Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Uniform Civil Code

Dilip D'Souza discusses the tangle in Outlook. Worth reading.

3 comments:

artboxone said...

Focus upon inheritance laws as disincentive to UCC is a non-issue. In America, people give their possessions to whomever they want to, according to the dictates of their belief system. When no will exists, probate court is the appropriate venue, and the petitioners lay out their case for inheritance. Individuals of every religion have the same access to a neutral arbiter to oversee distribution of property.

A Uniform Civil Code ideally ensures equal opportunity and protection before the law. Separation of religion and governance is key: no religion is given favored status. In the US, there are no pilgrimages underwritten by taxpayer dollars. Religious schools are not supported by taxpayer dollars; public secular schools are available to every individual. If you want a religious education you pay for it yourself.

Churches, mosques, and temples are not run by the government, and all have equal tax-exempt status.

Primary Red said...

We agree with you.

artboxone said...

worth your attention:

Please read the referenced wide-ranging essay entitled
"Geopolitics and Sanskrit phobia" :

http://www.sulekha.com/expressions/column.asp?cid=306016

Excerpt:
"In Discovery of India, Jawaharlal Nehru wrote that the ancient past of India belonged to all of the Indian people, Hindus, Muslims, Christians, and others, because their forefathers had helped to build it. Subsequent conversion to another religion could not deprive them of this heritage; any more than the Greeks, after their conversion to Christianity, could have ceased to feel proud of their achievements of their ancestors (Nehru 1946: 343). Considered the pioneer of Indian secularism, Nehru wrote:

" 'If I was asked what was the greatest treasure that India possesses and what is her finest heritage, I would answer unhesitatingly - it is the Sanskrit language. This is a magnificent inheritance, and so
long as it endures and influences the life of our people, so long the basic genius of the people of
India will continue...India built up a magnificent language, Sanskrit, and through this language, and its art and architecture, it sent its vibrant message to far away countries.'
" ...



Overview of essay:
This paper discusses the historical and contemporary relationship between geopolitics and Sanskrit, and consists of the following sections:

I. Sanskrit is more than a language. Like all languages, its structures and categories contain a
built-in framework for representing specific worldviews. Sanskriti is the name of the culture and
civilization that embodies this framework. One may say that Sanskriti is the term for what has recently become known as Indic Civilization, a civilization
that goes well beyond the borders of modern India to encompass South Asia and much of Southeast Asia. At one time, it included much of Asia.

II. Interactions among different regions of Asia helped to develop and exchange this pan-Asian Sanskriti. Numerous examples involving India, Southeast Asia and China are given.

III. Sanskrit started to decline after the West Asian invasions of the Indian subcontinent. This had a
devastating impact on Sanskriti, as many world-famous centers of learning were destroyed, and no single major university was built for many centuries by the conquerors.

IV. Besides Asia, Sanskrit and Sanskriti influenced Europe's modernity, and Sanskrit Studies became a large-scale formal activity in most European universities. These influences shaped many intellectual disciplines that are (falsely) classified as "Western". But the "discovery" of Sanskrit by Europe also had the negative influence of fueling European racism since the 19th century.

V. Meanwhile, in colonial India, the education system was de-Sanskritized and replaced by an English based education. This served to train clerks and low level employees to administer the Empire, and to start the process of self-denigration among Indians, a trend that continues today. Many prominent Indians achieved fame and success as middlemen serving the Empire, and Gandhi's famous 1908 monograph, "Hind Swaraj," discusses this phenomenon.

VI. After India's independence, there was a broad based Nehruvian love affair with Sanskrit as an
important nation-building vehicle. However, successive generations of Indian intellectuals have replaced this with what this paper terms "Sanskrit Phobia," i.e. a body of beliefs now widely disseminated according to which Sanskrit and Sanskriti are blamed for all sorts of social, economic and political problems facing India's underprivileged classes. This section illustrates such phobia among prominent Western Indologists and among trendy Indians involved in South Asian Studies who learn about Sanskrit and Sanskriti according to Western frameworks and biases.

VII. The clash of civilizations among the West, China and Islam is used as a lens to discuss the future of Sanskriti across South and Southeast Asia.

VIII. Some concrete suggestions are made for further consideration to revitalize Sanskrit as a
living language that has potential for future knowledge development and empowerment of humanity.

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