@fauji's banner p




0 followers   follows 0 users  
joined 2023 March 04 10:59:43 UTC
Verified Email


User ID: 2237



0 followers   follows 0 users   joined 2023 March 04 10:59:43 UTC


No bio...


User ID: 2237

Verified Email

That's shoddy reasoning IMO and sidestepping the core question or "the ball". Yeah morally speaking conscripting someone to fight for their life is an injustice, but even bigger injustice is limiting the injustice of conscription to a certain demographic. Practically speaking it does make sense for conscription to be limited to Men. The percentage of men being able to clear the minimum physical level that is required for combat is higher than that of women. The women are especially more vulnerable to being targeted for sexual violence than men. Yeah Ukraine can conscript women and make them take a more non-combat role, but why take the political risk when you can make do with just conscripting Men(which I think they fucked up seeing that they need more meat for the "meat-grinder" and has since changed).

Being raised on the idea that Men and Women are equal and witnessing the Women evacuating to well-to-do economies resuming life as usual while you are being thrown in the meat grinder to fend for yourself is bound to cause some bitterness in Men.

What I referred to as cherry-picking is your dismissing of CCPI ranking just because it doesn't align with your worldview.

I know better than anyone how India is dependent on foreign tech for defense, but I wouldn't dismiss other achievements just because of this thing.

India has lower CO2 emissions than China and higher birthrates. That's it.

C'mon bro, India rivals china in space tech even with the fraction of budget. India lags in hardware manufacturing, but has the most software exports. China is a juggernaut for sure, but the difference is not worlds apart.

Case in point. China created SEZs, India didn't. China deregulated its economy, India didn't. Was Chinese liberalization traumatic, were there people angry about losing their iron rice bowls, was there inflation and inequality? Of course! Yet they struggled through rather than shying away from reform. You say 'weak state, strong society', I say 'qualitative difference'. Build up a strong state, change those labour laws, compete or lose - that's the rule of this world.

I agree with the conclusion, but that doesn't mean you can just steamroll the reforms. The Chinese system has its advantages, being able to get unpopular but necessary reform done and set a long term objectives, but the major flaw is that people will only accept it if the state doesn't fuck things up. The PRC state is standing on two legs of economic growth and nationalism, that was what the weak society accepted. Economic growth is already gone, and if the nationalism bit get destroyed from let's say a major loss in a war, the Chinese state would Balkanize. In democracy on the other hand, even though it takes consensus building to get reforms done, the state much more stable to external shocks.

Did China have foreign invasions? Yes, they had to deal with the Mongols and the Manchus. They had to deal with the Japanese. They had to deal with the Europeans too.

Yeah, China had major foreign invasions, but they had quite some time to settle down as a state before the next invasion. India on the other hand waltzed from one invasion to others.

The reason India ranks so highly on the Climate Change Performance Index is because it's poor - I bet if they included Congo or Malawi they'd be even higher still - the Phillipines is even higher than India. Very low emissions there!

The premise that "rich countries will perform poor on Climate Change because they use the bulk of the energy" that's a rabbit hole in itself if you want to go there. Now coming to your point, CCPI does factor "richness" of a country, but not in a way you would presume. It does take into account the current energy usage and the share of renewables in it, in addition to policy regarding the emissions. It uses a pretty balanced in evaluation of policy, energy usage and change in GHG emissions to rank.

Climate change is a joke and the Chinese clearly don't care - they're building loads of coal power as well. Yet they see renewables as a market to dominate like all the others.

Modi boasts about reaching 1/4 of Chinese coal production, India doesn't care either but they'll opportunistically ask for aid: https://twitter.com/narendramodi/status/1774844651394228422

Compare the national attitudes! China says 'we're a renewables/electric cars/industrial superpower' as they advance their own global strategy as a competitor to the West, India says 'give us more money', coming to the West as a supplicant.

C'mon, your argument is not rooted in reality and is just cherry-picking of instances that serve your argument. There is ample proof that India is not only seeking aid but also working the money properly to ensure it reaches it targets. The CCPI ranking and India's performance in it is ample evidence about how serious it is about tackling the Climate Change. India's hybrid car demand is through the roof and Government is also investing heavily.

You strike me as an individual not familiar with India and relies on cursory knowledge and stereotypes to evaluate the country. Either way, whether India is able to overcome its disadvantages or not in the future will be clear by 10 years.

This is what irks me most about westerners, they would look at disparaging differences between two culture and rather than dig deep just blame it on "qualitative differences" between countries.

What you need to understand is India's history is quite different from what China went through. Both of their growth stories were stunted considerably by Socialist ideas, but India not only lagged behind the reforms but also has much more baggage per say with things needed to be sorted out.

A lot of the system is inherited from the British-era system and is archaic. Adding to that the socialist era baggage that was introduced, there are a mountain of things that needs reform. The fact that unlike China, which historically had strong states and weak societies, India had strong societies and weak state. What this means is no matter what reform you introduced there is much harsher resistance towards them. India has problems, but not the kind you understand.

For example, take difference between India and China in industrial might. On the surface the disparity does look large enough to conclude a "qualitative difference" but are perfectly explainable if you see how heavily regulated Indian industries are. How can you expect a big enough gigafactory to be developed when there is a piece of legislation that prevents a factory owner to fire anyone from the factory employing more than 500 without the permission of the sitting MLA(member of state legislative assembly) for the region. The only way there is any headway for the economy is through the establishment of Special Economic Zones, where labor laws need not apply. Indian Industries are heavily regulated even if you do not consider labor laws. Any attempt to reform these or deregulate the economy results in massive protests. Even Modi with all his popularity can't even touch them.

When it comes to climate change, China builds all the solar panels and wind turbines, India asks for climate finance. There's a qualitative difference between India and China.

That's a dumb argument. What is wrong with asking that the rich countries whose excessive consumption landed us in the climate crisis in the first place paying more to fix the damn thing? Why should the developing and poor countries sacrifice their economic interests to the first world worry of climate change? Why should the production of solar panels and wind turbines(which IMO are bad solutions to climate change) be a better metric of measuring contribution to the mitigation of climate change? Why do you think China that dropped down to 51st spot on Climate Change Performance Index is better than India that ranks 7th.

Even in history, India was conquered by the British - China got wrecked but not colonized.

Yeah, you wouldn't have happened to hear about the 700 years of constant Islamic conquest we as a nation had to go through. Just as the Marathas and Sikhs were done cleaning up fallout from it, lo and behold the British show up.

China was if not one of the Big Three in WW2, at least the Fourth of Roosevelt's Four Policemen. They got their UNSC veto, India begs for one.

Yeah, the seat that the UN originally offered to India and India conceded to China. That was a pretty big blunder.

though I don't recall the specifics of the reversal in 2004. Presumably there are some people out there who preferred Congress policies.

There were two factors that worked in Congress's favour.

  1. BJP's campaign "India Shining" was centered around the economic progress made under its rule. Which though true, didn't appeal to the poor to whom the benefits didn't reach yet. Congress followed up with a brilliant counter attack by focusing on the downtrodden and asking them "Do you see India Shining?".
  2. The handling of the 2002 Gujarat Riots along with Modi being let off scot-free by the BJP leadership alienated the minorities and secular Hindus(who were more likely voting for BJP on the account of economy.

In retrospective if instead of trying to centrist, they fully embraced Hindu Nationalism, that may have helped BJP win power. That's the reason why the current BJP is so keen on first consolidating its Hindu Nationalist base. It's not like they need to tone it down to keep their grip on power, its because they don't tone it down that they have power in the first place.

Though the average citizen would only know what's current in Indian politics, it cares a lot about politics. It's a byproduct of the independence movement but has contributed in making Indian democracy quite robust. The Panchayat system of village governance increases people's willingness to vote in other elections. Though voter turnout is an issue, people love debating politics and would do so without any regard to where they are.

In a country with so much poverty and so many different languages, I can't imagine it's easy to reach all the voters with real information and well-crafted political ads.

That's why grassroots worker are so important for political parties. They go door to door meeting with everyone asking for their votes and in a sense pitching themselves to the voter. In fact, one of the things that makes BJP election machinery such a juggernaut is the sheer amount of grassroots worker it has. Providing real reliable information to all voters is a challenge as much as it is in any democracy.

Indian elections are coming up in a month, and seeing the rising importance of India, I wanted to do a series on culture wars in Indian politics, give you a bit of the historical context of what's going on. I wanted to cover some major political players, their ideological leanings, how did they come to power and where do they stand.

The Indian National Congress has a problem. The Grand Old Party who had been the dominant force in elections since India's Independence has been decimated in the past decade. The party, who at their peak held 75% of the seats in the lower house, now doesn't even hold the mandated 10% of the seats required to be designated as Leader of Opposition. Chances for a resurgence in the coming General Elections look bleak. If you ask anyone from India for the reason for INC's decline, they would point you towards a singular person: Rahul Gandhi, the de facto leader of the INC, the problem. It's not a recent discovery, after all, the last two defeats were under his stewardship.

Wondering how does one hang on to the leadership even after 2 defeats? Nepotism, but not quite. You see, Rahul Gandhi is the great-grandson of the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru. Nehru, though was fairly democratic in his functioning, maintained his hold on power through a cult of personality. His daughter Indira Gandhi similarly maintained a cult of personality, though was quite Machiavellian in her dealings. She installed a patronage system within the party, where her loyalists would occupy the prominent posts in the party and the government. This system kept the politicians, media and bureaucrats in line. Her cult of personality, in turn, made normal party workers and the Congress's voter base loyal to her and her alone. Much like how the Republican Party can't just up and abandon Trump because of the loyalty of the voter base, the Congress couldn't abandon Indira Gandhi. This system has helped the Gandhi Family maintain power even after rebellion within the party, election defeat, or even assassination.

After the assassination of Indira Gandhi and her son Rajiv Gandhi, this system was inherited by Rajiv's wife Sonia Gandhi. Born Sonia Maino in Lusiana, Italy, she met Rajiv in Cambridge while working as a waitress in a Greek restaurant frequented by students and wound up marrying into the most powerful family in India. Sonia observed and learned well from her mother-in-law and when she inherited the system and the set of advisors, she performed quite well. Her competence led her to oust BJP from power in 2004. Objecting to her foreign birth, she was opposed as the choice of Prime Minister, so she chose the mild-mannered soft-spoken Manmohan Singh for the post. She entrenched her power by the creation of a National Advisory council and ruled by proxy. Now firmly in power, she wanted to retire and hand over the reins of the party to her son Rahul, with him getting elected in the 2004 General Elections.

Rahul is an interesting character. He grew up quite privileged as part of the ruling elite, attending The Doon School (an elite boarding school modeled around Eton College) and the prestigious St. Stephen College. After the Assassination of his father, he was first moved to Harvard and then the Rollins College in Florida. There he took up the identity of Raul Vinci, which continued till his M. Phil. From Trinity College, Cambridge. The reason why these details are important is to illustrate that all his life he has been surrounded with and part of the global left elite and hence adopts more or the same outlook (interesting to note is that his great-grandfather similarly held a very sympathetic view of Communism due to the same reason). So here is a left liberal whose views and outlook on the world are similar to Trudeau or Hillary or any other generic white liberal, given this legacy of coming from a line of PMs and having ideas about how to create an equitable world, is given the keys to the most powerful party in his country. Nothing could go wrong, right? Well there is a small problem, he is a moron, rather than that people have an image of him being a moron while he actively tries to prove them right.

At the start of his political career, Rahul had quite a good image. He was seen as a forward-looking leader, and a lot of people (including myself at that time) were looking forward to him leading the party. In the run up to 2014 elections, though the government at the time were battling big time corruption charges, Congress banked on Rahul's clean image to tip them over to victory. As part of the campaign, Congress set up an interview with one of the most adversarial (and annoying) TV anchor in media, Arnab Goswami. It was a disaster. Memes and responses flooded the internet mocking him for evading the questions and just sticking to a few core points that were handed over to him. Just look at this reddit thread. Now this gave the impression that he is dumb and was henceforth rechristened as "Pappu"(a name which has come to mean as "dumb kid" very much like how "Karen" has come to mean as an "obnoxious woman"). His party was badly defeated, and his imaged never recovered. Congress went on to lose multiple state elections under his leadership. The fact that sometimes after such defeats he went to Thailand for vacation didn't help his case. His speeches were taken out of context and memes were generated from that. He gave even more gaffes and disastrous interviews.

Though I see a lot of his reputation is undeserved, I feel there is a truth to it. His ideals about how government should be run and what should it do conflicts with realities of both the government and Indian society. Though that could have changed as he learned more about how things actually worked if it hadn't for an almost absolute power over the party and his own arrogance. Let me give you an example, Supreme Court of India delivered a judgement which stated that any sitting Member of Parliament would be disqualified if any court convicts them. The obvious issue with this judgement is that it threatens sitting MPs and also opens up the possibility of MPs being sued just to thin their majority or to keep a certain leader out of power. The ruling Congress government then came out with an ordinance to circumvent this with an added condition of "a person sentenced to imprisonment of two years or more shall be disqualified from the date of such conviction and remain disqualified for another six years after serving time". An ordinance in an Indian context is a temporary law, akin to Executive orders, but they need to be ratified by the parliament in 6 weeks. Legally speaking, an ordinance is part of the constitution, and hence the original is treated with the respect as a proclamation from the head of state demands. Even the opposition parties are careful with the original even as they burn the copies as protest and that too is considered quite extreme. So the sitting Congress government scheduled a press conference to justify the need of this ordinance. Out of nowhere, Rahul crashes the press conference, opposes his own government's stance in front of journalist and tears the ordinance into pieces. The whole nation was shocked. The PM Manmohan Singh was so embarrassed at the act, mulled over submitting resignation. This is just one example of poor political judgements that end up damaging his own party. Just like how he tried linking the fugitive Nirav Modi with Narendra Modi by proclaiming "everyone with Modi as the surname is a thief". Soon a defamation lawsuit was soon slapped, and the lower court convicted him for it. The cherry on top is that this conviction resulted in his disqualification as an MP, Karma's a bitch.

Another common criticism is that though he likes to have the final say, he shrinks from responsibility. Despite resigning from his post a president, he routinely interferes with the major decision being taken. Some MPs say he is seldom available for meetings, treating running a party full-time as a 9-5 job with paid vacations. He has alienated promising leaders, who then promptly left Congress and found massive success in BJP. He alienated the loyal old guard, pushing them out of power. His eye for talent is nothing like what his grandmother and great-grandfather had, appointing sycophants and yes men to his coterie. His weak negotiating skills resulted in him giving too many concessions, causing Congress to weaken both in Karnataka and Maharashtra, two of the most cash rich states in India. He has let BJP appropriate many heroes of the Independence and post-independence era due to his unwillingness to look beyond Nehru-Gandhi family. Modi and Shah (Amit Shah, Modi's right-hand man and current Home Minister) are a formidable duo, but it is Rahul Gandhi's incompetence as a political leader that enabled BJP to be dominant.

The Indian Left is in disarray. For years since the independence, they had dominated the Indian political arena. The institutional capture in the west is a recent phenomena, in India the institutional capture by the left was since their inception, courtesy Nehru's left-wing sympathies. They perceive mortal threat as they are being pushed out of the establishment and the party whose patronage they relied on is unable to dent BJP's power. And yet the party cannot get rid of the Gandhi family. The only vote Congress has left and the rank and file congress worker are loyal to the Gandhi family. The regional parties are now looking to cannabalize Congress 's vote share to become the largest opposition to BJP. And from this fight the one benefitting the most is BJP.

I completely agree with your logic. The thing you're missing though is dismissing Sikh Separatists as something minor. It's understandable since US and Canada both don't face any perceptible threat from them. Sadly India does and sees US and Canada's indifference as facilitation of these groups. That said I am not taking lightly the seriousness of a foreign power interference. Though how situation will change depends on realpolitik, we can be sure that the US court will examine the details of it and the facts would be aired.

There's a lot of difference in freedom of speech and shooting an RPG.

I am on the fence about whether India is actually behind this or its a opposing gang member trying to settle score, just because how grossly incompetent the so called "senior field officer" is. Intelligence agencies just don't operate so recklessly, especially when you are trying to execute a hit on US soil. The way US handled this affair is commendable and I especially appreciate the indictment they submitted(Canada please take notes). Here's a really great video explaining it- https://youtube.com/watch?v=MWco9Tjq-SI

Now for India both public and the government, tackling the Sikh separatism is very high priority and perceived as major threat. You need to take account that just last year we had an RPG shot at Police intel Headquarters in the Capital of the Sikh State of Punjab, then an arrested Sikh Separatist leader connected to this was freed by the mob and this then culminated in a nation wide manhunt for the said leader. Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, the said target, was the one who claimed responsibility for the attack(https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chandigarh/sfjs-gurparwant-pannu-claims-responsibility-for-rpg-attack-in-mohali/articleshow/91462544.cms).

The question attached to the much bigger issue of India allegedly targeting US/Canadian citizen/asylee is what should US and Canada do about active Sikh separatist operating from their soil?

The decrease in stigma surrounding sex is definitely there, but that doesn't mean it is clearly better than what preceded it. The de-stigmatization came from a glorification of sex and we are seeing the consequences of it in the modern over-sexualized society. As the people adjusted to the ideal of not judging anyone for their sexual escapades, they did so with a firm belief in value of true love and the institution of marriage, that enabled them to uphold the agreement and restrictions that come with it. Now on the other hand the glorification of sex has gone so far, that this value has eroded. Don't get me wrong people still value and want the security that comes with a monogamous relationship, but are more unwilling to put up with the sexual restriction that come with it. That is what is currently eroding any faith men and women have in love, which in turn is encouraging them to see the opposite sex as an object.

I have been following the misadventures of Justin Trudeau in International Diplomacy for quite some years and let me just say I view anything that comes out of his mouth with deep skepticism when it concerns other countries. Trudeau has a pattern of using the international stage for domestic politics. That in itself is not a bad thing but the sheer cluelessness that he conducts himself in the International arena is exasperating.

His previous India trip was a shinning example, his sole focus in the trip seemed like courting the Sikh vote in Canada rather than actual diplomacy. Over the top costumes(https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-43151115), dance numbers(https://youtube.com/watch?v=Vk5RMHFXfxw) and the latest tourist destinations(https://zeenews.india.com/india/golden-temple-to-iim-ahmedabad-here-is-visiting-canadian-pm-justin-trudeaus-full-itinerary-2081984.html). If that wasn't enough, the fact that the official Canadian delegation included a convicted Khalistani Terrorist who attempted murder of an Indian minister back in 1986(https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/khalistani-terrorist-jaspal-atwal-photographed-with-justin-trudeau-s-wife-at-mumbai-event-1175102-2018-02-22). You just can't make this shit up. So disastrous was this trip that even the most left leaning mainstream journalist, the kind of global elite who you would expect going gaga over the Liberal darling Trudeau, asserts that the whole thing was a cringefest(https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/global-opinions/wp/2018/02/22/trudeaus-india-trip-is-a-total-disaster-and-he-has-himself-to-blame/).

Even the recent G20 was a disaster for Trudeau. No bilateral meets with any country, in total 4 brief meetings with heads of state and not even a single photo-op for any announcement that concerned his agenda(climate change, Bio-Fuels Alliance). The meeting with Modi was the worst, as he apparently "scolded" the poor Canadian(https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/aircraft-glitch-delays-canada-pm-trudeaus-departure-india-2023-09-10/). It seems like the Canadian PM isn't taken seriously on an international stage, not just by India but other countries too and with good reason. He has a long history of engaging in diplomatic behavior that alienates him from other heads of state(https://edition.cnn.com/2018/06/10/politics/peter-navarro-justin-trudeau/index.html, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/nov/16/xi-trudeau-canada-china-g20, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jun/18/canada-loses-bid-un-security-council-seat-justin-trudeau, https://financialpost.com/news/economy/forget-donald-trump-justin-trudeau-is-now-the-biggest-obstacle-to-pacific-trade-deal, https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-10/tpp-talks-stall-after-justin-trudeau-canada-fails-to-show-up/9140250).

If these allegations are even 1% true Canada is not picking a fight with anyone. India is picking a fight with Canada. Why are you trying to pick a fight with Canada?

Certainly I agree if India was behind such an action on foreign soil that is as serious as it gets, but claiming India is picking a fight with Canada is an overstatement. Trudeau has long courted the Khalistani vote and that alone makes the Indian government nervous. Adding more fuel to it he even allowed a referendum to be conducted in Canada on a demand for separate state in India, allowed a float glorifying the assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and lets them fund the Khalistani activities in India through Canada.

Now I am certainly biased in my views against Khalistan as an Indian Citizen, but my point is that India has very legitimate position in current diplomatic tensions.

That sounds really interesting. Sign me up.

I get that completely, I would point someone towards S Radhakrishnan, a respected scholar who also served as president of India.

The whole CW surrounding Hinduism in this current era is very fascinating and I hope I would be able to cover that in future threads.

I find it very hard to take Wendy Doniger seriously as an expert of Hinduism. It is very apparent to people born and brought up in Hindu tradition to see the inherent misunderstandings in her view regarding Hinduism.

For example, she wrote a book Shiva trying to reconcile how he is viewed as both a householder and ascetic in India. She theorized that tribes in war to attain peace adopted both opposite elements to describe the same deity, completely ignoring not only the available literature and tye depth of this contradiction. Ignoring the fact that all mythology invloving Shiva has depicted him always of being a walking contradiction, destroyer of the world acting as a protector of creation by consuming the poison with the threatening the existence of the universe, an ascetic with ash smeared all over his body despite adorning the holy river Ganga and the Moon on his head, with a nature described as calmness and yet having a fiery (would be an understatement) temper. All commentaries on Hindu thought historically starting from Vedas points to this and yet her academic assumption ignores this widely accepted fact.

This topic is part of a very contentious and visceral cultural war here in India with a lot of parties having vested interest in each interpretation. The whole subject is quite political. Academic Indology is extremely dominated by left leaning ideologues both in West and in India. Indology would either comprise of a postmodernist analysis of caste based power dynamics or a marxist histographical (again very anti-brahmanical) view of history which surprisingly is very pro-islamic. For example, Aryan Invasion Theory (proposed by the brilliant but very euro centric Indologist Max Weber) was defended very vigorously both through gate keeping and politicisation of any attenpt to challenge it, despite overwhelming evidence regarding a very gradual introduction of what is thought to be proto-hindu tribes Y chromosome in India(over 1000 years).

The Indic Right isn't much better as they subscribe to Out of India theory despite bery little arguments in support of it, though not many take them seriously. Currently the accepted view is Aryan Migration theory.

The fact that much of the archaelogical evidence that could have helped has been destroyed in over 500 years of Islamic invasion of India.

Nolan's Oppenheimer released this weekend, and I wanted to use this opportunity to both post an excellent paper about Bhagavad Gita's influence on the man and a short introduction to Hinduism to illustrate just how different it is from Abrahamic religions.


Hinduism is an umbrella term for a group of philosophical schools which is practised by people living east of the Indus River (the word Hindu is derived from the root word Sindhu, which was the Sanskrit name for the river). What is commonly understood as Hinduism in the west today (and India to a large extent) is the most popular school, called Advaita Vedanta (a monist philosophy that champions polytheism whose metaphysical view is panpsychist). Unlike Abrahamic religions, it is very difficult to define who a Hindu is, as the schools itself have very varied philosophies. In all, there are 10 major schools of philosophies, consisting of varied views from hedonistic atheism to monotheistic theism, with both dualist and monist views (there is also btw dualistic non-dualism). To quote the Supreme Court of India-

Unlike other religions in the World, the Hindu religion does not claim any one Prophet, it does not worship any one God, it does not believe in any one philosophic concept, it does not follow any one act of religious rites or performances; in fact, it does not satisfy the traditional features of a religion or creed. It is a way of life and nothing more.

The diversity in schools and inherent intentional contradictions even in a singular school makes it difficult to distil an understanding to a western audience makes it difficult to explain Hinduism to someone who isn't brought up in the culture. So I will focus on explaining the concepts of Dharma, Samsara, Karma and Moksha, which are mostly (always an exception) common to the different philosophical schools.

  1. Dharma - Ask any modern Hindu on what does Dharma mean, and you would almost always get the answer as religion, despite this word only recently taken on that meaning and despite being far removed from the real meaning. The fact that describing its actual meaning is also difficult because it is so tied to the culture hasn't contributed in correcting this error in the mind of modern Hindu. Dharma is tied to an inherent cosmological order called Rta, and is the behaviour that is in accordance with it. It has been translated as duty, law, virtue or an obligation towards the world, and though they come close, I feel none of them describe the essence of it. A better way to understand is "what is right" on an individual and contextual level. What that means is there is no universally prescribed set of behaviours for a person to be Dharmic. A person's Dharma depends on a wide variety of factors depending on but not limited to their personality, their background, the stage of life (ashram) they are in and can be in active conflict with another person's Dharma. The principle texts even are full of contradictions regarding it. For example, Mahabharata, the epic poem of which Bhagavad Gita is a part of, is littered with multiple characters arguing "Ahimsa parmo dharma" or "non-violence is the highest dharma" despite the Mahabharata being a story about war. Even the main antagonist of the Mahabharata, Dhuryodhana, routinely uses what the characters exclaim as Dharmic to do acts which are Adharmic (opposite of Dharma).

  2. Samsara - Literally meaning the world, it is philosophically used to describe the wandering aimless journey of the soul (Atman) through cycles of birth and death, multiple lives as multiple beings through the universe. Tied very closely to the theory of Karma (more on that later), the samsara is the fundamental condition of living beings who experience pleasure, pain, joy, sadness tied to the material world. The conditions a person gets born in and the things a person experiences varies in different life, but the one thing that is certain is suffering (will cover this point more in the next section).

  3. Karma - Commonly Karma is thought to mean as "what goes around, comes around", though it literally means "action". It's the theory of Karma that means your good deeds have good effects, and bad deeds have bad effects. If you do a good Karma you accumulate merit or Punya, conversely bad Karma begets you demerit or Paap. Mind you, Karma also takes in account the intention behind the action rather than the action itself. During multiple lifetimes, your Punya and Paap either gets you appropriate circumstances or you go to Swarga (heaven) or Narka (Hell). The heaven and hell in Hinduism differs from Abrahamic religions' concept of it in two ways. First there is no required belief you need to hold to get into there, even if you believe in a flying spaghetti monster if you live a Dharmic life you get into Swarga and even the fervent believers living an Adharmic life will get into hell. Second, it is not eternal, eventually your accumulated Paap or Punya will get exhausted, and you return to Samsara and the cycle of reincarnation again. This cycle of reincarnation is the real jail, you take birth, you suffer, you find momentary joy, suffer some more, again and again and again. Maybe in some birth you finally get Dharma, you do good deeds, and that reflects in your current or the other life, but take another birth and all the understanding is lost, and you start with scratch again. Samsara is eternally changing and living in Samsara means you will get attached, maybe to pleasures, maybe to people or to life. It is certain that things will end, or you would lose them and that will cause you suffering.

  4. Moksha - If you are destined to suffer why accumulate good Karma in the first place, doesn't it seem all too pointless to just continue again and again. Hence, the highest goal in Hinduism isn't to accumulate good deeds, but to escape this cycle of reincarnation or attain Moksha. What the nature of it is and how to achieve it varies from school to school. Moksha is often equated to enlightenment and nirvana. In one school, it is described as a cessation of desire (Buddhism) in another removal of Ahamkara(a false ego created by oneself) or yet understanding your being. In Bhagavad Gita, the path to attain Moksha is said to lie in the 4 Yogas namely, Karma Yoga (acting without any attachment to the result of your actions), Jnana Yoga (pronounced as gyan meaning knowledge, it means understanding the nature of reality through knowledge), Bhakti Yoga (surrendering your ego and self to a deity) and Raja Yoga (introspection and understanding oneself using meditation).

This a very incomplete and limited explanation of the concepts which are vast and have a diverse set of views between different sects of Hinduism, so take that with a grain of salt.

PS- I have used a lot of words from Sanskrit and a lot of these words aren't pronounced as they are spelt(in many of them the a is silent) in latin script, so here's a list of how you would pronounce some of these words- Gita - Geet Advaita - Advait Vedanta - Vedant Swarga - Swarg Narka - Narka Karma - Karm Yoga - Yog Rta - Tr Samsara - Sansaar Moksha - Moksh Ahamkara - Ahankar(n is silent)

However, I don't see most of your comment as conflicting with the parent's claims since most of the startups you mentioned are clearly copying Western innovation.

I would disagree, for an idea to be considered an innovation it has to be novel enough to be not be thought of independently by different people. For example, the idea of having to selling your goods online and getting it delivered is a clear logical conclusion of the thought process of how to make money online. It doesn't take a counter-intuitive thought process to arrive at the conclusion that the convenience of ordering at the comfort of your home is something people would find valuable and sure enough there were multiple competing companies in 90s striving to be that company. The innovation was how to pull it off, only Amazon and EBay were the only ones who could and that too with drastically different approach. In hindsight we now know that the Amazon's strategy of being the seller rather than auctioning products of ebay was the one that made a robust ecosystem of online marketplace. Even with that approach there were plenty of companies that were using the same approach yet amazon won. Amazon's bet that focusing solely on books in the start since they were non-perishable and easy to ship, was the core insight that helped it outperform the competition. This innovation was in turn copied by Flipkart in its own quest for growth in India, and that I believe is a clear example of copying Western Innovation.

The idea of food delivery is similarly not novel enough to be called an innovation. The idea that aggregating restaurants and then providing them logistical support to get their food delivered to customers willing to pay for it is not an innovation in itself. Infact all the different food delivery companies were founded in 1-2 years of each others with an unproven market model. Its the execution and the companies solutions to problems that arise with a complex logistical network to ensure speedy delivery of food is the innovation here. Doordash and Swiggy/Zomato operate in radically different environments, and at the same time their solutions to their own market specific problems are so divergent that you cannot say that Swiggy copied Doordash and vice versa. So I disagree with the proposition that these are not innovation in their own right but copying western ones.

Another good example would be Myntra. Though selling clothes online has been around since 2 decades, Myntra's approach to the complex problem of sizing issue, search-ability, options etc is an innovation that is entirely unique to it, and the fact that Amazon despite its dominance in the online retail market hasn't been able to crack the fashion segment is a testament of how innovative Myntra's value chain is. Innovation here isn't the idea that we can order clothes online but the how easy Myntra makes it for us to buy clothes by providing good estimate of the fit of any product, simple return procedure, the ability to search for clothes that someone was wearing just by uploading their pics. You cannot juyt equate an idea as innovation.

Though I would admit in proportion to the talent the amount of truly game changing companies is fewer, I would argue that there is much happening in Indian It. The reason why there is an impression that there is not much happening is due to not much mainstream attention being paid to it.

Food delivery companies are thriving here despite the Indian market not being mature enough for that segment(Indians prefer home cooked food more). Swiggy and Zomato both have order volumes comparable to Doordash despite being limited to Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities. A lot of people in Tier 1 cities prefer ordering food online, all 3 times rather than cooking food or going out. The delivery time and price is also reasonable. The effect has been so massive that many brands have been created focusing on catering to online food delivery market, with entire buildings dedicated to cloud kitchens coming up. Both of them also made forays into the grocery delivery business promising delivery in 10-15 minutes. The reason why it is not on radar in the US is compared to doordash the revenue is significantly smaller(average order price is $5 here since food is cheaper here).

On the other side in the telecom, Jio's massive disruption of Indian market resulted in 90% decrease in price of mobile data in a year. In addition to that the number of Telecom providers from 10 to 3, which as things seems like while become a duopoly of Jio and Bharati Airtel. The reason why that is not in mainstream media may be because the story isn't sexy or appealing enough. Jio instead of being a scrappy startup was instead a pet project of the richest man in Asia, Mukesh Ambani.

But by far the biggest innovation in the Indian market is the Unified Payment Interface or UPI. UPI is a payment system which enables easy transaction directly to and from the bank account. Almost all banks support it, payment is as simple as just adding the amount and inputting a 4-6 digit code and bam its done. And oh boy has this has been adopted. From rural to urban, the rich, the poor, the startups or street hawkers, millennial, boomers you name it. Adoptions has been in every single strata. The ease of use, wide acceptance from merchants and integrations it has become defacto mode of payment. Hell, I don't even carry a wallet nowadays. Created by a government funded organization called NPCI that lended it a lot of credibility and has a lot of apps dedicated to implementing the system, though the most dominant are Google Pay and PhonePe.

There are a lot of other companies that I can go on and on about like Myntra dominating the fashion segment that has even Amazon stumped, Zerodha a robinhood like app which thrived using despite no advertising or VC funding, CRED's unique business model of targeting just the top 1% for credit.

India has its own challenges, VCs are more risk averse so getting funding for an unproved idea is significantly harder, once invested the growth at all costs mindset kills a lot of interesting startups in its infancy, even talented Indians aspire for stable jobs rather than entrepreneurship(courtesy a millennia of turbulence) though all of it is slowly changing.