It’s a tired cliché now that in our world, change is the only constant. Yet you would agree that the strangest, most esoteric and powerful form of change is the kind that occurs in people and personalities, as individuals and especially as groups. How often do you meet a person after a few years only to find that a sea of change has taken place in their beliefs, values, personality, etc? Or the change that societies undergo in a longer time span, usually a few decades? Unfortunately, our world being in the state it is, this is usually for the worse. I have known perfectly normal people from remote areas of the country descend into satyriasis and nymphomania after a few years of living in a metro, sometimes with multiple live-in partners in that span. Still more intriguing was the trend that could be observed in their writings on their Facebook walls. The deeper they sank into this morass, the better their command over English got.
Change such as this is but a subset of the phenomenon known as deracination, or the removal or separation of an individual or a people from their native culture or environment. It would not be wrong to even call this de-nativisation. It is this phenomenon that we will examine here.
To begin, let’s ask some fundamental questions. Why there is such disdain for traditional values today, especially among the highly-educated who form our present and future elite? Where does this alienation from the values of the soil happen, and how? Is this influenced at all by what one studies as part of one’s formal education?
While a multitude of factors is responsible, one would at first be tempted to pin this squarely on the parents. Traditional values are by definition patrimonial, or inherited from one’s parents or kin. They are also rooted in the faith of our forebears. It is often the case that parents fail in their duty to pass on the values of their ancestors to their children, yet that alone does not explain the cases I mentioned of people coming from traditional backgrounds.
The truth, and you may have observed this, is that the media and academia in all its forms and modes of dissemination of information takes a very dim view of tradition in general. Whether it is a mainstream Bollywood film like Delhi 6 or PK, or a textbook on Bharat’s history, or even an editorial in a daily, especially an English daily – tradition finds far more than its fair share of critics and an almost negligible number of supporters.
For example, a Pandit if ever depicted on screen is always shown to be a Machiavellian schemer, a hypocrite or a mass deceiver. Parents, especially fathers, are often shown as hindrances to the well-being and happiness of young couples or as alcoholic wife beaters. The indigenous culture of Bharat is usually totally divorced from the lives of the protagonists, and only ever makes an appearance to be denigrated.
What people study also happens to be enormously influential. Social sciences, especially the softer ones such as sociology, gender studies and the like, are often elaborate exercises in reaffirming tropes from the Marxist worldview, such as oppressor, oppressed, the equation of poverty and suffering with virtue, the pedestaling of material wealth and materialism and garden-variety populism which holds that the oppressed can do no wrong. Even a cursory look through the textbooks of any of these will confirm this assessment.
Even in the realm of linguistics, you have something called ‘liberation philology’ which erects the familiar Marxist framework I just described and views even language through that lens. This is course material even in the most reputed of Western Universities, lest you believe that it is a malaise unique to Bharat.
Textbooks on political science wax eloquent on the virtues of the prevailing political system (in our case, Westminster democracy) while paying only lip service to its weaknesses – and totally circumventing the myriad failures and general inefficacy of democratic states through the ages.
The subject of the politicization and consequent distortion of our history by ’eminent’ historians is relevant but to delve into it here would divert from our primary focus, as it is a vast subject. It also would be best served to you by seasoned experts.
Still, these factors would only address the antagonism of humanities students towards tradition, as much of the literature there is virulently anti-tradition and therefore in our context anti-Hindu. Social Leftism seems to be on the rise in the IITs and other engineering colleges as well. An engineering student’s logical faculties are honed by his formal education, and the student body tends to be eclectic – as opposed to the upper-upper middle class urban English-speaking monoculture that is usually found in the elite arts colleges. Therefore, the phenomenon of deracination here is a distinct one.
This writer, who was a humanities student, humbly submits that the average IITian IS, as commonly believed, smarter than the rest of us. At the same time, they do tend to be less eloquent in English than the average humanities student, whose families and connections tend to dominate our elites. It is usually the case that the rest of society tends to imitate or match its elites in order to become one of them.
Led by this example, a lot of IITians and NITians start reading English literature and watching English films and television shows once they enter college. As they live on campuses with thousands like themselves, word about the latest hot TV show or comedian tends to travel quickly and widely.
It is my totally unscientific opinion that the smartest people tend to be drawn to fantasy above all other genres in literature. Unlike sterile, ‘safer’ genres like romance or crime, fantasy tends to tackle controversial subjects like religion, ideology, race, etc. The existing paradigm is to be cynical about religion, whether you read Brandon Sanderson or George RR Martin. In the latter’s work particularly, the modus operandi of Semitic religions is brought out fairly accurately in the functioning of the Faith of the Seven.
The films and shows that people watch too tend to either completely omit religion and tradition or actively mock them – or take a cynical view of them as described earlier.
At the moment, a sort of libertarian culture of being able to take an offensive joke nonchalantly has gained wide currency in campuses all over the country. People can say whatever they want about your parents, your Gods and Goddesses, your culture, country or your ethnicity – but if you react to it, you are certain to be summarily ostracized from the ranks of the ubercool in college campuses. A notable exception to this rule of course is your favourite football club, which you are expected to defend to your dying breath. In such a climate, comedians like AIB, East India Comedy, or even TVF – who represent an acculturated, Anglicized urban paradigm which is not at all representative of the true state of the country – tend to be extremely popular, as the audience is all-too-eager to compete to display the magnitude of its ‘tolerance’.
In addition to this, pretty much all media tends to look at religions themselves as homogenous phenomena, which either “all lead to the same God,” or are “tools of societal control devised by differing sets of elites through the ages” – depending on what you are reading.
For whatever reason, people do seem to learn life and moral lessons from fiction and comedy. Over time, prolonged exposure to this cynicism batters away even the most deeply-held beliefs and convictions. Slowly, subliminally affected thus, people tend to view the world through a lens imported from the entertainment and media they consume.
An unspoken assumption of all of these sermons disguised as prose, poetry or ‘art’ is the idea that all change is positive. This incidentally underpins ALL liberal and so-called progressive ideas. Let us ask ourselves:
1) Which Arabian society was better? The one that, according to Islamic ‘history’ gave Khadija, the first wife of the Prophet of Islam, the freedom to run her own business without permanent male accompaniment and a face-veil – or the sharia hell that followed, and may be observed in Saudi Arabia today?
2) Which was better? The Kashmiri kingdoms in which the glorious tradition of Kashmiri Shaiva Panth flourished, which ran universities that were the envy of the world – or the dysfunctional Jihadi society we see in Kashmir today?
3) Which was better? The kingdoms of Kerala in the Middle Ages which witnessed some of our greatest advancements in mathematics; which were later to achieve the distinction of being the only kingdom of Bharat to defeat a European power in hundreds of years – or present-day Malayali society which is tolerating a pogrom of individuals who do not share the political ideology of the state?
4) Which was better? The glorious and wealthy Kingdom of Vijaynagar, the pride of the subcontinent, home to the greatest of scholars and artists, the second most populous city in the world, the builder of architectural marvels of which even the ruins make the jaw drop – or the kingdoms of Haider Ali and Tipu Sultan – whose greatest achievement was the mass conversion of the kuffrs in Malabar?
We could go on and on, but social liberalism must never even be accused of being founded on facts.
In addition to this, any chance of young people doing any sort of objective appraisal of ideologies or religions is effectively scuttled by
a) the “all is one and God is one” nonsense that would be debunked by a single reading of different religious scriptures; and
b) the fetish of a masochistic, blind, all-embracing tolerance that would not be able to tell friend from foe even if the two were colour-coded, labelled and plain in their intentions.
Thousands of young people every year are encouraged to totally abdicate their responsibility to defend their ancestors and their roots – to which they owe their existence – in the name of liberalism.
In all of this, spewing polemics and militating against tradition takes the form and novelty of some sort of rebellion, when the fact is that everything and everyone in the world, save for our families (sometimes not even they), is exhorting us to leave our heritage and inheritance to the vultures. What is being sold as boldness and rebellion is in fact the basest conformity. The true counterculture – the true rebellion today – is in fact traditionalism and conservatism.
For all the plaudits heaped on it, in my view, liberalism closes far more minds than religion or tradition ever has, with its emphasis on ‘peace’ over truth, tolerance over justice, emotions over reality, and validation of victimhood over true advancement. In such matters, it is completely at odds with the 10 or so millennia of the experience of human civilization and the importance of religion and civilizational values throughout this period.
A lack of appreciation of the importance of religion and ideologies in society coupled with the embrace of the liberal dogma of blind acceptance, tolerance and pacifism which is peddled by the media on a daily basis – these are the first steps to social Marxism. If you stand for nothing, you can fall for anything.
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