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Rider1

What do you know about India and 'Hinduism'?

"All countries in the world have laws against blasphemy, libel, hate-speech and you can see this article here:
And not all these countries are predominantly of people belonging to Islamic faith."

That is a typical argument to try and justify the Islamic Blasphemy laws.

That article on Blasphemy says in western countries Blasphemy laws exist but have never been used for decades or centuries. Where they have been used (on occasions you can count on the fingers of one hand) they have not resulted in any conviction.

Islamic Blasphemy laws (not Bangladesh but Islamic in many Islamic countries) carry the DEATH sentence. So an attempt to equate them and thus justify Islamic Blasphemy laws is appalling.

49999_1097510305_799192236_n

What do you know about India and 'Hinduism'?

"You are creating confusion by mixing your associations." Am I?
Associations are confusing because they involve working of human mind and human mind in turn is shaped by myriads of factors. Do you think either animals or humans differentiate between a white Siberian tiger and a yellow Royal Bengal in a moral sense like white one is better than the yellow one? But we did for us humans on skin colors (white epitomizing everything good and sublime and black is evil) in that sense even after the scientific reasons of such differences are known to us. I mentioned this in the context of religions and political systems because these are similar human constructs. To say all these are shaped by human thinking, which is hardly free from errors, will neither be lack of awareness or information.
Whatever we are discussing here about religion and things intrinsically good in one and bad in other veers around religious scriptures. We know for fact that these books were written or compiled by human beings of a certain time and there is nothing surprising that these books, teachings, verses and 'slokas' cannot but reflect anything other than the moral, social and political (if any existing at that time) knowledge and experience of that time. To assess these upon the validation of modern day morality is a fool's exercise (but we fall for it, sure).
I am very unsure about what is 'mainstream' Hinduism. Is it the belief system of majority people of modern day India, or the belief system of minority people of ancient India? I have not noticed in many indigenous beliefs in India any salvation through Sarin. Since chemical poisoning is comparatively recent brutality, I am pretty sure no religious book will be found to refer it either.

Rider1

What do you know about India and 'Hinduism'?

Dear Pabitra, your preoccupation with skin colour puzzles me. It is true that some uneducated "white" people (none that I know) are under the foolish idea that a fair skin is somehow superior. This stems possibly from an inferiority complex due to their lack of education. However your mentioning this time and again points to something that is in your mind and not anyone elses that I know.

And I looked into BBC just now and what do I see but this:
Has skin whitening in India gone too far?
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-18268914

"For centuries women in South Asia have been raised with the belief that a fairer complexion equates to beauty." Now that is something to do with you and not us (unless of course you blame British imperialism which seems to be responsible for most of the evils of the world).

"I have not noticed in many indigenous beliefs in India any salvation through Sarin. .. I am pretty sure no religious book will be found to refer it either." So then would you say that all religions are not the same?

49999_1097510305_799192236_n

What do you know about India and 'Hinduism'?

The preoccupation is more pervasive than you think. For example we use the word 'fair' to describe a particular shade of skin color, I hope you notice the unfairness.
The BBC article is interesting and it is a fact that lighter skin color is considered preferable for Indian girls in many societies, particularly in North India, but the context is not of superiority or intrinsically good, but just of looks.
I am also aware that societies in the West have moved substantially towards liberating from discrimination on the basis of skin color like racial backgrounds. But such differentiation is deep rooted in social psyche like gender discrimination.

Tim

What do you know about India and 'Hinduism'?

“was there any horror or sympathy for what was happening before your eyes?”

Of course! It is an incredibly vivid image of mankind’s tendency to aggression. You are right that in most modern “developed” countries such incidents have been minimized over the last fifty to a hundred years or so. But the atrocities against African Americans, Native Americans, Jews, Gypsies, Maori, Australian Aborigines (often along religious lines) were not so far in the past. The balance that has been maintained is extremely delicate (as illustrated by the events in Serbia) and can be directly tied to a stable economic situation. If economic stability can be maintained and broadened, then I’m sure greater justice can be achieved. But if opportunities regress, then anything is possible.

Tim

What do you know about India and 'Hinduism'?

Thanks for that link Richard. The whole dynamic of persecution on the basis of “religion” is an interesting phenomenon to discuss. In the end, isn’t the core issue always power? In this case, as you point out, the Hindu ruling class in the region feels their influence threatened. So would the same occur if a Christian ruling class felt threatened by the emergence of a “foreign” religion? Well, isn’t that exactly what happened during the religious wars surrounding the reformation? The catholic church (and associated monarchs) felt threatened by this new faction. And the response was bloody. I’m having trouble seeing why you consider Christianity superior in this sense.

Rider1

What do you know about India and 'Hinduism'?

Hi Tim, you've lost me I'm afraid. Which link are you talking about?

Is it this one?
http://www.raymondibrahim.com/11798/graphic-video-tunisian-muslims-slaughter-convert

Have you watched it? My thought processes seem to be different to yours. Frankly the feeling I get when watching it is one of horror. I am not thinking that Christianity is superior (in that sense) what sense I have no idea, or of the reformation or events that happened before I was born. I am thinking about that poor man and I have a feeling of hatred towards the men who are chanting Islamic prayers and Allah is greatest while they hold the poor unresisting man down and cut his throat and cut off his head for the crime of leaving Islam and converting to Christianity. He is about my age or younger and died not so long ago. The men who killed him are still around and will kill again for the sake of religion.

I dont see how they feel threatened about it. I see it as a direct result of them following a vile ideology.

I am just filled with loathing and wish I could do something about it. But I do not think of the reformation.

Tim

What do you know about India and 'Hinduism'?

Richard: I was referring to your link on Anti-Christian_violence_in_India, but most of the links seem to indicate a similar message - “other religions do things that Christians would never do”. History teaches us otherwise.

From (just a random reference):

http://www.massviolence.org/Massacres-during-the-Wars-of-Religion?cs=print:

"At times, the killers also dispensed their own version of justice, but always in reference to official justice. In Tours, a cobbler named Chastillon submitted to being broken on the wheel whereas he could have been hanged, if he had been willing to renounce his faith. ... They performed a sort of combination of the official execution mode – burning at the stake – with a setting intended to animalize the heretic. At the same time, others snatched a servant, took him to the Place Maubert, and drowned him in the Seine River. The setting they selected was one of the traditional places for the public execution of heretics, yet they did not materialize its symbolic value by completing the traditional ritual.

"Sacred rituals can also be detected behind the killings perpetrated by Catholics. Persistence in disfiguring corpses (mentioned in half the sources) displayed a sacred language, representing God’s power on Earth through attacks on the heretics’ bodies, seen as the embodiment of sin. Thus in Orange, in 1562, female corpses were exposed naked “with ox horns, stones or small wooden stakes inserted in unmentionable places of their bodies.” The corpses were clothed in filth to indicate their otherness, their distinctiveness from Divine creation. They were dragged like “dead beasts,” symbols of the Beast of the Apocalypse. The accumulation of acts of cruelty like tearing the eyes out and severing the nose, lips and ears was supposed to prefigure the torments of hell. Finally, dismembering the bodies – and sometimes exposing and auctioning pieces of them – drowning and burning people at the stake, represented the mouth, the bottomless pit and the fire of hell ....

"Protestants that carried out mass murder followed another logic, which should be compared to iconoclastic didacticism. First, they were responding to the Catholic massacres. Their favorite victims were priests, nicknamed “the shorn,” who embodied the “Papist” onslaught. ..., an illustration depicts Protestants inspecting the slashed-open stomach of a priest, so as to derisively observe where the sacred body of Christ was meant to go through ..."

Rider1

What do you know about India and 'Hinduism'?

Tim, “most of the links seem to indicate a similar message - “OTHER RELIGIONS DO THINGS THAT CHRISTIANS WOULD NEVER DO”. History teaches us otherwise.”

When did I ever say “other religions do things that Christians would never do”? (Or never did)

I am struggling to understand why that is what you immediately think about when you see some poor persons being killed in the most horrific manner in modern times?

I am struggling to understand the reasoning in your posts.

Is the fact that some Europeans killed their servants for being a protestant / catholic, in the middle ages, or sometime in the past, make the fact that that some poor Indian untouchables are being kicked to death in 2008, or some bound Tunisian is having his throat slit in 2012, less bad, or perhaps not bad at all but perfectly understandable, if not perfectly justifiable?

Are these justifiable or less horrible because some Russians or East Europeans carried out pogroms against the Jews in the past?

Do you wish you could explain to those untouchable Indians or that Tunisian that their kicked to death, or having their throat slit is OK because European Christians killed each other in the middle ages?

Or is it ok because of the vile thoughts of Richard, who has the temerity to think that those killings are not OK, when some Europeans also killed in the past?

I havent finished - to be continued.. (later)

Tim

What do you know about India and 'Hinduism'?

Richard: In no way am I condoning killing of innocent people, neither with knives nor with drones.

The only point I’m trying to make is that we should focus on the factors which can truly reduce such behaviour. Attacking a particular religion (though I think humankind will be much better off once we evolve beyond religion) is not likely to produce results.

Have you seen this TED talk (Hans Rosling: Religions and babies):

http://www.ted.com/talks/hans_rosling_religions_and_babies.html

He makes the valid point that religions evolve when the social/economic conditions improve.

Rider1

What do you know about India and 'Hinduism'?

"Richard: In no way am I condoning killing of innocent people, neither with knives nor with drones."

Your reply reveals a persistent blind spot or a persistent refusal to see any differences between the slitting of the poor Tunisian’s throat and the killing of innocents by your government with drones, and hence a persistent refusal to condemn the slaughter of the Tunisian, without qualification.

While it is appalling that innocent people are killed with drones by your government, would you agree, that even your American government are not targeting innocent people with drones, but rather enemy combatants?

Would you agree that innocents are sometimes killed by drone strikes because either they were with the enemy combatants or they were targeted because of wrong intelligence about enemy combatants being in the target area? In other words non-intentionally?

Would you agree that there was no such mistaken identity with the poor Tunisian whose throat was slit? In other words with full intent to commit murder?

Would you agree that he was an innocent by any normal human standard, except to Islamic fundamentalists who believe that a Muslim should be killed if he renounces Islam?

If you do agree with that, then would you agree that the belief or ideology that commands its followers to kill their fellow humans for renouncing that belief and ideology, is wrong and abhorrent and needs to be condemned?

49999_1097510305_799192236_n

What do you know about India and 'Hinduism'?

But then dear Richard, it appears that you have one persistent blind spot as well. Before telling you about it, let's see why there is hardly any difference between slitting a poor Tunisian's throat and killing or maiming babies and innocent people through drone attacks.
The enemy combatants you are talking about are dispersed within localities mixed with children, women, old and sick people. Do you think the people who carry out drone attacks don't know that? I shall remind you of the silliest and cruelest excuse humanity has ever heard : collateral damage. The drone attacks are planned accepting the fair chance of killing innocent people along with targets - and arguing such deaths as 'unintentional' is as cold blooded as one can imagine. True, an Islamic fundamentalist (dubbed Jihadist) speaks and acts brutally insane. How sane is sitting in a large room looking at a large monitor and orchestrating a robotic machine dropping charges of explosives on targets mixed with innocent people? It is sickening. Do you have neutral statistics of drone victims to justify your 'non-intentional' theory, statistically? Only America and it's European stooges believe it is a war. It is not - because even the worst war in history gave us stories of heroism, extreme human bravery and sacrifice - drones are just as sickening as airplanes hitting Twin towers.
You argue that ideology inherent in Islam, it's prophet and religious books are so powerfully evil that they can turn any human being into a fundamentalist killer. Please look at the Muslim demographic. If your logic has to be true, there would not have been much of civilization left by now.
Your blind spot is to think that all Muslims live by the fundamentalist standard, which is not the case. Rather it is pretty clear such fundamentalist thrust comes from a very well defined geographical area.

Rider1

What do you know about India and 'Hinduism'?

I will not get into the argument that drone attacks on enemy combatants in localities mixed with women and children are better or worse than slitting the poor Tunisian's throat.

If drone attacks in areas mixed with women and children are bad they need to be condemned, and I do. They are another evil unconnected with the slitting of the poor Tunisian's throat.

The slitting of the poor Tunisian's throat was done, not as the result of drone attacks, but as a result of the commandments of an ideology that commands its adherents to kill those of its followers who leave its fold. To kill apostates.

In my humble opinion therefore this ideology needs to be opposed and condemned for this and other reasons such as its laws against blasphemy, which, are not the same as the toothless blasphemy laws of the west, no matter how you argue they are, but actually only operate against any alleged insult to its prophet and Islam.

This blasphemy can be anything from saying that "Christ is lord", to worshiping idols, to any criticism of Muhammad or Islam. Far from being toothless it is a potent instrument of oppression and has been used in Muslim countries to oppress minorities and secular members of its society. To kill, imprison, terrorize them and snatch their possessions and rape and kidnap their womenfolk.

For its laws against women, which reduces their status to possessions of men, gives them half the value of men in inheritance and in courts and imposes restrictions on them which are not imposed on men.

Rider1

What do you know about India and 'Hinduism'?

"You argue that ideology inherent in Islam, it's prophet and religious books are so powerfully evil that they can turn any human being into a fundamentalist killer. [No i dont. Not because they are so "powerfully evil" but just because they are. And are perpetuated through their mosques and Islamic schools.] Please look at the Muslim demographic. If your logic has to be true, there would not have been much of civilization left by now."

What do you call civilisation? The Taliban, Somalia and Sudan also have a civilisation. So dos the Congo, Burma, North Korea. This is another subject.

Even the most evil ideologies are not completely evil but have some good things in them, which is why they attract adherents in the first place. Nazism before the war brought an end to German hyperinflation and brought economic prosperity, discipline and restored German pride. Arts, theater, music and sports flourished under its brief reign before the war.

Jim Jones attracted blacks and other minorities because he was completely non-racial at a time that America had a lot of racism.

Islam has equality among its followers not found in ancient Hinduism and many other religions. It is simple in its beliefs and appeals to many people on a superficial level. It has many other good things.

Its just that the bad things in it outweigh the good and the fact that it is resistant to, if not impervious to change, thus locking in its evils for perpetuity.

It does not turn every adherent into a fundamentalist killer but it does produce enough fundamentalist killers to terrorize and challenge the world. It also produces a larger amount of sympathisers which allows these fundamentalist killers to operate.

"Your blind spot is to think that all Muslims live by the fundamentalist standard" I have never said so quite the opposite. If you missed the many times I have said so, I say it again. Please dont bring up this accusation again.

"Rather it is pretty clear such fundamentalist thrust comes from a very well defined geographical area."

Which is that "very well defined geographical area"? Jihadist attacks have been carried out in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Japan, China, USA, Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Sweden, Spain, Russia, Africa, Middle east..., they have spanned geographical areas and continuous times. Not a day goes by without some atrocity being committed by them.

They are not the ONLY cause of evil in this world, but they are ONE cause and the most consistent source over time in history.

49999_1097510305_799192236_n

What do you know about India and 'Hinduism'?

Ok, I shall not bring up the accusation again. But are you not placing too little credit/responsibility on human enlightenment of thoughts, actions and values that grow out of changing needs of life and independent of religion by seeing something fundamentally evil and corrupting in a religion?
There are huge differences of values, culture, customs and social behaviors between a Bangladshi Muslim (or British Muslim) and and a Saudi Muslim or a Taliban. Not to acknowledge that difference will leave some blind spot somewhere.
I have argued before that word for word either Christianity (or Hinduism) or Islam have enough contentious issues that are incompatible with modern secular values. I don't feel compelled to go back and remind you the literally evil ideas of these religions, but if Christianity stands on a more civilized platform compared to Islam today, it has nothing to do with the religion itself but because of huge number of people carrying that faith acting in civilized manner. If that is possible for Christianity, that is equally possible for Islam or Hinduism - the answer lies in enlightenment, education and maturity of societies.
Religion is only one idea about what you make of your life. There are other valid ideas. Even as an idea (religion) it is much to do where you are looking. Have we not seen examples of that in science? Or will you want to dab Einstein's mass-energy equivalence (E=mc^2) as evil because this idea culminated into Hiroshima and Nagasaki?
If you count dead bodies, very few countries suffered Jihadist terror as much as India did. However, in India a terrorist having a dozen eyewitness of his crimes is under trial in its judiciary - tax payers money spent on his security, a good defense lawyer working for him. In Mumbai shootout a police constable nabbed him and took bullets from this man in his body shouting, 'you are under arrest'. This constable died but I hope his morals and inspiration lives on.
When one perpetrates an act of crime, he is a petty criminal, not a torch bearer of any religion.

Rider1

What do you know about India and 'Hinduism'?

Pabitra, you have not addressed anything that I have said and instead waded into a myriad of side issues, irrelevant platitudes, "When one perpetrates an act of crime, he is a petty criminal, not a torch bearer of any religion", (even though he is chanting the prayers of his religion and acting in strict accordance with its scriptures). and accusations, which I have to defend.

Platitude after platitude "the answer lies in enlightenment, education and maturity of societies" - of course, if there is enlightenment then people will not believe in the Islamic laws of jihad, blasphemy, apostasy, the inequality of women. in fact they would not believe in any religion leave alone Islam or Nazism.

Nothing of what I have said has been answered.

"There are huge differences of values, culture, customs and social behaviors between a Bangladshi Muslim (or British Muslim) and and a Saudi Muslim or a Taliban. Not to acknowledge that difference will leave some blind spot somewhere."

Me- There are huge differences between sharks and a whales not to acknowledge that is to show you have a terrible blind spot.

Pabitra - But I have never denied that.

Me - But you have never acknowledged that.

Pabitra - Why should I acknowledge every wretched thing on earth? and what has that got to do with our discussion on Hinduism / Poetry / you name it.

Nothing actually but first please defend yourself on this issue.

There are cultural differences sure, but there are also commonalities - same book, same belief this is the word of God, same pilgrimage to the same place, same beliefs in Jihad, blasphemy, apostasy, and the Islamic laws. The call for the death of Salman Rushdie was chanted by Muslim crowds in England, Europe, Africa, Pakistan, India, Indonesia, Bangladesh.....Jihadis come from every culture

"if Christianity stands on a more civilized platform compared to Islam today, it has nothing to do with the religion itself but because of huge number of people carrying that faith acting in civilized manner. If that is possible for Christianity, that is equally possible for Islam or Hinduism"

Firstly I do not agree with you it has nothing to do with the religion itself. The most important figure in Christianity was Christ - his teachings were somewhat civilised.

Secondly I have mentioned why it cannot happen in Islam, you have not addressed it. And the evidence is there that it cannot.

In every case of attempted reform, Bahais, Ahmediyas, etc they have been labelled as apostates and persecuted.

The critical fault of apostasy in the religion allows every sect to kill every other sect also (for being apostates) aside from infidels.

So again you have not addressed any of my arguments. Please do so if you can directly and try and avoid using emotive words such as "evil", and platitudes.

49999_1097510305_799192236_n

What do you know about India and 'Hinduism'?

I will. Cool it for now - too much adrenalin rushing in you. It's not about what you or I mentioned, it's about whether you or I could stand the ground of evidence, logic and good sense.
I hope you will not retract into your defensive shield of "today" because you are claiming a finality:
"I have mentioned why it cannot happen in Islam, you have not addressed it. And the evidence is there that it cannot."

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