Rushdie and us

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 knowledge.

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.

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About matheikal

My more regular blog can be accessed at www.matheikal.blogspot.com
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16 Responses to Rushdie and us

  1. I want to read that book. Religion has become a tool to serve petty purpose…You are right, these people don’t belong to that civilization.

    • matheikal says:

      Saru, I wish I could give you that book. But I can’t. India won’t allow it.

      Even otherwise, I won’t be able to give it to you. I read it in Shillong. Now I am in Delhi. The friend who has it is too far.

  2. magiceye says:

    well weighted observations….

  3. saikatmbka says:

    All fundamentalist are alike no doubt abt it.
    These so called Guardians of religion can bend nd twist der Quran nd Gitas to suite themselves……!!!! very well written sir .
    do read my post on the same topic ..thnx 🙂
    http://deepak360.wordpress.com/2012/01/20/the-satanic-goverses/

  4. Very balanced piece. All religions are ways of life that lead one to peace and righteousness. Using it to seek vengeance is wrong, no matter how wrong Rushdie is in his metaphors.

    • matheikal says:

      Subhorup, I don’t think Rushdie was wrong in his metaphors. I’m quite sure Rushdie was more right than all the people who never tried to udnerstand him or their own religion.

  5. Raghuram Ekambaram says:

    Matheikal, you say, “Why hasn’t that happened vis-à-visthe Rushdie affair vis-à-visthe Jaipur Lit Fest?” The iron isn’t hot yet. Do you think the other side is not salivating at the prospect of the next opportunity?

    RE

    • matheikal says:

      Yes, Raghuram, today’s newspaper gives all the indication that the issue is just beginning to heat up. The sad fact is nobody will learn anything out of the whole damn thing. Everyone will be searching for ways to fish in the troubled waters.

  6. S says:

    “The Pro…..d. [Please understand why I use capital P and small g.”

    Of Course, capital G for Gawd is reserved for ‘jeebus’ alone.

    “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.”

    Too many falsehoods there.

    First of all. you are displayaing a fine example of kerala Xtist version of atheism ( ala edamarukku style)

    1)”one Thomas [disciple of Jesus]”

    WHo is fooling whom here ??

    A merchant ( who was ‘allowed as a refugee’ ) is now a ‘disciple’ of JEE.. Superb Technique. But no one’s getting fooled by it.

    2) Thoma before namboothiris .. now?
    Can you please educate us why there is a ‘version’ of thoma xtians claiming that they are converted ‘namboos’

    In spite of all these, I must admit that your blog is real fun.

  7. Good stuff on your blog, have made a note to re-visit at leisure to read some of the earlier posts…

    • matheikal says:

      Thanks, Nona, for the visit. I haven’t managed to find the time yet to write the proposed blog on the Namboodiri history which is very interesting. The research was done by one Balakrishnan, eminent writer in Malayalam.

  8. baruk says:

    you may have already seen this…thought you might enjoy it nonetheless 🙂

    http://kafila.org/2012/01/28/hindus-offended-by-lack-of-offence-sajan-venniyoor/

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