Vikshepa Blog

Mental Distractions

18 Jun 2022

2022-06-18-Website work, thoughts about India

I spent most of the day working on the Israeli Thich Nhat Hanh sangha site, mindfulness-israel.org. It's completely voluntary but I enjoy it and it feels useful. This is a Wordpress site with the flexible Weaver theme, which sometimes frustrates me, but it is at least malleable, unlike many WP themes.

In between, I've been reading "Eight Mountains", which grows more interesting with every chapter. A sensitive writer with a good story to tell.

Al-Jazeera carries an item, in both print and audio, by Arundhati Roy: India is becoming a Hindu-fascist enterprise. Unfortunately I agree with her assessment. India, unlike some other troubled nations, is one that love and care about. I can't say why, or really what that means. Maybe it means nothing? However that may be, it is possible that I will never go there again. At least not while Modi and the BJP are in power, despite the temptation to do so. Not going there will, in fact, be a painful decision.

Israel is a shocking place too. It has an appalling human rights record, and the entire country is constructed upon an ongoing historical iniquity. On the other hand, it's the place where I live and for now I have little choice in the matter.

Nations, in terms of their governments, their politics, their actions and group identities, are almost universally repugnant. Some more than others. Ever since I lived there, I felt a distaste for the US, which has gradually grown over the years. And, particularly since Brexit, I feel anguished about the country of my birth and citizenship, the UK.

Of course, countries are more than their repugnant aspects. There is much to love about the culture of the US, the UK and elsewhere. The current or recent attempts to boycott Russian culture, such as music performances, are quite riduculous.

I will continue to love India; it's part of who I am. But it looks increasingly less likely that I will return there.

There are many instances of people loving a country in exile. Usually, it's their homeland, and the exile is either voluntary or forced.

There are no doubt similar instances of people loving a country but being unable to visit it. Usually, because they wouldn't be allowed in or can't afford to go there.

If we care nothing for a country and feel indifferent to its governance, politics or other forms of national expression, visiting it or otherwise matters little.

It's when we do care that it becomes a problem.

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