“An Eye for an Eye” is Deterrence Against Violence

The concept of deterrence is the credible commitment to retaliation by one party to convince another party to not initiate force. If one party can convincingly persuade another party that any act of unprovoked violence will be met with equal or greater violence, that would constitute effective deterrence. The assumption is that both parties are rational. Here rational is defined as apprehending a situation accurately and acting in one’s own self-interest. Gandhi did not understand this simple idea, being blinded by his admiration of the Christian bilge about “turning the other cheek”.

Gayatri Jayaraman (‏@Gayatri__J) wrote this on twitter:

“an eye for an eye will leave the world blind” – Mahatma Gandhi. Why ahimsa is the only force that can win us our wars

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All That is Good and Living in Us

Nirad C Chaudhuri (1897 – 1999) dedicated his book, The Autobiography of an Unknown Indian (1951), to the British Empire.

To the memory of the British Empire in India,
Which conferred subjecthood upon us,
But withheld citizenship.
To which yet every one of us threw out the challenge:
“Civis Britannicus sum”
Because all that was good and living within us
Was made, shaped and quickened
By the same British rule.

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Criticizing Modern Indian Holy Cows Considered Dangerous

A little while ago, I saw this tweet — which I append below. It relates to the mainstream media’s response to Shri Mohan Bhagwat’s comment that “Mother” Teresa was motivated by her desire to convert people to Christianity. That seems really odd to me. I would have surmised that the fact that Teresa was basically in the business of proselytizing and converting would be as unremarkable as the fact that the Pope is a Catholic. Whatever she did — and she was remarkably candid about it — she maintained was because she was serving her lord and savior Jesus Christ. Christ wanted everyone to be saved through him. So what’s so bloody remarkable about noting that she was primarily motivated by what she admitted to: saving souls?

Anyway, here’s the tweet by @rvaidya2000:
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Happy Gandhi Jayanti

Shri Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, also known as the “mahatma,” was born on this day October 2nd in 1869. Popular opinion associates Gandhi with non-violence. I differ. I believe that poverty engenders more violence against innocent humans than any other single cause or condition. Perhaps he genuinely was against violence but what Gandhi achieved resulted in unimaginable violence.
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The Resurrection of Gandhi

Arvind Lavakare in an article titled The Myth of Mahatma Gandhi notes that the Gandhi icon had been losing its sheen for years until the present government began giving it a nice new varnish. Maybe it is an attempt to “to fuse the original Gandhi image with the Italian one” he hints. I am convinced of that, however. Reading the comments on that article is instructive. Many of them are the equivalent of sticking one’s fingers in one’s ears and loudly repeating “I am not listening. nana nana nana.” If people who are literate and supposedly educated are brainwashed enough to not even entertain an argument supported by evidence, what hope is there for the vast majority who have no access to alternative viewpoints to ever recover from the effects of the constant barrage of images promoting Gandhi as the sole savior of India?

If I were an illiterate person, I would be convinced that Gandhi is goodness personified. After all, doesn’t Indian money carry his image? Isn’t he the father of the nation? And should I not vote for Gandhi’s children — Rajiv, Sonia, Rahul, whoever? And should I not vote for the party that Gandhi founded? And should I not believe everything from a person who says he is a Gandhian?

Anyway, I must admit that the Congress party of India has a winning formula and they know it. Gandhi is the biggest brand name in the world — forget Coca Cola and McDonalds. Mera Bharat Mahan!

On Unwashed Masses and Idol-worshipping

When confronted by a human being who impresses us as truly great, should we not be moved rather than chilled by the knowledge that he might have attained his greatness only through his frailties?
— Lou Andreas-Salome – Biographer of Freud

The notion that one’s weaknesses could be the fountainhead of one’s accomplishments is certainly intriguing and counter-intuitive. At least on one occasion I have seen that up close and personal. A certain friend of mine was driven to become an over-achiever because at a deeper level he suffered from an inferiority complex.
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