Tuesday, July 29, 2003
Hey, let's leave this intolerance to criticism to our neighbors. Let's compete with countries better than Bangladesh, for Heaven's sakes!!
I am strongly against this notion that we ought to ban books that "hurts" one community or the other. If u start that way, u will end up where the ONLY thing u will ever get to read is a watered down version of Romila Thapar. First off, IMHO, we were wrong banning Satanic Verses. So what if it has things that are not palatable for a group of people? Ditto for Midnight's Children (this time, it was the Shiv Sena that was "hurt"). Even worse was the ban on Nehru (by Stanley Wolpert).... all that was "objectionable" in that book was a brief, indirect hint that Nehru could have had some homosexual attractions in his adolescence and a more direct allegation that he and Lady Edwina Mountbatten shared a romantic relationship. If the Govt has the power to control the flow of info this much, we could never hope to loosen the grip of the Babus and the Politicos of India - the ONLY way out of the quagmire we are in rite now.
Besides, I do not even find Nat Geo completely objectionable. Ashamed would be a closer to my feeling then.
Sure, for those who are capable of plumbing the depths of the philosophy of Purusha Suktham, this allegation abt sources of the Varnas might sound silly. However, it is a widely held belief. Thus, the author might be wrong in contending that Hinduism is inherently unequal, but we should remember that when we deny it, we are doing it based on philosophical nuances. It is an undeniable fact that the Varna system was misused in India to create an unequal society.
Let's try to instead stay focussed on the real issue - in this case, the reality behind those pictures that Nat Geo published (I am a subscriber). Whatever fig leaf we find for spiritual Hinduism (as against the version that is practised), those people in the pictures exist - in that very state. Let's see what we can do abt that.
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