India: A Parliament of Women as much as of Men

By Badri Raina, ZNet, March 10, 2010

Badri Raina’s ZSpace Page

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As is well known, the semantics of equality entered  western intellectual discourse only as a result of the writings of the  French Philosophes, whereas previously the acknowledged universal paradigm had been  that all human beings were created unequal.  Thus there were  those who were “privileged” by birth, and those who were not.

Indeed, in passing, it was only Buddhism in India that could be said to have genuinely offered a world  view  wherein equality made no exceptions.  Some reason why  it became fatally important for Brahminism to eject it at all costs.

The new European classes whose  material interests were thus enunciated by the emancipatory  writings of the Enlightenment claimed, as Marx was to note, that they represented not just their own interests but those of all “humanity.”  A classic example of false consciousness, since, as Marx theorized,  every new class that challenges older social formations needs such universalist claims to garner sufficient clout for the overthrow.

Continues >>

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