Tuesday, October 4th, 2022 22:14:47

Precious Knowledge

Updated: December 23, 2013 11:25 am



COMPARISONS are odious. For this secular simpleton they are especially so when they cause confusion worse confounded in his bird-brain. As for example, between an apple and an orange. As for another example, between secularism and pluralism. But then, there are those that make them, for it takes all sorts to make this world, ranging from Indian idiots like Satiricus to erudite Indian professors in western universities like one of this elite tribe who has recently written a lengthy (and therefore learned) article in an Indian newspaper, sagely suggesting to us born-again secularists that “secularism’s place should be taken in future by pluralism”.

What on earth! If you are not a secularist, you can only be a communalist, No? Even allowing for the fact that our secularism is really a singular religion, how can it be compared—rather, contrasted—with pluralism? To make matters worse—that is, more unintelligible for what passes for Satiricus’s intelligence—the professor differentiates between the founding fathers of Indian secularism, Nehru and Gandhi, saying Nehru was “Dharma-nirapeksha” while Gandhi believed in “Sarva-dharma-sama-bhava”.

But isn’t that talking about Dharma and not about Religion? Satiricus has been led (or misled) by India’s Supreme Court to believe that Hindu Dharma, in which 85 per cent ignoramuses of this country believe, is not a religion but a way of life. On the other hand, an encyclopedia has told him two things about secularism—one, it does not mean separation between state and religion per se, but between State and Christianity, and specifically between State and Roman Catholicism, and two, secularism as a concept just means a ceaseless struggle for power. What does this show? It shows that neither the Indian Supreme Court nor this American encyclopedia knows what this Indian professor abroad knows. In turn it also shows that this professor does not know the end-and-aim of Indian secularism and its desi devotees, either in power or pining for power.

The learned professor perorates with pointing out that India has a tradition of religious plurality that goes back to the Vedas which say people followed “nānā dharma”, which he translates as “different dharma’’. Well, now, that is indeed a precious piece of knowledge for this ignoramus. But did this quote mean “different dharmas” meant the same as different religions? If yes, how many religions were there when the Vedas were composed during a period from approximately 10,000 years ago to 5,000 years ago? Was the Jews’ Jehova there? Was Jesus Christ born? Was Mohammed? Oh, well, this learned professor cannot be bothered about such insignificant chronological details. What is more to the point, he is described at the end of the article as a “professor of Comparative Religion”, not of Comparison between Religion and Dharma. Is there a lesson for Satiricus in all this? Perhaps there is. It is that it was easy for illiterate Satiricus to become a journalist because he does not have knowledge, but it would have been easier for him to become a professor, for a professor can profess to have knowledge, it is not necessary for him to have it.

Rashtravadi Or Nationalist

WHAT’s in a name? It depends on a couple of factors, such as, for instance, on the language it is used in. Such as, for another instance, the religion of its user. Take NCP, Nationalist Congress Party. But that is not its original name. That was Rashtrawadi Congress Party. So it transpires that it is illegal for Rashtrawadi Congressmen to call themselves Nationalist Congressmen. See? You are either a Rashtrawadi or a Nationalist, you can’t be both. By slightly extending this nominal logic, you can be either an Indian or a Bharatiya, you can’t be both. Actually that makes sense, for Satiricus quite agrees that today’s India and yesterday’s Bharat are two very different countries.

Then there is this recent ruling by a court in Malaysia which says the world ‘Allah’ for God is not to be used by non-Muslims like Christians. Well, now, does that mean the all-merciful Allah will not have mercy on non-Muslims who pray to him? Satiricus does not know, because he is a simple Hindu, not a sophisticated secularist, although he has seen striking semblance between the Bible and the Quran.

In fact it seems that although Satiricus can call himself a Hindu he cannot call himself a Hindu nationalist, as it would be “abhorrent to the constitution”, says the Jammu-Kashmir High Court. In our constitution a citizen of India is only an “Indian”, ruled the judge. Begging pardon, Your Honour, is that the whole constitutional truth? For constitutionally, an Indian cannot be a mere Indian, he is required to be a secular Indian. Alas, that rules communal Satiricus out – but not Afzal Guru.

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