Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Hinduism - Communal or Secular ???

Today I ask a question that I am sure rakes up in the heart of every Hindu in India.

Do you consider that - Sanskrit is communal and Urdu is secular, Mandir is Communal and Masjid is Secular, Sadhu is Communal and Imam is secular, BJP is communal and Muslim league is Secular, Dr.Praveen Bhai Togadia is ANTI-NATIONAL and Bhukari is Secular, VandeMatharam is communal and Allah-O-Akbar is secular, Shriman is communal and Mian is secular, Hinduism is Communal and Islam is Secular, Hindutva is communal and Jihadism is secular, and at last, Bharat is communal and Italy is Secular?

When Christian and Muslim schools can teach Bible and Quran, Why Hindus cannot teach Gita or Ramayan ? Abdul Rehman Antuley was made a trustee of the famous Siddhi Vinayak Temple in Prabhadevi, Mumbai. Can ever a Hindu - say Mulayam Singh Yadav or Laloo Prasad Yadav- ever become a trustee of a Masjid or Madrasa? Dr. Praveen bhai Togadia has been arrested many times on flimsy grounds. Has the Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid, Delhi, Ahmed Bhukari been arrested For claiming to be an ISI agent and advocating partition of Bharat? When Haj pilgrims are given subsidy, why Hindu pilgrims to Amarnath, Sabarimalai & Kailash Mansarovar are taxed?
What happened in Jammu this year, over the land dispute for Amarnath Shrine Board would have made every true Indian hang his/her head in disgust & shame.
When will we wake up to our basic rights as a Hindu???

Our country has had a Muslim President, a Hindu Prime Minister and a Christian Defence Minister run the affairs of the nation with a unity of purpose.

Can this happen anywhere, except in a HINDU NATION - BHARATH?


Ronobijay said...

Boss... my take on this is slightly different... wherever you have politicising of religion or use religion to influence politics - you are setting yourself up for disaster. Extremism in any form is bad - and religious extremism is probably the pits! No religion preaches violence or disrespect! We are all so caught up in religion, we forget to be good human beings! I find the average Indian extremely hypocritical - all of us want to send our kids to "International Schools" or want our kids to be "convent educated"... and then point fingers at the schools when they start enforcing uniformity. There's nothing wrong with preaching religion in schools - provided our social eco-system (esp. parents) is mature enough to explain to their wards the true import of religion! Thoughts??

Biprashish said...

Hi Rono....
Finally I have someone who speaks my language. I agree that 'extremism is bad...religious extremism...the pits'. All religions intrinsically speak of love, unity & universal brotherhood. I believe,we can all coexist in this secular world peacefully, albeit having different opinions. But that does not mean we put a blind eye to our basic values & heritage. My attempt is to make people acknowledge "spirituality" & move out of the narrow boundaries of any religious bias.
I have personally studied in a convent & have experienced how through a subject, 'Moral Science', we were taught about Christianity. Now nothing wrong in that, I would say, but why cant Vedas, Bhagwat Gita & Upanisads also be taught in our schools in the same vein as least allow the scope of doing so. We all know, the benefits of studying these ancient scriptures....the value system it imbibes, the good human being it would create. Its good to be convent educated, but do we have to dispense with our own ancient preachings for that? Is that being fair in the name of being Secular...I dont think so.
Why cant our countrymen take pride in the teachings of Vedanta ??? Why cant we uphold our value systems, the core culture of India???
Today's parent do not attempt to teach their ward the benfits of Vedanta, beacuse, most of them have not studied it themselves. How many of us have really taken time to read Bhagwat Gita ???? And if this continues, then at this rate we might find these scriptures eclipse in front of our eyes. Lost forever!!!! Is that being responsible towards our heritage...our culture... our basic foundation.

I encourage you to write your heart & your views please.
Somewhere, lets bring in our thoughts together & decide mutually what to do ahead.

ronobijay said...

The Bhagwad Gita is more a spiritual book than a religious one (atleast, that's my interpretation), and so are the teachings of Vedanta. It is the difference between "shruti" and "sriti", knowledge and ritual, that is not emphasized. At the core of each "classical" religion is knowledge - even paganism is knowledge-based to a large extent. What is the origin of a religion - it is to emphasize the importance of a way of life, the discipline that is required to live through life and contribute to the larger good.

I don't think that teaching Christianity or Islam in schools dilutes Hinduism in any form or manner. Neither does teaching Upanishads dilute the tenets of any other religion.

On another note - you have touched upon "heritage, culture, values". A lot of what we see in India (and the world) is because of the mixing of peoples from different geographies and beliefs. We've learnt a lot from the people of Monhenjo Daro, the Greeks, the Mongols, the Mughals, the Europeans, et al - and all that put together forms our "heritage, culture, values". I refuse to believe that any race or religion is superior or inferior to another. I also believe that we are continuously evolving - it's what man is "programmed" to do! Till the middle ages, it was sacreligious to believe that the world was anything but flat - look where we are today. Would you say superstitions are a part of our culture? That the superstitions are based on natural phenomena or started as a prevention mechanism against a disease, etc - are lost upon us. Would you say Khajuraho is a part of the Hindu (or sub-continent) culture or not?

For the most part, education is a business (sad, but true). It's a question of supply and demand. That itself has two aspects. If we are looking for acceptability (and progress) in the "global world" - then an English language education is almost compulsory. For the most part, it is the convent schools that have provided a quality education in this language. The other aspect is classical supply and demand by end-consumers. Typical consumers react to a market (rarely do they respond), and if the market demands English, then they too will demand English.
If it is Swahili, then they will demand Swahili! As atypical consumers, we need to respond. We
need to identify, articulate and demand that knowledge-based texts are taught in schools (and discussed in the larger society). This is an incredibly hard task - and needs a change in the way people think. Question is, are we upto it?

Biprashish said...

Hi Rono,
Wonderfully assimilated, I must say. Also, interestingly, I see no conflicts between your thinking & mine. But I must admit, you have gathered your thoughts & put them to words much better.

Upon the topic of education, I am in complete sinc with you that "we need to identify, articulate & demand that knowledge based texts are taught in schools & discussed in larger society.
It really is an incredibly hard task to bring in a change in the way people think. So I see a wonderful opportunity in taking this up as a challenge.
Will come back to you on next steps...Do share your views.