How the West defines India – 1

Creeping Awareness


“What's wrong with us Indians? Why don't we even flinch when a hundred of our countrymen get mowed down like grass in a terror attack? When thousands of our brethren lose their entire lives' worth in a flood or an earthquake, how many of us wince in genuine pain for their troubles?”

Such thoughts often creep into my psyche unannounced, confronting me in those rare introspective, almost vulnerable moments of relative silence.

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Audial and Literary Cultures: The Bhagavad Gita as a Case Study

by Antonio T. de Nicolas, PhD

I am arguing in this paper that in order to study cultures we must first be able to identify the models by which a culture forms itself. I distinguish. between audial and literary cultures and audial cultures I further distinguish from oral cultures. Oral cultures used songs to transmit information (like the navigation rules of the Somoans), while an audial culture provides us with a structure ruled by the corre- spondence between the innate auditory sense of harmony and tone on the one hand and the arithmetic properties and ratios of the vibrating strings on the other. The literary culture takes the eye as the primary sense and organizes sensation by the criteria of a semiotic model that takes sight as primary. These texts are based upon the properties of sentences as embodied in grammar, two-valued logic, mathematics, classical physics, constructivism.

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Identities and labels, how far should one go with them?

The "hindu identity" subjected to the "Self Policing" vs "Self Defense" test. The ideas of two eminent thinkers, Amartya Sen's & Arvind Sharma, discussed & compared.

 

Who am I?

Ever since the first humans started asking this question, we set out on the path of cultural evolution. Since we're not aware of animals asking this question, we will presume for now that it is true for only humans. There is a long & detailed history, or rather histories that have been recorded by us over the million or so years we've been human. With being human comes also the need to strive for something beyond "roti-kapda-aur-makaan, i.e. food, shelter & other basics to sustain life. Notions of what self-improvement, and societal "progress" means have been changing over time.

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