak, and Krishna Deva who sent shivers down the spines of Andhra’s and India’s enemies. They did this by raising up the banner of Dharma and seeking to unite, rather than divide and rule.  To raise ourselves up again, we must restore unity. To restore unity we must restore our culture. And to restore our culture, we must restore Dharma– in ourselves, in our samskruthi, and in the common protective nation of India. The battle for Telangana may now be over, but the Yuddham for Dharma is now begun.

Samaikya Andhra: The Dream Lives On