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A thought on Respect and Civility

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tks

Well-known member
There is a thread on 'why we are pessimistic' in the General section.


I wanted to share my view that *repeated* pessimism, negativity and redirecting attacks on a poster instead of a post itself are all examples of disrespect to the forum itself.


In my view, there is nothing wrong with humor often expressed via sarcasm or even cynicism at a topic or subject or even a post. In a healthy debate, which makes the forum come alive, there are occasional expressions of sarcasm towards an idea or thought or even a post.


There are people who may think everything is just a point of view. That is a statement of obviousity but not all points of view have the same impact on the larger cause which in this case is the ongoing health and expansion of the forum's reach itself.


This forum was created by its owner's innovation and resources. Using technolgical expertise adroitly, by creating a diverse and useful knowledg-base and by leveraging a reasonably successful business model, the forum resources are made available to many people worldwide.


The forum thrives when its membership multiplies and given its global reach, diverse knowledge-base and minimal rules of engagement, the membership should have been close to several hundred thousands now in my view. The number of active participants could have easily grown by many orders of magnitude in the last 5 years during which I have been a member.


Yet, the growth of this forum in this world of Internet is somewhat limited and modest in the last 5 years.


My thesis is that everyone who benefits from the forum's content must think of how to help it grow.


The forum is unable to attract people under 45. If at all they come, they want quick answers and disappear forever. There are isolated feedback about why they dont want to participate.


The forum is open to anyone and yet worldwide it has attracted mainly senior citizens by and large. It is undeniable that there are few bad apples who feel like writing anything they feel like without any research or thought and seemingly love to dabble in pessimism bordering on expression of hate towards one group or the other. I do not know the extent of damage such posts cause in attracting new and active members.




I feel we all have a collective responsibility to help improve this forum to the best extent we can.


I want to use a metaphor that a Greek American once used to describe an organization.


We can think of the forum to be like a famous buildings that have stood the test of time, as in Greece. These are tall structures held together by superb foundation and tall columns and continue to be beautiful even after many centuries.


We can think of the foundation of such a buildings to be the work of the forum owner. When we walk in a building, we rarely think of the basement and the foundation. In the same manner while interacting here we rarely think about the forum owner which is a great thing. We are not hampered by unnecessary rules.


Then there are great columns that hold the building structure together. This can be likened to people that provide excellent content in a regular basis. The share their knowledge freely and bring very useful topics. Controversial viewpoints actually help us grow in our views.

There are some topic areas that have produced great dialogs. I do not have to name the members - we know them all for their contributions.


The people visiting the forum can be metaphorically seen as views represented. There are some who may help clean the building out of their interest. These are people who post useful content occasionally .


Finally there are birds and who come in to do their droppings which happens even in great buildings.

These birds can be metaphorically likened to very few selfish people who propagate pessimism or pick fights or attack others for their posts. Bird droppings may be curious to watch for some but over time they can stink a place. It is our collective duty to clean up the buildings. I admire the members who call out such posts gently.


Let us help the forum to grow 10 fold in the next 5 years. It can only help us in the long run!
 

renuka

Well-known member
Frankly speaking I find nothing wrong with forum.

I have no idea why a selected few think that it must "attract" the young people.

Believe me young people are busy with their studies..building a career and also socializing and not to mention falling in love.

Just observe any 25 year old and we would find them busy on Whatsapp watching videos forwarded by their friends..busy sending messages ..busy on Instagram etc.

Whether forum is filled with Bad Apples or Good Apples or Granny Smith Apples it does not really matter. An Apple is an Apple..Good or Bad is entirely our perception.

None of us can fit in the imaginary requirements of another and there is no need to.

There is no need to play Vishwamitra and create a new heaven for any Trisanku here just becos we do not like some posts.

The forum has been running fine all these years.

Any member should feel free to share his/her thoughts...one should be free like a bird to land anywhere and chirp the song of his/her thoughts.
 

sarang

Well-known member
The forum is already a 'specialty forum' as its name proclaims, and caters to a wide section of people and interests. It need not become a super specialty forum, as its utility and aakarshan will diminish.

I recommend this forum to those who want clear doubts on rituals or want to locate stotrams; I am sure many are directed to this site by google search.

Detailed involved serial discussions on any philosophical or sampradayic issues is sure to attract a few for serious participation, but is of limited interest to many (except a few who want to muddy the water with their irrelevant and sometimes vicious interjections).

Strength of hinduism is the ability and capacity to manage contradictions in thoughts and actions in a 'my way, your way' platform.
 

Vaagmi

Well-known member
Frankly speaking I find nothing wrong with forum.

I have no idea why a selected few think that it must "attract" the young people.

Believe me young people are busy with their studies..building a career and also socializing and not to mention falling in love.

Just observe any 25 year old and we would find them busy on Whatsapp watching videos forwarded by their friends..busy sending messages ..busy on Instagram etc.

Whether forum is filled with Bad Apples or Good Apples or Granny Smith Apples it does not really matter. An Apple is an Apple..Good or Bad is entirely our perception.

None of us can fit in the imaginary requirements of another and there is no need to.

There is no need to play Vishwamitra and create a new heaven for any Trisanku here just becos we do not like some posts.

The forum has been running fine all these years.

Any member should feel free to share his/her thoughts...one should be free like a bird to land anywhere and chirp the song of his/her thoughts.
Renukaji, you said it. I agree with you fully.

The forum is doing wonderfully well.

There is no need to recast. It will surely grow further.

Left to itself it will evolve.
 

tks

Well-known member
Forum continues to do well for all members including all those who feel they have no skin in the game in its growth.

All one needs is an email address to be a member. They do not have to pay for anything. Of course they are welcome to come with a sense of entitlement !

If a member is dissatisfied for any reason they can always choose to not visit the forum. So saying the forum is fine for its members is not the issue raised in post #41

Even while expressing disagreement, it necessary to understand the points made first.

This thread itself is about our thoughts on civility and disrespect. I added the consequences of a particular form of disrespect not only just to each other but to the forum itself.

In Post 41, the first line is

" wanted to share my view that *repeated* pessimism, negativity and redirecting attacks on a poster instead of a post itself are all examples of disrespect to the forum itself."

The lack of younger members is not the main problem , it is a symptom.

It is also a fact that in 5 years the growth of membership is relatively small compared to many such internet based services.

Forum is free to join, sort of anonymous, has a huge knowledge-base of diverse topics and well laid out, has global reach, supports minimal rules and responsive to the member's requests.

It is hosted in probably in a very well maintained site given that there are hardly any disruptions.

All these cost is supported probably by ad-revenue which is determined by number of viewers. Hence any well wisher of the forum would want to see that it continues to grow regardless of the age group of its members.

There are no edicts or rules for this. It is just my thought that *some* members may have interest in its ongoing growth. Such a thinking itself is a form of showing our gratitude for what has been created by its owner and by many of the active content creators.

I understand that few people feeling entitled to express their cynicism *repeatedly* notwithstanding the consequences to the larger cause cannot be reasoned with. So my post is addressed to all others.

Many years ago, during my student days I was traveling in a bus in Chennai during my vacation days from USA. I was sitting in a window seat, next to a fellow who was having a lot of tobacco and Paan in his mouth. A bit later he leaned over me and spat the contents of his mouth into the road.

I asked him if that was right and who he thought will clean all the mess up. This fellow got angry and said - "do you own the road, what is your problem" . Another fellow chipped in and said it will all evaporate in due course of time. One other person said there are no rules posted anywhere that you cannot spit out of a bus into the road.

Hindus regardless of where they are, seem to have limited Samashti Dharma sense compared to any other civilization.

Even in this forum, this manifests as 'who cares' attitude and that was the point of my Post #41.






 

auh

New member
The forum is unable to attract people under 45. If at all they come, they want quick answers and disappear forever. There are isolated feedback about why they dont want to participate.
The lack of younger members is not the main problem , it is a symptom.
You have said this twice now, and I am 100% sure that you are wrong ! ;-)

Hindus regardless of where they are, seem to have limited Samashti Dharma sense compared to any other civilization.
I think it is not due to religion but more related to ethnicity. Asians as a whole generally tend not to bother about anything that does not specifically lie in their line of interest.
 

renuka

Well-known member
At times the 'who cares" attitude can be the best anti depressant.

Why stress ourselves up trying to play superman yet can not fly?
 

Vaagmi

Well-known member
Reading post #41 and 45 I remembered this:


When I came to Chennai first (It was Madras then) one day I happened to witness a street brawl. Two chennaite Auto drivers were making a lot of noise. They were virtually dancing in the street and holding up the traffic. A lot of "taking position to strike" happened repeatedly and yet nothing was really struck. All the while the free flowing Madras Tamil was liberally used to abuse each other. And there was a fairly big crowd watching it. They were perhaps waiting for one to strike the other so that there will be a street fight and the issue would end up quickly and decisively. But that was taking time to happen or was not happening.

From the watching crowd a voice rang out in Tirunelvely Tamil:

"எலே, என்னலே ப்ரச்சின? சொல்லித்தொலைங்கல. பாத்தி கட்டுனதெல்லாம் போதும்ல. சொல்லுங்க இல்லன்னா அடிங்க. சும்மா ஆடாதீங்கல.

I can not help the given situation that I am from Tirunelvely and that I do not understand anything in these posts. and I can not say what that fellow from Tirunelvely said that day to any one here. So I am running away. sorry.
 

sangom

Well-known member
"respect and civility" towards me from others,
and,
a little bit of sarcasm, 'wiser-than-you' attitude, etc., all emanating from the teachings of a proper guru who taught me, and, at times, a parting gift of obnoxious comments— from my side,

will make the forum alright.
 

tks

Well-known member
Purpose of posts #41 and #45 are to discuss ways to enable growth of the forum and that *repeated* pessimism, negativity and redirecting attacks on a poster instead of a post itself are all examples of disrespect to the forum itself and may have negative consequences to the forum's growth.

I abide by the same stated guidelines as well . If I have violated I can be told in PM in order to not waste everyone's time. If I am convinced I am happy to publicly state what the violation was and offer my sincere apologies.

We cannot have 'Wendy Doniger syndrome' in our forum. When she originally published and gave PhD to students at University of Chicago for so called research denigrating symbols and scriptures of Hinduism there were many that were outraged. But one person took the claims to be serious research topics and applied his personal wealth to see the accuracy of the the so called research claims. He was able to debunk most of the claims for some topics but instead of exhibiting academic integrity she ignored this person (who is Rajiv Malhotra) and continued to publish a book both to make money and to further denigrate the symbolism in Hinduism. She even cried foul at her critics.


There is a free speech provisions set up by the forum owner and hence one is free to critique some of our scriptures even if they come across as most obnoxious to our theist friends. However when such claims are shown to be baseless with proper analysis and that they may be arising due to imagination, then it will be desirable to stop propagation of those ideas further. Sometimes a response has to sting to have effect then. I do not think such debates and discussions are disrespectful to a person sincet are directed at the content of the post itself.

Most often claims that do not have strong basis are best ignored so the forum can debate on more interesting topics.

For example, Srimad Bhagavatam actually has many profound concepts and I did have one such thread a while ago extolling the virtues of one of the verse for what it communicated in a lucid manner. If one claims that it is useless text that may amount to pseudo intellectualization which is as detrimental as delusional Bhakthi in my view if such comments are taken seriously. I think people have learned to ignore such comments.

In fact I may want to reopen that thread (citing verse from Srimad Bhagavatam) in the scholarly section for discussion consistent with theme of that section.

Finally there is a wrong notion of humility in some people's mind. It is about what we think of ourselves and how true we are to ourselves only. It is not about how one may have to pretend to come across to others.

In healthy and serious debate it is important to make the point effectively and that will help the forum's growth.
 

raysundar

New member
Treating Brahmin as a class or caste is where the problem lies. Brahmin is a way of life prescribed in our scriptures. Identifying oneself as a Brahmin by virtue of birthright is morally wrong. Unless you practice that way of life or strive to do so and attain that perfection by performing priestly duties you are not a Brahmin. It is a title much like Ph.D or M.S among the educational community. Once you become an engineer and or scientist and have acquired other degrees and proficiency then so be it. Don't call your self a Brahmin unless you follow that way of life. Anyone can be a Brahmin by adopting that lifestyle and having a religious order give you that title as a Pandit or a Priest. This is the new World order!
 

ramavarad

New member
I do agree with Mr.Raysundar comments but with some refinement. Brahmin are those who are accustomed to brahma gnanam. i.e. those who are well versed to vedic dharma prescribed by vedha as one outright thumbrule. Sage Valmiki/vyasa maharishi are all not brahmins by way of birth. They followed vedic dharma. No question of degree being accorded. The Bakthi of Nammazhwar was not a brahmin. But people follow nammazhwar vehemently for his contribution in 4000 dhivya prabhantham.
 

tks

Well-known member
I do not understand the behavior of derailing threads. It is not about freedom of expression because opposing views or even related views have always been welcome.

Respecting the norms of a given topic and section area is really about display of self respect. If it is a discussion area, why turn into a chit-chat forum simply because one can do so?

Some start with personal insults and some love to interpret vigorous response to an issue as a personal attack in order to turn the discussion into a set of attacks. Some like to constantly police others and create new rules while breaking them themselves. Some like to bring irrelevant items as a way of derailing a thread. Some want to be funny and turn a good discussion into possibly a meaningless chatter.

Members are really guests here who have the influence to make this forum a great place for exchange of ideas. Personal insults have a venue and that is via private messages only.

We do want opposing views to be aired and they make a forum topic come alive.

If I did not live up to what I am stating here please let me know via PM and once the understanding is clear I will be happy to post the issue and an apology as well.
 
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V.Balasubramani

Guest

In my experience, we have few whose only aim is to watch for interesting threads.

And the next course of action will be to make a slow entry into the thread.

Then, seriously take all out efforts to meddle with the thread and at last derail it.

This has been happening in this Forum quite some time and they are successful in their attempts.

One more thing, in the meanwhile they used to shoot irrelevant postings and thus try to provoke few.

Such act of this member will irritate the OP he may either become furious or more aggressive.

And now the interesting part will start with this member performing a noisy ஒப்பாரி as though some injustice is done to him/her and try to gain some sympathy.

This is one member’s Modus Operandi.

Now it is the Brigades turn:


As soon as this ஒப்பாரி is heard, the other members of the Brigade will dutifully make entry with their only ammunition of name calling, teasing, humiliation etc.

There will be lot of postings but nothing will be relevant to the thread, even if it is a serious subject, it will be dragged as a ‘Chit Chat’ one.

The advantage of the Brigade is most of its members are quite free throughout the day and have an urge/ burning desire or a iron will to navigate every interesting thread closure to the grave.

Some real veterans of this Forum once suggested me that don’t go to their their level while retaliating, instead try to bring them to higher level.

IMO this brigade has no sense of self-discipline, self-respect, ethics, etc. They simply throw every such things to the wind.

And make it a difficult task for the other to stand to the ground and defend himself because it is a team and the weakness of the other may be perhaps lack of time left at his disposal to respond.

Even if one try to remain a satvic, they will convert us into tamas with their non-stop provoking postings.

Here is a specimen:
The above post looks likeplot of a tamil serial complete with crazy woman, with flash back oflove,romantic encounters,court case with hero heroine ,lawyers and judge.


Members feverish mind is working overtime . Somehave a police mentality doubting even their own grandmother background.This isa mindset.


It is high time to get trained to defend ourselves from this Brigade's attack, as locking of horn on topics is becoming inevitable at times.

They come here with cock and bull story and don't want anyone to question whatever they write.

And off late I started to develop love againt my will on such encounters, what to do...?? :)

P.S: The members watching such conflicting postings will only try to keep away fron their active participation.

This may be also a valid reason for most of the members keeping away from active participation. It is infact a loss to the Forum and we may miss some interesting and worthy contributions.

Every one is not good with fighting spirit.

So if one don't have the prerequisite fighting spirit she/he may not be able to survive.

And one cannot report to the Moderator every now and then

BTW does every one possess the prerequite qualification of fighting spirit against the railing ferocious gang???


 
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renuka

Well-known member


BTW does every one possess the prerequite qualification of fighting spirit against the railing ferocious gang???



Dear Sir,


In the past there have been some members who on first joining forum were sort of unable to handle some amount of "attacks".

Well most of us have been tru this but some members too in the past had voiced this to me and I had managed to guide them well on how to go about forum.

In fact some of those who took training from me before are very well capable now of even handling Gangs of Wasseypur.


So if anyone is having problems handling any brigade or gang...I can offer "training' services that can make them into Navy Seals of forum.

So do not worry too much sir.
 
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V

V.Balasubramani

Guest
Dear Sir,


In the past there have been some members who on first joining forum were sort of unable to handle some amount of "attacks".

Well most of us have been tru this but some members too in the past had voiced this to me and I had managed to guide them well on how to go about forum.

In fact some of those who took training from me before are very well capable now of even handling Gangs of Wasseypur.


So if anyone is having problems handling any brigade or gang...I can offer "training' services that can make them into Navy Seals of forum.

So do not worry too much sir.

Doctor Mam,


With publication of this posting, you will have more enquiries and enrolment.

Waiting to face an army of attackers and battle of words. LOL


 

renuka

Well-known member


Some real veterans of this Forum once suggested me that don’t go to their their level while retaliating, instead try to bring them to higher level.



Dear Sir,


Both you and the other veterans are not accurate in my opinion.

No one can raise another and no one can lower another.


Lord Krishna had clearly said in Geeta:


[FONT=&quot]TEXT 5[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]uddhared atmanatmanam
natmanam avasadayet
atmaiva hy atmano bandhur
atmaiva ripur atmanah


TRANSLATION
A man must elevate himself by his own mind, not degrade himself. The mind is the friend of the conditioned soul, and his enemy as well.
[/FONT]

So Sir...no need to worry too much...we can only be responsible for ourselves.
Trying to elevate or lower others is just a delusion.
 

renuka

Well-known member

Doctor Mam,


With publication of this posting, you will have more enquiries and enrolment.

Waiting to face an army of attackers and battle of words. LOL



No problems sir....I have trained some well..they are doing fine...some are trigger friendly too!LOL
 
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