ArpitGarg's Weblog

An opinion of the world around me

Posts Tagged ‘religion

How do Right Wing win when their policies are unpopular?

leave a comment »

left_right.jpgFirst of all, to the uninitiated, what is right wing and left wing? Right wing parties are for open economy, no Govt control, no subsidy, no freebies, all private. They believe competition is better for economy. Work hard and get reward. Left wing parties are for equal distribution of wealth. They believe Govt should take control and provide help to the poor. Basic human right to food and shelter. Top 1% should not get all.

If you see Left speaks for the lower strata of economy, which makes the majority as wealth lies in the hands of top 1%. This makes Right wing beliefs unpopular, correct? Only prosperous people should be supporting them. By this logic Right wing parties should never be able to win any democratic election. But as you will see over the years, they do win. How are they able to get popular vote with their unpopular policies?

This question has confounded me too. But as always, there has to be an answer. Below is what I think. Right wing parties can never win a democratic election with their governance and economic policies. So they downplay these policies during elections. All Right (or center-Right), have a secondary poll plank, which they use to win election. It is either Security or God or Morality. Let me give you an example.

In United States, Republicans are the Right wing. Their secondary plank is Fear of Terrorism. They promise to keep the country secure with heavy hand. They stand for anti-abortion and anti-gay (they say it is anti-God). They have been able to drum up support on these issues over the years and have carried out their economic policies easily.

Even in India if you see, BJP, the Right wing, plays Hindutva card (their secondary poll plank), without which it will not be possible for them to win an election. Widespread corruption has also helped them as of now, to drum up support for their economic policies. However it will be tough in the long run.

I am not questioning either Right or Left economic policies here. What my intention is to understand how the Right has withstood the democracy. This has been the case historically. With time the anti-gay and anti-abortion rhetoric will subside. But playing on fear and immigrants will remain.

In last 200 years or so, with the advent of democracy, Right and Left both has started to move towards center. In my opinion they will become identical in due time. BJP’s decision to continue MNREGA and Food Security points to that. Advent of Liberal Donald Trump as frontrunner Republican in US is another classical example.

Written by arpitgarg

February 15, 2016 at 3:18 pm

Best way to tackle Ban on Woman in Religious places

leave a comment »

religion-praying.jpgBan on woman at a number of places of worship has been in the discussion lately. Women have come out both for and against the practice. When one group of women wants it to be abolished right away, other group wants not to tinker with the tradition.

Both have their arguments. Pro-abolition cites right to equality enshrined in the constitution. Pro-tradition says it has nothing to do with gender discrimination, just a part of tradition like Karwachauth (where women fast for their husband’s long life).

What is the best way to tackle this? I think long lasting traditions (albeit wrong ones), take time to go away. And we should give them this time. It will eventually vanish. If we try and change it forcefully in an instant, it will cause more problems.

Slow reform would be best to junk such traditions. Spread awareness about it. Not forcefully. Women should take lead and make their families aware about these injustices. They can teach their children to junk such traditions. Till will make them go away smoothly.

Another option can be to boycott. Women can persuade their families to boycott such places altogether. Slowly law of economics will catch up and gates will be thrown open to all.

There are a lot of ways we can do it. Traditions should be handled carefully. They have grown up slowly over centuries. They will take some time to go away. And we should give them this time.

Written by arpitgarg

February 3, 2016 at 7:10 pm

Right to Religion: Wrong to Religion

leave a comment »

right_wrong.jpegWhen I was born, my religion was pre-decided. I never asked for a religious identity, yet it was bestowed upon me. Society expected me to show solidarity with the people of my religion. Society expected me to marry within my religion. Society expected me to make friends inside my religion.

As I grew up, I came to know more about my religion via books. I was enlightened about the long running feud between my religion and some other religion. I was expected to join that feud. When I reached college, I was expected to speak up for/against my religion. ‘No opinion’ was laughed at.

When some one spoke against my religion, I was expected to defend it and go ballistic against the other religion. By that time I was conditioned to do it. I saw merit in my religion and called it the best. Other religions were cause of historical bloodsheds.

Then they told me, I have a right to practice any religion. Yet I will be called a ‘convert’ if I choose some other religion. I will be called ‘agnostic’ if I opt for no religion. I will be someone different. An alien!

I wonder what is natural, practicing a religion or ‘not practicing’. Man is not born with a religion, yet ironically he has a religion by birth. Too complex.

I find myself reacting when someone speaks against my religion. And then I end up asking why? I find myself praising my religion. And then I end up asking why? I find myself friends with people of my religion only. And then I end up asking why? I find myself marrying within my religion. And then I end up asking why? I will for sure bestow my religion to my offspring. Just keep on asking why?

Written by arpitgarg

February 3, 2016 at 5:06 pm

Posted in General/Society

Tagged with , ,

To Aamir: Terror has no Religion & Intolerants have no Nation

leave a comment »


Aamir Sir, when some people started lambasting you for the intolerance remarks, I stood up for you. You, whose movies I have loved, laughed and cried with. I would have stood up for all my childhood superstars be it Akshay, Shahrukh or Salman. I also stood up as your fellow citizen. We follow our heroes closely Sir and I know you as a person who only likes to express himself via your movies; a person who does not like to pursue any political agenda.

But the statement you issued post the incident, has saddened me. When you said, “To all the people shouting obscenities at me for speaking my heart out, it saddens me to say you are only proving my point”, I didn’t like it. I will tell you why.

People shouting obscenities at you are not the poll bearers of our nation. They are pathetic people who insult our nation. Why I am sad is coz, during the same interview you said, “People who kill citing Kuran are not Muslims. They are terrorists. Terror has no religion.” I couldn’t have agreed more.

Why then you consider people who threw obscenities at you ‘the face of intolerant India’. They are just bad people who like to badmouth other people. They got nothing to do with tolerance or intolerance or nation. If we go by your logic then Islamophobia will also be a ‘proven point’, which it is not.

You might have been hurt. I also feel hurt at times, but if we start generalizing for “proving my point”, something is wrong.

Just as you said, a person killing in the name of Allah is not a Muslim, he is just a terrorist. I request you Sir to consider the people who threw obscenities at you as just bad people. They have nothing to do with tolerance or intolerance or nation.

Written by arpitgarg

November 26, 2015 at 6:31 am

Religion, War and Inertia

with 4 comments

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!.

Cricket: A generation lost

leave a comment »

How many times does it happen that you read an article that makes you emotional. I read this article on Cricinfo recently and it really made me feel like crying. How true the article was about the Ganguly, Kumble, Sachin, Dravid, the Fab4. How they made cricket to intertwine with our lives and made us avid cricket fans. The article talks about the vacuum in the life of an entire generation which had grown up watching the maestros.

I feel like an ungrateful having wanted Ganguly, Sachin, Dravid retire at various times. How much we wanted them all to retire after Sri Lanka series. To see two of them leave, its sinking feeling deep down. I don’t have strength to see Dravid retire now, form or not. They were like the founders of the religion. Dhoni’s, Sehwag’s, Gambhir’s are true worthy, but they are just the followers of that religion. Mere mortals. Consider what match fixing did to Pakistan team. Their stocks nose-dived. Had it not been for Sachin, Dravid, Ganguly, Kumble, Indian criket would have taken very hard to rise from the abyss. Salute to you guys. I will miss them a lot. I have somehow digested loss of Ganguly and Kumble but I am not sure I would want to watch Test cricket sans Sachin and Dravid.

Written by arpitgarg

January 9, 2009 at 11:32 am


leave a comment »

Written by arpitgarg

November 17, 2007 at 12:50 pm

%d bloggers like this: