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RE: Arvind's quote

N. Arvind Kumar[SMTP:nak_@hotmail.com] writes:
Sender: owner-india_policy@cinenet.net
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	>What Swami Vivekananda wrote on July 10, 1893, in a
	>letter to some friends in India, while travelling
	>abroad has not lost its relevance:"Come, see these people
	>and then go and hide your faces in shame ...Sitting
	>down these hundreds of years with an ever-increasing load
	>of crystallized superstition on your head... Come out
	>of your narrow holes and have a look abroad. See how nations
	>are on the march!"

	In the interest of clarity, may I ask that when people post a
quote they add a short note indicating how they interpret the quote so
we know why the poster thinks the quote is relevant to IP? 

	My interpretation and comments follow:

	I suppose it is generally true that observing alternative
	social systems or studying alternative forms of thought
	always broadens ones view.

	I think that it also makes sense to put Vivekananda's statement
in perspective- it was made at a time when many people in India believed
their religion forbade them to cross the seas- IMO, a tool of
ideological tyranny- keep fresh ideas from polluting the minds of the
riff-raff and keep the status quo. Nothing novel about this: There were
similar rules in Japan up to the turn of the century, and there are
recorded cases of Japanese fishermen who were blown onto foreign shores
by storms who were executed on return to prevent them bringing in new
ideas and upsetting the (feudal) political order, and it is not too hard
to see the analogy to censorship of the press or countries like China
wanting to build national internet firewalls/filters.

	In the age of global communication, satellite TV, and the
internet it is not too hard for people in India to "Come, see these
people" outside India. As for superstition, I don't think Americans are
any less superstitious than Indians- how many Indians have claimed to
have been abducted by aliens [or even believe in aliens?], or how many
claim to have seen the face of the weeping mother of God in the rust
patterns on the side of a petroleum storage tank or a taco shell?

	If there is something we need to open our minds to, IMO, it is
to learn to not accept at face value what "mainstream" media [and
"mainstream" academia] throws at us, but to apply critical thought to
their messages- IMO the messages put out by the global media empires
like Disney and CNN are just as insidious as the notion that a
religious, feudal monarchy [called Ram Rajya] is some kind of social

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