Skip to content

Religion – A Thought? A way of Life?

March 9, 2010

I’d an interesting conversation with a friend today about religion and different political parties in India.

He is pro-BJP, while I am absolutely against. Perhaps there are some good people in the party but I just don’t like their whole Hindutva policy. I do not  like any party which focusses on religion, which pretty much means all Indian political parties are out. Except, I feel the BJP does it more than anyone else.

But I was a little shocked to realise that this friend – who is educated, well-traveled and belongs to the “upper middle class” section of society – was absolutely pro-BJP. And believes as India is a Hindu nation, the Hindus need to be given more rights. A fact that I absolutely do not agree with.

India is a secular country, which means equal rights to all. And yes, special privileges to some who come from a weaker section of the society.

“A Hindu man, from the day he has his family, works for his family, ensures his children eat no matter what he does, supports them and struggles for them,” the friend said (summarizing). That stopped me.

I figured the lifestyle is dictated by socio-economic conditions rather than religion. I know affluent Muslims and Hindus who live the same way while a poor Hindu and Muslim drink and abuse their families. Islam forbids drinking but that doesn’t seem to stop anyone. Hinduism forbids a lot more things but that doesn’t stop anyone either.

“Babar bought in blood in India. The Aryans lived happily” the friend said.

Why do we pick and choose parts of history that is convenient to us? The Aryans invaded India in the first place, if you really want to trace history. Dravidians were the original inhabitants of India. India’s culture grew with the mixing of various cultures over centuries. There were the Aryans, who bought in the caste system. There were the Parsis, the Jews, the Muslims and the Christians. Each religion came by as it developed, as the world changed. There was Buddhism and Jainism as well… started here in our own country. So on what basis do we say that a country belongs to one culture alone? And how long does a culture need to exist on a piece of land before we accept it as a part of our culture?

The BJP recently tried to pass a bill that bans cow slaughter in Karnataka. I found it ridiculous. It violated several basic rights of an Indian citizen. And this was passed to merely detract people from other problems in the state and win the Hindu vote bank! I thought it didn’t work and was rather pleased to see such strong protest against it. But apparently there were supporters. Cows are gods in the Hindu religion. But then so is nature. That doesn’t seem to stop people from chopping trees, from taking over forests.

Why pick and choose? What gives anyone the right to pick and choose? If we really did that, then the Harijans would still be living as the untouchables, women would still be burnt alive on funeral pyres and widows would be banished to live on river banks, begging for food.

There is a story in Kannada literature of a hunter named Bedara Kannappa. (one version of the story) – Kannappa is a fierce hunter who always gets a game. One day he waits for his prey in a tree… the day passes and no animal goes by. He gets frustrated and while waiting, he slowly pulls off leaves from the tree and drops it on the ground. He does not notice then that there is a Shiva Linga under the tree. Finally, when he looks down and sees the Linga he makes a promise to Shiva that if he gets a game, he will give Shiva a part of it. Right then, a deer comes by, the hunter shoots it, leaves some for the god and goes home. The same things happens over the next several days.

When the priest comes to worship the next time, he is horrified by the meat lying around the temple. He curses whoever ‘defiled’ the temple and cleans it. After a couple of times, the priest loses his temper and hides in a bush nearby to see who is the culprit defiling the temple. He catches Kannappa and yells at him for spoiling the temple. The hunter argues that an offering is an offering and that the God does not have a problem with it. Shiva hears their argument and cries at the priest’s abuse of the hunter. The hunter, seeing tears emerge from the Linga, promises to stem the flow of tears and cuts out his own eyes and offers to God. Shiva is pleased by this final act of devotion, appears in front of him and restores his eyesight and tells him that he is pleased with the devotion Kannappa has shown in all these days.

The story forms a source for the reason why Shiva is worshipped with 101 leaves of a particular tree. However, people now would absolutely frown (like that priest did) at getting meat into the temple. Temples are holy places, temples are not meant for “unclean” people was the consensus which led to people being barred from entering. It was that way of thinking that eventually led to the system of untouchables.

There are several stories of Indian gods doing things that people forbid devotees from doing. Who interprets this religion? The Upanishads and the Vedas, which are considered the basis for several rituals and customs, are also supposed to have chants which were used to kill animals.

Then why is vegetarianism considered the “hindu way of life?”

Religions are interpreted according to the political needs of that time. And religions can co-exist if they adapt to the time as well. The Vedas and the Upanishads also preach co-existance with other cultures and gods. Then why the antagonism against Muslims and Christians?

There are equally rigid Muslims and Christians. There have been Christian people who pose as missionaries and try to convert others. There have been Muslims who preach that their god is the best. I would say shoot them all, regardless of religion.

The RSS, the Shiv Sena are political tools. Their offshoots are no better. What else would you call an organization that would beat up women and children in the name of protecting culture? I remember a time when they came recruiting on my doorstep. It was a wonder that they did, considering they knew how ‘forward’ we were… but they still did. They got chased away. Perhaps it was their opening line – “we are hindus. we need to stick together” that cause the problem. Maybe it was the loud proclamation of how we are the best.

No. I am not satisfied with any religion or anything any of it has to offer. I do not want a god that discriminates by what we eat, what language we speak, what we wear and who are our friends. I don’t believe a real God does that anyway. I don’t believe God cares about what hymns I’m singing, what temple/mosque/church I pray at. I don’t believe God really worries about how many coconuts I’m going to bring him today. I don’t believe God cares about the wine I drink, the people I date. I guess God would just be happy if I didn’t kill anyone, cheat anyone and go do whatever it is I was meant to do.

I am not insulting any religion here. Each one of us require a faith to live. To believe in. I just don’t think that it is related to what a political party wants us to believe or any priest telling us that this is the way to live. I love the confusion of cultures in India.

(These are my own thoughts, borne or reminded from the conversation I had with some people over the last week and today. No offence to anyone, no forcing anyone to come over to my line of thinking. We can all coexist.)

Edit: A friend and someone I deeply respect wrote this article on a website. The timing is interesting because it is about the same topic with a slightly different view about Hindus regard their gods

http://killingthebuddha.com/mag/exegesis/the-moon-is-elsewhere/

Advertisements
23 Comments leave one →
  1. deepak permalink
    March 9, 2010 6:13 pm

    the point is .. we need another coffee
    am not pro bjp – am just anti – family politics ..
    narayan murthy’s children dont walk free into the mgmt of infosys
    how can jus one family dictate the politics of a ” secular ” democratic ” nation
    cows fish sheep prawns am just anti blood – we’ll thts my opinion

    RSS didnt beat up children and women
    shiv sena is a “d*** party ” – and the are more for regionalism

    all said and done

    i still stand by my words tht ours is a hindu majority nation where we’re treated like bits

    am not BJP i’ll stand by tht but i will vote for anyone who is addressing my needs ” which as of today is being done by the BJP “

  2. Narayan permalink
    March 10, 2010 7:26 am

    Leia,

    Nice article. There are some points that I completely agree with you.
    I don’t think God really cares about how many times I chant, how many times I go to temple etc etc.
    I also agree that politics in India is based heavily on religion. I totally disagree that India is a Hindu country. We are secular and I believe there is place for every religion here.
    But I lament the fact that these sentiments are not valued here. I have to choose a side no matter what. When I had a similar debate with one of my friends, she painfully reminded me of the Godra incident. She said if a man with a machete would break open the door and would ask my name, I would immediately be categorized.
    You would mutter ‘Leia’ and before you start your monologue about how you don’t confirm to one single religion, the man with the weapon would’ve left, leaving behind a broken hinge and a trail of dust.
    If unlucky, you would’ve been slashed into two. You would be left remembering you non-conformist God while you lay in a pool of blood.
    My point being, you like it or not, you’re already classified as a Hindu. You can be liberal for all the cow slaughter ban and rest of the stuff, but you are not getting any brownie points from other religions. Not that you need it, but the humanitarian perspective that you would expect people to have would not be present. That’s just wishful thinking.
    It’s hard to separate politics and religion in a country like India. It’s our secular aspect that makes it completely impossible.
    It’s not just me talking. I think this can be proven by Economics. There’s some theorem called the Median Voters theorem that can be applied to the mentality of voters keeping the different attributes of the politicians that will affect the votes.. This can be applied here.
    ( that was a complete detour of argument ).
    Anyway, I certainly am tilting more on your side than anything. I truly believe that religion has caused more damage than help people.

    Keep writing!

  3. March 10, 2010 10:30 am

    @Deepak – bring on the cofi.
    In a country like India, where the minorities have always been suppressed, it is necessary to have a ‘reservation’ system. We needed reservation for the SC/ST sections, we have reservations for women. Likewise for other minority religions. Because, without that, any minority in any country will find it hard to move ahead.
    Perhaps some of the reservation systems need to be checked again but till about 20 years ago, they were required. A certain imbalance to required to maintain the balance in a society.
    The problem with BJP is they are hardline, extreme right. They believe in “Hindutva” – the supremacy of Hindus – which is wrong by the mere fact that no religion or person is better than the other. And they get hardline trying to prove their point.
    RSS/Shiv Sena – last year Februrary starting with the incidents in Mangalore where they roughed up women in public which spread out to Bangalore as well. And that is only one indicent. Another would be Godhra.

    @Narayan – Okay I have to agree with half the point. Regardless of your attitude, you are branded into a religion from birth. But barring extreme circumstances, maybe we can do something about it. I do not have to abide by religious rules in every day. I do not have to support a bill like the cow slaughter bill. I do not have to support any rule which will harm another person merely because of the faith he/she was born into.

    Congress is pro-Muslim, because hey! the Hindu vote bank was already taken. But they cannot and would not go around declaring Muslims rock. BJP does that. Why? There are more Hindus than Muslims… wouldn’t that naturally mean they would have a majority? Why the fight then? Especially if they are soooo good at their work that the people love them.

  4. NiV permalink
    March 10, 2010 3:22 pm

    really interesting! I don’t believe in “religion”, which revolves around an intangible notion called “God”..I am not sayin I am an atheist..coz an athiest has to first acknowledge the existence of something called “God” and he chooses not to believe in it..I, on the other hand, even refuse to acknowledge such a notion..so where does that leave me… See More? 🙂 I perceive “religion” as a person’s unique code of life..the probability of overlapping codes is high..and in such cases, it is definitely possible to “politicize” it 🙂 er…does it make any sense? 🙂 politics and religion – i avoid talking about them 😀 now u kno why, m sure 😉

  5. March 11, 2010 4:45 am

    I do agree with the “god and atheist” bit. But the point here religion and the way we interpret it. I think the interpretation is getting more and more hardline everyday, pushed a lot further by politics.
    The Iraq war was fueled by the desire to control oil than to do with Saddam’s weapons, Taliban – created by the US, using Islam as a tool. BJP uses Hindutva as a tool to gain votes. The Congress picks the Muslims and the JDU etc picks the Dalits. All politically motivated.
    And they create thicker and thicker lines between the religions, thereby the people, forgetting the crossovers that have occured in a country like India over hundreds of years. They forget that religion and cultures and lifestyles have blended so much that an attempt to segregate will only result in destruction. And the followers seem to be forgetting that too.

    • ASHSISH permalink
      March 15, 2010 12:49 pm

      Hi Leia,
      i am not a hardliner thinker but don’t you feel you have been too critical to one particular religion in India? Anyways your thought does show that Hinduism do have liberalism as it’s ingredient otherwise you won’t have defied so many of it’s aspects so DEFTLY.We are lucky that Hinduism does empower us with the freedom to criticize our own religion openly . You have to accept that Hinduism do have space for everyone considering we welcomed so many religion and culture in the past only to be criticized as intolerant majority by it’s own self assumed secular thinkers(i would say them hypocrites ) . We have always been tolerant and no one can question on that.We showed sensitivity towards other pain while ignoring our own deep wounds .We never crossed our borders but invaders destroyed, attacked us and yet we accepted what religion they brought with them with open arms.So,sometime i ask myself where we did it wrong?Why we deserve this criticism and hatred by OUR own self assumed secular minded people(but in actual you will always see them criticizing a religion) ? Tolerance for diversity ,is this our fault?Yes,it is. If we had not shared our land with others at the very first step , we might have never faced this all violence and killing of our own people.We might have lived in greater peace and prosperity.We might have never lost our land and there might have been no violence in Kashmir. Shahrukh khan might have not been standing behind Pakistani CRICKETERS while maintaining silence during MUMBAI ATTACK and terming it as a reply to injustice done in India.How would you like to call those people in India who celebrate Pakistan win over India in a cricket match?If you are a true Indian then do reply it.I am sure you will find your perfect reasons to support their true emotion while mincing no words to criticize your own religion because that’s the way we are , always feeling others pain better than our’s.
      I might have talked like a hardliner during all this comment but i am not.I don’t want to think like this but i can’t when i find people living in India raising funds for terrorist organization fighting in Kashmir or when some parts of India go silent while India winning against Pakistan.DO you have an answer for this????

      ASHSISH

      • March 15, 2010 4:22 pm

        Hi Ashsish,

        I am not trying to point out the flaws of any particular religion. I am more qualified to speak about Hinduism as that is what I am ethnically.
        I am just trying to explain the interpretation of religion and the role politics has in interpreting religion and this goes back centuries and with all religions.
        A new religion can be born only with the persecution of the one that exists before that – this is fact.
        How do you define “our” people? Why should you define “our” as belonging to a particular religion? “Our” people to me would be my friends which includes a cross section of people from various religions and cultures.
        If we were really tolerant, why would there be so much hatred which is divided into castes, religions, sects and sex? Why would there be so many divisions?

        As for the cricket bit, I have really not met a single person who has cheered for Pak, regardless of religion. I have watched cricket matches in little chai shops where everyone cheer for India. Ironically, many Indians and Pakistanis are related. Should they disassociate themselves from their family members who live across the border because of political ramifications? Did you watch any of the videos when that pass between India and Pakistan was opened? Did you see the tears in the eyes of people who were meeting after nearly 50 years because some political body – both Hindu and Muslim – decided to draw a line between the two countries and said you shall stay where you are and you shall follow the religious laws of the land.

        And as for your terrorist organizations in Kashmir – how many of them are all Muslim? How many of them are pro-Kashmir organizations that fight for Azad Kashmir and do not want to be a part of India or Pakistan?

        Give me one instance of religion which has helped people. It has always divided people – by your own example, we should hate Pakistan because they are Muslims, Terrorists are all Muslims, India is a peaceful land except in Mumbai our own countrymen beat up others for not being “marathi”.

        And all these are politically manufactured reasons. Vote Banks. In Bihar, in UP, in Maharashtra. You give a person an identity and then tell them that you support that identity and it requires the best because hey! they said so.

  6. ASHSISH permalink
    March 17, 2010 5:19 am

    I expected this kind of answer.A very humble request to you ,if possible try your chai once in a Muslim dominated parts of U.P. during a India vs Pak match.Have you ever visited Deoband?Visit it once, i am sure you will come to know a real India existing outside your AC cars ,Pubs and Bars.

    • March 17, 2010 5:52 am

      So just because a section of the population is unpatriotic, do you trash the entire community?
      The India outside my AC cars has less of a regard for religion than the people in it because it is a matter of survival there. You need to earn money everyday to live, and that is not relevant to any caste or religion. And that is where the politics really come into play – you support those people who support you. So the Hindus support BJP or whatever party that they believe will help them while the Muslims believe in their party.
      And ergo, the divide.
      So there are unpatriotic Muslims. Fine. Put them in jail. Like the unpatriotic Hindus who don’t have the basic respect for the culture of this country – which was peace, unity and tolerance.

  7. ASHSISH permalink
    March 17, 2010 8:27 am

    I am not a supporter of BJP or any Hindutava force but i am against those hypocrites who want to be looked secular by criticizing Hinduism.They are ignorant of the fact that it was under Hinduism so many religion flourished.Almost every party in India exploits religion but then why to target BJP only ? Why not these secular people react when Congress or BSP or SP try to lure Muslim votes ?Why talking openly about Hinduism is labeled as religious fanaticism but supporting religious sentiments of Muslims for not singing OUR NATIONAL SONG is considered as secularism?Why these double standards ? All these judgments are passed from your AC newsrooms which affect the life of common people in India and which provide political parties an opportunity to exploit this fractured ideology.

    • Jagannath permalink
      March 19, 2010 4:30 am

      Hi Ashish,

      I couldn’t help but follow your comments and wonder if you’re even getting the context of the article correctly. In my opinion, the author’s entire point is to underscore the effect of politicizing of religion and she’s chosen a hindu angle to it, because she is acutely familiar with the religion, its history and the manner in which parties like the BJP exploit it. She says it explicitly in the line ” I do not like any party which focusses on religion, which pretty much means all Indian political parties are out”.

      Besides, a lot of your initial ire seems to be directed towards other religions flourishing under Hinduism and then giving her the wrong finger when they had a foothold in the prayer market. To quote you “ignorant of the fact that it was under Hinduism so many religion flourished”.

      If you refer to history, you’ll find that when Clovis united the Goths or rather the Franks after the break up of the Roman empire in the 4th century A.D, he decided to relinquish his pagan religion and take up Christianity so he could win the favor of the masses which in the aftermath of Jesus’ persecution was largely Christian. Subsequently, he and Charlemagne a few centuries after him summarily executed his own subjects found practicing pagan rituals and religions. Such was the way of the conquerer to the conquered; and India was indeed CONQUERED by the muslims, and yet hinduism prevailed, not because we went into hiding, but because we were still free to practice our religion. Islamic practices and rules were enforced but we were free to follow our own faiths.

      So, should we be grateful for Islam then? cos it sounds to me like it wasn’t under Hinduism that so many religions flourished; we were the conquered ones. Could anyone have stopped Akbar from killing anyone who practiced anything but Islam? I think not.

      The very fact that Hindus didn’t go underground into hiding at any point on basis of our religious following during times of total muslim dominance like the Mughal empire, highlights a degree of tolerance, acceptance and a separation of ruling (read politics) from religion which should serve as a benchmark, a guiding star to the fools who run our country today. The very prosperity (in terms of religious development) of the country back then compared to the depravity we live in today (again in terms of religion, and also includes your U.P based fans of the Pakistani cricket team) is a lesson in history which screams to be emulated. That sir, is the whole point of this wonderful article that the author has presented. It is not an all out critique/mud-smearing on Hinduism to “sound secular (pat on the back! don’t know how you came up with that one)” like you imagine it to be.

  8. himesh permalink
    March 17, 2010 9:36 am

    Just don’t delete it again and have a courage to face it.Every one has a right to express his/her thought and i am doing nothing wrong .India does not belong to you only .If you are so eager to share your thought then be prepared to face criticism or appreciations equally.

    I am not a supporter of BJP or any Hindutava force but i am against those hypocrites who want to be looked secular by criticizing Hinduism.They are ignorant of the fact that it was under Hinduism so many religion flourished.Almost every party in India exploits religion but then why to target BJP only ? Why not these secular people react when Congress or BSP or SP try to lure Muslim votes ?Why talking openly about Hinduism is labeled as religious fanaticism but supporting religious sentiments of Muslims for not singing OUR NATIONAL SONG is considered as secularism?Why these double standards ? All these judgments are passed from your AC newsrooms which affect the life of common people in India and which provide political parties an opportunity to exploit this fractured ideology.

    • March 17, 2010 10:23 am

      Himesh/Ashsish
      1. I never do delete any comments (unless you get really abusive). I’ve a approve feature on and i’m not in front of my mail every minute to approve it.

      2. I never meant this post to be a anti-Hindu rant. Hindus are the majority in this country and they do hold the power in their hands. This post was merely supposed to depict how much religion is swayed by politics.

      BJP is merely an example as to the amount to which politics can sway religion. Every party does it… the Congress had only the Muslim vote bank to aim for as the Hindu bank was taken.

      I have no particular affinity towards any particular religion. Which is exactly what I state in this post.

      If someone is not singing our national song, irrespective of the religion, it is unpatriotic and they deserve a reprimand. And it is completely independent on religion.

      My question is simple – if we call ourselves secular, why do we divide each other everyday on the basis of religion and whatnot.

      And my question to you, whatever your name is, why are you so annoyed that I choose not to support a particular religion, if you really believe in being secular?

  9. Narayan permalink
    March 17, 2010 11:07 am

    Himesh / Ashish,

    My two cents here. I’m not sure how this blog looked like ‘Hinduism bashing’ to you guys. Leia has been quite vocal enough that she’s not affiliated to one particular religion. The blog may contain examples from Hinduism but that in no way is an attack on the religion itself.
    I think the point of this post is to show how deeply religion affects politics in India.

    I suggest we do not take this post as an offence to anything / anyone in particular. Like Himesh said, everyone has their view. Let’s try not to make an attempt to convince each other out of it. You’ve had a good read. This blog tickled your minds and made you think about things.
    That’s good. Let’s leave it at that.

    Last but not the least, I know Leia personally. She, as everyone else, has her views but she’s definitely not the kind who would delete a comment just because it’s criticizing her point of view.

  10. March 17, 2010 5:49 pm

    @Narayan – thanks for the vote of support 🙂
    I guess people do need to reread the post to see what I am really getting at. Wonder if anyone read the last couple of graphs?

  11. ASHSISH permalink
    March 18, 2010 7:32 am

    1. Sorry for the confusion ,forgot to change the credential as someone else used my system for a while. As the credential were different i could not see my comment as it was under consideration and thought you deleted it.I apologize.

    2.Just I hate the definition of being Secular in India.You have to have condemn BJP or Hinduism to prove your secularist view and your case is no different.Atleast , we are not a religion where jahadis are born every day for the sake of heaven with virgin beauties.Why every example of a hypocrite secularist must condemn Hindu rituals even though we are not killing people or bombing places anywhere in the world? You somehow justify donating money to kashmiri militants by people living in India which is very shocking.You talk about secularism and at the same time advocate reservation policy which are two totally contradictory statements.Till this reservation system exist people will identifying each other as SC,ST,OBC,MUSLIMS and GEN .Reservation make it sure that talent should not occupy first preference in our country , hence leaving people dejected and hopeless only to create more separation in our society towards the reserved classes.

    • March 18, 2010 8:01 am

      I repeat again – I have not just criticised Hinduism. I am criticizing religion. Please read the post again.
      And as for the jihadi bit, we have Hindu terrorist camps as well. (Eg: Naxalities). One country’s freedom fighter is another’s terrorist – that is fact. So it just depends on where you are standing from. To the Iraqis, Americans are terrorists. They bombed their homes, they ripped apart their lands and tortured the people there. To us, the ‘jihadis’ are terrorists because, hey they did the same thing. Does anyone stop to ask why this war is happening?

      As for your reservation policy, that is a fallout of the Hindu religion you are talking about. The religion that divided people so much, excommunicated a bunch of people just based on the work they did, create a superior class of people merely by the power of sanskrit. The reservations are necessary because these people would never have a chance to progress in a society that is so driven by caste, religion and money. And these people you mention fail on all 3 counts against the majority. If Hindus had not created the caste system, had not pushed these people to the boundaries and mistreated them so much, then we wouldn’t have need for such ‘reservation systems’.

      And note, the original point of my post – the caste division happened again due to political reasons. And the change that currently exists – the Yadavs, other Biharis – is again due to politics.

  12. ASHSISH permalink
    March 18, 2010 8:55 pm

    So your definition of secularism includes support for Jihad also,JUST GREAT!!! This is something very new to me or may be for a lot of people around the world.I am not sure if you are a true Indian but if you are then i feel sorry for all the brave hearts who laid their life fighting against terrorist because some people inIndia feels the terrorist are fighting for some justice(according to their ideology).So you want us to adopt their state of mind and start killing people just because we think it is right to do it?I don’t believe if you are from the same city of Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan who laid his life in Mumbai terror attack only to let people like you to comment in the favour of terrorist. What a shame!! .I don’t know what Jihad you talking about but the one which people know around the world has an objective to bring this whole world under Islamic rule and a Islamic law which is know as sharia law (a hell for woman).I doubt if you ever heard about it. Looks like you will find some nonsense reasons to convince yourself to follow it but then remember, all your freedom of expression which you enjoy today will be missed by a lot of people around the world.Comparing Naxalities with Jihadis itself shows your lack of knowledge or aptitude to write on a topic as grave as you attempted to write upon.You talk about Hindu terrorist camps but you forget to explain where they are hiding and why they don’t come out and attempt a 9/11 for the world to recognize them.You might boast a lot in your blogs about your reading habit but i suggest you to leave reading philosophical books and come to reality .Better for you to write more about your personal life rather than trying a hand on a national issue as you still need a lot of research to be competent enough to touch that chord.

    • March 19, 2010 3:36 am

      Okay I am getting tired of talking to someone who insists on misinterpreting my words, so this shall be my last reply.
      1. This post is NOT about being secular, criticising Hinduism or any other religion. This post is about how much politics drove religion, particularly in a country like India.
      2. I am not supporting Jihad. Stop behaving the morons who pick and choose whatever part of religious scriptures is convenient to them. Read through the entire thing. I am merely explaining their policy to you. Every religion has its flip side, like Islam also does. Terrorism, through whatever factions it comes through – be it American bombs or the Muslim Jihad – is bad.
      3. The “Sharia Law” is the Islamic law that every Muslim must follow. Islam is quite harsh to women, because of the interpretation of the religion – which, again, was the point of my post – THE INTERPRETATION OF RELIGION. And maybe it will be sorted out. Women are fighting for their rights and lives everyday, regardless of religion and this is just another fight in the scheme of things. We had to fight for that right here in India, so that again isn’t religion specific. It is the interpretation of a bunch of words by a bunch of morons.
      4. Naxals – that was an example about how one man’s freedom fighter is another’s terrorist. The Naxals have their share of supporters, as did the Tamil Tigers. As do the Americans. But all these have killed people. Innocent people. Everyone has a justification for what they are doing but nobody ever stops to question WHY they are doing what they are doing – killing people. You can give it name of Jihad, you can call it anything else but it still remains killing innocents. That again isn’t religion specific. People always use what suits their argument (like you are doing now). The Americans said Iraq had nuclear weapons… didn’t find any but sure found oil wells.
      5. Any man who fights for religion is a fool. But they that’s only my opinion cuz I don’t believe in religion. I don’t believe in anything that tells me that I will go to tell if I am nice to another person who doesn’t worship in the same place as I do. I do not support anything that kills people.
      And THAT Mr. Ashish is the point of this post. This is not a scholarly essay with statistics and quotes. These are my personal thoughts from my personal experiences.
      But you seem to be set upon insisting that I am out to trash Hinduism, so whatever i do say will appear wrong to you. So I would suggest you sit down in peace, really read what I’ve written and then think about it, instead of picking the sentences you like or dislike and harping on those. A sentence taken out of context never makes the right sense.
      Have a good day.

      • ASHSISH permalink
        March 30, 2010 10:55 am

        Now what’s your take on Sania Mirza marrying a Pakistani? Where does her heart belong? No matter how much we love them , they all love Pakistan.

      • March 30, 2010 6:43 pm

        okay seriously – get a life!
        She fell in love with him and wanted to marry him. What has that to do with religion or anything else? If you really want to argue, explain how Neena Gupta fell in love with Vivian Richards and actually gave birth to their daughter, and didn’t even end up marrying him. Explain why a Brit woman Jemima Khan – married Irfan Khan?
        Seriously… get over yourself and learn to think of people as just people and not define them by what religion they were born into.

  13. TLP permalink
    October 5, 2010 4:36 pm

    Lol I must say the verbal gymnastics in the comments section provided more entertainment than the post! But a good read nonetheless and I too wait for the day politics becomes about good governance rather than crass mud slinging.

    While I too do not believe in religion, I put forth my two cents for whatever its worth. I think religion stems out of a very basic human need: security. While physical security is a primal instinct, emotional and psychological security comes with knowing that our lives are better controlled by someone else. Someone we can please by acting in certain ways while frowning on others. Religion is a crutch in many ways. The poor and downtrodden don’t have much else. They need to believe that somewhere out there, there is someone looking out for them and their children. That all this hardship has a light at the end. Its a great feeling knowing that your life is in the hands of a “Saviour”. That devotion to the “Supreme Being” will reward you with happiness and health. I would know since I used to be extremely religious. But seeing too many bad things happen to too many good people, sooner or later, lifts the veil.

    Our country today is rife with poverty and suffering. Religion is a wonderful panacea. Even if ephemeral. Sometimes I wonder whether it is because we, as a race, are so cold and callous by nature that we created invisible beings and scriptures to provide warmth, comfort, security and even happiness. Should we not derive these from each other? Isn’t that what life should be about?

    Finally, I leave this……

    “You may say that I’m a dreamer
    But I’m not the only one
    I hope someday you’ll join us
    And the world will live as one ” – John Lennon

    Kill hate with Love.

    • October 5, 2010 6:35 pm

      @TLP – True. The comments did turn out a better argument than the post itself 🙂 But that’s what the post was supposed to do.
      I like your point of view and quite agree with it. Actually, the whole reason why Islam has such a stronghold on a lot of people, particularly those involved in Jihad as more to do with the economic situation than the religion. I guess it is a way of having control over something and having someone to blame too.
      Maybe that explains why people are getting more religious… because there is so much confusion and poverty around. You found your way in a different manner. I know people who have clung onto to their faith harder everytime something bad happens.
      I wonder what Lennon would have made out of the world now… with the 9/11s and the Mumbai terrors and all that.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: