Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

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Still Waiting for the Punchline

Focus: Post-mortem analysis of prior political judgements. At one point in the distant past, I had an almost entirely positive impression of India. I believe this dates back to when I was just starting to try to understand the world, if not before. Such judgements seem naïve in principle now, but I wonder where they came from. Presumably understanding prior versions of my perspectives will help me understand how people think who haven't gone further than I was then. Before I started to study world events/history, for India in particular I think I judged it partly by knowing that Hinduism was a major contributor to the social order, combined with the knowledge that they were once part of the British empire, now largely independent. I think I might've guessed a certain closeness in culture due to America having undergone (what I thought was) a similar arrangement/split. Finally, I knew a number of Indians growing up, and they fit into our parts of America society very well, and they had delicious food (which I saw as a marker of civilisation). Apart from large-scale changes in how I think about nations, a number of matters have contributed to a reworking of this understanding, including at least changes in how I understand Hinduism (and how the caste system often acted/acts as impetus for families to "go muslim/christian"), knowledge of Islam in India, other religions in India, and a deeper understanding of regional history. I wonder now if going through such a stage was a necessity for me - had I been exposed to enough data, could I have skipped holding those impressions, or was that stage needed in order to allow frameworks for analysis to form? Readers are likewise pointed to investigate similar things in themselves, of course.

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... so much to say, nobody to say it to. World changes between sitting down and standing up... feeling of belonging anywhere/with anyone seems increasingly remote. Tendency to "get lost" in thought increases.


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