Opinion, Politics

Supreme Court has offered the Muslim Community a face-saving solution in its Ram Mandir “suggestion”

This article first appeared online in Rightlog.in under the same title on March 23, 2017. The original article is available here: (Click to read)

Supreme Court’s call for an amicable, negotiated settlement to the Ram Temple-Babri Masjid dispute is reasonable.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday, March 21, 2017 suggested that the parties to the contentious Ram Janmabhoomi / Ram Mandir dispute attempt to find an amicable solution out of court through the process of dialogue and consensus in the spirit of “Give-a-bit” and Take-a-bit”.

The Supreme Court bench headed by Justice JS Khehar was responding to BJP MP Subramanian Swamy’s plea urging the Court to agree to an early and day-to-day hearing on the matter in order to find a speedy resolution to the issue.

The court observed that “These are issues of religion and sentiments, where all the parties can sit together and arrive at a consensual decision to end the dispute. All of you may sit together and hold a cordial meeting…” Further, CJI Khehar even offered to play the role of a mediator in order to find an amicable solution if the parties involved in the dispute wanted him to.

 

 The historical trail and the twists and turns that have marked the Ram Janmabhoomi / Ram mandir issue are well known and have been covered, reported, and analyzed extensively over the years and is neither the mandate nor the focus of this article.

This article only looks at the Supreme Court’s “suggestion” and attempts to answer the following questions:

  1. Why did the Supreme Court choose to appeal to the parties concerned to work towards an amicable solution outside the purview of the court and law?
  2. Is the court justified in making such a suggestion, or should it instead have simply gone ahead and pronounced the verdict?
  3. Is it in the best interest of the parties concerned and also the in the best interests of our country to take this route rather than a cantankerous, and bitter legal feud?

The first question as to why the Supreme Court made the suggestion to the parties concerned to look for an amicable solution outside the courts was partially answered by the court itself when it observed that matters of faith, religion, and sentiment are best settled in the spirit of give and take.

Also, it bears mention here that the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court in 2010 had ruled for a three-way division of the disputed area, between the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara, and the party for Ram Lalla in effect handing over two-thirds of the land to the Hindus and one-third to the Muslims.

The Supreme Court may well be offering the Muslims a face-saving solution that can be mutually arrived at on the basis of this Allahabad verdict, instead of a Court directive that reinforces the same and potentially causes loss of face.

The Government of India and the Hindu representatives have welcomed the move with open arms but the Muslim representatives including the Babri Masjid Action Committee have rejected the offer while continuing to maintain that this is purely a matter of title and has no religious bearing – in the process completely ignoring the spirit in which the Supreme Court has made this suggestion.

Secondly, insisting that there is no religious validity to the claim made by the Hindus belittles the religious sentiments of millions of Hindus for whom Ram and his Janmabhoomi are matters of deep and abiding faith. Thirdly, it goes against the court’s own advice of “Give-a-bit” and Take-a-bit” – Is not the Allahabad High Court verdict of 2010, itself an expression of this very principle?

The second question of whether the Supreme Court should have made such a suggestion as some commentators have opined is really a non-question. The suggestion by the Supreme Court is a time-bound one, not an open-ended advice. The court has asked Mr. Subramanian Swamy to consult with the parties and inform them about the decision on March 31 after which the next steps will be initiated.

The court is simply providing a window for all parties to bury their differences and come together to arrive at a solution that will satisfy all parties concerned without potentially endangering the socio-cultural fabric of a plural society that is India.

Finally, without a doubt a mutual decision arrived at through consensus and in the true spirit of give and take is the best situation for not just the parties involved but for the whole nation itself. It is also in the best interest of the Muslim community also to free themselves from the overbearing influence of the mullahs and their self-serving agenda which is definitely not in the interest of the Muslim community who can no longer continue to stay away from mainstream India. It is for the Muslim community itself to indulge in soul-searching and introspection – would they or their own leaders be so open and considerate if they were in the majority and Hindus were a minority? For an answer, they simply have to look no further than our neighboring countries – Pakistan and Bangladesh.

The suggestion by the Supreme Court is therefore an opportunity for the communities to come together and once again establish the plurality and the concept of unity- in-diversity unique to our country. The ball as they say is in the Muslim’s court and one hopes that they don’t miss this opportunity.

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Religion, Spirituality

Krishna’s Rasa-lila (9)

The word Rasa-lila, arrived at by the sandhi (meeting of two words) of “Rasa” meaning aesthetics and Lila meaning “Dance” can be loosely translated as “The Dance Divine“. It has also been a subject of much derision and mirth for Hindus themselves and a stick to beat the Hindu religion for people of other religions.

A reading of the section from the “Rasa Lila episode of the Srimad Bhagavata under “The Gopis plea” (verses 31-41), should clarify the true purport of this “play” of the divine:

…”Lord, we have abandoned our all to serve thy feet. Accept us as the Supreme Being accepts all who go to him seeking liberation”Abandon us not, O Thou of mysterious ways! who art the source of all codes, the Lord of all, the topic of instruction for all scriptures and teachers – For art Thou not the closest relative, the dearest object of Love for all Jivas, being the soul of their souls? The really wise man entertains love only to Thee – the ever lovable Soul of one’s soul…”

Sanatana Dharma talks about the 9 modes of Bhakthi or devotion – Shravana (listening to the glories of the lord), Kirtana (Singing), Smarana (Constant remembrance), Archana (Worship),  Paadasevana (Service of the needy) , Vandana (Prayer and Prostration),  Dasyatva (Lord-servant relationship), Sakhya (The lord is my friend), Atmanivedan (Surrender, Sharanagathi)

The Rasa-Lila of the Gopis would fall under the category of Atmanivedana, complete surrender to the Supreme being the indwelling atman where all body-consciousness is lost, and sex is sublimated in the divine essence of the lord of love within.

Mira Bai the 16th century mystic was a living example of this. She was in every sense a Gopi, she thought of herself as Radha and her Giridhar was all that mattered to he:

Friends, I am completely dyed in this (i.e. Krishna’s) colour. I drank the cup of immortal bliss, and became drunk. My inebriation never goes away, however many crores of ways I try “*

“Mira danced with ankle-bells on her feet. People called Mira mad; my mother-in-law said I ruined the family reputation. Rana sent me a cup of poison and Mira drank it laughing. I have dedicated my body and soul at the feet of Hari. I thirst for the nectar of the sight of him. Mira’s lord is Giridhar Nagar; I come for refuge to him…“*

The last word on this has to be left to the inimitable Osho (Rajneesh):

Rasalila is dance of Cosmic Consciousness with individualised Consciousness, It is a State of Mind were bliss manifests. One can experience this the way Sufis experienced. This (Rasalila) is Maharaas where Krishna represents the whole of the male element in creation known in sanskrit as the Purusha. The Gopis represent the entire female principle of Prakriti and this Maharaas represents the combine dance of Prakriti and Purusha… ” – Krishna, the man and his Philosophy by Osho; Chapter 9: The Cosmos is a dance of Opposites.

*Poison to Nectar The Life and Work of Mirabai by Madhu Kishwar and Ruth Vanita. Available at: http://www.manushi-india.org/pdfs_issues/pdf_files-50-51-52/poison_to_nectar.pdf.
Opinion, Politics

Only one man can resurrect the almost-dead Congress Party

 

rahul-gandhi
Image Courtesy: India Opines

The humongous UP debacle was Rahul Gandhi’s 14th straight defeat. There has not been a single election in which he has singlehandedly led the Congress party to victory. The recent victory in Punjab was a complete captain’s show and the credit goes only to Captain Amarinder Singh, one of the few surviving regional satraps of the Congress party.

A track record such as this would have confined any other leader to the archives of political history, but not Rahul Gandhi who has hidden behind the protection offered by his lineage and continued to lead the congress party to defeat after defeat. Today the congress party has been reduced to the fringes of Indian politics solely because of Rahul’s lackadaisical approach and sheer lack of charisma. The only other major state (besides Punjab now) where the Congress is in power is Karnataka but that also looks like slipping into the hands of the BJP soon going by the present trends and the mood of the people of Karnataka.

Rahul’s brand of “shoot and scoot” politics, his penchant for taking long vacations in foreign locales, and his disappearing acts after every defeat are not the qualities of a leader who can succeed, leave alone survive in the hustle and bustle of Indian politics. He is also up against arguably the most popular leader ever, comparable to the heady days of “India is Indira” whose work ethic, political nous, oratorical skills, and people-connect is incomparable – Narendra Modi versus Rahul Gandhi is a mismatch like no other. If the Congress continues with its suicidal policy of pitting Rahul against Narendra Modi then they must resign themselves to a long hiatus in the wilderness of Indian politics.

To contrast how leaders behave one needs to look no further than Rahul’s newest ally Akhilesh Yadav who is the latest political leader to burn his fingers after allying with the Rahul Gandhi led Congress. He suffered a massive defeat too but he addressed a press conference, accepted defeat graciously, refused to blame the Congress (though he was well within his rights to), and was there to console his party members and share in their collective defeat.

Rahul Gandhi as usual made his now patented disappearing act only to emerge after a few days to make the most inane comments, embarrassing himself and his party.

I am reminded of a small news item dating back to the time of J. Jayalalitha’s death. While condoling her death, M.K. Stalin made a remark that captures the essence of what it means to be a politician of repute. To paraphrase what he said “We may have had our differences and we have been bitter rivals, but we are going to miss her fighting spirit and her never say die attitude. Who will we fight against now? Will we ever face an opponent of her caliber again?”

Measured against this, Rahul Gandhi fails miserably to live up to the most fundamental requirement of a politician. Why the Congress party is continuing to stick with Rahul is a mystery best known to the party or rather the coterie that has benefited the most from hanging on to the coat tails and aprons of the Nehru parivar members. However, if it is the fear of what might happen to the party in the absence of someone from the Nehru parivar leading it then it is a misplaced fear because sticking with a reluctant and clearly out of depth leader is doing greater harm to the grand old party. Young leaders with the credentials and the stomach for a fight are being neglected and it won’t be long before there is a revolt from within.

This has already started happening – Himanta Biswa Sarma who was humiliated by Rahul Gandhi made the switch to BJP and has already delivered two states to them – Assam and now Manipur where BJP had absolutely zero presence till recently. Milind Deora in Mumbai and Sandeep Dixit in Delhi have already expressed their reservations with regard to how the congress is being led and have called for introspection and change but the coterie is once again closing shop to protect the reluctant heir who will surely sound the death knell of the oldest political party of India.

Rahul Gandhi needs to listen to the right people who are telling him to go follow his dreams, whatever they be elsewhere, because he is simply not cutout for politics particularly of the Indian type that requires dedication, hard work, the stomach for a fight, and a never-say-die attitude all qualities anathema to Rahul Gandhi. He however chooses to listen to advisers like Digvijay Singh who is the one person Rahul must never listen to.

In conclusion, democracy cannot and must not function in a vacuum with one party having a free run. The nip and thrust of politics and democracy requires a credible opposition that can live up to its role of being a watchdog of democracy. It is for this reason if not for anything else that the Congress needs a dose of oxygen that can revive it and the revival for sure is not going to happen through Rahul Gandhi. Neither is it going to happen if the party waits for Rahul or his family to make that call because that call will never come because the family believes that the Congress is their personal company and they can do what they please with it.

What the country needs today is a Rahul-mukt Congress even more urgently than a Congress-mukt Bharat. And only Rahul can resurrect Congress by leaving it.


This article originally appeared March 16, 2017, on Rightlog.in under the same title. Link to that article is here: (Click here)

Image courtesy: http://indiaopines.com/oll-number-2-rahul-gandhi-absent-maam/

Disclaimer: Copyright of images belongs to the original creator/publisher.

Culture, Politics, Religion

How “secular” governments in India looted, plundered and destroyed Hindu temples? (Part 1)

 

th20_Kongu-Chol+25TH_THOLUR_TEMPLE
Picture courtesy: The HINDU

This is a two-part article that examines the systematic loot and destruction of Hindu religious places of worship, Vedic temples, heritage, and culture institutionalized and systematized by the British and executed with ruthless precision under successive Congress governments at the center


An 800 year old Shiva temple in Tholur village of Namakkal district in Tamil Nadu under the aegis of the Hindu Religious Charitable Endowments department (HRCE), a government appointed body was razed to the ground using bulldozers in August 2016. This temple built by the Kongu Cholas was a heritage temple that was supposedly being “restored” by the HRCE. No one knows who was responsible or why this temple was demolished with the HRCE blaming the villagers and the heritage activists pinning the blame on the HRCE.

The destruction of this “living” temple, where people offered prayers every day is not a one-off, or a stray incident. This is only another example of the systematic loot and destruction of Hindu religious places of worship, Vedic temples, heritage, and culture institutionalized and systematized by the British and executed with ruthless precision under successive Congress and communist governments at the center and states.

The plain and shocking truth is that successive, supposedly secular governments at the center and at State levels have been controlling, selling-off, distributing, and profiting from the collections of Hindu temples. The fact of the matter is that an offering made by a Hindu devotee in good faith can be siphoned-off to feed the coffers of Governments or worse still used to provide grants to Christian and Muslim places of worship and education. Christian and Muslim establishments on the other hand have full autonomy with regard to the funds, administration, and assets of their places of worship and education. This led to the coining of the word “Reverse Discrimination” by Swamy Dayananda Sarasvati. India is probably the only country where in the name of secularism the majority community has been and continues to be discriminated against, in all walks of life.

Often defenders of this kind of pseudo-secularism take refuge under article-30 of the Indian constitution which confers certain rights on the minorities. However, a reading of several judgements on this “Right” including one by a 11-judge bench of the Supreme Court makes it clear that this “Right” is only a “Protection” in the unlikely event of minority persecution by the majority. It cannot and should not be used by one category to receive special and/or preferential treatment and/or profit from it.

The Table  below summarizes the discrimination faced by Hindu places of worship versus places of worship belonging to other religious denominations:

Parameter Hindu Muslim Christian
Place of Worship under state control Yes No No
Government administers and manages finances Yes No No
Government can control, takeover and dispose temple assets Yes No No
Government can divert funds for other purposes Yes No No
Priests, devotees, practitioners have a say in temple management No Yes Yes
Educational institutions run by place of worship is autonomous No Yes Yes
Educational institution can decide and discriminate in hiring of staff and student admissions No Yes Yes

Jawaharlal Nehru in 1951 expressed a desire to see that no private Hindu temple existed in India. The Hindu Religious and Charities Endowment Act of 1951 (HRCE) was a result of this “desire” to takeover and control all Hindu places of worship. Through this act State Governments could:

  1. Takeover and completely control the administration, upkeep, finance, and human resources of Hindu temples
  2. Appoint managers to the boards of temples in the name of better administration and then browbeat and control all the activities of these temples.

The question of why in a supposedly secular-socialist republic, only Hindu and Vedic temples were brought under government control and not Christian or Muslim places of worship is either not being asked or is being deliberately brushed aside by vested interests within and without the political, social, and cultural establishment.

As per the Vedic agamas and shastras a temple represents a “living human being and the consecrated deity the soul” Therefore a temple belongs to the deity and everyone else including the government, HRCE, devotees etc. are all simply “Trustees of the house of God”.

Additionally, Vedic and Hindu temples have always played a role much larger than just being centers of rituals, worship, and congregation. They have been centers of worship (Poojalayas), Culture (Kalaalayas), Service (Sevalayas), Education (Vidyalayas), Protection (Rakshaalyas), and History.

In the last 6 decades since the enactment of the HRCE, there has been a systematic loot, plunder, and destruction of Vedic and Hindu temples and the complete loss of the cultural ethos of these temples including patronage to music, dance and arts, Veda pathashalas, and Goshalas.

Take the example of AP where more than 34,000 temples are under government control. Reports suggest that only 18% of the revenue received is used for the purposes of temple development, upkeep, restoration, devotee welfare and infrastructure. A mind boggling 82% is diverted for other purposes. The Tirumala Tirupathi devasthanam receives more than INR 3,100 crores per year – 85% of this or a whopping 2,635 crores is transferred to the Government exchequer and subsequently diverted to causes and institutions not even remotely connected to the Hindu community or temples – this includes funds to Muslim and Christian churches and mosques, educational institutions, madrasas, and Haj subsidy.

The worst atrocities were committed under the regime of the late Y. Samuel Rajashekar Reddy when Christian evangelism reached its peak in AP. During his regime, there have been reports also of how a blatant attempt was made to take over 5 of the 7 shrines of Tirumala in order to distribute land for churches to be built there – this was thwarted by strong protests organized under the aegis of Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha.

In Karnataka, it was reported as early as in 2003 how INR 79 crores was collected from 2 lakh temples and 59 crores of this money was diverted towards Muslim madrasas, and Haj subsidy, and another 13 crores towards Churches, with the temples that actually made the contribution getting a mere 7 crores for maintenance!

In Kerala funds from the famous Guravayur temple has been diverted to government coffers. Kerala state alone has more than 29,000 Christian missionaries/clergymen and 19,000 Muslim clergy whose only goal seems to be conversion of the heathen masses. With a population of 56% the Hindu community of Kerala controls less than 25% of the State economy. Former Kerala Chief Minister the late Karunakaran once “ordered” the Guravayur Sri Krishna Temple Dewaswom to deposit 10 crores to the state treasury to help the government to tide over a “financial crisis”. There is also the case of how in the Muslim majority district of Malappuram, some Muslims ganged up to erect fences and prevent entry of Hindu pilgrims to the 1,000 year old Shankara Narayana temple in Kalpakancherry.

Can we imagine the reprisals that would follow from the government if Hindus were to gang-up and prevent Muslims for example from entering a place of worship or performing namaaz?

Kerala is a test case a harbinger of what is to come if rampant appeasement politics is practiced unchecked and the Hindu majority remains a silent spectator.

In Tamil Nadu the government has brought under its control 4.7 lakh acres of agricultural land, 2.6 crore Square Feet of buildings, and 29 crore square feet of urban temple sites. Of the 36 priest who perform daily puja at the famous Srirangam temple, not one receives a fixed monthly salary. They have to make a living out of a share from devotee offerings and sale of archana tickets. In that very same temple Government appointed employees like watchmen, drivers and workers reportedly receive anywhere from 8,000 to 20,000 per month as salary. This begs the question, Why the discrimination only against the priests?

The famous Siddhi Vinayak Temple in Mumbai was “nationalized” in 1981. Subsequent to this nationalization, the siphoning-off and diversion of several crores of temple funds by government was so rampant that the Bombay High Court issued a prohibitory order stopping them from further misuse. The government appointed trustees of the temple even spent INR 24 lakhs of temple funds on a marketing event at a 7-star hotel supposedly to discuss ways of marketing and advertising the temple as a tourist attraction!

These are only a few select incidents and instances of the wanton plunder and pillage of Hindu and Vedic places of worship in supposedly free India. There are several other instances of loot and plunder that will be beyond the scope of this article. Suffice to say that in the name of political expediency and vote-bank politics, the fragmentation of the Hindu population has been encouraged and used to keep the Hindu majority of the country under subjugation. This has to change and it is time the Hindu majority found its voice, united, and started fighting for its rights. The first step in this course correction has to begin with reclaiming our lost heritage.

In the words of Swami Dayananda Saraswathi the convener of the Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha (HDAS), “Hindus should unite to take back control of their temples from the Government. This is the only way the Hindus can find the money to propagate the religion and withstand the onslaught of conversions by other religions”

The second part of this article will attempt to look at what can be done to bring back the lost glory of Vedic and Hindu temples and if the legal route can help wrest control of Hindu temples from the government and hand it back to the practitioners of Hindu Dharma.


A version of this article appeared on March 15, 2017 in Rightlog.in under the same title.


References:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/Blame-game-on-over-temple-demolition/article14588712.ece

https://swarajyamag.com/culture/swarajya-for-hindus-temples

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/reforms-in-the-house-of-god/article5570711.ece

http://www.frfnet.org.

http://www.vijayvaani.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?aid=795

http://www.stephenknapp.com/threat_against_hindus_temple_and_vedic_culture_in_india

http://www.hindupost.in/news/muslim-blockade-of-narayana-temple-in-kalpakanchery- malappuram-kerala/

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/freeing-temple-from-state-control/article5594132.ece

2007 Forum for Religious Freedom – Save Hindu temples.

Religon, Spirituality

Krishna dances on Kaliya’s hood (8)

This is one of the most popular stories from the Srimad Bhagavata. Paintings and Sculptures have immortalized this story. The question however is do we take this story at face value? How do we answer sceptics who laugh at the fact that someone could dance on the hood/head of a snake? That is what this post intends to do. As with all stories in the Bhagavata, this story too has a deep allegorical significance and comes with a message for each one of us.

In the Kalindi (Yamuna) river, within a deep cavern lived a black, large, and vicious serpent – Kaliya. He had 5 hoods and 5 mouths and from each mouth the most vicious poison spurted continuously and seeped into the clear waters of the Yamuna. Slowly the water turned so poisonous that first the fishes that lived there and then the animals and birds that frequented this river to quench their thirst started dying. Soon the fumes of the poison rose high above the waters and even birds that flew over this part of the Kalindi dropped dead. Then the wind that blew over the Kalindi carried the poison into the homes of the inhabitants of Vraja and a few of them choked to death.

Krishna who saw this, knew he had to act immediately. He jumped into the waters of the Kalindi and with powerful strokes reached the cavern where Kaliya lived and challenged him to a fight. The fight was long and brutal. Initially the powerful Kaliya coiled around Krishna and almost choked him, frightening the inhabitants of Vraja for whom Krishna was their only refuge and last hope. Krishna however, fought back and soon gained the upperhand. Pummelling Kaliya into submission, he climbed onto his hood and started his divine dance – the dance of the Universe.

Kaliya’s hoods once proud and erect, soon started drooping in submission and humility. Kaliya’s wives too came out and begged Krishna to spare Kaliya. Krishna agreed but on the condition that Kaliya would go away from Vraja and Kalinda forever. Thus was Vraja and its people saved by the divine Krishna.

Now let’s look at the allegorical significance:

Kaliya with his five hoods is representative of our 5 sense organs (More details in this post here) that are constantly turned outward. The Kalindi (Yamuna) signifies the mind – tranquil and clear when under control; but turbid, viscous, and vicious when under the influence of the senses. The poison seeping into the Kalindi is the uncontrolled actions of the senses. The deep caverns of the Kalindi represent the deepest, unreached areas of the mind. Krishna is the indwelling atman, the soul. It is with the power of our own soul that we will be able to go to war against our own senses, defeat them and attain tranquility – It is in tranquility that the mind realizes that the dance within and without of the atman and the Universe is one and the same…

 

Religion, Spirituality

Krishna the householder (7)

This story is connected to the story of the liberation of Narakasura and Krishna marrying the 16,000 women imprisoned in his castle. You can read that post here where the allegorical significance of the 16,000 wives was discussed. There is one more reference to this story of 16,000 wives of Krishna in the Bhagavata involving the intrepid Deva-Rishi (Sage of the gods) Narada. This episode appears under the same name that I have used for this post “Krishna the householder” (Skandha:10; Chapter:69)

When Sage Narada heard the story of Narakasura’s liberation and Krishna’s marriage to the 16,000 damsels, he couldn’t believe what he was hearing and his curiosity was piqued. “How could one man simultaneously marry 16,000 women and how could one man manage such a large number of wives and  household? Surely there must be more to this than what I hear…” So thinking the curious Narada traveled to Dwaraka to find out the truth.

Even as he entered the city of Dwaraka, Narada heard the sweet chirping of birds and the buzzing of bees, he saw great Sarus cranes swimming gracefully on lakes covered with lotuses and lilies of various hues. The houses leading up to the mansion of Krishna were all bedecked with flowers and precious stones. He finally entered the private chambers of Krishna and saw with his own eyes the 16,000 chambers!

He entered one and saw Krishna talking to his beloved wife Rukmini. He quickly went to the next chamber and saw there too Krishna playing dice with Satya and Uddhava. He walked into another chamber and saw Krishna playing with little children. In yet another chamber there was no Krishna, but then he looked out of the window and there was Krishna tending to the agricultural fields himself. In another house he saw Krishna doing his Sandhya rituals, in another he saw Krishna and Balarama engaged in a wrestling bout. He walked out into the garden and saw Krishna engaged in watersports with beautiful damsels. He walked into the magnificent court and saw there Krishna in deep deliberation with his ministers. In another chamber he saw Krishna in deep meditation…

It was Krishna, Krishna, Krishna everywhere. Narada walked out in a daze and then realization hit him…

He knew then that all this was the play of the supreme being, who is all pervasive and at the same time is also the indwelling spirit within each being. It is that very same soul, the atman that is present in each animate and inanimate being – this is the UNIVERSALITY OF THE CONCEPT OF GODHEAD unique to Sanatana Dharma, the concept of:

एकं सद्विप्रा बहुधा वदन्ति
Ekam Sat; Vipra Bahuda Vadanthi

“That which exists, that truth is but one; the sages and the knowers call it by different names”

The one atman pervades, envelops, invades, and animates everything… To paraphrase Swami Vivekananda “I am but an exaggeration of the amoeba…”

 

Opinion, Politics

A Keralite pastor and his obnoxious statements against women

This article first appeared in Rightlog.in under the title “A Keralite pastor made ludicrous sexist statements, strangely the mainstream media doesn’t care”. The link to the article is here (Click to read)


A short video-clip recently made the rounds of social media before it was noticed by a few media houses and then made some news – In an era where everything is news this particular news item barely registered a “blip” on the National Media’s electrograph.

This short video-clip is of a pastor in Kerala addressing his “flock” and making the most outrageous, abusive, and misogynistic rant against women in recent memory.

The argument could be made that the best way to deal with such rants is to ignore them. However, this argument would be valid and would have been par for the course if the same yardstick was applied by our leftist media to deal with such rants made by people/leaders belonging to the “Right” and/or Hindu-dharma.

The complete lack of outrage bar a few murmurs, the sanitized coverage, and the ganging-up of the left cabal to suppress this news item, make it imperative that their hypocrisy is called out loud and clear and the pastor is named and shamed for his misogyny.

For the record, here is a sampling of some gems uttered by Father Sharlom:

“…women who wear jeans/pants and banian (sic) should be tied-up, weighed down with a stone and flung into the sea…”
“…women who wear chudidar tops without a veil covering their upper body, with a slit on the sides, and tight leggings tempt boys and men into wrongdoing and all the good that is taught at church is lost…”
“I know a case where a girl had been made pregnant by her own brother and the brother told me he couldn’t control himself seeing his sister wearing shorts and T-shirt.”
“It is because they wear such dresses that they don’t get married, don’t get jobs…”

There are more such gems in the video available on YouTube

 

He even quotes the bible as an authority to support his views.

One only has to take a deep breath and consider for a moment the outrage and noise something like this would have created if these comments were made by a Hindu saint, sadhu, or political leader – debates on primetime news, actors talking about intolerance and wanting to run away from the country, lyricists distinguishing between literates and illiterates and political leaders across the board baying for blood and calling for arrests.

The present biased coverage and silence is not new and has been in practice for a long time but what makes the situation alarming is the ganging-up and collective passive-aggression being practiced by the leftists deeply entrenched and in positions of power within large media houses.

Over the years these have been the people who have for long, driven “their” version of the National agenda down the throats of unsuspecting people across the nation. Now, with the rise of social media, right-of-center publications, and the coming to power of the BJP these elements are feeling threatened and what we are witnessing is a backlash from these entrenched elements.

However their bias, selective-silence, artificial outrage, and hypocrisy is dangerous and threatens to tear the very social fabric of our country.