Staying positive. And calculus. But mostly staying positive. Humor helps though 🙂
On Facebook, Hinduphobic/atheist/secular forums repeatedly ridicule some exaggerated comments made by a few Hindus about ancient India’s contribution to science. Lost in all of this ridicule is what ancient India actually did contribute to science and math. Any attempt to mention ancient India’s contribution to science (including from myself) has been met with censure, silencing, anger and even banishment. Such is the level of jealousy and hatred against Hindus.
Yes, there are some ill-informed Hindus. So, the following article might clear things up a bit.
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Ten days after my post on how anti-Hinduism is parading as secularism, the HuffPost posted this blog by academic Vamsee Juluri who analyzed why Hindus ignored secular critiques of their community and chose to elect a controversial Hindu leader.
There are valid lines of reasoning to deter Hindutva (Hindu nationalism) into entering political dialog, let alone becoming incorporated into India’s constitution. Yet, the liberal media often targets Hindu nationalism while turning a blind eye to the clear violation of secular principles by its fellow ideologues in India. The irony is that Hindutva has grown BECAUSE of separate laws for muslims, Haj subsidies, carving an Islamic state out of part of India, and government control of temples (while staying distant from churches and mosques) to name a few causes. No other self-proclaimed secular country does this and gets away.
Reading the posts and replies by people on such forums should remind us that Hinduphobia is alive and well. In fact, this monster is growing stronger everyday and will inevitably face its other ugly counterpart – Hindutva.
Vamsee’s assessment is being proven right – the silencing of liberal Hindu voices extends beyond academia. From Hindu genocide denial to indifference regarding Hindu voices supporting women’s rights to apathy about denying religious freedom to Hindus in Kashmir and Malaysia, the guy next-door simply closes his ears when a liberal Hindu points out the hypocrisy of ‘secular values’. The only thing that catches the mind of the secularist is sensationalizing Hindutva.
So what is the solution? To me, there clearly needs to be a more progressive Hindu voice that needs to shout louder so that it can be heard even when the hand of Hinduphobia covers its mouth.
All of the comparisons of the BJP to the GOP and our next PM Narendra Modi to Ronald Reagan are flawed. Here are just two reasons why:
A. The religious aspect
If you look at what ‘secularism’ means in India(1), you will notice that it really means a politically motivated ‘minority appeasement’. Muslims are given subsidies to travel to Mecca, their own laws and ‘reservations’ in jobs whereas Hindus get nothing. In fact, temples are controlled by the government (2), that sets salaries as low as Rs. 8000($130)/month for priests (3). Mosques and Churches are untouched by the government, who fear a minority backlash. Hindus think that minorities are being given preference by a ‘secular’ government. Rarely will a Hindu say that his religion is being attacked by the government. He will say that the government is being unconstitutional. Compare that to a conservative Republican who thinks that government is attacking Christianity and actively wants the bible to be taught in public schools as science.
B. The socio-economic aspect
While Republicans practice trickle down economics and do not believe in government ‘handouts’ to the working poor, or bolstering education, Modi has actively promoted education as a means to eradicate poverty (4). His party is also making removal of ‘absolute poverty’ a top priority (5). Albeit, yes, Modi’s own state has not fared well in alleviating poverty. But that has been argued to be a result of poor migrants entering his home state.
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Background (if you care to know):
I find myself frequently angry nowadays.
1.My boss is critical of me. Although I know the criticism is constructive, it is very personal in nature also. It can be quite upsetting since I try my best.
2. I am debating an atheist on HuffPost. I control myself to the best I can. However, atheists can become extremely disrespectful and rude. For example, I was called ‘insane’, indoctrinated’ and that religious ideas ‘should not be shown respect’. The funny thing is, it is not just the ideas that are disrespected, it is also the people holding those ideas. Also, using the word ‘insane’ as an insult is extremely offensive to people who actually do suffer from a mental illness.
So, what does Vedanta (or any spiritual path) say about controlling anger and not being hurt by other people’s comments?
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In previous posts I have mentioned how frustrating graduate student life can be. We face criticism from our mentor and committee members on almost a daily basis. But there is another aspect to grad student life that often goes untold – ridicule from friends who are not in Ph.D. programs.
I have often encountered questions and comments immersed in vitriolic, judgmental and offensive rhetoric
“Why do people do a Ph.D.? It must be because you couldn’t find a job.” [Ph.D. programs are extremely selective, and the other way around probably makes more sense meaning people couldn’t get into grad school so they decided to do a job]
“You have been studying for the past XYZ years and you still haven’t graduated?” [Ph.D. programs are not designed to be finished in a particular time frame]
“You’re not working, you might be getting paid, but you are not really working” – [Actually, Ph.D. students are also considered employees]
“You still don’t have a paper?” [well how many have YOU published exactly?]
“So what discoveries have you made in the last 5 years” [followed by ill-concealed giggling]
It’s bad enough that we get slave wages, for seven years, and work 60 hour weeks (often more) but such insensitive comments make grad school very upsetting. It often makes me not want to have friends outside of science or academia anymore.
Let me be fair and not place all the blame on outsiders. As grad students we have ourselves made it seem OK to be the butt of hurtful jokes, thanks to the popularity of PhD Comics. I used to enjoy PhD comics until I realized the content hit too close to home. It also seems to make grad students think it is OK to think their life is shit and for others to mock us. No, it isn’t.
After all of this, people have no shame in using products that are a result of selfless service to science and academic scholarship. Consider the vaccines, cell phones, modern drugs, genetic testing, meteorology, high-yield crops, LASER based technologies… the list goes on and on highlighting important contributions made just by scientists with Ph.D.s, let alone economists and engineers. Nobody appreciates the training in grad school that made these discoveries and inventions possible.
You would think by the 21st century people would appreciate science and scientists. Yet it seems that unless you are Richard Dawkins and have to mock religion, you cannot be recognized as a scientist.
Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self esteem be sure that you are not first, in fact, surrounded by assholes.
In the midst of my gloominess, I was encouraged by a FB post that said “Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self esteem be sure that you are not first, in fact, surrounded by assholes.”
I think I am surrounded by assholes and I need to cut a few people off from my life altogether.
Continuing with the Khobragade controversy, it appears the maid might have been paid more than minimum wage after all. There are also rumors that the maid might have been part of a larger conspiracy by the US, which is a very serious allegation. But as with most conspiracies, this could be complete bull. We have to wait and watch.
What’s surprising in the American reaction to all of this is that there is not a trace of admission of wrong doing from the American side, like refusing to arrest the maid even though she had a non-bailable warrant, ignoring multiple complaints against her by the Indian government and Delhi High court, but most arrogantly – of giving her status of a ‘trafficked person’ while she and her husband were summoned for criminal prosecution in India and flying her ENTIRE family into the US when she is supposed to be in jail! WTF?! What kind of asinine, deranged, self-shit-loving mother f#$@s do that?
What’s worse is the CONSTANT parroting of ‘it’s standard protocol all criminals have to go through’ BS. Americans say it with such pride. Just think about it my yankee friends – you are proud of a law in which you have to get naked in front of a stranger and have them inspect your genitals and anus. Ya, real civilized. This whole ‘standard protocol’ repetition is delivered with an airy haughtiness that doesn’t deserve respect – it deserves to be ridiculed by the entire international community. The US marshals are also really sneaky, trying to deny performing a cavity search on a technicality. A cavity search by definition means, among other things, having someone put their finger in your butt. What Devyani probably meant when she said that she had a cavity search done was that the US marshals peered into her cavities, which is actually part of a strip search. Double WTF! What is wrong with America?
Of course nobody in America respects the laws of India or the ruling of the Delhi High Court but arrogantly upholds American Immigration Laws and strip search laws. Well, here is what I think of your laws. Tomorrow, I am going to take a printout of your strip search protocol, take a dump, and then wipe my ass with the printout. That will be up close and personal with my body cavity. That is what I think of your laws.
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They can DEFUND food stamps for the poor, homeless shelters, universal health care benefits for the old and sick, non-defence science research to keep everyone healthy, public education budgets, teacher’s pay and social security
they CUT government money to big corporations, luxuries to the super rich, misappropriation of government bonds for their business, tax breaks for the top 5%, and budgets for waging nonsensical WARS
The Senate approved an approx. $2billion increase to the NIH budget. At least some good news. Have to wait and see if they have changed stipend levels, but I think scientists would not mind not getting a raise so long as they have a job!
Special thanks to Senators Barbara Mikulski and Tom Harkin. Will have to wait and see how this progresses.
As bad enough as it is for those in biomedical research to procure funding, clueless trouble-makers like this guy make it worse.
Here is a quote from this guys article
It doesn’t seem to have occurred to Hunt that if Alzheimer’s deaths have increased, it is largely because deaths from cancer and circulatory ailments have decreased. As this column has noted repeatedly, the aggregate death rate from all causes is 100%; if the deaths from one cause diminish, by mathematical necessity deaths from all other causes will eventually rise by a like number.
Does that mean we should be ignoring absolute NUMBERS of deaths? Or look at other statistics that clearly point to a rise in numbers of people suffering from Alzheimer’s?
Fortunately, some good retorts were posted in the comments section of the very article, including the somewhat tongue-in-cheek exclamation that the writer himself seemed to be suffering from Alzheimer’s.