Friday, August 28, 2009

Secularism and The Constitution

The word 'Secular' was inserted in the preamble by the 42nd
Amendment Act 1976.
Secularism has been explained and described as...
1. the belief that all religions are equally good and efficacious pathways to perfection on or God realisation.
2. Secularism in India does not mean irreligion. It means respect for all faiths
* DR. R.P. RAI]
The question now stands whether any of these priciples are being upholded in either letter or spirit??
As per the first priciple , does it not automatically become the responsibility of the State to ensure that the infringement of one's religion by another by a supposition that it is superior to the other, be considered as against the basic spirit of secularism as enshrined by the constitution. If this is the case, isnt missionary Conversion a crime in the eye of the law.
as per the second principle , does it also not concer that it is the duty of the State to not be apathetic to the considerations of the faithful and provide equal and fair provisions to all.if such is the case, has justice been done in the attitude of the State towards pilgrims to Haj vis a vis Amarnath; Gujarat riot victims viv-a-vis Hindu pandits in Kashmir; the Shah Bano case,etc

I feel that a very significant fact that we tend to overlook is that religion is not just a matter of is linked to nationalism as well as cultural an example take the case of geographical areas wherever the ethnic balance has been tilted and Hindu majority has been reduced to a minority..Assam,J & K,Meghalaya,Tripura and manipur..there is a violent and vociferous demand for separitism and secession...a sense of Indianness seems to have evaporated from these lands..
have we wondered why??...
and is there lessons to be learnt...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Media and Right wing Organizations

It is sad that extremist right wing organizations like the Shiv Sena and Bajrang Dal has played a poignant role in portraying the Hindu religion in poor light.To state that this has lead to a misunderstanding of Hindu rights and feelings , would be an understatement.The fact that their activities are a reaction of fifty years of organized bias against the majority community, can in no way justify the extremism and sense of intolerance in their action, as it goes against the basic tenets of Hinduism, which stands for tolerance and respect to other faiths.This has given a scoring point for the secularists and intelligentsia of our country to denounce right wing activity in every form and actually benefited the appeasement machinery of the Government.
At the same time there is definitely an exaggeration by the part of the media in its portrayal of such activities. They have more than often presented to the public a blatantly one sided view of the whole picture. A classic example of that was the murder of Graham Steins , a Christian missionary in Orissa vis a vis Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati , a Hindu monk.The murder of Steins, no doubt a horrifying one, was reported as an attack on humanity , a stain on the Indian culture,and what not .Steins was repeatedly in controversy for his alleged role in conversion en-masse in the tribal belt.In fact ,the whole history of subversive conversion in orissa and the untold sufferings it has brought to those who resisted , is itself very eye-opening.
Swami Laxmanananda , on the other hand was a monk who, along with organizing enormous social relif work amongst the poor in Orissa, resisted the conversion activities of the evangelists.He was brutally murdered in broad daylight; yet the whole incident was passed off as a solitary Naxalite encounter, despite the glaring proofs that there was a deeper nexus and foul play at large.The media, not only overlooked the incident , but shockingly went on to continue its biased reporting on Sena and Dal atrocities on Christian converts , in retaliation for the murder.
There has been a number of inquiry commissions set up by none other by our "secular" Central govt., and all of them have uni vocally accepted the role of missionaries in promoting conversion and resulting violence in nexus with naxalism in tribal Orissa.
What i mean to say, is that, it is not that there are no violent and extremist elements in Hindu organizations. They need to be denounced and reined in , just as any other fundamentalist organizations. but their role has been blatantly overplayed by our secular media, even going on to branding it as "Saffron Terror"
Orissa is not the only case.. Sadhvi Pragya,Batla house encounter,Godhra incident,etc etc,..there are countless cases of such biased reporting...
will get back with more of that on the role of the Indian media..

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


A muslim girl in a Mangalore school has recently been debarred from attending school because she refused to comply with the rules which forbid the wearing of burqa to the classroom. the girl in a series of press interviews has stated that" religion is more important than education" and the English media has been splashing it in front pages and branding it as a prohibition of practise of free faith in a secular country.
its interesting how an issue can be profected in a perverted light to whip up sentiments in the garb of "secularism"..lets examine a few detals

the prohibition of exhibition of such aspects of one's faith is a basic tenet of the rule and regulations of the school. one gains admission to it only after acceptance of following these ascribed rules. further the rules apply acroos religious divide.devotees of Lord Ayappa are also forbidden to wear their traditional attire to the classroom.

A number of Muslim girls attend the school without wearing burqa. This just goes on th show that the demostration of one's religion and its external facets have their places and an institution is not one of them.

Just as the wearing of burqa is a matter of personal faith,it also needs to be noted ,that there are several implications of the same in a multi-ehtnic multi-religious society of India in general, and Coastal Karnataka[being highly communally sensitive] in general. It is thus only correct that rigidity in matters of faith deem confinement in such educational institutions where as the protagonist says"religion is more important than education" like madrasas. In an educatuional insitution which lays focus on the imparting of knowledge, such practises should find no place.

It is sad that our intellectia has successfully managed to distort the the mind set of the society through the media.The whole issue does not deserve mention.In today's progressive and evolutionary world we ought not have any place for dogmas and their whinings.

I wish to end with the words that the principal of the school wrote to the student " i have deep regard for your courage and dare to stand up for your religion. i only wish you use the same for more important issues like national integration and social welfare"
food for thought..???

Monday, August 24, 2009

elections:regret stories

Its interesting how the elections turned out this year..BJP lost and was immidiately bashed and scrutinised by all sections of the Media..they ended up with an univocal answer..the days of ideology and propaganda are over and that only Governance and Development works...
Yet lets take a look as to how the BJP govt. is functioning wherever it is in power as compared to the Congress.
The Congress claims to have strong economic policy makers ..however even a layman will tell you that that the country has taken a rapid backslide economically post 20004. there is no fiscal restraint..the inflation just keeps going up..funding for infrastructure projects market reforms except civil aviation..increased off-budget expenditure through populist measures!!! every reversal has been attributed to the Global meltdown. Yet in the same economic environment ,save Rajasthan..all the BJP ruled states have scrpted success stories..
i live in Karnataka, and despite the utmost attempt by the English Media to vilify the govt., Yedyurappa has done a fine job forcing acknowledgement from friends and detractors alike.
Gujarat is a model state for our country..whatever our pseudo-intellectia needs to visit that state to fell its prosperity and governance...Modi's devotion to work shows and their faith in him is palpable ..
Chattisgarh is the only state where the Naxals are being resisted by the Salwa Judum program..of course our intellectuals are again hoarse over it[pity they always seem to reserve all their sympathy towards anti-nationals]
i wish all of us take an initiaitive to read beyond what the media throws at us..and realise who's working for our country and who's not..its not really a question of BJP vrs Congrerss..its just that i feel at this point of time the leadership of our Central Govt. does not have the focus and commitment to do good for India...

Hindutva and Semitism

Interesting article on Indian Express [Sun Aug 23] by S. Gurumurthy.."Why Lisa Miller should look at Vivekananda!"
The author mentions that Americans are increasingly beggining to think and believe like the Hindu mind..which in unique in the sense that they are the only religion that accepts the truth and exhistence of all paths to opposed to the Wetern neo-religions whose foundations lie in their faith that their's is the only true path and no other to God realization"..
He further quotes Lisa miller and mentions how other facets of the Hindu faith are gaining acceptance by the Western rebirth and distinction as well as choice of spirituality over religion..something which marginalizes the Church.
He lays emphasis and that was really significant ..that this notion of being the only path is the seed of fundamentalism..this gives birth to Semitism in its negative sense...when the Christian mind gets Hinduised will synthesis and consequentially peace evolve..
Gurumurthy also addreses the criticism of the evolution of Hindutva in the 90s as a form of Semitism within the Hindu religion.
In my opinion the rise of Hindutva is more of a reactionary nationalism in the face of an increasing threat to our religion and culture from policy-makes, media and of course Western influences.An organised method to demean and destroy our cultural pride and heritage has provoked people..rather awakened develop this sense of oneness and cannot be confused with Semitism..which inherently looks down on the other faith.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

lord of the rings

Possibly, one of the most fascinating books i have come across, [one that really leaves you spell bound]. In fact i made an error by watching the movie before reading the book..the movie is really well taken[unlike the harry potter ones], and come quite close to doing justice to the book..which however..cant be described in words...
Tolkein's description of Middle earth is a beautiful , lucid work of epic fantasy. Portrayals of the rustic simplicity and peace of the Shire ,pristine Elven lands and the darkness and horror of Mordor make for joyful reading.
what was however even more endearing was the concept of the Rings of Power and the Master Ring. The plot brings out in a wonderful manner ,how that the abstract and the unseen governs the gross and the material through its portrayal that the Ring has a will of its own and will return to no one, but its Master.
good and evil has been depicted in a very sensible and delicate manner, something that Western authors are not very good at. Gandalf's words to Frodo strike a chord " in the begginning nothing is Evil ; neither was Sauron"
The wisdom,rather than the power of Gandalf guides all else throughout the quest..[something akin Dumbledore in Harry Potter..and thats not the end of a curiously long list of similarities between the two]..Sauron is projected as much more powerful and overwhelming than any force of Good..yet Gandalf keeps his words "Evil cannot be defeated by terms of strength ,our Enemy is much capable than us. But it cannot believe that anyone would seek to destrow the Ring and not posess it . For evil knows only posession and therein lies our strength."
one can go on and on..there are so many facets to this work that is delightful..the dual nature of Smeagol and Gollum, the sacrifice of the Elves and Sam's devotion to Frodo..etc..etc
in its vividity of descriptions as well as theme and concept, the book wraps the reader within itsef and what might begin as a casual glance throught the ages , soon turns into a wholesome involvement in a fascinating journey through Middle Earth for the reader

Thursday, August 20, 2009

a new beggining

A day will come when the indian media and its bag of tricks will stand naked before us..its shrewd understanding of the indian psyche and its subtle manipulation to create a reckless and self-destructive society.. a day when we will realise our monumental errors in electing and selecting pseudo-secularists at the helm..of letting Italian women and evangelists dictate our national policies .. of systemitically denigrating and demonising people who love our country and stand to do somehing for it..
i see it everywhere..screaming out of our popular dailies..breaking news in bright-blood -red out of our news editorial columns of our intelleuals..everyday hacking and digging away at our edifices of nationalism and culture...whether it is a thousand replays of aVarun Gandhi speech video..or a deliberate judicial effort to rake up the post Godhra riots and vilify Modi..and the story goes on..and on..
for a start ..i wish each one of responsible citizens read the other side of the story fed to us by the Indian media..and then understand its serious and threatening the consequences can be if we let things run as they are..lets take it issue by issue..person by person that when we look back ..we can be proud of having played a role in restoring our dharma,our culture and our nation , its pride and heritage...