Sunday, January 22, 2006

All religions are same!

I thought of writing this after hearing my friend Prashanth’s experience. Prashanth once visited Kumar’s home. During a conversation, Kumar said all religions are same. Prashanth asked him if that is the case would it be fine if his children embrace Islam or Christianity. Kumar answered in negative and accepted that it is rather dangerous to say all religions are same.

‘Hinduism, Christianity and Islam are all same’ is a common sense among Hindus and only among Hindus.

(Let me keep aside one potential topic of debate, that is, if Hinduism can be called as a religion. For time being, I consider ‘Hinduism’ as a religion.)

Not surprisingly (or surprisingly) you will find only Hindus having this notion of sameness. Muslims do not say all religions are same. Christians do not say all religions are same. They are very clear about what their religions are. Well, there may be few individual Muslims and Christians in your neighborhood who might actually say ‘all religions are same’, but the issue is not about few individuals.

There are many Hindu Swamis who say all religions are same. But not a single Muslim Cleric would ever say ‘Islam is same as Hinduism’ and not a single Christian Father would ever say ‘Christianity is same as Hinduism’.

Why Hindus make this claim?

1. Hindus feel inferior to other religions and think that by propagating the sameness of religions they can be on par with people of other religions.

2. Hindus arrogantly think they are doing a favor to other religions by making their religions same as Hinduism.

3. Hindus have not understood what Hinduism is and what Christianity and Islam are.

Third is the most important reason that should be addressed urgently. One needs a genuine understanding of all religions in an objective manner including his own. Hindus lack this seriously. But for few exceptions, many of our Swamis and temple priests are ill equipped to answer questions regarding Hinduism. And it is too much to expect from our parents.

Our previous generation was busy fighting for their survival in an era of Nehruvian economy and did not really have time to read and teach their children about Hinduism. Yet, they continued to be practicing Hindus without being aware of the inner details. Whether they were convinced or not their children also followed their parents.

Present young generation cannot be convinced easily. They are exposed to a lot of things in the early stages of life because of media. They want to know who we are, what Hinduism is, why so and so rituals are carried out, what is the significance of a particular practice and etc. If you don’t answer, they find no reason in following Hinduism. If you say all religions are same you will probably see your children converting to other religions. If questioned, they would shot back at you, ‘you taught me that all religions are same, so why should it matter to you if I am a Muslim or Christian? This is what happens if you propagate the idea of sameness of religions.

Many Hindus in this generation are hypocrites. They are Hindus at home without having any knowledge of Hinduism. They condemn Hinduism outside their home and claim it being the same as other religions. The danger ness of such attitude may not be affecting the present generation in visible terms. But watch out for the coming young generation, you will see it clearly.

Additional reading: Myth of Hindu Sameness by Rajiv Malhotra

Monday, January 02, 2006

Repeat Telecast of Indian History

Indians have this uncanny knack. Whenever, there is a threat from the outside, we start a discussion about how to tackle the problem. This discussion becomes a debate, upgrades into an argument, and before we know, we have scuttled our own ship before the enemy does anything. The British effectively used the divide and rule policy against us. Now we have come one step further. We do not need the British. We can do it ourselves.

India is easily the oldest democracy. Every guy with an ass has an opinion. And every such guy has an ego that stinks as much as his ass. Take the IISc shoot out, for example. I know of a fat faction of pseudo-intellectuals within that campus who will quickly justify the shooting. "Oh Hindus should not have done the Ayodhya act. Thats what aggrieved the muslims."

Like this is any justification. We are supposed to have the brainiest people in there in that campus. Sometimes I feel we Indians are good at arguing and talking thru' our hats and nothing really more, though this is untrue.

How can you offer peace and secularism to a guy who has decided to get violent with you. Offering peace there amounts to himsa and not ahimsa. If you do not retaliate to an aggressor, then you allow him to trample you and then go on to trample others, encouraged by the easy success. This is sponsoring violence, not non-violence. Any one with a little game theory can explain that to you. But how do you explain a game theory or anything at all to a guy who thinks he knows everything there is to know.

It looks like intelligence is mistaken a lot for common sense. And lack of common sense surely leads to pseudo-intellectualism. The problem of pseudo-intellectualism is more serious in India than terrorism and hunger and other such threats to a stable society.

Islam is an aggressive religion. It is not just a few misguided elements creating chaos. The roots of the problem exist within Islamic texts. You cannot be a muslim and empathize with another religion. Ask a learned muslim and he will tell you. Only the congress and the communist parties will say otherwise. I do not know for what joy though!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Terrorist attack on IISc

On Dec 28, 2005 an international conference that was attended by both National and International delegates was attacked by terrorists at 19:30 hrs at Indian Institute of Science (IISc). Prof Puri of IIT Delhi was killed in the attack and other four people were seriously injured including Prof Vijay Chandru of IISc and other distinguished scientists. This is the n-th time that terrorists have attacked innocent civilians on the Indian soil.

These attacks are a coordinated effort by Islamic jihadis to destroy the integrity of India and its indigenous culture and civilization. They are leaving no stone unturned to achieve their goals. To name few of the terrorist attacks in the recent times, Bombay blasts, IC-814h ijacking, Delhi Diwali blasts, attack on Indian parliament and attack on Ayodhya. Unfortunately, the Indian Government has been totally insensitive towards these terrorist attacks which are affecting and hampering the lives of innocent people and the progress of the country.

Instead of taking serious action against those who are responsible for propagating heinous ideologies, gun-culture and human bombs, the attitude of the government is really disappointing. Government issues strong statements to fight the terrorism very frequently, but these statements are not put into action. It appears that the Government is trying to solve a 21st century problem of islamic terrorism with 18th century laws (framed by british). For IISc researchers, it is like sending a moon/mars mission with feathers attached to the rocket to ensure its bird-like flight with no propulsion devices.

It is high time Government comes out of the shell and vote bank politics to take strong actions to fight this Islamic terrorism emanating from neighbouring countries. Otherwise, our great civilization shall again perish into the darkness for centuries. After the destruction of Takshashila and Nalanda Universities by Islamic invaders, it took almost thousand years for India to setup world class institutes like IISc, IITs and other institutes of repute. If the Government does not stand upto the expectations of 1 billion Indians by taking actions we may be seeing an end to all that we achieved in the past 50-60 years. It would take another thousand years to reach this level of innovation and scientific culture, if we let these Islamic jihadis to overpower us.

Simply increasing the security around these universities will not help much as it hampers the working conditions of the scientists and obstruct the free flow of information and environment of mutual discussion among the scientific community.

Therefore we all scientists, researchers and engineers urge the Government of India to take tough actions to prevent any possible future attacks. We hope that Government shows a strong will power in terms of action (not just empty rhetoric ) to fight and erase this dangerous ideology of Islamic terrorism to save our great culture and civilization.

Dr. Sudarshan Kumar

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