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Showing posts with label SECULARISM. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SECULARISM. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Parliament panel chief suggests keeping tribals out of Uniform Civil Code

NEW DELHI: BJP MP Sushil Kumar Modi, chairman of the parliamentary committee on law and justice, on Monday suggested keeping tribals from the northeast and other parts of the country out of the purview of the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) even as opposition parties questioned the timing of fresh consultations on the controversial issue.

At the panel's meeting, Modi said the northeast, which was governed as per provisions mentioned in Article 371 of the Constitution, and tribal areas mentioned in the Sixth Schedule should be exempted from the UCC.

Most members of the panel said parties would be able to submit their formal response on the issue only after the government presented a draft proposal. Even as Modi said this was only the first in a series of meetings on UCC, Congress MPs are learnt to have asked if the review of personal laws, or implementation of UCC, would end up challenging the freedom of religion in the country.

19L suggestions came in on UCC: Officials

The House panel had also summoned officials of the law ministry and the Law Commission for the discussion.

Sources said Congress also raised the Centre's opposition to same-sex marriage in the Supreme Court, where the government argued that marriage is "inherently connected with one's religion". Senior advocate and Congress MP Vivek Tankha is learnt to have said that since the government had argued that marriage formed a part of personal laws, would implementation of UCC not hurt people's sentiments and their religious freedom.

In separate written statements, Tankha and DMK MP P Wilson asked Law Commission member-secretary K Biswal why the panel had invited public comments when the previous Law Commission, the term of which ended on August 31, 2018, had described UCC as "neither necessary not desirable" at this stage.

BJP member Mahesh Jethmalani made a strong defence of UCC, citing Constituent Assembly debates to assert it was always considered imperative. However, there were others who pointed out that UCC should be more of a "voluntary" participation, adding that B R Ambedkar too wanted that to prevail.

It was learnt that law ministry officials gave a powerpoint presentation on the consultation process.

Law Commission officials said 19 lakh suggestions were received on the consultation started by it following a public notice on June 13. The exercise will continue till July 13.

Sources said 17 out of 31 members of the panel attended the meeting. Parties such as TMC and NCP were among those who did not attend.



Chhattisgarh tribal body terms UCC as threat to existence of tribals

Tribal rights group moves SC against Uniform Civil Code

Monday, June 26, 2023

'Didn't Bombings Happen In 6 Countries?'

25 June 2023

Nirmala Sitharaman Hits Back At Barack Obama's Remarks On India: 'Didn't Bombings Happen In 6 Countries?' 

The finance minister alleged that "organised campaigns" were being run to level "baseless" allegations on the treatment meted out to minorities at the behest of the Opposition.

Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday slammed former US president Barack Obama's statement about minority rights in India, saying his remarks were surprising as six Muslim-majority countries had faced US "bombing" during his tenure.

She said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has received the highest civilian awards from 13 countries, including six with predominantly Muslim population.

The finance minister alleged that "organised campaigns" were being run to level "baseless" allegations on the treatment meted out to minorities at the behest of the Opposition as it cannot defeat the BJP electorally under Modi.

What Obama said in CNN interview and Sitharaman's response

In an interview with CNN on Thursday, Obama reportedly said if India does not protect the rights of "ethnic minorities", there is a strong possibility at some point that the country starts pulling apart.

"I was surprised when Prime Minister Modi was... talking about India in front of everyone, a former US president was giving statements about Indian Muslims at that time," Sitharaman said at a press conference at the BJP headquarters here.

"Didn't bombings happen in six countries - Syria, Yemen, Saudi and Iraq and other Muslim countries - during his term (as US President)?" she asked.

"When he makes such allegations, will the people trust him," she said.

FM surprised to hear such comments from US

Sitharaman also took exception to the allegations by U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), saying India wants to maintain a good relationship with the US but she is "surprised" to hear such statements.

"We want good friendship with the US. But from there also, USCIRF's comments about religious tolerance in India comes and the former president is also saying something," she added.

She said it is also important to see who are the people behind them.

The minister alleged that the Congress is "deliberately" raising "non-issues" and levelling allegations "without facts" to vitiate the country's atmosphere because the opposition party cannot defeat the BJP under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership.

'Congress went to Pakistan to seek help'

"The Congress party is running such campaigns and it was clearly visible in the last election and the previous elections where they went to Pakistan seeking their help to change the government in India," she charged while replying to questions on allegations of discrimination against minorities.

She said whenever there is an issue, it is addressed at the state level as law and order is a state subject.

'Deliberate attempt to vitiate the atmosphere'

"I find this deliberate attempt to vitiate the atmosphere in the country because they think they cannot win against the development policies of prime minister Modi," she alleged, adding "They (Congress) have deployed their tool kits which operate abroad."

"Going abroad, our Opposition do not talk in India's interest because they cannot defeat Prime Minister Modi."

"They bring up these people who go to these debates without ground-level details," she charged.

Sitharaman said Prime Minister Modi has received the highest civilian awards from 13 countries and six of them have the highest Muslim population.

"These (targeting of Modi government over minority issues) are organised campaigns . Otherwise, why would countries accord such an honour to PM Modi and why would there be a distortion in understanding about how the minority population is part of the Indian mainstream," she said.


Indian FM Nirmala Sitharaman hits back at Barack Obama

Friday, November 18, 2022

India: An emerging superpower

DW Documentary

India, the world’s largest democracy, turns 75.

With his special brand of non-violent resistance, Mahatma Gandhi paved the way for the country’s independence. He campaigned for a pluralistic, secular state and equal opportunities for all.

What remains of those ambitions, today? How far has India distanced itself from the ideals of equality and non-violence espoused by Mahatma Gandhi and other founding fathers? How are democracy, human rights and social justice faring today - and where is India headed?

These are the questions that form the basis for this film’s narrative. The film focuses on people still working today to keep Gandhi’s ideals alive - a challenge, as contemporary reality is often a world away from those goals.

Taken together, their stories form a mosaic representing the multi-faceted nation that is India. A nation marked by stark poverty and great wealth. On the one hand blighted by Hindu nationalism, violence against women and overwhelmed by major environmental problems. On the other, India fosters great geopolitical goals and has an ambitious space program.

Although discrimination on the basis of caste is banned by the constitution, the country continues to marginalize certain sections of its population; children continue to be exploited in urban brickyards; and indigenous populations are driven from their land to make way for corporate development.

At the same time, India is a highly spiritual place with a rich cultural history; a nation that comes up with innovative, critical and creative responses to all manner of problems.

Both films in this two-part documentary explore the intersections of these colliding worlds - brought to life through personal stories.

Contemporary accounts of India frequently look to the past, when the foundations were laid for the world’s largest democracy. One person in particular who was able to build a bridge between the past and the present is Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, who was murdered in 1948.

Arun lived with his grandfather for many years and relates personal anecdotes from that time. He captured his grandfather’s ideas in a well-respected book ("The Gift of Anger: And Other Lessons from My Grandfather Mahatma Gandhi”) and draws comparisons between India’s recent history and its current predicament.

The Indian academic and globalization critic Vandana Shiva sees a vast chasm between Gandhi’s ideals and the modern reality. Her stance is unequivocal: civil disobedience is necessary to this day.

Part 1 India: An emerging superpower - Democracy, development, displacement

Part 2 India: An emerging superpower - Climate, equality, space

Saturday, June 4, 2022


How India Can Reclaim Its Civilisational Destiny?


Most Indians, even those who consider themselves savvy about current affairs, suffer from a shocking ignorance of India’s civilisational history.

The malaise afflicts analysts, commentators and policymakers as well, and it has serious negative consequences for the prospects of the Indian nation-state.

This paper lays out the scale of the problem, the impediments towards establishing a genuine civilisational narrative, and the epiphanies that can follow from such a narrative.

The implications for India’s foreign policy, and indeed India’s civilisational destiny, are mind-boggling.

[The PDF version of this essay in full can be downloaded from here.]


The Parable Of The Indian Crab

A fisherman had a basket of live crabs displayed in the market. A curious customer asked him why he didn’t cover the basket to keep the crabs from escaping. He answered with a laugh that they were Indian crabs. If one ever tried to climb up the side of the basket to escape, the others could be trusted to pull it back down.

The tendency to pull down the most successful of their own kind is a trait that Indians self-disparagingly acknowledge.

There are over a hundred crabs belonging to the Global South trapped in the basket of the current world order. (The Ukraine conflict has revealed that European crabs too might be in the same basket with no more hope of freedom than the others!) China, the biggest crab of all, is climbing up the side of the basket and is about to escape. The Chinese crab is so big that when it climbs over the top, the entire basket is going to tip over, allowing all the other crabs to flee.

India should not fear the escape of China from the fisherman’s basket, because it too will be free once the basket tips over. The fisherman expects India to be a good Indian crab and pull China back down, but it is very important that India fight its innate tendency and help the Chinese crab over the top instead.

Beyond The Immediate Future — Jostling Within The Fold

In the future, after the Western threat has been beaten back and Asia emerges out of the shadow of Western dominance, there will be some inevitable jostling for influence between the civilisations of the East. Civilisations exist in a continuous state of “co-opetition”, and so the allies of today could become the rivals of tomorrow.

Apart from the Indic civilisation of South and South-east Asia, and the Sinic and its closely related civilisations of East and North-east Asia, there is also the Turkic civilisation of North-west Asia and the Persian civilisation of South-west Asia.

Of these, the Sinic civilisation looks set to be the most dominant because of its combined population and wealth, but the others have their own unique civilisational identity that will not be co-opted by the Sinic civilisation, no matter how rich and powerful it becomes.

India needs to develop a Bismarckian plan not just for a marriage of convenience with China in the immediate future, but also for a velvet divorce after a generation or so.

Strength respects strength. If India is to gain China’s genuine respect as opposed to being valued merely for its contribution to the alliance, it first needs to grow its own strength. Both hard and soft power depend on economic growth, and India needs to spend the next few decades of peace with China building up its economy. That’s another leaf from China’s own playbook, when the country acted deferential towards the West and gained valuable time to grow its strength.

As the flagship nation-state of the Indic civilisation, India has to raise the civilisation’s brand value so that other nation-states within the subcontinent and ASEAN are inspired to identify as Indic. This is where a shared cultural identity helps to win friends and influence people. To take some obvious examples, Thailand is Buddhist, Indonesia is Muslim, and the Philippines is Christian. However, all of them have Indic roots, and can be drawn into affinity with a strong and prosperous India.

Even Pakistan can potentially be weaned away from China using soft civilisational power, given time and diplomatic wisdom. As a further example of the superiority of civilisational thinking over ideology, treating Urdu as the shared Indic language that it is, instead of viewing it as alien, helps to exploit common ground and build bridges.

All this may superficially resemble the Hindutva ideology’s concept of Akhand Bharat (undivided India), but there is a crucial difference. The affinity being sought between nation-states is on the basis of a civilisational identity that unifies, not a politico-religious identity that isolates and divides. If India wishes to one day gather a dozen Indic nations, not just Hindu Nepal, under its own tent and break away from China’s dominance, it will need to emphasise the inclusionary rather than the exclusionary aspects of its civilisation.

But that is a struggle for another day.

The Risks Of Inaction

India’s current antagonistic stance towards China carries growing risk. China is a rapidly growing power that shows no signs of slowing down, regardless of the relentless propaganda from the West predicting “the coming collapse of China”. That collapse has been predicted to happen “any time now” for the last two decades but has been belied again and again. It is a risky strategy for a smaller and weaker neighbour to believe such Western propaganda. As time goes by and China gets even stronger, India’s already limited options will become even bleaker.

India is sleepwalking into a defence and foreign policy nightmare with its current stance. This is not just foolish but completely avoidable.

China appears to have understood both the nature of the threat from the West, and the need for India and China to be united against it. India has not yet woken up.

Time is of the essence, and India can strike a good bargain right now at a time when China is facing a concerted, multi-pronged attack from the West and could use its support. Once China triumphs over the West, or after its power crosses a certain threshold, it will no longer care about India’s support, and India will have no bargaining power left.

There is no explanation for India’s current anti-China and pro-Western foreign policy except an ignorance of civilisational identity and history, and the related inability to think in civilisational terms, which renders both its leaders and its citizens vulnerable to superficial narratives that suit the ends of other powers.


The Indian ship of state is rudderless and adrift, its potential and promise perpetually belied. It needs to find its bearings and follow a determined course to reach its destiny.

A civilisational narrative is imperative to be able to see what is not apparent either from a contextless reading of history, or through the lens of self-serving political ideologies.

Ignorance of India’s civilisational identity has set Indian against Indian internally, and Asian against Asian externally. This ignorance is costing India nothing less than the attainment of its civilisational destiny.

In the near term, a polarised society and a shortsighted view of China as an enemy lead to nothing but growing internal strife and the prospect of humiliating external setbacks.

Internal unity is the essential prerequisite for India to achieve its destiny. All Indians need to be united by a common civilisational identity, not divided by sectarian ideological identities.

Indians must also see that a diabolical game of “divide and rule” is being played right now, under which they have been led to think of China as their enemy and of the West as their ally and benefactor. This brainwashing is pervasive and frightening in its extent. In actual fact, the strategic adversary of both India and China is the US-led West, which fundamentally acts to retain its global primacy, maintain an inequitable pecking order, and thereby deny them both their civilisational destiny.

India must switch sides post-haste so that the civilisations of the East can jointly wrest back control of their destiny and re-establish a multipolar world order.

India must thereafter grow its strength and bide its time until it can establish its own sphere of influence, and the Indic civilisation can finally find its place in the sun.

When will Indians learn the lessons of their civilisation’s history and do themselves the greatest favour at this critical juncture?

Read on.

[The PDF version of this essay in full can be downloaded from here.]

By  Ganesh C Prasad, 2022


Tuesday, September 14, 2021

The Ugliness (and Hidden Beauty) of Real Awakening

“In order to be effective truth must penetrate like an arrow—and that is likely to hurt.” ~Wei Wu Wei

The path toward true awakening is painful and bumpy. It’s not pretty. In fact, it can be downright ugly. There are egoic pitfalls. There are soul-snaring brambles. There are existential knots. The way is never clear, until it is. An even then, it usually turns out to be an illusion.

The path is not soft and sweet but jagged and elusive. It is not artificially blissful but authentically painful. The joy of discovery on the one side is deep and can be genuinely ecstatic, but the agony on the other side cuts to the soul and can be devastatingly dismal.

Real awakening is both a reckoning and a wrecking, both an expansion and an annihilation. It is not pretend reconciliation. Authentic awakening is painfully transcendent. It grips the soul by the throat and doesn’t let go. Infinity casts its hook, and you’re taken—hook, line, and sinker—into Growth.

The key is to remain flexible and circumspect. The secret is to somehow find comfort within the discomfort. Easier said than done, sure. But as Spinoza said, “All things excellent are as difficult as they are rare.”

Heartbreaking Cognitive dissonance:

“Make no mistake about it – enlightenment is a destructive process. It has nothing to do with becoming better or being happier. Enlightenment is the crumbling away of untruth. It’s seeing through the facade of pretense. It’s the complete eradication of everything we imagined to be true.” ~Adyashanti

The Ugliness: psychological discomfort, ignorance, the pain of being wrong.

Cognitive dissonance is a humdinger of a psychosocial malady. It’s a counterintuitive glitch in the matrix, causing us to believe that belief is black and white. It’s not. Belief is relative to the observer. And when the “observer” is a fallible, imperfect, barely evolved, naked ape who’s prone to be mistaken about a great many things, belief can be downright blinding.

Cognitive dissonance is merely the discomfort experienced when two incongruent worldviews clash. It accounts for our hidden fears, our willful ignorance, and our tendency to cling to our comfort zone. It shines a spotlight on our utter inept ability to shine a spotlight. It’s the psychosocial irony of ironies. Indeed. It reveals that we are the fly in the ointment.

The Hidden beauty: clarity, clearness, curiosity, recalibration.

But if we can embrace our cognitive dissonance, if we can reconcile the discomfort of having been wrong, and if we can correct our incorrections, a deep clarity overcomes us. We’re suddenly able to reprogram outdated programming.

An overwhelming relation to Socrates quip “The only thing I know is that I know nothing,” grips us—balls to bones, ovaries to marrow. And our mind opens so wide that the only thing that can fit is everything.

Soulbreaking Mortal dread:

“What is above knows what is below, what is below does not know what is above.” ~Rene Daumal

The Ugliness: mortality, impermanence, soulbreak.

Existential Angst can be a soul-crippling thing. Death is a precipice; one in which we all share a natural fear of “heights.” Our mortality is a slap in the face to our immortal dreams. We wear our mortal coils like choke chains around our necks, gasping in sheer terror at the impermanence of all things.

But we ignore it at our own detriment. The more we repress our existential angst the uglier it gets. It festers within, eating away at our logic and reasoning. It becomes a blister of suppressed darkness that mercilessly sucks in love and light. It makes us ugly despite the beauty of life.

The Hidden beauty: honesty, adaptability, fearlessness, love.

Truly waking up to our mortality is allowing death to put life into perspective. This is a double-edged sword that cuts as it heals. It cuts with honesty and truth. It heals with the same, but a robustness comes from it, a resilience is born, tantamount to antifragility.

When we shine a light onto our mortal dread, we make an ally of our shadow. Absolute vulnerability trumps naïve invulnerability. Fear is transformed into fuel for the fire (fearlessness) of falling in love with our preciously short life.

Dark Night of the Soul:

“Undifferentiated consciousness, when differentiated, becomes the world.” ~Vedanta

The Ugliness: the existential black hole, ego death, choking on the red pill of truth.

Honestly facing our flaws, our wrongness, and our mortality creates a void. This void is the place where our ego goes to die. Where before, we naively clung to our beliefs and worldview through sheer ignorance, now, our innocence is burned away and the existential black hole opens wide before us, fierce and menacing, and threatening to consume all meaning.

Here, the egoic perspective is in deep crisis. The certainties of life fall apart. The puzzle becomes terribly more puzzling. We choke on the red pill. It gets lodged in our throat. We falsely imagine that all we need is the blue pill to wash it down. But as the ego dies, the soul is being born.

The Hidden beauty: transcendence, nonattachment, Soul initiation.

When we face our wrongness and our mortality with dignity and honor, with humor and honesty, with love and appreciation, we discover our ability to adapt and overcome. Our ego is baptized by the soul, becoming a workhorse for selflessness and growth as opposed to selfishness and comfort.

We transcend egocentric codependence through soulcentric interdependence. We learn how not to take ourselves too seriously. For we see how everything is transitory. All things are fleeting. The be-all-end-all is always beginning and always ending. We have learned the wisdom of practicing detachment as a way to remain connected to everything else.

Crushing Nihilism:

“Only to the extent that we can expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible in us be found.” ~Pema Chodron

The Ugliness: deconstructed invulnerability, meaninglessness, Master’s Complex.

The higher we rise in our soulwork, the more meaningless the universe becomes. This is a crushing truth for a truth seeker. In our naivete and youthful ignorance, we imagined a universe full of meaning and purpose. We imagined a heavenly blueprint and a loving masterplan. But then we faced our cognitive dissonance and our mortal dread. We experienced ego-death, and it all came unraveled. The unrealistic, pie-in-the-sky, magical thinking center simply could not hold.

We were faced with a decision: remain stuck in comforting deception or discover the heartbreaking truth; remain blissfully ignorant or discover painful knowledge. We chose the latter, and it made all the difference. Nihilism, ennui, meaninglessness was the price we paid, but it was a whetstone we honed our souls against and now we are sharp enough to cut God.

The Hidden beauty: humor, absolute vulnerability, responsibility, meaning creation.

True awakening is a heartbreaking, soul shattering, meaning crushing experience. The wise develop a loving sense of humor regarding the cruelty of the cosmic joke. They smile though their heart is breaking. They laugh though their soul is trembling. They create meaning despite the collapse of meaning.

As Joseph Campbell profoundly stated, “Suddenly you’re ripped into being alive. And life is pain, and life is suffering, and life is horror, but my god you’re alive and it’s spectacular.” Indeed. And it is this spectacular experience that launches us into a state of reverence for the sharpening of suffering greatly.

Sharpness does not just come to a knife. Luster does not just come to a pearl. Crystallization does not just come to a diamond. The knife must be tested. The grit must be rubbed. The coal must be pressurized. Had we not been sharpened, had we not been rubbed, had we not been pressured by a cruel universe, then all we would have is grit, coal, and dullness. But we took the ugliness of our awakening and we transformed it into the beauty of living a life well-lived.

Read more articles by Gary ‘Z’ McGee.

Freedom Fighter Versus Crimefighter

“A happy life is impossible, the highest thing that man can aspire to is a heroic life; such as a man lives, who is always fighting against unequal odds for the good of others; and wins in the end without any thanks. After the battle is over, he stands like the Prince in the re corvo of Gozzi, with dignity and nobility in his eyes, but turned to stone. His memory remains and will be reverenced as a hero’s; his will, that has been mortified all his life by toiling and struggling, by evil payment and ingratitude, is absorbed into Nirvana.” ~Arthur Schopenhauer

The war on freedom is very real. But the battle line must first be drawn within. The frontline begins with the self. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking the way things are is the way things should be. But it’s thinking like this that prevents progress and improvement.

The choice between courageous heroism and comfortable cowardice must be made by each of us individually. We must all choose between vulnerably facing the unknown with courage, or invulnerably hiding from the unknown behind outdated armor.

Cowards abound on the outskirts, reinforcing outdated notions of law and order. Apathetic armchair warriors are rampant behind the ramparts, soft in their comfort zone, weak in their privilege, all-too-certain with their spoon-fed rhetoric and antiquated platitudes. But most of them don’t even know that they don’t know what’s going on.

Worst of all, are the Thin Blue Line bootlickers with their Blue Lives Matter eye guards blinding them to the true nature of reality. They cannot see how all lives cannot matter until black lives matter as much as white lives (or even blue lives) do.

Ad hominems aside, the ideal of the crimefighter is vastly overrated. Rampant crime is not really an issue anymore. As David Pinker said in a recent TED Talk, “Our ancestors were far more violent than we are, violence has been in decline for long stretches of time, and today, we are probably living in the most peaceful time in our species’ existence.”

In fact, more crime is created by crimefighters fighting unjust wars like the war on drugs than crime otherwise. As Bryan Stevenson said in Time Magazine, “Since Nixon’s “tough on crime” rhetoric and “war on drugs” we have used a criminal-justice approach when we should have used a public-health approach.”

Meanwhile, the prestige of the freedom fighter is grossly underrated and, quite often, not even on anyone’s radar. Indeed, the freedom fighter is a public-health approach. They are the frontline defense against overreaching power.

Where the crimefighter offensively overreaches with outdated laws despite freedom, the freedom fighter defends freedom from the overreaching state despite outdated laws. Let’s break them both down…

The aggrandizement of the crimefighter:

“Hard times create strong men, strong men create good times, good times create weak men, weak men create hard times.” ~Stefan Molyneux

As it stands, the police have become the weak men who are creating hard times.

Historically, police had a stronger code of ethics and less power. They were also better trained and held to a higher standard. But now, cops are ill-trained, overly powerful, and they blindly uphold outdated and unjust laws while being held to a lower standard than criminals. It’s no longer a matter of protecting and serving; it’s a matter of blind allegiance to antiquated law and order and obediently following the chain of command out of fear of the thin blue line.

This weak, offense-minded policing has created hard times through aggressive overreach and oppressive extortion rackets. This includes, but is not limited to, civil asset forfeiture. As if police brutality, extortion, and an overreach of power weren’t enough, unscrupulous police officials have been manipulating the deeply flawed federal and state laws that give them permission to seize, keep, or sell any property allegedly involved in a “crime.”

The problem is the entrenchment of power with no recourse (not even courts are a just recourse). The problem is cowardice hiding behind militarized hyperviolence. The problem is weakness disguised as strength, which creates the illusion of invulnerability. The problem is ill-trained incompetence that “fears for its life.”

What happens when you have ill-trained men and women who can’t handle the heat but who also have more power than God—acting as judge, jury, and executioner in the streets? You get whiny, woe-is-me, pseudo-cops using the rhetoric of “I feared for my life” as a poor excuse to defend their grave incompetence.

Nine times out of ten, had the cop simply left well enough alone—that is, had the cop simply not overreached with his/her power—the situation would have resolved itself. All too often, where weak, ill-trained, crimesplaining cops are concerned, violence is the “answer” to even simple problems.

Fear-based, violence-based, policing just leads to the victimization of the citizenry. A healthy society cannot live under the fear of violence. All such societies eventually dissolve into tyranny unless those who enforce the fear and violence back off—that is, the police must stop overreaching, stop shooting first and asking questions later, and simply allow people to be free as long as they are not being violent.

As David Graeber said, “People don’t need to be threatened with force or fines or jail time (or divine commandments) to get them to do the right thing. We can organize ourselves and police ourselves. In fact, that’s the only way it can happen with respect and dignity maintained.”

As such, police overreach must switch to police being policed. So, who will guard the guards themselves? Who will police the overreaching, hyperviolent police despite their entrenched power? The answer is “the strong man created by hard times”: the freedom fighter.

The rise of the freedom fighter:

“If a man wants to become a hero, the snake must first become a dragon: otherwise, the hero is lacking his proper enemy.” ~Nietzsche

As it stands, the snake of the overreaching police state has indeed become a dragon. It might even be a dragon that’s too big to fail. But, as David courageously faced down Goliath, so too must the freedom fighter face down the power of the state and the overreaching crimefighters who back it up.

Freedom fighters rise above the pettiness of their statist indoctrination by reconditioning their cultural conditioning. They un-wash the brainwash by questioning the Powers That Be to the nth degree. No authority is off the hook for being ruthlessly interrogated and found wanting. This especially stands for entrenched authority.

The new league of strong men will be those with the courage to police the police themselves. Their strength will come from their courage and insouciance, from their audacity and daring, from their fearlessness and eagerness to take risks.

In a world bloated with outdated, immoral, and unjust laws, it takes a particular flavor of courage to stand against it. It takes someone with Promethean audacity and Nietzschean ruthlessness. It takes an anti-hero with thick skin to prick and deflate the ego of the thin-skinned hero cop. It takes amoral wherewithal despite the too-moral goody-two-shoes on one end of the Courage Spectrum and the immoral psychopaths on the other end. It takes the kind of courage that counterintuitively balances light with dark, joins summit with abyss, and baptizes one’s badness into one’s best.

The key is nonviolence. The nonaggression principle is foremost. The best weapon against violence is nonviolence. Or, even better, laughter in the face of violence. So today’s freedom fighter must be equipped with an ironic sense of humor that borders on satire (even sacred clowning).

Counting coup will be a much-needed skillset. The freedom fighter who is able to nonviolently count coup on outdated power constructs, reveals the weakness of the power construct, which the citizenry can then attack with ridicule, cultural shaming mechanisms, and merciless parody.

Through emboldened acts of civil disobedience, the freedom fighter becomes the personification of checks and balances. By counting coup on the enemy—whether physically, psychologically, or even satirically—the freedom fighter defends freedom in the face of all entrenched power constructs seeking to trap freedom in a box of pseudo-safety and pseudo-security.

At the end of the day, the freedom fighter—unlike the crimefighter—only uses violence as a last resort to protect freedom itself. Using violence to fight for freedom only kills freedom. But using nonviolent tactics to fight for freedom reinforces freedom while courageously mocking those who perpetuate violence.

Freedom thrives in nonviolence; it dies in violence. Unless the only choice is violence through self-defense. Violence must be the last straw lest, paraphrasing Gandhi, “an eye for an eye make the whole world blind.” Violence on top of violence only leads to more violence. But, as Gandhi also said, “When there is only a choice between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence.”

Gary ‘Z’ McGeea former Navy Intelligence Specialist turned philosopher, is the author of Birthday Suit of God and The Looking Glass Man. His works are inspired by the great philosophers of the ages and his wide awake view of the modern world. Visit Gary’s site at Self-Inflicted Philosophy.

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Sunday, September 27, 2020

What Does Not Kill Me Just Makes Me Stronger


One day had Zarathustra fallen asleep under a fig-tree, owing to the heat, with his arm over his face. And there came an adder and bit him in the neck, so that Zarathustra screamed with pain. When he had taken his arm from his face he looked at the serpent; and then did it recognize the eyes of Zarathustra, wriggled awkwardly, and tried to get away. "Not at all," said Zarathustra, "as yet have you not received my thanks! you have awakened me in time; my journey is yet long." "your journey is short," said the adder sadly; "my poison is fatal." Zarathustra smiled. "When did ever a dragon die of a serpent's poison?" - said he. "But take your poison back! you are not rich enough to present it to me." Then fell the adder again on his neck, and licked his wound.

When Zarathustra once told this to his disciples they asked him: "And what, O Zarathustra, is the moral of your story?" And Zarathustra answered them thus:

The destroyer of morality, the good and just call me: my story is immoral.

When, however, you have an enemy, then return him not good for evil: for that would abash him. But prove that he has done something good to you.

And rather be angry than abash any one! And when you are cursed, it pleases me not that you should then desire to bless. Rather curse a little also!

And should a great injustice befall you, then do quickly five small ones besides. Hideous to behold is he on whom injustice presses alone.

Did you ever know this? Shared injustice is half justice. And he who can bear it, shall take the injustice upon himself!

A small revenge is more human than no revenge at all. And if the punishment be not also a right and an honor to the transgressor, I do not like your punishing.

Nobler is it to own oneself in the wrong than to establish one's right, especially if one be in the right. Only, one must be rich enough to do so.

I do not like your cold justice; out of the eye of your judges there always glances the executioner and his cold steel.

Tell me: where find we justice, which is love with seeing eyes?

Devise me, then, the love which not only bears all punishment, but also all guilt!

Devise me, then, the justice which acquits everyone except the judge!

And would you hear this likewise? To him who seeks to be just from the heart, even the lie becomes philanthropy.

But how could I be just from the heart! How can I give everyone his own! Let this be enough for me: I give to everyone my own.

Finally, my brothers, guard against doing wrong to any anchorite. How could an hermit forget! How could he requite!

Like a deep well is an anchorite. Easy is it to throw in a stone: if it should sink to the bottom, however, tell me, who will bring it out again?

Guard against injuring the anchorite! If you have done so, however, well then, kill him also! -

Thus spoke Zarathustra.


When Zarathustra had taken leave of the town to which his heart was attached, the name of which is "The Pied Cow," there followed him many people who called themselves his disciples, and kept him company. Thus came they to a crossroads. Then Zarathustra told them that he now wanted to go alone; for he was fond of going alone. His disciples, however, presented him at his departure with a staff, on the golden handle of which a serpent twined round the sun. Zarathustra rejoiced on account of the staff, and supported himself thereon; then spoke he thus to his disciples:

Tell me, pray: how came gold to the highest value? Because it is uncommon, and unprofiting, and beaming, and soft in lustre; it always bestows itself.

Only as image of the highest virtue came gold to the highest value. Goldlike, beams the glance of the bestower. Gold-lustre makes peace between moon and sun.

Uncommon is the highest virtue, and unprofiting, beaming is it, and soft of lustre: a bestowing virtue is the highest virtue.

Truly, I divine you well, my disciples: you strive like me for the bestowing virtue. What should you have in common with cats and wolves? It is your thirst to become sacrifices and gifts yourselves: and therefore have you the thirst to accumulate all riches in your soul.

Insatiably strives your soul for treasures and jewels, because your virtue is insatiable in desiring to bestow.

You constrain all things to flow towards you and into you, so that they shall flow back again out of your fountain as the gifts of your love.

Truly, an appropriator of all values must such bestowing love become; but healthy and holy, call I this selfishness.-

Another selfishness is there, an all-too-poor and hungry kind, which would always steal - the selfishness of the sick, the sickly selfishness. With the eye of the thief it looks upon all that is lustrous; with the craving of hunger it measures him who has abundance; and ever does it prowl round the tables of bestowers.

Sickness speaks in such craving, and invisible degeneration; of a sicklybody, speaks the larcenous craving of this selfishness.

Tell me, my brother, what do we think bad, and worst of all? Is it not degeneration? - And we always suspect degeneration when the bestowing soul is lacking.

Upward goes our course from genera on to super-genera. But a horror to us is the degenerating sense, which says: "All for myself."

Upward soars our sense: thus is it a simile of our body, a simile of an elevation. Such similes of elevations are the names of the virtues.

Thus goes the body through history, a becomer and fighter. And the spirit - what is it to the body? Its fights' and victories' herald, its companion and echo.

Similes, are all names of good and evil; they do not speak out, they only hint. A fool who seeks knowledge from them!

Give heed, my brothers, to every hour when your spirit would speak in similes: there is the origin of your virtue.

Elevated is then your body, and raised up; with its delight, enraptures it the spirit; so that it becomes creator, and valuer, and lover, and everything's benefactor.

When your heart overflows broad and full like the river, a blessing and a danger to the lowlanders: there is the origin of your virtue.

When you are exalted above praise and blame, and your will would command all things, as a loving one's will: there is the origin of your virtue.

When you despise pleasant things, and the effeminate couch, and can not couch far enough from the effeminate: there is the origin of your virtue.

When you are willers of one will, and when that change of every need is needful to you: there is the origin of your virtue.

Truly, a new good and evil is it! Truly, a new deep murmuring, and the voice of a new fountain!

Power is it, this new virtue; a ruling thought is it, and around it a subtle soul: a golden sun, with the serpent of knowledge around it.

Here paused Zarathustra awhile, and looked lovingly on his disciples. Then he continued to speak thus - and his voice had changed:

Remain true to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue! Let your bestowing love and your knowledge be devoted to be the meaning of the earth! Thus do I pray and appeal to you.

Let it not fly away from the earthly and beat against eternal walls with its wings! Ah, there has always been so much flown-away virtue!

Lead, like me, the flown-away virtue back to the earth - yes, back to body and life: that it may give to the earth its meaning, a human meaning!

A hundred times thus far has spirit as well as virtue flown away and blundered. Alas. in our body dwells still all this delusion and blundering: body and will has it there become.

A hundred times thus far has spirit as well as virtue attempted and erred. Yes, an attempt has man been. Alas, much ignorance and error has become embodied in us!

Not only the rationality of millennia - also their madness, breaks out in us. Dangerous is it to be an heir.

Still fight we step by step with the giant Chance, and over all mankind has thus far ruled nonsense, the lack-of-sense.

Let your spirit and your virtue be devoted to the sense of the earth, my brothers: let the value of everything be determined anew by you! There- fore shall you be fighters! Therefore shall you be creators!

Intelligently does the body purify itself; attempting with intelligence it exalts itself; to the discerners all impulses sanctify themselves; to the exalted the soul becomes joyful.

Physician, heal yourself: then will you also heal your patient. Let it be his best cure to see with his eyes him who makes himself whole.

A thousand paths are there which have never yet been trodden; a thousand salubrities and hidden islands of life. Unexhausted and undiscovered is still man and man's world.

Awake and listen, you lonesome ones! From the future come winds with stealthy pinions, and to fine ears good tidings are proclaimed.

You lonesome ones of today, you seceding ones, you shall one day be a people: out of you who have chosen yourselves, shall a chosen people arise: - and out of it the overman.

Truly, a place of healing shall the earth become! And already is a new odor diffused around it, a salvation-bringing odor - and a new hope!

When Zarathustra had spoken these words, he paused, like one who had not said his last word; and long did he balance the staff doubtfully in his hand. At last he spoke thus - and his voice had changed:

I now go alone, my disciples! you also now go away, and alone! So will I have it.

Truly, I advise you: depart from me, and guard yourselves against Zarathustra! And better still: be ashamed of him! Perhaps he has deceived you.

The man of knowledge must be able not only to love his enemies, but also to hate his friends.

One pays back a teacher badly if one remain merely a scholar. And why will you not pluck at my wreath?

You venerate me; but what if your veneration should some day collapse? Take heed lest a statue crush you!

You say, you believe in Zarathustra? But of what account is Zarathustra! you are my believers: but of what account are all believers!

You had not yet sought yourselves: then did you find me. So do all believers; therefore all belief is of so little account.

Now do I bid you lose me and find yourselves; and only when you have all denied me, will I return to you.

Truly, with other eyes, my brothers, shall I then seek my lost ones; with another love shall I then love you.

And once again shall you have become friends to me, and children of one hope: then will I be with you for the third time, to celebrate the great noontide with you.

And it is the great noontide, when man is in the middle of his course between animal and overman, and celebrates his advance to the evening as his highest hope: for it is the advance to a new morning.

At such time will the down-goer bless himself, that he should be an over-goer; and the sun of his knowledge will be at noontide.

"Dead are all the Gods: now do we desire the overman to live." - Let this be our final will at the great noontide! -

Thus spoke Zarathustra.

Criminal manipulation of Nietzsche by sister to make him look a forerunner to the Nazis

Friedrich Nietzsche, the German philosopher, was the victim of "criminally scandalous" manipulation by his anti-Semitic sister who condemned him to being considered a forerunner to the Nazis, a new book has claimed.

Elizabeth Förster-Nietzsche, who went on to become a prominent supporter of Adolf Hitler, systematically falsified her brother's works and letters, according to the Nietzsche Encyclopedia.

Christian Niemeyer, the publisher, said he wanted to clear the revered thinker's reputation by showing the "criminally scandalous" forgeries by his sister had tainted his reputation ever since.

"Förster-Nietzsche did everything she could – such as telling stories about Nietzsche, writing false letters in the name of her brother, and so on – to make it seem that Nietzsche had been a right-wing thinker like herself," he told The Daily Telegraph.

"It was she who created the most destructive myth of all: Nietzsche as the godfather of fascism."

The Nazis selectively used Nietzsche's writings to bolster their ideology and built a museum in Weimar to celebrate the philosopher, though it is unlikely Hitler himself read much, if any, of Nietzsche's work.

Elizabeth Förster-Nietzsche edited her brother's writings after his mental breakdown in 1889 and quickly began to add, remove and change passages to align his philosophy with her own beliefs and those of her virulent anti-Semite husband Bernhard Förster.

Along with her husband, she founded a Utopian "Aryan" colony in the Paraguyan jungle called Nueva Germania in 1887. It was a disaster: her husband committed suicide in 1889 and Förster-Nietzsche returned to Germany. When she died in 1935, Hitler attended her funeral.

While it has been known to Nietzsche scholars that Förster-Nietzsche meddled with her brother's work, particular after his death, the new encyclopedia – consisting of entries by about 150 scholars – shows the sheer breadth and depth of her forgeries as never before.

Niemeyer, a psychologist and Nietzsche expert from Dresden University, scoured through Nietzsche's letters to catalogue the extent of the falsifications.

Of the collection of 505 of her brother's letters that Förster-Nietzsche published in 1909, just 60 were the original versions and 32 of them were entirely made up, he claims.

She had used a "long list of dirty tricks" to hide Nietzsche's loathing for the leading anti-Semite Theodor Fritsch in letters he wrote in 1887, Niemeyer said.

At the same time, she fabricated remarks that made Nietzsche appear to endorse the views of the French philosopher Arthur de Gobineau, who advocated the racial superiority of "Aryan" people.

In her edition of the famous book, The Will to Power, Förster-Nietzsche included only 270 of the 374 aphorisms her brother wrote – and most of them were incorrect.

She cut out the maxim in which her brother condemned anti-Semitism with the words: "Have nothing to do with a person who takes part in the dishonest race swindle."

Niemeyer also discovered that in her edition of Beyond Good and Evil, Förster-Nietzsche removed the sentence: "The anti-Semites cannot forgive the Jews for the fact that they have 'spirit'."

He added: "All of her falsifications were held together by the idea that Förster-Nietzsche and her husband Bernhard Förster, who was a Hitler-precursor similar to Theodor Fritsch, thought the same or nearly the same."

While acknowledging some of Nietzsche's early writings could be interpreted as fascist and he shared an early friendship with the anti-Semitic composer Richard Wagner – a relationship that later broke down – the philosopher was never a fascist or anything like it, Niemeyer said.

Rather, he was above all an iconoclast who was deeply contemptuous of both anti-Semitism and nationalism.

Although the falsifications have been largely corrected in later editions, they helped cement Nietzsche's reputation early on as a fascist – a stigma from which he has never fully recovered, Niemeyer said.


Saturday, September 19, 2020

Here Is Why Subhas Chandra Bose Wanted Jinnah To Be First PM Of India

September 19, 2020

Subhas Chandra Bose wanted Jinnah to be the first PM of independent India if he gave up the demand for Pakistan.

Subhas Chandra Bose’s Plot To Bring Down The British Empire

Jinnah had to surmount stiff opposition from the Indian National Congress (hereafter referred to also as the Congress Party, the Congress or the INC), which was then the biggest political party in India, a grass-roots mass organization since the 1920s, with branches all over undivided India and long years of political organization and activity. It demanded freedom from British rule in the name of all Indians in a united India. In opposition to it, the All-India Muslim League (hereafter referred to also as the Muslim League, the League or the AIML) demanded separate states for the Muslims in the northwestern and north-eastern zones of India, where they constituted a majority, on the grounds that they were a distinct and separate nation and not merely a large minority (one-fourth of the total population of India). It was an elitist party till 1940, which thereafter rapidly acquired popular support and became a mass party by the time the future of India was put to vote in 1945–46.

Although Jinnah won the case for Pakistan, the partition of India and the two Muslim-majority provinces of Bengal and the Punjab resulted in unprecedented violence and rioting, in which more than a million Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs died, and the biggest migration in history, mostly to escape death and injury, took place; some 12–15 million crossed the international border drawn between India and Pakistan.

In the Pakistani nationalist narrative, Jinnah is eulogized as the Man of Destiny, fired by a true love for Islam and Muslims who liberated Muslims from the yoke of Hindu imperialism spearheaded by the Indian National Congress. Jinnah’s two-nation theory, which sharply and irreconcilably dichotomized Hindus and Muslims as two separate nations, is disseminated in Pakistan through the educational curriculum.

Farooq Ahmad Dar, in his book, Jinnah’s Pakistan: Formation and Challenges of a State, mentions several occasions when, after the Muslim League moved the Lahore Resolution on 23 March 1940 demanding the creation of separate Muslim states, the Indian National Congress tried to dissuade Jinnah from demanding Pakistan:

-The first instance was in June 1940, when the Congress president Subhas Chandra Bose offered Jinnah the post of the first prime minister of independent India, but contingent on his withdrawing his demand for the division of India.

-A few months later, C. Rajagopalachari went even further: he offered the Muslim League not only the right to nominate the prime minister but also the cabinet of their choice.

When C Rajagopalachari Exposed BCG Vaccination Campaign Propaganda

-As late as April 1947, Gandhi was ready to hand over power to Jinnah at the centre with an all-Muslim administration if he gave up his demand of Partition.

Dar then presents Jinnah’s steadfast resistance to such overtures in the following words:

These temptations could not, however, mould the solid man in Jinnah and he stood firm on his stance, which he thought was in the best interests of the Muslims of South Asia. Even when such efforts failed to persuade Jinnah, the Congress leaders continued their efforts to impede the creation of Pakistan till the last day. Yet, they failed to do so.

Dar and others, however, shy away from explaining why Jinnah accepted the 16 May 1946 Cabinet Mission Plan proffered by British ministers to break the deadlock between the Congress and the Muslim League. The Cabinet Mission Plan rejected the Pakistan demand; it recommended instead a loose Indian union with a weak Centre whose constituent federating units were entitled to reconsider their relationship with the Union after ten-year intervals. Additionally, the princely states were required only to cede defence and foreign affairs to the Union while retaining control over all other sectors of society: something which was already the praxis under British paramountcy. The Congress leaders found the Cabinet Mission Plan unacceptable and rejected it.

In sharp contrast to Jinnah being identified as pivotal to the partition of India and the creation of Pakistan, Ayesha Jalal, in The Sole Spokesman: Jinnah, the Muslim League and the Demand for Pakistan (1985), originally her PhD dissertation, came to the novel conclusion that ‘Jinnah sought to be recognised as the sole spokesman of Indian Muslims on the all-India level . . . From the late nineteen-thirties his main concern was the arrangements by which power at the centre was to be shared once the British quit India.’ At another place she wrote, ‘It was Congress which insisted on partition, it was Jinnah who was against partition.’

In an article ‘Between Myth and History’, published in the Dawn on 23 March 2005, she complained that she has been misunderstood as having suggested that Jinnah used the Pakistan demand merely as a pressure tactic. In it she asserts that in her books—The Sole Spokesman: Jinnah, the Muslim League and the Demand for Pakistan and Self and Sovereignty: Individual and Community in South Asian Islam since 1850—she had delineated an uneasy fit between the claim of Muslim ‘nationhood’ and the uncertainties and indeterminacies of politics in the late colonial era that led to the attainment of sovereign ‘statehood’.

Jalal refers to the 1940 Lahore Resolution, which, she argues, avoided any ‘mention of “partition” or “Pakistan”, while calling for the ‘grouping of the Muslim-majority provinces in north-western and north-eastern India into “Independent States”, in which the constituent units would be “autonomous and sovereign”’.

Does avoiding any mention of ‘partition’ or ‘Pakistan’ while calling for ‘Independent States’ in which the constituent units would be ‘autonomous and sovereign’ warrant that it did not mean demanding Partition and Pakistan? In the conclusion she underscores: ‘It was Congress’s unwillingness to countenance an equitable power-sharing arrangement with the Muslim League which resulted in the creation of a sovereign Pakistan based on the partition of Punjab and Bengal along ostensibly religious lines.’

Regarding the contents and empirical material in The Sole Spokesman, it is to be underlined that it includes accounts of many events and episodes demonstrating Jinnah’s indefatigable efforts to surmount challenges to his leadership from powerful regional leaders to be the sole spokesman of Muslims. It also abundantly demonstrates Jinnah’s strategy to work hand in glove with the British to mount a challenge to the Congress claim to represent all Indians. Was it, as she argues, to work out a power-sharing deal with the Indian National Congress and the British? If yes, then that is not evident from the hundreds of speeches, statements and messages in which Jinnah explained repeatedly that he wanted a partition of India to create Muslim states. I give here in the beginning only one example. The Lahore session of the AIML ended on 25 March 1940. The same day Jinnah gave a press conference in which he said unambiguously:

The declaration of our goal which we have definitely laid down, of the division of India, is in my opinion a landmark in the future history of the Mussalmans of India . . . I thoroughly believe that the idea of one united India is a dream. Given goodwill and a friendly understanding, Muslim India and Hindu India can live as most friendly neighbours free from clashes and friction to their respective spheres and peacefully develop the government of their States to their own satisfaction respectively.

Jinnah also dismissed repeatedly as nonsense that he was using the demand for Pakistan as a bargaining chip. Again, at this preliminary stage, I give one example.

Speaking to the Delhi Muslim Students’ Federation on 23 November 1940, Jinnah angrily dismissed any suggestion that he or the League were using the demand for Pakistan as a bargaining tactic. He remarked:

The Hindus must give up their dream of a Hindu ‘Raj’ and agree to divide India into Hindu homeland and Muslim homeland. Today we are prepared to take only one-fourth of India and leave three-fourth to them. ‘Pakistan’ was our goal today, for which the Muslims of India will live for and if necessary die for. It is not a counter for bargaining.

Excerpt from Jinnah: His Successes, His Failures and Role in History by Ishtiaq Ahmed published by Penguin Random House India.

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