Well I have hit 100 posts! And it coincides with Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri the education minister of a state in India saying things that indicate how off his rocker he really is. The Education Minister of Karnataka believes that they should force all children to read the bhagavad gita for an hour every day.
“The Bhagavad Gita is like the Sun. I think that it is the duty of every Indian to respect the Bhagvad Gita like they respect other elements surrounding them. I strongly feel that if someone does not respect it, they have no place in India. They should leave the country and settle abroad,”
The Gita is a book written by men, just like any other. It’s a remarkable story about morality particularly the value of duty, but ultimately it is just that. A story, much like the Aesop’s fables and or a Thousand and One arabian nights. You aren’t meant to take it seriously lest you turn into someone as close minded as Mr Kageri.
It also matches with some of the issues I have had. The idea is “if you complain then you should just leave”, its a terrible attitude that a lot of people seem to have. A lot of the attitude is that indians cannot do things that western nations do (bollocks!) or that western corruption (aka our love of wine, women and song) are things fought of by rigid adherence to the old ways little realising that it hurts their own progress as a nation. Ideas are ideas, if they are good they should be adopted irrespective of the cultural background. Adopting the habit of queuing or the idea that marriages shouldn’t be forced upon your children doesn’t mean you should adopt america’s culture of firearms or the british culture of binge drinking.
India is a secular nation, it’s enshrined in the constitution, in much the same way as the USA has a separation of church and state clause (it’s actually inspired by it). This rant is rather illegal in that, but it shows a greater sickness.
India may have a secular constitution but politics is driven by demography. Caste and Religion rule everything behind the scenes. That antics like this can be used to drum up support. Even opposition to this bill isn’t “Don’t force your religious belief on other people” it’s “Look! See how the ruling party’s mismanagement has caused such fanatics to come to power?”. Caste, creed and religion are so intertwined in indian politics that it is secular in name only.
[Thanks to all the readers for reading! I can't believe I have hit a 100 posts according to the blogger software dealie, now I shall aim for 200.]