Skip to main content

So I was writing a diary, that was deemed as divisive because I quoted someone whose comment was deemed divisive. So let me start somewhere else.

Ive seen this before. We argue, we are bitter and we call each other names. I don't want to argue the nitty gritty,  I don't want to parse the meaning of individual words right now. Those things are important things to do. But not now in this diary. If you want to talk about positive things, this diary is for you.  No pie fights please.

So let me start here: my father, a very conservative Hindu told me this story several times. It's of a Hindu king long ago who fought an invader. This invader attacked the Hindu king, I think around 20 times. Each time, the invader lost, and ran. But rather than destroying him, the defending king let him go.The invader would regroup and invade again. The defending king always showed mercy. Every single time.  Except the only time that the invader won. The invader killed him and plundered the nation.

I don't know exactly how true this story is, since history sometimes gets mixed up with mythology and glorification, but that's not the point. It's kind of depressing, because we lost. But it's also strengthening to know that we never abandoned our principles. And that's what made that king great. No one respects that invader- he was an opportunist. But as Indians, we have utmost respect of that King and still tell his story.

And that's what I want to get at, if you think that we lost this battle, and we gave away too much to the Republicans- that's fine, go ahead. Your point is reasonable, and understandable.

But always remember, the Republicans only win when they hold the middle class hostage. That's not principled, that is despicable. We, as the defenders of the Middle Class and the Poor, don't do that. We lose when we give away our bargaining power to save the hostage.

But our compassion for the hostage is what separates us from the Republicans. Im not arguing about policy or politics right now. Im arguing about principles.

So even if you are disappointed that Obama caved, hold your head high. Republicans can't do that. They cannot call themselves anything but the party of the rich. They are nothing but a party willing to hurt everyone to help a few. But not us, we are the compassionate party. Even if that means we lose political battles occasionally.

And I think that's a label we should be proud to have. All of us.

Edit:

As an aside, when I was a kid I always complained about these stories, where my ancestors stood proudly against invaders but still lost. And my dad told me dozens of such stories (some childhood huh? haha). I wanted to hear the stories where we won, but I never heard those. Tippu Sultan, Bhagat Singh, Bobilli Yudham (everyone in a city), Alluri Sitaramaraju, Chandrashekar Azad. I can tick these names off. They all died, never achieving their goals. But as a kid, what I never understood is that courage and principle are more important than victory. That is where Indians have pride. And these stories are an integral part of our culture.

I might write another diary later, explaining a few stories, if anyone is interested. I still tear up thinking about them. I sing their songs before walking into an exam, so I can have courage.

Originally posted to coolelegans on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 10:20 AM PST.

Also republished by I Vote for Democrats.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  "No pie fights please." (0+ / 0-)

    Maybe politics isn't for you? We're going to disagree and argue. This is a good thing. Not only is it not avoidable, we shouldn't seek to avoid it.

    Your story about the Hindu king:

    It's of a Hindu king long ago who fought an invader...the defending king always showed mercy. Every single time.  Except the only time that the invader won. The invader killed him and plundered the nation.
    ...as applied to this situation, is horrific.

    it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

    by Addison on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 10:29:52 AM PST

    •  ugh, no pie fights in this diary please (5+ / 0-)

      if you want to have that discussion you can write your own diary.

      And I explained the point of the story very clearly, Its about victory in loss.

      •  Okay... (0+ / 0-)

        ...fine, no pie fights in this diary. But they will take place outside of this diary, and that's a very good thing for the site and for progressive politics.

        Your story was about everyone suffering, suffering again, and then finally dying for no reason except so that people later could feel good.

        it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

        by Addison on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 10:36:14 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I didn't say it wasn't (0+ / 0-)

          Read my other diaries, I get involved in pie fights, but this one I want to be a reminder to still feel strong.

          And the story I told is one that my members of my culture tell proudly. If you have a problem with it, you can go somewhere else, but don't insult my culture.

          •  Okay... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Melanie in IA

            ...Look, I strongly disagree with your implication that commenting on a story's application is insulting the culture it originates from.

            However: my comment above was, while in keeping with your rules about pie fights (I was meta commenting about pie fights, not engaging in one), decidedly not in keeping with the spirit of the diary which you laid out.

            I apologize sincerely for that, and am done commenting in this diary.

            it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

            by Addison on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 10:51:03 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  the story is meant to be applied in day to day lif (0+ / 0-)

              Do you think my father told me the story just so I could go off to war and die? We are brahmins not kshatriyas to do that. I promise you if you told those words that you told me to my father he would be insulted.

              Also, you didn't just insult the application of the story, you insulted the story itself, here is a reminder of you comment:

              Your story was about everyone suffering, suffering again, and then finally dying for no reason except so that people later could feel good.
              Why is it that when anonymous people have nothing positive to say online, they go ahead and say it?

              Thank you for your apology. I appreciate it. Have a nice day.

            •  so how was your day? (0+ / 0-)

              no need to leave, say hello some time.

    •  I guess you need to understand (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bubbanomics, OldSoldier99

      Indian culture to understand the meaning of the story.

      •  कमजोर तर्क है, भाई. (0+ / 0-)

        it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

        by Addison on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 10:41:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  haha nice try (0+ / 0-)

          but all you care about is tark isn't it?

        •  Im actually impressed (0+ / 0-)

          that you took the time to do that. But that shows no understanding of my culture, just that you know how to use translator in google or something.

          •  (I had to use a translator... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Renee

            ...because I can't type Hindi characters on this keyboard. I lived in India for a couple years and can speak a little Hindi and Gujarati -- sorry to break my "no comment" pledge, but I wanted to explain it wasn't just a poke in the eye to you via Google Translate!).

            it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

            by Addison on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 10:56:00 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  haha thanks that's good to know (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Addison

              I appreciate that youre trying to learn about other cultures. And youre welcome to comment here, just be reasonable, please.

              And if you have a question about my implication please ask and I can explain it to you. Our stories about war are actually used to illustrate courage in our day to day lives.

              •  Thank you for the space to comment. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Renee, coolelegans

                Indeed. The Bhagavad Gita is not an archery manual, after all, it's about the soul and fate. I just see the real possibility of people being hurt through bad negotiating strategy and, in the language of the story, no moral qualms associated with negotiating well in this situation. As a story to be personally applied, about how we need to resist the temptation to destroy ourselves to save ourselves, yes, I agree. We shouldn't let constant defeats make us into monsters. As politically-applied, however, I very much disagree that to negotiate well would've been morally corrosive in this case. I think that when applied politically in this situation, the story becomes not about the soul, but about capitulation that merely hurts people. That was the root of my reaction, and was what I intended to say with my way too overly-broad and unnecessarily derisive comments. To the extent that you were talking about personal reaction to constant defeat because of moral steadfastness, I agree with you that this can be noble.

                it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

                by Addison on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 11:21:51 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  thank you for your kind comments (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Addison

                  And you might be right, about the politics. You might be right that this is a loss. And you are right to feel disappointed. And we shouldn't capitulate, that's ideal. But my story is for the not so ideal situation. That is all.

                  And your comment was I believe a misunderstanding not insulting, and I think tensions are a bit high right now. No apology necessary. We are both on the same side.

      •  That may be true. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Renee, bubbanomics

        Uncoupling the end of the story from your larger goal in writing the diary, which I recommended because I agree with it, If someone tries to hurt me, making sure they can't do it again is my first priority.
        Were I the king in your story, the invader's head would have been on a pike the first time he was defeated.
        And if, following that, I defeat a second invader....
        Honestly? I'd really take a good, hard look at why people keep invading me. :)

        "Everything I do is blown out of proportion. It really hurts my feelings." - Paris Hilton

        by kestrel9000 on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 10:47:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  but thats my point (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Renee, bubbanomics

          its natural and obvious to reach that response. That's my first thought too. But that's not what Indians value. And that's why my father took the time to tell the tale. It has morals.

          •  Yes, I agree. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bubbanomics

            It does. In another thread this morning, someone came out of nowhere, went off topic, and called me a person without morals.
            I believe they believe that.
            But what they don't understand is that my values differ from theirs in a few respects, but more importantly, we SHARE more values than that person realizes or wants to admit to themselves, because they felt an emotional need to demonize me.

            That's my first thought too. But that's not what Indians value.
            I accept that for you. This is what I hope you can understand and accept represents a core part of my values system.  This is rooted in the laws of physics as much as anything else:
            If someone puts a gun to your head and pulls the trigger, you are going to die.  Laws, public opinion, ethics, ideals, treaties, or personal preferences will not prevent your death.

            As a Buddhist sage observed, "If you understand, the world is the way it is; if you do not understand, the world is the way it is."

            The way of the world is force. You may not like that. You may choose not to believe it.  But it is true.  The world is ruled by force.    

            Public opinion is worthless.  It will not stop any weapon.  Law is nothing but rules you apply after you have subdued people by force.  Laws, without being backed up by more force, are not worth the ink they're written with.  

            What keeps you alive and free is not economics, philosophy, ethics, negotiations, treaties or laws.  It is recognizing, and preparing for, the fact that the first responsibility for your own defense rests with you yourself. These are the only things standing between us and the grave.

            "Everything I do is blown out of proportion. It really hurts my feelings." - Paris Hilton

            by kestrel9000 on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 11:02:54 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  You didn't have to do this (6+ / 0-)

    But I appreciate that you did.

    Nice diary.

    Recc'd.

  •  Thank you coolelegans..... (9+ / 0-)
    ..... we are the compassionate party. Even if that means we lose political battles occasionally.

    And I think that's a label we should be proud to have. All of us.

    Love is the lasting legacy of our lives

    by princesspat on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 11:11:50 AM PST

  •  asdf (10+ / 0-)
    I might write another diary later, explaining a few stories
    I hope that you do.

    Thanks for this.  An interesting perspective indeed.

  •  I'd rather win than be remembered proudly. (0+ / 0-)

    Mercy? Sure.  But I would presume that each invasion resulted in some losses.  Do you think that the king's people who were killed because he refused to protect them from invasion were happy to die so he could keep showing mercy to the invader?

    Or were the first 19 invasions utterly without loss to the people the King was supposed to be protecting, and the invader only did any damage with the final attack?

    The way the king views things is going to be far different from the way the peasants view them.  If you didn't suffer or knew anyone who suffered from the many early invasions, then sure, you might consider him a 'great king' for being so merciful.  If your home was burned and your parents slaughtered because the King kept letting the invader attack the kingdom when he had the chance time and again to stop him, you probably thought the king was a terrible king.

    •  feel free to disagree (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      princesspat, KelleyRN2, Mnemosyne

      People with different upbringings have different values. These are mine.

      By the way Im not sure exactly how true the story is, it might be mythology. Sometimes that gets mixed up with history.

      And back then, every man and woman was ready to sacrifice their lives for their country, even the peasants, according to the stories we are told atleast.

  •  Thank you for another wonderful diary, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    coolelegans

    I really appreciated your last diary reminding us to put a face on the individuals who will lose UI if we go off the cliff, a very important reminder that we all lose when our brother's and sister's are wronged.

    So even if you are disappointed that Obama caved, hold your head high. Republicans can't do that. They cannot call themselves anything but the party of the rich.
    I'm not willing to say that PBO caved or that we lost this political battle yet, even if/when the republicans strike this deal down - these are hostile negotiations - we must focus on what we did get and what the republicans didn't get, which is a lot.
    They are nothing but a party willing to hurt everyone to help a few. But not us, we are the compassionate party. Even if that means we lose political battles occasionally.
    And we'll continue to lose political battles while winning many as we take back the house and more progressives hold office. Patience is our limitation.

    "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass... it is about learning to dance in the rain." ~ Vivanne Grenne

    by remembrance on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 01:27:20 PM PST

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site