Indianness - What Constitutes The Indian Mentality


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This is a description of the Indian attitudes towards the idea of state, public sphere, civic sense, idea of public morality and others.

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Indianness - What Constitutes The Indian Mentality

  1. 1. Susmita Dasgupta, PhD 1
  2. 2. This is because the Indian will become the most numerous species of human beings on earth by 2030. 2
  3. 3. It is expected to have at least 7% of the world’s spending and consuming class 3
  4. 4. 4 To be an attractive destination for world capital because its GDP will grow and it will be home to many rich persons in the world. But it will be increasingly be home to the world’s largest number of the appallingly poor, hungry, homeless, ill, illiterate, unemployed and unemployable and the ageing.
  5. 5. Will mean knowing its paradoxes and understanding them and of course, eventually working through these contradictions. 5
  6. 6. Indian cosmology = Indian metaphysics 6
  7. 7. 7
  8. 8. A set of pagan practices which can vary across households in the same spatial vicinity. Its rituals have no textual or ecclesiastical backing. It is a dharma which literally means what one usually has taken upon oneself to do. Dharma is actually something that one holds on to. 8
  9. 9. No one created the Universe 9
  10. 10. 10
  11. 11. 11
  12. 12. And the individual is in charge of holding up the Universe in balance along with others. 12
  13. 13. The individual should remain very still In cooperation with others And in fixed positions relative to the rest. She should not move or change or shift and shuffle, lest the Universe topples over because of her. 13
  14. 14. But to continue things as it is.. 14
  15. 15. 15
  16. 16. 16
  17. 17.  Because committed by balance, we find it difficult to see progression and change, evolution, transformation and hence have little regard for causality.  Knowledge gives power and this may upset the balance by changing the relative positions among people, a catastrophe if you are precariously holding the Universe in a balance.  Knowledge has the potential to “add” something to the system which might again mean a realignment of the set up.. 17
  18. 18. Indians can adapt to it, absorb it, bend it and twist it to suit the Indian conditions.. 18
  19. 19. 19
  20. 20. Because they are not employed in offices 20
  21. 21. Vis-à-vis the central power 21
  22. 22. Where the employer is the State, the job is permanent.. 22
  23. 23. Does the Indian become a businessman so that she compensates through money what she loses out in terms of social power. 23
  24. 24. Economic power has been used to achieve social power.. 24
  25. 25. 25
  26. 26. The caste system is a mechanism by which these positions are ranked hierarchically.. 26
  27. 27. Do not take this nonsense lying down… 27
  28. 28. And because we are not increasing the size of the pie, we try to improve our lot relative to the rest.. 28
  29. 29. And in a democracy based on universal adult franchise, increasing our population is also a way to achieve our goals. 29
  30. 30. We pull off no major revolutions because that might topple the system, but work within the system trying to improve our relative ranks. 30
  31. 31. 31
  32. 32. We are contemptuous of people achieving and doing well because by someone else’s success our relative positions are threatened. We also need more money that our ‘posts’ provide us with because economic power would help us attain the social status that we otherwise find difficult to attain. We are unhappy about anyone doing anything that would change systems and make fresh demands on us and thus would like to sabotage the process. 32
  33. 33. This is because we neither wish to change the system and our clients would want it even less. 33
  34. 34. Hence while we are very corrupt in our own offices, we are very sensitive about politicians being very corrupt. 34
  35. 35. 35
  36. 36. It is the state that can control individuals and the social classes to maintain the mutual spaces and relative distances 36
  37. 37. In order to maintain order among the castes, each claiming superiority over the rest. 37
  38. 38. She cannot tolerate someone else claiming superiority over her because she is one place rather than the other. 38
  39. 39. 39
  40. 40. An Indian wants equality with her superior but would like to maintain a hierarchy over her inferior. 40
  41. 41. 41
  42. 42. When countries in south Asia are at best dictatorial and otherwise anarchical and ochlocratic.. 42
  43. 43. 43 The modern state that shelters the individual against the pressures of the society to maintain her social role. Democracy somehow helps engender a modern state. Democracy plays out the opposing forces in the society so that some forces are automatically contained by others through the impersonal voting machine.
  44. 44. 44 Has revolved around the nature of the state that gives equal social opportunities to all and is inclusive And/or around gaining more share of the overall power in a zero sum game…
  45. 45. 45
  46. 46. But it is intolerant of anyone who appears to “interfere” in the “set up”. 46
  47. 47. Sufis, heterodox sects, and absorbed religions like Buddhism and Jainism that challenged the Hindu caste system. 47
  48. 48. All across India where persons of each religion have lived side by side 48
  49. 49. 49 Limits of the private space and kinship are intolerant of diversity.
  50. 50. But her cosmology 50
  51. 51. Because the Indian draws her identity from this Universe and draws her ethics, philosophy and metaphysics from this idea 51
  52. 52. Which moves towards something, which is run of God’s will and in which individuals can become akin to the Creator. 52
  53. 53. Is an attempt at the “Semitization” of the Indian cosmology of balance. 53
  54. 54. And it has the possibility of completely nullifying the Hindu view of life… 54
  55. 55. 55
  56. 56. That many say is a lack of national pride.. 56
  57. 57. No idea that “I” can be an agent of change. No idea that the order needs to be “created” and recreated because it is supposed to be eternal and in search of balance. No connection between ends and means and hence fails to see things in terms of their consequences and implications. 57
  58. 58. Ecological problems, pollution issues. 58
  59. 59. This is also because of a near absence of causality. 59
  60. 60. 60
  61. 61. But adds to it that the overall size of the cake must also grow 61
  62. 62. Will also help create it.. 62
  63. 63. 63
  64. 64. One also had to cleanse the system and repair it.. 64
  65. 65. A dynamic one, one who created and protected the system and also held it in balance. 65
  66. 66. Which the people had to uphold. This galvanized the people into mass participation. 66