the long search

When you have nowhere to go, go back to yourself.

Is it a sin, really?

It's not often that people like me pose such questions to themselves. There are times, though, when they do. With the debate of communalism raging across India today, I feel like asking myself: Why is it a sin to be called a Hindu? Why are you suddenly branded as a "fundamentalist" when Hinduism is the issue? Even the media is not averse to using the word "extremism." Why is the average Hindu on the defensive? Is it because he/she has never been assertive about his/her religion? Is it because Hinduism never taught us to encroach upon others? There are a lot of "why"s that have bothered me. The answers seem difficult to come by but they are somewhere here. Anyone who has been an Indian by heart would know why. For, this is the only country that has thrown open its arms to almost everyone.

But you don't have to be a fanatic to be faithful to your religion. You don't have to be apologetic either.

I read this in a forum and would post it. It's by J Venkata? He makes sense to me. Or does he?

Dissent is Democratic, Consensus is Fascist

I still remember those days in my early twenties when I got to read the novel `Atlas Shrugged' by `Ayn Rand' loaned to me by my cousin sister. Ayn Rand was a born rebel who had her own vision of a society based on an idealistic objectivism.

If someone mentions `capitalism' to me ,then Jefferson, Washington and Ayn Rand only come to my imagination. Such has been her influence on American society.

Ayn Rand and Democracy:

She will tell in one of her works - " Whenever you hear words such as `unanimity, consensus, etc, immediately know that the organization is fascist. Democracy has dissent built into it. No two men think alike and act alike.

So , in a large organization like a business corporation or a political party, if there is such a thing as consensus, it simply means that views of one man or a few are pushed down the throats of those down the hierarchy. The result ? Oppression , obviously.

Think of an organization or society where plurality of opinion is accepted rather than tolerated and even welcomed. There, my friend , democracy blooms. Where the freedom to think, speak and act is inherent in the society, democracy shows its fragrance.

Suppression is fascism. Liberation is Democracy.

The Ideal Society

Rabindranath Tagore, in his Gitanjali writes

Where the mind is without fear and the held is high

Where knowledge is free

Where words come out from the depth of truth


Have you ever heard of a land where these values were actually practiced ? Well, it was the wonderland called Bharat. The sons of Bharat , a fearless intellectual group, dared to differ from the mundane and visualized a society based on free enquiry. We see much of it even now in India though the society lost many of its golden standards.

The village level self management, freedom for self enquiry and self realization ( as later summarized in the Gita) speak volumes of the society. It was in Bharat that is India that the 'free education for all ' policy was proclaimed and practiced till 1850 when the indigenous Gurukuls were destroyed.

An example of a Democratic village:

A small village in the erstwhile Chola Kingdom, Uttiramerur, Tamilnadu, (which is a temple village), has a written constitution in the temple complex devoted to Lord Shiva. This temple is typical of Chola Grandeur in stone. There , in a mantap, the gram Sabha met and elected its chief. The tenure was fixed and the election process was by dropping the choice written on a palmyrah leaf into a pot. The votes were counted and the winner declared by the village nobles.

The norms were also stringent. The contestant must not have married more than once, not have had illicit relationship, who has not usurped public property and so on. This happened thousand years ago under Rajaraja I.

The Present India

The India of present is a mix of honest, pious, religious and law abiding citizens headed by a few dishonest, deceitful, bigoted , nepotist and corrupt leaders. They have perfected the art of dividing the population on the basis of religion, caste and language in order to keep the throne for perpetuity.

Democracy was made into a laughing stock when a single family of Father, Daughter, Grandson, and his wife were all raised to the throne in almost regular succession. The family employed all the untruthful means to remain in power thus ridiculing the price of the blood of freedom fighters.

Undoing of Indians in Democracy

They realized that the only true bond of all Indians is their religion. So, they employed all means to keep the Indians disconnected from their umbilicus. To this end, they invented a novel formula of secularism which meant several things to several people.

The Hindu was taught that secularism meant sacrificing his rights of his religion over his motherland. It also meant forgiving of all oppressions of the past by other religions. It also said that tolerance even in the face of grim oppression was secularism.

The other religions were free from such indoctrinations. For them secularism meant they were free to practice their religions and convert anyone to their religion by whatever means. They could even use force on Hindus who had to be complacent as a rule.

The Hindu, by such vicious inculcation of untruths, became indifferent to his society. His temples were nationalized and their lands and properties were stolen by the government. He dare not show off his religious affliction as it is a sign of aggression. If he formed a party, he was termed as communal. But the other religions were free from such injunctions and they were as secular as ever.

The average Hindu is longing for real democracy. His plight is his own making. He simply has to look back in time and realize what a tradition he belongs to. His tears will vanish and so will the suppressive, fascist, secularistic bondage.


Agnes 17 September 2008 at 21:41  

I think you're right, you don't have to defend your beliefs. You are entitled to your own thoughts and your own beliefs and others to theirs. I believe religious beliefs should never be attacked and should never have to be defended either.
Thank you.

Talking To My Soul 17 September 2008 at 23:57  


I wish there were more people like you, Agnes. The world will be such a peaceful place to be in. Wishes are wishes then. Thanks for your comments.

About this blog

If we admit that human life can be ruled by reason, then all possibility of life is destroyed