This is what I had written : "I've grown up listening to megaphones of a local religious place of Prayers,shouting 5 times a day,7 days a week, that its god is the only god, & all non-believers(in the god specified)are Kaffers..never had an issue.."
Let's cut the cheese - I'm talking about a Mosque and the religion is Islam. My view was a reaction to a TV debate where India was repeatedly called a "Brahmanical state". I refuse to accept that though I'm not a Brahmin but a cross between a Brahmin and a Vaidya and I don't care a hoot about that as long as I have the right to exist as a human being with Freedom of Thought and Expression. And no I am not communal, but I'm not willing to take SHit being spoken about my country on national television where people of another country are voicing opinions over video conference.
I brand myself as a spiritual person in privacy and I don't believe in Religion, or rather in the "organized execution of religious chores" as statutory in everyday household life - though I'm not intolerant to that. I've grown up in such a household of a middle class background of extremely modest means, and I'm grossly intolerant to religious extremism.
Let's cut the crap and look around.
Jehadis are all over the place -- Al Quaida, Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jamaat-Ud-Dawah, Hizbul Mujaheedins, Indian Mujaheedins - genocidal suicide missions seem to be never-ending, (well the prospect of Sublime Biryani and 70 ethereal virgin belles have definitely made its point).
Looking through all these through a prism of logic creates a question in my mind : why are these barbarians continuing to take up arms, fight and bleed? What is the stake? What is the Core that should be neutralized, around which these blood thirsty bearded mercenaries continue to bay for blood and thump feet in their war-dance.
All eyes are on Pakistan -- host to all sorts of homicidal psychopaths as they continue to plot and plan, interacting with "rogue elements" , former army officers and ex-ISI, who are coming up as killing coaches to deliver human bombs in hundreds every day. Of course the country is bleeding badly itself because of its self-made mess.
While diplomatic and Military exercises are in full swing to get the better of these bearded two-legged man-eaters, I guess it will never be possible because the targets of drone-attacks and covert Navy Seals intrusion under cover of darkness do not make the Core.
The Psyche of a religious extremist has to be re-oriented. He must realize the futility of the 'spoils' of Holy War. And here is where Religion comes in, and the uncomfortable issue lies in everybody's mind perceptively too sensitive to be debated upon, possibly to even confront a variety of perspectives without an iota of hypocrisy.
Who is the ultimate instigator of all terror attacks, not to mention the more direct wars that India has had to fight against an implacable foe?
No, it's not Pakistan. While this country is a comfortable medium for all the bloodshed, it isn't the ultimate cause. The ultimate cause of all this wasteful, mindless violence, the ultimate cause behind the very creation of Pakistan itself is Religion -- in other words, God, or rather, the human perception of this Myth of Divinity. Let the perception stay -- the only thing is that it has to proper and correct.
Religion, or rather religious intolerance has wrecked havoc in India too. The demolition of the Babri Masjid is also, and even more obviously, a manifestation of theo-politics, the lethally vengeful politics of God. It is not geo-politics but theo-politics which has been responsible for brutal hostilities. Today everybody is playing theo-politics. And in doing so, we are all, willy-nilly, becoming pawns of the very game that we think we are playing. It is not Kasab, and the LeT and the Taliban, and the Al-Qaeda, and ISI, which exploit, and are, in inevitable turn, exploited by theo-politics.
We, in our own India, have also been increasingly held to ransom by the politics of religion - a viciously perverted sectarianism of a God with a schizophrenic, split psyche, divided along the razor-edge fault-lines of Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism, Judaism, Zionism, and all possible 'isms' that man has invented to hide from Heaven's eyes the Hell he creates on earth.
It's not just the Taliban. It's its Indian qualitative stereo-image too : the mind behind certain offshoots of the Sangh-Parivar, is the practitioner and unwilling dupe of theo-politics, equally complicit in the propagation, as well as in being the victim of the politics of the religion of a divisive God. And it's a massive price that human civilisation as a whole (not individual societies, communities or races) has incurred in the name of Religion and a highly condemnable god who encourages genocide and fratricide. Religion has been twisted to accommodate the issue at hand.
Can humankind as a whole afford such a omnivorous god any longer? Perhaps it's time for those who believe in a mindless god-of whatever colour, creed, stripe or nomenclature-to pray to Him(or Her) to turn us all into atheists, or at least agnostics. We would no longer be required to believe in the name of a God, and by the grace of the same God, to kill each other to complete annihilation to His greater Glory, and could get on trying to deal with mundane, down-to-earth (and not up-to-heaven) problems like poverty, illiteracy, disease, gender-bias and eco-destruction.
All of you who swear every moment of your lives by some kind of Divinity or the other, seem to know the mind of His Schizophrenic Holiness by the back of your hands. And you are ever-ready to jump to attribute to His schizophrenic Cause, any phenomenon, or actions perpetrated within the civilized society, creating controversy. It is always perverse homicide or genocide, and all kinds of degradation to the deepest of nadirs, making a free man/woman/child subject to rape, paedophilia, pervert sexuality within a temple or a church, or child sacrifice.
However you can rest in peace, all of those believing in a God who allows vengeance....because this will not happen, of course.
The more troubled the times (and ours are very troubled indeed, what with global terror, pandemic disease, economic meltdown, greenhouse effect et al), the greater the premium that people pay to God as insurance cover.
I wrote this somewhere before : Fear and Religion are just two sides of the same coin since prehistory. Prehistoric hominids invented the gods to appease them because storm and lightning, draught and flood, fire and ice, frightened them. And we haven't changed much. Self-invented Fear over caste, race, gender clash and exploitation still hold us to random, and provide us with spurious excuses and enough mistrust to enable us with mutual hatred to fight and kill each other.
My words would have never come into existence if you really respected Religion. If you believe Religion is Truth, you should stand up to dissociate your Religion whenever crimes are committed in its name. Be it Hinduism or Islam or Buddhism or.. Etc etc.
Everytime a Hindu has sacrificed a baby girl in the name of Ram, or a Muslin has beheaded a fellow human being in the name of Allah, you have, just by your silence and cowardice, failed to condemn the evil, and most importantly failed to dissociate your Religion from these homophobic fanatics. It is you who have degraded the same religion and its holy teachings (-- those you are so religious about), into a malevolent god who doesn't seem to be the same harmless and hyper-hyped up bloke who believed in Creation of life.
At the moment, terrorism is going on rampantly again in the name of Allah, and societies who should be evolving in consciousness witnessing more respect in and towards humanity, are dragged back into its ancient perceptions when social law is replaced by Islamic law, allowing a neo-hedonism against which not a single Muslim leader has ever stood up. The factor is not Islam. It is the absence of sheer responsibilty of various religious leaders who didn't let the religion evolve and adapt to changing times.
*I have read all the holy texts that are existent now even the Tibetan Book of the Dead, having been pushed by my interest in history, prehistoric sociology and its wonderful concomittance with anthropology (specifically anthropo-biology & anthropo-bio-psyciology -- do these terms exist? I guess I was able to guide your attention to the intended direction..but have never found any chapter which lets these rituals to run amock )
Almost 200 years back, laws in Hindu society were sanctified by principles of ill-comprehended religious texts. Widows were socially tortured and raped by temple priests, little girls were married off to old pervert minds to keep alight the continuity of family line (degrading Woman to a vessel to impregnate and reproduce) -- mind you, this was actively facilitated by the girl's parents because the child, according to the Holy Scriptures would face ostracization if not married off before menarche!
Freshly widowed women were drugged, dragged and thrown into burning pyres to be roasted alive so that 'feminine sanctity' of the religious institution of marriage ( this barbarian thought still exists, still continues to be perceived) would be preserved to immortality. Her cries would be lost in the din of voices coming up from a dark void so pathetically devoid of soul, who perhaps sought refuge in the high-pitched rhetorical repetitions of religious incantations, when compassion and guilt threatened to fill up the dark void, persecuting any efforts of repentance.
Here I say, religion was used to justify acts of such cruelty. The mourning parents sought refuge from the pain of this barbaric cruelty, in a auto-hypnotised denial, where the religious rulers (the most debauched class in the early decades of the 19th century -- yes, as recent as that) would carry out mass brain-washing in the names of heaven and hell, virtue and vice, again using the 'opium for the masses' to serve their own vested interests including acts of debauchery including sexual exploitation of the simple-minded, unsuspecting village maidens and married women ( emancipation of the soul by consummation with 'God' through his holy emissary, the priests.)
As awareness grew, and formal education was actively pursued by the youth, the face of the 19th century renaissance (to be socially persecuted as the face of the renegade) guided by reformers. And they did hound out the barbarism, which had been an age-old inclusion in the socio-religious profile of communities, who carried out social repression by hiding behind pages of the holy texts. These were slowly pushed out by social reforms, (obviously the beginning was strongly attacked by Hindu fanatic zealots). It required a gigantic reformist process by men of wisdom who just didn't quit. Now barbarianism is not there officially. Hindus changed the holy texts by throwing the distorted rubbish.
Islam preaches tolerance too. I have read the Al-Sharif and Al-Hadish (It is important to know what one wishes to put subject to rationalization in context of contemporary trends. They act as milestones in the pathway along which Time guides sociological evolution to follow -- a constant continuity of the inevitable, not necessarily consistent though)
Going through the Scriptures of the Prophet, one has a distinct realization that its message is much more intolerant compared to the essence of other religions.
I would want to point out a very basic thematic truth. These Scriptures, in a way, form a code of conduct for the society of its patrons. I'm not at all qualified to qualify the divinity of the Scriptures. Yet the Scriptures are a brilliant commentary that provides insights into sociology of those times, and brilliant literature for studying 'comparative sociology', (if I'm allowed to put it that way, with no intention to distort the language inside the Palace,...well..as the language of Colonisation too.....)
I wouldn't hide that my perception is of lesser Divinity, and greater Reality as a social code of conduct. A social code of conduct which was laid down to be followed almost 900 years back cannot be expected to accommodate 21st century perceptions of Right and Wrong, of Morality and yes, Relevance too. The reality is that the scholars and religious leaders didn't update the text while everything was getting updated.
Religiosity need not be updated, but organized literature on sociology demands to be updated. One can't understand why there are so few Muslim reformist voices (that can affect) when genocide is carried out, or courts allow punishments like public flogging, stoning to death, amputation of limbs. If a Muslim doesn't feel nauseated to find out that he believes in the same religious beliefs which are exploited to wage war and are glorified in front of the entire world, the impression of Islam on the Non-Muslim shall continue to be perverse and cruel, nothing close to a divine consciousness who creates things.
While I might not give a hoot about the 'theme' around which a simple minded human being nourishes his devotion -- the innocent trust he puts on his personal god, I shall respect and defend his humane profile and freedom to Believe and to Trust in Faith. Denouncing Religion as a faith doesn't make me dishonour the Faith in the mind of a devotee.
God Is mighty Expensive. Too many innocent lives. Too much blood.
If Islam is updated, it will be upgraded too. I am sure the world would be a better place for peaceful coexistence of religions with more humane essence.
Till then GOD be DAMNED.