Vastanvi’s Disappointment

Pic courtesy: BBC

“Vastanvi’s removal a disappointment for all secular forces, says BJP,” is a headline in The Hindu today [July 25, 2011].  It is a disappointment for the BJP because Vastanvi was perhaps the only significant Muslim leader to have praised Narendra Modi’s activities in Gujarat which allegedly led to the state’s development. 

The Muslims were obviously upset with Vastanvi’s declaration.  Understandably so. If someone comes and kills my family members and then uses my family property for the welfare of a few others,  I will not be able to appreciate the ‘development.’ 

Modi brought development to Gujarat at the cost of the Muslims.  Also at the cost of many Hindus in Gujarat.  At the cost of many ordinary Gujaratis who cannot question Modi. But who cares at whose cost so long as development is being brought in!

Vastanvi blundered by praising Narendra Modi, who is a known killer.  Vastanvi could have struck a better deal with Modi.  A deal for communal understanding in Gujarat.  And Vastanvi was the right person for that.  He is a highly educated Muslim with sufficient experience of the world behind him.  He should have known better than praise Modi.

The Muslim community blundered by sacking Vastanvi from the post as the rector of their Deoband seminary.  They should have understood the person behind the statement.  This is where the Muslim community goes wrong almost always, unfortunately.  They don’t understand the person behind the man/woman.  They are so blind!

Who can open the eyes of the religiously blind – whether it is a Hindu blindness or Muslim blindness or Christian blindness or any religious blindness?  Not the 33-crore Hindu pantheon.  Not Allah.  Not Jesus. 

That’s my only problem.  Vastanvi’s disappointment is mine too.


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8 Responses to Vastanvi’s Disappointment

  1. Raghuram Ekambaram says:

    To be religious is to be blind, blind to the underlying universality of life. Then, how an religious blindness be removed?

    Raghuram Ekambaram

    • matheikal says:

      Yes, Raghuram, just today I made a comment to someone: “Most criminals are religious and most of the good people I know are atheists”. I agree with you that religion makes people blind. Yet the religious scriptures contain a lot of profound truth, according to me. I wonder why the religious people fail to understand that profundity. I think profundity is directly proportionate to the IQ of the person.

      By the way, there are a lot of ‘thanksgiving’ advertisements that appear in Malayalam newspapers. Thanks to some saint “for favours received”. Verry often I find also a line below the ad: “sorry for the delay”. I think I should write that line here. I logged on to this site now only after posting it and could not respond to your comment earlier. My boss has invented an ingenious way of keeping people “engaged” doing nothing useful. Because of that ingenuity I am always “engaged” doing nothing productive. It is quite frustrating. When I manage to steal some time to do something creative I come across people like you. THANK YOU FOR THE FAVOUR RECEIVED. AND SORRY FOR THE DELAY.

  2. dawnanddew says:

    People need to be farsighted, not suffer from farsightedness (hyperopia). The latter problem prevails in the world. The majority is unable to look beyond religion because of that. Even I wouldn’t have been if I had an ideal ‘family’ set up to teach me the worship of god. I’m thankful to my destiny. It made me think a lot.

  3. Aditi says:

    Matheikal, this observation is absolutely profound, “I think profundity is directly proportionate to the IQ of the (religious) person.” That explains behaviour of most apparantly ‘religious’ people doing contra-intuitive things in the name of religion.

    • matheikal says:

      Aditi, just to add something to what you’ve said: today a student of mine [class 12] asked me how the polluted water of a river can cleanse anyone’s sins. My reply was: the immersion in the river is a ritual and the meaning of the ritual is not literal. The water does not cleanse the sin. It is the attitude of the person that cleanses the sin. An attitude that impels one to be free from sinful actions…

  4. Raghuram Ekambaram says:

    A few more comments matheikal … you say, “Yet the religious scriptures contain a lot of profound truth”. Let me assume you are right. Then, my question is, couldn’t this “profound truth” have been reached through a path not rooted in religion? That is, religion is redundant. I believe anything Buddha had said that you may consdier profound came through thinking that had no basis in religion.

    Let us assume you are wrong. Then, all this profunditiy was accompanied by a whole lot more of evil stupidity. Would you agree?

    Now, addressing both you and Aditi, I do not believe your reference to IQ has the usual sense of reified intelligence. The kind of intelligence you are referring to has to be one of empathy; and, in the case of religion that empathy has to extend beyond one’s own religion. If it did, then, religion has no purchase on that feeling which leads to profound thoughts and meaningful actions. If you breach the borders of a religion, you breach it permanently, however post facto justification you may concoct. Any religion of today is not a religion of yesterday. The IQ you refer to may be translated as something like “all encompassing empathy”.

    Some additional thoughts, equivalent of return gifts 🙂

    Raghuram Ekambaram

    • matheikal says:

      By pure logic religion is redundant. But, Raghuram, paraphrasing Jesus, man does not live by logic alone. Religion meets a vital psychological need for a lot of people. That is why religion continues to survive in spite of all the contradictions, logical as well as others (experiential, for instance).
      About IQ, Yes, I meant more than just the intellect and its capacities.

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