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Kabir's reflection: self-analysis and social Intervention in Indian context

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Kabir's reflection: self-analysis and social Intervention in Indian context

  1. 1. TITLE: KABIR’S REFLECTION: SELF-ANALYSIS and SOCIAL INTERVENTION IN INDIAN CONTEXT. ABSTRACTThis paper is about the communal riots/ethnic crisis occurring in the Indian context from time totime n the author tries to apply Kabir’s thinking in such unfortunate incident as a message to giveharmony and peace in each n every sections of society and the author kept such message as a socialintervention programme. The main objective of this paper is “ not to happen such unfortunateincident with relate to communal riots or ethnic violence in the near future to live peacefully witheach other with full awareness”. To do such study, the author collected some unfortunate incidentalready occurred in the Indian context.Thus,the author’s self analysis is based on the communal riotsor ethnic crisis occurring from time to time. The author is trying to use Kabir’s poem as a socialintervention programme in the analysis of one’s suffering or misunderstanding among the peoplewho belong to the different layers of the social structure, different religious groups, different ethnicgroups, different class groups so on and so forth. The author tries to narrate a lit bit about theKabir’s life n she tries to analyse the social structure existing in Kabir’s time till now. Again she triesto point out misunderstanding among the different religions n ethnic groups etc that leads tounfortunate incident to the masses. When such incident happened, the author thought that due tothe lack of awareness level among the people n meaning of life has a main cause of such things. Soshe tries to bring n used Kabir’s message to give the meaning of life to the masses/people. Shefound very interesting Video-tube inwhich Pralahad and others try to spread the message of themeaning of life to the masses/people in a very natural and spiritual dimension. The author suggestedthat Kabir’s message can be used as a model for bringing a change in one’s society if the leaders ofdifferent political parties, leaders of different religious groups, leaders of different activistsbelonging to different ethnic n religious groups,etc gave the message of harmony and peace to theirown people. Here the author pointed out that health professional and others who can heal one’smind can take a major role to reduce the suffering, pains, anxiety, stress etc. in one’s life. The authoruses some of the collected unfortunate incident as a problematic area in one’s society n suchincident gave trauma to for such communal riots or ethnic violence. She uses some of the selectedpoem from Kabir. In concluding part, she mentioned that yes, it can be used as a social interventionto the masses/people through the medium of music/oral lecture to the people existing in thisUniverse.Keywords:Self-Analysis, Kabir, Unfortunate Incident, Ethnic groups, Religious groups,peace, harmony.BY:MS NAOREM BINITA DEVI,Assistant Professor,Department of Psychology, MZU.
  2. 2. CONTENTS: 1. Introduction; 2. About Kabir; 3. Indian Social Structure: self-observed by N.Binita Devi; 3.1. Caste System; 3.2. Religion factor; 3.3. Belief system; : based on belief system of each religion. 3.4. Ethnic factor; 3.5. Class factor; 4. Unfortunate Incident relevent In India. 5. Selective voices of Kabir’s poem and social Intervention to the Incident; 6. Suggestion by NBD with regards to Incident. 7. Conclusion. 8. References.Introduction:“when communal riots or ethnic violence come up, what happened? Many people died due to suchcommunal feelings, like he is Hindu, she is a Muslim, she is a Christian so on, what do you think inthat moment? Feel yourself. The moment when such things comes up the masses/people are underthe state of confusion, anxiety, fear, etc. n trying to run in a safer place. Why such things happen? Itbrought a feeling of hatred and spread just like a wild fire n started killing in the name of religion, inthe name of racism, in the name of community or you can fill up what others are involved in suchincident”.I am trying to say something about selective voices given by Kabir and trying to use as a socialintervention model in relevant to those unfortunate incident not to happen again such things againin again.About Kabir:I think my colleagues knew about Kabir. So i am not repeating again here orally.Kabir, the most popular of Bhakti poets, was probably born in the 15th century in the general areaof Benares, and earned his living as a weaver. Many legends have attached themselves to his
  3. 3. name — that he was born of a Hindu mother but brought up as a Muslim, that he was influencedby Sufi or Kundalini practices, performed miracles and lived to over 100 years of age — but little isknown for certain: even his occupation is supposition, from frequent allusion in his poems. In allprobability, Kabir was born into poverty and stayed poor.His name appears in stories from Gujarat, Maharashtra, Bengal, Punjab and Madhya Pradesh,suggesting that Kabir or his disciples travelled these areas, teaching and propounding his sayings.For Kabir, life was an interplay of two spiritual principles, of the personal soul and of God:salvation comes by bringing these two together. From Hinduism Kabir accepted reincarnation andthe law of Karma. From Islam he took the affirmation of the single god and the rejection of castesystem and idolatry. Kabirs thought has influenced Sikhism, and his sayings are still very muchloved and quoted.Kabir was illiterate, but his transcribed sayings may have numbered 2,000 songs and 1,500couplets. The impression is not the sonorous impersonality of Kalidasa, or the pithy good sense ofBhartrihari, but spiritual truth expressed in the most simple and direct language. He espousedhonesty, conviction and simplicity, renewed continuously by inner experience and propelled by anunceasing detachment from the web of physical and intellectual realities. How the sayings weretranscribed is not known, and Kabir seems to have been much more concerned with changinghearts and minds than with poetry per se, suggesting that much attributed to him has beenembellished and added to.Kabir’s great contribution is his down-to-earth metaphors and examples: comparing God to aweaver, body to a cloth, Guru to a washerman, ignorance to a crow, cosmic experience to theocean, senses to the deer, humility and steadfastness to the tree, grace and beauty of solitude andcompleteness to a swan, longing for God to the longing of a newly-wed bride. The experienceshave to be lived, when his words flower into a variety of experiences that are not immediatelyobvious. The words are suggestive, as in all poetry, but it is what is gradually unveiled that is trulysignificant.Thousands of bhaktas or saint-poets appeared in India from the 6th century AD onwards, in mostreligions and languages. Each expressed his or her devotion to a particular deity or, as in Kabirscase, to a more generalised divinity, when they were often critical of dogma, rituals and the caste
  4. 4. system. Like the Sufis, bhakti poets sought union with or inspiration from the divine, and took asauthority their own visions and immediate experience. Though the poetry was often based onliterary i.e. Tamil or Sanskrit models, it was also urgent, personal, colloquial and inspired,speaking directly in a way all could understand.In time, bhakti poetry became somewhat institutionalised and conventional, particular verse formsbeing associated with various genres and areas: e.g. the mangalakabya with Bengal, the vacanawith Virasaiva poets of Kannada and abhanga with the Marathi poets of Jnanesvar. Some genrescut across languages, however: pada or song, padavali or string of songs, gatha or anthology ofpoems modelled on Sanskrit, Pali or Prakit forms. Later bhakti poems became entangled with folkstories of love, romance, work and battle, and many were adapted for performance or integratedinto dance, music, theatre or dance-drama. Some are immensely long, and interweave medleys ofclassical texts, court and devotional poetry, vedic stories and contemporary matters: unashamedlydirected to a popular audience, and still played on radio stations or told by travelling actors.Kabirs sayings have been transcribed into all the major languages of India, most notably Urdu andHindi, and appreciation will be helped by being able to read if not fully master these tongues.Several Kabir anthologies have been published in the west, and more can be ordered throughabebooks or alibris from India, or through specialist outlets. Scholarly works include: R.D.Ranades Mysticism in India (1933), C. Vaudevilles Kabir (1974, L. Hess and S. Singhs The Bijakof Kabir (1983), and R.S. McGreggors Hindi Literature from its Beginning to the 19th Century(1984). As always, The New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics (1993) provides usefulsummaries and references.Social Structure of India:India is a country with diverse cultures. Customs and traditions vary from region to region.Yet, of course, some commonality does exist in the social structure, which is an unifyingforce.Let us try to understand the various social formations that provide the unifying force as wellas distinct characteristics to the Indian society.
  5. 5. 1.1. Caste System; 2.2 Religion factor; 2.3 Belief system; : based on belief system of each religion. 2.4 Ethnic factor; 2.5 Class factor; ( based on classless society n class society, poor vs rich etc.)Besides these we have to keep in mind patriacal or matriacal family system existing in one’ssociety.The social structure is based upon the caste system.The society is divided into four major castes- the Brahmans, Kashtriyas, Vaisyas and theSudras.The Brahmans are the priests and are considered to be the uppermost caste.The Kshatriyas are the warriors, Vaisyas are the business class, the merchants and the Sudrasare the working class.Inter-caste marriages are not permitted as a rule, although now it has become quite commonin the urban areas.
  6. 6. Each people possess one religion groups n is guided their belief by their own way of praying system.Sometimes misunderstanding comes out n religion hatred surrounded to the people. People startedlooking in a narrow way n guided wrongly by their own people sothat they can spread moreprejudice regarding another religion groups. When religion crisis comes up, what happens? Youknow more than me. They try to kill each other. When one person belonging to one religion groupstarted killing to another person, the news was spread just like wild fire that brought more tensionamong the two religious groups. What is your opinion regarding on this matter? Then it brought achaos atmosphere that leads to confusion among the people n started killing each other withoutknowing the reason behind that. So the whole community brought an anxiety,stress, fear, tensionetc. in front of the opponent religious community.If you remember such situation, just remember such incident which you encountered in your life.Still i remember one such unfortunate situation in my life. But the reason behind such unfortunateincident has nothing when looked back after the situation is calmed down. Then the human error ortrying to hatred each other religious groups are reasons behind such unfortunate incident. So whatshould we need to do? We need to give a lot of awareness to the masses regarding on this matter.People need to understand the meaning of life how to live together even though we belonged todifferent religious belief system. In such context, i am trying to bring “KABIR’S” strong message tothe masses through the medium of Pralahad ‘s way of singing. As you observe the Video Tube ofPralahad singing and interacting to one village to another village is a good example to heal up one’smind from the day to day suffering, tension ,anxiety, doubt etc in one’s life. As i observe the 15thcentury ideas given by the KABIR in poetic form seems to me to be applicable in present scenarioalso in the form of community/social intervention in one’s psychological and spiritual dimension.I never knew who is KABIR, from where he come etc. but when i read his poetic message i found nrealised it that it can be used in the healing purpose in one’s social dimension to reduce thedifferences among the people using the medium of songs/oral form in spiritual dimension. The
  7. 7. messages Kabir uses concerned with one’s way of living, one’s way of thinking, one’s way ofdedicating life as one,so on. As you observe your own mind, you can cope with such answer like thatthe ultimate goal of life is “DEATH”. Do you think that beyond that life is over there? But to behonest, sorry from my viewpoint. In this journey of life and death, what you noticed in your ownlike? Whatever happened it is within this journey. Your behaviour, your thoughts, n your actions aretotally involved in this journey. What happened when you are disturbed by external or internalinfluences and you are unable to cope with all those influences? Just observe and feel yourbehaviour, thought, n your actions. Hope totally disturbed. Such disturbance also depends on theintensity of influences n one’s trait. Perceived disturbances differ from one to another but when youcould not able to cope up such disturbances ,what should you do? Do you surrender to God? Oranything else? In such context, i try to read again and again KABIR’s strong message n trying tointerpret in spiritual way that gives a level of consciousness.In an analysis of class formation in India, anthropologist Harold A. Gould points out that athree-level system of stratification is taking shape across rural India. He calls the three levelsForward Classes (higher castes), Backward Classes (middle and lower castes), and Harijans(very low castes).According to Kathinka Fr ystad, “Despite their brutality, communal riots in India constitutea far more short-lived form of political violence than civil war and state terror. To make thispoint is not so commonsensical as it may seem, given the scarcity of reflections regarding thisfact in the scholarship on riots in India. Therefore, in thematizing temporality, transience andrecurrence, this article aims to broaden the study of communal riots and relate it more closelyto general discussions of political violence. Beginning with the three most commonapproaches to communal riots in India within social anthropology and its neighbouringdisciplines - namely the birds-eye view, agency and everyday life approaches - I suggest howeach can be extended or employed to make riot temporality clearer. This focus may also
  8. 8. nuance the way we conceptualize the role of the state and encourage reflection on how weclassify instances of political violence”.Saha, S. (2009), (Sudhir Kakar and the Socio-Psychological Explanation of Hindu-Muslim Communal Riots inIndia. ),Concentrated principally in four of twenty-eight Indian states, there have been more than 33,000 Hindu-Muslim riots since 1947. Scholars have differently explained communal violence. Some have argued that thereare innate qualities in Indian society which encourage what Donald Horowitz calls “deadly ethnic riot”.Psychoanalysts have wondered if proneness to violence is ingrained in Indias religion-based culture. Afterassessing several existing explanatory paradigms, I examine the legitimacy of psychoanalysis and someselected aspects of other explanations, arguing that both the rational and psychological theories help explainHindu-Muslim conflict. I submit that Sudhir Kakar, who worked with Erik Erikson at Harvard and trained at theSigmund Freud Institute in Frankfurt, unduly follows the elitist French social psychologist, Gustave Le Bon(1895), to present violent communities as undifferentiated masses. Specifically, Kakars contention that Hindumales are psychologically socialized by confrontational religious values deserves close scrutiny.Methodologically, drawing on the postmodern thesis of the de-centered subject and minimizing the significance ofthe master narrative, I conclude that primordial ancient hatred is not programmed in India, arguing that Kakarsinsights do not speak to religions truth, but do help us understand its manifestation and political psychology.The main objective of this paper is “ not to happen such unfortunate incident with relateto communal riots or ethnic violence in the near future to live peacefully with each otherwith full awareness”.To do such study, the author collected “some unfortunate incident already occurred inthe Indian context”.Selective voices of Kabir’s poem and social Intervention to the Incident: “Main na hindu na musalaman mujhe jine do Dosti hai mera iman mujhe jine do Koi ehasan na karo mujh pe to ahasan hoga Sirf itana karo ehasan mujhe jine do Sab ke dukh dard ko apana samajh kar jina Bas yahi hai mera araman mujhe jine do Log hote hain jo hairan mere jine se Log hote rahen hairan mujhe jine do” .Kabir.
  9. 9. Between the Poles of the Conscious
  10. 10. nggoeson.Allswing!theskyandtheearthandtheairandt
  11. 11. SOCIAL INTERVENTION:Psychology and Social Intervention is to prepare action scientists to work in a variety ofsettings in order to understand, transform and improve the contexts and systems (rangingfrom families, small groups, schools, community-based organizations, and neighborhoods topublic policies) in which people develop across the lifespan. The program has a strongemphasis on analysis and prevention of psychological, social, educational and healthproblems, as well as on the promotion of well-being in these domains from a systemsperspective, including organizational, community, and policy levels.Social Intervention Programs are activities by government, social agencies and volunteersdesigned to change and improve the social situation of individuals, groups and communities,strengthen social bonds and encourage internalization of social control.Such policies can include provision of charity or social welfare as a means to alleviate socialand economic problems of people facing financial difficulties; provision of health care;provision of education; provision of safety regulations for employment and products; deliveryof food aid or recovery missions to regions or countries negatively affected by an event;adoption programs; etc.Current challenges in psychology of social intervention:According to Casas, Ferrán. and Psicol (2005),psychologists involved in social intervention programs are often focused in micro-socialassessment and personal or family change. Social psychology has often underlined theimportance of contexts. In our present societies the macro-context has some unique
  12. 12. characteristics, which never existed before: we live in an ever-quickening changing society.That raises a set of new challenges to practitioners of the welfare systems, particularly that oftaking more into account the new macro-social dynamics’. From that perspective reflectionsabout the need to change social representations of social groups, of their social problems andof the way to cope with such problems are proposed. The importance of non-materialdimensions of social life in social change processes are pointed out. The new perspectivesand goals involved with the quality of life concept are discussed. Media influence in theprocesses of social change are also considered. And finally an scheme to reflect and debatesome outstanding challenges for social intervention are offered.Why do we need intervention in one’s society?Again the author wants to reflect social structure in one’s society. In one society many conflictualscenario can be visible that brought a lot of issues i.e., communal riots, child labour, child abuse,health issues etc. Trying to reduce such issues, the government and many institutions existing inone’s society whether academic institution or other institution carved out a way to bring a bettersociety to live.Besides these, health professionals like Health psychologists, counsellors, social scientists,psychiatrist,etc. takes a major role for the consequences those issues.Consequences of the issues like anxiety, depression, fear,etc.Intervention programme is related to bring a positive changes in one’s countryIn Intervention Theory and Method Chris Argyris argues that in organization developmenteffective intervention depends on appropriate and useful knowledge that offers a range ofclearly defined choices and that the target should be for as many people as possible to be
  13. 13. committed to the option chosen and to feel responsibility for it. Overall, interventions shouldgenerate a situation in which actors believe that they are working to internal rather thanexternal influences on decisions.Suggestion and self-analysis by NBD with regard to Incident:When any type of communal violence or ethnic violence happen in the Indian context orInternational context, what happen in that moment? People remain in a state of confusion,anxiety n trying to save their near and dear ones due to such sudden outbreak. At that momentpeople never investigate what is right and wrong. Instead their mindset was clouded by theirown groups belief system and started building up stereotype towards other ethnic groups orreligion groups. I have such experiences in Manipur also. When such incident was happeneda generalize way of fear factor given to the lesser groups of people whoever existing overthere n started recalling all the historical story about the hatred of such unfortunate incident.So people are totally guided by such feelings of hatred again and again.In any type of communal riots or ethnic violence, the author wants to share the following points inher mind: 1. First and foremost, the administration people have to take exercise their power to control the situation; 2. The leaders of the any religions groups, psychologists, Leaders of the political Parties, Media person, famous actor and actress belonging to different religion groups etc. have to take
  14. 14. part to spread the message of harmony and peace to the masses taking any Kabir’s way of message; 3. The investigator asks question herself and wants to reflects from the people who belong to different religion and different ethnic groups regarding the existence of religious places in one area. For example, Muslim, Hindu, Christian, Sikhism, etc, have to build up in one place. How do you think regarding on this matter? In such area, giving message everyday by the religion leaders belonging to different groups using the medium of any Kabir’s song form. What would you say?In conclusion, i want to emphasize that due to the existence of diverse cultural aspects, onehas to keep in mind the feelings of the differences in positive way. We have to learn moretolerance learning, more absorbing skills, more optimistic thinking, etc. Besides these, wehave to keep in mind the social structure existing in each and every parts of our country, andaccording we have to communicate to them. so at last i want to say, “ when you enter in anew cultural aspects, observe silently, deep analysis their level of communication, write itdown, and shared with them to see their feedback.” Hope it may bring something to change inthis society in the midst of differences.References:Burns and Grove (2007).Understanding Nursing Research, pp 281-3.Chris Argyris (1970). Intervention Theory and Method: A Behavioral Science View (Addison-Wesleyseries in social science and administration), Addison-Wesley,Casas, Ferrán. Psicol.(2005), “ Soc. [online], vol.17, n.2, pp. 42-49. ISSN
  15. 15. Colton, Ethan Theodore(1970). Four Patterns of Revolution: Communist U.S.S.R., Fascist Italy, NaziGermany, New Deal America. Ayer Publishing. Pp. 56.Hoffmann, David L (1917-1941). Stalinist Values: The Cultural Norms of Soviet Modernity, CornellUniversity Press. Pp. 7Kathinka Fr ystad. “Communal riots in India as a transitory form of political violence: threeapproaches” Ethnic and Racial Studies3725700000000,University of Bergen.McClelland, J. S. (1996). A History of Western Political Thought. Routledge. Pp. 481Mark W. Lipsey1 and David S. Cordray. “1Department of Psychology and Human Development,Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, Vol. 51: 345-375 (Volume publication date February2000)Saha, S. (2009), Sudhir Kakar and the Socio-Psychological Explanation of Hindu-Muslim Communal Riots inIndia. Australian Journal of Politics & History, 55: 565–583. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8497.2009.01534.xWebsite : www.google.co.inE-mail : binitadevi@hotmail.com