Friday, 17 March 2017

FB Discussions - Atheism and the People 

This is what I have objected to very strongly, and which makes me deeply critical of atheism as a position of extreme arrogance.

The first line is  acceptable as a personal position.

The next three lines are extremely objectionable. My village people (and all village people) are theists, and they are certianly not fools, nor scoundrels nor barbarians.

"He who invented god is a fool
He is propagates god is a scoundrel
He who worships god is a barbarian."

Mark Johnston Some of those who propagate god are indeed scoundrels, the cynical American TV evangelists for example. However to make blanket condemnations and criticisms of the beliefs of others seems to me to be an unhelpful position to take.
Aparna Krishnan oh, plenty of scoundrels everywhere ! but to abuse the simpler and genuine souls is rather uncivilized.

Aparna Krishnan Komakkambedu Himakiran Anugula, the dravidian movement has a problem here as i see it. If this quote is valid.
Aparna Krishnan Every perversion and extravagence and injustice in the name of religion needs to be attacked head on. But not simple people with their simple religiousness in all the villages of this land.
Sailesh Bhupalam Nobody knows for sure if god exists or not, to say that they have experienced god is delusion, to say god doesn't exist is also jumping the gun. we created the anthropomorphic god.

God according to me is a concept created for social control. most people today don't do things that hurt others, not because they are afraid of the law, but because they don't want to invite the wrath of the one above. They are afraid of hell. It is a refuge of the simpleton and the opium of the masses. It is utilitarian in conception but has become an end in itself, god as a means to human happiness has now come to god as a means to human misery. So, i don't think religion has a higher moral authority just because it doesn't call people fools. It is sometimes even worse, uses their trust to exploit them, at least the atheist brigade only self obsessed and not that interested in enslaving the world in the name of one god or the other.
Aparna Krishnan "It is a refuge of the simpleton and the opium of the masses." Objection. The village people are not opiated masses. The atheist is welcome to his opinions and beliefs. Culture demands that he not abuse the other as long as they are silently following their beliefs.
Aparna Krishnan The same is valid for the theist.
Sailesh Bhupalam i was only quoting marx 
Aparna Krishnan And I am disagreeing only with marx ! and in the post with periyar !
Komakkambedu Himakiran Anugula That's where it started off, we've moved the goalposts since then.
Aparna Krishnan perfect !
  But some are stuck there today, and that is a very high degree of disdain for common people. this i picked up from a current post.
Komakkambedu Himakiran Anugula Even at the peak, the movement directed it at centralized religion rather than the village deities.

It saw centralized religion as a tool to control the masses, which hasn't changed and the opposition to that still remains valid. That's why we are rabidly anti Hindutva.

As for people with disdain for common people, there will either be a communist leaning or western liberal leaning.
Aparna Krishnan I see. Yes, makes sense. A process that arises from this land cannot dismiss the simple religiousnesses of simple people. Left is handicapped in that its theories were crafted on another land. And unless they outgrow some essentials of their theories they will never get the reality here, or genuinely anchor anything here. A society's cultural mooring cannot, and should not, be derided or denied. It can, and should, be questioned and corrected.

Velmurugan Balasubramanian I think it was said 60 years back when there was huge oppression in the society in the name of God and rituals. He had reasonably succeeded in his approach and you see how those people life improved these days. He would not have had the same approach on current situation. But, it looks we are going back to those days. May be his words once again applicable in future!
Velmurugan Balasubramanian The above statement is true to those who were denied access to temple bcos of their caste. True to those who were not allowed go nearer to god and pray on their own language just bcos of their caste. And to those who were considered inferior bcos of their caste.
Aparna Krishnan my village is SC. they have there own gods and faith. were they not allowed into a temple they craved for, they would demand that entry. they certianly would not abuse gods. i am describing the indian mind which fundamentally has a sense of the sacred.
Velmurugan Balasubramanian Calling someone 'untouchable' is abusive. Naming those callers as scoundrel is not abusive but reactive.
Aparna Krishnan My village people will not want their gods abused. They will join you in every protest against humans violators. The post abuses the gods of the people.
Aparna Krishnan When it comes to correcting religion of casteism, exhibitionism, meaninglessness, a Nanak or a Meera will go further on this land. Than a Periyar or Mrax who abuse religion and the religious. That is the nature of this land.
Komakkambedu Himakiran Anugula Please don't put Periyar in the same frame as Marx. He had a style and that was effective in shaking up 2000 years of oppressive and submissive thinking. I've clearly explained who Periyar targeted.

Marx on the other hand, lesser said the better.

You are pitting religious and atheists against each other, neither are saints nor sinners completely.

Who contributed to socioeconomic development is what matters!
Aparna Krishnan  Its just that I see the essential simple faith of ordinary people, and then I see such posts jeering at them. It is simply the cultural roots that I seek. Personally I have nothing for or against atheists or theists !
Komakkambedu Himakiran Anugula Ignore the posts, I support Periyar while going to all the temples as one possibly can. For many people, that cannot be possible or even understood!
Aparna Krishnan Unless the openness to understand reality, and to adapt every and any theory to reality is there, every theory can be sterile. The Marxists find it hardest to 'see' indian society and its richnesses - tires of hearing only about the 'oppression and depression' of villages !
Aparna Krishnan Googled this - "In outlining the "idyllic village communities," Marx noted that: Inoffensive though they may appear,[the village communities] had always been the solid foundation of Oriental despotism, that they restrained the human mind
within the smallest possible compass, making it the unresisting tool of superstition, enslaving it beneath traditional rules, depriving it of all grandeur and historical energies....We must not forget that these little communities were contaminated by distinctions of caste and by slavery, that they subjugated man to external circumstances instead of elevating man to the sovereign of circumstances, that they transformed a self developing social state into never
changing natural destiny, and thus brought about a brutalizing worship of nature, exhibiting its degradation in the fact that man, the sovereign of nature, fell on his
knees in adoration of Hanuman, the monkey, and Sabbala, the cow.[5]
By way of contrast, he went on to point out that while she was motivated by the "vilest of interests" and was "stupid" in the way she had gone about it, England was the vehicle for a "social revolution in Hindustan." Arguing that if mankind
could not fulfill its destiny without a fundamental revolution in Asia, then England was the unconscious tool of history in effecting that revolution.
While Marx may have differed from the intelligentsia of the English ruling class in his emphasis, both in terms of England's motivations and anticipated outcomes, his views were based on similar assumptions about India's past and
present society. His main points in this article tend to reflect a view of India that had prevailed since the eighteenth century, when British officials saw India as the product of a long history of ignorance and desperately in need of the
tools of reason as defined by the Enlightenment philosophes. In the absence of historical sources that might suggest another view and Euro-centric in the sense
that it assumed an incapacity on the part of the people of India to make their own history, his writings on this question do little to enhance our understanding of India’s history other than to note the transformative nature of British rule in
India. "
Komakkambedu Himakiran Anugula White Man Syndrome!
Aparna Krishnan However intellectual such a gentleman might be, how can we even take his perspectives as a formula ! How can the Indian leftist.
Komakkambedu Himakiran Anugula Slave Indian Syndrome!
Aparna Krishnan Do they feel we so completely lack the ability to craft our responses based on our understanding and our dignity !
Komakkambedu Himakiran Anugula We are anti whatever they want India to be!
Aparna Krishnan I meant to ask if Indians feel so unable to craft their own responses and stragegies rather than borrow from a Marx who had such disdain for this land, and its culture and its villages ! If a man can hoot at my people for 'worshipping monkeys', I for one would not look that way for direction. 

Komakkambedu Himakiran Anugula Not all Indians, the uprooted ones, it's a pity that they have no role models to seek within their own, they go by what the West throws up.
Aparna Krishnan Which as times goes on, and modern education takes over everyone in its grip, becomes more and more. That is one of our main challenges - recovering ourselves.
Aparna Krishnan But, at a people level, this difference of centralized and local religions is not really there so clearly. The Bharatam which is the essential culture of our people is the Mahabharatam. Krishna, called Krishnamurthy, is traditionally revered, along with Yerpachchamma and Gangamma. Will you call the Bharatam centralized or Sanskritized ? It has been Telugu-ized completely. The traditions are so hoary that everything has been incorporated into everything else and adapted. Yes, we dont need a Hindutva trying to give it all a unifor colour now - and that danger is real.

Komakkambedu Himakiran Anugula When the locals move from Perumal to Krishna, I don't like it. Slowly, vegetarianism is fed to them, Gokulashtami, what next Golu?

There are probably 40 Divya Desams in our region from Chittoor to Villupuram, look at how Tirupati hogs the money, attention. That's the centralized religion I'm against.
Aparna Krishnan But people bow to Balaji as naturally as to Sibbalamma. Are we going to 'preach' to them ? And Krishna in our villages is hoary, because Bharatam (Mahabharatam) is. Ramayana does not exist at all incidentally.
Komakkambedu Himakiran Anugula Sure, but not at the cost of ignoring Perumals of the hinterland. If not for NTR, Krishna would not have beaten Perumal!

Ramayana, is at best a Ramanand Sagar serial!
Aparna Krishnan Oh, so the NTR angle is there also ! Missed that.
Naveen Manikandan Periasamy Vegetarianism should be encouraged in place of recreational meat eating which is prevalent today. I fully support any propogation of vegetarianism as a cause. This should not be confused with imposition of non-native deities.
Komakkambedu Himakiran Anugula The norm was meat eating, which has grown into excessive meat eating. The alternative to that is not vegetarianism.

This sort of centralized dietary diktats is what drives people away in the first place!

p.s.: I'm not going into the debate on meat all over again.
Naveen Manikandan Periasamy This is not a centralized diktat, but a war of ideas and propagation of what I rightfully feel as a superior ethic based on time tested humane principles. Apart from a cultural continuity of vegetarian practices, as a matter of principle meat eating should be avoided when alternatives are easily available which is the case in fertile lands like India. The debate between meat proponents and vegetarians/Vegans was raging till recently in the west till recently and the latter has emerged as a clear winner. I would highly recommend a look at the following conversation between Peter Singer and Richard Dawkins on meat eating from a ethical standpoint.
It is amazing to see people rooted in Bharathiya traditions which gave a exalted position to Ahimsa and vegetarianism debating whether meat eating was a norm.

Komakkambedu Himakiran Anugula 1) Cultural Continuity of vegetarian practices: saying so doesn't make it so. Classic centralised thinkin just like how the RSS said Muslims created Dalits.

2) Fertile Lands: India has 500 million livestock, which is actually less than earlier when 95
% were farmers and had livestock. Did they have livestock as pets?

3) Matter of Principle: who defines principles for the majority; Each individual, family community defines this. no one else can. Masses don't go by political principles of the elite.

4) I have better things to do than watch 2 Western viewpoints argue and then infer what is best for us. My community and I decide that. Please find similar narratives in your community, not on youtube, especially not from the West.

5) Define Bharatiya traditions? Varnashram? Vegatarianism? Ahimsa?

Just tell me you are a card carrying member of the RSS and I will save myself some time!

Please go read the other thread. I've given enough examples from history, from collective memory of the people, from practices of the people. You harp on elitist thoughts as an argument.

I am out of this pseudo debate!
Naveen Manikandan Periasamy 1) If that is true so, the statement "meat eating was a norm" is also a hyperbole and should also be treated with the same skepticism. What cannot be denied is even meat eaters of yesteryears considered vegetarianism to be a higher ethic and abstained from meat eating during certain festivities.
2) If we are talking about cows specifically, they were not harmed by farmers who maintained them in their farms and considered them important for soil management. Their hides were taken only after their death.
3) Yes, each individual has to decide on their own. If the individual abstains from needless violence, maiming and killing of animals that will lead to a more humane society on a whole. On the other hand if he chooses otherwise the society will be poised to go down a path of incremental violence and madness as history has repeatedly shown. That is all I am saying.
4) In the current globalized scenario, the meat industry functions the same way be it east of west. So their arguments apply equally to the subcontinent when it comes to recreational meat eating and hence has to be taken on merit rather than misconstrued notion of listening to only swadeshi ideas.
5) Any tradition from the subcontinent which is ancient, not foreign incorporated and time tested.

No I am not a card carrying RSS member, and neither is RSS taking a strong stance on vegetarianism. And I think RSS deserves credits where it is due - like their dedication to relief operation during natural disasters, contributions to the fight against colonialism and Indo-China wars, etc. I don't consider them to be pure evil like you seem to hold.

I have shown an equal number of counter examples to your points from old Tamil sources itself. So the argument that Vegetarianism + elitism is moot.

You may choose to ignore the debate, but I had to rebut the points raised.
 Komakkambedu Himakiran Anugula 1) I go by what we see in various communities, which is exactly what was shown in the Milk vs Meat survey. It just showed what we all know already.

2) I said livestock, cattle accounted for only a part of that. Assuming for arguments sake, that cattl
e weren't consumed, what about the other livestock? How come we had so many of them?

3) Humane! haha, defined by Ingrid?

4) Not really, please come and visit us. We will show you how meat is not an industry yet in India except for poultry. Local consumption driven only by community model. We work with every livestock group in India. Problem is for someone talking about Swadeshi, your reference points are all Western; quite the contradiction. As for your Swadeshi ideas, they themselves are clouded by 2 communities practices.

5) See above.

6) What examples? Didn't I tell you Tiruvalluvar was a Samanar? What about the Buddha who specifically told people not to kill for sacrifice but only for consumption. 
Aparna Krishnan I have only my village to draw my lessons from. But these are some learnings

1. My village is SC, meat eating and beef eating. They revere a 16th centurey saint Brahmayya gari from Kurnool, and try to make a pilgrimage there sometime once. His stories
are part of the folklore. He has preached against killing of animals. They hear those lessons and stories in humility, accepting that non-killing is a kinder way, but also know that life has its own dynamics and continue with their practices with neither guilt or over-indulgence. The local Indian is able to accept the sanity, question foolishness , and incorporate teachings in a level headed manner. And yes, non killing in theory seems to be accepted as a superior choice.

2. Similarly regarding gods, I have seen them accepting both the vedic and local gods, and incorporating them into their existance in the most non disruptive ways. Krishnamurthy is a revered god, and I hear stories of the Bharatam from Annasamy's childhood, making it pre NTR days. The out of the way stories of the Mahabharatam they tell me even I have not known. And this is an illiterate community, and the stories have been passed down from elders to the younger people. That has in no way pushed them into vegetarianism. Or made them lose their gods.

Rural India has a very level headed attitude to religion, as to most things. Yes Hundutva could today unleash vast damage.

Naveen Manikandan Periasamy Aparna Krishnan / //He has preached against killing of animals. They hear those lessons and stories in humility, accepting that non-killing is a kinder way, but also know that life has its own dynamics and continue with their practices with neither guilt or over-indulgence. // That is all I am saying. Meat eating has been there, but vegetarianism was considered a higher ideal even by non-vegetarians. Meat eating was indulged in based on necessity and not for revelry.

Aparna Krishnan Naveen Manikandan Periasamy No really. It is enjoyed, and is festival fare also. Not just 'necessity'. But yes, the mindless consumption patterns of today's urban lifestyles was never part of our culture. Urban life has revelry and excesses of vegetarian and non-vegeratian, and food and non-food !
Naveen Manikandan Periasamy Komakkambedu Himakiran Anugula 1) Habits have changed vastly over time driven by modern animal husbandry practices. The debate per say is not about prevalence of meat eating today or in recent past, but historical perception of meat eating as a vice that should be avoided to the best extant possibly, if not complete abstinence.
2) //How come we have so many of them// This is an illogical argument. The dynamics of cattle breeding and proliferation is different from humans. Europeans imported a rabbits into australia and within a few years they overran the territory and destroyed the vegetation. I am not sure how this is relevant to this debate.
3) We can look at local sources of knowledge and moral philosophy which state the same in an unambiguous manner.
4) I have pointed out several Indian sources which condemn meat consumption as an evil. My view is that if anyone wants to consume meat it has to be for survival only and not for revelry. The slaughter must not be carried out by a third person, but the consumer himself.
6) I have argued in your threat that Thiruvalluvar may not be a samanar based on certain reference in the Thirukurral. You are free to disagree. In any case you are relying too much on the 'Saiva-Samana' and the false 'Aryan-Dravidian' constructs to support meat eating. The former is exaggerated and both of locally evolved traditions with common roots. The latter has been disproved. I have lost tract your thread.

I turned vegetarian when I was 10 y.o after seeing a goat getting slaughtered in my Kuladeiva Koil.
Komakkambedu Himakiran Anugula One community as mentioned by Aparna was introduced to vegetarianism only in the 16th century! Please don't derive generic pan Indian conclusions based on that! They still continue to eat without breaking a sweat.

1) What is this generalizing? what h
istorical perception of meat eating as a vice? I give you examples, while your reply is generic statements typical of elitism.

2) haha, illogical? We have Indus seals with fighter cocks. Again, you have to refer to European rabbits in Australia which is something that happened in 150 years to define Indian livestock experience of 7000-10000 years?

3) Local sources of knowledge are with the communities, and that's what's reflected in the Milk vs Meat study. Just because it doesn't agree with your preconceived notions, doesn't mean we have to dismiss the study.

4) What Indian sources? from which community? I gave you Buddha, what's your rebuttal to that?

5) false Aryan-Dravidian constructs, as handed down in palm leaf manuscripts by Saint Rajiv Malhotra? Leave that out of here. See you can claim not to be RSS, but each and every line of argument that you make reeks of their propaganda.

Thought so!
Vipin Sharma India is a land of spirituality and to believe in a superpower by any name is not being foolish or barbaric. I think Periyar in his zeal to promote atheism went a bit too far.
Sundaramoorthy Olaganathan I think all the four lines are perfectly wrong
Aparna Krishnan It is the gentleman's choice to write the first line. To write the other three lines is barbaric.
Sundaramoorthy Olaganathan God is the visionary leader voluntarily elected by the collective conscience of the country to organise and guide itself. What is wrong to have belief in god? Had this so called superstition ever prevented this country from being a leader in science,art,culture, trade,philonthrophy,philosophy and self reliant social organism. If such a belief system in spite of all its ills could allow space for the mass to perform as well as any atheistic and rationalistic person, then what e.v.r said is absolutely foolish
Aparna Krishnan I completely agree. But the gentleman is free to have his opinion. But a certian civilized response is also desirable. That is clearly lacking in the further sentences. I have always said that the atheist usually suffers from a superiority complex, and many atheist friends disagreed. Well, so I posted this from an atheistic leader !
Shashi Enarth During the 2002 Gujarat riots , there were bands of thugs who went around forcing people on the street to chant "Jai Sri Ram" to prove that they are Hindu. And when some of them showed any hesitation, was asked to drop their pants! I thought that was the ultimate expression of repulsive, inhuman and yes, very ungodly mind! This chap Ramasamy... would go into that category for such arrogance and violent caricature of a theist. He is not standing for anything except his megalomania-cal self!
Aparna Krishnan The atheist needs to define his own atheism - and table his disagreement from every perversion clearly. So also every theist.
Komakkambedu Himakiran Anugula Let's compare the socioeconomic development of Varnashramam's favorite state Gujarat and Hell on Earth, Periyar's Tamilnadu.

Periyar attacked the ideology not the people. If we can't understand that, it's a shame. His greatest victory is that, his critiques can only target him personally rather than his ideology!
Aparna Krishnan Hima, the quote is personal. And it is unacceptable. If the quote is out of context, i am ready to be corrected. If it is acuted by rage and made in the heat of the moment, and later reworded, that also is acceptable. But if he means that beleivers are barbarians, i cannot accpet that tone.
Komakkambedu Himakiran Anugula It's rhetoric!

Nothing personal about it. Also, why is it that his one quote or views on religion should cloud everything else he said or did?
Aparna Krishnan It is not clouding all his contributions at all. This statement, even in rhetoric, is unacceptable, as it derides normal village people. That is all.
Komakkambedu Himakiran Anugula Haha, do they care? Tamilnadu has been ensuring power is within the Dravidian movement since the 60s, does it mean we are all atheists? You can't find a more religious society in India!
Komakkambedu Himakiran Anugula Husband will be a Periyarist all his life, wife will be breaking coconuts every day!
Aparna Krishnan Yes, normal people do not care. My village people would never have reacted the way i have. They dismiss these as irrelevent rantings and move on with the essential facts.

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