Monday, April 26, 2010

Freedom from Religion

What we Indians need is freedom from religion; freedom from its foolishness, from its ignorance, from its zealotry.  We need freedom from a religion’s version of morality, from its archaic traditions, from its blind faith, from its superstition.  We need freedom from its imbecility, its bigotry and its intolerant imposition of values and virtues onto us.   Religious people are free to practice any idiocy in their lives, but they have no right to impose it onto us, by any law or by any decree of the land.

And yet, we are stuck with one of archaic and medieval laws.  Section 295A of Indian Penal Code says:

295A. Deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs.

Whoever, with deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the religious feelings of any class of citizens of India, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs or by visible representations or otherwise insults or attempts to insult the religion or the religious beliefs of that class, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.

There are so many religious belief systems in India that one cannot even count them.  While we have Hindus, Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Parsees, Jains, Buddhists as major religious groups, we also have many religious sects within each of those major religions, with religious sentiments changing from region to region, from faction to faction. 

How big should a religion be to be considered a religion by the state?  Can I form a new religion with 100 people, and then go on to say that we get offended each time someone defecates either inside a toilet or anywhere?  According to our religion, defecation is a sin, and each time someone takes a dump, we get offended.  Can our religious feelings be protected?  Can we prosecute each guy who shits?

There is no limit to what can ‘insult’ a religion.   Does eating with your left hand a personal choice or an effrontery against a religious practice?  Does sitting during a ritual a personal choice or an egregious act against a religious ritual?  Is consensual sex between two adults a personal choice or an insult to a religious belief? Is painting Hindu gods in nude artistic freedom and continuation of long held liberal practice or an attempt to insult a religious group?

Many old Hindu temples have sculptures of Hindu gods standing in nude and you never bother to pay attention to it, but then suddenly after few years you realize that the artisan who sculpted it was a Muslim.  Now, what do you do?  Do you now prosecute this Muslim artisan for outraging religious feelings of Hindus?

Religious feelings are mere feelings and they can be hurt by almost anything.  There should be no law to protect feelings of people, especially not groups.  Religion, like a government, is an all pervading idea that touches upon all of us, and there is no unique definition to what makes a religion.  Therefore any attempt to define it universally and then try to protect it from getting hurt is foolishness.  

For example, Hinduism has no single definition- some people eat beef, some people don’t; some eat meat, some don’t; some visit temple on Saturday, some on Thursday; some celebrate festivals on full moon day, some on new moon day; for some people taking drugs is immoral; for some it is a religious practice; for some people prostitution is immoral; for some it is a religiously sanctioned profession.  How do you defend a religious sanctity when there are so many versions?

The question is why should we even defend a belief that is based in blind faith, superstition and irrationality?  And against whom?

Nityananda scandal

According to me all godmen are fraudsters.  These godmen know that they cannot perform any miracles; they know that they are no different from any magician, and yet they pretend to have healing powers, and that makes them fraudsters.   Some fraudsters get caught while others die without ever getting caught.  Nityananda happens to be one of those fraudsters who got caught.

Nityananda was arrested under two cases of Sections 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), 376 (punishment for rape), 377 (unnatural sex), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of IPC.

I do not know much about other cases, but I am not sure why and how Nityananda is charged under Section 295A.  What Nityananda did cannot affront, outrage or insult Hindus or Hinduism.  Hinduism has a long tradition of Babas and Sadhus healing people under false promises.  Mothers-in-law drop off their daughter-in-laws at Baba’s place for few days.  Lo and Behold, a child is born nine months later.   So if Nityananda did anything, he upheld the long tradition of Hinduism.  He should be given a religious award for upholding long cherished belief system and practices of Hinduism, not penalize him.  Having sex with an adult woman does not go against Hinduism.  If the lady did not consent to sex, then that would be rape; if he cheated people, then it would be ‘cheating’.   There are already laws to take care of such things.  Why a separate law to protect any kind of religious sentiments? 

Religious beliefs are based in blind faith, irrationality, and superstition.  There is no limit to what a person can do to antagonize a religious group.  You can just sit at home and think some thoughts and that can offend a religious person.  Blasphemy laws in some Islamic states are a testament to such foolishness.

Section 295A does not make sense in a modern secular state.  It is an anachronistic law from Victorian times.  There is no need to protect a religion from itself or from other religions.  The ordinary secular laws are good enough to protect people and identities without having to resort to laws like Section 295A of IPC.

The laws like Section 295A will be used by all and sundry to harass almost anyone.  Any criticism, any religious discourse or debate, any untraditional practice, any deviation, any anomaly, any creativity, any originality, can be deemed as an insult to a religion.  Such laws curtail individual freedom and suppress original thinking. 

Sania Shoaib Marriage

The recent drama on TV about Sania Shoaib marriage prompted some idiotic Muslims to charge the couple with hurting religious sentiments under Section 295A.

The complainant alleged Shoaib Malik and 13 others by way of their false representation played with religious beliefs and maliciously outraged the religious feelings of Muslims as such their acts are illegal and constitute an offence under section 295 (A) (Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings or any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) of IPC.

India has become a place where anyone can harass almost anyone with such ridiculous and flimsy cases.  Recently we have successfully kicked out one of the greatest artists India has ever produced.  MF Husain was hounded by hundreds of such cases against him in almost every city and town of India. 

Religion can be and should be insulted in a modern nation because it is an all pervading notion that affects each of us.  Like the ideas of a nation, a language, a government, it is not a private matter.  Practice of religion could be private, but the religion as a notion is not private.   Religion needs to be reformed and corrected by the people where necessary. Such reformations and corrections cannot happen without criticism.  Any criticism or deviation can be considered an insult by oversensitive people.   

And if we start protecting religions, its blind followers and blind belief systems, against any such alleged insults through diktats of state, we will be stopping all reformation and corrections.  This is no different from Dark Ages where religion was considered supreme, above all reproach, where originality and creativity was curbed for nearly five hundred years.  Man moved into light from darkness only when he realized religion is not above reproach and rebuke, only when he could question, criticize and debate, only when sanctity was pushed into the background while reason and rationale came into the foreground. 

Let there be light in our lives.  Let there be freedom from religion.  Repeal Sec 295A.


  1. >>"offended each time someone defecates"
    LOL! very funny!! i would like to join this religion please... where do i apply?
    maybe we could start a non-religion like the Spaghetti Monster thingy.. a smelly spaghetti indeed ;)
    im ready to hand out flyers outside piles hospital.

  2. Oops! didn't mean to be anonymous in the above comment.

  3. I'm not fanatic about regional biasism but patriotic when it comes marrying someone out of your home country. Sonia's wedding to a Pakistani upsets a lot of her followers. When a nation spends crores of Rupees on a player, it is a bad example to set for the nation. Yes, if she was a non-celebrity/player there are no boundaries go marry someone from Pakistan. Now, you would question that do we segment out celebrities and non-celebs. Well, the fact of the matter is celebs are supposed to set an example as role-models. Another, debatable point is we bring in coaches from outside India. So, why can't Sonia marry someone from out of India. Well, go coach, but please set a good example for the country. Where you could spread patriotism among the Muslim youth. On a popular US show, 60 minutes yesterday there was a study on a radical turned non-radical who is using the same methods to convert radical beliefs into rational beliefs for the fundamentally wrong Pakis. Thats an example you set.

  4. >>Yes, if she was a non-celebrity/player there are no boundaries go marry someone from Pakistan.
    Medley, just an observation here. Freedom means exactly that.. the right of an individual to chose what he/she wants even though it might upset "feelings" of many. If you thinks about it, love/marriage is very personal and no one including the government or hardcore fan has the right to tell someone who they can love or marry. Bad example or otherwise, celeb or non-celeb does not matter at all.. individual choice trumps all!

  5. An excellent article, enjoyed reading it. While I am not a very religious guy myself, I am not against people having their own religious beliefs, your point about starting a cult following with a hundred members was pretty funny :P

    I want to bring to light the turmoil in France right now, with the abolition of the burqa. In France, you are not allowed to flaunt your religion, not allowed to publicize any symbols/signs related to your religion, etc. Is this how it should be for India as well? Even the mere suggestion of it will lead to (yet again) communal wars.

    It's funny I came across your post today, because coincidentally, I was watching The Da Vinci Code earlier this evening. I liked the part where Tom Hanks says, it's all on your beliefs. When the book (and later movie) were released, Christians all over the world felt offended. No one was prepared to accept the fact that it is, merely, a fictional whim, a masterpiece created by the author Dan Brown. If anything, the realism of the story buys into it's whole debate.

    While abolishing religion as a whole is pretty idealistic, that doesn't mean to say it's not a positive hope to cling on to. Cases against self-proclaimed godmen have been sprouting up through the years, it's nothing new to misuse people's trust for your own personal gains .And while I am not implicating anything, isn't that exactly what even Jesus Christ was about, and wasn't that why the Romans turned against him? Every belief in the world has it's own set of doubters and critics. It's what makes the world an open playground. If everyone were to have the same set of beliefs, well, that's what Hitler's been famous for, hasn't he?

  6. Yes, Sujai... this is the most important issue in this country. How the misuse of this section is hurting India and her people... ur post confirms it. Dude... there r hundreds of laws that are used/misused, depends on how u see it. If these sections are repealed because some people want to, there will not be any laws in this country. This is a dumb post, ignoring ground realities and public sensitivities.

  7. Smitha,
    That is correct. In a democratic country such as India or US you have every right to be free and choose what you want. Yet, there are certain boundaries that citizens set themselves. In the cold-war period a lot US tennis stars married the Russians or Germans. That was coldly digested by US tennis fans. What did Russians or Germans who got married to a US seed afterward do? Never were let back into their home-country as freely before. They slowly absorbed into the US cloud and succumbed into their now in-laws culture. Once a celeb opts to marry out of her country. Let her out. DO NOT GIVE her options to set feet in her area of expertise between the two nations. Especially, if the nations are at cold-war or animosity with each other.

  8. India, A culture medley:

    Smitha sums it up.

    As Indians, we may not feel good about Sania marrying a Pakistani, but we have to agree that it is her wish. You can criticize her for that, and write on how she has ‘betrayed’ so many loyal supporters. But we wouldn’t want to make a law that prohibits someone from marrying a person of her/his choice.

    If she continues to play for India, it’s well and good. Her getting married to a Pakistani should not be an issue unless we see it as a national security threat. If she wants to play for Pakistan, it’s her choice.

    Many Indians trained in top Indian colleges and research institutes migrate to US and serve that country. Do we stop them? We welcome them as ambassadors of India-US relationship. So, why should we treat Sania any different?

  9. Veyron:

    In France, you are not allowed to flaunt your religion, not allowed to publicize any symbols/signs related to your religion, etc. Is this how it should be for India as well?

    Not really. I admire India for what it is. It allows each religion to thrive without having to be ashamed of its identity. However, I do agree with recent court rulings in India which mandate a woman take off her veil for driver’s license, because a face is not a matter of privacy if you want to obtain a driver’s license.

    While abolishing religion as a whole is pretty idealistic,

    I do not seek abolishing of religion.

  10. Nah, you misunderstand me. I was referring to the public practices related to any religion, not religion as a whole. It should strictly be a private matter, based on a person's own beliefs.

  11. Sujai : Many Indians trained in top Indian colleges and research institutes migrate to US and serve that country. Do we stop them? We welcome them as ambassadors of India-US relationship. So, why should we treat Sania any different?

    Culture Medley (Ari Toth) : India lets brain drain with a colloborative mindset. US permits brain gain after a drain from India. The reason for this is so an individual gets advanced Western experience. Hence, mad drive for US education. After which an individual either obtains US citizenship or sets back to his country.
    Its a situation of EITHER "brain drain" OR "brain gain".
    An individual is subconsciously made to mandate one choice NOT both.
    Sania is no bi-regional angel. Let her be made one choice, she either permanently move to Pakistan as a citizen there OR permanently settle in India along with Shoab continue playing.
    Even in the US a dependant spouse obtains US citizenship and is made to disconnect with his original homeland, legally not in-humanly.

  12. It is a nice blog and Sujai you are the best at some times and specially when you favor Muslims, I mean Islam, I shouldn’t say you favor that but I Should say you understood it well and preach it in correct way. Regarding Law which you want to repeal 295A, is it because you want to be safe? Coz in one way you are degrading Hinduism by stating some facts and you are degrading Islam or any other religion by stating some facts and happenings which means in other way you are (295A). Deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs.
    I would really want to know what you mean by this sentence - Blasphemy laws in some Islamic states are a testament to such foolishness. Can you give some texts on this? I wanted to know what such laws are which becomes foolishness in Islamic states by which I can also fight with the preachers of Islam. Sujai, you are far better and superior in your thoughts and research and history, I can’t compete with you but I want to let know things coz I am a Muslim and Islam don’t have any Law which is against humanity, As per the Quran, Prophet and latest now by great scholar and preacher of Islam Zakir Naik, he is nothing compared to Islam but he is the best in preaching Islam, may be you have come across him anytime by any means if not you should look at him and Inshallah you may. His website is
    Sujai, until people like you are there in India, India can’t become a Hindu state, it can be so called secular state and that too for name sake I really mean this. I appreciate your stands on correct things. I can’t talk about other religions but can say Islam is best and if you have any doubt or misconception you can refer to Mr. Zakir for that and it is moreover your wish I’m no way forcing or compelling you to look into Islam and its laws coz everyone says We are right but the results will be later after death. No one can finalise who is correct in this era. Regarding Sania episode, As per Islam she can marry any believer of Allah SWT, thanks to Allah SWT she didn’t married a Non-believer, Now we don’t know he is true believer or Not but he claims to be a believer and it is nothing wrong for her to marry him what Islam says, Rest about the episode media is always behind Islam coz it will become hot topic, In your this blog too, most of the comments are on Sania, Not on Hinduism or its belief or Swamy etc though you have written on every religion almost, Yes of course Sania and others did wrong by making it a huge ceremony, she paid the price of being a celebrity, there are lots of cases like her which never come up, but being a celebrity and Muslim she should have given due respect to her Islamic laws and should have done all as per Islam. In the expenses of her marriage she could have given charity for Poor girls who can’t get married in the society.

  13. ISHAQ, blasphemy & apostasy laws in most islamic states are notoriously cruel. this one comes to mind for example,
    if any religious text differentiates believers from non-believers then by definition, it is against humanity. read up on "Thought crime" and ask your preachers some questions regarding what actions are considered an insult to islam.

  14. @sujai
    remember u r living in a country where religion is imbibed in each and every blod cell of its people.
    it is more of a lifestyle than religion.

  15. by pic Smith or Smitha, I again say you - BBC, CNN, or any other channel “can” flash news out of proportion if any topic is related to Islam. Tell me, As per BBC, CNN, JAZEERA Blabla Osama is a terrorist, and same media’s - at time of our independence fight, against British, charged Bhagat singh as a terrorist, and by definition terrorist means “who terrors opposite person” – so for a thief, a police man is terrorist. I’m not saying Osama is a terrorist or not, but if we go by media they are terrorists, but if you see facts and happenings you can analyze. So Malaysia news by BBC, in my view has gone out of proportion,(Have not you watched the Movie “RANN”-media’s role) Coz Islam never force in anyway anyone to accept Islam, and if Malaysians has really done this then I don’t have a need to ask preacher or mufti or Alim of Islam, Right away I can say they shown barbaric Act which is against Islam, and in my view they are not MUSLIMs.Coz I know well, Islam never compel anyone, In fact there is no need. See, Allah SWT has many angels to do tasbeeh (Type of worship praising him) of him, He, the Almighty is no way require the worship of any human kind, it is We who requires him,NOT Him, So do u think Any MUSLIM will compel any other person to Accept Islam???? Coz as a MUSLIM it is proved Allah doesn’t require Us, We require him, If Allah does require All Humankind to worship him, then no other religion have had prevailed this much except Islam, He is just testing everyone by giving right and wrong, answer to who is correct - as I said earlier Later after death. And if Allah SWT wants Humankind then I would have agreed that a MUSLIM is forcing other “non-believer of ALLAH SWT” (HOPE I HAVE ANSWER YOUR QUESTION of BELIEVER AND NON-BELIEVER) to Accept Islam and worship Allah. But no way, it is logical. But an example – if you require a mathematics teacher, 3 teachers applying for it, and 1st teacher said 2+2=4 and other said 2+2=5 and third says 2+2=6, so, to whom you will accept as a mathematics teacher???? Of course if you are sane you will accept the Ist One, and the same applies for this that I’m saying you Islam is best means I’m saying you 2+2=4, but I’m not forcing you to agree that, If anyone is sane he will agree that and I think the same has been applied with Revathi, but News what comes out will not be the News which gets in the newspaper or Media’s office, I have been a journalist for 7 years and I am into law background since 4 years, Alhamdullilah I have little best knowledge about media, May be Sujai of course Admit this about Media. I don’t think that I should read ‘Thought crime’ Coz everyone is criminal with their intentions until they prepares, everyone has a bad intention and a good intention, unless and until one goes beyond intention to prepare or to attempt then only they can be proved as criminal. And regarding consulting a preacher about insult against Islam I can say what I know, but where I can’t understand of course I will ask them. You have to be broad minded smitha, I said u sania being a celebrity paid the price and degraded things, because of her Islamic laws has been seen in totally wrong views, 3 talakh, maher ki rakham declare karega blaa blaa,qazi ne kaha galat usne kaha sahi blaa blaa like cat and rats fight and it is all media, who don’t know Islam and if found something new to them flash it like it is new in this world. Anyways Normal life is a good life, Yes celebrity, but didn’t other celebrities do marriages ever? Not like this drama. and India oh my God, the best and worst place in world, aur is desh ke log, Agar kisi ko chadana hai to Asmaan par pohancha detey aur agar kuch galat hua to Zameen ke andar dafan hojata insaan, Uska wajood mita deta India best examples recent ones Rajiv (Bofors) Azharuddin (Cricket), Amitabh (politics), Sachin (mumbaiya-Sena), Shahrukh (mannat-MNIK for praising other country players) like these many who are best but zara kuch hua Aisi ki Taisi.

  16. Ishaq ji,

    zakir naik ,a tolerant person ...?

    Go and search youtube on

    "zakir naik on apostasy"

    and tell me if he is tolerant,and
    "Islamic countries" are tolerant.

  17. Scripthost, video on youtube only shows till he said it is justified but explanation after that has been not shown on youtube by the video maker, it is a work by a non-believer against Zakir, anyways sees the following.
    Sir, better be in your religion don't accept others until you are not satisfied. Once you accept change is forbidden, coz you start playing with religion. Do u want to play like this?? A Muslim being in Islam swears to Allah SWT and then if he change and say badly about ALLAH SWT what should be done? it is correct what Islam says. That’s why we only say ISLAM is best, and shows the correct and wrongs, we don’t compel you to come into it. You at your stand are right, I at my stand am right. I will never force you don’t’ worry. Choice is ours.
    Justifications for the death penalty
    More recently, Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi, a noted 20th century Islamic Scholar argued that verses [Qur'an 9:11] of the Qur'an sanction death for apostasy. The argument given by Mawdudi[27] for these verses is:
    "The following is the occasion for the revelation of this verse: During the pilgrimage (hajj) in A.H. 9 God Most High ordered a proclamation of an immunity. By virtue of this proclamation all those who, up to that time, were fighting against God and His Apostle and were attempting to obstruct the way of God's religion through all kinds of excesses and false covenants, were granted from that time a maximum respite of four months. During this period they were to ponder their own situation. If they wanted to accept Islam, they could accept it and they would be forgiven. If they wanted to leave the country, they could leave. Within this fixed period nothing would hinder them from leaving. Thereafter those remaining, who would neither accept Islam nor leave the country, would be dealt with by the sword." In this connection it was said: "If they repent and uphold the practice of prayer and almsgiving, then they are your brothers in religion. If after this, however, they break their covenant, then war should be waged against the leaders of kufr (infidelity). Here "covenant breaking" in no way can be construed to mean "breaking of political covenants". Rather, the context clearly determines its meaning to be "confessing Islam and then renouncing it". Thereafter the meaning of "fight the heads of disbelief" ([Qur'an 9:11]) can only mean that war should be waged against the leaders instigating apostasy."
    Mawdudi's interpretation is supported by other Muslim writers. For example, Afzal ur-Rahman in Muhammad, Blessing for Mankind, Seerah Foundation, London, Revised Second Edition, 1988, p. 218 under "Apostasy" states:
    "People who turn away from Islam and do not repent but wage war and create mischief in the land are also considered as murderers. "But if they break their oaths after making compacts and taunt you for your faith, you should fight with these ringleaders of disbelief because their oaths are not trustworthy: it may be that the sword alone will restrain them" (Quran 9:12). And in Surah Al-Nahl, "But whosoever accepts disbelief willingly, he incurs God's Wrath, and there is severe torment for all such people"(Quran-usc 16:106)"

  18. Ishaq ji,

    eariler you said "only allah can judge,humans will never intervene"

    Now you beautifully quote suras and say "death to non-believers,hah you joined us now stay with us"

    if allah's followers are so insecure that they give death to people who just want to leave ,that shows a lot about 'tolerance'

    What about children ,who are muslim by birth ,can they not change their religion or become atheists?

    if sujai/me was muslim born in arabia,and he wants to leave his religion what would the 'secular/tolerant' government of islamic countries do to him or me?

    why not allow temples in saudi-arabia..why should humans force allah's rules on me..

    This is what sujai argues about

    I can quote more and more on such videos made by "logical thinking" preachers

    you say ,BBC is fake ,I agree,but if i quote official saudi govt sites and their rules toward 'non-believers' would that satisfy you.

  19. Brother Script, That’s the reason I say know it fully or don’t know it at all. When I said nothing is against humanity in Islam, it is correct and for this you have to know whole of Islam, not like one or two things, that’s the reason I said better we do have to be in our religion nor to compel but to say what is truth rest depends. Allah's Apostle said, "The blood of a Muslim who confesses that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that I am His Apostle, cannot be shed except in three cases: In Qisas (retaliation) for murder, a married person who commits illegal sexual intercourse and the one who reverts from Islam (apostate) and leaves the Muslims." 9:83:17.
    Knowing little and speaking what little against humans and starting debate is not good. Saudi is Muslim country and as well UAE is also and UAE has churches and Temples. Saudi is strict in Islamic Sharia and UAE is not up to that mark and for this of course Allah SWT will decide later,
    Brothers, they are not follower that’s why they had become insecure and left. If they are real followers from childhood, no question of getting changed. I wish you and sujai would have been Muslim and upon that a real follower then there would have been no question of this query.

  20. Ishaq ji,

    What do you mean
    "if they are real follower since childhood they will never change"

    so you are saying ,children who are born into islam ,have no choice but to stay .or face death by sharia law.

    and you call this 'tolerance'?

    anyways ,thanks for your answers

  21. Don’t understand it wrongly brother, if they are real follower how come there will be a need for them to think of a change???????
    Islamic follower will never change whatever the situation is. Children who are born into Islam, Inshallah will never even wish to change if they really follow the ISLAM. No question of Apostasy. Thanks Script.

  22. Sujai

    I recommend Amartya Sen's Argumentative Indian. You will get material from India's heterodoxical traditions to criticize the pervasive religious orthodoxy of India. India needs a revival of its heterodoxical traditions.

    ~ Vinod

  23. I think the opposition to sania's choice is that she married a pakistani. pakistan is directly and indirectly responsible for destroying this country in various means. As a nation when we know this how can she marry a paki? She could have gone and married any human from any other country and we wouldn't have bothered.

  24. Sujai,

    When there are a million things to paint on this earth why choose Hindu goddesses - and that too in the nude. That is not the mind of a normal human but of one whose mind has deteriorated in some way.

  25. Jack Roberts:
    The only crime Shoaib Malik had commited is that he was born in Pakistan.Does that automatically make him an enemy of India? Can't you differentiate between Pakistani government/ISI/ army and its people? Do you think every Pakistani is an enemy of India?Is there no limit to your stupidity?

  26. Sujai,

    Religion is a very powerful idea and should be wielded carefully; but, definitely not by someone who is angry with it. I find that there are lots of negative posts about religion in general and hinduism in particular in this blog. The disappointment, of course, is that the anger towards religion is caused due to misunderstanding and miinterpretations that have not been corrected; if you are a man in your twenties, it is probably ok because there is plenty of time; but, if you are in your late 30s and 40s, then it will be a pity if you go through your life with misinterpretations...

    Well, this preamble might be very long-winded, but the reason I prefaced it with what I am asking you is because I want you to understand my intentions... Can you please tell me which temple you see naked goddesses? Are you sure youa re not confusing them with yakshayins? While art can be a matter of personal taste, it si reprehensibel when you insult hindu gods (while being extremely careful not to paint your prophets in a desultory fashion) and then finding refuge in an authoritarian muslim country without having the spine to fight the legal cases in court.

    Thanks for posting my comments...


  27. POK, you are kidding right? do we have to hold every Pakistani responsible for its terrorist activities? should you and me be held responsible for all the bad things that is perpetrated by an Indian?
    Sania should not upset Indians by marrying a Paki? then tell me, how she should make a personal choice of selecting a groom? a person who she thinks will make her happy? or a person approved by a bunch of fans who cheered for her in a tennis match? She could have gone and married any human from any country, period. it is her prerogative!
    it would be very childish of anyone to feel disappointed by her choice bcos it is not what WE expected.

    Again, how do we determine that one's mind is of a normal human? any painting, any idea, any concept... will definitely offend at least one person on the planet. for instance, i get offended whenever someone paints a ghost without legs! i think, how dare the painter assume that ghosts are limbless and want the viewer to imagine such a preposterous thing?
    freedom is a two way street. if you want something in the world and you want the right to pursue it, then any other person in the world also has the same right to pursue it.

  28. Comparing a religion like islam with hinduism is beyond criticism. One is rightly crazy and other is down right savage. Proving this obviousness is an insult to intelligence and... oh yeah, it's "intolerant", "anti-secular", "communal", "anti-congress", "pro-bjp" and several dozen other adjectives the media loves to repeat on a regular basis. Reciting the same words over and over again does something interesting to the human brain. Obama never forget to repeat saying "change" in many of his sentences. UPA loves "psychological operations". Funny thing is, all that the indian people can do is "stare" as they manufacture consent.

    Sujai, i love the way you try to create a moral equivalence that is non-existent. Sheeps are what they love to be. They will follow your thought. They will recite your mantra. Assemble your army of 100. Equal-equal your way. Let zakir naik turn envious. He transfigured himself once. Let him do it again.

  29. It is Sania's prerogative to marry anyone in the world. We have no business to approve or disapprove or interfere with her decision. But, do I like her decision? No! Its a marriage of convenience and she chose a Pakistani at a time when mistrust against Pakis is very high among Indians. Also, her choice will do no good to her financially in getting Ad contracts, nor will it help improve her dwindling fan base. To her benefit, she might find some market in Pakistan though!

    On the matter of religion, even after we know so much, even after every myth is debunked, we earthlings are not able to extricate ourselves out of this mire called religion. There will be a day in future when our future generations will term our times as 'the age of ignorance'. My only hope is, that day comes sooner than later.

  30. @smitha,


    That is why we as a nation have always been 'ruled by outsiders'. we don't have nationalistic pride. For us Indians, the individual selfish goal is all that matters. Pakistan is our enemy. The country - not some of its citizens - is anti-india. How can any Indian even think of marrying a Paki. It is a national shame. It is a disgrace. Unfortunately it is naive people like you who don't understand religious fervour of a religious country.
    Makes me wonder why any Indian should join the army and fight for India - to protect people like you?

    Please spend a few weeks in J&K and you will understand what the thinking of the average Pakistani is about india.

  31. i think u'll agree, a country cannot exist without its citizen. if Pak is our enemy, what do u propose we do about it? should we go in guns blazing, capture all cities and declare that it belongs to India? or should we nuke the entire population and repopulate the area with Indians? after this is done, will it be ok for you to think of marrying a person from that region?

    ask yourself whether ur hatred for Pak rooted in religion or patriotism? both of which are absurd notions. just bcos i happen to be born in India does not mean I swear allegiance to every decision it makes without thinking. same goes for religion.

    sometimes one has to feel ashamed for being Indian. we are not a perfect country. we've a record of violating basic human rights, our politicians are corrupt, our infant mortality rate is pathetic and there is a lot of room for improvement even after 6 decades of independence with the largest human workforce on earth... i think that is a national shame. it is a disgrace.

    actually, i do not expect the government to give me protection against foreign threats. i'll be happy to pay taxes if there is running water in every city. glad if there is a roof over every Indian. i'll be very satisfied if the roads are not pothole ridden. i accept the risk of dying in a Paki invasion. if we look at history, standing armies does not guaranteed safety.

  32. Smitha,

    Look around you. Here in Hyderabad hundreds of well-educated, well-paid, upper middle class professionals live in flats of 2000sft and show it only as 900 sft to the municipal corp for paying taxes. So where is the money for the roads? When we held a demonstration in Mehdipatnam to protest against the occupation of footpaths by vendors no 'educated professional' joined us ! It was the low paid kind who were with us.

    Hundreds of kids need treatment for their heart and other ailments. Are people like you willing to donate a part of your salary every month so that these kids can be treated?
    Infant mortality, human violations don't take place thru 'some third party'. We are the people of this country and we are collectively responsible for the state of affairs. Each one of us individually has contributed to this dismal affairs. So there is no point in complaining. We are all individually guilty and incompetent. Let us not try to blame some unknown within our govts.Have you filed under the RTI to know why the roads have been dug up and not relaid. Why the parks are useed for something else. No. You don't have time. You want 'someone' to do it. And then you say we are a terrible country. A country is what its citizens are.
    Same is the case with Pakistan. As a nation they consider us their enemy. So as a people we have to do anything and everything to protect ourselves and in the process we have to ensure that our citizens do not sleep with the enemy. Only when we collectively have a nationalistic fervour can we fight the enemy. and it has nothing to do with religion. If pakistan was a Hindu country I would still not like an Indian - Hindu or anyone else to marry a paki.

  33. POK,
    >>"sleep with the enemy"
    thats the best idea i have heard. obviously we don't want to enemies with Pakistan for all eternity! i think our government should make it a law that 1 out of every 3 marriage should be with a spouse from Pakistan only! maybe the next generation children will then learn to tolerate neighbors.
    *deadpan* im not being sarcastic.

    there are other healthier ways to garner nationalistic fervor than serving hatred and objectifying Pak as an enemy.

    we are *not* all individually guilty and incompetent just by being Indian. who is to blame is not my concern at all. but i agree we have the responsibility to make our country a better place. albeit not all people will treat it with the same priority as you do.

  34. @Smitha
    People like POK do not have any nationalistic fervour. They are united not because they love India but because they hate Pakistan. Hate is a much stronger and faster adhesive than love.

    I completely agree that Pak is Enemy no.1. I also would like to bomb Pakistan out of existence. But unfortunately we can't do it as Pak is a nuke weapon state, So what's your Plan B?
    As for Sania Mirza, how dare she "sleep with the enemy"? We should kill her , just like the Khap panchayats and their "honour killings". What do you say?


    Jack Roberts

  35. Islam or any other religion can be criticised, but a malicious criticism aimed at promoting communal hatred and painting the whole community as villainous is not permissible, Bombay High Court held today.

  36. I vote for the repeal of Section 295A.

    If they cannot repeal it, they should ammend it to include protection of the "sentiments of non-believers, atheists and anti-theists"... and ensure their rights are not encroached upon by the religious bigots.


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