Friday, May 11, 2018

280 A comparison by Shri Girish Shahane, of Photo consciousness of Gandhiji, Ambedkar, and Swami Vivekananda, in the matter of photo-consciousness

Here is a link to a beautiful analysis dated 11th Sept. 2017, by Shri Girish Shahane, at The occasion, was a speech delivered by Hon. Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, while commemorating the 125th Anniversary of Speech delivered by Swami Vivekananda, at the Parliament of Religions, Chicago, 1893. Shri Shahane's Analysis is substantially lengthy, quite absorbing, and worth reading. Though I may not be able to agree with everything Shri Shahane wrote, at this point of time, I am not equipped to write my views covering all the points raised by him. However, many of them, are worth agreeing with. Right now, I shall cover one or two the most interesting items.

My doubts about the genuineness of the Speech given by Swami Vivekananda at the World Parliament. Reasons:

In my personal view, the hidden object of World Parliament of Religions, Chicago, was to present, press, and impress upon the participants, the superiority of Christianity, over other Religions of the World. Mr. Charles Carroll Bonney, and Rev. John Henry Barrows were the top Administrators of the Parliament. I have tried to the best of my ability to obtain a scanned copy / or any other digital format file / audio format file of the Speech delivered by Swami Vivekananda, at various web sites belonging to the World Congress of Religions 1893, and their Associate pages, associated archives, US Government Websites, Chicago University Websites. Nowhere I could trace. From the failure of efforts, I get an impression that the Organisers of the World Parliament of Religions, Chicago, 1893, HAD NOT PRESERVED stenographed/typewritten/phonographed (grammaphone record) of Swami Vivekananda's Maiden Speech, for the following reasons:

1. At the time of delivery of his maiden speech at the Parliament of Religions, Swami Vivekananda was not among the Chief Speakers, Invited Speakers, Christian Speakers. Subsequently, at the Parliament, he might have become a prominent Speaker to fill after-noon after-lunch sleeping hours (I may be wrong). His Maiden Speech, did not, therefore have a V.I.P. value.

2. In those Speech Sessions, Top Administrators might have employed Stenographers to take dictations and reproduce verbatim, speeches of V.I.P Speakers. As dozens of Speakers spoke, both VIP and non-VIP hoi polloi religions, it is difficult to expect that the Administrators would have instructed the Stenos to take down in short-hand every Oration made by every Speaker, particularly Non American, Non European, Non-Christian Speakers. Swami Vivekananda was from an Under-Developed Slave Country, a Colony of British. Hence his Maiden Speech might not have been taken FULL DICTATION of. They might have noted some points. Anyway, the Parliament of Religions, Chicago, 1893, Organisers/Adminstrators/Librarians might not have preserved Swamiji's Maiden Speech with Care, because for them Vivekananda was not an American NATION-LIFTER. For Indians, he is.

3. I get an impression, by 1893 Chicago Parliament seems to have had recording phonographs (grammaphones of Colombia, HMV model). They might have recorded some speeches of Top V.I.Ps. Definitely, they could not have spared resources for a Late Entrant like Swami Vivekananda.

4. It is not clear, how POPULAR Swami Vivekananda became with the Audience of the Parliament. From his Complete Works (Letters written to his disciple Alasinga etc.) he had written loftily of his own successes.

5. After the conclusion of Parliament of Religions, Swamiji seems to have got into touch with Grammaphone Companies, and re-recorded his speech, after re-writing it. From this, we can infer that if his Maiden Speech at Parliament was "ex tempore" , the same Speech could not have been reproduced at the time of Re-Writing, and Recording with the Grammaphone Company. And that Audio seems to be in Circulation all over Internet now, as though it was the Maiden Speech itself.

6. In 1993, on the Occasion of 1993 Centenary Celebrations of 1893 Parliament, their Organisers seem to have collected copies of the Audios, and Printed Speech from Ramakrishna Mission, or from some other Organisation founded by Swami Vivekananda. Thus, we may be able to get a Speech of Swami Vivekananda at the Website of 1993 Parliament of Religions, which will only be a Re-written or Re-Recorded Version prepared by Swami Vivekananda, and definitely not the Maiden Speech of 1893.

7.Rev. Barrows- Second in Command of the Parliament, had developed some interest in Swami Vivekananda, (probably Rev. Barrows might have perceived that SWami Vivekananda will be a useful tool to make large-scale conversions of Indians into Christianity). Around 1897 he visited India, with an Introduction letter from Swami Vivekananda, and toured India, to accomplish the goal of Proseylitisation. Subsequently, the Relations between Rev. Barrows and Swamiji broke, and Barrows called SV a bubble. With this history, how can we expect him (Rev. Barrows) to Order preservation of Swami Vivekananda's Speech in the Parliament Records?

Photo Savviness or Photo-consciousness comparison of Mahatma Gandhi, Swami Vivekananda, Baba Saheb Ambedkar, and Narendra Modi

The following quote from the above-linked Article of Shri Girish Shahane, is a great piece of courage and keen sense of observation of Shri Shahane.
There are other ways in which the two Narendras resemble each other. Like the foreign visits of Modi, Vivekananda’s speeches in the United States and other lands, well received as they were, created a far bigger impact at home than abroad. Like Modi, Vivekananda was a charismatic orator. Like Modi, he was attentive to his image and enthusiastic about being photographed. Everywhere he went, whether to Madras or London, he spent time in photo studios, posing in a variety of stances and costumes. Every change of headgear and hairstyle, from turban to high cap, from long hair with a centre part to the close crop of a mendicant, was recorded by the camera. I doubt if there’s any other Indian from the 19th century for whom we have such a wealth of portraits.

An interesting contrast to Vivekananda’s attitude was Gandhi’s method of tackling cameras. While he was not averse to being photographed, Gandhi avoided the unnaturalness of the pose by refusing to look into the lens. It’s remarkable, considering how many pictures there are of Gandhi, how few have him looking straight at the viewer. In two astonishing frames captured during the second Round Table Conference in London in 1931, everybody in the crowded room, including BR Ambedkar, has followed the photographer’s order to look first one way and then the other, while Gandhi alone looks entirely uninterested in the archival record. Gandhi and Vivekananda are the two thinkers Modi quotes most consistently, and in this respect as in virtually every other, he is closer to Vivekananda than to his fellow-Gujarati.

In these days of idol worship of Swami Vivekananda and Baba Saheb Ambedkar, it requires gut to say that they were photo-conscious.

About the Photo-consciousness of Shri Narendra Modi

At my blogpost No. 491 at (click here if you wish to go there), I have covered the issue of Selfie-Consciousness of our Hon. Prime Minister. More such photos can be seen at: Click here to go to

About Swami Vivekananda's and Narendra Modi's view of 1000 years of slavary and the Dark period till 1947

First, we shall see what Shri Shahane wrote in the article linked at the top:
In Vivekananda’s view, “the Hindu nation” or “the Hindu race” suffered, “a thousand years of slavery and degradation”, “at the feet of foreign conquerors”, “savages from Central Asia”. The idea of the Middle Ages as an era of Hindu slavery is a central tenet of Hindutva, and ignores developments in architecture, mathematics, the arts and music in those centuries, not to mention the Bhakti movement that swept East and North India, and the many contributions Muslims made to the nation’s cultural wealth. BJP leaders harp constantly on the thousands years of slavery theme, and I wasn’t surprised it featured in Modi’s tribute.

What chance is there for a tolerant polity to emerge from such a relentlessly negative account of the encounter between Islam and religions of Indian origin?

ybrao-a-donkey's personal view, not intended to be imposed on others

I do not find anything wrong in Swami Vivekananda or Narendra Modi, quoting the 1000 years slavery of Indians. These 1000 years might have been reckoned from the year (approx. 1000 CE) Ghazni Mohammed invaded 17 times, and uprooted Somnath for robbing gold and precious stones. Those 17 years were really Dark years. Thereafter, Ghori Mohammed killed Prithviraj and ransacked India. Then followed the savageries of Balban, Allavuddin Khilji, Chenghiz Khan, Mohd. Bin Tughlak, Taimur (Tamerlane 1398), Babar, probably Akbar, Jahangir, Shah Jahan, Aurangzeb, Ahmed Shah Abdali, and later English-French-Portueguese-Dutch colonisers. Notwithstanding Bhakti Movement, notwithstanding cultural exchanges with Arabs, Turks and Mongols, Moghuls, the Centuries were darker than the darkness depicted by our historians.

I personally believe that the Dark Ages of India have started with the Aryan Migrations into India. They brought into India with them, their deep sense of "White Color Superiority", Racialism, and we had the dirty Caste System, and the inhuman treatment of the outcasts, most of whom were forest dwellers, or losers in battles with Aryans.

In Indian almanacs we have what is called 'kaliyuga gatA abdaha' i.e. the "Era or years of kali-yuga (Era of Sinfulness which have gone by". The commencement of kali yuga (Age of Sinfulness) ERa for 2018 we can take something like 5119 or 3101 BC. This 3101 BC may probably be taken as the Commencement of Migrations by Aryans into India, and start-up of subdue-ing of Native Indians. Our slavery may thus be nearly 5000 years old, and not just 1000 years old.

However, whatever, might have happened in the past, this is the time for Indians, to undergo more and more fusion. Else fissiparous tendencies will develop (have already started developing) and take us back to the Dark Ages of Slavery. This time, the slavery need not necessarily be, political slavery, it can even be worse.-- Economic Slavery. Beware of Walmart! and China!

About India teaching 'civilisation' to the world

Shri Shahane referred to Vivekananda's quote:

"...I am proud to belong to a religion which has taught the world both tolerance and universal acceptance. We believe not only in universal toleration but we accept all religions as true. ...

"...The assertion that Hinduism taught the world tolerance is as dubious as the one nominating it mother to all religions. As for the truth of all religions, Vivekananda replaced the old distinction between true and false with one drawn from secular ideas of evolution and progress in society, a hierarchy of superiority and inferiority. Just as societies could not be deemed true or false but could be labelled undeveloped or developed, Vivekananda’s hierarchy placed Advaita Vedanta at the peak. In his scheme, all belief systems were equal, but some were more equal than others. ..."

ybrao-a-donkey's observation: As far as intolerance of other religions is concerned, all religions are equally intolerant, with only minuscule variations among them. Even within the religion, Hinduism, like the Semitic religions lacked tolerance. Example: In Valmiki's Uttara Ramayana, Lord Shri Rama beheaded the fourth caste (ShUdra) Shambuka, simply because he dared to undertake penance, while Shudras were not expected to perform penance.
Still incomplete. To come back add / delete / modify a lot more.

Friday, June 23, 2017

279 Mr. Donald Trump seems to have studied in the College of Swami Vivekananda

Mr. Donald Trump is the President of United States. Swami Vivekananda was an Indian Monk who extensively toured United States from 1893 to 1902 (with a gap), starting with the purpose of attending the World Congress of Religions 1893, Chicago. During the period, he had given lectures in American Cities such as Chicago, Detroit, San Francisco, New York on Religion. He had also established in U.S., monasteries of his cult. He passed away on 4th July 1902, 4th July being the Day of American Independence. Many of his disciples and Indians believe that Vivekananda chose his date of mahA NirvANa as the 4th July-American Independence, to commemorate the inseparable link his life had with the Americas.

Ques: How can you say that Mr. Donald Trump, the Eccentric American President studied in the College of Swami Vivekananda?

Ans: See this news link: Click here, to go to, if you wish to see the full report.. I shall quote from what President Trump said at Iowa, on : 22nd July 22, 2017, reporting courtesy By Briana Koeneman.
"I love all people, rich or poor," he said. "But in those particular positions, I just don't want a poor person. Does that make sense?"

He was praising Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and chief economic adviser Gary Cohn who were both in the crowd.

Ross made billions of dollars by restructuring bankrupt companies and selling them for a profit.

And Cohn was the former president and chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs before he left to run Trump's National Economic Council.

"Somebody said, 'Why did you appoint rich person to be in charge of the economy?'" Trump said. "I said, 'Because that's the kind of thinking we want.' I mean, you know, really. Because they're representing the country."

Ques: How do you compare these utterances of Trump, to the sayings of Swami Vivekananda?

Ans: Swami Vivekananda advised his brother disciple Swami Akhandananda to keep funds in custody of trusty HOUSEHOLDER OF WEALTH. Vivekananda wrote to Swami Akhandananda from London on the 13th November 1895.
"... Whenever you hear of any householder collecting funds in my or our name on the plea of erecting a Math, or some such thing, the first thing you should do is to distrust him, and never set your hand to it. The more so, as householders of poor means take to various tricks to supply their wants. Therefore, if ever a trusty devotee or a householder with a heart, being of affluent circumstances, undertakes such works as the founding of a Math, or if the funds raised be kept in the custody of a trusty householder of wealth — well and good, otherwise never have a hand in it. ... "

ybrao-a-donkey's personal view, not intended to be imposed on others: Won't Great Brains think alike?

To come back and continue adding / deleting / modifying.