November 03, 2007

From Ambrish Dhaka:

Re: When our vices get the better of us (Oct. 11): I read the article titled as above, found very exciting. This has some serious fallacy. The society is historically disposed to division of labour. The evidence of this is the formation of caste stratum in Indian society and as well as in other communities. The cultural division like caste are capable of transferring a particular type of mindset from one generation to another. And, when there are cross cultural interaction, they naturally disposed to inhibitions. Hence, the non-performance is also an indicator to the cultural atonement of brain reflecting the geocultural aspect of said vices. The simple example could be the case of a Christian marriage custom where a man and a woman kiss each other in front of the people gathering, where as in any Islamic marriage even the face is not allowed to be seen. So, the kiss would be almost a taboo for the latter case, if not the vice. Now, how could they respond to something universal thing called marriage, yet so particular in form and content, varying communities to communities. Hence, the article is another case of too simplistic attitude of science over social observations.

Ambrish Dhaka
Assistant Professor
School of International Studies
Jawaharlal Nehru University
New Delhi


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