Sunday, September 15, 2013

How to 'save' dharmic techniques from the west?

This post should be read in continuation to the previous one. That is because one needs to see religious practices as a money making enterprise for the ideas discussed in this post to be possible. 

Let's get to the title-question. One way to save 'dharmic' techniques is to obviously hide these items from the west by teaching them in only very minor circles. The other way is to continue the current trend by claiming the Indian/Hindu origin of the items through publishing news articles when and where things seem to be slipping out of hand. Both of these have their flaws. Could there be a third way?

@_Mauna_ has the following view (click):

There seems to be some anxiety about various Dharmic techniques and designs being taken over by non-Dharmic or restricted belief systems for purposes of tactical cultural pollination or more genuine motivations. 

The larger point is can Hindu society and its keepers stop it? Not unless we turn ourselves into a McDonalds lookalike and hire a bunch of lawyers with a brief - the making of which would be incredibly complex and unworkable, because that's control. Push, not pull.

Or can we guide the building and usage of our techniques and designs for a fee? The clincher would be, "since you've chosen to steal, at least let us show you how to use it well".

Let's assume the VHP opened town & city offices of Temple Architecture or created an online network of such experts with a brief to accept assignments from proposed Temples and Churches (Those wishing to install dhvajastambhas for eg.). Let's also assume this network creates easily available literature with a license for use mechanism. 

Let's take the case of Yoga or Bharatanatyam/dance forms. In China, martial arts are taught by family based schools who control innovation through franchise & licensing. Why can we not encourage our current experts to build and develop their own schools with the authority to license and franchise out.

In my opinion, these methods are eminently workable for both ends of the value stream. Branding is maintained, money is made and the users don't feel they are stealing something which will be called out.

It is true that such a thing needs the backing of a powerful authority. Preferably a strong Hindu State. However, in the meanwhile, an organization like the VHP is eminently positioned to take up this challenge. 

Perhaps experts in the field, including branding experts can debate the idea more and take it forward?
The point is that the current trend does not allow us a lot of innovation which Palahalli's idea appears to allow. By keeping our ideas in the market and working together with people interested in them, we have some chance of innovation and continued development of them. This of course is not a solution for outright aping of religious practices by semetic religions with an objective for conversion, but for other items being stolen it could be. 

P.S.: If any branding experts chance upon this blog post, my appeal remains the same as @_Mauna_.