Debate on Conversions
13th Jan 1999 Aseem Asthana @bom4.vsnl.net.in
Hello All, The PM recently called for a national debate on the religious conversions. Here are my views on the topic. I think that we can't take away the right to change religions. Religious conversions are a personal matter and the state has no right of telling us what religion to follow or to stick to the religion in which we were born. Alleged forcible conversions need not make us ponder on the validity of conversions, rather they should make us ponder about forcible methods. Conversions are right but forcible onces are wrong. For that matter anything forcible is wrong. And I think that we have ample laws for preventing the use of force to accomplish ones means. So forcible conversions are basically a failure on the part of the state to apprehend people who force others to change their religion. On these lines, even protesting against forcible conversions using force is wrong. But that does not make us think about banning protests. Conversions are a fundamental right much as protests are. A person should be able to change or even discard all religions should he choose to do so, on his own free will. These are my opinions on the matter. What do you all think. Bye, Aseem.
13th Jan 1999 B.G. Mahesh @hotmail.com
1. Debate is a good thing. Not sure why Cong-I is AGAINST it. So is some *particular* person in Cong-I afraid about the debate ;-) 2. Conversions should not be banned. If a person wants to convert, let him/her do it. 3. Forceable conversions must be totally banned. That is a big NO NO. Because of these recent violence in India, there is a good chance many countries are going to impose sanctions on India in the coming months (the EU and US) ----------------------------------------------------------------------- B.G. Mahesh | http://www.mahesh.com/ Internet Consultant | http://www.careerindia.com/ Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | comp.object.moderated FAQ Maintainer
15th Jan 1999 Sanjay Alberto @bom2.vsnl.net.in
hi folks well i fully endorse aseems feelings on the fundamental rights of and individual to follow his own religion, under the constitution one is given a fundamental right to follow the religion one desires and the state has failed to protect this right..it is ridiculous that some fanatic forces are emerging taking the whole country into ransom for several issues concerning protection under the constitution. it is high time that the govt act on these matters concerning protection of the constitutional rights of an individual sanjay alberto
16th Jan 1999 CUSTOMER CARE CENTRE @bom2.vsnl.net.in
Dear IINN mates, Its interesting to note the comments on the subject. Unfortunately, our typical national trait is to be reactionary to any shift in status quo or ripples in equilibrium. Arabs are proud of their religion, culture, adherence to even dress norms to mention a few. They are respected by all in the world. No one dare question their right to impose their religious impositions in their national territories. I can even recall several incidents where mere open propaganda of a non-islamic religion led to serious situations in Saudi Arabia, and even in a more liberal UAE. Why do the moral rightists even not raise a whimper on this rabid religious extemism ? USA, Europe, even confirm to the Arab States restrictions let alone react to them. Japan, Thailand,Vietnam are pronounced Buddhist states. Buddhism is the predominant religion and even the state religion so to speak if not literally. Any problems with the rest of the world ? No. India is a secular state. However, India is not non religious. Secularism is not rejection of religion. Its the tolerance of any religious mosaic. Can any one deny that India with over 85% population of Hindus cannot express itself as a predominantly Hindu state ? The minorities in India are the safest than any other similar minority groups in any other part of the world. Hindu tolerance in India is not a weakness. Its a virtue born out of generations of multi-racial interaction at various times in our history. The issue now, according to me, is not whether conversions should be permitted or not. The issue is what are the definitions and limits of propagating any religion. No religion or group should be permitted to treat religious propaganda as any commercial advertisement. Whether a majority or a minority religious comunity should not be allowed unrestricted means and methods of propaganda to "impress" the gullible, meak and weak in our society. Presently,conversions are not a result of a a genuine realisation of one's preference. Instead, they are mere acts of commitment for a parallel social and monetory security or benefits, being extended by the religious leaders. Propaganda and blitzkrieg and at times even high melodrama is unleashed to "impress" the poor,weak and gullible. Hindus in India are very liberal and very accomodating, the writer included. We never objected to several influx of minority community to Tirumalai (Tirupati) the Hindu's Mecca/Vatican. The Ramayana is the longest serviving epic spread from one generation to another without any advertisement and propaganda thrust of messaihs. However, the present day Hindu is sitting up when Ayodhya (the birth place of Lord Rama) is being denied the right of place in the sentiment and history of Hinduism. Is the reaction, of even rational and educated Hindus, not natural ? Are the Christians not similarly hurt on the status of Jerusalem ? Can any super power compel Saudi Arabia to accomodate a Hindu Temple or a Church in Mecca or Madina ? The 85 % Hindus do not need a BJP or secularists to interpret the onslaught on their right to religion,community welfare. However, the concern of every Indian is to protect the national integrity thru tolerance of the rights of both the majority and the minority groups. Our nation is not going to be safe with only the protection of the minorities. Even the majority community, Hindus, in India now need the protection of the state from subtle aggression on the majority religion. Kashmiri Pandits are a classic example. Did one religious group, minority religions included protest aggression and protect them, from the cross border outrage ? The government in India should reflect the growing concern of the Hindus to protect the national integrity from defining limits of religious propaganda thru exhibitionism and materialism rather than a genuine insight into the soul of any religion. The growth of BJP is a poor choice of the Hindus in the absence of any modern but a progressive Hindu party. Its high time the Hindus are recognised as the majority religion in India. The Arab Pride in their respective countries, the respected role of the Church of England, the back to basic values fervour of President Carter to President Clinton in USA points to a need to seek a pride of place for India in the comity of nations in being proud of our ancient Hindu culture, our right to retain the same and above all to recognise Hinduism as the dominant religion in the sub continent. This note should not be intepreted as a communal one upmanship only because of the numerical strength. This, should be interpreted as a caution to all religious groups not to wake up a sleeping giant - the 85% majority community. And no BJP,Congress or VHP can control the hurt sentiments of any community, majority or minority if played around with. Lets live and let live for India's sake. Ramkumar
16th Jan 1999 rajshekhar roy @hotmail.com
Dear Ramkumar , I am in agreement with most of what you say. Over the years it has been a practise amongst our politicians to pander to minority communities at the expense of their development. We leave Muslim education to themselves claiming that it is their affair and this has resulted in their under-development. My basic contention is that "minorityism" actually harms the minority community much more than it does the majority community. Coming to the Gujrat issue I obviously condemn the attacks that have been there. However till date I have not been able to figure out why everyone is silent on the aspect that the children were forced to write that they admired Christianity , wanted to be converts and so on. Can we gloss it over by saying that this is part of the right of the minority community. Excesses are bad in any situation .. just because a member of a minority community commits a wrong we cannot close our eyes to it. I personally am against any sort of violence in the name of religion and would not overtly bother about pandering minorities. However we need to remember as you have said that there are crores of people who take their religion very seriously and would live or die for it. The danger as I see it is our nor taking this seriously enough. The issue is not really the VHP and their affiliates. They are extremists and will be marginalised unless people feel that they are right. The bottomline is that a Hindu should have as much rights in India as any other citizen..only then will he be tolerant towards other people. The Ayodya issue is a case in point. It would be clear to everyone that the place has great deal of value to any Hindu person and more so for the religiously inclined ones. It is also clear that Babur did build the structure there by demolishing an existing temple ( i know this is sub-judice but you are not going to change the views of crores of people even if the court says so ). A simple statement by the Muslim community that they respect the sentiments of the Hindus and are prepared to relocate the mosque would have diffused the situation and the shameful episode of the demolition would never have happened.Mosques have been built by demolishing temples all over India but the Hindus were not demanding restoration for all of them. By doing what we are doing today the people and the media are playing into the hands of fundamentalists. We can create a situation which we will not be able to control. Thanks
17th Jan 1999 Kerry R Kinchen @stic.net
Hello everyone, > Coming to the Gujrat issue I obviously condemn the attacks that have > been there. However till date I have not been able to figure out why > everyone is silent on the aspect that the children were forced to write > that they admired Christianity, wanted to be converts and so on. The reason everyone is silent on the issue stated above is because the scenario as described by Rajshekhar Roy may not be a factual representation of the events. The report I received describing the said disturbance is as follows: Rajkot Activists of the Bajrang Dal and the ABVP burnt about 300 copies of the New Testament at the IP Mission School here on Monday, 21st July 98. The activists went straight to the classroom and snatched the Bibles from the students, which were burnt. As per the news report, the Principal, Mrs. Snehalaben Desai, the activists terrorised the students and even attacked a sixth standard student, Jyoti Rathod. The Bajrang Dal and the ABVP workers shouted anti-Christian slogans and went round shouting "Bharat mata ki jai" and Vande Mataram". The principal also asked the students to return the New Testament copies, which were distributed by an International organisation, Gideon's. However, the actual cause for the activists ire is said to be a form at the end of the book which said 'Christ is my Savior' and that 'I have decided to accept it' and that the students were forced to sign it. Interestingly, not a single student was forced to purchase the book or sign the form. The ABVP and the Bajrang Dal activists accused the school authorities of encouraging conversion. In fact, there was no force or compulsion on anybody to accept the book or take a decision. These activists committed the most heinous crime that has tarnished the secular fabric of the country and flouted the religious freedom enshrined in the Constitution. Desecration of any religious scripture or worship place is to be condemned with all force and the guilty should be brought to book. The above account as well as documentation of other atrocities committed in Gujarat can be found on the web at: http://www.angelfire.com/pe/indianchristians/guj1.html Regards, Kerry email@example.com
18th Jan 1999 Srinath Srinivasa @usa.net
Kerry says: > Interestingly, not a single student was forced to purchase the book or > > sign the form. Hmmm, "forcing" is not so straight forward. When I was a kid I studied in a school where a lot of teachers ridiculed Hindu beliefs and had us sign similar statements. And as children, we were easy to be molded into whatever ideas were put forth. Most of the "errant" students-- those who protested-- were dealt with in a very simple manner-- hitting, thrashing, and stuff like that. I had once tried to run away from home for fear of that school. My parents tracked me down and sent me back to the school-- and I had felt like a convict being caught trying to flee from prison. I used to shiver and tremble whenever I saw my principal, although in the seven years I spent in the school I was relatively spared of his beatings and thrashings-- I was the victim maybe about five or six times. My parents resented the school, but could do nothing simply because getting a child admitted into a school-- any school is a big hassle, what with so many contenders-- a problem which has only grown worse many times over the years. I could probably search for some articles in the "week" magazine which talks about just how difficult it is for children to get admissions into schools and what kinds of hardships they are put through. Of course, at the first chance, my parents shifted me to another school, but that was not before I'd spent seven years in that first school. The new school I joined would be what the west would like to call a "Hindu" school-- because it had a principal who was a Hindu (but not all the other faculty-- the principal should belong to *some* religion anyway!). But then we never had *any* comparitive debates about any religion and most festivals of all religions were observed and acknowledged. Of course, let me hasten to add that it is only my experience of the schools that I attended-- and they are most likely not typical of all schools. What I wanted to say was, it is only the explicit pressures (like protests, strikes, etc.) that are visible, but there are a lot of implicit pressure currents flowing below the surface which often are not perceived. Regards Srinath
19th Jan 1999 rajshekhar firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Srinath , Your school experience was really interesting. Makes one wonder about the benevolent face of Christianity that we all believe is existing in all missionary schools. Kerry had said that there was no force. I cannot understand first of all why Bible is to be taught as a subject in the school. I studied in St. Xaviers school throughout my life and read Bible on my own accord. There was never any communication from the school on this subject. Come to think of it we do not teach Gita etc in the so called Hindu schools ! I think it was shameful on part of school authorities to try and impose their ideas on impressionable children even if the attempt was not overt. Let us not be legalistic here Kerry. Can you deny that any class V student would virtually be forced to follow the suggestion made by the teachers ? How many would stand up and say that they wanted no part of it ? Also where was the need to get this started. I repeat that the aftermath was reprehensible but let us also have an open debate on the provocation. The methods employed by VHP are crude and those by the missionaries may be subtle. However let us denounce both in the same breath. As I said before many Hindus are increasingly feeling frustrated and people like us who appear to be logical , rational , and oh so blatantly one sided are as responsible for this as the media and politicians. We are not doing the minorities a service by glossing over their misdeeds. Can you imagine an Indian school in UK asking the British students to study Gita etc? Imagine the furore that it would raise. Out here we are prepared to turn a blind eye to it. I have great admiration for Christian schools in general and the one in which I studied in particular. However in this matter having listened to both sides of the story I am convinced that the provocation was as much to blame as the hot headedness of the fanatics. Let us act in a truly secular manner by being non-partisan. Let us blame our own communities if they fail to live up to the common norms of society. Till date I've never heard any member of any minority community admitting that they are also contributing to the problem in some way. I hope my views will not offend these people as I have the greatest respect for all of them save a few. Thanks
19th Jan 1999 Kerry R Kinchen @stic.net
Hello everyone, If you are interested in the official government position on the events which occurred against Christians in Gujarat, here it is: ---------------------------- PRESS RELEASE Navtej Sarna Counsellor (Press, Information & Culture) Embassy of India, Washington, DC (202) 939-7041 Email: email@example.com January 7, 1999 Press Release on media reports about violent incidents in Gujarat Several reports have appeared in the media, both in India and the USA, about certain violent incidents in recent weeks in the State of Gujarat. Since many of these reports have sensationalized the events, this press release is being issued to put the whole situation in proper perspective. The incidents of attack on places of religious worship have been widely condemned by all sections in India, in keeping with the country's secular traditions. The Prime Minister of India, Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, has made it plain that there is no place for religious bigotry in India and that the Government is committed to maintain social amity and peace. The Prime Minister personally condemned the attacks on the Christian community and directed the State Government to take stern action against the elements bent on disturbing communal harmony. The Ministry of Home Affairs has also taken steps to curb the situation and despatched a high-level team to make an on-the-spot inquiry. The report of this team has been received and action is being taken on it to further strengthen law and order arrangements in the area. The Gujarat Home Minister, in-charge of law and order in the State, also visited and camped at the troubled sites to personally supervise the law and order arrangements. The National Commission for Minorities, a body set up by an Act of Parliament, is fully seized of the situation. The Commission has welcomed Prime Minister's statement and stated that it would go a long way in rebuilding the confidence of the minorities. The Prime Minister will soon be visiting the affected district in Gujarat to assess the situation for himself. Investigation and prosecution of crimes is proceeding according to law. According to reports, 30 cases of criminal offence have been registered in the last couple of weeks. 116 alleged miscreants have been arrested by the State Police. Furthermore, 44 persons, from whom breach of peace was apprehended were detained in preventive custody. The State Government has announced relief and payment ex gratia for damage to property, and for rebuilding the structures. The State Reserve Police have been deployed in the affected areas of the State, and Peace Committees comprising of representatives of various communities have been activated at the district level to restore normalcy rapidly. Considering the size and population of India, incidents in a localized area when magnified and exaggerated present a very distorted picture. Highly regrettable as these incidents are, the fact remains that both the Central and State Governments have been quick to act to curb undesirable and criminal activity. Government has also made a firm commitment to deal with the culprits to the full extent of the law. The Christian community in India is a popular and respected section of the Indian people. There is a tradition of amity in regard to this community which will be fully protected. The Christian population numbering nearly 23 million is not under threat, and it will continue to play its due role in the life and development of the nation. -------------------------- You can check it out for yourselves at: http://www.indianembassy.org/ Regards, Kerry firstname.lastname@example.org
20th Jan 1999 R. Vilvasigamani @giasmd01.vsnl.net.in
I would like to share my experience on this issue. I am a Hindu and My wife is a Christian and teacher as profession. She got an interview at a Christian school and got selected. But the condition put was that she should not wear Bhindi. She is used to wearing Bhindhi throughout her life and after marriage. We have taken up the matter with diffrent people of the same religion, but all said that in a Christian School they cannot allow the teachers to wear Bhindi. She had no other alternative but to leave the offer. The School is funded by the Government and the Government pays the salary for the teachers. This is the way they force the religion. Regards/R V S Mani.
20th Jan 1999 Srinath Srinivasa @Informatik.TU-Cottbus.DE
Hi Kerry and others, Let me apologise if I came across as anti Christian or anti missionary. Also, I am not accusing the school of using force tactics. It is more likely to be the case because in those days the popular belief was "Spare the rod and spoil the child". I read my mail once again and it seemed to suggest that there was direct pressure and protests by students regarding the signing of religious statements. Let me make it clear-- they were two different issues. We as children (at least me) wilfully lapped up all the teachings about the Bible, Aesop's fables, etc. But the hitting/thrashing was a "general means" used for bringing order and discipline. Here is an incident I remember well. I had taken part in a play depicting the story of Jesus and was awarded with a booklet about christianity as a reward for the performance. At home however, one of my grandparents exclaimed "What are these people putting in our children's minds" and had thrown away the booklet. And the next monday the teacher had asked me where my booklet was and I didn't have it with me, and so received the "standard" punishment. It was sequences like those which had made me attempt to run away from home. I don't know (even now) who is to blame-- or whether anyone is to blame at all. But I seemed to be living in two worlds-- the world of home and the world of school. Whatever was taught at home seemed to be very different, if not conflicting, from whatever was taught at school. The second school I went to however seemed to conflict a lot less from home-- not because we learnt the same mythology at school as at home, but because school seemed to concentrate mostly on rational issues like science, technology, mathematics, ... which were readily accepted and abetted at home. If there was one thing that I can epitomize the second school as, then it would be "a time of quiz contests, song classes, science clubs and essay contests". I never learnt any Hindu religious scripts in school. It is unfortunate to see incidents like Gujarat happening in this day and age. We probably should address the problem in a thematic way-- without regard to any religion. A possible first question to ask would be "What is the cause of fanaticism". When I was in my masters I had attended a lecture by Prof Yashpal, who was the director of the University Grants Commission. He had a theory about fanaticism-- Fanaticism is the strong impulsive reaction of a system in response to a series of fast paced changes, which the system cannot decide as to whether it is a desirable change or not, and which the system has no control over. Simply put, fanaticism is a kind of panic reaction-- typified by extremities in action. In such a case, trying to address a person in panic by punishing him would further reinforce the system of beliefs leading to the panic. So it would be that trying to bash either Hinduism or Christianity would only lead to more complications and possibly a bigger backlash. I had once read somewhere that "in order to address a conflict, change the system so that the cause of conflict is no longer important to the conflicting parties". Would that be applicable to the present case in any way? What would it mean if it were? Warm Wishes Srinath
20th Jan 1999 PK Joseph @gto.net.om
Hi everybody, I was reading about Gujarat in the foreign newspapers and on the net. I would like to air my opinion. I am working in the Sultanate of Oman for the last 25 years. We all are thinking in terms of cast and religion. None of us had a choice to select the faith we are following. We are borne into the sect by virtue. How many of us really practice the religion which we are borne into. Regarding Gujarat. The missionaries are targeting the Tribal people. The reason is that they are still poor and an easy target. If somebody shows care and love to them they tend to get attracted to them. This situation is created by us. How many of the educated Urban people will be ready to go to these places and work for their uplifting. What was the government doing to help to the tribal people for last 51 years?. The money which is spent for these people for last 51 years are in Billions. But major part went to the pockets of beurocrats and politicians who are now agitating against conversions. They don't want the tribal people to have even basic education. If they become wise they will agitate against the governments. The politicians want to keep them as vote banks and the bureaucrats want to keep them poor so that they can loot the govt.. coffers in their account. The only way of stopping the conversion is to bring the tribal and poor people to the mainstream of life. No matter you bring multinationals to India to market computers, TVs, VCRs and Home theaters all will end up to the benefit and luxury of the Urban people. Even if you build flyovers and Underground railways in the metros it doesn't benefit the poor. Look towards the so called Christians in Europe. The majority of them don't practice their religion. Most them openly says there is no God. Because they don't feel the necessity of a God. The state is taking care of them when they are unemployed, sick or in any adverse situation. All this noise is about to get votes. There are people in India says Pakistan is our enemy NO: 1 and the Politicians in Pakistan propagate India is there NO: 1 enemy. By doing this they buy arms and ammunition and get the kick backs. Because this is the best source of Kick backs. The best players in Cricket is in India and then in Pakistan. But some political parties want to make an agitation. Only because they think the Hindu votes against the Muslim votes. We innocent people don't realize the motive behind this. They want to use the vote banks. They want to govern the country so that they can make money while in power. Please treat the tribal and poor people also as equal citizens. We can't do that because then we will not get cheap labors to do the dirty works. We will not get house maids at the cheapest rate in the world. If we have to do the work which we are making the poor to do then we can't spent browsing Internet and watch TV channels. If you can't give the love and care to the poor which they deserves then don't blame the missionaries. I am against conversion. The conversion is making the missionaries to get more funds to get more conversions. If you stop them to get the money they will get it with the means which will be black money. Christianity was in in India from the period Christ died. St. Thomas, who was a despise of Christ to Indian and died in Mylapore, Madras. But the so called protectors of Hindu religion culture are only worried about it when they found the BJP lost in Rajasthan, Mdhaypradesh, etc in the last assembly elections. They think it is because of Sonia Gandhi. Now they are afraid that the congress will come back to power in the next election for the parliament. They have better cases pending to tarnish the image of Sonia other The portraying as a Christian. For example the Bofors case. Why they don't reveal the beneficiaries of the deal?. Because they are also involved in this. Now they think they can divide the votes, by Hindu votes, Muslim votes and Christian votes. 85% of the votes belongs to Hindu community. If they can convince them that they are they champions of protecting the Hindu culture then they can remain in power. Now congress also will try to woo the Hindu votes. The ultimate game is to gain power. Power corrupts the leaders. Now Government has guaranteed protection to the cricket match. But the so called champions will disturb it and project it as Hindu/Muslim match. They will divide even the cricket lovers as Hindu fans and Muslim fans. All is to gain votes. We have to put a stop to the forceful conversions if it is taking place. But vandalism is not the way. Let the government take care of the poor and treble. Let us educate them. Once they open their eyes the missionaries can't fool them. I am Christian but I am proud of being called an Indian. The country I am living they call me " Hindi " . I am only proud of that. But I am ashamed of the happening in my country. Let us not get fooled by the ambitious politicians. Look ut Bihar. The champions of minorities and low cast Hindus. They are robbing th poor while proclaiming they are the leaders of the lower cast. Did God created us as human beings or on cast basis. If this trend continues each villages will be dived into many divisions. There will be Hindu, Muslim, Christinan, Lower cast, Higher casts etc. Our country will be the future Bosnia, Hersgovina, or Cosovo. The Gods must be laughing in the heavens. Or Hindu God will be fitting with Christian God and Muslim God? We are pawns in the hands of the politicians. Joseph.
21st Jan 1999 Sanjay Pais @yahoo.com
Hi , I do not agree with you on that one. I have been following this whole debate with a lot of interest for quite some time now but have declined to say anything so far. Well before I begin let me state that I am a Christian my self but not a deeply religious one at that. As far as the bindi issue is concerned I think you are way off target there. It has nothing to do with the institution but rather the whims and fancies of the people running it! I have had the privilege of studying first in a school run by nuns (aka convent educated). Then moved on to a school run by protestants and finally to a college run by the Jesuit Priests. Looking back I do admit that in the convent school we had catechism ( for catholic students only -which was more of torture for me) and moral science for the rest. There were incidents when a particular teacher did talk about the catholic festivals and did make the non catholic 10 year olds feel that they were missing something in life because they did not celebrate those festivals etc etc. I clearly remember those impressionable faces listening attentively. But I hasten to admit that it was the whim of the teacher rather than the institution itself so let not blame the institutions for the faults of a few rotten apples (read fanatics). The protestant school on the other hand did not lay much stress on religion at all. Of course college is a different ball game altogether and no one can really try such stunts. We can straight away label all catholic institutions as bad. Each one is most welcome to impressions of their own and it is a free world! Similarly there are Hindu fanatics in Gujrat who do things for their own ends or for the simple fact of being mislead by the smarter ones. Should I then label all the institutions in that state as bad? I suppose not! I am sure there are plenty of them doing much good in their own ways. Remember onething if you have your neighbors threatening you outside your door no one can blame you for wanting to arm your self can they? Or should you then be attacked for being armed? What I am trying to lead to here is that all this fanatism all over the place is leading to the minorities feeling more and more insecure and saying and doing things they would normally would not have. Hate breeds hate! I wish we would wake up to that reality. I am being a pessimist here when I say I can see my country go down the drain! Sanjay ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Sanjay Pais email@example.com Chelmsford, UK
22nd Jan 1999 B.G. Mahesh @hotmail.com
Very strange, one would think you would HAVE to wear Bindi because it is a govt school and majority of Indians are Hindus. I am glad she was willing to stand for her rights and declined the offer. Very few would do that. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- B.G. Mahesh | http://www.mahesh.com/ Internet Consultant | http://www.careerindia.com/ Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | comp.object.moderated FAQ Maintainer
24th Jan 1999 Aseem Asthana
Hello there, I am responding to Mr. Mahesh's statement that > majority of Indians are Hindus. But let us not forget that India is not meant only for Hindus. It is for all the people who who are Indians - whatever their caste, religion or whatever yard sticks the politicians have invented to divide us. Aseem. Indore.
25th Jan 1999 B.G. Mahesh @hotmail.com
Did I say "India is MEANT for Hindus" ? I found it surprising that a school said you cannot wear a bindi. I don't think I ever said it was RIGHT for the school to do so ----------------------------------------------------------------------- B.G. Mahesh | http://www.mahesh.com/ Internet Consultant | http://www.careerindia.com/ Email: email@example.com | comp.object.moderated FAQ Maintainer
25th Jan 1999 Pia Promina DasGupta Barve @giascl01.vsnl.net.in
Hi, I would like to further substaniate Aseem's statement. Our constitution states that India is secular state. This implies there no question of any majority religion. It means we are all Indians who follow the religion of our choice. This is what makes India a great country. Pia Barve
25th Jan 1999 Boby_Kurian @maaln.satyam.net.in
Hi, My name is Boby Kurian. I am a political writer currently working with www.indiaupdate.com and I was formerly with Asian Age and The Indian Express. In fact I just returned from attending the BJP national executive in Bangalore and may be in a position to shed some light on the mindset of BJP. The party was badly divided on the Gujarat issue. The facade of indifference that's being projected is a desperate attempt by the party to hide the reservations expressed by top leaders including Vajpayee. The political resolution passed after the two-day executive praised the Keshubhai Patel for taking effective steps to bring the situation under control. Interestingly, Vajpayee was absent when the resolution was adopted. Other leaders, including M L Khurana, told the press that the situation in south Gujarat was disturbing and would cost the party dearly. But nothing of this sort was reflected in the political resolution. Even Vajpayee didn't speak out against the attacks on minorities as the entire meeting was based on a compromise. Moderates led by the Prime Minister wrested the initiative on the economic front while they had to accepted the RSS dictat on the political front. Believe it or not, BJP is a sadly divided party, confused whether to anchor themselves amongst the hardliners or the moderates. As far as Gujarat is concerned, the state never had a positive communal canvas ever since late 80s. As far as industrial investments go, the state is no more numero uno. Investments are just trickling in and no major names (MNCs) are thinking of Gujarat . regards,
27th Jan 1999 Gyanesh M Khanolkar @mailcity.com
History has taught us that most of us do not follow the religion that we all belong to, tho none of the religions preach any thing bad. Neither has any form of goverenment has worked !!!! If we all can rise above religon, caste, boundries and start to respect, understand and love one another, this would result to most of the problems being solved to a great extent. This world has seen too many exploitations by the strong. Men against women, Man against the environment, men v/s men ..... religion v/s religion. Its pathetic. We happen to be a part of all.