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Thread: What you've always wanted to know about india, but didn't know whom to ask...

  1. #1
    Hello folks!

    first of all, huge props to all the great people at filesharing talk. i've been here only a few days, but from what i've seen, i think this is "the" place on the web, both for learning and sharing, and for finding maybe the most helpful, nicest people out there!
    i'm not much of an expert on technical matters (atleast not compared to many here), so i decided to give something back, something which is more my cup of tea, to all the wonderful people who've helped, and continue to help in so many ways.
    i thought, hey, if there's anything you've always wanted to know about india (information from an insider)...be it about our music, our films, our culture, anything, please feel free to ask away, and i'll try to do justice here.
    btw, as you must have figured out already, i'm from india...chennai actually, from the south.

    so bring it on...

  2. The Drawing Room   -   #2
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    whats up with the whole idea of the untouchables? you treat these people badly or something? that really true?

  3. The Drawing Room   -   #3
    whats up with the whole idea of the untouchables? you treat these people badly or something? that really true?
    hi colt45joe!

    you've gone straight for the dirtiest skeleton in our closet, haven't you?

    well, it's a long story...

    when the class system of india was started a few millennia back, it was with the aim of preserving the lineage of different communities' traditions. for example, this ensured that a priest's son, was also trained to become a priest, thus doubly ensuring his place in the social framework, and the preservation of all the unique traditions and skills that belonged to that particular group. it was similar for all the groups...be it potters, farmers, warriors, etc.
    but of course with time, this class system was misinterpreted by many to serve their own ends, and to privilege a certain community or communities over the others. until a few decades back, things were still very bleak. the "untouchables" were not allowed near temples, not allowed inside the upper class ghettoes, not allowed to drink from the same glasses as the others in the local tea shop, and so on.
    but today, this is very rare, and one can only see it if one ventures into the hinterlands, and into remote villages, and that too,it's nowhere as bad as it used to be.
    the reason for this: the increasing upward mobility of the "lower" classes in india. today, the only class that controls things (and this works pretty much anywhere in the world) is the new "moneyed" class, to which many members of the so-called lower classes are being constantly added. if you fit into this new elite, other older class biases will be ignored.
    but when did this start changing? a few decades back, many new laws were introduced, to make compulsory the reservation of a stipulated "quota" of seats for the backward classes, in all educational establishments, and government organizations. though this has resulted in alienating the upper classes, who started losing the monopoly they had so long enjoyed in knowledge accumulation and transfer, it did a lot of good too. it started bringing many thousands from the till-then "backward" classes into the mainstream, where they would be considered equals with all the other classes, and would compete for the same jobs and lifestyles.
    now, many decades into this scenario, the caste system doesn't even exist in my daily life, but that's also because i'm writing from chennai, one of the urban centres. it still exists in rural india, and will for some time, as it has been mixed into our blood over so many millennia.
    but as i said, the cities have left it behind. for an example, and it is a common one, most of my friends are from the "backward" classes, there is common inter-marrying, we all study, work, drink together, and this would have been unimaginable a couple of decades ago, because i come from a brahmin family (the highest caste). many others will share similar stories, i'm sure.
    as i said earlier, the newest, most powerful and dominating class is the "moneyed" class.

  4. The Drawing Room   -   #4
    Squeamous's Avatar Poster
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    That's actually very interesting. I always got the impression the caste system was entrenched and unchanging, but it seems like most things India is moving on.

  5. The Drawing Room   -   #5
    Biggles's Avatar Looking for loopholes
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    Quote Originally Posted by arvind_sampath View Post
    Hello folks!

    first of all, huge props to all the great people at filesharing talk. i've been here only a few days, but from what i've seen, i think this is "the" place on the web, both for learning and sharing, and for finding maybe the most helpful, nicest people out there!
    i'm not much of an expert on technical matters (atleast not compared to many here), so i decided to give something back, something which is more my cup of tea, to all the wonderful people who've helped, and continue to help in so many ways.
    i thought, hey, if there's anything you've always wanted to know about india (information from an insider)...be it about our music, our films, our culture, anything, please feel free to ask away, and i'll try to do justice here.
    btw, as you must have figured out already, i'm from india...chennai actually, from the south.

    so bring it on...
    Welcome - India certainly seems to be blossoming in the global internet garden.

    This is a very sensible place to make your introduction by the way. The Lounge is altogether rather more rough and tumble than the Drawing Room and many a newcomer has found it a little unforgiving. The Lounge is a wonderful place to observe FST in action though.
    Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum


  6. The Drawing Room   -   #6
    Originally posted by Squeamous
    That's actually very interesting. I always got the impression the caste system was entrenched and unchanging, but it seems like most things India is moving on.
    It's easy for me to understand that you had that impression. Most people from outside india do, and the ones that don't, usually don't have an impression at all...they just find the whole caste-system-issue extremely strange and unapproachable. I'll also blame most of the Indian diaspora for this. I'm sure thousands of them all over the world (and mostly in the US), are trying to cover it up and recreate it for any curious foreign friends. After all, even if it hasn't yet been blown up to the status of a "racist" practice, i'm sure this new breed of informed and exposed indians, always have a niggling subconscious feeling that it isn't too far away from being seen as exactly that. So most of them must be on their best guard. It's only human.

    Originally posted by Biggles
    Welcome - India certainly seems to be blossoming in the global internet garden.
    Glad you think that way. Yes, suddenly "India Inc." seems to be everywhere. If this is enabling people to better understand india, and vice versa, then i believe, it's a good thing, and we can all really do with a lot more of it.

    Good wishes!

  7. The Drawing Room   -   #7
    thewizeard's Avatar re-member BT Rep: +1
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    Quote Originally Posted by arvind_sampath View Post
    Hello folks!

    first of all, huge props to all the great people at filesharing talk. i've been here only a few days, but from what i've seen, i think this is "the" place on the web, both for learning and sharing, and for finding maybe the most helpful, nicest people out there!
    i'm not much of an expert on technical matters (atleast not compared to many here), so i decided to give something back, something which is more my cup of tea, to all the wonderful people who've helped, and continue to help in so many ways.
    i thought, hey, if there's anything you've always wanted to know about india (information from an insider)...be it about our music, our films, our culture, anything, please feel free to ask away, and i'll try to do justice here.
    btw, as you must have figured out already, i'm from india...chennai actually, from the south.

    so bring it on...
    Whatever gave you that impression?

    Aight ..question 1. Do you agree with
    Mahatma Gandhi's comment "I think it would be a good idea." when asked , "What do you think about Western Civilisation? " question 2. Is Maitreya returning in time for 21-12-2012 and last but not least (for now) What is the most popular forms of file-sharing in India and would you be so kind as to list some?
    ..thanks in advance, oh and a big welcome to "Teh Forum"

  8. The Drawing Room   -   #8
    originally posted by thewizeard
    Whatever gave you that impression?
    Hi, thewizeard. I've been here only a couple of days, but from what i've seen, i really appreciate the fact that fst is a great hub for ideas, tips and news on the internet community. without it, i might have had to scrounge for all this information, in maybe, a thousand different places on the web. besides, i've met a few good folks here, people seem to be generally friendly and ready to pitch in; and i guess, on the internet as in real life, a few experiences to the contrary are inevitable. anywhere.

    Do you agree with Mahatma Gandhi's comment "I think it would be a good idea." when asked , "What do you think about Western Civilisation? "
    Ah, something not many people know gandhi has said. actually, he was a man of sharp wit and intellect, as i'm sure most of you must be aware. Now, let us first try to understand where those words came from, or what were the factors responsible for someone like gandhi, to, rather uncharacteristically, use them in reply to a harmless reporter's question.

    Gandhi has also said about his concept of "civilization", and i quote:

    “Civilization is that mode of conduct which points out to man the path of duty. Performance of duty and observance of morality are convertible terms. To observe morality is to attain mastery over our mind and our passions. So doing, we know ourselves. The Gujarati equivalent for civilization means good conduct.”

    gandhi was one in a breed of unique indians (at the time), who understood the value of their unique traditional legacy, and thus, while finding themselves at the receiving end of extreme repression from the british, were in a position, from which they could articulate this repression, to the world at large. my belief is that if there had been more indians like him at the time, their views on western civilization, would have been quite similar. gandhi and the millions who shared pre-independence india with him, had seen the dark side of "western civilization", prompting them to question the very word "civilization" and what it meant. obviously, their sympathies were never on the side of the 'white man’s burden’ to bring ‘the light of civilization’ to the savage world.

    This is, let me remind you, merely my analysis of gandhi's reason for having said that. your perspective might be entirely different.

    as far as my opinion about this is concerned, i appreciate gandhi for his unshakeable adherence to traditional value systems, but find that, in today's world, with its opportunities for global understanding and exploration (like never before), this brand of passionate "ethnocentrisism" is just a waste of possibilities.
    and besides, many like me have been brought up in a very different india, a changing india, if you will. so i do not agree with his views on this. i do not undermine the value of my indian inheritance, but at the same time, i am also more open to new ideas and culture from the west.
    i like to take the middle path in this; call me a fence-sitter if you will, you are entitled to your opinion. to me, there are an equal number of things that the west can learn from us, as there are in the other direction. what exactly these things are, will of course change in everyone's list.

    Is Maitreya returning in time for 21-12-2012
    you know it is very surprising, but this is another thing that there is almost no talk about in india. it reminds me of the thread about hindi music (which revealed my near-total ignorance.., in the music part of this forum.
    the india you see, is very different from the india i see.
    and india has always had more than its fair share of priests and holy men, prophesies, religious cults etc. maybe if i were a part of a certain religious group or "cult", i might have been more familiar with this; in the absence of which, your guess is as good as mine. there is a cult, i think it's called the "kalki" cult, or something, that believes lord vishnu (one of our main gods) has taken an avataar as the main priest of the cult. so that kind of thing, is not entirely new.

    What is the most popular forms of file-sharing in India
    from what i've come across so far, most people here seem to be really into trackers with indian film content (bollywood is only the most popular; we also have thriving film scenes in tamil, telugu, kannada, punjabi etc.) some trackers like BW torrents and Desi torrents, for the films and the rest of the package: music, propaganda etc. there are many into the english-content private tracker scene too, though i don't know any personally. Most of the rest, are just happy sharing files on CDs and DVDs; remember, this is india, you still get most movies and music on pirated DVDs and CDs, all over the place.

    cheers!

  9. The Drawing Room   -   #9
    thewizeard's Avatar re-member BT Rep: +1
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    Thank you very much arvind_sampath, for your comprehensive and lucid reply. I apologise, for what my fore-fathers have done to your land and country folk.. and also thank you for the veneer of civilisation that we have" inherited" due to the close contact we had and still have, with each other. I also thank you for curry and chips and Buddha. Let's hope you will remain here longer and become a part of this community...now it's time to enter The Lounge ... .. fear not..

  10. The Drawing Room   -   #10
    thewizeard, it has touched my heart that you apologize for something you aren't in any way directly responsible for. of course, from your words, i can see that you have left the cruel and biased world-views of your forefathers far behind, just in the way that many of us here have moved on from the dogged traditionalism of our pre-independence times.
    We have a saying in india for people like you. We keep saying that it is because of the (few) good people left in the world, that it continues to rain every year; the belief being that the rains are a divine gift that god sends us, in reward for our good actions. Without these few good men, the world would slip into chaos, drought and deep moral rot.
    So thank you, and may your tribe increase, thewizeard!

    As far as coming into the lounge is concerned, i will be there when i can (the fact that most of the action happens there, when i'm fast asleep, because of the difference in our time zones, is a bit of a problem though...

    Cheers!

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