Originally Posted by Deathmetalconga
Your post made me think that karma is an extremely damaging concept, downright evil.
We have a Disneyland Western understanding of karma. In far Eastern religions it is used to justify an oppressive caste system, social injustice and repression. If you were born poor, diseased, malnourished and oppressed, you're living out bad karma from a previous life. If someone is wealthy and powerful, it is because of good karma in a past life. That is the natural order of things.
Not sure where karma fit into my post, but you can think of it as "what goes around comes around" or "as you sow, so shall you reap". It's a simple concept. Indians believe in rebirth, being born after you die in a cycle that is intended to purify your soul. Karma plays a role in balancing that out.
After that, there's a heaven and hell too, much in the same way that Christianity portrays them. In that sense, and I'm espousing views that might seem radical to many Hindus, rebirth on earth is similar to the concept of purgatory.
As far as oppressive caste systems or social injustice, etc., that's the fallout of historical battles won and lost. With a good dose of religious wrong-doing to boot.
Of course, believing that such behaviour and ways of life are limited to India or the Far East is the result of long periods of indoctrination via the news and other information flows, to be blunt.
When I was young, I watched the movies about happy American families and saw picturesque suburban neighbourhoods and communal harmony. And I thought it was just like that.
No one lived in an apartment, there was no smell of urine in the streets and subways, everyone went to college.
I never knew that until the 60s, if a black man rode in a bus, he would be thrown off. Or that women were forced to sell their bodies for money and were then beaten up by a pimp that would take the majority of their earnings for himself and give them drugs instead. Or that politicians took kickbacks and sold out their nation in return for money from Chinese Communists and wealthy Arabs that could buy up Wall Street and make sure that the small investor always loses.
I mean, look at Linda Lovelace. That woman to this date keeps screaming about how she was exploited. I have no doubt in my mind she and her family suffered on account of Deep Throat, even as others made money and it became a part of "popular culture".
And if I have to touch upon religion, it disgusts me that children were abused by men of the cloth and then protected by their peers.
I suppose the danger in making statements like the one you quoted was that it would be misinterpreted. The caste system has been abolished. Social injustice has been abolished too, apparently. That they still persist (albeit on a much smaller scale) speaks volumes about the regard for "human rights" and "moral values" in this place. Much in the same way that poverty and hunger do in America.
In that respect, the US threw off the yoke of colonial oppression over 200 years ago. India did it about 65 years ago. Systematic plundering of resources and subjugation of people without regard have left it a poor nation. You've heard of Mahatma Gandhi? Then you'll know that he was shot dead, much in the way of Abraham Lincoln, a good man. Why? Because he suggested that the Congress Party (which rules India now, but was originally fought to fight for Independence), should be dissolved once freedom was achieved. He was against untouchability and other superstitious nonsense.
People want these social evils to persist because they can benefit from it. But people with brains know it is wrong and should be stopped.