Not Quite Avatar

TED, Videos 5 Comments

How the discourse of transforming traditions looks at human beings very cosmetically…..we change superficially but not systemically …..how the ‘global’ template is actually a ‘linear’ template that is being imposed on other ‘linear cultures’ and the Indian cyclical culture….how this is cultural imperialism is institutionalized and so faceless….we do not even realize we are the imperialist….to demonstrate this the talk will show how the internet Avatar and the James Cameroon Avatar have nothing to do with the Hindu concept of Avatar…Vishnu is not Batman!….and yet that is the global assumption where the Indian view, which is the source, is gagged and mocked and comes across as aberration.

  • Vinit

    Awesome stuff, Single currency with Multiple Languages ! +Infinity

  • Girishsetty


        You say that Indian culture doesn’t mark anyone has villain permanently. It is only for that context they are marked as villain. That was good explanation.

         You also say why are we having final wars and that sort of ending  this is very un-Indian type but if you see even Mahabharata and Ramayana had such wars. What do you say about that ?


    • Uday Vemuri

      It is difficult to answer these questions in a Q&A style or a 15 minute presentation. The entire Indian style of writing needs to be understood and the context that they have provided in the beginning of their story has to be read to understand the Indian thought. Of course, Ramayana and Mahabharat had wars and Devdutt (in my opinion) is not stating that Indian stories do not have wars. In the context of both the epics, one must also see that a lot is done to prevent the wars from happening. Ram gives multiple chances to Ravana to surrender Sita and so does Krishna but these overtures were ignored. Second, both these epics do not end with the war but the story continues. As Devdutt has indicated above, 36 years after Yudhistira goes to heaven and finds Kauravas in Heaven, he is in fact told as to why he has not yet forgiven the Kauravas. The point is that while Indian stories also have wars, these are not to be regarded as ends following which there is goodness everywhere. There is always goodness only for some time after which another Avatar becomes necessary – this is a continuous process. Do also note that Ram does not become the king of Lanka after the war but makes Vibhishina as the king meaning that the once the good within the bad is allowed to come out and express itself, bad no longer exists and becomes good and is therefore allowed to rule and prosper. There is no evil on the permanent evil type.

  • Chitritaa

    an eyeopener for me.  though we as hindu Indians grew up with these stories and knew that it is all about the release of the soul of the bad or evil form, by the godly avatars, we do not dwell on that aspect. g4eat to hear it afresh. 

  • Harsha Muddu

    Sir, though I like your inherent idea that it is not so simple as “Kill the Bad Guy,” but I feel that you are making an unequal comparison. I don’t think Harry Potter must be compared with Indian mythology as they exist in different realms. Harry Potter is a book read for entertainment, and Indian mythology is read for enlightenment, so I feel it would be more appropriate to compare Indian mythology with Western mythology.