Tag Archives: Secularism

** Islamists use Secularism

How Islamists Use Secularism against Democracy

Ishaan Mohan Bagga

IndianExponent

Criticizing Islam is not politically correct – The term is ‘Islamophobia’. You better keep your doubts about Islam to yourself else you’ll be quickly tagged as one with an anti-Islamic agenda. A Hindu right winger. An RSS agent. A Kafir. A Non-Believer.

Freedom of religion is one of the basic principle of democracy. It tells you to not discriminate on the basis of religious beliefs. This is the basic premise of religious liberalism – and believe it or not – it’s a noble sentiment. This sentiment of religious equality has brought much needed peace to our world. It just not smart to bleed each other dry over religious differences – our forefathers have done enough of it.

Islam’s Natural Immunity To Change

Religion, by nature, is flawed – the new western educated breed gets that. Now it’s considered alright not to take religion too seriously. As the idea of ‘optional religion’ grows in society, the stronghold of organised religion is gradually becoming weak. Most religions of the world are ok with it. The idea of letting individuals control the involvement of religion in their lives is acceptable now. Those times are gone when millions were collected by governments to wage war in the name of God. This is the natural evolution of religion.

Though, Islam has managed to stay completely immune to these changes. The rules of Islam make it impervious to any modern ideas. As a result, the present version of Islam has lasted way past it’s expiration date. While more tame versions like Sufism and Ahmadism have largely been discarded as pseudo-Islam.

This is the result of the extreme emphasis in Koran to preserve Islam in it’s original form. The original form of Islam – is a dogma with a single goal of world domination. If it’s goal was limited to spread the message of Allah then it would have been similar to the other organised religions of the world. Other religions don’t hard-sell their God, not at least at the gun-point like Islamic fundamentalists. At worst they lure you with freebies – but Islamic fundamentalism fully sponsors the killing of non-believers. This is similar to ‘the lord’ of the Old Testament of Bible, except that ancient barbarism is thriving under Islam today, in 21st century. The Kingdom of Allah, in a fundamentalist view, is a barbaric place and it hates change, progression or evolution – of any kind.

islam will dominate the world

Based on your religious affiliation you must have already formed an opinion about my religious agenda in writing this. You could be a Muslim who has already formed a wall of denial – I understand, nobody likes to hear negative things about ideas which you’ve been taught to pay utmost respect, right from your childhood. I have no wish to corner one religion when the corruption in religion is a universal phenomena. But Islam is different – and not always in a good way – which I’m just going to explain how. Before that …

Full Disclosure: I’m not an atheist. But I do have my doubts about the existence of God. Am I a spiritualist? Sure, may be. My father is a Hindu. I don’t care about religion that much. I bow my head when I pass a temple, mosque or a church because my father taught me to, when I was a child. I have watched my share of mythological TV shows – because everybody watched them in the family. They were comically entertaining. I have had close friends from all religions – thanks to India’s diversity.

Though, I rarely visit places of worship – I find them boring. I find Hindu temples unnecessary wet (just my opinion)! I have visited Gurudwaras and  I find the musical prayers very comfortable and soothing. Haridwar’s evening prayers and the sound of morning-namaz are my second favorite on this list, peacefulness-wise. I find Zen-Buddhism‘s teaching most close to taking you anywhere near a spiritual-awakening. I also find the principles of Jainism’s universal ahimsa highly commendable, if not follow-able.

I’m your everyday liberal and I do not have extreme thoughts (good or bad) about any religion, including the one I was born into. Religion doesn’t figure into my list of everyday priorities at all. If you’re nodding your head by now, I’m You.

It is common practice to use religion to manipulate it’s followers for personal gain by it’s controllers. It is happening everywhere to varying degrees. More simple-minded people fall for this farce, while people who’re more spiritual, scientific or wise can see through it. Despite this rampant degeneration of holy-men today, followers take comfort in the fact that at least their prophets (Jesus, Buddha, Mahavir, Nanak etc) were pure souls – their teachings guide them in dealing with the world and after. Good thing is that none of these prophets personally created any of their respective religions. It’s after their demise, their followers compiled their teachings and communions formed, which later took the shape of larger organised religions.

Prophet Mohammad – A Marketing Genius?

Mohammad (may peace be upon him) died at the age of 61, after conquering the whole of Arabia and uniting it under the code of Islam. This ‘conquering’ wasn’t spiritual or peaceful; it was a bloody and barbaric affair – like the imperialist royalty of the medieval world.

Jesus was crucified, Buddha took samadhi, Mahavira took the oath of complete non-violence, but Mohammad lived by the sword. Is it a surprise that he taught his followers that it’s ok to slain the non-believers? Islam starts brain-washing a child from his formative years that how kafir is the enemy. Is this the message of Allah? Jihad involves the spread of Islam through violence – and it is one of the key duties of every Muslim. Most people in our world are born into a religion. Choosing your own religion is still a very radical idea in most parts of the world. According to Islam, every non-Muslim is born into sin. You don’t get a choice – either convert, or die. This is not a religion, this is a battle-plan. 

Nirmal BabaImagine if the notoriously sham holy-man of India – Nirmal Baba – with a huge following becomes a religion in 200 years and has millions of followers. Does that mean his message is genuine? Telling people what they want to hear – serves as a good strategy for him to make simpletons believe into his ‘divinity’. This is 21st century. There’re many scam artists like him across the world. If in today’s age of science – such con-men can accumulate large crowds – imagine what a cake-walk it would be for the tricksters of 570 AD.

Mohammad was a very intelligent man. He didn’t control people by acquiring power through political means – he became their warrior prophet instead. He knew religion will create a much bigger army for him. He told his followers what they wanted to hear. He recognized Moses / Jesus and added his name to the list of prophets. He told them that Allah speaks through him. He was charismatic – people believed him. His audience were barbaric tribal men – so he gave them rules which appealed to them. And what do men want? More wives, more sex, easy divorce. He gave them that. He told them it’s ok to hit your wives to discipline them. He also told them that temporary marriage is ok because Allah allows it. Women were never his audience, which kind of explains the condition of women in Islamic countries.

One man could take as many wives – so powerful rich men acquired as many ladies as they could. They were thankful to Mohammad for providing them with large army of followers, more women than ever, easy pro-men laws, treating women like property, legalizing perversions like incest, pedophilia etc. Now, there were many poor men left who couldn’t get any ladies – so Mohammad very cunningly used this artificially created deficiency of women and gave these sexually-frustrated men the dream of 72 beautiful virgins in heaven. That was the gift of Allah to his soldiers. This marketing strategy is still working for Islam.

Mohammad gave the message of Muslim brotherhood, not human brotherhood. He told them that wherever they’re it is their foremost duty to spread Islam. He told them that their allegiance to other Muslims is far superior to their countrymen. He told them all non-believers are Kafirs – who should be converted or killed.

He created Islam like a franchise – wherever it goes – it remains loyal to the ‘message of Allah’ over Everything Else. Now if this message of Allah was that of harmony, then Islam would have actually been a religion of peace, like it claims. Instead their very teachings are the biggest endorser of violence. You could go in denial about this – but text from Holy Koran is being used every day in Islamic countries to suppress freedom, exploit women and against modernization.  You should notice that wherever Islam is in minority, it is the most ardent supporter of secularism – but the moment it becomes a majority – all principles of secularism and religious freedom are lost. An Islamic state has no place for non-believers – and it’s only goal is the spread of Islam. This is real sneaky stuff. That is why there’s nothing like ‘liberal Islam’ or ‘secular Islam’.

Truth about the message of allah

Islamic fundamentalism has no place for logical reasoning or questions. You’re not allowed to question Allah. What do you think – modern Muslims don’t see the very glaring flaws in their beliefs? Off course they do – but there’s no forgiveness in Islam for blasphemy or apostasy. Islam likes to preserve it’s beliefs, no matter how archaic, inside an un-penetrable fort. It resists western modernization to stop new ideas – this is the main bone of contention of Islamic world with the west. Liberal democratic ideas have the potential of creating worst kafirs in Islam.

Like other religions, Islam too could have evolved overtime, if Mohammed hadn’t closed that door forever. He declared himself as the last prophet – and his words were final.He created a religion which is still frozen in time. Islam does everything to resist change. As a matter of fact, it takes pride in being the purest religion in the world. What Muslim world doesn’t realize is that – what doesn’t change, rots. Overtime Islam is proving to be it’s followers’ worst enemy.

Good Muslims / Bad Muslims

I know what you’re thinking – all Muslims are not bad people – or terrorists. I’m happy that this fact occurred to you and I respect you for that. I’m not writing for the people with Hindu or Christian agenda – my goal is to open a discussion which has dead-locked reason below several layers of propriety and political-correctness. The good Muslim people you know – who respect their women and their freedom, who respect other religions, who believe in the ideas of democracy – these people are not ideal Muslims per the standards of fundamental Islam. These are the people who’ve subconsciously realized that goodness lies outside dogma – and their religion shouldn’t be the center of their lives.

Hence, do not judge the Muslims that you know by Islam and do not judge Islam by the Muslims that you know. Muslims and Islam are two completely different entities. Your average Muslim is being played at the hands of fundamentalists for centuries now.

No Muslim should ever be harassed because of his/her religion. Like you and me, they’re too born in their religion – and unlike others it is not easy to leave Islam. Fundamentalists don’t let you go without a fight – and most often you die in that fight. Many free thinkers have lost their lives in that process.

Islam Management

Islam-and-CommunismIslamic fundamentalism is a lot like Communism. Communism has it’s appeal in idealism enforced through control. The idea of communism appeared great on paper – but in practice it became an untamable monster – and made a few people extremely powerful. Islam has the same appeal. Those who convert to Islam – are tired of extreme consumerism of west and Islam seems like a completely opposite option, almost ascetic in it’s teachings. But that is just a cover for recruiting you into Allah’s army, with one and only one goal of spreading Islam, far and wide.

Your average pseudo-intellectual liberals see the world in black and white. The cunning nature of Islamic fundamentalism is beyond their grasp. Islam (mostly the large presence and control of fundamentalism) is a bigger problem today than ever. With the advancement of technology in weapons, who knows how long could we can control the nuclear technology or chemical weapons from falling into one of the Islamic terror organisations. And this danger is not from across the borders anymore – it is home grown. It is from the spreading fundamentalism on our own soil. If you go by the principles of Muslim brotherhood Islam is already bigger than any country in the world. According to statistical predictions by 2030, 26% population of the world will be following Islam. Mohammad has won – but Muslims have lost.

The solution is smarter Islam management. This is the only peacefully enforceable solution to keep this monster of a religion from further engulfing the world. Japan is already pioneering this. We need to start seeing how Islam has been playing secularism against democracy. Democratic countries need to put constraints on the further spread of Islam:

  1. Democratic countries need to communicate to the Islamic nations that they should expect secular treatment for Islam when they open their own countries to secularism.
  2. Muslim law (Sharia) bodies shouldn’t be allowed to run parallel constitution for Muslims.
  3. Women in Islam need immediate emancipation – they’ve suffered long enough – more opportunities need to be created for them.
  4. Madrassas which have been the source of drilling flawed ideas need to be closely watched for their content – no need to stop their traditional education – but Muslim youth needs to be brought under the purview of mainstream open education.
  5. Laws related to monogamy and the number of children need to strongly enforced – this is high priority for local Muslim economy. 
  6. Civil Liberties of followers shall not be allowed to be suppressed in the name of religion. When constitution of a country ensure certain freedoms – no muslim law board should have a right to veto them in the name of sharia.

Conclusively, it needs to be communicated to Islamic fundamentalists in our respective countries that it’s followers can enjoy the fruits of democracy – but on only condition – that any anti-democratic, anti-freedom, anti-equality dogma will not be tolerated in the name of Islam.

Islam is a sensitive subject – and needs to be managed carefully. It is important to make secularism more competent in dealing with rogue religions than leaving the job to other religion’s fundamentalists – who’ve their own respective anti-muslim agenda.

I’d like to emphasize again that I have no intention to hurt anybody’s religious sentiments. Neither do I speak from an arrogant place of an atheist who take pride in putting down people’s faith. There’s no way to have a solution-oriented discussion  about Islamic terrorism – without bringing Islamic fundamentalism in the picture. I believe the onus falls on the new generation Muslims to take over the charge of their respective communities and protect them from getting hijacked by fundamentalists.

But every religion is flawed?

True, some more, some less – not equally. You can’t make a fair judgment by saying that every religion is EQUALLY flawed. In present era, the reality that needs to be acknowledged is that something has gone really wrong with Islam, without falling into the traps of political correctness. One needs to frankly introspect that why Islam is more prone to misuse, so much that it’s own identity is in danger. The meaning of Islam has changed, that is the sign of danger.  Good Muslims need to work towards breaking this self-hypnosis that Islam has fallen into. An open attitude towards self-inquiry and introspection is the only way. Men and women have suffered through a most horrendous history to achieve democracy as a politically stable system. Everybody owes it to our ancestors to not go back into the medieval age – besides blood, there’s nothing there for anybody. Courtesy of (IndianExponent)

Jews of Two Worlds @ http://www.khabar.com/magazine/cover-story/jews_of_two_worlds_indians_in_israel

** Post-1947 India’s Intellect…

The intellectual scene in Post-independence India

Speech of S. Gurumurthy given to IIT Chennai 

Defeat and anger go together. Abuse and defeat go together. So, it is in this norm and with this understanding of what an intellectual debate means, I would like to place before you some of my thoughts today. Some of may find it provocative. I am confident that the audience is competent enough to absorb this and think rather than get into the mood which all of us have got used to in the last 30-40 years abuse. 

Background: India before Independence:

Let us see the pre-independence background, the intellectual content of India. See the kind of personalities who led the Indian mind Swami Vivekananda, Sri Aurobindo, Gandhiji, Tilak- giants in their own way. Most of them were involved in politics, active politics, day-to-day politics, handling men, walking on the road, addressing meetings, solving problems between their followers. And, meeting the challenges posed by the enemy, the conspiracies hatched against them. They were handling everything, yet, they were maintaining an intellectual supremacy, and an originality which history has recorded. 

Let us look at the academic side. Whether it is a P.C. Ray who wrote on Indian Chemistry in 1905 or Sir C.V. Raman who wrote about mridangam, tabala, and violin, and saw the physics in it (this was in 1913); whether it was R.C. Majumdar or Radhakumud Mukherjee who saw greatness in the Indian civilization; trying to bring up points, instances, historical evidence to mirror the greatness of India to the defeated Indian race, they were all building the Indian mind brick by brick. 

Sri Aurobindo spoke of Sanatana Dharma as the nationalism of India. He didn’t rank it as a philosophy. He brought it down to the level of emotional consciousness. Swami Vivekananda spoke of spiritual nationalism; it was the same Swami who spoke of Universal brotherhood. For them philosophy was not removed from the ground reality. The nation was at the core of their philosophy. Swami Vivekananda was called the “patriot monk”. 

Mahatma Gandhi spoke of Rama Rajya. Bankim Chandra wrote Bande Maataram. The song, the slogans in it, the mantra in it made hundreds of people kiss the gallows smilingly and many others went to jail. It transformed the life of the people. This was the intellectual scene, this was the content. This is what powered the intellectual as well as the mass movement in India. This was the core of India, the soul of the Indian freedom movement. 

The symptoms: India immediately after Independence

Imagine what happened in 1947 and after, India was able to intellectually lead not only Indians but also the whole world because of the intellectual assertion that the freedom movement brought about. Let us look at post Independence India. The persons who led post-Independence India were also trained in the same freedom movement. They went to jail, but they were not rooted in the intellectual content of the Freedom movement!

The first Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru was in jail for 7 years. He was a great intellectual, purely in the sense of his capacity to reason, understand, read, and expound a thought. He told Galbrieth once, “I would be regarded as the last English Prime Minister of India.” See the intellectual capability of the man, the enormously competent mind.

But intellectualism doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It has to be rooted in something concrete. Swami Vivekananda’s universal brotherhood was rooted in India’s greatness as a civilization. The concept of “Vasudaiva Kutumbakam” cannot exist without a living form, a population which believes in it and believes in itself. You need to have a society which believes in it. 

That is why India could invite the Jews who were butchered, raped, all over the world. In 107 out of 108 countries, this race was butchered. At least they had the courtesy and the gratitude to publish a book.  

The Israeli government published a book that out of 108 countries that we sought refuge, the only civilization, the only country, the only people, the only ideology that gave us refuge was the Indian civilization. They published a book, which most Indians are unaware of. 

And we invited the Muslims. The refugee Muslims first landed in Kutch. And they are called the Kutchy Memons even today but not the Memons who bomb Mumbai. But the Memons who lived with us. 

In the year 1917, many of you might be aware, a case went to the Prey Council, equivalent to the Supreme Court now.

The Kutchy Memons went and told the Prey Council that we are Muslims for namesake, but we follow only the Hindu law. Please don’t impose the Shariat on us. The Prey Council ruled that they are Muslims but the only sacred book they have is called “Dasaavathaara”, it is not Koran. In fact they knew no language other than the Kutchy language. 

And in the “Dasaavathaara”, nine avatharas were common between Hindus and Kutchy Memons. We call the tenth avathaara “Kalki” and they call him “Ali”. The Prey Council ruled that the Shariyat law is not applicable to them. The All India Muslim League took up the case, went to the British and told them that this finding is dangerous to Islam and requested them to pass a law which will overrule this judgment. The British government passed a law in 1923 which was called the “The Kutchy Memons Act” declaring, “If a Kutchy Memon wants to follow the Shariat, allow him to do so”. 

It doesn’t mean a Muslim must follow the Shariat. Between 1923-1937, before the All India Shariat Act was passed not a single Kutchy Memon filed an affidavit with the plea that he wants to follow the Shariaat. That was the integration prevalent in India.

In 1937, when the All India Shariat Act was passed, the preamble to the act mentioned that this was being passed by a demand made by the AIML leader Mohammed Ali Jinnah. Today, the Shariat has become a part of Muslim consciousness. 

The purpose behind making you aware of this background is that 99% of the people who speak about the constitutional rights of the minorities or the distinctiveness of Muslim life are unaware of the facts.

Till the year 1980, in Cooch Behar district, the Shariat law was not applicable. In 32 instances between 1923 and 1947 by legislation, the Shariyat law was not applicable to the Muslims. This is the extent of the intellectual gap in India. 

Secularism: A Reversal and perversion of the Indian mind.

And now, coming to what is the position today. Everything that drove the freedom movement – everything that constituted the soul of the freedom movement, whether it is the Ram rajya of Gandhiji or Sanaatana Dharma of Sri Aurobindo or the spiritual patriotism of Vivekananda or the soul stirring Vande Maataram song, came to be regarded not only as unsecular but as sectarian, communal and even as something harmful to the country.

Thus, there was a reversal, a perversion of the Indian mind. How did it occur? Today, the intellectualism of India means to denigrate India.

There are mobile citizens and there are non- citizens deriding India. Go to the Indian Airlines counter you will find people deriding India. Go to a post office they will deride India. Go to a railway station, they will deride India. It is the English educated Indian’s privilege to deride India. 

When I was talking to postal employees in the GPO, Chennai (a majority of them were women). I told them the basic facts about the post office. I said it is one of the most efficient postal systems in the world, one of the cheapest in the world, one of the most delivery perfect postal systems in the world. For one rupee, you are able to transport information from one end of the country to the other. 

And you have a postman, no where in the world this happens the postman goes to the illiterate mother and reads out the letter, he is asked to sit there and shares a cup of coffee and comes away. Money orders are delivered to the last rupee. It is an amazing system, one of the largest postal systems linking one of the most populous nations, one of the most complicated nations with so many languages.

Somebody writes the address in Tamil and it gets delivered in Patna! It gets delivered to Jawaan at warfront! When I completed my speech many of the women were wiping their tears. I asked why are you crying I have only praised you. They said, “Sir, this is the first time we’ve been praised, otherwise we’ve only been abused!” 

You know how many people use the railways in India? A million people and that is equivalent to the population of Australia! And we have only abuses for them! Have we any idea of what this country is? India has been compared with Singapore, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan and Taiwan. You can walk across many of these countries in one night (laughs)! The best politicians, intellectuals, sociologists in India have compared us with them because, we have never understood what we are and unless you do that, you can never relate us with others. 

Demonising India: Projecting a negative image.

This enormous intellectual failure, to the extent of being intellectually bankrupt, did not occur overnight, it was no accident. There is a history behind this enormous erosion. And I told you about these mobile citizens, what they have done to us. Every country has problems. There is no country without any problem.  

Are you aware of what is one of the most pressing problems in America today? It is incurable according to the American sociologists; even American economists have begun to agree with them. American politicians are shaken, one third of the pregnant women are school going children. And mothers mix the anti-pregnancy pill in the food without daughter’s knowledge everyday. 

But this is not the image of America. The image of America is a technologically advanced country etc. etc. Ours is the only country where the mobile citizens of India have transformed the problems of India into the image of India -its identity is inherently related with its problems. 

Go to any country and the same negative stereotype is echoed that India is suffering from poverty and malnutrition. India has no drinking water. Indian women are burnt. If they are married, they are burnt, if they are widows, they are burnt. See the image that has been built about this country. Who did this? The English educated Indian. 

And one Kaluraam Meena (have you ever heard of him? Asks the audience to raise their hands if they have), only a small fraction of this large audience has heard of him.  

When Clinton came to India, he went to a village called Nayla where the villagers interacted with him. And one of the panchayat board members asked him, “Sir, I am told that in the West, all of you believe that this country is a rotten country, a backward country, a poor, hungry country. Do you also think like that?”

Clinton was shaken, because he might have thought that this person might be approaching him for some favour.  

I will relate my experience when I went to the Carter Centre in 1993. They were talking about dispute resolution and all that. I went there to meet somebody, if not Carter, somebody else at least. His Deputy, a lady, was very hesitant to receive me. “Mr. Gurumurthy”, she said, “Mr. Carter is not around, anyway, I can spare seven-eight minutes for you.” I said three or four minutes of your time would do. Even before I could start, she said, “Mr.Gurumurthy, we don’t have funds, we will not be able to help” (laughter from the audience). I replied, “Let us assume you have a hundred billion dollars, how much will you give me? One billion? One million?” 

She kept quiet, I said: “I don’t need your money. I came here to discuss whether community living is an answer to disputes. I have come to discuss this because you have suggested electoral means to resolve problems in communities which have no damn idea of what an election is; whether community living is an answer because you don’t what that means. She sat and discussed this with me for two hours. This is the image we have projected that anybody, who comes from India, comes to beg. Ordinary Indians did not create this impression; educated Indians created it. This is the work of civil servants, NGOs. Christian missionaries during the freedom movement created this. Indians are filthy, rotten, dirty and unhealthy, advertising abroad these are the people who need to be saved. We have to Christianise them, enlighten them, and give us money. I can understand that because it is their business. But what did we do after 1947? 

We repeated the same mistakes. We projected India as a country of unending problems. As I said, every country has problems. Only in India, problems become identities. How many dowry deaths take place in India in a year? Yet, India is projected as a country burning its own daughter-in-laws. And we also talk about it. Every damn newspaper will be writing about it.

We believe in self-deprecation. And this goes on in the guise of intellectualism in India. And one woman, she attempted to take a film of the widows. I wrote an article, asking her to go to Lijjat Paapad. A widow brought me up. Millions of widows have worked to bring up their children. It is a nation, which believes in Tapasya.  You may not believe in it but you are an exception. 

Compare Deepa Mehta”s attitude with Sarada Maa’s who was the wife, who became a widow after Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa’s passing away. She went to the very same place where Deepa Mehta went and saw the widows. Sarada Maa said, “These widows are so pure, they are an illustration and an example to me.” Deepa Mehta saw them as prostitutes. The widows have already been hurt once. Why are you sprinkling salt on their wounds? 

I am very sorry to speak about this, but I have to, this audience is enlightened enough to understand me. Indian women are sexually unsatisfied and so they are becoming lesbians? This is one bloody story against us, about us. This is the image of Indian men and women, and this film is in English. Catherine Mayo wrote a book and Mahatma Gandhi said about it, “I have no time to read this filth. But I am under a compulsion, under pressure because this has been published abroad. The image of India has been rubbished and I have to counter it.” With this introduction, he wrote about the book and said that this woman is a gutter inspector (laughs).

The intellectualism in India is gutter inspection- people are of this kind etc. Understand the level of erosion. 

Indian Politics: Weaknesses and Pitfalls

Let us look at the post independence scenario from the macro level. We installed a system of governance and it postulated all the important goals for the Indian society and polity, which was gulped by the Indian academia, by the Indian intellectuals.  

We will have a classless society through socialism. We will have a casteless society through equality. We will have a faithless society through secularism. We will have a modern society devoid of tradition. 

Instead of politics restructuring caste, caste has restructured politics today.  

Political parties are talking only in terms of castes. Has any Indian intellectual come to terms with caste? You must understand caste if you want to handle the Indian society. You cannot say that I want to have a very different kind of society. You have to handle the Indian sentiment, the Indian tradition and Indian beliefs. You can’t clone a society of your choice in India. Social engineering has failed everywhere; the masters of social engineering have given up the Communists – whether it is sociologists or economists you have to accept a society as it is. You can only increase the momentum of evolution in the society; you can’t forcibly bring about a revolution today. But, Indian leaders and intellectuals, till today, keep abusing caste. They don’t know how to handle the caste. 

Let me narrate to you how a community in Karaikudi handled this issue. The Chettiyar community assembled top businessmen, professionals from all over the world for 3 days to discuss their culinary act, how to construct houses, what languages they use, what old adages and stories their grand parents used to tell, what clothes they used to wear; not one word of politics, mind you. This was not even published in the newspapers. Intellectuals were not even aware of it.  

So, caste is a very important instrument in India, you may not like it. Unfortunately, every intellectual leads a caste life inside, but outside he is casteless! He is cloning an approach outside. There is no intellectual honesty at all.

 And what happened in the case of secularism? In India, any one who is not a Hindu is per se secular.

In the year 1947, just 10 years had passed after the Muslim League demanded and got the country partitioned, the leader who voted for the resolution for the partition of India was Quazi Millath Ismail, (who was leading the same Muslim League on the Indian side), the Congress certified that the Muslim League in Kerala is secular and hence it can associate with them. The Muslim League outside Kerala is communal with the same president!

Three hundred and fifty crores are spent today for the Haj pilgrims out of the funds of secular India every year. No one can raise an objection. At least I can understand why politicians don’t want to do that because they want the Muslim votes.  

But what about the intelligentsia. What about newspaper editors and journalists? And academicians? None of them speak out. The reason is that we have produced a state dependent intellectualism in India.

We don’t produce Nakkeerans anymore, our intellectualism is a derivative of the State and the State is a derivative of the polity. And in turn the polity is a derivative of the mind of Macaulay and Marx. 

The Indian education system: A Legacy of Macaulay.

This Macaulayian system of education is a poison injected into our system. At least I had the opportunity of schooling in Tamil and hence could withstand the corruption that this English education brings with it. This corruption begins the moment the child steps out of the house. He is told to converse in English at home. This did not happen even in pre-Independence India, even when Macaulay wrote that notorious note sitting in Ooty.  

How many of you know Macaulay’s formulation? Just those two or three sentences at least which form the crux – “We require an education system in India which will produce a class of interpreters, who will be Indian in colour and Englishmen in taste, opinions and morals.”  

This is the education system, which we have been continuing with, which was earlier conceived to produce clerks for the British Empire. If you have to differ from an English educated person you have to differ only through the English language. If you have to abuse somebody, even that has to be done in English! If you abuse the Anglicised Indian, he will not find fault with the blame but with the grammar in your language! This is the extent to which a foreign language has possessed us.  

But, we must master English, that is needed, but why do we have to become slaves of the English language? We must use that language as a tool, but why do we consider it as a status symbol? This is the influence of Macaulay. 

If you want to understand the Macaulay/Marxist mix in India, you have to go a little back to see how Marxism grew out of the Christian civilisation. I recommend that you read the Nov 27, 1999 edition of the Newsweek, which describes how the Christian idea of the end of time called the “apocalypse”, influenced the entire history, art, music, prognosis, sociology, economics, and the entire attitude of the Christian civilisation towards the non-Christian civilisations. 

A Christian scholar who describes how Communism grew out of Christianity has written it. In 1624, Anna Baptists, a group of Christians who believed in the basic tenets of Christianity seized power in a particular place, banned private property and use of any book other than the Bible. When Marxism came up later through the exposition of Das Capital, the Marxists began expounding their doctrine as an extension of Christianity.

The thesis, antithesis and synthesis of making Christianity acceptable to the age of enlightenment was the Hegelian way demanded rationalisation of Christianity in the days of the Protestant movement. Hegel began with a disagreement, then started interacting with Christianity and ultimately ended up accepting Christianity. You can see the same phenomenon with Marxist postulates- “capitalism is my enemy, we have to deal with capitalism” and finally “we have to find a synthesis with capitalism”. 

Marx on India

In fact in the year 1857, Marx wrote about India, ” India was a prosperous civilisation. It had a very high standard of living. Their productivity was higher. India was an economic giant.” It was so. If you look at the statistics in 1820, India’s share of world production was 19%, and England’s share was 9%, please note that Britain was deep into the industrial revolution at that time. 18% of the world trade was in Indian hands at that time whereas 8% was the figure for Britain and 1% for US. When 80% of the American population was engaged in agriculture, India had 60% of the population engaged in non-agricultural occupations. This is supposed to be an index of development. All these statistics can be found in Paul S. Kennedy’s “Rise and Fall of Great Powers”. 

So, Marx says, “This was a great civilisation which had produced prosperous communities.” A prosperity which went deep into the villages. In the early stages, when the East India Company came to Murshidabad, an unknown name in Bengal today the Britishers were awe struck with its prosperity and wrote that it was more prosperous than London. This is no more disputed anyway, even by Indian intellectuals. Marx acknowledges the fact that this was a prosperous country and also had equality but unfortunately, he says for 2000 years the society did not change nor did it allow any revolutionary forces to enter! In his worldview human beings cannot progress without a revolution! 

In the two articles on British rule in India and the East India Company- history and results written by Marx, quoted in the New York daily “Karl Marx” does grant though somewhat in a grudging manner that “materially, India was fairly industrious and prosperous even before the onset of the British rule. He said that India was an exporting country till 1830 and started importing because it had opened its trade to the British.”

Many of you may not be aware that the kings in India had no right to over the lands, which came under the jurisdiction of panchayats. Whether it was Emperor Ashoka or Bhagavan Sri Ramachandra, the rule was the same. It was changed only during the British rule under the Ryotwari system. Even the Mughals could not change it. It was also found that family communities were based on domestic industry, with the peculiar combination of hand-spinning, hand- weaving, agriculture etc. which gave them a supporting power. 

The misery inflicted by the British on Hindusthan is of an entirely different kind and infinitely more intense than what it had to suffer before civil wars, invasions, revolutions, conquests, famines all these did not go deeper than the surface.

But, England broke the entire framework of Hindusthan, the symptoms of reconstitution are yet to emerge clearly. This loss of the Old World without the emergence of a new order imparts a particular melancholy to the present misery of Hindus and Hindusthan. Marx goes on to say that the British interference destroyed the union between agriculture and the manufacturing industry. Suddenly he remarks that the English interference dissolved this semi barbarian, semi-civilised community. 

He concedes that they were prosperous, that they organised their affairs well, they have a measure of independence, they have a democracy at the lowest level, all this has been conceded. Then, how does he classify us as “semi-barbarian and semi-civilised communities”? He notes that India’s social condition remained unaltered since remote antiquity. This is important, for him revolution is the core, the soul and centre of the society. This society never had a revolution; hence it cannot be modern!  

There is an underlying assumption, which considers revolution as a pre- requisite for being modern.

Hence, he feels that the destruction wrought by the British is the inevitable revolution needed for the development of the Indian society. England had vested interests, violent interests in bringing about this “revolution”. But, the question in focus is whether mankind can fulfill its destiny without a fundamental revolution in the social state? Whatever might have been the crimes of England, she was the unconscious tool of history in bringing about a revolution, whatever bitterness the spectacle of crumbling of an ancient world may evoke, from the point of history, we have to exclaim – should this torture torment us?

Since it brings us great pleasure, were not the rule of Taimur, souls delivered without measure? It is a creative destruction in the cause of revolution according to him. If you see Indian Communism which was expounded by a man called Rajane Palme Dutt. Has anyone heard of his name? (Two persons from the audience raised their hands). Two. He was born of a white woman and an Indian father in England. He was in charge of Indian Communism for 25 years. He never came to India though. In his book, “India Today”, he laid down the framework, the policy for Indian Communists, what must be done, what is the kind of revolution needed in India, the development model etc. 

In those days, even good photographs of India were not available, yet this man spoke about India sitting in London. He came to India for the first time in 1946, ten years after he wrote this book and realised that he had to revise it. He stayed for 30 days!

A visitor to India was the father of Indian Communism! And from that day till date, the Indian Communist has never been with India.

Not only that, they took over the Indian mind in the post- independence period. It is these Marxist/Macaulayist intellectuals who will certify whether somebody is modern or traditional, backward or secular or communal, progressive or regressive.

They were running an Open Air University issuingcertificates every day through the press. They have branded me as a communal man. 

Labels: Tools for stultifying important debates

Labels substituted debate in India. Simply a label – communal, that is enough. Four or five editorials will appear preaching that Gurumurthy is communal and the matter must end there. No one would even discuss what communalism is! Religious fundamentalism, RSS/Bajrang Dal fundamentalism!

Anyone, who exposes the Hindu cause in India is a fundamentalist!

We have seen this term being used so casually and superfluously and incessantly by politicians and newspapers. Has anyone bothered to understand the meaning of religious fundamentalism going beyond these slogans? 

Secularism is an intra-Christian phenomenon. It has no application outside Christianity at all. Secularism resolved the fight between two powerful persons, the King and the Archbishop who were loyal to the same faith, to the same prophet, to the same book and to the same Church. It is not a multi-religious virtue. 

A multi-religious idea, a multi-religious living, a multi-religious culture, a multi-religious fabric or a multi-religious structure was unknown outside India. There was usually only one faith and no place for any other, not even for a variation of the same faith.  

Fifty six thousand Bahais were butchered in one hour in Tehran! They believed in the same Koran, in the same Muhammad, the only difference was that they said that Muhammad might come in another form again. That was their only fault and they were all butchered

But we have no such problem. We can play with God, we can abuse God, and we can beat God!

If I say that monotheistic religions have had a violent history, and the reply will be “you are communal.” But this is exactly the same conclusion that a study in Chicago revealed, probably, the only study on fundamentalism conducted by anybody so far. This fundamentalism project brought out five volumes each volume about eight hundred to nine hundred pages. The conclusion they have reached is that, “Fundamentalism is a virtue of Abrahamic religions. It is not applicable to eastern faiths at all.” 

What about the Indian intellectuals? Day in and day out, they keep abusing us as fundamentalists, communalists, that we are anti-secular and it is being gulped down by everyone including those from the IITs and IIMs, lawyers and police officials, journalists and politicians. Look at this intellectual bankruptcy. 

An inner revolution: The much needed change

We need a mental revolution, an inner revolution; we need to get rooted in our own soul. There is a missing element in India today and it is this. That element has to be restored otherwise Indian intellectualism will only be a carbon copy of Western intellectualism. We are borrowing not only their language and idiom but also we trying to copy the very soul of the West.

So, all that we need to do is (it is impossible to share the entire depth of the subject in one evening’s lecture programme. I have only tried out point out in an incoherent way, how a completely fresh mindset has to be evolved. And unless it evolves, the Indian mind, which leads India, will be in a perpetual state of confusion ordinary people are perfectly all right.

Consider for example how thirty years before there was a question whether Tamil Nadu will be a part of India or not. The Dravidian parties have taken over the mind of Tamil Nadu. It had virtually ceased to be a part of India. And their attack was aimed at Hinduism.

The moment you attack Hinduism you attack India. This is a fact. Neither politicians nor intellectuals nor academicians realised this. But, the ordinary people did.

Just three religious movements- the Ayyappa movement, the Kavadi movement and the Melmaruvatthur Adi Para Sakti movement- have finished the Dravidian ideology to a very great extent. It is only the outer shell of Dravidianism that remains today. Tamil Nadu has been brought back successfully by Ayyappa, Muruga and Para Sakti, not by the Congress or the BJP or any other political party. 

How many people have intellectually assessed the depth and the reach, the deep influence of religion over the people? A paradigm shift in a study of India would be an intellectual approach to this subject. Or consider for example its influence on economics.

Many of you by now would have studied economics in some detail. Take a look at the society in India and compare the figures for public expenditure for private purposes, which is called the social security system in the West.   

30% of the GDP in America is spent for social security, 48% in England, 49% in France, 56% in Germany and 67% in Sweden. This private expenditure is nothing but what you and I do by taking care of parents, our wives and children, brothers and sisters and grandparents, widowed sisters and distant relatives.  

This expenditure is met by the society in India.

And there is no law in India that people should do this. We consider it as our dharma. A person went to a court and demanded a divorce from his father and mother. The American court granted it saying that the only relationship that exists between two persons of America is their citizenship. The law in America recognises no other relationship … 

In the year 1978, an interesting incident occurred in Manhattan. There was a power failure for six hours. Manhattan is in the heart of New York where you find the UN building, the World Trade Centre and the head quarters of many multinational companies. One third of the world’s health is concentrated in Manhattan. Within six hours, hundreds of people were killed, robbed and assaulted. We don’t need electricity to behave in a civilised manner. How many intellectuals in India have ever articulated from such a sympathetic approach? We have only tarnished the image of this country. We must be ashamed of this. 

Conclusion

I shall conclude my speech with this example. When Sri Aurobindo came to Pondicherry in search of a new light. He used to get five rupees from a friend and four persons used to live on this. A cup of tea was one of the luxuries they used to have everyday in the morning, on the Pondicherry beach. 

Sri Aurobindo used to always look at a mystic called Kullachamy (Subramanya Bharati has written a poem about him). He used to behave like a madman, wandering here and there, throwing stones … One, day he came near Sri Aurobindo, lifted his cup of tea and emptied it in front of him. Then he showed the empty cup to him, placed it on the table and went away. Sri Aurobindo’s friends were angry and wanted to chase him. Sri Aurobindo stopped them and said, “This is the kind of instruction I had been expecting from him. He wants me to empty my mind and start thinking afresh.” 

That is my appeal to you!

Related stories:

Under seige ? @ http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6644225536753124845&hl=en

Bias in Media @ http://indowave.tripod.com/AntiHinduMedia.html

Invading the Sacred @ http://worldmonitor.wordpress.com/2007/08/13/invading-the-sacred/

Caste of Hindus @ http://www.hinduwisdom.info/Caste_System.htm

Motivated INDOLOGY @ http://indiaview.wordpress.com/2007/12/26/communal-clash-13-arrested/

http://psenthilraja.wordpress.com/2008/09/02/the-intellectual-scene-in-post-independence-india/