ArpitGarg's Weblog

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Posts Tagged ‘muslim

Religion, War and Inertia

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I have always been told that Hinduism is a tolerant religion. Over the centuries various religions branched out of Hinduism as per the changing times and beliefs. Never was it considered a blasphemy towards classic Hinduism. I have always heard, contrary to the perception of the West, Islam is a peaceful religion. That jihad is not a war but ones struggle to better the self and the society, fighting injustice and oppression. I have always been taught how liberal Christianity is. Just look at liberal society of the West. It follows from the religion. Christianity has always worked for the betterment of the world at large. The missions around the world are a clear example of that.

But when I stop believing and start perceiving then the trouble begins.

I have seen Babri demolition, ’92 riots that left a long lasting fear of police in me (anti-riot). I was just six at that time and the impression left was huge. Terrorism in the name of Islam has been going on in Kashmir from as long as I remember. The ISI and its insidious ways and the backing of considerable chunk of the Islamic world to that (directly or indirectly). I have seen 9/11 by who they called a religious fanatic. I have seen Leaders of the West declaring their war on Afghanistan and Iraq as a war by God. I have seen images from Abu Ghraib and the twisted humanity.

I believe religion is nothing more than a set of beliefs formulated by people to give meaning to the life. It’s one of the conclusions that humans reached to the pressing question of “Why we are here?” Religion was never formulated to spread violence. But considering the bloodshed across religions, one begs to differ. So is it the religion or the inherent nature of Homo sapiens at fault? Quite huge a quest for me to begin.

One common trait I find across the paradigm is, “The older the religion gets, more rigid the followers become”. One simple solution would be to change the religion altogether before it gets too old to harm us. We all would agree it’s not so simple. Why? The answer lies in the Newton’s second law of motion. Inertia, the resistance to change. Inertia is inside all of us. Not only do we not want to change but create hurdles in the path of people who do.

Recently what we saw in the case of Nasreen and Hussain was resistance by Muslims and Hindus alike. Majority of Hindus felt offended by nude images of deities and same goes for Muslims by radical writings. What brings them together is inertia. We don’t like to deviate from the set of thinking that have been hardcoded into us.

Newton discovered inertia but he felt short of finding a cure to it. We have to find a cure. Till then we will see a lot more wars in the name of religion. An apple needs to fall on someone’s head soon!.

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Strokes of a Political Genius

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Indian politics has always excited me. From time to time we come across political news that makes headlines. Some of them are really special. They involve a showstopper and work of shrewd political genius. How the masters of the game are able to come out of it with flying colors makes the crux of a great politician. The top three that I observed during recent years are as below:

1.    Mulayam Singh and Nuclear Deal
During UPA-I Congress was struggling to get the nuclear deal passed. PM had stated that theirs was not a one-point-understanding with the allies (presumably the Left). When Left decided to part ways, it seemed all but over as far as the deal was concerned. Just then Congress received support from unexpected quarters. Mulayam Singh who had always lambasted Congress and BJP for Babri demolition and undermining Muslim interests came to the rescue. There was a bottleneck though. BSP projected the deal as anti-Muslim and there was a threat of SP losing Muslim votes which were its bread and butter in UP.

It looked a Catch-22 situation for Mulayam Singh. He stated that his party would be taking an independent advice from the experts as per the viability and usability of the deal. They could confirm anything only after the said advice. It didn’t seem enough. If he supported the deal, BSP was bound to make it difficult for SP to hold the Muslim votes. A lost battle.

Mulayam then showed why is he the gladiator of Indian politics. Next day, papers were filled with details of the meeting between APJ Kalam and Mulayam Singh. Kalam like any other scientist and expert was expected to support the deal and he did. It was a master move by Mulayam. He brought in a Muslim expert to counter the threat to Muslim vote. Support of Kalam countered any threat by BSP. Clean Sweep.

2.    Sharad Pawar, Congress and Price Rise
The issue unfolded over the last few weeks. Spiraling prices of food items left Congress with little space to breath. Government of the Aam aadmi was seen as a pickpocket. Congress diverted the blame to Pawar. He was after all the agriculture minister. There were noises from Congress calling him a direct beneficiary of spiraling sugar prices. The Sugar King! Pawar never likes to be cornered. There was a need to shut the Congress up, which he also perceived as a threat to the solidarity of NCP. There have been overtones from State Congress from time to time to assimilate NCP and Congress. There was an urgent need for a master stroke. But what?

The genius of Pawar came into play. He took advantage of being involved with cricket and being the ICC President in waiting. Shiv Saina, which had almost given up on opposing entry to Aussie cricketers in Mumbai, was used as a pawn. Pawar took BCCI chief and met Thackeray at his residence. Gave a presentation and asked him to allow Aussies in Mumbai.

What it did was to give credence to Shiv Sena, undermining the authority of State Congress. The coalition party chief himself questioned the authority of the CM. Congress backed off immediately giving Pawar latency to tackle opposition over the price rise.

3.    Rahul Gandhi and The Mumbai Local
Rahul Gandhi proclaimed from Delhi that Mumbai was for all Indians. It created ruckus across the party lines in Maharashtra. A kid from Delhi trying to dictate to Mumbai. How dare he? Shiv Sena protested hard against Rahul Gandhi and tried to project him as an enemy of Marathi Manoos, successfully enough. Rahul was viewed as a Delhi lad who lacked courage to take on Sena in Mumbai.

Rahul arrived in Mumbai. Changed his travel plans at the last moment, boarded the local and mingled with the commuters. He travelled to Dadar into the Sena’s bastion and at one go, Sena stood defeated. His Mumbai local trip took everyone by surprise. He showed courage. Dared to go the extra mile. He was admired by Marathi Manoos. “My father was born in Mumbai, my mother in Italy, my great grandfather in Allahabad, and I live in Delhi. Where should I say I belong to?” He floored even the skeptics. The Sena Bastion stood demolished.

Bush Shoed: Why does nobody care?

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The President of the world’s strongest democracy; the leader of the free world; one who could demolish the whole world. I am talking about none other than George Bush. Amidst the election campaign and following elections in US, it struck me how politically irrelevant Bush has become today. He has become a bit dormant of late. Gone are the animated speeches, war on terror talks and all those gimmicks. Republicans might have forced him to become mellow, keeping anti-Bush sentiments in mind.

His irrelevancy became all more relevant when an Iraqi reporter threw a shoe at him. I mean come on; a President being thrown a shoe at should/would have evoked sharp feelings among the people. I don’t see much of such reactions, at least neither in the news nor on the blogosphere. Americans seem to have moved on. For them Obama is their man Friday.

What struck me is the fallibility of human being. Some 6 years ago, who would have thought that anyone, leave alone a Muslim would be able to throw a shoe at the President of USA. I read in an article that throwing a shoe is the ultimate insult in the Arab world. Was this anger and insult against President of USA or George Bush? Would Obama also be subjected to the similar treat? Let’s wait and watch. A person, however powerful he may be, has a particular shelf life. This is the biggest strength of nature against us humans. Everyone die one day. Bush era is over in US, so much so that people don’t even care anymore if he is shoed at. At least, not much. As for rest of the world and also liberals among the United States, we can surmise the reaction as, “Usne kaam toh Joote khane waala hi kiya tha”.

Written by arpitgarg

December 16, 2008 at 9:39 am

इंसानियत

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Written by arpitgarg

November 17, 2007 at 12:50 pm

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