Friday, December 10, 2010
Do you tend to realize the slight insult in the very question on ‘How does a non-believer justify a moral action from a wicked one’?, I suppose this had been addressed by many ancient Greek scholars and Eastern philosophies, why do we act in a certain way and call it “good” and the other way as “evil”. It is a pity to see the whole morality case being hijacked by the parties of god and associated with the belief in a divine supernatural watch dog.
Long ago, even before our mythologies, when we were pure mammalian primates in every sense, dwelling in caves, consuming carcass, scorching on cave walls, gazing at the stars and wondering what everything is all about, did we have moral codes? In other words, is it possible to have coexisted with one another, anticipating to form a society (nothing like today) to cooperate with one another in ease of finding food supplies with an idea that ‘it was alright to murder and rape’. We see the same tendency of group formation with similar moral laws in many animal species. Gorillas, monkeys, elephants and pigs all have different set of laws which help themselves to live as a community, helping them many times to find food (and share them). It would be ‘white noise’ to call all these laws being enforced upon the creatures from a divine entity. It doesn’t mean anything at all. However if we look this through the eyes of science it does make a lot of sense. You scratch my back and I scratch yours, you find this basic law in every creature that calls itself social.
I find it extraordinary that it can said that without god humans wouldn’t know what is good from bad, that there is no moral restrain upon us. When we look at rest of the world, we see that those who commit the most callous, brutal atrocities do so precisely because they think they have god on their side or they are doing god’s work. Let me add a challenge for those who claim Morality comes from divine permission. One of my favorite Professors, Author and Journalist Christopher Hitchens and the challenge goes like this –
“You are to name a Moral action undertaken or a moral or ethical statement made by a believer which cannot be said or performed by a non-believer” There is a second part for the question which is “Think of something wicked that only a believer would be likely to do or say”
If you think you can answer the first part of the question do get back to me and we might be able to publish it on his website and as he says “There is a special prize for the answer”, however you have absolutely no difficulty in answering the second part of the question. Just look at the genital mutilation community which is entirely religious. Someone who blows himself up at a public place, claiming several innocent lives along with his, thinks that he has god on his side for certainty, think of the people who deny abortion even in extreme cases when the baby and the mother have a threat on life. How about those who say contraception is an equivalent of abortion and worse than Aids (as made by the Pope). How dare someone say that the problem is with the non-believers when we see and read about news and articles on a daily basis on the atrocities committed by parties of god? I amplify it again, how dare someone say that without a belief in Religion or god I would have no source of knowing what is ethical and moral.
Let me share an anecdote, a conversation with my mother roughly 10 years ago. We were talking about the caste differences in Hinduism and she shared a childhood incident with her father. Someone had visited their house inquiring for my grandfather who was not at home then; the person gave a message which she was to tell her father when he gets back. Once my grandfather comes back, she tells this “Dad, (I don’t remember the guy’s name let’s put it XXXX) XXXX chettan had visited you and gave this message to you” the first reaction from her father was anger for addressing a person from an inferior caste as “chettan” (means Brother in Malayalam) When we look at the situation today it deserves nothing less than a racist comment isn’t it? But that was very normal back in those days. In mere 30 years we have discarded that feeling of inferiority (not completely though) on a fellow primate. What is the source of that moral distinction, what made us think that he is not inferior anymore? If we were to go by the scriptures we would be in a society with no equality for such people, to say that, this decision to accept all people of the human community as brethren was that of a divine permission is flat out idiotic. We are all part of a Shifting moral zeitgeist, we don’t share prejudices anymore with black people, gays or lesbians, we have been constantly upgrading our standards of morality which I think is largely based on humanistic ideas. Confucius had this rule from a very long date “Do to others as you wish to be done by others”.
If we were to have a society where cannibalism and incestuous relationships were permissible then we would have died out due to various Darwinian reasons. We are yet to understand on many details on the source of morality, may be it is all engraved in our brains. But the comment that it was a law from the divine, explains nothing as we can then go on questioning, then how did the divine get those laws.
I end this post posing a question to the believer, if you think that morality had derived from the divine, then what would they do when they get permission from the divine saying these rules aren’t applicable anymore. Would they then go and murder their neighbors, go on the streets stealing other people’s property, end up having sex with their own siblings. In other words, are you telling me that God is the only factor that is enabling you to behave in the way that you have been behaving all this while?
Thursday, April 29, 2010
I noticed that even though the main events and ceremonies were completed, the marriage team had not been mobilized from the temple premises. Curiosity, one of the common qualities we sapiens share was invoked with in me, to question as in what was stopping the bride and groom to go to their destinations? It was then, an old lady from the mob said “they had to wait till 1’oclock so as to cross over Rahu kalam” aka “Rahu Kaal”. As per what she said, it was only after this time frame the newly wed couple can go to their dwelling.
Rahu and Kethu –
Genuinely the question will arise, what is Rahu?
When we observe the sun from the earth, it creates an illusion that the sun is revolving around the earth, now that science has proven it otherwise, I presume we do not require any further clarifications on that. We also know that Moon rotates around the earth. Both earth and moon are rotating in its own axis and there is a slight curve to the axis of these two “Star stuffs”. These (both) axis meet at two points and it is these imaginary points that we address as ‘Rahu’ and the other as ‘Kethu’. The reason why I called these imaginatory are because these points do not exist in the space, these are being made for the convenience of humans for deciphering various mysteries and only felt when we observe the sun and the moon from the Earth. Thus these points stay relative to our earth.
Now we know the culprits, who were delaying the bride and groom from entering their house. Sometimes I wonder, is it us who unquestioningly follow such rituals who are the real culprits. Strange is the power of illusion isn’t it. I did not have to study astrophysics to know about the sun, the moon and the earth.
“Chovva Dosham” aka “Maangalik” – (Effect of planet Mars on humans)
Mars is the fourth planet in our Solar system and is smaller in size comparing to our home planet. We can observe Mars as a red glowing dot in our sky. We have seen recently through our televisions sets, the surface of mars, covered with rocks and dust, when scientists from NASA had sent “Path finder” to Mars. Presently research is going on to find out any traces of life or chances of life spawning in Mars.
Then we wonder, can such a planet have any effect on us humans. I don’t know about the curiosity of the reader to know the truth, however I was very curious since I am a “Maangalik” (I came to know about this when my mom had secretly checked my “Jaathakam” AKA “Kundali” with an astrologer and she says she peeped into my future for which I am till date pissed off ). According to the ritualistic beliefs of the Hindus, a girl or boy with a Chovva Dosham has to marry a person with the same Dosham, if not adversities may arise and that relationship will not be fruitful. There are countless men and women who belong to this belief group who are not able to find a suitable partner. Not to forget other specifications or standards that a boy or a girl will have to go through to find their life partner - Religion, Caste, Jathi, Jaathakam and once the alliance gets filtered through all these parameters then there are other parameters like financial backgrounds, skin tone, skin tone of the parents (I have seen this too in some cases). Ladies and Gentlemen what we follow or observe here is absolutely not a natural thing, infact there is nothing natural about it. These are traits of a wicked cult which is busy dividing us on different names, classes and parameters.
Even when many fools in planet earth (the only known planet with life) is busy calculating the time frames and effects of far away planets on us, poor planets are still rotating the Sun, unknown on the atrocities many astrologers are committing in their name.
Nine planets and Vedic Astrology-
There are Nine planets in our Solar system (rather eight considering that Pluto cannot be called as a planet. It does not meet the specifications that a planet should have, many humans dislike throwing Pluto out of our solar system; sad news for them is Universe and Pluto does not care on what they like and dislike).
Now if I tell you that Astrology (used to tell our future) is based on nine planets, will that shock you for a moment? However what we address as planets in astronomy has nothing to do with Vedic astrological planets. Astrological planets are “Sooryan” , “Chandran” , ”Budhan”, “Shukran”, “Vyazham”, “Rahu”, “Ketu”,” Chovva” & “Shani”. In astronomy Sun is a Star, Moon is a satellite, there are no planets identified with the name of Rahu and Ketu. It will be a “Himalayan blunder” if someone says modern science has approved Astrology as a branch of science. According to Astrology Earth is in the middle and all the planets revolve around earth.
Well you are full liberty to question me, “What makes you say that Rahu and Ketu does not exist, what if science was not successful in identifying these planets until now”, very well I have previously explained what Rahu and Ketu are and more over there had been no evidences and experiments to support the calculations of astrology and the effects these stars, satellites, imaginary points and dwarf planets said to have on us. If it had been proved we would be studying it as a Theory. Astrology was the first attempt by humans to solve the mystery of the cosmos. Astrology is Pseudo science and Astronomy is Science.
Birth Star (Janma Nakshatram) –
What is a star? A massive luminous ball of hydrogen and helium which contains enough matter to sustain a nuclear fusion at its core. Many stars are thousands and millions of light years away from us. Billions and Billions of galaxies have Billions and Billions of stars. The nearest star we have is called Sun. Among billions and billions of galaxies and stars, there are a selected few stars which we can see. It is from such stars we outlined and concluded to 27 groups of stars which we know as – “Ashiwini, “Bharani”, “Karthika”, Rohini, “Mrigasira”, “Aridram”, “Purnavarsu”, “Pushyam”, “Aslesha”, “Magham”, “Poorvaphalguni, “Uttaraphalguni”, “Hastam”, “Chittira”, “Swati”, “Vishakham”, “Anuradha”, “Jyeshtam”, “Moolam”, “Poorvashadha”, “Uttarashadha”, “Sravanam”, “Dhanishtam”, “Satabisham”, “poornabhadrapadam”, “Uttarabhadrapadam” and “Revati”.
At the time of birth of a child, one of these 27 stars is associated as a Birth star of the child. According to astrology, at the time of birth which ever constellation the moon is nearer to is associated as the birth star of that child. The problem here arises when we try and understand the calculation, moon that we see is less than 2 light second away from earth however the constellations are hundreds or thousands of light years away from us, even though the wise men who manufactured this manual might not have known this fact, for them constellations seemed as clearly as the moon. Next problem arises, how our fate can depend on the far off constellations hundreds of light years away from us.
Planets and Gods –
Our ancestors (and some of them till date) used to worship Snakes, Lightning strikes, Wind, Rain, Sun, and Moon. They used to consider these as gods. With the development of science the godliness of these forces have faded away and we have been successful to a certain level in understanding the functioning of these natural forces. According to Astrology all the nine planets are forces which can reward as well as punish humanity. If we are to get rewards we have to make these planetary powers happy and make them stay that way.
Today astrology does not stand a chance against modern science but still it casts a wicked spell on many of our fellow sapiens. Many at times it is mere exploitation of illiterate people but from what I see many scientists, bollywood stars, doctors, engineers and achievers from different fields too have fallen for the tricks of Vedic astrology. I guess the astrologers who practice astrology very well realize their calculations and explanations does not make sense to any thinking person, no wonder such things manages to survive under the shade of Religion and Faith.
If astrology, Nakshatram, Rashis answers your questions and comforts you then keep believing in it, this is just another face of wishful thinking. I have a gift for those who dare to question such beliefs, Read any page from Stephen Hawking “A Brief history of Time” and that will make you understand how marvelous, magnificent and truly awe-inspiring the Universe is and I repeat The universe doesn’t care whether you understand it serve it or deny it.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
"I rise to explain to you, the honourable members of this august House, my resignation from the Union Council of Ministers.
As a loyal public servant, I am conscious of the controversy over my involvement in the IPL issue was distracting Parliament from far more important business.
As I explained in my statement to the Lok Sabha on Friday, which I attempted to deliver to the Lok Sabha on Friday, and reiterated to the Prime Minister on Sunday, my conscience is clear, and I know that I have done nothing improper or unethical, let alone illegal.
Nonetheless, in view of the ongoing political controversy, I have no desire to be an embarrassment to the government, and I believe that my departure at this stage will allow the Prime Minister and his cabinet colleagues to focus on the great challenges facing our nation. Such a step is in the highest moral tradition of our democratic system, and in keeping with the standards that I'm sure we all wish to uphold in our nation's public life. I reckon the fact that this august House, of which the voters of Thiruvanthapuram have made me a proud member, has now moved on from the disruption we witnessed on Friday, to address the important issues which await consideration and to take the crucial decisions needed to promote the well being of the wonderful people of our great country.
Madam speaker, I am new to Indian politics, but I have a long record of public service unblemished by the slightest tint of financial irregularity. I am deeply wounded by the fanciful and malicious charges that have been made against me, and I have requested the Prime Minister to have these charges against me thoroughly investigated. I've led a life of personal integrity ...and it is important to me that my name is cleared.
Madam speaker. I returned to India after long years of international service, because I had always cherised the desire to make a difference in my own country. Growing up in India and then looking at it from abroad, I could see how much there is to be proud of in our land, and how much the Indian people deserve the best efforts of all who aspire to lead our great democracy.
I returned to India because I believe in an India of honesty and hard work, not of corruption and crookedness. I believe in an India of openness and straightforwardness, not of hypocrisy and double-dealing. I believe in an India where opportunities are available to all, and not just to a chosen few. I believe in an India of pluralism and diversity, not of religious bigotry and caste politics. I believe in an India that is secure in itself and confident of its place in the world, an India that is a proud example of tolerance, freedom and hope for the downtrodden. That India will only be built by the sincere efforts of all of us in this august House and outside it. This is the vision with which the voters of Thiruvantharapurm sent me to sit in your midst.
I am proud to represent the capital of Kerala, a state that in so many ways is a trailblazer for India's progress, though in other respects it seems to have been left behind in the race for 21st century development. The Keralite ethos, with its cultural unity and its religious diversity, its high educational standards and respect for democracy, its commitment to the empowerment of women, and the well-being of the poor, this ethos embodies the best of India.
Madam speaker, my heart swells with pride for India, and Keralite blood throbs in my veins. I should like to reiterate that it has been a great privilege for me to serve the Indian National Congress party, and the government of India. I shall always be grateful to the honourable Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh, and the chairperson of the United Progressive Alliance and the leader of my party, Srimati Sonia Gandhi, for the opportunity they have given me to be of service to our country. They have been two of the finest of that select band of great men and women who've dedicated their lives to the service of the people of our nation.
I have great confidence that under their leadership, the country is in good hands, and the Indian people can look forward to increasing security and prosperity in a troubled world. I should like to reiterate that it has been a great privilege for me to serve my party and now, to have served the government.
Today Madam Speaker, marks a new beginning for me, and I am heartened by the love, friendship and loyalty I have received from countless numbers of well-wishers in Thiruvantharapuram, across my home state of Kerala, and throughout our great country.
I am grateful for their support and encouragement, and I am determined to continue to do my best for India, and for the ideals that brought me back here. Thank you Madam Speaker. "
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
I got a chance to know more about Bhagavat Gita, Hindu mythology and Vedanta as I did my schooling from “Chinmaya Vidhyalaya” and Graduation from Sri Adhi Chunchangiri College of Business Management which was solely controlled by a ‘Mat’ and absolute authority was in the hands on Swami Adhi Chunchangiri. These were the days when I was deeply involved into Hinduism and was fascinated by the Vedic knowledge.
What I have written further on includes a great deal of compilation from my School education, college education and a few books, documentaries and articles.
· Ohh Hindu you awake
· Why I am not a Hindu? (Gora)
· Hinduism, Buddhism & Jainism - Personal Reflections on 9 world religions (Anand Sharma)
· Story of India & Story of God (BBC Documentaries)
· Lectures by Kalanadhan Master – President of Yuktivadi Sangham (Kerala)
· Is God Dead? An Introduction to Kya Ishwar mar chuka hei – (Dr. Ramendra Nath)
· Introduction to Carvaka and
At the beginnings what existed in the Indian subcontinent was a mixture of idolatry, ritualistic worship and polytheism. The first Hindus believed in the Karma loop where in you have to fulfill your duties so as to escape the material world and attain Moksha, for this they worshipped Gods and needed blessing from the Gods in return for their respective activities. Thus every one started coming up with their own concept of God. The first gods to arrive were the farming gods (came along with the Aryans). The countless number of gods itself was very confusing and it was impossible for a person to remember, here arised the concept of “Brahmn” the power that gives life for everything and even for the gods. The motives of Hindus were to rejoin their souls with the Brahmn AKA Salvation.
Hindu beliefs revolve around few major gods – Brahma, Vishnu & Maheshwara
Creator, Sustainer and Destroyer
Buddhism and Jainism were more sophisticated in nature, with the arrival of these new belief systems Vaishnava & Shaiva Gods started losing popularity. Buddha discarded sexuality and gods at the very foundation. He claimed that Gods cannot help us since they too are stuck in the loop for Moksha so “whatever had to be achieved has to be achieved by you”. Thus was brought in the concept of Nirvana, which revolutionized the subcontinent. A man sitting under a tree had started conquering the minds of hundreds and thousands not just in
The next mutation came through with the arrival of Shankaracharya into the scene; Hinduism which had lost much of its popularity and was to be revived under the supervision of Shankaracharya. One of the ways shankaracharya planned of, was to remove a “thorn using a thorn”. To assist him was the ‘Haindava’ legacy’, which did not have strict rules and foundation stones. He came out with the first of his own philosophies to popularize Hindutva –
1. Reject Sexuality – to become a ‘Satwik’ you need to stay away from sex
2. Reject ancient belief system of idolatry and ritualistic worship –
Thus he drew the first lines for ‘Advainta Sidhanta’ which is a good defense against Buddhism but still had to keep the concept of God. Here on started the revival of Hinduism and it flourished under the supervision of Brahmanical societies and ‘Matts’. It is said that there was mass cleansing and genocide of Buddhists and Jains all over
There wasn’t much a of change in the belief system until the arrival of Mughals and Christian missionaries. Hinduism might have started to feel a bit inferior comparing to these religions as these Semitic belief groups were much more sophisticated in nature and had a better understanding of Creation, creator, life, death, after life and rules & regulations to follow. Even though Shankaracharya’s ideologies do discard idol worship in philosophical standards many Hindus still practiced them. The visitors and invaders (Semitic belief groups and religions) have better understandings of rituals and gods as they had discarded idol worship in the very first stage; moreover they also had control over sexuality which led them to gain popularity in the sub continent. Hinduism if it wanted to survive needed a redefinition and here steps in Dayanand Saraswati. He starts to redefine Hinduism so that it can withstand the Semitic beliefs which the visitors had brought in; he also laid stones for Arya Samaj – “Society for the Nobles”. Dayanand Saraswati denounced idolatry and ritualistic worship in Hinduism. He was addressed as one of the ‘Makers of Modern India’. He was dellusioned by classical Hinduism and believed in the infallible authority of the Vedas. Further on preached the importance of brahmacharya (Celibacy) and made the first translations of Vedas and other holy scriptures to Hindi for the common man, which until then was the property of the Brahmins alone. He also brought in changes with promoting equality for women and equality for education for all castes. The first stones of the big wall called as “Chatur Varna” system had started falling off.
Shankaracharya had never publically gone against the caste system and until then and even today is a common practice in
Big changes were to be seen with the era of Renaissance and arrival of Science (the finest of all players) who had started answering the most mysterious of questions human mind ever had to face. The Semitic belief groups who used to consider their wisdom and scriptures as infallible, now had a new enemy. Science has a different way of looking at things. It did not follow any supernatural message or revelations for answers but did experiments and then started coming out with theories. A Theory was the best practical and reliable explanation for an unexplained question; the results of the calculations as per a theory will be same for everyone. For eg – the calculations will bring the same result for A as it is for B, considering all the ingredients remain the same. This brought in a major revolution because what religion always had in their inventory were encounters of miracles and private revelations which were openly discarded and falsified by Science.
Science will apply and follow things only on the basis of evidence and it will come out with results which can be tested, retested and still comes out with same results as and when required. With the contributions from Galileo, Bruno,
What we are witnessing currently is the effect of a mutation. Hindutva is fighting its way to associate with Science and with the help of people like Gopalakrishnan (who look in for verses that match the scientific discoveries and also associate finding by Aryabhatta and Bhaskara to affirm the Authority of Vedas and Hindutva) it dreams of the old ages to redefine itself and regain its losing popularity. This is the very reason we see spiritual gurus springing up from different areas along with Theo-philosophical teachers and societies like ISKON, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Asaram Bapuji and hundreds and hundreds more. They do reframe and define the meanings of shlokas from ancient scriptures to fit the desired meanings.
Evolution of Hinduism has been a constant phenomenon. Every time a new ideology or belief system emerges it make the appropriate changes within to cope with the new system. This has always been a salient feature of Hinduism however without a doubt like every other religion Hinduism too is a disease and it is time that we eradicate it with the use of scientific study and analyses to go forward as a species.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Bombay (as we now know today as Mumbai) had always been a dream destination and a personal favorite for me. A city that never sleeps, its necklace of lights along the corniche, its magnificent British Raj architecture, the elegant Gate way of India, historical Ajanta & Ellora caves, graceful Mosque of Hajji Ali and Siddhi Vinayak temple; everything I remember of Mumbai was super fantastic. I stood up accepting the deputation program and landed on Mumbai along with my colleagues, on the 7th March 2005 which also happened to be my birthday. It takes roughly 24 hours on a train journey to reach Mumbai from Bangalore. During the train journey, Rubeena who was one of my best pals those days and who had previously been to Mumbai gave me the first glance on history of Mumbai.
Within the first few days I realized that this city had a charm of its own kind. A charm that had attracted people from different sects, societies, civilizations and continents to come and settle. A form of cultural co-existence that cities show when they are exposed to sea. Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jews, Zoroastrians and almost every sect of every religion was to be seen in Mumbai.
On my off days I used to pick my backpack and go for random journeys within the city, as a part of localizing which I practice when I arrive into new cities. A large part of my present understanding about Mumbai comes from the information shared by Paan walas, chaai walas, dabba walas, dhobis, dhoodh walas, tender coconut sellers, ice candy walas and at one instance a chat I had with a prostitute in billa road. Most of them were not born in Mumbai; they had shifted to Mumbai in search for a better life and to earn their bread and butter.
It was during these days when I encountered first hand information on the Semi-fascist, chauvinist political outfit called as Shiv Sena and their genocidal lunatic supremo Bal Thackeray. In their five decades of existence, Shiv Sena has always shown systematic hostility against all sections of the society. One of the worst includes communal riots of Mumbai in 92 and Caste atrocities at various instances. They have always symbolized hindutva for their existence and made comparisons with “Marathas” a clan of brave warriors who stood up against a fierce Sunni Mughal Emperor “Aurangzeb” during the 1700s. However their atrocities are not just set to Muslim minorities but have now become a National concern. They made divisions on the basis of Religion, caste and on linguistic terms. Every Mumbai’kar or every Indian has been directly or indirectly affected by their acts of semi-fascism. Media persons, politicians, sportsmen, actors, actresses, trade union members and other minorities like Muslims, Christians and Dalits.
The first two demands put forward by Shiv Sena, soon after their genesis were, 80% jobs in the government and 80% houses in the housing board colonies for Maharashtrians. I was not present at this exotic place during this time however was able to understand the poison doing its work and till date being a challenge to the civil society. The first act of violence, rising tide of fanaticism by the cult of death was shown against South Indians, their establishments and south Indian producers who brought in Hindi cinemas to Bombay. This laid the foundation stone to the collection of protection money / extortion money, which until then was not famous among the infamous Mumbai Mafia. The first full fledge riot was launched during the end of 60s on the Maharashtra – Karnataka issue.
The communal mobilization of the Shiv Sena started by the mid-eighties when Thackeray took sides with the Hindus, during two Mandir-Masjid disputes (Durgadi & Mahikavati). Mumbai was largely starting to get infested with a wide selection of serpents namely RSS (Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh), SLS (Sthaniya Lokadhikar Samiti), Bharatiya Kamger Sena (BKS), Hindu Mahasabha, Jan Sangh, Rastriya Utsav Mandal many more and their respective leaders.
Thus on 1984 the communal division was inaugurated by the parties of god in Bhiwandi, Thane, Kalyan and Mumbai when Thackeray made a provocative speech against Prophet Muhammad , retaliated with a large protest action by a Muslim congress MLA. This ignited the minds of the fanatic Hindus who launched a wide attack taking lives of 238 human beings and crores worth of property being destroyed. The notoriety undertaken in the riot against Muslims was extremely heinous. It left a deep scar on the minds of Muslims which till date is not healed. Only one and one alone were to be held culprit on the death of hundreds; Shiv Sena and its bunch of goons and thugs. The reaction from the government was nothing and no action was taken against Thackeray and his bunch of idiots, which further added fuel on fire among the Muslims minds.
Further in the late 80s wide acts of communal riots were reported and as a result the Saffronists were capitalizing on their victory. Bal Thackeray and his Hindutva campaign were now to be heard nationwide. The acts of atrocities were not just concentrated on Muslims; Dalits were also being exploited in Maharashtra mainly at Vidharbha and Marathwada by destroying their crops, acquiring their lands and burning off their shelters. It was during this time when SS and BJP set an alliance which cemented the base for a new National brainwashing.
The worst face of communal violence in Mumbai was during the Early 90s. Soon after the demolition of Babri–Masjid at Ayodhya (Uttar Pradesh) an extremely venomous communal hate campaign was launched by SS. It brought utter shame on me personally simply because I was born as a Hindu. I was a teenager when this ghastly instance took place in Bombay. At one instance when I was discussing this issue with my neighbor he was justifying the act of SS with terms like Ram Janma Bhoomi, honour of hindutva and how we should flush out the Muslim invaders. Without a doubt his answers were convincing for me at that age. Religion poisons everything, yes it does, If it was not religion what else would have made me think that the act of these fanatic mass murderers were justifiable, even for an iota of a second. I agree with Christopher Hitchens, yes Religion poisons everything. This chapter of bloodshed didn’t end here, the ignited Muslim minds craved for vengeance thus it gave to an impetus birth to Muslim extremism in Mumbai; followed by the ghastly Bombay blasts in 1993.
The controversies of this mass murdered continues till date, the latest ones with Sachin tendulkar, SRK and against North Indians as a whole.
Will eliminating Bal Thackeray end all the troubles in this region; since he has already passed on the baton to his successor Raj Thackeray? Even though their paths are different their goals are the same “Saffronizing Mumbai and then take over India.
Can someone prescribe a medicine for this Cancer which is spreading at a fast rate?
Wipe off gods and religions on which they base their agenda; this and this alone can cure the cancer.
As of me, I left Mumbai by six months during my first term, later on quit ICICI and joined a Real estate group called SRK Constructions. After moving around in Cochin, Bangalore and Pune I came back to Mumbai for my second term of experiences which did not last for long as I was transferred to SRK Group’s first International office in Dubai.
I still cherish the memories of my Mumbai Term and miss my beloved friends.
“God it is not you, but your fans that I am worried about”.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Burqa a Boon or a Curse?
I decided to write this post on the recent “Ban Burqa” issues which have received some graceful media attention. Most of the readers from India would have a moderate approach on women wearing a burqa; I was interested on the decision of the French government for banning a burqa on public places and comments by the French President Nicholas Sarkozy. France, as I know is a secular democracy and a Catholic Christian nation, from many centuries, however to seek the answers for my question I did a small research which includes Islamic history in France and Europe, recent developments of the Islamic law and practices.
Arrival of Islam in France can be dated back to 800AD, and is currently the second most prominent religion in France. Soon after WWII there was a rush of immigrants into France mainly to exploit the opportunities in various fields the French progress had to offer. Although the French republic had a law from 1872 performing census based on religion (which they feared create distinctions between citizens), information from various other agencies shows us that the present population of French muslims are immigrants from North Africa, Middle east, Asia and a vast number of Illegal Immigrants. Immigration is a privilege not a right.
The controversial issue of banning a Hijab had first come out during 1989 since then had been involved in debates around the country at various instances. The scope of the issue is wider than what we think. There are no official figures, but around 100,000 women are thought to wear burqa in France. Home to almost 5 million Muslims, the country had passed a law in 2004 banning use of head scarves or any other religious symbols in state schools. They claim it to be a move towards Secularism. The French claim, wearing burqa at public places differentiates the citizens and makes them an easy prey for racists. At Many instances Sarkozy had made statements such as “Burqas not welcome to France”, “A sign of subservience and debasement”, he has made no secret on his dislike to garbs and full scale veils. According to his statements, a country that serves equal rights for Men and Women, he does not want to see those rights debased. He is running towards adopting a resolution that would unequivocally condemn and then pass a bill on banning Burqa.
Is it really secularism that made the French republic decide on the recent law on banning burqa and is it just France that is looking forward to adopt a Ban? If so Why?
Is it secularism?
There had been some seldom criminal activities that were related to Burqas in and around the world. A famous one that I remember is Maulana Abdul Aziz attempting to flee Red Mousque in Pakistan during an army rush to end extremism during 2007. In 2005 London bombers took on a burqa twice when fleeing the crime scene and then later on fleeing London.
Burqas are also associated with non political criminal activities. Famous robberies of Jeweler stores and Banks In the West and in India were undertaken in the cover of Burqa. There had been another study shown by British researchers which states that women wearing Burqa lacked in Vitamin D since there is no exposure to sun which results in serious risks from Rickets and harms breast feeding mothers and babies.
Is it in France alone?
Apart from being banned in French public schools, Burqa has been discouraged by IFAB, court in US state of Georgia, Quebec election authorities, Florida drivers liscence, classrooms in UK, Public places in some of the Belgian towns, Dutch legislature and recently by Indian SC in regards to ID cards for citizens.
There has been another Canadian Muslim group who is calling on Ban to burqa in public places. Many claim the woman who cover their faces in public are being forced by their husbands and family. This goes against the Canadian Law of equal rights for Men and Women and helps in marginalizing women and showing an absolute gender quality.
As on my stand in the situation, I dislike the practice and consider it as a dominant male implimentation but I don’t think wearing a burqa should be banned. It goes against the general right of practicing ones religion. If we are to ask every man and woman in the muslims world on wearing a Burqa, I am certain everyone would answer differently. My statement has its limitations as my understanding on the political situations of these countries stay limited. My idea will be conflicted when I have to consider the security threats and constitutional rights and legislations previously existing in these countries.
I would consider giving importance to Law of the Land over my personal beliefs, feelings and ideologies.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Why are you an Atheist?
This is a question that I have encountered more than once in my life. Sometimes from my dearest friends, at times, colleagues and most of the times from family members. It kept me thinking for almost months. What changed my attitude from a deeply religious practicing believer, who had shades of Hindu fundamentalism to a present stage of “Utter disbelief”? When I dig into my past, I remember avoiding beef in my college days, reciting Hanuman chalisa in the early mornings after taking bath and even to an extent of avoiding masturbation and “sinful” (sexual fantasies) thoughts on Tuesdays and Saturdays, which I used to consider as Holy days for my personal deity “Hanuman” (the monkey god).
So was it Darwin’s “Theory of Evolution”, was it Richard Dawkins “The God delusion”, was it Sam Harris “End of Faith”. Without an iota of doubt I would say “No”. All these books and theories came in a later part of my life which were ancillary supporting data helping me argue bigots and annoying creationists.
As a teenager I used to be an obese child, if we are to say in a mild way a “Healthier Child”, if I am to say in an aggressive way a “Fat fuck” (Fuck being a synonym for fellow in this context). Removing my shirt was the most insulting thing I could ever imagine of in those days. Most of the fat fucks reading this would share my feelings. It was not a personal attachment to my shirt but the horrendous feeling of mental pain on showing my man boobs and pot belly to the general public. It is at this time my mother used to compel me to go temple and in Kerala (my native place) it was a mandatory custom for men to remove their shirt and footwear as a sign of showing respect to the deities sitting inside. This is when I first started showing hostility against religious superstitions. Why does god have something against my shirt? Foot wear was acceptable however shirt, most certainly “not”.
In later days when I enrolled into college and hostel in Bangalore where in I had to share my room with mates from different states and religions all around India. Even though we seldom used to study, late night conversations and discussions used to take place within the confined rooms of hostel. I got firsthand experience of different religions, religious views, ideologies and aspirations by involving myself in those discussions.
It was at this time when the Godhra riots took place (2001). Even today I wouldn’t call it a communal violence or riots between two fundamentalist belief groups. What happened in Gujarat was ethnic cleansing of fellow muslims by fundamentalist Hindus. We were to see and read about this new face of Hindu Fascism, everyday on Newspapers and Tele-news. A rebirth of the Ku Klux Klan, who were active in the west and is still in some parts of Northern America and Great Britain. The government and judiciary did nothing and were standing as mere scare crows witnessing the horrendous crimes happening around them.
There were discussions about this in our hostel, some time heated debates. I was generally on the neutral part and at a state of confusion which earned me anger and intolerance from my fellow Hindu counterparts. I asked myself, what kind of Goddamn godly plan is this? “Karma” the cause and effect logic that I used to believe in until then was questioned within me. Here again I invoked agnosticism in my life, may be for the last time.
Further to this, till today there had been no turning back. I started gaining knowledge and started “thinking outside the box”, mainly from books. If I am to say, arrival of atheism in me was peaceful, I would be lying. I had to deal with a great deal of pain and fear. There was no more secret chanting and religious ritual in my life. The realization that there was no personal entity or supervision was painful and in a later part joyous.
The day I read “Why I am an Atheist” by Bhagat singh, I realized “I am an Atheist”.