Sunday, January 20, 2013

No retreat on the modern world

Who wants to go backwards?  Maybe some few southern American conservatives, some Muslims of Salafi persuasion, and so on.

The real issue is - who wants to go forward on the wrong foot?

As a very simple example, the epic Ramayana has had many tellings.  Its role in human life, whatever it is (and we don't understand it) therefore is not that of the Vedic Samhita or the Bible or the Quran, in which the canonical form of the work is very important and huge human effort has been put in to preserve that form.   Some Indians do not want to see that, influenced as they are by the idea that Christianity is the template for understanding everything. E.g., for such reactions, see here, or here.

As Jakob de Roover put it:
Eventually, the colonial inferiority complex of the nineteenth-century Hindu reformers inspired a massive attempt to transform the native traditions into a Hindu theism–Protestant theology dressed up in Hindu garb.  In my analysis, what happens today is a replay of those events....The Hindus will accept the terms of description as fixed by the western culture, just like the nineteenth-century Hindu reformers succumbed to the colonial image of the Indian culture.