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Schism in Human Motivations

There is fundamental difference between western society and the Indian one. Primarily it is that western society has been developed under monotheistic systems- be they the military state such as that of Roman Empire and other empires that claimed divine right to rule, with everyone owing allegience to one supreme ruler and dynasty, or in the form of monotheistic church, where everyone is sheep, and should follow their shepherd unquestioningly.

In India, on the other hand, there was no mono-way of living that everyone had to comply with. There were many panchayats, many janapadas and at times many kingdoms that administered the land. Unlike in western society, here people were not expected to, nor made to, follow one particular way. Most importantly, people were not considered sheep to be led by a shepherd, many people realized themselves as brahma, and people engaged in pursuits that helped actualize karma.

purushartha

bharatiya samskriti recognizes four purusharthas – dharma, artha, kama, moksha, that motivate individuals based on their varna– expression of inherent motivation.

Depending on the varna, that again depends on the proportion of gunas- sattva, rajo, tamo, individual’s motivation changes.

The variation in the gunas is more a function of time, as well as samskara.

atman takes birth, extingushes karma samskara in pursuits suited for the purpose, sometimes accrues more, to be exhausted later, sometimes having exhausted karma attains moksha.

Thus in Indian context, there is no hierarchy. A common man may have exhausted karma and may be a mumukshu, as in the case of Raikva, mentioned in chandogya upanishad. A brahmana, learned in veda and having attained high spiritual insights, may yet accrue karma samskara, as in the case of Ravana, when he abducted Sita devi.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Abraham Maslow, based on his study of western society, proposed  a Theory of Human Motivation based on a Hierarchy of Needs. Maslow’s theory, though finding relevance  in the context of an oppressive society, does not have relevance in a dharmik society.

The primary motivator in Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs, Physiological needs- food, air, water, sleep, are available in Nature. In normal circumstances, these needs are automatically met.

The Safety need requirement arise only when there is adharmikata, when aggrandizing people expropriate from others. In dharmik society, such needs are also automatically satisfied as conscious kshatriyas uphold dharma.

Social needs are also automatically satisfied in a society that values family and extended family including that of animals and environment, as in the case of bharatiya samaj.
It is when people are made to consider themselves as individual units limited to within their physical bodies and its immediate needs, that the resulting emaciated sense of self seeks compensation by way of social distractions.

Engaged in pursuits leading to atma sakshatkara, recognizing physical body as temporary vessel for purpose of exhausting karma, dharmik people do not seek recognition, attention, or applause. They engage in nishkama karma.
It is when people are made to consider themselevs as selfish individualistic entities and treated as automations that the resultant lack of self-esteem drives them to seek it outside.

In bharatiya samaj, the ‘Self-actualization’ needs- ‘Truth, Justice, Wisdom and Meaning’, are also automatically experienced.

Theories in Context

A person, using color, canvas and brush, produces a painting, should not expect others using the same implements to produce the same painting. Skill, temperament, talent, creativity and motivations lead individuals to produce unique paintings. Societies, based on their value systems, create unique realities. Theories developed based on realities created by one society are inapplicable on others.
Western theories find relevance only in the self-aggrandizing adharmik environment of western society.
In the real world of dharma, western society, their selfish narrow outlook, their systems of rapacious exploitation and resulting theories do not have relevance.
Like, the anxieties experienced during a nightmare do not have relevance upon waking up.

India’s current situation, of more than 70% people living in material poverty, is caused by the implementation of western exploitative systems in society for the past millennium.
The solution is simply in removing the exploitative structures.

In most cases Nature heals when the injury causing foreign object is removed from the body. In India’s case, the western structures and systems of exploitation that mughals and british imposed and continued with by current rulers.

bharatiya samskriti and dharma have the vitality to rejuvenate and re-establish itself if each of the aggrandizing western structures are identified and removed.

Instead, if we choose to live the nightmare, we will experience new anxieties and continue sweating, fabricating fancy theories that have just as much endurance as the nightmare itself.

Madhu Kishwar wrote an article titled “A Question of Balance” regarding khap panchayat. Blogger Indyeah critiques it here . While this blog is an analysis of Indyeah’s article, it is actually the mindset that produces such articles that is attempted to be criticized here.

Quoting from Madhu Kishwar’s article- “No civilised society can sanction murder simply because some people claim a particular person brought them “dishonour”. Likewise, no civilised society can allow a small minority of self-appointed social reformers to decide arbitrarily which identities have sanctity and which must be banned out of existence through statist coercion“. Indyeah asks-

 “When she(Madhu Kishwar) writes about NOT allowing a small minority of self appointed reformers to decide arbitrarily as to which identities should have sanctity , does she then also extend this reasoning to cover France’s burqa ban that she supports wholeheartedly? Why no emphasis by her on first finding a consensus among the Muslim society there? It was okay to have a small minority of self appointed reformers to decide on the burqa ban in France?”

The burkha is worn publicly in society and not just in muslim areas or just within muslim households, so it is a society matter. Banning it in France is the decision of that society. They have a right to decide how their society should be. Similarly khap also have a right to decide how their society or community should be. Madhu Kishwar is consistent on that point.   

“Pull the Muslim women out of the medieval age she says or else they will be stuck there forever. Okay. One accepts she has a point there. (Though the word BAN is like this bone stuck in my throat). But why an about turn by her on the khap issue in India then? Why no calls for ‘pulling the community out of medieval age?”

A possible reason why the word ‘ban’ sticks in throat may be that in these times of political correctness bold actions and words are intimidatory to a PC, for whom words such as that are to be used only when the ‘minority’ community demands that it be used, to assuage its ‘hurt sentiments’ caused by some book or cartoon, not otherwise.

The blogger seems to have accepted that khaps are ‘medieval’, which means it is to be taken as ‘primitive’, ‘abhorrent’, and with an expiry date well in the past. In ‘modern’ ‘progressive’ society, to which that blogger belongs,  it is the accepted norm that anything pasted with the label ‘medieval’ is to be condemned. She is following the general norm of this society- that of ‘calling a dog mad and killing it’. But in this blind attempt to label apples as oranges she misses the point that khap is a democratic system that works on consensus among its constituents, not something that claims legitimacy on the basis of what is claimed to be the ‘words of a god’ or prophet. It is a democratic system for governance at local level.

Wikipedia says about functioning of khap– “The Khap is a system of social administration and organization in the republics of Northwestern Indian states such as Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh since ancient times. Khap is a term for a social-political grouping and used in a geographical sense. Other parallel terms are Pal, Ganasangha, Janapada or republic. The concept of Khap is ancient; written references are found as far back as Rig Vedic times. … The Panchayat system is territorial and highly democratic. Every village has its own Panchayat. … All decisions are taken after open-hearing, full and voluntary expression of views and consensus vote. A number of villages grouped themselves into a Gohand, gohand actually means neighboring villages, a number of Gohands form a ‘Khap’“.

Steve Muhlberger, Associate Professor of History, Nipissing University writes about Democracy in Ancient India– “The experience of Ancient India with republicanism, if better known, would by itself make democracy seem less of a freakish development, and help dispel the common idea that the very concept of democracy is specifically “Western”.”

There is a major difference between respecting democratic traditions that foster self-sufficiency, as in the case of khap, and imposing dehumanising edicts claimed to be coming from ‘god’, as in the case of certain islamic injunctions. The blogger fails to discern this.

A ban in France would have been fine HAD the Muslim population, specifically the Muslim WOMEN been asked . Had there been a poll. The democratic consensus that Ms Kishwar writes about here.”

The decision in France is taken by a democratically elected government. The blogger forgets that fact in her eagerness to bestow upon ‘muslim population’ the decisive rights on what society should accept.

This is also a pointer to the the mindset created in india by the ‘intellectuals’ and ‘academicians’. A mindset that wants muslims to have first claim on nation’s resources, unmindful that this was the policy of ‘medieval’ muslim marauders! The mindset that causes a PM to lose his sleep thinking about the plight of the family of one muslim suspected for ties to Glasgow bomber, the same PM apparently does not  lose any sleep over the plight of the families of  thousands of Indian soldiers and paramilitary being mudered in the hands of muslim terrorists in Kashmir.
This mindset is what Babar and Aurangazeb imposed, that muslims are superior, and the rest, inferior ‘dhimmis’, who should  pay jizya. The ‘intellectuals’ of today apparently do not recognize their own such ‘medieval’ mindset!

Seems like the kindergarten example of ‘If you wont agree to the rules, even I won’t’. ‘Other’ religious minorities show no inclination to be part of a consensus on UCC, writes Madhu Kishwar and therefore Ms Kishwar argues even Khaps should be allowed to have their own personal laws.”

While the blogger bestowed upon the ‘minority’ muslim population the right to decide how society should be, she refuses to extend to the majority even the privileges that are given to such ‘minorities’, lest it be ‘kindergartenish’. This is the convoluted conception of ‘equality’ in ‘modern’ times. 

If in future, as Madhu writes, Khap Panchayats will give freedom to any couple that wants to get married under the Special Marriage Act, then where is that freedom now? Why the demand for amendment in the Hindu Marriage Act (HMA) ? An individual would like to use the Special Marriage Act to get married to the person of his/her choice IF there are certain obstacles in the way . But to FIRST CREATE an obstacle(the proposed amendment) and THEN say that oh! you have the Special Marriage Act for your benefit??? Absurd in the extreme!”

The proposed amendment in Hindu Marriage Act is required to legitimize the existing, accepted, norm in Jat society of Haryana. Those who want to opt out of those norms are free to do so using Special Marriage Act. Only, they will then be opting to forgo ties with the community. The proposed amendment is necessary to protect the community from  any future claims made by such people upon inheritance or relationship.

After all, the whole issue is about choice. Two individuals want to get married to each other and the khap panchayats citing age old tradition don’t allow them to do so.”

Choice making is not the sole right of those two individuals. The people who remain in the community also have  the right to choose whether they want people who violate their norms to remain in their midst.

So the couple escapes(or tries to) and is killed before or after getting married. Depends on when the Khap panchayats catch hold of them. And it is named ‘Honour’ killing . Just exactly whose ‘honour’ it is, is yet to be determined.

Khap is not limited to the people who did the murder, or the people who instigated that murder. There are numerous khaps all over Haryana, Rajasthan and UP. To use one off incident to tarnish the entire people is absolutely incorrect and unjustified.

This type of focusing on one incident committed by few individuals and to denounce the entire community for that incident is typical behaviour of ‘intellectuals’.

They deliberately refuse to see that ‘hindus’ are not limited to the people who pushed widows into a funeral pyre. They are not just the people who burned ‘dalits’. Not just the people who brought down a dilapidated structure built over a temple in Ayodhya, not just the people who were convicted for riots in Gujarat. Focusing on only these acts and to label ‘hindus’ accordingly is the proclivity of present day ‘intellectuals’ and ‘media personalities’. Interestingly they reverse the process when ‘minorities’ are involved, while they focus on the few bad apples among what they call ‘majority’ community, they overlook the overwhelmingly numerous bad apples of ‘minority’ community produced by a polluting theology. Then they ascribe terrorist acts by muslims and christians as ‘reaction againt the fascist oppression by hindus’.

This behaviour may be traced partly to the fear instilled in some sections of society by past tyrants like Aurangazeb  and their present day successors who vociferously and sometimes physically assault critics, and partly due to the macaulayite indoctrination imposed by british, euphemistically called ‘education’, that indoctrinates people that they and their culture are worthless. So between the likes of Aurangazeb, Macaulay and their successors, the ‘intelligensia’ finds relief in self-flagellation and attempts to portray themselves as ‘modern’ and to condemn every practice of their ancient culture as ‘medieval’.

So khap panchayats that don’t allow two individuals to get married now will ‘allow’ or ‘give the choice’ to their sons and daughters to do so in the future? After the amendment? Apparently Ms Kishwar thinks so. She seems to think that once the amendment is made, Khap Panchayats will undergo a change of heart and will agree like little kittens to any wish of their children to marry within gotra. And that they will lose their bloodthirsty tendency. If according to Ms Kishwar, Clan or family members of such rebels have the right to disown and disinherit such persons but cannot be given the right to hound them to death, then why are the clan members not already doing so ? They need an amendment to change their heart? But wait! The proposed amendment is EXACTLY what the khap Panchayats want so WHY would they become all docile AFTER their wish has been granted???”

The amendment, as said before, will protect the khap community and its properties from any lawful claims upon it with regard to inheritance or relationship by people who do not conform to its laws. 

The mention of ‘docility’ indirectly points to the crux of the issue. It is the stand taken by khaps claiming the right to decide for themselves, the right to independent thought, the right to continue their traditions, that is troubling the blogger.
Those who have surrendered their rights to independent opinion to ‘intellectuals’ and  media personalities feel agitated to see people they consider as ‘uneducated’ claiming that right. They want to teach their ‘inferiors’ a lesson in ‘modernity’. They feel insecure to find Madhu Kishwar championing such cause.
They want khap to be docile like they themselves are, to the overbearing self appointed ‘reformers’, who are in turn docile followers of their western overlords and paymasters.

Insinuating ‘bloodthirstiness’ on khap is similar to the way native americans were caricatured in that manner before exterminating them and grabbing their lands.

The last question in the quote above expresses their subconscious fear that khap may not become docile even in the future, and therefore need to be stifled, gagged, labelled and exterminated right now, in a pattern similar to how independent aspirations of native people were subjugated or subverted by colonialists in the past to prevent any possibility of rebellion or insubordination.

There are many communities that are still outside that all important sphere called education and are still stuck in a medieval mindset. So are they to be allowed to do what they want?”

The ‘all important sphere of education’! The same that converted these people into coconuts (as defined by Richard Crasta in ‘Impressing the Whites’) and brown sahibas and sepoys, that which makes them members of the club of ‘modern’ and ‘progressives’! How can these people allow those who do not belong to this club to do what they want ? Only club members have decision making powers. Like in the ‘good’ old colonial days- (traditional)indians and dogs not allowed in the club.

 “There are many communities that are holding on to certain questionable practices even now. If one extends Ms Kishwar’s arguments regarding ‘preservation of tradition’ vis a vis the khap panchayats to other ‘traditions’ of other communities as well then where will it lead us?”

Any practice that is not sanctioned by the high divas of modernity is of course ‘questionable’ and condemnable! Everybody should owe allegience to the god of ‘modernity’ that these people are believers of, all non-believers are denied right to existence like in those medieval times that these people ironically claims to condemn. 

India, by reviving its valuable traditions would gain self-respect, be able to function on its own terms, having its own concepts, devolving power to local units, allowing diversity of thought and practices in democratic manner- like how it was before the marauders from west came here with their monotheistic mandrax. But if that happens, these ‘progressives’ and their god of ‘modernity’ would be rendered powerless. That agitates their minds.

Where does one draw the line in giving communities the power to choose which traditions they want to keep and which ones they want to discard? Those youngsters who are dying for simply making a choice are also a part of this very same community right?”

Devolving power, giving independence of thought to others, is anathema to followers of monotheistic religions. It is this fear that motivates the blogger to think of drawing lines to keep others confined within.

Citing one example of ‘dying youngsters’ is a rehash of the tactic used by colonialists and missionaries to caricature natives as imbeciles, unable to think and act for themselves and needing the guidance from their ‘masters’, based on select incidents.

“HOW will these communities EVER come out of the old mindset? When will they advance on the path to progressive thinking? A vicious circle again?

The plaintive cry apparently is- When will these communities join my club, and stop becoming a threat to my religion of ‘modernity’ and ‘progressiveness’ ?

As a commentor writes in response to Ms Kishwar’s column, ‘For, the constitution not only lays down the framework of governance, but also expects the state to perform a pivotal role while facilitating Indian society’s forward movement towards meaningful social change'”

The man made document ‘Constitution’ is now being attempted to be used to justify depriving the rights of individual communities using state power, much in the same manner claims in bible were used to justify colonialism at one time.

‘And sometimes scattered young voices calling out for change and dying for it speak more loudly than that of a collective Khap Panchayat. But only to those who want to hear.’

Drama is a favorite of these ‘modernists’. They instictively slip into that mode. These people straining to hear the scattered voices of ‘dying youths’ are of course STONE DEAF to the cries of the majority. After all, they are indoctrinated to consider that only ‘minorities’ have rights!

Madhu Kishwar’s arguments are shaky at best. If there is a more logical presentation of facts one might feel compelled to listen. Not so the case here.

The arguments put forth by the blogger are shameful at best, being mere copies of western colonial propaganda, duplicitous and  subversive otherwise. 

The blogger’s critique of Madhu Kishwar comes across as more of an instinctive reponse rather than a studied one, for if she had cared to study khaps, she may realize that it is a democratic system, actually much more beneficial than the centralised government that we have now. Instead she seems to have merely followed the line laid out by ‘intelligensia’ and media.

What is instructive is the way this instinctive response of a person whose thinking is obviously moulded by english language newspapers and TV channels reveals uncanny resemblance to colonial ideas.

It reveals the depth to which colonial thought has penetrated ‘english speaking society’ of ‘modern progressives’, a society composed of ‘coconuts’, brown sahibas and other sepoys of western empire.

When will these people gain independence from their colonial mindsets ? Do they even seek it, or are they like the Uncle Toms and house niggers of yore, content in their present state, having internalised the indoctrinations of present day colonialists, blind to the shackles on their mind and intellect, programmed to come out with responses such as these whenever any serious issue comes up.

The ongoing debate on khap is also a part of the debate over centralized, homogenized, globalized society that ‘modern’ people attempts to create on the lines of monotheistic western thought as against the diversity respecting localized society that Indic culture fosters.

 

 

Elsewhere, on khap

 http://psenthilraja.wordpress.com/2010/06/13/khap-democracy-and-vote-democracy-a-comparison/

http://psenthilraja.wordpress.com/2010/05/20/khap-panchayat-demands-time-to-recognize-native-systems/