Thursday, October 23, 2014

Is Christianity any different from Islam in Indian Context?

Is Christianity very different from Isalm?

The recent attack on Parliament in Ottawa came to remind the world again of the dangers Islam poses. The recent surge of Islamic terrorism in Middle East in the form of ISIS is another one of the dominant ones on everyone’s mind. There is a supposed link between the behavior of the Muslims in a society to the percentage of Muslim population to the total. It follows a narrative that Muslim population, once introduced into a non-Islamic society, grows disproportionately.  Current statistics says followers of Islam constitute about 23% of the world population and Islam is the second largest religion in the world.
According to the same popular narrative, the behaviour of the followers of Islam becomes less flexible as their proportion in total population increases. You can read more about it here.
The conclusion is, once you let Islam into a society, it overwhelms the rest of the religions and the original           inhabitants are cut off from their cultural roots, forever changed to the consuming religion. History is replete with instances to support this description; Indonesia as a country and Kashmir as a state.The Arabic influence in North Africa is proof of guilt of Islam while the rest of the world for Christianity.
There are about 50 countries in the world where the percentage of Muslims to that of the total is over 50%. And if the Muslims form majority, the country, more often than not, changes the politics from democracy to shades of Sharia barring exceptions.
On the other hand, there are about 122 countries with Christian population of 50% or more. Many of those countries in Africa and Asia are erstwhile colonies of Christian nations, their populace converted to Christianity while being under ‘undue influence’ of the rulers. In common law, it would have been set aside, but when the rulers were also dispensing ‘Governance’ there is little resistance the local populace could have put up. Countries that were ravaged by exploitative wars were easy prey to the Christian evangelists for soul harvesting, as a wounded animal to predator. The innocence of the Asian and African people have been immorally exploited by Evangelical Christianity, which moved into the colonies to rule with money, lure and fear of Christian God. The rulers brainwashed their subjects that their culture and past are despicable and offered Christianity as the only salvation. In countries like India, the indigenous egalitarian education system was destroyed to provide monopoly to Christian education that created a privileged class within the harvested and outsiders.  The famous quote of Archbishop Tutu, “I am not interested in picking up crumbs of compassion thrown from the table of someone who considers himself my master. I want the full menu of rights” only points to the slow realization of the exploited, after they had been completely soul harvested by a brutal religious regimes with a kind face. Yet not all of them chose to put on a smiley. 
While the Christian nations point the finger at Islam as brutal enemies, we tend to think of religious exploitation as something only adherents of one religion practice. When the Christians charge Islam, the charges are true to a large extent. But Christians are able to hide that they also are guilty of same crime while we get distracted by the accusation.
The two siblings of Abrahamic religions are rivals and not enemies. The religions are monotheist in nature and philosophical equivalents. Both religions are based on pedestrian premises that are beyond questioning, and both religions are aware of such shortcomings. That also makes them dogmatic belief systems.
They discourage the premises from being questioned. Both stem from the belief that the believers should not challenge, that God created the world and set rules, for if those are questioned, the answers will only lead to large scale desertion of the cult. “In the beginning, there was a God”, is the fragile premise the whole paper edifice of religions are built on. For every question, the answer is found written in the book and not what timeless truth can defend and explain.
In the middle ages Christians burnt those who had the temerity to question the premises.  Islamic prophet saw this as a systemic gap and built in a proviso in the tenet that made doubting the premise in itself (munafiq, which meant a hypocrite, literally) a sin- that is punishable by death. Suddenly the followers got cured of ‘doubt’. It was evil as it was genius. If killing is a sin, this particular one was an exemption. It put enormous power in the hands of the religious leader as well.
Both religions suffer from a false belief that it is competition that is the real enemy, running counter to ‘thermodynamic’ analogy. In this, they only reveal the mundane core of their respective belief systems. In their false belief that lack of competition will make them Monopolists, both religions imposed a duty on the believers to convert the ‘others’. Both religions divide people, one against another. Both religions propagate that God will take his revenge if you do not choose to pray to him in this world. It never crossed their minds that they made a Stalinist God in the process.
Both provide privilege to one’s own tribe and describe the other as inferior, defective and with deficiency which can only be corrected only after they embrace either Christianity or Islam, depending on who is the proselytizer. While Christianity in current era, inherently less violent than Islam, threaten the people that they will burn in hell if they do not accept Christianity, Islam, through the divine messenger, decrees to solve the problem right here. The ‘others’ can be killed, their women (wealth to create a culture) stolen, possessed in force, those who cannot be killed can always be made to bear additional unbearable liabilities (Jizya) the discharge of which is arranged if the defaulter agrees to convert.
In essence, both religions share similar goals but follow different approaches. Christianity today uses the brutal power of wealth to keep the gullible people seduced by a non-existent salvation. Islam just takes the sword. And M-16s dropped by US military. Christianity relies on the inherent human quality to show gratitude to those who helped us to corrode the souls.
When Christians come to India, they make fun of the local culture, provide education and medical assistance and in return seek religious allegiance. The rampant misuse of NGOs who get foreign funds to abet the Evangelical soul harvesters under the guise of ‘Social organization’ is another symptom of the same disease.
Conversion End, Help just means
From the Hindu perspective, let us understand that these two are here to destroy our culture and impose their own through money and force. Both are spiritually bankrupt and religiously immature in comparison to the broadminded Hindu tenets. Both are aggressively competitive and both seem to suffer from an inadequacy as a fulfilling religious experience. Hence both try to put away the one that reminds them of their deficiencies.
Not for a moment I believe that Islam is evil and Christianity is not. I am aware, in every living breath, both religions are evil; former is capable of causing mortal danger over and above the dangers latter poses. Christianity makes life hell for the indigenous people by dividing the people, one against another. Islam does the same but with brutal force.
As for as the East Asian cultures are concerned, both Abrahamic religions are enemies to their own cultures. They both attempt to overpower the local culture, establish their own as superior one. Both try to create a society which will always look outside the geographical boundaries for their masters, thus creating a weakness in the countries. Both ridicule the rich and subtly superior indigenous culture, based out of ignorance, greed, lack of humility and intolerance. Both destroy society and create Us Vs Them mind-set. Both divide the people by falsely professing that somehow those who follow their Gods are superior and selected to be saved while the others are doomed. Both put an onus, a hypocritical one, on the believers, to salvage the supposedly doomed. All these things are not based out of rational basis but because of what is written in a Book that these two groups consider divine.
From a national perspective, both are like cancer, which will kill the entity called Nation. Let us be vigilant to defeat these two enemies imported from across the border, as a nationalistic act, if not a religious one. From a Hindu point of view, following Hindu religion is compatible with Nationalism. Can the others say it without sufficient caveats as crutches?

Monday, October 6, 2014

Boycotting Haider - An appeal to Kashmiri Pandits

Boycott Haider – A letter to Kashmiri Pandits

The movie Haider, which claims to be made on Shakespearean theme, has raised quite a lot of controversy as well as some support, not to mention measly earnings. The '#BoycottHaider' was trending for considerable time in Twitter, and many were distraught by the fact that such treasonous movie could ever have been passed by the Censor Board.
It is reported here, that Haider was the last film Rakesh Kumar, the suspended CBFC Chief cleared. Another member, Nandini Sardesai, said “I don't understand why the revising committee was not approached. That man (Kumar) was flouting rules."

Obviously, everything was not above board and it is evident that the clearance given to Haider is under cloud of suspicion hence there seems to be a need for review of the certification provided. I do not say that to ‘Trojan Horse’ an intolerant view that a ban is in order. Rather, I only point to the irregularity in certifying the movie, as raised by another member of the CBFC board.

However, there were many other aspects of Haider debate that needs ample attention.

First of all, it is about the rule of jungle law the previous Government ran. All posts were sold to the highest bidder and the successful bidder collected rent. I know from second hand knowledge, from a friend of mine that PSU posts were sold by coterie of the Damad. It is only by providence the Railway board appointment was exposed; most media behaved that they have caught one exception in the system, the one transgression that besmirched the otherwise unsullied reputation of the Government. Either they lacked the intelligence or they were satisfied enough not to pursue the incident to find out if the Railway appointment was a one-off incident or one of the many in the system. In all probability, it is both.

Second, not in importance but in count, is the issue of ‘Freedom of speech’. I am a strong supporter of free-speech.      I wrote here supporting Dr Frazer, and exercised my right to free speech.

Subject to the possible illegality of obtaining Censor certificate, I have no problem if people like Vishal Bharadwaj express their abhorrent views through such movies. If audience wants to punish him, it should do so by not paying him money for offending collective sensibilities. However I have a problem when only Vishals get the benefit of free-speech while many other legitimate claims are denied.

The one thing that comes inseparably packed with free-speech is my responsibility of restraint in the face of offending speech. Only truth can be the judge and not personal views, even if supported by books written ages ago. However, the Laws in India are loaded against free-speech, understandably because of possible violence it results in violence.

If I were to screen ‘Fitna’ in India, an emotive symbol that epitomizes the perils of holding on to freedom of expression, will I be allowed? A movie that resulted in brutal slaying of a director, Theo Van Gogh, is the ultimate symbol of freedom of expression. Do you think anyone of our movie artists like Mahesh Bhatt or Shabana or one of  Dhimmi crowds will come forward to screen ‘Fitna’, to stand with the freedom of artists to express their views fearlessly? Buckets of tears were shed for M F Hussein who fled to Qatar to avoid the cases filed against him in courts, condemning the right wing fascists, who did not take law into their hands. It only seems reasonable to conclude that these people shed tears for their own tribe under the guise of freedom. It is not freedom that they love. It only seems to be an honourable fig-leaf to cover the real intent. 

Again, in the case of #BoycottHaider, I was not in support of banning, something many in Twitter were in support of, but countering it. We need to nurture a tolerant temperament in India, a social aspect that Congress and Sickuliar Governments have stifled in the name of secularism, to please minority, whose bulk voting they depended on, so that they can continue to loot the nation at a cost of a bone. I nurture a tolerant temperament that combines my right to freedom with my responsibility not to be offended hearing to what I do not agree with.  

Let the market decide Haider's success. I am totally for bringing to the notice of people the perverse ideology disseminated by such a travesty of a movie and urging people not to see it. But that is only half the story. I also urged the KPs, many of whom have the withal to pursue, to take Rahul Pandita’s book, “Our moon has blood clots” and make it into a movie. But most responses stopped at either boycotting or banning the movie or both.  The will to fight seemed lacking.

Those people who want the movie banned are those who want things to be delivered to them at no cost. They want their problems to be solved by someone because it is ‘fair and just’. World does not run along those lines. If one is not willing to spend a calorie of energy to defend freedom, has already lost it. 

Those who want others to boycott the movie are ‘political activists’ at the most. By such campaign they bring awareness to public. They are able to prevent an injustice from being carried out and in that they are defensive as well reactive in their approach. Though they inflict damage, financial one, on the makers of the movie, to some extent a moral victory, the story does not end here nor is it as rosy as it appears. 

The resources at the hands of the movie makers is, apparently, much larger and these kinds of damages do not hurt them significantly to stop them from trying again. Those who boycotted the movie still do not know the answer. They have been told by people they trust that the answer provided in the movie is the wrong one. Nothing further.

It is akin to keeping a shelf empty; it attracts things to be filled with.

The prevalent sentiment in India is still reactive, but these sentiments are being heard only now, due to the political changes that have taken place at the Centre. Yet, the new ideology is not resurgent enough to make required impact. The right response would have been, to fill that empty space in the shelf with the right and strong message, as truthfully as possible, so that when spurious ideas of Haider variety attempt to find place they find none. That positivism is still to translate into actions on ground.

India as a Hindu nation is an idea uninterrupted for about 8000 years, albeit with glitches. The values imbibed are now almost genetically coded. The society structure is built on tolerance from ground up unlike the West, where it is imposed from top. As Sankrant Sanu said, it is in our Dharma, our gene, our blood. Our history has, except for Kalinga, no instance of ruthless or mass killing of the ‘others’. The wars had codes of conduct that is superior to what UN has now. These codes were not imposed but inbuilt.

One primary reason why the highly developed culture lost glory was not because it was won over by a superior culture. It was through violence of magnitude unimagined. It was a black swan that stuck India. The people had never seen such adharmic onslaught, violent killings, greed accompanied by loot and the desecration of sacred. The laws that held the society together was being broken with impunity and for those who believed in those laws it was an age of despondency and defeat. The dark ages and descended on them.

It is the same theme that played havoc with the Kashmiri Pandits too. Though I would like to use the adjective ‘stoic’ to the Hindus of Kashmir, I have a nagging doubt that they are really not up to it to stand up to the adharmic aggressors.

Until there is a change in Kashmiri Pandits' attitude to take the fight to the aggressors, I do not see any possibility of retrieving their loss of home, pride and honour. The fight has to be fronted by them and the rest of India will support. But the rest of India cannot fight with sparse representation from the Kashmiri Pandits. I am not for a moment suggesting that KPs should take law into their hand. At the least, they can take on the propaganda war head on. And win. The rest of India will support!