Why Does Sharada Want Her 8-Year Old Son to Read and Write Kannada?

Sharada’s family lives in one of these independent republics which has seceded from India. But it’s completely land-locked by it. Like many of her friends, she feels she doesn’t have the choice of returning to India. Her son’s school, NAFL, is perhaps one of the best English medium schools in Bengaluru. That means Sharada has signed up for ten-foot compounds, closed doors, and a standing instruction to stand outside the compound while the instruction happens inside. Good English-medium schools make a virtue of these vices, and you’re easily sold since you have the picture of your office cubicle in mind. You leave your child to the self-appointed experts and go do what you think your job is.

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Only Rapes, Murders, and Legislators Watching Porn?

Multilingual, multicultural nations have one big problem to solve in the media-driven world. It’s this. Minority languages and the stories of people who speak them are almost completely suppressed on ‘national media’. Anyone browsing through Indian ‘national’ newspapers, tv channels, radio stations, etc., finds hardly any news about a State like Karnataka that its people would like to call news. If you go by these media houses, you’d tend to think that the only things that happen in States like Karnataka are rapes, murders and legislators watching porn in the assembly.

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Free E-Book: Swami Vivekananda’s Ideas on Hindu Reform

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‘Our vigor, our strength, nay, our national life is in our religion… for good or evil.’ At a time when everybody who was anybody in India had a theory on the reasons for British colonialism and how to get out of it, Swami Vivekananda was absolutely sure that religion was the key. To ‘the Indian mind there is nothing higher than religious ideals’. Whether you like this fact or not, ‘You are bound by it, and if you give it up, you are smashed to pieces.’ Religion was not only the highest ideal but also the ultimate unifying force in India—he was speaking at a time when the country could certainly use some—before which ‘race difficulties, linguistic difficulties, social difficulties, national difficulties, all melt away.’

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Indian States Must Recognize the Ghost of Lord Wellesley

It is the overall organization of politics and commerce which the Wellesleys of India created that we call as the Government of India today. The spirit of the Subsidiary Alliance is so deeply entrenched into India’s political establishment that even to this day, the Government of India considers itself the higher-up who needs to intervene in order to maintain tranquility. The ‘kids’, i.e., State governments and political parties vying for power at the State level, for their part, have been brainwashed into believing that they need to appeal to this higher-up whenever any quarrel arises.

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Nationalism Is Materialism

Taking materialism – dry material transactions with profits and losses – out of nationalism, even for a moment, is taking everything out of it. Adding spirituality to it, on the other hand, actually creates a great danger. This is because nationalism, a method of protecting different peoples from hurting each other, as it were, requires us to descend to the world of materialism, acknowledge that different peoples exist, and recognize them as separate nations in the first place. When we stay put at the spiritual level and talk of everyone belonging to one family, these nations vanish from sight. Unfortunately, so does the intended protection of these nations from one another.

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AAP’s ideology of cleanliness is not an ideology at all

Despite all assertions to the contrary, operational cleanliness is not a political ideology. Things like abstention from bribery and horse-trading cannot be bullet points in an ideological document. They can only be bullet points in a party’s code of conduct – how it behaves on the path to achieve ideological goals. Ideology is the direction in which the vehicle moves when it’s roadworthy, not roadworthiness itself.

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The Law Cannot Prevent Rape

The law pretends to be many things, including being good enough for all those who are required to submit to it. Those who make laws would like us to think of them as the complete solution to public problems. They’d like us to believe that we, the people, can’t come up with any useful solutions ourselves. But we must be wiser. We must understand what the law can never do. It can never guarantee protection from rape.

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Generalization Is Inevitable When Talking Meaningfully about India

Prof S. N. Balagangadhara’s argument that the Europeans described their experience of India and not India itself is obviously right. It is only from the frame of reference of one’s own culture that anyone can describe what one sees in the world. The observer is intimately connected to the observation. It is only from the frame of reference of their culture that the Europeans saw and talked about Hinduism, the caste system, etc. I’d like to submit here that the Europeans had another important compulsion over and above their culture: the need to generalize what they saw.

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