Posts Tagged ‘tolerence

21
Mar
09

Shut Up And Vote

India is a Hindu Nation and no one can deny that – Mr Mohan Bhagwat made a brilliant start at his new job today as he took over the leadership of RSS. First day’s first utterance got him instant headlines. While many of you might be disgusted at that statement he made, I on my part totally agree with what he said – India is indeed a Hindu nation. There’s nothing wrong in what he said except that he failed to define what Hinduism is and who Hindus are. Hinduism is NOT a religion its a philosophy, a way of life and each one of us is a Hindu because we consciously or unconsciously have embraced this great culture and its way of life. This country belongs to us and not some uneducated fools who have no clue what they speak or stand for.

Its rather depressing to see that the world’s largest democracy happens to be the dirtiest, the least participatory and the most religiously polarized one. Like it ot not sixty years of freedom and democracy hasn’t ensured that none die of starvation and that none is exploited. More than half the country is illiterate, and an even greater percentage uneducated, Muscle and Money power still rules, Criminals still get elected, Clergy is still more or less in power and People are still not a part of the process, except once in five years.

Education I have always held is different from being literate. You might study at LSE or Oxford or SOAS or Yale and yet be uneducated, Varun Gandhi is the perfect example. All his foreign degrees failed to educate him, failed to stimulate his rationale and failed to pull him out of the bliss of ignorance he lives in. What he said reflects not just his point of view but that of an extremist organization that he is a part of. But then there’s nothing that we can do. Just like Muslim fundamentalism is legitimate in a Muslim dominated country so is Hindu Fundamentalism in a Hindu dominated country, and don’t you dare raise your fingers at them for the likes of Varun, Togadia, Modi and Advani would chop off your hands and label you as the enemy of the state and a communal force.

From times unknown religion has played a rather important role in polity and modern India is no exception, the only problem being that unlike in the US or Iran there are too many religions and all of them command power be it Hindus, Muslims or Christians. I mean take a look at the statement that Varun made after he landed in the controversy – I am a Hindu, a Gandhi and an Indian in the same measure. Note the use of language – A Hindu first, and then a Gandhi and after all that an Indian. His statement points out two important problems with Indian Polity, first there is widespread communalism and hatred being spread my mainstream political parties and second you cannot dream of joining politics or making it big unless you have a lineage to back on – a look at most young Indian MPs proves that.

Its not just the Hindus who spread hatred and polarize our communities, a look at the rather silent christian community shows how efficiently it has turned into a big political force in the south. Priests and Bishops shamelessly urge the communities to vote for a certain candidate, write letters to the centre to place candidate of their choice and come out strongly against people who oppose them or their tryst with politics to an extent where people descent to the streets.

Is this what our constitution calls secularism? Is this what our forefathers’ had envisioned? Who is to blame for all this? Savarkar? Muslim League and Jinnah? Bal Thackery? or Togadia?

Unfortunately the blame lies with Gandhi, the pre independence Indian National Congress and their vision for the country. Gandhi and INC’s excessive use of Hindu symbolism in the freedom struggle alienated the minorities and that led to the formation of Muslim League and other such religious political parties.

While on one side we have all this, a rather grim picture of the Indian Politics on the other side there is hope. For once educated people are joining politics, the latest in fray being Shashi Tharoor and Mallika Sarabhai. Not many have lost hopes. There is a new wave of optimism. People want their share of power and say in the governance. Jagore Campaign has done wonders. The ever complaining Indian youth is up in arms against the warlords of Indian Politics. They want to vote for a change. They want to be a part of the revolution.

The murky waters of Indian politics, it seems, would clear up for good soon. Or would it?

The fact is that most Indians are still uneducated they’d still be influenced by the clergy and muscle power. All these war cries for responsible voting can be heard only in our cities. Shut Up And Vote is written in English a language that more than 80% of the country cannot speak. Who are we fooling? India still is in its villages. If we want a change then that ought to start at the grassroot level.

Anyway Shut Up And Vote.

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20
Feb
09

Censored Humor.

Beauty, said someone, lies in the eyes of the beholder.
Same is the case with most things I suppose, humor in particular. Whist the fact remains that the line dividing what is funny and sick is a rather thin one, what defines the quality humor(or any work of creativity) is primarily how someone interprets it for example while many swore and still swear by Shakespeare as the most prolific playwright ever, Leo Tolstoy dismisses him as a pretentious writer who contributed nothing to the world of literature and instead fooled people with his word play.
The muslims went off their rockers when the infamous cartoon about Prophet Muhammad was published in a Danish daily. A fatwa was issued and people descended the streets.
The world witnessed a similar situation two days back when the New York Post published a cartoon relating the latest stimulus package unveiled by Obama and the Chimp that attacked a woman in the US. The cartoon was prompted by a comment made by an noted economist wherein he said that a better package could’ve had been written by a monkey.
The critics have been loud and lashing their tounges like whips asking the paper to apologise for having scooped a racial joke at the (seemingly still marginalized) Black Community. I am at this point reminded of a quote by Dostoevsky which goes like:

 

“If you want to be respected by others the great thing is to respect yourself. Only by that, only by self-respect will you compel others to respect you.”
With lack of self respect comes a sense vulnerability, you end up becoming a cynic forever under the impression that the world is conspiring against you. That is the same emotion I believe that most marginalized communities, which have tried to mingle and demand their rights over the years, have – a constant sense of rejection a constant sense of vulnerability, a feeling that cannot be eliminated unless they start respecting themselves.

And then again there are politicians and opportunists, constantly trying to politicize every possible issue.

But more than anything else what bugs me is the fact that the man who claimed would bring about a change hasn’t reacted? Where is his sense of humor/maturity? Why is he not helping the so called marginalized develop a sense of self respect and stop being paranoid?

Does he too suffer from the same feeling of being marginalized?

I liked the paper’s statment/apology:
Sometimes a cartoon is just a cartoon – even as the opportunists seek to make it something else.




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