Order, chaos and Hindu society

[Preface: This post was the result of thoughts triggered by some messages in an email list, so certain references should be considered in the context of an e-group.]

There is no doubt that unlike Judeo-Christian society, dharma traditions are very comfortable with chaos. However, too much comfort with chaos (coupled with a lack of discipline) can often lead to a false sense of security and can be exploited by hostile forces within and without.

Western society has for a very long time overwhelmingly comprised of (White) Christians. While that is slowly changing, it is still largely true. Western (Christian) society never faced existential external threats the way Hindu society did, and further, it fattened itself on the blood and sweat of its various colonies around the world. To top that off, most dangerously, in the post-colonial period it has injected sundry constructs into non-Western(/Christian) societies that may seem like universal but are actually its own memes that dutifully serve the interests of the Christian West. Secularism (specially as practiced in India) is a perfect example of such a meme.

Hindu society however has always consisted of diverse elements, reflecting the inherent pluralism of Hinduism. Of course, there was always the unifying thread of dharma, but that is besides the point. In a diverse society, a decentralized, distributed power structure is more successful.

  1. It has the ability to self-organize
  2. It is vastly adept in handling large amounts of noise without being too disturbed
  3. It is difficult to completely destroy since some vestige of one power structure may seed another

All of these points are validated by historical and extant instances of Hindu/dhArmika society.

The now corrupted varNa system, in its original, pristine form as devised by our wise ancestors, was a wonderful conception of a distributed, fluid power structure which while being comfortable with chaos still encapsulated discipline. Notwithstanding what ideologically motivated historians would have us believe, the varNa system wasn’t entire a liability and played a part in resisting the Mohammedan whirlwind. Christianity however is way more sophisticated than Islam in exploiting any perceivable chinks in the heathen armor. Under these circumstances and in its current corrupted form, the liability of the varNa system cannot be stressed enough. Indeed, the corrupted varNa system is largely responsible for the lack of political leverage for Hindu interests in India. It is also worth pondering over how much this corruption of varNa system has contributed towards decadence in Hindu society. There is not only too much chaos, but also a very high degree of laziness. Further, due to pervasiveness of Christian memes like secularism and liberalism, several members of Hindu society have actually become rabid Hindu-hating zombies who dutifully serve interests of the anti-dharma block, specially the Christian West. This in turns leads to increased chaos in dhArmika society coupled with a disconcerting lack of guiding and disciplining influence. The lack of discipline is even more dangerous since in a society as diverse as the Hindu society, chaos can be turned centrifugal with the right push at the right places. Forces inimical to dharma and India are already very active in doing this. “Breaking India” provides ample evidence of such inimical forces at work. And when the centrifugal chaos gains enough momentum, fragmentation is very likely to happen.

While the importance of discipline even in seeming chaos is undeniable, the question that arises is, who enforces or inculcates this discipline? Western (Christian) society does enforcement from an organizational level. The best example being the Church. However, Hindu society is more dependent on capable, influential individuals. There isn’t really an established mechanism for discipline (or even dharma for that matter) being inculcated from an organizational level. This of course is tied to the comfort with chaos in dharma traditions. At some point(s) of Hindu history, temples played an important organizational role (as the savant RC Mazumdar has demonstrated), but even so, the individualist element has always been very strong. There are sampradAya specific organizations like svAdhyAya parivAra, Chinmaya Mission, ammA trust, etc. (Swapan Dasgupta calls this folk Hinduism). But when considering hard ground realities, even their collective influence over Hindus is still very limited. So, in the want of capable, influential individuals, dharma suffers. In my humble opinion, AchArya sha~Nkara probably realized this and in his short but momentous life-span sought to rectify it by establishing the various matha-s. Unfortunately, today those who claim to be his spiritual heirs are deep in stupor and hardly have the AchArya-‘s monumental vision or sharp, incisive acumen. But I digress. We need not look further from this e-group to see the overwhelming dependence on individual rather than organization at work. Contrast this to the militarily efficiency with which Christian organizations; both missionary and memetic (secular, liberal, progressive, humanist,…) forms; advance their interests. The different seminaries, theological colleges, secular social science programs that regularly churn out well-trained agents who actively propagate the smokescreen of sameness to aid their unscrupulous mining of dharma knowledge systems are fine examples of the organizational approach. As are the extremely organized evangelical missions. I once saw a video of an Indian Christian who heads an evangelical program in India, reporting to a largely White Christian gathering on the different conversion tactics, the number of converts gained in India, etc. The presentation, the data mined and the methods employed for conversions, gave the impression of a meticulously planned militarily operation. That video is probably still available on YouTube. Interestingly, that Indian Christian is also employed in a public institution supported by the secular Indian government, that explicitly propounds Christian mores for gaining converts. But, I again digress. While I do not make claims of this contrast of order vs. chaos, organizational vs. individualist being either good or bad, it does presents ample food for thought.

I have had these sort of discussions with some folks who sadly, more often than not, fall back on a Utopian saptasindhu/Gangetic valley Vedic past. Perhaps to avoid confronting uncomfortable, bitter truths about extreme dharma-hostile agents within and without. Or perhaps simply out of laziness, or a false sense of security. Some of these folks are also what I like to call “Safe Hindus“. Nonetheless, the point being, harping on what has long since gone is hardly helpful for survival and revival of Hinduism. To quote shrI Aurobindo, “…the body must change to suit its changing environments if it wishes to live.”

A person I highly admire rightly points to leadership training being a solution to address the problem of excess chaos and lack of discipline. But who trains these leaders and more importantly, who sustains and supports them? Perhaps, the ostensible deficiency of an extant inherent organizational support mechanism presents a more fundamental problem.

The safe Hindu

Over the last year, I have made a new acquaintance. We shall call him Shriman Savadhan. Shriman Savadhan presents a perfect example of what I like to call the safe Hindu. This individual shows every indication of having some awareness of the sorry geo-political state of Hindus. He displays some modicum of knowledge of how the farce that is Indian secularism is simply a euphemism for official government sponsored shenanigans to suppress a Hindu revival. He also displays some awareness of the machinations of the Marxists and their occidental Eurocentric associates against the Hindu civilization of India. However, that is the extent of his involvement in Hindu affairs.

When I bring up the matter of certain scholarly books that provide detailed critiques of these dangerous paradigms, he gets disinterested. When I mention certain venues where he could get involved (like volunteering in Hindu missions) to further Hindu causes, he gets even more disinterested. When I mention certain political developments which if comes to fruition will lead to an even worse state for Hindus, he just doesn’t seem to care. Like for instance, Shriman Savadhan is simple not interested in reading books by Sita Ram Goel, Koenraad Elst, Ram Swarup, RC Mazumdar, etc. He sees no reason to read Rajiv Malhotra’s Breaking India. Even though he does seem to have some concern about the foreign funded change of religious demographics in India. He supports the Christian evangelist Rick Perry to become the American president in 2012, for reasons connected to, get this, Mexicans in US! Shriman Savadhan however does realize, in no uncertain terms, that Mr. Perry is backed by vociferous religious fanatics, and his becoming president of USA will herald a huge convert-heathens-in-India campaign.

Shriman Savadhan is not a fool, a communist, a Hindu-hater or a crypto-convert to the rAkShasamata or pretamata (credit to the learned blogger at mAnasataraMgiNI for coining these apt terms). He very strictly follows certain Hindu dietary norms and has on more than one occasion, in private conversation, spoken out against some of the dangers that hang over Hindus in India. Yet, he very assiduously avoids taking any meaningful action like reading books to educate himself and his friends and family, or getting involved with any Hindu organization. Unfortunately, there are countless such characters who are simply not interested in doing anything meaningful for Hindu causes, even though they have some awareness of the issues. Question is, why?

Because of the Marxist-secularist toxicity pervading India since the start of Nehruvian Stalinism which has subverted school textbooks and popular/news media, any sort of pride and involvement in advancing Hindu causes has been colored as politically incorrect. The success of the left establishment lies in subverting the discourse such that their ideological interests have been colored as politically correct, and anything contrary is laden with secular self-consciousnesses and imagined guilt. Unfortunately, this has pervaded very deep into the native psyche. As can be seen in the case of Shriman Savadhan. Which is why you will find many well-meaning folks going out of their way to shed very public tears for the “secular” stone pelters while giving lip service to the “communal fascistic” Hindus driven out through a campaign of rape, murder and mayhem. Never mind that in private they might very well feel otherwise. This sorry situation is kept running through a systematic campaign of manufactured outrage, hyperventilated sanctimony, history and social science  academic departments and textbooks as brainwashing tools, and other such shenanigans. The latest in this series is the proposed Communal Violence Prevention bill which in no uncertain terms is reminiscent of Nazi laws against Jews, and has the single objective of keeping suppressed and eventually obliterating Hindus from India. No wonder, over generations, countless people like Shriman Savadhan have cultivated the need to be very negated and defensive about their Hindu identity. No wonder they feel uncomfortable working with Hindu organizations or even studying scholarly works that explain matters of critical importance to Hindus. No wonder they feel the need to keep their Hindu identity locked up in a closet. No wonder they are more comfortable taking “safe” positions of subservience and non-involvement by not risking epithets like communal, fascistic, etc, that are often thrown at those who assert their Hindu identity or speak up on matters of importance for Hindus. These people are the safe Hindus.

The safe Hindu phenomenon is also observed in case of some public figures who have sympathies for Hindu causes, or who had themselves started out as avid, assertive Hindus. It is common for some of these folks who themselves seemingly start out as assertive, proud, unabashed Hindus to take positions against their former constituency for careerist compulsions. It does however also reflect a certain snobbishness that many acquire with power, success and publicity. This particular brand of safe Hindus will be dissected in another post.

The problem in case of the safe Hindus is that they will do everything not to do anything, even if that involves reading a book connected to revival and survival of Hindus. This is largely due to an aversion for potentially being associated with a cause that has been over the years cunningly colored as politically incorrect, never mind that the cause itself is veracious and of crucial importance. As one commentator astutely said, the need for these safe Hindus is to don the mantle of a collective Shiva and drink the poison of being painted as villains and “fascists”, so that future generations can breathe the air of freedom and dignity as worthy inheritors of the Vedic civilization.