When the Islamic fundamentalists raise their banner in India, the Hindu fundamentalists should raise a counter-banner. Why hasn’t that happened vis-à-visthe Rushdie affair vis-à-visthe Jaipur Lit Fest?
Because all fundamentalisms are alike. They are meant to protect the interests of a particular community [no, not even community, but just a select group in that community]. And all the fundamentalists understand that and support one another on that issue. That’s the only reason why the Sangh Parivar did not raise the banner against the Rushdie affair in Jaipur.
Rushdie questioned the basic tenets of Islam. No religious Muslim will tolerate that. No religious Hindu will tolerate anyone questioning the basic tenets of Hinduism (if ever there is something that can yet be called Hinduism – as a monolithic religion).
When Rushdie’s novel was published, which is banned in India ever since it was published, I read it, thanks to a friend whose name cannot be mentioned here for legal reasons. I know that 99.9999 percent of the Indians (and almost 100 percent of the Muslims in India) have not read that novel or have not understood it if ever they have read it. Otherwise there wouldn’t be so much clamour in its name. Rushdie questioned the roots of Islam. “You are lucky to have invented a god who dances to your tunes” [quoted from memory,] says Prophet Mohamed’s youngest wife in the novel, Satanic Verses. What’s wrong in that?
Prophet Mohamed invented a god who danced to his tunes. The Prophet made his own rules in the name of that god. [Please understand why I use capital P and small g.] The ignorant, superstitious, and belligerent Arab tribes wanted some kind of regulation when they got tired of all the inter-tribal wars and killings and wanted a better life. The Prophet came with that regulation. That regulation became a scripture. That scripture became a religion.
That is how religions are born.
I can give you [and am going to give it in the next blog] a historic example how the Namboothiri Brahmins created caste system in Kerala simply by introducing gods which were alien to the people of the place. Yes, even one Thomas [disciple of Jesus] could bring Christianity to Kerala in the same way [by introducing an alien god] much before the Namboothiris brought Parasuram [creator of Kerala, according to the Namboothiri legends] to Kerala.
Today, the people who oppose Rushdie are the people who want to establish a new religion. They want to kill the modern civilisation. Because they don’t possess the knowledge or skills required to live in this civilisation. They belong to the age of the bow and the arrow which are translated today as bombs and machine guns.
They use science to kill science.
They use ignorance to kill knowledge.
That is religion.
Killing us, the people.
Every fundamentalist does that.
They kill us.
But who are us?
Do think about that. Do think about before supporting groups including pseudo-corruption-fighters.