Keep your religious life personal, No need to show your veneration

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Few days back, one of my friend came back to me saying that he did not agree with some of my argumentse related to Amarnath issue. In a broader perspective, I told him that, "God's name is there behind most of the violences, riots, unrests, terrorist attacks and many other heinous crimes (recent Anti Christian violence, Amarnath issue, terrorist attacks are perfect examples of heinous crimes in the name of god and religion). It's all a communal misunderstanding in the name of God, who, i am not sure if exist." He hit back saying, "It doesn't matter whether YOU believe in god or not. It doesn't change the fact that more than 95% of the people do. And it is more important to them than anything else." If they just believe in certain faith/religion, it's not a problem, but religious chauvinism coupled with misguided and misinterpreted history of religion and god lead to communal violences. Liberty of 'belief, faith and worship' promised by framers of our constitution are for peaceful coexistence. 'Freedom of religion' enshrined in our constitution (Article 25-29) are not intended for any kind of induced proselytization.

Hindu fundamentalist argue that, Islam by itself is a imperialistic idea. According to "dar al-harb (territory of war or chaos) and dar al-islam (territory of peace) muslims are expected to bring God's word and God's will to all of humanity, by force if absolutely necessary, and attempts by the regions in dar al-harb to resist or fight back must be met with a similar amount of force []." One of my open minded Muslim friend told me that, the original philosophy of dar al-harb and dar al-islam were not for creating Islamic world. It was meant to fight immorality. i.e. Destruction of region of immorality (dar al-harb, the territory of war or chaos) by the morals of dar al-islam (territory of peace).

Another ideology sited quite often is Jihad. But meaning of Jihad is not 'holy war',
"The Qur'anic concept of jihad refers to exerting efforts, in the form of struggle against or resistance to something, for the sake of Allah. This effort can be fighting back armed aggression, but can also be resisting evil drives and desires in one's self. Even donating money to the needy is a form of jihad, as it involves struggling against one's selfishness and inner desire to keep one's money for one's own pleasures. Jihad can, therefore, be subdivided into armed jihad and peaceful jihad. Armed jihad, which is the subject of Chapter 4, is only temporary and is a response to armed aggression. Once the aggression has ceased, armed jihad comes to an end. Armed jihad, thus, can take place only when there is an aggressive, external enemy [source]."
But Muslim fundamentalist interpret Jihad in a way that directly contradicts the original meaning of Jihad. Same is the case with philosophy of dar al-harb and dar al-islam.

Apart from misinterpretation of religious text, there is another issue of proselytization. "Majority of the Muslims of India are converts to that faith from Hinduism through force of circumstances [Mahatma Gandhi]" and so are Christians of India. "Poor people who wander about, find no work, no wages and starve, whose lives are continual round of sore affliction and pinching poverty, cannot be pround of the constitution or its law [Dr. Radhakrishnan]." Obviously they do not mind converting to other religion if they can get what they do not have, i.e. source of livelihood. It doesn't really matter if the law preach secularism or even if it bans forced/induced proselytization. The fundamental question behind induced proselytization is of 'honourable existence' i.e. the economic freedom. If that is not attained, the results are horrendous incidents like Anti Christian violence, and even extreme fundamentalism. More over, the so called "proselytisers" must realize that, the respect and value for a particular religion must be earned and should never be induced nor demanded.

Though the protogonists of religious philosophies claim to preach peace and humanity, they often forget the importance of coexistence of various faiths and beliefs. The parochial attitude of inflicting thoughts like 'superiority of one faith over other' are foundations of communal violence. If you practice a perticular religion, keep it to yourself, keep it within your home. There is no point in going out and showing your veneration for the religion/god you believe in, that neither help "purify" yourself nor it brings peace in the society.


Unknown said...

So True.. i agree keeping faith and belief to oneself and reveal only if asked about it can solve many problems..

TW said...

Thank you, Manjunath !
I didn't know that the solution to the 2-millennia-old problem is that simple.
"If you practice a particular religion, keep it to yourself, keep it within
your home".
It will be so efficient too.
How ?
As displaying of religion in public is banned, one cannot have "holi"days.

The nation will also save crores of ruppees that we spend on these festivities.
People will have something productive to do.
For example, people in Mysore won't be wasting 10 days displaying their religion in public sometime in October (can't call it DASARA, it will be display of
affinity to one particular religion).
Similarly the people of Maharashtra can save so much time & energy instead of celebrating Ganeshotsav and Bengalis can save instead of celebrating Durga Pooja, and Gujaratis - Dandiya, Assamees - Bihu, Punjabis - Baisakhi, Keralites - Onnam and so on ...

Some people will have troubles.
Almost all of the works of Pt. Bhimsen Joshi, Pt. Jasraj, M.S.Subbulakshmi, etc. will be banned. Their publishers will go bankrupt.
Same shall happen with the authors and publishers of the religious texts.
Bible is considered The World's Best Seller.
Not any more !!
That title shall go with some Harry Potter volume.

Similarly, several beggars will go out of job, since no one will be visiting temples.

What should we do with the thousands of temples and mosques and churches etc which are occupying such a huge land mass ?
Taking a cue from one of the "secular" suggestions on Ayodhya issue, we can construct public toilets on these sites!!

There is one more problem, though.
How can I call you Manjunath in public, Manjunath ?
That name, like several others, indicates your religious affinity to one particular religion.
This has to be strictly avoided.
I propose that we should give every citizen a unique identification number, instead of the name.
And as the brain behind this path-breaking concept, I request you to take up the No. 1. (You call yourself "the-only-one" already)

So, No.1, how do you propose to implement this scheme of numbering in this country of over 1b people, where a child is born every 1.5 s ?
Should we timestamp them to the nearest millisecond ?
But then how do we attain the synchronization needed for that with so less infrasructure and so much corruption ?

But why bother ourselves with PRACTICAL implementations, yaar, when we are happy
throwing up such utterly IMPRACTICAL suggestions ?


Still, I don't blame you, my friend.
It has been observed that the self-proclaimed secularists, intellectuals, humanitarians
and what not are known for coming up with such funny impractical ideas.
As I have mentioned above, they suggested building public toilets at the Ram-Janmabhoomi.
Some day they declare that terrorist is a misguided fellow, who needs to be looked on with
compassion, and ask for pardoning Afzal Guru.
Some other day they ask you what are we gaining keeping Kashmir in India? Give it to Pakistan
and save crores we spend on the army.
It's a general phenomenon, followed by all these funny people, who have willingly
decided to distance themselves from the real India. They are happy seeing at it through the NDTV-spectacles.
I am not surprised that you made such a suggestion.
I am not worried either. Because hardly a handful of our friends are reading these things.
I am just pained that a good old friend is caught in the trap.
But don't you worry. The Islamic terrorists and Christian evangelists are working hard to convert
the moderate and secular Hindus to hardcore ones.
You will soon be sailing the same boat as I.


Coming back to the issue:
The problem is NOT showing veneration in public, Manju.
The problem is ONLY vs ALSO.
Everyone in the world says that "MY religion is good."

For several millennia, the sons of this soil have said that "My religion is
good. Your religion is ALSO good. Paths to salvation (the truth - sat) are plenty. Learned men call it by different names. (Ekam sat vipraah bahudhaa vadanti)".

ALSO means peace.

But if someone - even some little, tiny one - says that ONLY my religion is good, ONLY my religion can lead you to salvation, ONLY my prophet was
the real messenger -- then, my friend, we have troubles.

ONLY means clashes.

The sons of this soil have always believed in the ALSO culture. They still do, and they always will. The culture of this land is the ALSO-culture.

Those who want to live here peacefully should understand this, and modify themselves to be a part of this ALSO-culture. Period.

Unknown said...

Bro... you have gone in a completely differnt direction..
keeping at home means dont try to influence others with ur ideas.. i am against anyone trying to convert others religion... We need to convert the uneducated to educated.. leave religion aside..

what you tell at the end is the only sensible thing in ur comment (the only vs also thing) :-) sorry abt that..

Manjunath Singe said...

@Joshi Bhai,

Looks like my intention of "keep it to yourself, keep it within your home" wasn't taken in a way i wanted to. Will try to improve my writings so that things become conspicuous, at least in future.

"keep it to yourself, keep it within your home" basically means,
(1) Don't go and rape nun of other religion
(2) Don't go and destruct temples, mosques and churches.
(3) No need to protest in thousands for the things which can be resolved on negotiation table.
(4) No need to kill innocents in the name of god.
(5) No need to shout against other religions while on the religious procession like Ganeshostav.
(6) No need to fuel communal feelings.

It also means
(1) Believe in co-existence and co-operation but not in vote bank politics
(2) Celebrate each other's festival harmoniously like some of us do in Yugadi and Ramzan.
(3) Try and avoid brainstorming chauvinists so that we can avoid violence (I know, only religious leaders can do this, but still this is something which can be done with political will if enforced).
(4) Keep the religious feelings only for your spiritual attainment and inner peace but do not try and destroy some one else's peace...

I hope i made my point clear. I really appreciate the same feelings you shared in ONLY vs ALSO concept you put forward...

And yeah, I am TheOnlyOne! the No.1, your comment reminds me of Abhishek Bachchan's idea Add , not a bad idea actually :)

TW said...

I cannot take credit for "putting forward" the ALSO vs ONLY concept. It is a part of the RSS official line. I have just re-iterated it here.

Well, there can be differences of opinion about some points, but let us talk about what we have common minimum to agree upon.

I had already told you (in an earlier private communication) about the RSS' efforts via the forums like Rashtravadi Muslim Andolan and another with Syrian Christians in Kerala.

If we are talking anything serious here, I would like to hear what plans the intellectual readers/contributers/commentators of these blogs have, for making the ALSO part more acceptable amongst those who are natural subscribers to the ONLY ideology.

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