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Buddhist Sangha — an embodiment of gender neutrality

 

Dr Amritpal Kaur 

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When an ideology for restructuring of human nature and society becomes a religious cult, it not only loses its spirit of rationality and political relevance and its professional representatives also degenerate into mere religious organizations. It then becomes impossible for such a psycho-social philosophy to maintain its effectiveness, particularly in the social arena.

What we call a religion today is the remains of what once was a complete civilization. Born out of a revolutionary Indian thought, Buddhism had been a potent socio-cultural tradition.

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The God: Clashing Visions of the Jews and Brahmins

 

  Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd

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The Idea of The God

The idea of God even in the twenty first century rules the global human mind more than the state, and the constitutional laws. There is also fear and reverence of God more than just the idea of God. Though rationalism, secularism and liberalism emerged as a powerful alternative to human consciousness, the broad spectrum of human ideas still dominantly operate around the notion of God more than anti-God or out of the domain of the God. Four major religions of the world--Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism--have varied visions of the God. Though the idea of the God existed for several millennia ever since that vision of the God was written into spiritual books, by and large, it is the book view of the God that governs human consciousness as of now, as human knowledge level has grown into written discourse. And that will be around for several centuries to come. However, I would like to look at the vision of the God that Jews of Israel institutionalized and also the vision of the God that the Brahmins of India institutionalized.

How Does The Jewish and Brahmin Ideas of The God Clash?

The Jewish vision was constructed in the Old Testament to start with and expanded into an advanced form in the New Testament. The Brahmin vision got constructed in the Rigveda to start with, and expanded in the Puranas, Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita. The first difference is that Jews visualized God in an abstract mode, without any form, without human relationship, as a creator of the entire universe, including Adam and Eve as first humans. God was neither Jew nor Israelite. Also the first Man and Woman that the God created were not created in any modern nation state. They were created in the universal garden. They were created neither as Jew, nor were they created white or black; nor were they created in any caste or creed. They were created as Man and Woman, as universal beings.

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How mainstream feminism has failed Dalit women

 

Anamika Kumari

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As long as there is casteism in this country, no other '-ism' would ever stand a chance to flourish. This country follows the rule of 'brahminism' and thus follows every other social evil, that is the outcome of brahminism, such as patriarchy and casteism.

Mainstream feminists aims to "smash patriarchy", however they do not oppose casteism as it benefits the women who hold upper caste status in the society.

Caste is the most predominant phenomenon in the Indian society which supersedes every other phenomenon. The concept of feminism that has been preached in this country is majorly influenced by the western concept of feminism. Feminism, as per the general definition, is the belief in absolute social, economic, and political equality for women. Feminism in India propagates the idea that there shall be gender equality and therefore it mainly focuses on male-female binary.

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Caste and its patriarchal tamasha

 

Dr Amritpal Kaur
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Caste is a notion, as Babasaheb said but what makes it a complex phenomenon to understand is the fact that it is also a notional reality. Caste is never singular, it is a plural social mechanism. There is no such thing as a caste. There are always castes that constitute the infamous oppressive social system of Indian society, the caste system. The caste system is the best example of how a belief can be changed into an institutionalised belief system by making it sacred through self regulating code.

The caste system is an enclosed class system which divides these enclosed classes into watertight compartments leaving zero scope for social and cultural endosmosis. This results in perpetually disadvantaged groups that not only are denied dignity and self respect but also access to basic human resources, jobs and education.

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Buddhist Outlook on Gender Identities as a Delusion


Dr Amritpal Kaur

dr amritpal kaurIdentities are culturally located historical formations, open to reinterpretation and dispute. They are culturally, socially and psychologically constructed delusions that tend to reinforce a state of emotionalism on the human self. Nationality, religion, class, caste, race, gender and all are intrinsically responsible for defining the boundaries of human identity.

Most of the identities are acquired and learned after birth, and thus are open to reassessment. But, the gender binaries are the most difficult to overcome as they are considered to be innately linked with the biological sex. The term gender was first used by psychologist and sexologist John William Money has all those things that a person says or does to disclose himself or herself as having the status of a boy/man or girl/woman.

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Unnao after Hathras: Atrocities, again and again


Sonali Shirke

sonali shirke newIn Baburha village, Unnao district, of Uttar Pradesh, a horrific incident of atrocities against Dalit girls has once again come to light on February 17 (many such incidents happen every day which do not come to light). Three minor girls who live in a Dalit locality, went to fetch fodder in the field in the afternoon. The girls did not return home after a long time, so the family started searching for them in the evening. Then, as usual (like a kind of legacy in Uttar Pradesh), the girls were found tied in the field and unconscious. Two of the three girls were declared dead and one was rushed to a hospital in critical condition after villagers took her to a public health care centre for treatment.

According to the Hindustan Times, Superintendent of Police Sureshrao Kulkarni, who was present there, said that they died due to poisoning. But the same report shows that there is something serious about the different testimonies of individuals in the victim's family. As the victim's brother says in a video, when the girls were found, their limbs were tied with the help of their stoles. So the question arises that if the hands were tied, how could the girls poison themselves? In the second video, the victim's mother is seen saying, "The girls' hands were not tied, and we have no suspicions on anyone" (this statement needs to be verified to make sure that this statement was not made under any pressure).

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