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India! I dare you to be rich

Another Hindu spiritual leader lambasts socialism

The other day I showed how Rajneesh detested socialism.

Now Harsh Vora sent me this link:


 

Dharma Pravartaka Acharya (Dr. Frank Morales) speaks in this video about the history of India during which he makes some unqualified generalisations, some of which can be very hurtful to people from some religions. The reality is far richer than what he presents. But there is something of merit in what he says about India's recent history.

He clearly shows that the socialism practiced over the past 64 years is not part of the natural law. He therfore hits out strongly at Nehru's socialism (although he mixes up India's 'secularism' with atheism).  While this man needs to learn some history, when he talks about freedom, he seems to make sense.

I trust that those who preach "Vedic Socialism" will now review their ideas in the light of their own concept of natural law (Dharma).

To me, freedom is the natural law.

Whether you call it dharma or (as Adam Smith called it) the "system of natural liberty", is immaterial. But freedom without accountability is pointless. Accountability is essentially a version of karma. So it is freedom with accountability that IS THE NATURAL LAW

It is crucially important that spiritual aspects of our life (whether we are eternal/ not eternal, etc.) should be left to each individual to understand and decide for himself. That is the implication of freedom – that we don't impose on such matters on anyone. It is violence against our nature to be imposed upon by others. That is what socialism does. It is unnatural in every way.

Extracts from The Discovery of Freedom

I've explained in (draft) DOF, thus:

At each instant, the karma yogi considers options for action for their long term consequences – without being personally affected by the success or failure of his effort. Freedom of thought thus leads like, an arrow, towards moral action. The free man acts with deliberation, aware of the potential consequences of his actions, always committed to being held to account. In advancing his self-interests though responsible action, he contributes to the welfare of mankind and of all life on earth. 

Whether it is the karma theory of Hinduism, the Buddhist theory of the middle path, or Christian theory of sin, each notes that our choices determine our character. As Rajagopalachari said:

Everyone knows from experience and with­out the help of any doctrine that every thought or act, good or bad, has at once an effect on oneself, apart from its effect on others or on the outside world. Every motion of the mind deals a stroke as with a hammer, on character and whether one wants it or not, alters its shape for better or worse. We are ceaselessly shaping ourselves as the goldsmith busy with his ham­mer shapes gold or silver all day long. Every act of ours and every thought creates a tendency and according to its nature adds or takes away from our free will, to a certain extent. If ‘I think evil thoughts today, I will think them more readily and more persistently tomorrow. Likewise it is with good thoughts. If I control or calm myself today, control becomes more easy and even spontaneous next time, and this goes on progressively.[1]

The good thing is that we can (largely) choose our character, health, and reputation. Freedom is in that sense a positive philosophy, that brings out the best in us. As Ian Harper points out: ‘Our choices have consequences, not just for our material but also for our moral well-being. … Good choices make us virtuous while bad choices make us vicious.’[2] Even in the most collectivist totalitarian society we will necessarily remain at least partially free to form our character and work towards our moral goals.


[1] Rajagopalachari, C. Hinduism: Doctrine and Way of Life, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan,1959, p.80.

[2] Harper, Ian, ‘Christian Morality and Market Capitalism: Friends or Foes?’, 5th Annual CIS Acton Lecture on Religion & Freedom, Sydney: Centre for Independent Studies, 2003.


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24 thoughts on “Another Hindu spiritual leader lambasts socialism
  1. Harsh Vora

    Sanjeev – You might have expected a comment from me on this issue. I agree that he has made generalizations through one or two sentences here and there. But can you kindly let me know what piece of historical information he gets wrong. It is VERY WELL documented that Moghul rulers killed HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of people in the name of spreading Islam and converting people. Yes, they did have political ambitions, but religious ambitions were also a SIGNIFICANT factor in their invasions. I'm not running away from truth. In fact, I'm actively seeking it. And I urge you to do so too. If you have your own version of history, then let's kindly discuss!!

     
  2. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Harsh

    There is no doubt that many Muslims did not treat Hinduism as people of the book. However, there is evidence that far less conversions took place through violent threat, than through economic incentives (to avoid the jazia). Since Islam treats the state and religion largely as of one piece, there is a possibility that many kings did commit atrocities on some Hindus.

    However, they had the problem of catch 22: if they killed all Hindus and alienated them, they could not get revenues. So they were OFTEN very kind to Hindus, and often married with into Hindu kingdoms for this purpose. Force can only get you so far.

    In other words, I’m very clear that this man Dharma Pravartaka Acharya has very significantly exaggerated the reality of India. Despite all the tyranny, Hinduism flourished – in every way – right through the past 1000 years. The proof is in the pudding. Far more Hindus were found in India than Muslims. There was no genocide, no mass scale oppression. Isolated incidents do not make a comprehensive story. That’s what I’ve read so far – and I’ve read a fair number of history books.

    I know that Hindu fanatics are starting to re-write history, but the data are against their claims. The reality is obvious. Hinduism survived. It flourished. It was famines and poverty which killed far more than some crazy fanatic Muslim rulers.

    Numerous new religious sects came up during the Mughal rule, which aimed to merge Islam and Hinduism. I see more harmony than disharmony. More the conquest of Islam by India than the conquest of India by Islam.

    S

     
  3. Harsh Vora

    Sanjeev — It is a FACT that Akbar ordered 30,000 Hindus to be massacred inside the Chittor fort. This has been well recorded by Abul Fazal, who was Akbar's own court historian (for reference, refer to The Cambridge History of India, Vol IV, pg. 98-99 — there are TONS of sources available to corroborate this statement). Is this not genocide? Also, the genocide of Hindu Kush was perhaps the GREATEST in Indian history. Note that Wikipedia does not mention this. However, it is well documented in sources elsewhere — read Shantanu's blog post here: http://satyameva-jayate.org/2006/10/01/the-largest-genocide-in-history/
     
    As for marrying Hindu queens, this strategy was adopted ONLY as late as Akbar's time. Before him AND even after him, killings in the name of conversion have been well documented. There is no doubt that Sri Acharya is saying here has credence based on historical facts. 
     

     
  4. Harsh Vora

    For the purpose of this blog post, we may choose to move on. For this helps little to bring about the India we want. Having said that, it is also important  that we have full knowledge of the past before we move on.

     
  5. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Harsh

    Two questions:
    1) Is this massacre representative of Akbar? Are history books wrong about his GREAT relationship with many Hindu kings, his marriage to a Hindu princess, etc.?? What about the religion he started which included elements of Hinduism?

    2) And what’s the proof you have that the Chittor event was intended against Hinduism, and not a standard practice in those times – to send a salutory lesson to political enemies? Those were primitive times, and massacres were common. Even the Mahabharat is basically a massacre. And Ashoka committed a massacre in the Kalinga. A massacre in those days means nothing in terms of its occurrence. From what I can surmise, it was a political act, for Akbar was VERY WELL RESPECTED among thousands of Hindus.

    S

     
  6. Sourabh

    This fellow has done his phd thesis on religious history….and you think you know more than him?

     
  7. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Then even more is expected of him – that he will qualify the facts with all aspects of the story, not exaggerate just one aspect.

    We need common sense, above all, in life. And you know I don’t care about people’s “degrees”. I don’t follow “authority”, but the truth.

    Show me the facts. I asked Harsh a few questions. Can you answer them for me? Happy to investigate further.

     
  8. Harsh Vora

    Sanjeev — Re: Akbar's marriages and relationships with Hindu princesses, there is nothing noble about it. That does not spare him from the accusation of Chittor massacre. Sita Ram Goel mentions in his book The Story of Islamic Imperialism in India: 
     
    "Abul Fazl records in his Akbar-Nãma as follows. “There were 8,000 fighting Rajputs collected in the fortress, but there were more than 40,000 peasants who took part in watching and serving. From early dawn till midday the bodies of those ill-starred men were consumed by the majesty of the great warrior. Nearly 30,000 men were killed… When Sultan Alauddin (Khalji) took the fort after six months and seven days, the peasantry were not put to death as they had not engaged in fighting. But on this occasion they had shown great zeal and activity. Their excuses after the emergence of victory were of no avail, and orders were given for a general massacre.” Akbar thus improved on the record of Alauddin Khalji. Watching the war and serving the warriors were re-interpreted as acts of war! To top it all, Akbar travelled post-haste to Ajmer where he offered profuse thanks to Allah and the Prophet, and his (Akbar’s) patron saint, Muinuddin Chishti, and issued a Fathnãma in which many appropriate verses of the Quran were cited in order to prove that he had followed faithfully in the footsteps of the Prophet." 
     
    Ashoka killed thousands in Kalinga, but that was purely motivated by political ambitions. It is unwarranted to compare that with Akbar's invasions. Almost all Moghul kings, even after Akbar, have PROVEN facts of using violence for conversions. Not all conversions may be on a mass scale. But you cannot dismiss individual conversions either. In Moghul rule, temples (and idols inside them) were also deliberately destroyed to "follow the path of the prophet."
     
    I can cite credible references for these too if you want. However, if Sri Acharya has a Phd in religious history (as Sourabh informs), and if you do not believe even his claims then I'm not sure what would suffice for you!!
     

     
  9. Harsh Vora

    Here's a link to the blog of Dr. Prabhakar Rao, who quotes the Fatehnama Akbar issued after massacring 30,000 innocents inside the Chittor fort. You can read the entire post WITH bibiliography here: http://kuntamukkalaprabhakar.blogspot.com/2011/02/jalaluddin-akbar-erstwhile-mughal.html:
     
    "Akbar is mostly glorified as a very tolerant ruler and in his court Hindus and Muslims had equal opportunities. His tolerance towards Hindus is doubtful. Akbar in his Fateh Nama issued after the victory over Chittorgarh is amply clear. Akbar ordered summary massacre of 30,000 Rajput inhabitants of Chittorgarh and destruction of temples too. So called Akbar the great ordered Rajput chieftain Fateh Singh to be trampled under the feet of elephant and execution of 30,000 non-combatants after the capture of Chittorgarh in 1568. Eight thousand women immolated themselves. Akbar Retorted ( 4):-

    “I am in no mood to listen to the sound of good words.My ears are at present attuned to enjoy the clang of sword. Leave me alone. I am in communication with Amir ( Timur). Send me a good reciter. Let him read to me in oud voice chapters seven to twelve of shahnama… Blood, not nectar, holds the key to the success of a sovereign. Give me war. Peace is of no avail to me….”

    “The omnipotent one who enjoined the task of destroying the wicked infidels on the dutiful mujahids through the blows of their thunder like scimitars laid down…. Fight them, Allah will chastise them at your hands and he will lay them low and give you victory over them….”

    We spend our precious time to the best of our ability in war and jihad and with the the help of allah.. we are busy in subjugating the localities, habitations, forts, and towns, which are under the possession of infidels. May eternalAllah forsake and annihilate all of them, and thus raising the standard of Islam everywhere and removing the darkness of polytheism. by the use of sword. We destroy the places of worship of idols in those places and other parts of India….”

     
  10. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Thanks for this. Of course Akbar would say that he is doing Allah’s work. Even Hitler thought he was doing God’s work. That doesn’t prove that he went about massacring people ALWAYS, and as punishment for being Hindus.

    This is NOT a case of genocide against Hindus, but a deplorable and reprehensible action arising from a political action.

    What will suffice? Not someone’s PhD. There are millions of them (including me). But solid peer-reviewed journal articles in reputable national/ international journals – that is the LEAST. The, I’d need to read all of them, and compare with others which DO NOT promote such a thesis. Then I’ll form my own mind. That’s how I think.

    You could start with JSTOR (now you can even research on google – for journal article titles, not detailed articles).

     
  11. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Yes, this extract is more persuasive. Now, the question – why is it that all history books report Akbar in a different light. Even the author says, “”Akbar is mostly glorified as a very tolerant ruler and in his court Hindus and Muslims had equal opportunities”. What are the counter-arguments? Please find them out and expose Akbar in his fullness – in all his aspects. Then we can draw certain further tentative conclusions.

     
  12. Sourabh

    from wikipedia
    Religious policy
    Akbar, as well as his mother and other members of his family, are believed to have been Sunni Hanafi Muslims.[89] His early days were spent in the backdrop of an atmosphere in which liberal sentiments were encouraged and religious narrow-mindednness was frowned upon.[90] From the 15th century, a number of rulers in various parts of the country adopted a more liberal policy of religious tolerance, attempting to foster communal harmony between Hindus and Muslims.[91] These sentiments were further encouraged by the teachings of popular saints like Guru Nanak, Kabir and Chaitanya,[90] the verses of the Persian poet Hafez which advocated human sympathy and a liberal outlook,[92] as well as the Timurid ethos of religious tolerance that persisted in the polity right from the times of Timur to Humayun, and influenced Akbar's policy of tolerance in matters of religion.[93] Further, his childhood tutors, who included two Irani Shias, were largely above sectarian prejudices, and made a significant contribution to Akbar's later inclination towards religious tolerance.[93]
    One of Akbar's first actions after gaining actual control of the administration was the abolition of jizya, a tax which all non-Muslims were required to pay, in 1562.[90] The tax was reinstated in 1575,[94] a move which has been viewed as being symbolic of vigorous Islamic policy,[95] but was again repealed in 1580.[96] Akbar adopted the Sulh-e-Kul (or Peace to All) concept of Sufism as official policy, integrated many Hindus into high positions in the administration, and removed restrictions on non-Muslims, thereby bringing about a composite and diverse character to the nobility.[97][98] As a mark of his respect for all religions, he ordered the observance of all religious festivals of different communities in the imperial court.[11]
    Relation with Hindus


    Allahabad Fort

    Akbar's attitudes towards his Hindu subjects were an amalgam of Timurid, Persian and Indian ideas of sovereignty.[91] The liberal principles of the empire were strengthened by incorporating Hindus into the nobility.[90] However, historian Dasharatha Sharma states that court histories like the Akbarnama idealize Akbar's religious tolerance, and give Akbar more credit than he is due.[99]
    Akbar in his early years was not only a practising Muslim but is also reported to have had an intolerant attitude towards Hindus.[8] In 1579, towards the middle of his reign, he boasted of being a great conqueror of Islam in a letter to the ruler of Turan, Abdullah Khan[9] and was also looked upon by orthodox Muslim elements as a devout believer committed to defending the religion against infidels.[10] His attitude towards the Hindu religion and its practices did not have appreciable impact after his marriage alliances with Rajput princesses which all took place in early 1560s though he was also perceived as not being averse to performing Hindu rituals despite his Islamic beliefs.[10]
    Akbar's Hindu generals could not construct temples without the emperor's permission. In Bengal, after Man Singh started the construction of a temple in 1595, Akbar ordered him to convert it into a mosque.[100] He gave two villages for the upkeep of a mosque and a Madrasa which was setup by destroying a Hindu temple.[101] During the early part of Akbar's reign, his army was responsible for the demolition of rich Hindu temples which had gold deities in the Doab region. However, he subsequently made amends for the same by donating a golden umbrella to cover the deity at a temple which had been demolished, and allowing the conversion of a mosque into Hindu temple at Kurukshetra.[101]

     
  13. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Great stuff, can I get quotations from them please!!! I love this idea – that Hinduism is against socialism. That will help me dramatically in spreading my message.

     
  14. Harsh Vora

    Sanjeev — That's the problem. Students (especially children) are NOT taught about the REAL accounts of Akbar and other Moghul kings. Cite me a school textbook which mentions this massacre (with exact number) and sheds light on the true face of Akbar. The excuse given is that it may create more communal disharmony among people.
     
    I recently read an article on the lack of historians in India. Find it here: http://www.historytoday.com/mihir-bose/india’s-missing-historians
     
    Particularly I wish to draw an excerpt, which explains how the authors have to DELIBERATELY twist their words (even ignore certain facts) "to fit government standards":
    —–
     
    Guha (Harsh: the Indian historian) is revealingly reluctant to discuss the personal lives of the politicians he is writing about. He does not tell us that Nehru had an affair with Lady Edwina Mountbatten but that ‘with both delicacy and truth [Edwina Mountbatten] can be referred to as his closest lady friend’. I cannot imagine a British historian being so coy. It means that Guha refrains from discussing whether Nehru’s policies  were influenced by his friendship with her husband, Lord Mountbatten – in particular, his disastrous policy towards China. And while Guha has found fascinating information, it is based on printed sources rather than interviews, even though many of the figures he writes about are still living.
    Guha calls his section dealing with India since the 1990s ‘historically informed journalism’ rather than history, since the thirty-year rule for releasing official documents has not yet elapsed. Not many British writers would accept such a distinction. Indian historians have a horror of oral testimony. They need to overcome that, and be prepared to provide narrative histories, however ‘primitive’ the technique, if the story of India is not to be left to foreigners.
    —–
    Many documents (not only those related to religious history, but also other topics) are deliberately ignored — as you may know, by banning certain books and articles "in the name of maintaining communal peace," in the name of socialism. Free sharing of truths (or claimed facts) don't happen in India! 

     
  15. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Thanks, Harsh. I’ll be reading more about Akbar since I cite him a couple of times in DOF and I’d like to be accurate. I do hope that we have the courage to report history as it actually was, not as it may be found convenient. The truth. Only the truth. The unadulterated truth.

     
  16. Harsh Vora

    I'm glad you will be revisiting history again. As for me, I'm convinced Moghul kings (from Mohammed Ghori to Aurangzeb) used undue violence against Hindus in the name of Islam, ever since they arrived in India. That Islam is inherently a peaceful religion is another matter. When it comes to FACTS, I will not be unduly lenient in my use of words, like the Indian historian Guha does. Truth offends. But truth is truth, and should not be hidden — no matter what the consequences. It must be conveyed as it is. Note that I'm NOT necessarily  against Islam, and I don't generalize my views. Not ALL Muslims are the same — I only condemn those who use (or used) Islam to perpetrate violent (or non-violent) atrocities against non-Muslims. 

     
  17. Sourabh

    I dont have any time for a detailed answer today…but read shanti parva of the mahabharata
    where bhishma advises yudhishtira on statecraft on his deathbed…..he specifically says the chief function of the state is to maintain the law and  that the law is the collective expression of the individual's right to self defence…..will get back 2 u in a few days……read golwalkar(i think he is a proto-fascist , too) but he clearly shows hinduism and socialism are incompatibe…..
    Dr.Morales says in one of his articles  "hinduism is intrinsically classically liberal"
     
    read that history article …..i dont agree to it fully , but it does elucidate the hindu ide of State

     
  18. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Sourabh

    I’d be extremely grateful to you if you could spare some time in the coming weeks to consolidate all material you can find where major Hindu leaders say clearly that Hinduism is intrinsically classical liberal.

    I want to make a package, a booklet, of all such writings, and have it widely available on my website – for free and wide dissemination in India. I’d be grateful if you could help and become a joint editor of this package.

    Any others who wish to help are also invited. All contributors names will be put out on the front page.

    S

     
  19. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Sourabh

    Thanks, but it is CRUCIAL that you focus first on your personal goals, and not divert time unnecessarily into such things. Please assist me only in your absolutely spare time – time that you would have otherwise frittered in doing something irrelevant.

    There is no urgency to the work I’m doing. But your life is urgent and immediate.

    S

     
  20. Sourabh

    Im not wating any time…..i  am allowed 15 min on the computer each day and spend 2-3 mins on this blog…..everything i told u was offhand …. thats why i did not cite any references

     

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