Friday, May 14, 2010

The caste debate & quota issues: revision

With quota issues & caste debates heating up once again, my stand remains the same as expressed here: (click)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Curtailment of Indic quest of power & its implications

The following is a video of the meet of Kalyan Rishi with Alexander, from the popular Chanakya serial aired on DoorDarshan (India's national channel)

As we heard, Kalyan Rishi warns Alexander about the futility of his warring and conquering nature, and tells him to conquer his mind instead. Another point the revered Rishi makes is that a state can be controlled with the head at the capital and not at the fringes of the state (w.r.t. Alexander's presence in NW India & not in Macedonia)

If the account of the meet expressed in the serial is true, then drawing an extrapolation of what the Rishi said can lead us to two thoughts prevalent at the time:

  1. Harnessing of ambitions of other people's territory was discouraged.
  2. Any ambition was curtailed and people were trained to control their natural urges.
Now, it is true that overt ambition can lead to a disaster. But some amount of ambition is required to get some things done. Besides, ambition coupled to a sustained chain of efforts has often lead to great achievements in the human society. A lukewarm ambition and a lukewarm approach to getting things done will only develop a status quo society, a society of moderate achievers and few spectacular achievements. Which approximately describes our condition today. We seemed to have taken the Rishi's preachings to the other extreme.

A specific quanta of ambition, a desire for success should be as inseparable as the five senses of the body. And as was said in the holy Gita about the sense organs: - "that they need to be controlled, not suppressed." So should be that quanta of ambition and desire for success.

Because of our emphasis on controlling desires and not allowing the positive feedback loop of more and more ambition take root in at least limited sections of the society, while our civilization has lived long because of more energy spent in the basic necessities of living, we have a few unintended consequences:

  1. Once a territory of the nation was lost, and a constantly new national identity was created in the lost territory (ala Afghanistan and other reputed cases,) it has proved difficult to create the national fervour to get the territories back.
  2. With lust for power in others' territories stopped, and assuming that such lust for power is unavoidable by the ruling classes after a stretch of time, the only way to get more power was to grab it from fellow people. Could this be the reason for large amounts of infighting among Indian kings?
  3. Lack of sense of strategic importance of certain geographical locations. For instance, our inability to control entries from the Khyber pass vis-a-vis the Chinese creation of the Great Wall (although it failed in its immediate objective, but 10/10 for the effort).
  4. Lack of the above sense is also responsible for the inability to get diplomatic allies and India digging its lone furrow.
  5. Lack of extraordinary achievements in fields of sciences beyond certain blips of time.
Time to let loose a controlled quest of power so that we can rise above from being a status quoist power, and realise an India that not only we are content at looking up to, but our allies would love to befriend and our enemies would fear to face.