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Hindu Tolerance

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With unconditional respect to Durga Prasad Dash, I must say that his basic premise is wrong. “Are the non-aggressive, tolerant attitude of Hindus…” He starts.  Wrong, Sir. You are assuming that Hindus were non-aggressive and tolerant.  Hindus were no less aggressive than any others.  We don’t need to go to the pre-Christian Ashoka who killed thousands of people in order to expand his kingdom and would have conquered China or Burma if the logistical situations hadn’t been as bad as they were.  I guess the Ashoka pillars in Kandahar didn’t appear there by a peaceful miracle.  No Sir, the Hindu kings were as belligerent as any others.  Kingship is all about conquests.  Even Lord Krishna would agree.  I’m sure, Durga Sir, you’re familiar with the vile things he did in order to win the Kurukshetra War.  I’m also sure you know about the wars and battles fought by our kings and princes throughout our history even before the Muslim invaders and the Christian colonisers came in. 

Quest

Genuine religion is an endless quest to renew oneself every day, every moment.  It is a quest to understand reality more and more, the reality out there as well as the reality within ourselves.  Understanding leads to compassion. The problem with fundamentalism of any sort is that it eliminates quest altogether.  Fundamentalism imposes truths on people.  Look at any country which has sought to build up religion-based governments and you will see how it has used propaganda effectively.  Truths are fabricated and imposed on people using various tricks and means. Generally people don’t like to think.  They don’t want to think. They would rather have truths handed over to them on a platter.  Fundamentalism succeeds easily because of this.  Combine it with hatred of other people and the recipe is perfect.  Lies and hatred. Perfect combination for the masses hungry for readymade answers. Spiritual truths can never be readymade.  They have to be discovered by ourselves.  Because

Counterproductive Life

Austrian philosopher Ivan Illich was of the opinion that most of us lived a life of counterproductivity.   That is, we defeat ourselves.   Happiness is one of the most sought after goals in life.   We do a lot of things in order to achieve happiness.   We take up a profession assuming that the job and the salary will bring us happiness.   But soon we find ourselves competing with somebody or the other in order to achieve a higher position in the workplace because we assume that the position is the key to our happiness.   Then we need a house that suits the professional position.   We need a car, the best possible.   Our children should study in the best school in the city.   The fulfilment of every desire leads to more desires.   Desire is unhappiness.   The fulfilment of one desire brings in more desires.   More unhappiness, in other words.   Counterproductive life, Illich called it.   The Buddha had said much the same thing in slightly different words long ago. The se

Romeo and anti-Romeo

Juliet knew it was Romeo.  Who else would enter the balcony of her bedroom on the first floor at this time of the night?  Moreover, there was love in that rap on the window.  It was like the resonance of the guitar string when pulled by a master player.  Her heart throbbed like guitar strings as she went to open the window. “Romeo, my love!” Juliet cried.  “How did you manage to come here?  There are anti-Romeo squads everywhere.” “I defy the stars for your sake, Juliet. I defy the squads for my love.” “Why is our fate thus, Romeo?  Why are they all against our love?  Even your father and my father, they’re like Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi.” “Oh no, darling! Don’t insult your father by comparing him to Rahul.  It’s more apt to compare them to Modi and Advani.  Anyway, let’s leave politics aside; it’s so unromantic.” Juliet opened the balcony door and they sat down together listening to the romance of the Ganga’s music as it flowed down a few yards away to join

Gau Rakshak

Fiction Love Kumar had no clear idea of what he was going to do with his life as he stepped out of the jail having completed the term for the rape he had committed seven years ago.   He had met all sorts of people in the jail, like politicians and godmen.   Until he met them in jail serving terms for crimes ranging from rape to murder, Love Kumar had thought that crime was the prerogative of the undeserving poor like himself. He had not wanted to co mmit the crime.   Life made him do it.   That’s how he saw it at least.   Life makes the undeserving poor do all sorts of things in order to get on in the world ruled by the deserving affluent.   Politicians, for example.   People give them the right to swindle.   His own MLA had a huge body of thugs and goons who would do anything for their leader.   That is in addition to the official security provided to the politician by the State.   And the people voted him again and again to power. Love Kumar used to stand in awe when