This is the second part of the series on Intellectual Slavery.
Part 1: India, Indians And Intellectual Slavery
Around 443 years ago, Akbar decided to build a fort in the city of Prayag renaming it Illahabas, which became Allahabad under the rule of Shah Jahan. In October 2018, when the UP government led by Yogi Adityanath decided to restore its original name, we witnessed the victims of Stockholm Syndrome1 protesting the decision in unison with intellectual slaves supporting them and self-centered politicians wagering it. This part of the series on 'Intellectual Slavery' will bring to light some examples from our past. The dissonance over restoration of Prayagraj depicts one such case of our lack of independence in thinking.
The purpose of the series is not to criticize intellectual slaves, but to help them realize and break out of it. No slavery is self induced. A being gets trapped in it and it is quite human to get entangled once inside. But, at the same time, breaking free is also fundamentally a human quality. Only human beings can acknowledge and celebrate the independence of intelligence.
One primal aspect of our existence is Ahamkara, loosely translated and poorly understood as 'ego' in English. We need to understand it to begin inferring the many layers of intellectual slavery. In very simple terms one can say Ahamkara is what one identifies himself with. A human being generally identifies himself with his body. Now, what does a slave identifies with? He cannot identify with his body since it is at the mercy of the master. His own existence depends on the rules of the masters. The one basic thing he strongly understands that his survival (or body) is due to his master. Mere thought of going against the master's rule induces fear. Now, fear is something most people do not understand. Fear acts in ways so smooth that a person aligns his life to adjust with it. It is not only present in the gross form we generally understand fear as, but also in the subtlest forms. This form of fear makes most of our decisions in life. Evolution from an amoeba to a chimpanzee to a human being hides many layers of fear inheritance. We might not be consciously aware of all but we understand and feel it.
The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Fear and ego are two forces that keep us imprisoned with former being the backbone. One can get so locked into the fear frequency that he rarely realizes consciously how much of a hold that it has on him. It’s too terrifying to even consider, let alone confront. It is that unrecognized, unaccepted and impermissible dread that one needs to get rid of to become independent.
After enduring such an imprisoned state for long, the mind is conditioned to feel powerless and starts believing erroneously that resistance is futile. It develops a “learned helplessness2” that is based on a propaganda-induced delusion and reinforced by “pluralistic ignorance3.” It is conditioned to fear anything other than the master’s rules. It is conditioned to fear anything other than the status quo. The virulent cocktail of conditioning and fear dampens the imagination and amputates critical thinking skills.
One of the biggest mediums of keeping masses under intellectual slavery is media. So we start with the biggest among them all — Bollywood. The story of Bollywood is interesting and very well known. What is unknown is how much it itself is under intellectual slavery. For the tinsel town of Bollywood, the timeline of India or its entire history starts with the Mughals and ends with the British. India was born when the first Islamic invasion happened and it matured under the British regime (as goes the argument that had they not colonized us, there would have been no railways in India). Now, after independence what is left of India is to follow its creators and mentors. This is a broad mindset of Bollywood. Their bias and hatred towards our own history and forefathers is evident in almost every second film that is made.
The intellectual slavery not only denies the creative power to the individual but also fills him with a deep anguish towards his own past. Such a mind is ready to walk in the shoes of its captors imitating their likes, dislikes, wishes, mannerisms and idiosyncrasies. That's why the billion dollar film industry has turned into a hub of plagiarism where no one seems to bat an eye. Stealing is a common practice without any regard to creativity and integrity.
It must be made clear here that we are talking about a history of more than 100 years of Bollywood, so the general mindset is presented here, not an absolute reality. There is a distinction between both as there are some pocket-sized cases being an exception to this rule and defy the general mindset.
For e.g. think of a Hindu priest from a general Bollywood movie and you will have an impression of him being an evil person trying to dupe innocents; or think of a munim ji or a seth ji. What is the mental picture that you create? Is it of a twisted, cunning shabby old man? If yes, then congratulations your mind is infected with forced slavery! This is what a general mindset looks like. It is aimed to manufacture bias and hatred.
Let's now look at the authenticity of the general mindset that Bollywood has created for our society. How many of you have experienced priests duping you? What is the real trend? If you have met ten priests in your whole life even if five of them managed to befool you, still the mindset created by Bollywood is not only false, but downright garbage. The purpose here is not to provide a logical or a rational argument in favor or against to any industry. The point here is to bring to your notice, your own intellectual slavery! How easily one is enslaved while being entertained by a film and music is worth taking note.
Let us now look at the state of what Bollywood creates. Once you start dissecting it you will discover that a major chunk is product of direct thievery, sometimes under the garb of 'inspiration'. One may ponder, from where do they steal. It is interesting to look at the footprints of the thief as the years went on, moving from one country to another then from one language to another! The list of plagiarism is so long that it immediately goes beyond the scope of this article. Therefore we will be providing you few links that mention some of the movies. Also, this is nothing new in the public domain; one can easily find many articles, videos on internet about the Bollywood plagiarism.
Mostly it is just a poor imitation of our masters. This is something that everyone related with the industry knows and supports. How can a slave not support his source of existence? The slavery is so strong that it has creeped into not only in the gross forms of a movie such as posters, script and music, but also in the subtle aspects such as costume, background set designs and even tantrums thrown by the celebrities!
When Pablo Picaso says, "Every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up", he actually means that only an independent existence can be creative not an enslaved one.
The famous Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras once said, “There is geometry in the humming of the strings, there is music in the spacing of the spheres.”
One should not interpret this statement as mere poetry, like people with lazy thinking generally do. This is a direct statement on the relationship between music and mathematics. Music is entirely intertwined with mathematics, so much so that even a basic major chord is described mathematically. Only if a mind appreciating the music is free, one would easily see the geometric progression of the fret-distance of a guitar or a sitar.
The mention of Pythagoras as the one endorsing the relationship between music and mathematics, makes the claim more credible to common readers. Instead if truth is to be told that the first person (or instance) who presented the connection between music and mathematics dates back to almost 2000 years ago, the enslaved ego will not admit it and even start attempting to dismiss the fact. When presented with evidences, as hard as pure mathematics, still the enslaved mind cannot digest it.
Sharngadeva, a Kashmiri Pandit, authored Sangitaratnakara which is one of the greatest treatises on Indian music and dance. In Sangitaratnakara, Sharngadeva defined almost 264 ragas as permutation and combination of fundamental swaras.
One does not need to understand the music theory to realize the rich treasures of music that this land has. When Pandit Jasraj is asked how he decides what is the time of a particular raga, he explains how ragas are made and named by just paying attention to the music in the air at the particular time of the day. The music which was a tool for transformation in the pre-enslavement period has turned into a tool of survival.
The current state of music is pathetic. It is either being created by mere stealing or mixing and matching of ragas of past legends. Few people who still create music by the power of their sadhana are practicing it in some obscure corner unavailable for the common masses. Slaves do not wish to be transformed because fear and ego keep them trapped. Music can only be born out of an independent soul. With such an enslaved intellectual state, it is no wonder masses today cannot even stand classical music, leave aside creating it. Even the devotional songs are cheap copy of some already copied Bollywood songs. One can easily find the tunes of Bollywood songs being played over lyrics at temples and mata ki chowki!
Recollecting Chuck Palahniuk's Fight Club, the whole art world appears as a copy of a copy of a copy.
Mediocrity or silly noise is appreciated and sold as music. If some above average music appears occasionally, it is appreciated only in terms of how well it sells. Commerce decides the worth of an art!
We need to properly understand how commerce took the center stage and appears to be the ruler of our existence. It is just a medium of exchange but holds very strong power. For an enslaved mind the power of commerce appears like a escape route out of survival struggles. The grip is so deep that even when one comes out of the struggles of survival, commerce still seems the only truth and savior. An enslaved mind thinking of coming out of slavery, ceases to think after the struggle stops. It reaches the next level of slavery, where all resistance stops and the state is that of a zombie.
The messed up state of the education is so well known to everyone that there is nothing much to add. The only thing we would like to bring to your attention is the seriousness of the enslavement. The language has not remained a tool but has got a class of itself. The language of masters is what is considered higher and more respected than the language of our ancestors. Such is the state of slavery that a mere tool of expression decides how we will treat a fellow human being. Few people can fathom the size of catastrophe that the slavery in this sphere is causing. It is taking us towards the mass extinction level calamity. It could appear as a hyperbole but one who understands the nuances will not brush it aside as a mere figure of speech.
Children are born free but our education system which is biased and designed to produce slaves, turns them into rule-following zombies. The seeds of intellectual slavery is planted in a child's mind when it goes through the education system. It has become mandatory to go through a proper schooling since it is the only way to empower our children. If you skip schools, you will escape the intellectual slavery but couldn't be empowered enough to do anything with your life. Your own survival and life prospects decline. The empowerment system works in a way to provide only for those who are intellectual slaves. The higher the degree of your intellectual slavery the higher the potential for you to be empowered in the society. Only the enslaved minds are allowed the position of power in our society. They are the ones who become lawmakers, policy makers and the administrators of the society (lawyers, judges, bureaucrats, teachers). The higher they rise in the enslaved society, more sure they become of their masters. The sign of a dull and stupid mind is the degree of its surety about an idea. As Charles Bukowski rightly notes, "The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence."
These empowered slaves work towards progressing the purpose of their masters thus making it more difficult for the society to come out of mental prison walls. That's why with every generation, the system of mental slavery matures and thrives. It becomes more and more difficult for people to realize and get out of it. Our children are fed lies about their own history and forefathers to train them to fall in line and respect the laws of their masters. They are being trained to think in the way their masters think, only then they can get any respect and recognition in the society of slaves. Check the list of poison that is fed to create mental slaves out of our children - https://topyaps.com/icse-history-textbooks-biased-indian-history
The problem intensifies when the enslaved mind is given the task to dispel justice. The justice changes its meaning when looked from an enslaved perspective. The idea of justice is also borrowed from the masters and their own sense of right, wrong and just. One can consider some judgments made by the Supreme Court in recent times4 and the arguments that they gave. The justice system and argument are themselves borrowed from the masters and are made to custom fit the natives. Recent decision on Sabrimala issue where the enslaved mind is deciphering traditions for the devotees to heed to. The discrimination that women went through in the past in western society is horrifying and the learning thus born out of it makes sense for that society.
One can research about the state of women in all the western countries in medieval and ancient period (which the west calls as Dark period). Women lacked a respectable position in the society and they have very recently got almost equal say to men (just in past century). India, traditionally is a land which has always given highest regards to women. This land never discriminated on the basis of gender, instead it acknowledged their different roles and responsibilities. For thousands years our ancestors recognized the nuances of gender and worshiped the feminine. Importing the moral compass from our captors and looking from the western perspective, it is not surprising that the exclusion (in Sabrimala Temple) appears as discrimination to the highest court of India.
The real problem arises when such enslaved mind practices science and technology. With no regard for anything else other than the whims of their masters, the technology is bound to be destructive. The science coming out of an enslaved mind denies to think freely and thus comes out with half baked theories and laws. Using such incomplete theories and laws to build technology is something more counterproductive than being useful. The principles which carry noise within themselves tend to produce a pollution ridden machine. The blind, non-thinking scientists create the 'Church of Science' and the followers of this church decide what is scientific and what is pseudo-science. Anything coming out of our ancestors knowledge is looked down upon and is immediately termed as pseudo-science.
Even when presented with facts, the enslaved mind will fight to preserve its ego (in order to survive) and will not betray its masters. Facts as solid as mentioned below (sourced from The Better India):
- The idea of Zero
- The Decimal System
- Numeral Notations
- Fibonacci Numbers — The irony here is that we call it by a western name, its real name is mātrāmeru.
- Binary Numbers — The binary number system was first described by the Vedic scholar Pingala, in his book Chandahśāstra.
- Chakravala method of Algorithms — The chakravala method is a cyclic algorithm to solve indeterminate quadratic equations, including the Pell’s equation. Another mathematician, Jayadeva later generalized this method for a wider range of equations, which was further refined by Bhāskara II in his Bijaganita treatise.
- Ruler Measurements — Excavations at Harappans sites have yielded rulers or linear measures made from ivory and shell. Marked out in minute subdivisions with amazing accuracy, the calibrations correspond closely with the hasta increments of 1 3/8 inches, traditionally used in the ancient architecture of South India.
- Theory of Atom — Kanad speculated the existence of anu or a small indestructible particles, much like an atom. He also stated that anu can have two states — absolute rest and a state of motion. He further held that atoms of same substance combined with each other in a specific and synchronized manner to produce dvyanuka (diatomic molecules) and tryanuka (triatomic molecules).
- Plastic Surgery — Sushruta Samhita is considered to be one of the most comprehensive textbooks on ancient surgery. The text mentions various illnesses, plants, preparations and cures along with complex techniques of plastic surgery.
The list is long and still not everything is uncovered. There is a treasure of knowledge hidden in the scriptures and ancient texts, but that can only be understood by an independent intellect. A slave cannot do it. The intellectual slave does not understand the language of Gods, Sanskrit, which is itself the language of free thinkers. The language Sanskrit is free in its structure and too advanced for a lazy mind.
In All Other Spheres
The intellectual slavery is present in almost every sphere that one can think of. The purpose of the series is not to 'feed a man a fish but to teach a man to catch a fish'. Our mission is to create independent thinkers and enable people to themselves figure out the slavery prevalent in the society and strive to get out of it.
The custodians of this intellectual slavery in the modern era are media and politics and one can not be surprised to find such slaves in large numbers in media houses and in the parliament. The journalists are the people with agenda, they are the slaves who have pledged to work for their masters. They have no intention to explore the truth, instead their purpose is to twist it. Remember, a twisted truth is a lie. Their job is also to systematically bring down any "seeker" of the truth.
The simple measure one can take to stay away from journalistic poison is to neither believe nor disbelieve any news they get from media sources. Ignoring the news is not recommended, and at the same time consuming and believing everything must be avoided.
The enslaved leaders have no other purpose but to survive. Vast majority of your leaders are corrupt, thieves and people with no integrity. When huge majority of leaders come from a dynasty, what else is left to prove for the mental slavery of the society. The society is accepting leaders just because they are from a family, that is how an enslaved mind works. The ideas of politics too is borrowed from western world. The idea of left and right-wing is stupid for Indian context but our journalists and politicians go on practicing it. Murderers and rapists are the one's making laws for us, not for our benefit but for serving their masters.
The irony is that people who copy and accept the master's ways are considered free and liberal in the society. You will really have to think hard and long to figure out something which is actually out of your free will.
Your food, your clothes, your entertainment, your education, your fashion, your music, your family relations, your sports, your jobs, your passion, your morals, your laws, even your constitution is all a cheap copy of your master's. And still you claim yourselves to be free and liberal. This is some serious madness. We are more colonized now than we were before independence.
The reality of land of "seekers" can not be compartmentalized in divisions of west — racist, sexist, socialist, communist etc. It must be looked upon as a whole and understood as a single organism, like the whole cosmos is. But again, that needs an independent intellect to appreciate and understand the organism.
The next part will deal with what can be done about this? What can a free thinker do in his or her capacity? We can keep you posted if you subscribe to Himalayan Sentinel.
- Discussed in part 1 of this series, where a captive is being fed and his/her body is taken care of (made to feel safe). Later their mind starts to derive its food (trust and faith) from the captor. This can be seen in the context of the invasions and captivity that India went through. It is not surprising to find groups of people in India affected by collective Stockholm Syndrome where they relate with and defend their captors.
- Learned helplessness, in psychology, is a mental state in which an organism forced to bear difficult, painful and otherwise unpleasant conditions, becomes unable or unwilling to avoid subsequent encounters with those conditions, even if they are “escapable,” presumably because it has learned that it cannot control the situation.
- Pluralistic ignorance is a situation in which a majority of group members privately reject a norm, but incorrectly assume that most others accept it, and therefore go along with it. This is also described as "no one believes, but everyone thinks that everyone believes".