Taboo subjects runs an article on “Buddhist Schools”

Taboo subjects, a blog set up by swimfanlk  featured a write-up on the “Buddhist School System” in Sri Lanka.

The article can be found here.

We at religurd are ecstatic over the article.

The argument that “Buddhist Schools” were formed not of out necessity BUT rather as a reactionary response to “mission schools” is a credible argument. Ideally one would expect to see a secular reaction as opposed to a “Theosophist/Buddhist” reaction to mission schools but as always we Sri Lankans tend to drop the ball at crucial times and let crackpots and extremists high-jack the system (remember the anti-conversion bill debate?).

The article also questions Mr Olcott’s intentions (or perhaps his lack of understanding on how to set up a place of learning and culture) and implicitly highlights his crackpot theosophist beliefs, some of which are:

1.  A race of super-humans once dwelled on an island called Atlantis (the so-called Aryan race theory of Madame Blavatsky and Olcott)

2. These super-humans descended from the stars.

3. …

(Find a full list here)

Students of these schools are supposed to look upto these people ? Theosophists were nothing more than crackpot occultists disillusioned by the western way of life and such “national heroes” should be exposed for what they really were. The truth will be difficult for people to accept but we must ensure that a truthful dissenting opinion gets out there into the public, and this article does that effectively.

The article also talks about the discrepancy between Buddhism as a philosophy, its objectives etc and the formation of systematic Buddhist education institutions (a paradigm borrowed from the Christians and which has no place in traditional Buddhist philosophy)

Finally the article is very accessible and summarizes a lot of arguments which have been put forward by notable academics like Prof Obeysekere .

Buddhist schools constitute a majority of the local state schools and they should be leading the way in teaching children tolerance and understanding as opposed to segregation and exclusivity. They should be held accountable for failing time and time again to hold the banner of secularism high. We must expose the public to such discourses which have thus far been confined to academic circles.

Keep up the great work swimfanlk!


3 Responses to Taboo subjects runs an article on “Buddhist Schools”

  1. Xfactor says:

    Came across the following article today. Worth discussing I think:

    Qazi courts to be established in Sri Lanka

    Fri, Sep 10, 2010, 07:29 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    Sept 10, Colombo: Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Justice has taken measures to establish 58 Qazi courts in the country’s Muslim dominated areas.

  2. Xfactor says:

    The government is bringing in Sharia law for Muslims… but is it what SL needs?

    Sri Lanka is a new hub for islamic extremism

    This is a narrative of the husband of the victim, a 17 year old woman with a two month old child, who was subjected to the horrible experience of being beaten about 100 times with the hard centre stem from a coconut frond in the presence of the committee members of the mosque situated in Gokarella in the district of Kurunagalle. This woman had given a birth to a child as a result of an extra marital relationship. She has since married and has been living peacefully.

    • pravnj1408 says:

      Thanks Xfactor. Yes I remember studying (while at school) about how Islamic law was “seamlessly” integrated into the local legal system. I never followed up on it 🙂 for example elements of sharia were incorporated into laws relating to land ownership etc (I’m guessing these have been around for a good 30-40 years).

      But the article that you have cited indicates that the Islamists have in fact accelerated their efforts and that the current government (which is always ready to bend over backwards) has acceded to their requests. I will consult an expert on this matter and get back to you 🙂

      Cheers and thanks again!

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