How has terrorism affected India?

#1 Jul 19th, 2003, 04:47
Join Date:
Jul 2003
Location:
USA
Posts:
14
  • unique is offline
#1
Did that question spark any interest? I'm still working on my project (International Business), and Samsara has been so helpful. I get the feeling you've gotten bored. I'm interested on your response to the subject line's question.

My second question, and last question for my report is a repeat. I'm really curious about the answer:

If you had the opportunity, what myth would you say that Americans need to discard about India? After having the opportunity to visit, what did you believe prior to learning once you arrived?

If your not interested in that question, how about the following:

Since the government has spoken out against the caste system, do you see any dramatic changes in India; or do you feel that India needs to focus on other pressing concerns?

Many thanks guys, you really have helped me tremendously!

Unique
#2 Jul 19th, 2003, 05:37
Join Date:
Aug 2001
Location:
.
Posts:
1,571
  • -m2- is offline
#2
how has terrorism affected India?

no way I could give a comprehensive answer, but a few observations:

-- it has increased the communal rift between Muslim and Hindu
-- it is keeping the country on a semi-war footing
-- it has necessitated extreme security measures at airports etc
-- it has caused the displacement of thousands of Kashmiri Hindu
-- it has devastated tourism in Kashmire, the NE States, and other sensitive spots
-- it gives politicians a 'hot button' to work with
etc etc etc.

What myths do Americans have to discard etc etc.

Who knows what Americans think about India? Americans in general know squat about any other country than their own, including their next-door neighbors Canada and Mexico. Apart from India being poor, dirty, and crowded (which aren't really myths), I suspect only someone with a 'need to know' will have taken the trouble to find out very much beyond today's headlines. Certainly business leaders, especially in the high-tech area, have devoted some energy to finding out more about India because it is in their interest to do so. But as for the general population, think of yourself and your knowledge of India before you started this project.

Re: the caste system: For starters, go to your library and check out the June 2003 issue of National Geographic. It has an excellent article on 'India's Untouchables' and will probably answer most of your questions.

good luck with your project!
Last edited by -m2-; Jul 19th, 2003 at 10:07..
#3 Jul 19th, 2003, 06:48
see yourself in others. then who can you harm?
Join Date:
Jul 2003
Location:
Pure Veg Dhaba
Posts:
69
  • Inity & Iditation is offline
#3
I think that the myths of being poor, dirty and crowded ARE myths. The reality is that it is a diverse country.

It has the worlds largest middle class and plenty of people are not 'poor' so it is unfair to make sweeping statements like that. this myth also would be surprised to meet the Hi-tech computer complexes of Bangalore or the rich areas of Delhi.

Dirty? This is obviously tied with the poor areas. Go to the boutiques and malls of Delhi, they are not dirty.

Crowded? any one who has taken the train knows there are VAST areas of land that are virtually if not totally uninhabited all across the country.
Most 'Western' preconceptions is of being shoulder to shoulder all the time which is completely false even in the cities (where the only "crowding" is!)


Less tourists go to India because of this preconception that it is linked with terrorism...... well, actually a lot of people in America apparently think Sikhs are Muslim fundamentalists and all brown skinned people are Arab fanatics.
But this has impacted Rajasthan the most I think. More people have been opting for South India who know anything about the country.

And also the above poster is probably right about increasing tension between Muslims and Hindus, unfortunately.

Shanti
#4 Jul 19th, 2003, 08:08
Join Date:
Aug 2001
Location:
.
Posts:
1,571
  • -m2- is offline
#4
I&I: no, I agree, they are not myths but unfair generalizations which, though they may have some basis in fact, are not a real representation of the country.

Not to argue, but I thought it kind of funny that you would use a train trip to try to shoot down 'crowded' -- for a tourist the whole railroad experience is one of unbelievable crowdedness from buying the ticket, finding the train and car, and often fighting for every inch of space to sit and for gear and getting down at one's stop; the passing of vast empty spaces is just one of those imponderables.

apologies if I offended anyone.
#5 Jul 19th, 2003, 11:48
Join Date:
Jul 2002
Location:
the Netherlands
Posts:
5,985
  • cyberhippie is offline
#5
I&I I do think that the image of India as a poor and dirty country does have some basis in reality. The places you mention in Bangalore and the Delhi suburbs are almost insignificant compared to some of the problems India faces with her infrastruture.
The problem I think is the way the west dwells on this image at the expense of all the wonderful things that are happening in modern day India.
I watch everything I can find on TV about India and I'm invariably disappointed on how western media portraits India, very little about about the computer revolution, how Delhi dealt with it's pollution problems, India's space program. In short very little positive television!!
Although India is not the only country who gets negative press, I have been lucky enough to have lived in several countries. One theme that ran through the media of all the different countries was that they strived to make their country look good and others bad. It seems to be a kind of phsycology of 'well we may have a few problems in our fine country but look how it is in Germany or Italy'
The same applies with the west and less developed countries (not a word I like using as developed seems to equal consumerism these days!!) "look it may be bad here in the west but look at India" A strange attitude as a friend of mine reported almost as much poverty on a 30,000 km journey through the heart of America as he had seen in India and I know my country has legions of homeless and some areas are just slums no other way to describe it!!.
Not quite the black and white story western leaders would have us believe!!
As for the myth that americans (indeed all western business men but you asked about americans!) should discard about India well I reckon it's a myth that all american business men seem to hold about every country. The one that tells them that everybody wants to be like America wearing nike/levi, drinking coke (look what coca cola an pepsi have done to the drinks market in India) and eating at MacDonalds. This is promoted as a culture (you know healthy happy people with no apparent worrys in their life merrily sipping their brand name drink) around the world when it is nothing more than consumerism at it's worst.
Your last question unique I am a bit confused about!! Have the Indian goverment recently spoken out about the caste system, If so I confess to being a bit suprised that a BJP goverment would come out against the caste system, support it maybe but perhaps I'm just a bit behind the times eh.
personally as a non Indian I think the whole system should be torn down but then again I often wonder why Gandhi never made an issue of this. He fought so many just causes for the ordinary people of India but chose to leave this subject alone!! Maybe he saw something symbiotic between the cast system and Indian society as a whole, of course the cynic would say, that it was because he was a brahmin himself but I think there was more to it than that!!
The other custom that needs to change almost as urgently is of course dowrys, the scourge of the lower classes of India, responsible for debt, land loss, endentured labour and ultimately death!! to outlaw this (I know it's law but it needs enforcing!!) would change the way of life for millions!!

Well thats what I think anyway but then I'm no expert!!!
Last edited by cyberhippie; Jul 20th, 2003 at 06:31..
#6 Jul 19th, 2003, 12:24
Join Date:
Jun 2003
Location:
Australia
Posts:
504
  • Samsara is offline
#6
People not from India cannot distinguish between "jati" and caste oppression. Gandhi spoke out against caste oppression and said we are all equal. However, this does not mean forgetting your culture which is more comparable to the idea of "clan" in Celtic cultures. Many Indians today believe all are equal and caste should be done away with. Which is good. But "clan" means more you may be for example a tribal, yet you can be a modern citizen of India and the world, not practise rules that were suitable for different times but do not suit these times, but also you must try and preserve your unique culture and environment. We don't all want to be the same, it's equality in diversity and multiculturalism. This is what Gandhi was on about. He was totally against Untouchability and thinking one is superior to another because of what caste one is born in. In Gandhian philosophy all are equal.
#7 Jul 19th, 2003, 12:29
Join Date:
Jun 2003
Location:
Australia
Posts:
504
  • Samsara is offline
#7
Gandhi wasn't a Brahmin, he was from a certain "jati" (this word is more like the idea of "clan") which was technically situated in the Vaisya caste (the third caste technically but Vaisyas do not see themselves as inferior to other castes, just that this caste historically consisted of jatis who engaged in trade and business, merchants for example. Nowadays middle class people don't have to follow the historical occupations of their family jatis so in this sense the caste system is breaking down also). Many Vaisyas were richer than princes and brahmins who did not engage in trade.
#8 Jul 19th, 2003, 18:14
Join Date:
Jul 2002
Location:
the Netherlands
Posts:
5,985
  • cyberhippie is offline
#8

Gandhi did he do enough ???

Ahh samsara I like a good discussion, first of all I stand corrected about Gandhi being a Brahmin he was indeed Vaisyas of the Modh Banya sub-didvision sorry!! I live and learn!! But as this is a caste who "do not see themselves as inferior to other castes" perhaps my original point holds some water he was himself not subject to the problems that untouchables faced or indeed lower castes without the security of money!! I may add that this was more of a pondering on my part I never believed that a man such as Gandhi could be this shallow and uncaring!!

Also my point about him not rocking the boat about the caste system, well I stick by this, I know he spoke of equality amongst all castes that he called the untouchables children of God! But as far as I can see that was a far as he ever went!! And given the some of the crusades he embarked upon for what the thought was right this was hardly affirmative action!!
Equality amongst the castes is a far cry from bringing down the system that upholds caste!! But as I said he surely had a reason for this maybe there were more pressing matters like removing the foreign force ruling his land. Had he lived longer who knows.

You also compare cast to clans well ok the fraternity and feeling of belonging to a ancient line or family is the same.That is where the similarity ends at no point has being a member of a clan offered instutionalised caste nepitism!! It took the passing of a law just allow these untouchables into the civil service remember!!.

The caste system in middle class India may be fading but in rural India where the majority of Indians live I think this process is somewhat further behind! Still I read of village fueds based on caste snobbery. of kids killed by the angry mob their crime stepping out of cast with an intercaste love affair!! I am also a little dubious about the middle class leading the way in a modern casteless society!! Is this a statement about the path all India should follow or more of a westernization of middle class India?
I hear many times on forums that it is different in modern India, but who is modern India a handful of middle class!! This evolution of two worlds in India is for me a worrying example of how a country in it's haste to be welcomed into the modern global economy leaves many people behind!!

Of course in all fairness I should say that India did'nt invent this class system and are certainly not the only perpitrators of nepitism. My country and many other western countries have designed equally clever and manipulative ways of keeping the have and have not status quo. Schools, university, the masons, religion all used for nepitistic gain here in the west!!

I should also point out that Ganhdi is a life long hero of mine, I merely got inot the caste question as he gets a bit of stick from modern day India that he did not do more to ease the plight of the lower caste people of his time!!(he actually gets alot of criticism these days by young Indians) I look forward to anybody else who can shed some light on this age old argument!!
#9 Jul 19th, 2003, 18:44
Join Date:
Jun 2003
Location:
Australia
Posts:
504
  • Samsara is offline
#9
This was all historical (comparable to history in the west before the Industrial Age). Think of history in the West before Industry and you'll see what I mean. It's constant flux, change, struggle, oppression, liberation, many myriads of cultures and beliefs. So then you must transfer this to India and the immediate countries surrounding it (don't forget the map is a modern one now).

Thus, it's too complex to pin down, one has to read history, written texts, anthropology and sociology to even know what one part of the country was doing in one age! I think there has been a cultural colonialism from the West in that they wrote histories of India for Western consumption and this all has to be deconstructed now.

Sometimes whole jatis were moving up the caste ladder with change of profession (the sudra ruler Shiva-ji and his royal descendents) or they were being put into a low or out caste. This seems to be tied with the movement of different cultures into the lands of other cultures (India has so many ethnic groups, you wouldn't believe).

Caste in the original Vedic sense meant your "dharma" , the way you lived your mortal life in the every day world which is imperfect, until you died. So the caste is more like a profession in the original sense. As human beings are imperfect and unrealised of course they will corrupt the system.

Ask yourself why there is still a Queen of England etc, why there is such racism in the USA, why the class system still exists in England and this sort of thing. It is better to clean up your own backyard as well as help your neighbour in cleaning his or her's.

Nowadays, caste is breaking down but still most Indians live in villages or in tribes. It's necessary to bring them into full equal rights but at the same time is the consumerist society which is destroying the environment of the earth and which can be very racist itself (racism of course exists also in India as well as every country in the planet - all places have the same human faults) preferable to the tribal who is still living relatively close to nature?

I'm saying, something has to be saved. For example, weavers belong to lower castes but weave some of the best cloth in the world using very ancient techniques, they will surely want their children to be doctors and dentists or scientists, something like that.

But perhaps a Brahmin's son will decide I don't want to be a doctor, I want to learn all about fabric, how to weave, thus the craft will be preserved. This was the ancient origin of the true meaning of caste, which is only your way in life in terms of profession - that is intellectual, warrior, merchant, craftsman, farmer, farmer's help and so on.

Gandhi was a practising Hindu and meditated a lot - I don't know what picture he was seeing but I'm sure that formed the basis of his actions. Hindus believe as we are imperfect and unrealised beings in this mortal world, we do not see the whole picture and must not try and take the role of God.

It's hard to explain...but this is a bit of my theory anyway, Gandhi believed in ahimsa so you would have to study the philosophy of ahimsa to see what I mean...And one more thing Gandhi made weaving native cloth popular again thus preserving this ancient industry and art for modern times. He worked in many areas but we must remember he is not God so why should we expect him to have solved every problem?
#10 Jul 19th, 2003, 19:22
Join Date:
Jun 2003
Location:
Australia
Posts:
504
  • Samsara is offline
#10
Oh, I'm talking of dharma in the sense of varna (the sanskrit word for what Europeans called "caste" which is a rather misleading word. The sanskrit word should always be used and then one can see how the true pure nature of varna dharma is corrupted as each society gradually decays. For example, we are now we are in "kali yuga" which is a dark age. So in kali yuga the system decays into corruption, must be destroyed, and humans must learn all over again the true natural order in which all can live in equality and harmony on the earth.

President Abdul Kalam-ji is an example of how varna truly should work. He was born into a jati (a jati is really an ethnic group/clan) and his father had a certain profession. The change of varna (what you call "caste" but this is a false word) should happen according to the natural gifts one is born with, someone has the gift to farm, another to engineer, another in crafts, another in politics (ruling) etc. The President has Brahmin nature as he is following the life of the intellectual.
#11 Jul 19th, 2003, 21:30
Join Date:
Jul 2002
Location:
the Netherlands
Posts:
5,985
  • cyberhippie is offline
#11
Samsara a very informative afternoon!! I still have difficulty with a few points but really to bring them up would amount to splitting hairs on my part. I see your heart is in the right place on this issue which is good enough for me!!
It has been educational to say the least and I will try to inform myself of some of the topics you brought to the discussion.
One thing for the record Gandhi Ji walks on water for me and I agree he should not have been responsible for all change in India. But I did always wonder what made him turn the other cheek on this one and I think you have supplied the jist of an answer on that!!
A pleasant weekend to you!!


quote "In the years to come man will scarce believe that such a man walked this earth"

I think it was einstein but don't quote me on that!!
#12 Jul 20th, 2003, 04:11
Join Date:
Jul 2003
Location:
USA
Posts:
14
  • unique is offline
#12
Thank you M2. I read that article you referred to in National Geographic. It is one of my sources. As for your first response, thank you for consolidating it as much as possible. I'll select 2 subjects from what you've cited.

You are right about businesses studying a nation's culture. I think many Americans rely too much on text book history verses reading what's out there!

Take care.
bld
#13 Jul 20th, 2003, 04:14
Join Date:
Jul 2003
Location:
USA
Posts:
14
  • unique is offline
#13
Many thanks Shanti. Too often we look at the most underpriviledged parts and or regions of cities verses the real beauty.

Thank you for your comments.
#14 Jul 20th, 2003, 04:20
Join Date:
Jul 2003
Location:
USA
Posts:
14
  • unique is offline
#14
Wow Cyberhippie! Too many good points!
bld
#15 Jul 20th, 2003, 04:23
Join Date:
Jul 2003
Location:
USA
Posts:
14
  • unique is offline
#15
Thanks for coming through for me again Samsara!
bld

Similar Threads

Title, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views Forum
Hotel Relax affected by terrorist attacks? Nov 3rd, 2005 01:04 3 974 Delhi
Terrorism ! when will it come to India? Jul 26th, 2005 15:14 4 715 Chai and Chat
How badly affected have these places been hit Jan 3rd, 2005 03:52 1 666 Chai and Chat
South Asia Terrorism Portal May 28th, 2003 09:35 1 1092 Chai and Chat


Posting Rules

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Forum Rules»
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.3.2
© IndiaMike.com 2014
Page Load Success