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Three Major Conflicts And Indias Strategy


R. Vaidyanathan* The contemporary world is witnessing conflict within Abrahamic traditions; conflict between Abrahamic traditions and the rest like Buddhism, Hinduism and indigenous civilizations; and conflict between modern and Abrahamic traditions and the rest. The essential aspect of Abrahamic traditions is homogenization in terms of set of beliefs and way of living. How India should strategize itself to deal with the three major conflicts? India can and should take a position on this war within the three Abrahamic traditions, the root cause of global instability in the last 20 centuries. An important weapon available to India is heterogeneity, particularly in the form of caste and community. The caste system has been undermined by the so-called intellectuals, based on their acceptance of the Euro-centric model of individual, which is a right-based rather than duty-based system. However, caste has played an important role in the consolidation of business and entrepreneurship in India, particularly in the last 50 or so years.

hen Samuel Huntington wrote The Clash of Civilizations first as an article [Foreign Affairs JournalSummer 1993] and later as a book it created enough consternation among the leftist and liberal intellectuals who were used to looking at conflicts of the world from a point of view of class and ideology and not from one of culture and civilization. He enunciates in his celebrated

article that
It is my hypothesis that the fundamental source of conflict in this new world will not be primarily ideological or primarily economic. The great divisions among humankind and the dominating source of conflict will be cultural. Nation States will remain the most powerful actors in world affairs, but the principal conflict of global politics will occur between nations and groups of different civilizations. The clash of civilizations will be the battle lines of the future.

*R. Vaidyanathan is Professor of Finance, Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore. The views are personal and do not reflect those of his organization.
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He goes on to elaborate on the conflicts between the Islamic East and the Christian West. He also considers the Chinese as Confucian civilization and a possible ally of Islam. He generally treats the West as modern and does not dwell on the Secular West and the Born again Christian West. He also does not spend much time on the Hindu civilization. In the post-Cold War era, his enunciation of fault lines were attractive and in the postSeptember 11 world, began to be considered as prophetic with President Bush talking about the war on terror as if it were a crusade. Three Conflicts But the reality is a bit more different and complicated from the Indian point of view. There are three major conflicts which afflict the contemporary world, which would continue to rage for some decades. They are: 1. Conflict within Abrahamic traditions wherein we broadly classify the three children of Abraham namely Jewish, Islamic and Christian traditions and their fault lines. 2. Conflict between Abrahamic traditions and the rest like Buddhism, Hinduism and various indigenous civilizations which are pre-Islamic and/or pre-Christian. 3. Conflict between modern [many

Three major conflicts afflicting the contemporary world are conflict within Abrahamic traditions; conflict between Abrahamic traditions and the rest like Buddhism, Hinduism and indigenous civilizations which are pre-Islamic and/or pre-Christian; and conflict between modern and Abrahamic traditions and the rest.
times interchangeably used with Western] and Abrahamic traditions and the rest. The first conflict is well known and documented. Most of the global conflicts since the dawn of human history can be traced to the conflicts within the three Abrahamic traditions or, as they are sometimes called, the three children of Abraham. Most of the written history of the last 20 centuries is one of Crusades and Jehads between Christians and Muslims in some form or the other. If we look at it cumulatively from the 1st century, at least a billion people would have been killed by these traditions Homogenization The essential aspect of the Abrahamic traditions is homogenization in terms of set of beliefs, way of living, which

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includes methods of prayer, dress codes, groups in Africa or Australia or South eating habits and ablution methods. America. They categorize, for instance, Each of the Abrahamic traditions Hinduism as polytheistic, knowing fully considers itself to be superior and each well that the Hindu civilization believes enunciates the finality of its Prophet and in one God but also recognizes several the Book and each believes that its way manifestations of it. They abhor these is the only way. Within each system, ancient civilizations since all these are and celebrate there are some concessions for others in polymorphic terms of people of the book or Dhimmis heterogeneity. Historians like Will etc. But all three traditions are intolerant Durant have well documented the about the non-believers. The root amount of cruelty and devastation that cause of todays strife in many conflict these Abrahamic traditions have zones is the virulent and intolerant wrought on ancient civilizations. The slave trade, which attitudes of the second and third The fundamental belief system has its origins in brothers among the of the children of Abraham that Islamic traditions, three. Sometimes, their path is the only path for was later followed the conflicts take salvation gives them ideological by the whites the form the form of and theological justification for in colonialism independence for using the Book or Sword to of small territories as convert or kill people of other agenda, genocide of millions of in East Timor civilizations. American Indians [Catholic versus Muslim] or Kosovo [Muslims versus and indigenous Australians, and Orthodox Christians]. The Western massacre of Hindus by various English press has a way of reporting invaders. The fundamental belief these events as conflicts between system of the children of Abraham that countries or democracy versus their path is the only path for salvation dictatorship. In a sense, these gives them ideological and theological Abrahamic traditions are political in justification for using the Book or Sword to convert or kill people of other nature and religious in appearance. The second conflict is the conflict civilizations. It is essentially a conflict homogenizers and between these Abrahamic traditions and between other civilizations. The others are hetrogenizers. Hindus talk about Hindus, Buddhists, other civilizational multiple paths to reach the ultimate

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God, like different rivers finally and action, these civilizations were reaching the ocean. But these easily conquered but they never Heterogeneity implies traditions believe in one and only path vanished. and the necessity for everyone to follow acceptance and not just tolerance of it. The classic example of homogenizers others. Those who did not believe in is the followers of the Catholic God were also part of the societal tradition. One Pope and his way is the system; the caste system reinforced Way. It can be called Vaticanisation of lively heterogeneity. Even though the believers. His word is law and his Western scholars and deracinated local interpretations are final. He even intellectuals have portrayed the caste considers followers of Protestant system as the most oppressive system in tradition as having some difficulty in the last thousand years, we reaching God. The non-Abrahamic find no caste wars listed by even civilizations anchored in heterogeneity Left-leaning historians in India. If it were so were not able to deal with the Heterogeneity implies accept- oppressive, then h o m o - g e n i z e r s . ance and not just tolerance many caste wars The myriad of others. Those who did not should have taken traditions and believe in God were also part of place unless we that methods of dealing the societal system; the caste assume with human system reinforced lively Indians are unique in accepting existence provided heterogeneity. oppression for no clue to these ancient civilizations like Hinduism 2,000 years! There are also other issues. about dealing with traditions that brook no dissent. These civilizations also did Abrahamic traditions believe in not know how to deal with concepts of linear human existence or a Weltanschauung. Other infidels, non-believers, heathens, linear like Hinduism crusades, jehad etc. since all of these civilizations are completely alien to their elan consider a cyclical worldview and the vital. Hindu and Buddhist civilizations concept of re-birth and karma. This is could not even visualize the possibility true even of Buddhist civilizations. that some belief systems could kill you This view of the world makes Hindus less worried or affected to prove the existence of true God. Being heterogeneous in belief by uncertainty.

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agenda a bit too far. That is one of the Uncertainty Aversion Using reasons the Catholic Church could Homogenization One of the main methods by which never take an unambiguous stand Abrahamic traditions try to avert against Fascism. But it did take a stand uncertainty is to strive for homogeneity against Communism, since by then the in terms of behavior and belief systems, USA had become a major power with its worship methods and worldview. The corporate and market mantra as a to Communism. ultimate homogeneity can be observed counterweight in the performance of Haj by millions of Corporate or company forms of Muslims wherein one finds every organizations are the evolved stages of individual similar to the next in terms of the Church as an organization. Ernest attire, stance, appearance and trance. Kantorowics, in his well-argued and celebrated essay Contrast it with a Homogenization is perceived to The Kings Two Kumbh Mela, a celebration of be a passport for security Bodies analyses heterogeneity with against uncertainty. Later-day how the mystical ideologies of Fascism and body of Christ, thousand colors. Homogenization Communism are evolved forms which is central to Christian is perceived to be of the original tradition of the a passport for Abrahamic beliefs. Both took liturgy, acquired security against this homogenization agenda a s o c i o l o g i c a l meaning in the uncertainty. The bit too far. Middle Ages. The words of Father in a Church [the same words carried across corpus mysticum became the organized the globe] or the moulvi in a mosque body of the Christian society and provide comfort, but much more created in due course the greatest of importantly, a reinforcement of the artificial persons namely the State. strong belief that every single word in Out of this modular structure or the Book is final. There is a desire building block emerged Western to create certainty in a world full Capitalism along with other fictional entities like joint stock companies, of uncertainty. The later-day ideologies of Fascism Public Corporations etc. [Ernst and Communism are evolved forms of Kantorowics: The Kings Two Bodies: A the original tradition of Abrahamic Study in Medieval Political Theology, beliefs. Both took this homogenization Princeton, 1957, pp. 194-206]. Hence, it

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is a medieval Christian Anglo-Saxon evolve its own paradigm of construct which says that corporations homogenization. One could argue that are more evolved forms than, say, joint the modernism is a maladjusted byfamilies or cooperatives or trusts. One is product of Christian traditions. It is not sure why India should accept this possible to argue that the Church may medieval European evolution, which not be alive but Christianity would was essential for the colonial conquests survive using modernism. Just as the driven by joint stock companies like the earlier Christianity converted a dark East India Company, who thought that Jesus to a white one, the contemporary the whole of India is unorganized and may make him the original homosexual went about organizing/homogenizing it. and subtly settle conflict with the In other words, the term unorganized modern. But there are many aspects of the modern which belongs to the Political Islam is modern to the are in conflict with category of of handling most the present forms t e r m i n o l o g i c a l extent Abrahamic terrorism left over sophisticated weapons like AK- of from colonial days. 47 and hand-held surface-to-air faiths. The critical of Hence, the missiles. But when it comes to aspect is corporate evolution the role of women in the public modernism the is the highest sphere or homosexuals or on positioning expression of pre-marital sex, it is in severe individual as the centre of existence. h o m o g e n i z a t i o n conflict with the modern. If there is a conflict wherein in the initial stages it was modeled on the between an individual and his group, basis of the Church in terms of the individual trumps the group. And hierarchies, belief in a leader or Book modernism rejects the existing notion of etc. It is supposed to reduce risk or family and expects the State to take over the responsibility for elders as well as uncertainty in business. The third conflict is much more children. It does not consider anything fascinating. It is one between what is as sacred. Political Islam is modern to called modernism [in the absence of a the extent of handling most better word we will also use it] and sophisticated weapons like AK-47 and Abrahamic traditions. The conflict is hand-held surface-to-air missiles. But also affecting ancient civilizations like when it comes to the role of women in Hinduism since modernism is trying to the public sphere or homosexuals or on

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pre-marital sex, it is in severe conflict public display by corporates in the name of modernism. The Church we are with the modern. All three Abrahamic traditions are not referring to is that of all denominations able to handle the modern, particularly from Catholic to Orthodox to Protestant in the context of Internet and satellite in Europe. The New Age Churches or systems. Modernism at one extreme is evangelists are more of an American best illustrated by the European phenomenon. The pews are empty and agnostics or atheists who are liberal and the hats sent out do not bring much who have given up on their Church. The money. Without the older generation, other group is profit maximizers of even the meager attendances may not be the corporate entities and their sidekicks possible. The Euro project and the in the media print and electronic making of its constitution are mired in controversies advertisers and The European society has moved regarding insertion other assorted Page Three gangs. The away from the Church to such of a clause to the separation between an extent that most large affirm the Church and the Churches have become tourist Christian roots of Even State is not fully attractions. Teachings of the Europe. complete; but it has Church on on many social issues though Poland and now turned into a are not followed anymore. Ireland are for it, a c o m p e t i t i o n Marriages are not treated as large number of other countries like between the State sacred. France and and the Corporations. The European society has moved Germany etc are against it. That is away from the Church to such an extent because many of these societies have that most large Churches have become moved away from the second son of tourist attractions. Teachings of the Abraham and are now struggling to deal Church, be it on contraception or live-in with the third son. There is one school relationships or pre-marital sex or of thought that Europe would slowly abortion or homosexuality or mercy become Muslim and hence the future killing or for that matter on many social Europe could be called Eurobia. Mr. issues, are not followed anymore. Bassam Tibi, a Syrian immigrant Marriages are not treated as sacred, described as Germanys most prominent single-parent families are increasing moderate Muslim who has spent much and women have become objects of of the past decade arguing for sensible

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Islamic institutions in Europe, agrees. many Churches, particularly in the Either Islam gets Europeanized, or southern Bible belt, get a large number Europe gets Islamized, he wrote in the of adherents and some of the newer well-known paper Welt am Sonntag. churches, like the Pentecostal or The reluctance of France to allow Mormon, are the fastest growing sects Turkey into a unified Europe is more to in the world. These groups or believers do with this fear than belief in are waging a bitter battle with Christian-Muslim conflict. In other modernizers who think that we have words, modern Europe, proud of its entered an era of godlessness and secular credentials, is not in a position shamelessness, which is adored and to deal with radical Islamic appreciated and put on a pedestal. For the corporate or market homogenization project. Radical or modernizers, the political Islam For the corporate or market key words are rejects every-thing modernizers, the key words are rights. There are secular Europe rights. There are no duties, no duties, family is stands for, namely acceptance of live- family is a burden and an a burden and an in relationships, anachronism, and responsibility a n a c h r o n i s m , h o m o s e x u a l i t y, is blasphemy. The modernizers responsibility is c o n t r a c e p t i o n , are the czars of the corporate blasphemy and the s i n g l e - p a r e n t homogenizers, where profit is word shame is not families, atheism, the only language understood in their dictionary. The modernizers role of women etc. and greed is worshipped. are the czars of the In the USA, we find modernism in conflict with the corporate homogenizers, where profit is traditional Church and more so with the the only language understood and greed evangelists or televangelists. There are is worshipped. On May 18, 1986, Ivan several versions of Christian Boesky the stock market wizard fundamentalists in the USA ranging gave a commencement address at from non-believing Darwinism to University of Californias Berkeleys literally believing in the Bible to wait Business School. I think greed is for the end of world or arrival of Christ. healthy, he told his wildly enthusiastic In the last 30 years from the early audience. You can be greedy and still eighties Jesus is always a candidate in feel good about yourself. A few the US elections. Unlike in Europe, months later, Boesky was indicted on

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Radical or political Islam is more opposed to modernizers than to the traditional Church as modernizers are in direct conflict with radical Islam due to the positioning of women in society.
charges that would land him in Southern Californias Lompoc Federal Prison, also known as Club Fed West. But greed continued to be norm rather than exception. Actually one stream of modernizers are atheists and feel that the age of believers is over. Most of the modernizers are found in the media industry, and other new-age sunrise sectors. They have multiple partners and broken families and want to create the world as a mirror image of their existence. It is interesting to note that radical or political Islam is more opposed to these modernizers than to the traditional Church. The reason is simple. Modernizers are in direct conflict with radical Islam due to the positioning of women in society. For instance, people all over the world have seen nude pictures of the wife of Sarkozy, the President of France. He even said they could be auctioned in New York. Think of the same in the context of the wife of any prince or Sheikh in any Islamic

country. The results would be disastrous, with death as the only result. When Sarkozy talked about the veil as subservience, he was not talking for the traditional Church but for the modernizers. The European attempt at multiculturalism, treating different traditions of Abraham as a salad bowl, has not worked because Islam is a homogenizer par excellence. Now Europe is moving to create a Koottu or Avial essentially cooked and integrated food out of these various traditions. That would be a new form of homogenization where people will not wear any symbols of religion and where family ties will not be regarded as sanctity etc. Dealing With The Conflicts The most important question is how India should strategize itself to deal with the three major conflicts. The conflict within these Abrahamic traditions is an ongoing saga but has not significantly affected India over the centuries. But India can and should take a position on this war within the three Abrahamic traditions, the root cause of global instability in the last 20 centuries. For instance, India can suggest at the UN that Jerusalem be handed over to, say, Dalai Lama to administer for 50 years and reduce the conflict among the three children.

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Actually, Eva Morales, President of Bolivia, asked Christian preachers or soul harvesters to leave his country because he felt they were destroying the ancient Andean culture. India should also encourage and propagate Hindu and Buddhist civilizational roots in China. Since China is struggling with one homogenizing ideology (communism) and worrying to deal with the expansion of another homogenizer in the form of underground churches of evangelicals, it is imperative that India help China with the ancient wisdom and common shared civilizational moorings to develop healthy heterogeneous systems in China. The second conflict, between these Abrahamic traditions and civilizations like Hinduism etc., is much more present in India. But Jewish tradition is not in conflict directly with Hinduism; actually they have been given asylum in India against persecution and have never been persecuted by Indians. The other two present an interesting picture. As per the 2001 Census, India has a small Christian population (2.3 per cent) and a relatively larger Muslim population (around 13.4 per cent) out of 1.03 billion population. The Christians are followers of respective global churches there is no Indian church. Some of the official Christian groups, like CBCI [Catholic Bishop Conference

of India], tend to globalize local conflicts. Whether it is conversion laws or other local conflicts, the Church tends to create global attention to it. In the case of Muslims, the situation is mostly reverse. Some of their groups tend to localize global Islamic issues like burning of a part of the Al-Aqsa mosque or news of Danish cartoons or outburst of the evangelical preacher Jerry Falwell about Mohammad in 2002 [which created riots in Mumbai, leaving five dead]. One group globalizes the local and the other localizes the global and both create conflicts in the process with ancient civilizations like Hinduism. Interestingly, Christian groups facilitate globalization of Islamic conflicts also. For instance, some Christian groups seem to have played a role in the USA to deny visa to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi after the Godhra riots.

Whether it is conversion laws or other local conflicts, the Church tends to create global attention to it. In case of Muslims, the situation is mostly reverse. One group globalizes the local and the other localizes the global and both create conflicts in the process with ancient civilizations like Hinduism.

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Both work together in the global sphere, particularly in the context of human rights reports churned out from Washington or London, like that of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), a statutory body created by the US Congress and funded by the US government. This body does not have any non-Abrahamic representative. These reports highlight the so-called plight of these homogenizers in India since the report writers belong to the same group. Caste as Social Capital to Preserve Heterogeneity An important weapon available to India is heterogeneity, particularly in the form of caste and community. The metropolitan elite and rootless experts have concluded that caste is bad. Every Indian is expected to feel guilty whenever the issue of caste is brought up. In international fora, caste is used as a stick to beat anything connected to Indian religions, customs and culture. We have an uncanny ability to abuse ourselves in a masochistic way. But more tragic is our enthusiasm to convert all our strengths to weaknesses. We fail to recognize that it is a valuable social capital, which provides cushion for individuals and families in dealing with the State and society at large. The

Anglo-Saxon model of atomizing every individual in a right-based system and forcing him to have a direct link with the court/State has produced disastrous effects in the West where families have been destroyed and communities have been forgotten. Every person is standing alone stark naked with only rights as his imaginary clothes to deal directly with the courts and State. The State in the West has taken over the role of father and mother as well as spouse in terms of social security, old age homes and health care schemes. The caste system has been undermined by the so-called intellectuals, based on their acceptance of the Euro-centric model of individual, which is a right-based rather than duty-

An important weapon available to India is heterogeneity, particularly in the form of caste and community. But the caste system has been undermined by the so-called intellectuals, based on their acceptance of the Eurocentric model of individual, which is a right-based rather than duty-based system. On the other hand, Caste has played an important role in the consolidation of business and entrepreneurship in India.

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based system. Caste has played an important role in the consolidation of business and entrepreneurship in India, particularly in the last 50 or so years. The World Bank suggests that the remarkable growth of Tirupur is due to coordinated efforts of Gounders, many of them not even matriculates.
Since 1985 Tirupur has become a hotbed of economic activity in the production of knitted garments. By the 1990s, with high growth rates of exports, Tirupur was a world leader in the knitted garment industry. The success of this industry is striking. This is particularly so as the production of knitted garments is capital-intensive, and the state banking monopoly had been ineffective at targeting capital funds to efficient entrepreneurs, especially at the levels necessary to sustain Tirupurs high growth rates. What is behind this story of development? The needed capital was raised within the Gounder community, a caste relegated to the land-based activities, relying on community and family network. Those with capital in the Gounder community transfer it to others in the community through longestablished informal credit institutions and rotating savings and credit associations. These networks were viewed as more reliable in transmitting information and enforcing contracts than the banking and legal systems that offered weak protection of creditor rights. [World Development Report, pp. 175; The World Bank].

In a financial sense, caste provides the incentive in becoming a risk-taker since failure is recognized and condoned and sometimes encouraged by the group. Caste trumps Abrahamic traditions when it comes to practical things.
The same is true regarding the Nadar community in the Virudhunagar area pertaining to matches and printing industry. Of course, large amount of literature is available on Marwaris, Sindhis, Katchis, Bunts, Patels etc. and the nature of global networks some of them have created. In a financial sense, caste provides the incentive in becoming a risk-taker since failure is recognized and condoned and sometimes encouraged by the group. Caste trumps Abrahamic traditions when it comes to practical things. Various castes belonging to the Christian religion in Tamil Nadu were provided special reservation under the religious label it was 3.5 per cent. But in practice, Christians in Tamil Nadu were enjoying as high as 10 to 15 per cent benefits under various caste categories. They protested against the religion-based reservation and preferred a caste-based one. The Tamil Nadu

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there are probably as many hierarchies as government restored the earlier castethere are castes in India. To believe that based reservation. Similarly, in practice, there is a single caste order to which a Nadar-Christian would rather look for every caste, from Brahman to a Nadar girl for an arranged marriage untouchable, acquiesce ideologically, is and not a Christian belonging to another a gross misreading of facts on the caste. In the case of Muslims, a lot of ground. The truth is that no caste, case studies have been published about howsoever lowly placed it may be, accepts the reason for its degradation. Ashrafs who consider themselves to be [Dipankar Gupta, Interrogating Caste, p. different compared to, say, Ansaris. So 1, Penguin Books, 2000]. is the case with Sikhs in regard to caste The debate also does not take into considerations. Caste is the original account the fact that backwardness is heterogeneity ingeniously invented by not a static phenomenon but a dynamic Indians. It is based on birth and isnt one. The great liable for Caste discrimination was sociologist, M.N. homogenization or explicitly enunciated after the Srinivas, said, conversion agenda. important 1881 Census by the British, An Even religion is feature of social based on birth a wherein they tried to classify mobility in modern child of Sunni castes and create hierarchies. In India is the manner which the Muslim parents is a sense, caste discrimination was in successful members assumed to be a a British invention as much as a of backward castes Sunni Muslim and steam engine. work consistently for not asked to improving the economic and social choose. The caste discrimination was condition of their caste fellows. This is explicitly enunciated after the 1881 due to the sense of identification with Census by the British, wherein they ones own caste, and also a realization that caste mobility is essential for tried to classify castes and create individual or familial mobility. hierarchies. In a sense, caste [Collected Essays, pp. 196-197, OUP, discrimination was a British invention 2005]. as much as a steam engine. Raza Rumi of Pakistan writes in It is argued that caste is a rigid Hindustan Times of February 21, 2009: hierarchical system which is oppressive. I recall the days when, in a central But, in the words of the renowned Punjab district, I was mistaken for a sociologist Dr. Dipankar Gupta, Kakayzai (a Punjabi caste that claims to In fact, it is more realistic to say that have originated from the Caucasus). It

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stressed, the less is the virulence of the conflict-prone traditions since it encourages heterogeneity and reduces homogenizing tendencies. Hence, the Indian Christian [IC] and Indian Muslim [IM] question is easily dealt with by simply delegitimizing their Abrahamic traditions and reinforcing Hence, caste is present even in the so- the civilizational roots of caste in the called Land of the Pure. Indian context. In other words, their How do we use caste to delegitimize homogenizing agenda has to be tackled the Abrahamic homogenizers? First and by not the usual method of foremost, we homogenizing should recognize De-recognition of a unified Hindus but by that Abrahamic identity is the first step in h e t r o g e n i z i n g traditions are partly delegitimizing the Abrahamic others. Any attempt p o l i t i c a l traditions. Treat each sub-group to Vaticanize movements and not like Pentecostal or Bhoras as a Hindus to look like religions in the caste category. The more the mirror images of strict sense of the caste is stressed, the less is the the Abrahamic t e r m . virulence of the conflict-prone traditions will not Unfortunately, we succeed since the traditions. tend to use essence of Indian categories like Christian or Muslim or Hindu weltanschauung is without hyphenation. It is Nadar- heterogeneity and not homogeneity. Christian or Yadav-Muslim. There are Then how can we bring about unity more things in common between a among Hindus or Indians? Unity based Tamil Thevar and Tamil Muslim in on homogenization is artificial and Madurai than between Tamil Muslim in transient and not sustainable for Madurai and a Muslim in Rampur in centuries. Hence, our idea of unity is UP. De-recognition of a unified identity based on acceptance of heterogeneity is the first step in delegitimizing the and recognition and acceptance of the Abrahamic traditions. Treat each sub- otherness. But the process of our civil group like Pentecostal or Bhoras as a society in terms of self-regulation caste category. The more the caste is also recognizes intrinsic qualities to
was also here that a subordinate told me in chaste Punjabi how the Gujjar caste was not a social group but a religion in itself. Or that the Rajputs were superior to everyone else, second only to the Syeds (descendants of the Prophet Mohammad). All else was the junk that had converted from the lowly Hindus (of course this included my family).

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emulate and characteristics to discard nothing is sacred. Hindu civilization without a sword or a single prophet. For considers everything to be sacred. instance, many of my close friends who Modernizers in the Indian context are are non-vegetarian intrinsically the Nehruvian children misguided consider vegetarianism to be a positive and maladjusted to Indian civilizational or desirable goal. So, on some days they roots. They wanted the State to replace consider auspicious, they do not eat society as a regulator, arbitrator and non-vegetarian food. It is neither due to settler of all disputes. They want to legal framework nor due to any create an abstract society which is compulsion. Illustrations can be rootless and without memory. The multiplied. There is a social self- Russian model or dream has not regulation in understanding desirable succeeded and hence they are now things to be strived for. If it is not trying to have the American model. Market marauders achieved, it is fine but achievers are For the modernizers, nothing is have jumped on to Hindu civilization the bandwagon. appreciated be it sacred. sacrifices of considers everything to be The broadly liberal vaguely worldly possessi- sacred. Modernizers in the and context are the p r o g r e s s i v e ons or celibacy or Indian are other talents in Nehruvian children mis- Nehruvians music, arts etc. The guided and maladjusted to r e s t r u c t u r i n g themselves as c o n s t i t u t i o n a l Indian civilizational roots. market-oriented agenda of unifying or homogenizing Indians in the Anglo- modernizers. They want to create a State and Saxon mirror image will never succeed. The method of semitising Hindus to Society which is a mirror image of the answer the Abrahamic traditions will one in the USA without understanding also not work since Hindus through the that Indian society is far different from ages have resisted the homogenization that in America. The modernizers of agenda since it is a self-regulated India have managed to occupy a larger space than justified by their innate society and not book or sword driven. abilities. One reason is the colonial mindset of Indian middle class. Look at Dealing with Modernism The third challenge is much more our Anglo elites, most of them complicated. For the modernizers, deracinated and rootless. Many may not

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have read our ithihasas and puranas nor hands of the State as a regulator and the understood the significance of many of corporate as an organizer. Of course, our festivals. They generally believe this will also make heavy the pockets of Nehruvian babus. that India became a nation in 1947. rent-seeking They want to corporatize the country Homogenization is critical for larger and make it a mirror image of the West. and larger profits and control. There is The current share of GDP among some tension between the welfare state various major constituents of the modernizers who are left-oriented and government [Central, State, Municipal want homogenization by State and and all sorts of public units] is around market-oriented corporate modernizers. But both are serious in their agenda to 20 per cent. The share of partnership/ proprietorships is around 65 per cent undermine the family systems and replace it with the [consisting of 20 Currently, nearly 85 per cent of State or corporates. per cent in these agriculture and 45 India is self-employed and not For per cent in other employees of government or m o d e r n i z e r s , is activities] and large companies. But the partnership private corporate is modernizers want wage u n o r g a n i z e d ; are 15 per cent. The employees since that alone will families m o d e r n i z e r s give power in the hands of the unorganized; and classify the 65 State as a regulator and the only corporates are organized. Hence per cent as corporate as an organizer. the need to make unorganized it is sort of terminological terrorism and everything organized retail revolution, matchbox housing, same want to organize it. In simple terms, they want large type of jeans for everyone, same cola global corporations with or without and same TV programs. This is a major local joint ventures to undertake all challenge to Indian society. Radical these activities after making everyone Islam and the Church are losing out to as blue- or white-collared workers. these modernizers on pre-marital sex, Currently, nearly 85 per cent of India is live-in relationships, homosexuality, self-employed and not employees of contraception; womens liberation due government or large companies. But the to the power of Internet. Even the modernizers want wage employees homogenizers par excellence the since that alone will give power in the Chinese are impacted by the Internet.

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Modernizers believe that Iran, Saudi Arabia and China will be impacted more by Internet and will move towards the mainstream. India needs to evolve strategies to deal with these modernizers both the State and market variety. There is a need for concentric circles of buffers from individuals to families to caste to community. Indian society needs to protect and sustain families purely from an economic point of view of old-age security. Because, under the garb of modernism, many unacceptable practices will be marketed for profit orientation like celebrating Valentines Day or the Pub Bharo Program or homosexuality since it helps businesses market their wares. India never punished homosexuals. But we saw recently that modernizers want to Notes:
1. We use the term Abrahamic traditions to denote the three belief systems and the term civilization to denote systems like Hinduism, Buddhism etc. since we feel the word civilization is inappropriate for Abrahamic systems which have annihilated millions in the name of faith. 2. This essay is part of a book planned by the author, In Praise of Heterogeneity. 3. The author would like to thank Shri. S.

make it a virtue. Society cannot be only corporate-driven. It needs to reassert its civilisational ethos in the form of music, art, dance, literature and work. A balanced life must be encouraged. Americanization may be a profitable proposition for corporate but injurious to our dharma system. We can co-opt positive aspects of some modernizers like the Greens for preserving nature, which is part and parcel of our civilization. Hence India should evolve strategies to deal with all three conflicts or challenges. Some are global and some are local. Long-sustaining civilization like India can face these challenges provided it understands the nature of the crisis that is not getting lighlighted by our mainstream media.

Gurumurthy, Dr. Bajaj, Dr. M.D Srinivas; Prof. Kanagasabhapathy, Mr. Balbir Punj, Mr. M.G. Subramanian, Mr. Muralidharan, Dr. Makkhan Lal, Mr. Dinanth Mishra, Mr. R.N.P. Singh, Dr. J.S. Rajput, Dr. Varadarajan; Mr. Ajit Doval, Dr. Subramanyam Swamy and many others for providing insights on some of the issues dealt with here during several conversations.

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90 Eternal India, September 2009