Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Biggest Threat to India

What do I think is the biggest threat we face as a nation?

According to me, it’s not Naxalism (as our Prime Minister wants us to believe), its not Kashmir militancy, its not external aggression from Pakistan or China, its not regional militancy in North East, and it’s not immigration from Bangladesh. The biggest threat is not rural-urban divide, the growing gap between the rich and poor, the exploitation of environment, or the rising population.

The biggest threat to India is its religions.

As we progress, and as we bring more people out of poverty into the mainstream, as education trickles down to the masses, as access to opportunity gets to everyone, and as we become better off as nations most of these issues will fade away. If we make some quick and bold decisions, which may sound unpopular in the near term, but have better prospects in the long run, most militant issue within borders will become insignificant.

On the other hand, Religion is on the rise with increase in education and upward mobility of the masses. Belief in superstition, blind belief and irrationality is getting institutionalized with increase in prosperity and with better access to opportunity.

Like a moth, religion is eating away into the very fabric of this nation making it hollow from inside. It is infecting this country like cancer crumbling all its institutions one by one. In the name of hurt sentiments, which takes on sacred ground when it comes to religion, we are slowly rolling back all our freedoms. We are giving away our freedoms to the state and goons. Religion is taking the main stage by inundating the instrument of state, making a backdoor entry by playing on sentiments of common people. We are rapidly losing our hard earned universal values making way for an intolerant and radical society.

Growing intolerance and suppression of freedoms

In our zeal to curb the voices that we don’t like, thus enjoying momentary pleasures, we are forsaking our enshrined rights in the long run. To reap benefits now in the near term, we are giving away our freedoms for the future. And nobody is realizing that. Here are some excerpts from contemporary India.

Taslima row

First, Taslima was obstructed from giving audience in Hyderabad by some protestors who ransacked her proceedings. These goons were actually supported by the Muslim parties seated in power. Next, a grand showdown happened in Kolkata, where Muslim protestors took to street to burn up everything in sight to show their disapproval. And the puny government, not knowing what they were doing, just succumbed and asked her to leave the city. Later, one of the central ministers gave her permission to stay in the country as long as she promised not to incite the Indian Muslims. For that, he asked her to apologize to the community whose ‘sentiments were hurt’ with folded hands, as if that atonement was a necessary and sufficient condition to stay in this country, being apologetic at all times.

This minister cited a deplorable precedent, shamelessly, not knowing that he was in fact stultifying every tenet of our constitution, where India imposed ban on Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses. This country joined the rank of most retrograde nations by being the first country in the world to ban Satanic Verses, even before Ayatollah of Iran decreed a fatwa against the author. Instead of admitting how foolish we were, this minister says, ‘‘we did not allow Salman Rushdie's book when it caused a flutter and raised controversy. She will not be an exception.”

And imagine to what extent we can stoop low. When a foreign nation wanted to honor Taslima, our shameless government intervened to stop them, all in a vain attempt to ‘pacify’ Indian Muslim zealots.

What is funny about Taslima’s episode is the brazen hypocrisy of Hindu zealots. While they want to ransack, torment and terrorize a painter for depicting Hindus goddesses in nude, they went overboard in their enthusiasm to invite and give homage to Taslima for ‘offending’ Muslims.

Sania Mania

The Muslim population in India along with all other sex-starved youth of India is obsessed with Sania Mirza. Whatever she does somehow brings wrath of peevish Indians, and mostly from radical Muslims of India, who seem to have a say in almost everything this woman does. She is everything the radical Muslims don’t want her to be. She was first berated for wearing short dresses on the court. Then she was chastised when she posed for an ad before a Mosque. Didn’t she know that women are not allowed inside the Mosque? The fact that she did NOT enter the mosque but posed outside the gates did not satisfy the mullahs and Muslim political parties who went onto protest against her. She had to apologize profusely to escape the wrath of ‘hurt sentiments’.

Then came an episode where she kept her legs up, and for some weird reason, a flag was transported from another universe and appeared right before her legs. So, once again, our peevish Indians filed a case against her for dishonoring our national flag. So, this time around it is not just radical Muslims. It is patriotic goons too who are baiting her.

Sania, who is just 21 years old, could not take this pressure anymore and has recently decided to stay away from playing in this country. Wow! Look how jubilant our religious forces are now!

Sexy Shriya

While Indian public lap up the sexy dances on the screen, in all vulgarity, they somehow do not extend the same benevolence when it comes to seeing their stars in public. A public litigation was filed against Shriya for dressing up obscenely. Shriya had to apologize to pacify the ‘hurt sentiments’ and for defiling the Great Indian Culture. Mallika Sherawat had to face the same music in another episode.

Lost virginity

You can lose your virginity before marriage, but you cannot admit it in the public. When Susmita Sen and Khushboo discussed losing virginity before marriage, it hurt our sentiments badly and we had to berate them and draw them to courts to make them apologize. Our sense of morality coming from our religions is now ready to enter our legal system too!

Ransack artists

Whether it is MF Husain who paints Mother India in nude, or a painter in Vadodara who showcases nudity in art, it draws ire from Indian Hindu religious groups who think it is their karma (duty) to defend the izzat (honor) of this country and its culture. Since there felt they were not alive when Muslim hordes descended upon India, or when British gentry taught Indians civilization, they think they should make up for it, by being ultra-conservative and Victorian now.

MF Husain has fled the country and has refused to come back, because the Indian people and the courts are baying for him.

Sacred Sethusamudram

So according to Indian Hindus, humans existed in India 1.75 Million years ago, stultifying every scientific observation known to man. According to these Indian Hindus, Lord Rama, using sophisticated managerial and taming skills recruited thousands of monkeys, while conversing with a bear, to build a giant bridge from India to Sri Lanka around 1.75 Million years ago.

And that belief is good enough to launch country-wide protests, in the process burning down buses and killing few innocent, and filing petitions in the court, and ridiculing every iota of intelligence found in India.

Very soon, they will be fighting for middle earth as proposed by Tolkien in Lord of Rings.

Heretic Da Vinci Code

Indian Christians saw something more in Da Vinci Code movie than the Christians of the West. While most countries in West allowed this movie to be screened, Indian governments, in their eagerness to satisfy its Christian protestors, went ahead to ban this movie from getting screened.

The funny aspect of this story is that Muslims supported their brothers-in-arm Christians in this ban. One blind fellow showing direction to another blind!

Peevish Sikhs

Just because one of their leaders wore certain attire to impersonate a great guru of the past, the present day Sikhs thought it was such a big insult to their great religion that they had to protest, riot on the streets, all in the name of ‘hurt sentiments’.

The biggest threat

The biggest threat to India is its religions. To start with, we made a mess of the definition of Secularism. Instead of sticking to the original definition of ‘no importance to religion’, we conveniently redefined it as ‘equal importance to all religions’, thus making sure we never keep our state separate from religion.

Most government officials unabashedly follow and practice religious rituals in their official work. The elected leaders go and attend religious festivities and organize events commemorating religious idols, all on official business. Organizations like DRDO start of events based on Hindu astrological predictions followed by Hindu religious rituals. Doling out freebies to different religious groups to gain vote banks is now a ritual in Indian Secularism.

According to Pewglobal.org and as described by Meera Nanda, 92% of Indians believe that ‘religion is very important’ to them, making us the second most-religious country in the world. [We came second only to Senegal which polled 97%. Even countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh, and other Islamic nations fared better compared to us].

If this is not enough, Indians also believe that belief in God is an indication of personal morality. 66% of Indians think that ‘it is necessary to believe in God in order to be moral and have good values’. No wonder our legal system is now quoting from religious books instead of legal books.

Religion is opium of mankind said Karl Marx.

Indians are high on their religious standing. They are intoxicated and inebriated on religious fervor. Most Indians believe their culture is the greatest while other cultures are inferior, again basing it heavily on their religion. India’s institutions, so carefully crafted and installed by our founding fathers during the time of Independence, are slowly crumbling away, eroding to the grand sweeps of religious sentiments. India’s sciences is taking a nosedive, thanks to growing blind belief, superstition and irrationality, again relying heavily on religion. Its political scene is heavily imbued with religious colors, which are now taking the seat of the pilot, driving us into the abyss.

India’s religions are the greatest threat to India and Indians. If we go this path, very soon we will be losing all our rights as citizens. We will be judged by our allegiance to a god and jailed for non-belief in god. Religious morality will replace Indian legality. Gods and goddesses will be our institutions. Sati and untouchability will be sanctions of god to get rid our evils. Tsunamis are not natural disasters, but signs of omen sent by god. Covering our women in from head to toe will be preserving our national honor.

India’s religions are chipping away pillars of this nation – its judicial system, its legislature, and it is eating away all our enshrined values.

Related Topics: 'Our sentiments are hurt', 'Our sentiments continue to hurt' II, India Curbs Freedom of Expression I, India Curbs Freedom of Expression II, MF Husain and nude paintings.


  1. Sujai

    Answers to these questions may give inputs about why Indians think their culture is superior.

    How many Women presidents & Black presidents have come from cultures which treats everybody equally.

    How many old people are taken care by their children in western cultures

    How many joint families exist in cultures which looks great to you.

    How many relatives come to airport when American/European returns back to his home town. You must have noticed difference between Air India landing in US City and any other european airlines landing in US City

    How many divorces happen in cultures which looks attractive to you.

    Why almost all Hindus came back from Pakistan but most of the muslims decided to stay in India

    These traits don't come because of Genes. These have to be inherited as part of the culture.

  2. good man...really appreciate your writing......

  3. Religion is the biggest strength and opportunity for India right now.

  4. The real threats are intolerance, hate, violence and disparity. Spirituality provides the biggest opprotunity to not become a victim of those.

  5. A minor Nit: the exact quote I think is "religion is the opiate of the masses".

    The post is as insightful as ever :)

  6. After having resisted this thought for many years, I have to surrender on the face of the facts that religion in the public sphere is a miserable failure. There is no rational form of religion that can work in the public sphere.

    ~ Vinod

  7. I have some points:

    1. Unfortunately, India never followed TRUE secularism, as you mentioned in your post. Religion should be strictly kept to a PRIVATE level. If you believe in god, okay. If you don't believe in god, fine. But don't beat your drums in public.

    2. I think there are too many IDLE MINDS and BRAINWASHED MINDS teeming in India today. An idle mind is a devil's workshop, and a brainwashed mind is a devil's chariot.

    3. The root lies in India's education system which abhors critical thinking, reasoning, questioning and creativity.
    Maybe you can blame this on the socio-religious psyche of most Indians.

    4. It's also very easy to proselytize an aimless, jobless person.

    5. If a person cannot channel his energy for constructive purposes, that energy may get used up in destructive purposes.

    6. It's also unfortunate that many Indians who have the brains and the guts don't have any morals and scruples (politicians, gangsters, religious heads), and also, many brainy, upright Indians just don't have the guts.

  8. There is a broader problem with Indians and Indian law. There is a tendency for miscreants and goons to ransack in the name of one cause or another, and most of the times they get away with it. Yes, religion is often a very convenient banner under which they threaten and create problems. But look at other recent agitations.

    1. The Marati versus North Indians riots that took place in Mumbai.
    2. Kids getting arrested because they allegedly defamed Chatrapathi Shivaji in Orkut which had led to rioting in Pune (again a symptom of Marati chauvinism)
    3. Kannadigas ransacking Tamil-owned shops three years ago due to the Cauvery issue.
    4. Widespread riots folowing the kidnapping of Rajkumar by Veerappan.

    In the above cases, it is not strictly about religion. The problem is that the state governments are lenient towards these rioters (who probably don't care about religion one way or the other, as long as it offers a convenient excuse to indulge in vandalism). Deal with rioters very strictly (hint - don't use rubber bullets, use real ones), and these kinds of anti-social activities would come down dramatically (irrespective of whether they are religiously motivated or not).

    It is the mob mentality of Indians that seems to be the fundamental problem.

  9. Oh, and speaking of banning books, not everything has to do with religion or obscenity. The Maharashtra government banned two books on Shivaji by the American scholar James W. Laine following allegations that it "hurts the sentiments" of people who adore the warrior-king. If distributed, both books could cause law and order problems, said the government statement. See http://www.frontlineonnet.com/fl2303/stories/20060224002609300.htm

    So even if we get rid of religion, we will still be faced with linguisitic and regional chauvinism. If we get rid of the them as well, then next on the list will be some group or the other (like those who agitated against the lyrics of some song since it "hurt the feelings" of people in their profession).

    Religion seems to offer the most convenient excuse, but is not the only one. The fundamental tendency of Indians to riot in the name of some hurt sentiments has to be curbed, even if by strict enforcement of law and order.

  10. Ledzius:
    I agree with your examples. It is not religion alone.

    I discussed this in 'our sentiments are hurt' where patriotism, regional chauvinism and other sentiments also seem to play a role.

    I do not ask for 'getting rid' of religion. I just want religion to be a personal choice, not the choice of the state.

    Idiocy get its legitimacy and sanctity using religion. In the name of religion, almost any idiotic thing is considered sacred.

    As Dawkins says, if someone says a foolish thing, we would call it foolish. But the same foolish thing backed with religious belief gets a different response, 'Oh! We respect that'.

  11. I just want religion to be a personal choice, not the choice of the state.

    Could you please elaborate? Where does state choose religion for you? Are you a Hindu because some Member of Parliament asked you to be a Hindu?

    Religion or spirituality or mysticism are all very personal matters. The things that you are detailing are mobs and mobs are by definition mad.

    I do not ask for 'getting rid' of religion.

    What are you asking for?

  12. Ekta:

    Where does state choose religion for you?

    Refer http://sujaiblog.blogspot.com

    What are you asking for?

    Refer http://sujaiblog.blogspot.com

  13. Tsk..tsk. Typical pseudo-secular rant where any criticism of non-Hindus cannot be mentioned in isolation, and one always has to bring up the actions of Hindutva elements to give "perspective" and "balance." Chalo, one step at a time - at least now you've started mentioning non-Hindu Indian issues in your posts. ;)

    BTW, Sujai, you do know that M.F. Husain repeatedly failed to appear before the court and fled the country when the court issued an arrest warrant (now suspended) for him. I guess famous artists are above such trivial issues, and you are above facts when it comes to your favorite rant. :)

    You can also add the controversy over the movie Meenaxi to the long list of Indian issues against artistic freedom.

  14. Good writing but you should know some more things. Religion should be the biggest strength and opportunity for India. It is not the case because people are unaware of the thing what religion actually tells. They go against myths and stories which does not represent the truth. We can together create awareness about the true religion and gods, which can uplift the total creation.

  15. Even though, i agree with most what you say usually, this post misses the point.
    How many of those were politically-and not religiously-motivated?
    So what happens often is: religionists are foolish enough to fall into the trap of being motivated by those with vested interests.

  16. Nazim Khan:
    How many of those were politically-and not religiously-motivated?

    Please go through Politically motivated

    In India you can wriggle out of any entanglement, escape any conviction, overturn any evidence, and falsify any logical argument, stultify any rational theory, pooh-pooh any expose, win any argument, calling it ‘politically motivated’.

  17. Religion has always played a major part in a country like India where around 90% of the population is religious and atheists are frowned upon. In fact declaring to your family and friends that you are an atheist somehow makes them feel that you lack in morality and something is definitely wrong with you.
    We have come to a point where the state has to pander to the whim and fancy of every religious leader fearing religious backlash. This cowardly "appease all" approach of the state has led to people infringing on others rights in the name of religion. We never really intended to seperate the state from religion in the first place and I don't think that is going to be possible in the future too.
    All this moral high ground about our "superior culture" is pure hypocrisy. Which religion in the world discriminates its own people and stratifies them into castes and labels some as untouchables? Hinduism undoubtedly, which is supposedly the foundation of Inidan culture. Hinduism has a lot of shameful things to its credit and sooner we Hindus realize this the better instead of bragging about our "superior culture and tradition".
    Most of the time this superior culture leads to a sexually repressed society wherein people are ready to ogle at actresses in theatres but raise a hue and cry when the same actresses dress similarly in public. Blatant hypocrisy at its worst.

  18. I was just reading something about this 15 minutes ago, so I'll just do a copy-paste.

    "Multiculturalism was formed with good intentions as a counter-reaction. But it has become a mirror-image of this old racism, treating Muslim women – and others – as so different that they do not deserve the same rights as the rest of us. As the European-Iranian feminist Azar Majedi puts it: "By creating different laws and judicial systems for each ethnic group, we are not fighting racism. In fact, we are institutionalising it."

    There is a better way for the state to understand and regulate human differences, beyond the old oppositions of Tebbittry and multiculturalism. It is called liberalism. A liberal society allows an individual to do whatever he or she wants, provided it doesn't harm other people. You can choose to wear PVC hotpants or a veil. You can choose to spend all day praying, or all day mocking people who pray.

    Where a multiculturalist prizes the rights of religious groups, a liberal favours the rights of the individual. So if you want to preach that the Archangel Gabriel revealed the word of God to an illiterate nomad two millennia ago, you can do it as much as you like. You can write books and hold rallies and make your case. What you cannot do is argue that since this angel supposedly said women are worth half of a man when it comes to inheritance, and that gay people should be killed, you can ditch the rules of liberalism and act on it.

    The job of a liberal state is not to stamp The True National Essence on its citizens, nor to promote "difference" for its own sake. It is to uphold the equal rights of every individual – whether they are white men or Muslim women. It has one liberal culture, with freedoms used differently by different people."


  19. I blame our constitution for exacerbating the situation, by promoting multiculturalism instead of liberalism.

    We don't have a uniform civil code, we have a reservation system that exacerbates the class divide, and we put severe restrictions on freedom of speech and expression.

    It's the difference between Multiculturalism and Liberalism, and given a choice between the two, I'd go for liberalism any day.

  20. I am an Indian that was born and raised in Sydney, Australia but all my family still lives in Hyderabad. I feel a strong connection to Indian culture and was born a Hindu, but I am an atheist and I support the premise of this article 100%. In my opinion, India will never be a world leader if the issue of religion is not addressed. Look at other countries in Asia that are very successful, Japan, South Korea and now of course China. These are some of the most secular countries in the world in terms of population and government, yet many of their core values are preserved. Families are still of the utmost importance, elders are cared for and loved. Yet, at the same time, women are more respected and free in comparison to India (although they are culturally still held back slightly more than in the west). How can India progress when women are considered so much lower than men? They are 50% of the population. How can India progress when the caste system, which is tied to Hinduism by its very nature, is still alive and vibrant in rural and urban communities? How can India progress if religion invades the education system warping the minds of some of the worlds brightest children with irrational beliefs and unproven theories? The answer is it cannot, and it is one of the major reasons that the speed of its progress will simply pale in comparison to that of China which does not have to appease Hindu or Muslim fanatics every step of the way.

  21. Rohan, what do you mean by "cast system tied with Hinduism"? Have you looked at the Muslim and Christian communities in India and the caste system that's prevalent among these two religions which claim to be egalitarian (Ashrafs and Ajlafs among Muslims)? [link]

    Also, can you provide some links to religious books that condone mistreatment of people based on caste? Oh, and Manu Smriti is not a religious book. Furthermore, can you point to prominent Hindus who agree that mistreatment of people under caste system is wonderful? You will only find politicians using caste to divide people and ensure their vote-banks, and because of those stupid policies, even the "higher" caste people are clamoring to be classified as OBC etc. to get the benefits. And what do you propose we should do to tackle the caste system? Thanks.

  22. Do you need books to know that the caste system is part of the Hindu religion? Don't you see it in you everyday life?

  23. Do you need books to know that the caste system is part of the Hindu religion? Don't you see it in you everyday life?

    Rags, please read my earlier comment slowly and carefully - you might have been too quick to jump to some conclusions and missed my point - not surprisingly, I might add, with your looking-to-West-for-approval outlook.

    And no, I don't see any discrimination or mistreatment of people in my everyday life based on caste, nor did I see it growing up. But then again, I grew up in a mid-sized city that was quite cosmopolitan in nature. YMMV.

  24. You said:
    "Rohan, what do you mean by "cast system tied with Hinduism"? Have you looked at the Muslim and Christian communities in India and the caste system that's prevalent among these two religions which claim to be egalitarian"

    What's your point here? That caste system is endemic in india and has got nothing to do with Hinduism? On the other hand these communities have just assimilated what was mainly a Hindu practice probably becuase they were converts. That doesn't change the fact that caste system was a Hindu practice and that's how it started.

    "You will only find politicians using caste to divide people and ensure their vote-banks"
    You are pretty wrong when you say that politicians are the only one who harp on their castes. If they are doing it it means they have a receptive audience who are ready to lap up whatever they say. I've seen plenty of people who are proud of belonging to a particular caste and wear it as a badge of honour. Maybe your knowledge is limited by you experience. I don't

  25. Rags, again, please read my comment. If you cannot even parse simple English, then there's no point in having a discussion. There's a big difference between "mistreatment based on caste system" and "caste system." And you're a doctor in medical school?? Hey Ram.

    Yes, Muslims and Christians also have caste system, though if you had followed the link, you'd have found out that Ashraf and Ajlaf have nothing to do with Hinduism. So, let's not use the stick of caste to beat just Hinduism, and certainly not allow Islam and Christianity to claim for themselves the mantle of egalitarianism, or superiority.

    If the politicians don't play their vote-bank games based on castes, the audience - receptive or not - are not going to get any traction. Top-down approach works here.

  26. Chirkut, Rags:
    Yes, there casteism exists in Christianity, Islam and Sikhism IN INDIA. This casteism is inherited from Hinduism. Caste system does not exist in these religions in other parts of the world. So, how do we know if casteism is part of Hinduism and not something that is native to this land (i.e. Indian sub-continent?)

    Take Bali, for example, where Hinduism was exported. Though other religions in Indonesia are caste less only Hindus in Indonesia practice an extremely rigid form of casteism. An Indonesian friend observed that this is practiced so strongly that a lower caste person even with a high rank would sit on the floor when a high caste person is around.

  27. "Rags, again, please read my comment. If you cannot even parse simple English, then there's no point in having a discussion".

    My first post was:
    "Do you need books to know that the caste system is part of the Hindu religion? Don't you see it in you everyday life?"
    I should have added the word discrimination here. I assumed that the meaning was obvious.

    If you had read my next post carefully (as you had so kindly asked me to) you would have understood that I was replying to this specific statement made by you:
    "Rohan, what do you mean by "cast system tied with Hinduism"? Have you looked at the Muslim and Christian communities in India and the caste system that's prevalent among these two religions which claim to be egalitarian (Ashrafs and Ajlafs among Muslims)? [link]
    I was not talking about discrmination based on caste system. I was only talking about caste system and its association with Hinduism. Please don't confuse yourself and everyone around here. Keep your religious beliefs aside and try to analyse things in a neutral way.

    "And you're a doctor in medical school?? Hey Ram".

    Too bad you couldn't make it dude.

    "your looking-to-West-for-approval outlook".

    Atleast am not a hopeless apologist for every nasty thing associated with Hinduism.

  28. I was not talking about discrimination based on caste system. I was only talking about caste system and its association with Hinduism.

    Duh. And where did I refuse or deny that caste system is not there in Hinduism? It's a social system - all societies have some kind of social stratification based on profession and money earned - you might want to look at the people you socialize with and see if they come from *all* walks of life and *all* professions etc. or do you select them based on some social criteria/hierarchy and where you are in that hierarchy. When was the last time you socialized with your dhobi, grocery shopkeeper, clerk or driver - the way you do with your fellow-classmates or fellow-doctors? If and when you have children, would you aspire for them to have a career as a cab driver, or a doctor/lawyer? Here in the US, we have blue-collar workers, white-collar workers, academics, intellectuals, bureaucrats, politicians, businessmen - and they self-segregate to a large extent based on their profession. It's the discrimination and mistreatment that is problematic. And that discrimination is not sanctioned in any Hindu religious texts but came about because the system became corrupt and rigid. If you are unable and unwilling to understand the distinction and instead conflate the two, then that's your problem.

    Atleast am not a hopeless apologist for every nasty thing associated with Hinduism.

    I would be an apologist if
    a. the Hindu texts condoned *mistreatment* based on caste-system, and
    b. I denied that or made excuses for it.

    I'm doing neither and actually think that caste system as practiced today needs to go. So I'm not sure how pointing out *facts* makes me an apologist for Hinduism. If you're making a claim that Hinduism is responsible for current ills of caste system, then you need to prove that using some facts. I hope as a doctor, you do diagnose patients based on some logic and evidence.

    In fact, it's the perpetuation of the reservation system by Congress and its left allies based on caste that plays a part in caste system and its ills still being with us. I can understand that some reservation is necessary, but it also needs to be phased out for those who have already benefited, otherwise we'll never see the end of OBC-related riots and unrest in India. It's a paradox that the left wants to do away with castes, yet continues the caste-based reservation system even for those who have already benefited and pulled themselves up, for a very simple reason - vote banks. How is that going to get Indian society rid of caste system?

    The fact is that there's nothing in Hindu texts that says "mistreat men based on their caste." And there have been reformers who addressed the problem, though not without much success. Was religion used as a cover to mistreat people and is still used in many places where Dalit violence occurs? You bet, and I will criticize that aspect. Just like democracy is used to carry out injustices - Bush and his Iraq war. Now, are you going to throw away democracy because of what Bush is doing, or is it because of Bush misusing the system? Even Hitler came to power through elections held under democracy.

    At least I try to explore and dig deep instead of blindly subscribing to the short-sighted and stupid view that
    a. Hinduism = evil, and
    b. all Hindu/Indian culture = bad, and
    c. all Western culture = good.

    I don't look at the world through the eyes of *only* Marxist ideology and point fingers at religion as the cause of all evils - and that too only *one* religion. It's rightly called pseudo-secularism. Yeah, so you've read a Dawkins or Dennet, big effing deal. Then again, you're only 22, so I can understand. ;)

    I'm done discussing this issue with you, and my original question wasn't even directed at you, so not sure why you jumped in with your half-baked theories. Go watch "Ghost Rider" or some other "cool" American movie that celebrates dysfunctional people.


    Sujai, the Arabic Muslims do look down upon non-Arabic Muslims as inferior. If you want to stick to a strict definition of caste system, then yes, it is found in Hinduism. But discrimination to some extent or other is there in many religions. In Abrahamic religions, non-followers are accorded a lower and usually inferior status.

    And yes, in India, the fact that Muslims, Sikhs and Christians also have caste system is because the converts came from that caste system. But then, let's not call Islam, Sikhism and Christianity egalitarian religions (as they claim to be) if they are unable to get rid of caste among their followers. And that actually shows that caste system has both religious and social components, and has roots in human nature.

    I mean you consider yourself superior to so many Indians who you think are idiots - as your many posts demonstrate - because of your experiences and privileges.

  29. I mean you consider yourself superior to so many Indians who you think are idiots - as your many posts demonstrate - because of your experiences and privileges.

    That is the nice way to say crux of entire Sujai blog. People have right to consider themselves as Intelligent. But if somebody considers rest of the mankind or society as idiot then there should be some problem with them.

  30. "At least I try to explore and dig deep instead of blindly subscribing to the short-sighted and stupid view that
    a. Hinduism = evil, and
    b. all Hindu/Indian culture = bad, and
    c. all Western culture = good".

    "I don't look at the world through the eyes of *only* Marxist ideology"

    You just assume a lot of things about me ,don't you? The above statements i.e. all "Hinduism is bad, all western culture=good" was never made by me. You just generalise people so that it reinforces stereotypes to suit your stupid arguments. It is so easy to discredit a person when you call them a extremist and that is exactly what you are doing.

    "Marxist ideology?"-
    I don't know where you got that idea from. I do not subscribe to communism or marxist ideology. But again why would someone like you bother to get the facts right. You just love generalising people , don't you?

    "And that discrimination is not sanctioned in any Hindu religious texts but came about because the system became corrupt and rigid. If you are unable and unwilling to understand the distinction and instead conflate the two, then that's your problem".
    A system like the caste system which is hereditary is bound to be misused. If you cannot see this simple logic and go on with "caste system was a simple division of labour theory" you are the one who has got a problem here.

    "Go watch "Ghost Rider" or some other "cool" American movie that celebrates dysfunctional people".

    Not a fan of Hollywood movies, I've told this previously too, but then again expecting a religious bigot to reason things is taking it too far I suppose.

    "Then again, you're only 22, so I can understand. ;)"
    You might be older than me , but any seven year old can surpass your reasoning skills. First you say that I don't understand English, then you resort to calling me a Marxist lover,India hater, West lover, and what not. I suppose name calling is the only thing that you do know.

    "Here in the US, we have blue-collar workers, white-collar workers, academics",
    Paradoxical isn't it? You call me a west lover, ultimately it is you the so called torch bearer of "Indian culture and Hinduism" who is making a living in the West and working for the West. I suppose all NRIs do have this problem. Migrating to a different country makes them insecure, and they cling to religion and culture for some sort of support. NRIs seem to be more devout Hindus than Indians living in India :) I am not going to burst your bubble.Continue living in you comfort zone.

    I am done discussing with you. No point trying to reason with someone who's got no idea of the ground realities in India.

  31. A system like the caste system which is hereditary is bound to be misused.

    Was it? Again, you base your assertion not on facts but what is convenient to your narrative.


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