Sunday, 8 June 2014

The educated Indian loses his 'Indian'ness.

The 'educated Indian' is mentally colonized by the west. We all are, even if we wear sarees and dhotis, and avoid the white man's attire. The years of 'western schooling' we undergo is partly the cause.
Modern education with its emphasis on 'scientific thinking', rejects superciliously all that is not 'scientifically provable'. The village's dharmam and gods cannot be proved. A village identity is based on these.
In all this loss of faith we have a vast loss - we lose our bond with our ordinary fellow indians. Living in the village for 10-15 years, as a neighbour, a friend, a teacher ... will mutual affection ... i still realize mentally i inhabit a different world. And the gap in the two worlds is God.

We accept the white man's modern science more than Indian science. The years of 'western schooling' we undergo is partly the cause. Accepting Ayurveda, for example, firstly takes unlearning of protiens and vitamins as the basis and accepting vata and kapha as the basis. That takes time.  Also Indian science is deeply related to religion, but the mantrams and the daiva chikitsa (divine invocations) therein we find even harder to accept, as our western education has left us irreligious. I can see that in myself. Even in the village, I accepted my village people's local medicine preparations completely, but I still am unconvinced about their mantram chikitsa ... but slowly, very slowly, over many yearsI am learning to trust. Or at least not to mistrust. Or maybe I just like to think so.

India is religious, deeply religious. In Dalitwada, Paalaguttapalle, dharmam is mentioned in every thrird sentence. And Eashwaramma,landless and poor, gives to every mendicant who asks because that is dharmam. Every god is worshipped Gangamma, Vinayaka and Sibbalamma, with all rituals.And this is Hinduism in its vastness, and not Hindutva in its narrowness.

If the educated look at people who follow religion as lesser beings, deny religion and religiousness, then the right will take over. It has. We have surrendered the country to them. Our modern, western education has alienated us from the people is subtle but very deep ways. Modern science came in, and everything that did not come in its fold was superstitiously discarded. Religion could not be 'scientifically' explained.

Gandhi was religious, truly religious, and the people related to him the way they do not to the 'secularists', and the 'liberals'. Let us understand Indianness, understand and respect its religiosity, if we wish to be accepted by the Indians.

And as rightwing claims all that is holy, in reaction we cannot and should not reject all that is holy. We will lose our religion, and we will also be negating and losing our ordinary village people whose lives are rooted in holiness and religiousness and dharmam as they term it. We will also become very distanced from them.

India is deeply religious. I speak from experiance of living in my village for 15 years. When we 'scientific, western educated' lose our religiosity, it is one degree of alienation from the people. When we think our 'scientific temper' is superior to 'religion', the alienation is complete.

The 'scientific temper' is a heady drug. It gives hallucinations of superiority.

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