Indian Secularism is not secular

For years I did not know what opportunities to practice equanimity I had missed, till I finally got a TV set some 3 years ago. In the beginning, I certainly did not remain calm under all circumstances. What intense emotions in just an hour of listening to panelists on the news channels! However, slowly I learned to sit back. I could admire the quick-wittedness and the amazing ability to talk or rather shout while listening.

These anchors and panelists are no doubt intelligent, nevertheless their choice of topics is often pathetic, and they get some points consistently wrong. One such point is ‘secular’ or ‘secularism’. Since secularism is mentioned daily in Indian media and since it is a western ‘invention’, I would like to put it into perspective:

Contrary to the general perception in India, secular is not the opposite of communal. Communal as such is not objectionable either. It simply means ‘pertaining to a community’. In Germany, elections to local bodies are called “communal elections” (Kommunalwahlen).

Secular means temporal or worldly and is opposite to ‘religious’. Now ‘religious’ in this context refers to Christianity, i.e. to a well-organized, dogmatic religion that claims that it is the sole keeper of the ‘truth’, which God himself has revealed to his Church.

And what is this revealed truth? In short: the human being is born in sin, which dates back originally to Adam and Eve. But fortunately, some 2000 years ago, God had mercy on humanity and sent his only son Jesus Christ to earth to redeem us by dying for our sins on the cross, then rising from the dead and going back to his father up in heaven. However to be able to get the benefit of Jesus’ sacrifice, one must be baptized and become a member of the Church, otherwise one will be singled out for eternal hell on Judgment Day.

Understandably, such claims did not appeal to those who used their brains, but for many centuries they had to keep quiet or risk their lives.  The reason was that for long the Church was intertwined with the state, and  harsh laws made sure that people did not question the ‘revealed truth’. Heresy was punished with torture and death. Even in faraway Goa, after Francis Xavier called the Inquisition to this colony, unspeakable brutality was committed against Indians. In many Muslim countries till today, leaving Islam is punishable by death.

Significantly, those centuries, when Church and State were intertwined, when the clergy prospered and the faithful sheep suffered are called the dark ages. And the time when the Church was forced to loosen its grip, is called the age of enlightenment, which started only some 350 years ago. Scientific discoveries, which could no longer be brushed under the carpet, played a crucial role for showing the Church her place. Now, more Europeans dared to oppose the stranglehold of religion. Many went to prison for doing so.

Slowly, the idea that reason, and not blind belief in a ‘revealed truth’, should guide society, took root and this lead to the demand for separation between state and Church. Such separation is called secularism. It is a recent phenomenon in the west.

Today, most western democracies are ‘secular’, i.e. the Church cannot push her agenda through state power, though most western democracies still grant Christianity preferential treatment. For example in Germany, the Constitution guarantees that the Christian doctrine is taught in government schools. Further, the Churches have retained special labour laws that make it obligatory for Church employees (alone in Germany over one million) to conform to Christian norms. Nevertheless, the present situation is a huge improvement over the dark ages when one had to pretend to believe unbelievable dogmas.

In India, however, the situation was different. Here, the dominant faith of the Indian people never had a power centre that dictated unreasonable dogmas and needed to be propped up by the state. Their faith was based on insights of the Rishis and on reason, intuition and direct experience. It expressed itself freely in a multitude of ways. Their faith was about trust and reverence for the One Source of all life. It was about doing the right thing at the right time according to one’s conscience. It was about The Golden Rule: not to do to others what one does not want to be done to oneself. It was about having noble thoughts. It was about how to live life in an ideal way.

However, this open atmosphere changed when Islam and Christianity entered India. Indians, who good naturedly considered the whole world as family, were despised, ridiculed and under Muslim rule killed in big numbers only because they were ‘Hindus’ (which is basically a geographical term). Indians did not realise that dogmatic religions were very different from their own, ancient Dharma. For the first time they were confronted with merciless killing in the name of God. Voltaire, who fought the stranglehold of the Church in Europe, had accurately observed, “Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities”.

Guru Nanak left a testimony how bad the situation was, when he cried out in despair: “Having lifted Islam to the head, You have engulfed Hindustan in dread…. Such cruelty they have inflicted, and yet Your mercy remains unmoved…” (Granth Sahib, Mahla 1.360 quoted from Eminent Historians by Arun Shourie).

During Muslim rule Hindus had to lie low for fear of their lives, and during British rule they were ridiculed and despised by missionaries, and cut off from their tradition with the help of ‘education’ policies. Naturally, this took a toll on their self-esteem. In fact, till today, this low self-esteem especially in the English educated class is evident to outsiders, though it may not be so to the persons concerned. Swami Vivekananda’s efforts to give Hindus back their spine did not impact this class of people. Nevertheless, it is a great achievement that Hindu Dharma survived for so many centuries, whereas the west succumbed completely to Christianity and over 50 countries to Islam in a short span of time.

Coming back to secularism. Though Hindu Dharma survived and never dictated terms to the state, ‘secular’ was added to the Constitution of India in 1976. There might have been a reason, as since Independence, several non-secular decisions had been taken. For example, Muslim and Christian representatives had pushed for special civil laws and other benefits and got them.

However, after adding ‘secular’, the situation did not improve. In fact the government seemed almost eager to benefit specifically the dogmatic religions (for which secularism was coined) and occasionally had to be restrained in its eagerness by the courts.

This is inexplicable.  Why would ‘secular’ be added and then not acted upon? And the strangest thing: ‘secular’ got a new, specific Indian meaning. It means today: fostering those two big religions which have no respect for Hindus and whose dogmas condemn all of them to eternal hell.

It is a sad irony. Can you imagine the Jews honouring the Germans with preferential treatment instead of seeking compensation for the millions of Jews killed? Yet Islam and Christianity that have gravely harmed Indians over centuries get preferential treatment by the Indian state, and their own beneficial dharma that has no other home except the Indian subcontinent, is egged out. And to top it, this is called ‘secular’!

Obviously Indians have not learnt from the European experience. Hindus have not yet realized the intention of the dogmatic religions, though they say it openly: Finish off Hinduism from the face of the earth. Hindus still ‘respect’ them, though this respect is not and cannot be reciprocated as long as those religions claim that their God wants everyone to worship exclusively Him. Hindus don’t realize that an ideology that uses God as a front does not become sacred, but all the more dangerous.

Media and politicians do their best to muddy the water. They call parties that represent a religious group, ‘secular’, instead of ‘religious;’ which would be the correct term. When the state gives in to demands by the big religious bullies it is also (falsely of course) called ‘secular’. But WHY would the government do this? It clearly plays with fire. Does it want to give its citizens a firsthand experience of what the dark ages were like? In the interest of all Indians it would be wise for the state to simply ignore the powerful, dogmatic religions and focus on all its citizens equally. This means being ‘secular’.

However, western secular states are not role models either. There is a lot of depression, drug abuse, alcohol and people are generally not happy in spite of doing everything to ‘enjoy life’. Here, India has an advantage over the west. Her rishis have left a great heritage of valuable treatises not only dealing with how to live life in an ideal way, but also how to conduct economy, politics, management, etc. If those guidelines are considered, and if India becomes a state based on her ancient dharma, she has good chances to regain the lost glory as the wealthiest and most advanced country in the world whose citizen are open-minded and contented. If not, probably the west discovers this treasure trove and adopts it…..first.

by Maria Wirth

Advertisements

221 comments

  1. Satish · · Reply

    It seems word secularism was added to ensure that Hindus divided on caste lines remain so; as moment some one spoke of Hinduism or Hindus was dubbed as communal. . At the same time powers that be ridiculed Hinduism for caste biases so that complex already built in the Hindus continues to remain so ensuring so called low caste continue to see “secular” parties as their well wisher and continue to vote for them. . Finally secularism was never imposed on so called minorities.on whom the parties depended to win the elections.
    In other words word ” secular” was a cruel joke thrust on the people.

  2. Sandeep · · Reply

    Lucky to read this article. This was shared by Dr Subramanian Swamy on FB and that’s why i could read it. Good to know of another German who is exploring Indian/Hindu culture (though hindus have long stopped doing so) . Germans have always been the front-line foreigners who have been studying Hinduism. From Max Mullar to Maria Wirth.

    1. Sandeep,

      Respectfully, Max Muller was German but was hired by British to study Indian scriptures and write or re-write them for their way to fool Indians (read Hindus) to recreate a parallel Law to punish Hindus. Please peruse the details of such characters. Max Muller was a poor man and wanted money desperately to support his family and fell prey to skewed British trickery.

      1. JOYDEB MUKHERJEE · ·

        It reminds me of the canard circulated by the Marxists against Swami Vivekananda dubbing him as unemployed (also, unemployable?), addicted to smoking, gullible person(implying that he fell prey to quack Sri Ramakrishna…..
        Do not try to spit heavenwards it will fall on you:-)

    2. GS Kumar · · Reply

      About the most criticised caste system of India; Gita sloka…. clearly states that Brahmin is a person who lives for others and leads a simple life. Mother Teresa, Guru Nanak, Anna Hazare, …… are Brahmins. The sloka further amplifies, Brahmin is not by birth but by karma ( actions). Many so called Brahmins in india by birth are in fact sudras because of their selfish life styles.

      1. concernedindian · ·

        Based on what we are doing it is said that we are all of one Varna only, Vaishya. We are all selling something to earn our living, talent or education or labour.

  3. […]  Link to the above article –>  https://mariawirthblog.wordpress.com/2014/05/02/indian-secularism-is-not-secular/ […]

  4. Fantastic write up Maria.
    We have now reached a state where I can’t call myself a hindu/vedic while standing in Hindustan, without me being labeled as a non-secular, communal, pro-hindu terror whop has sold his soul. And guess where the labels come from? From fellow urban, english speaking hindu themselves, hypnotized by the paid media.

    A movie/docudrama on the ishrat jahan case explores this apparent secular political divide and goes on to prove how even terrorists are now being proven innocents for short term electoral gains. It is frightening as to what is happening in this nation now

    Do watch, and if you feel like following it up, ping @mmpandit on twitter

  5. George · · Reply

    wonderful article. I know you probably get a lot of praise from the hindus for this article. I am a christian in India and i not only loved this article but agree with you for the most part. I say most part because as a catholic I have not received any special treatment being a minority, nor do i need any as I come from a financially able family and I firmly believe that a persons merits make him eligible for his opportunities. I am firmly against all these quotas that the so called “minorities and backward class” recieve as most of them are at the moment filthy rich and have no need for the same.I am a doctor currently trying for a PG entrance exam and half the nations seats goes to people like this. The political parties are indeed using “religion” to divide our great nation and the people do not realize that what they do are in itself against the actual religion they must follow. And this follows for all religious parties including the one for the Hindus. If what you said about the hindu dharna is true I also think most of the Hindus have forgotten this also. I hope one day we can just live and let live

    1. Dr.M.vivekanandan · · Reply

      Dear George,

      I am happy to read your comment. Hindus must live as per the principles of Sanathana Dharma. While we follow the core principles of our religion such as love towards all, service for the poor, etc, we must not discriminate against people following other religions. We must treat all religions as equal. I am happy that you appreciate the ‘respect all religions’ approach many Hindus follow. I agree with your suggestion that all Hindus must follow this approach. While realising and proclaiming the greatness of one’s culture and heritage is to be appreciated, the same should not be used to promote hatred against people of other religions. The very survival of India rests on religious harmony

  6. For example in Germany, the Constitution guarantees that the Christian doctrine is taught in government schools.

    which one: protestant or catholic?

    1. Both. However, in the different German states usually one of the Churches is in the majority. so if there are only few students who belong to the other Church, they are taught together from all classes.

  7. K N Prudhvi Raju · · Reply

    I fully agree with Ms.Maria Wirth. I only wish every literate Hindu read this and awaken himself/herself in order to spread the word among the illiterate so that they all arise to vote out the parties that unnecessarily please and favour Christians and Muslims for their votes. It is time to arise and to awake.

  8. It is a strange situation. Some “foreigners” are more Indian than people who are born and brought up in India who continue to live in this country without knowing anything about the great heritage of this country. Indian spirituality is scientific and universal. It unambiguously states that every soul is divine and has the right to realize the real nature. Indians have always prayed for the whole universe never limiting their prayer to people of any particular geographic area as is done in some “developed” countries.

  9. Manohar Sharma · · Reply

    Dear Maria you have understood the Hinduism in a much much better way than our enlightened english speaking gentry(i call them biggest damagers of our culture).You are absolutely right when you say that, only when foreigners will follow the path of the great Rishis will India copy them.This is what our great leaders like Jawahar Lal Nehru have given us to FEEL INFERIOR AND REMAIN COPY CATS

  10. @ SRINIVASA

    You have been watching too many B movies like ‘Jodha Akbar’.
    Don’t be a gullible Hindu, read Indian history again, which is not doctored by congress
    secularist before utter your stupidity in public.
    Akabar was a cruel killer, a GAZI (killer of kaffirs (Hindus).

    * History of Jauhar and Sati: Battle of Panipat
    * THOUSANDS OF RAJPUT WOMEN PERFORMED JAUHAR in chittod,
    *Akbar beheaded helpless Samrat Vikramaditya Hemraj to earn the title of Ghazi (the slayer of infidel) and Was blessed by his Muslim dervish ‘Salim Chisti’

    To call mass hindu killer Akbar as ‘The Great’ is an affront to all civilized societies and Hindus

    Akbar was a merciless, sadistic cruel killer like the rest of Mughals.

  11. […] and contented. If not, probably the west discovers this treasure trove and adopts it…..first. – Maria Wirth Blog, 2 May […]

  12. Mihir Bhatt · · Reply

    Absolutely wonderful article.. thanks dear…

  13. V Dev · · Reply

    Very well said, Ms Maria. Same piece, if written by an Indian will be automatically labelled ‘communal’ by our Indian secularati! Thank you for writing it and because recommended by eminent Hindu nationalists, this is getting wider audience. We get to read in the Internet that there is a wider, sinister plan to surround Hindus by artificially creating a ‘green belt’ from Pakistan to Bangladesh passing through Indian states (Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal). While Hindus, generally, practice family planning (limiting their family size to 2 children), others, generally, do not do so. I have read elsewhere that while the Hindu population increased from 25 crores in 1947 to 85 crores in 2011, the corresponding figures in case of Muslims are 3 crores and 25 crores! India’s problems are due to its over-population (we are 120 crores now!), but it is anathema to talk of population problems, lest one becomes ‘communal’. India conducts decadal census of its population, but strangely for the latest census of 2011, the Government has not yet released the religion wise data. Obvious something is not right…. Yet, the ‘Hindus’ do not react! Hope more such articles will open the eyes of the people & politicians….

  14. satya · · Reply

    Reality is much scarier than what you wrote maria.. In state of AP , missionaries & NGOs are creating havoc in the name of Jesus. They ridicule Hindu religious practices. Come to hospitals & brainwash vulnerable patients. All happening because Indians are not fully aware of devious intentions of Abrahamic faiths.
    I asked my dad why grandpa converted . He told church promised that after his death , they’ll take care of his dead body because his son won’t lit pyre & do last rites.. & many such hate mongering stories happening here.
    Please ,somebody from west should help us

  15. Excellent article Maria.b you truly described the meaning of secularism without being biased to anything.

  16. While Hinduism kept improving over a period clearing of practices like sati, widow remarriages etc still we see it overlaid by feudal atrocities which even state practices. How does this conundrum gets explained n also Conscience which u mentioned seems to be reducing.Highly religious but highly corrupt as well which is denying others their rightful resources.

  17. Maria…Thanks a million for such clear cut thinking and factual background of Secularism and of course your views on Secularism in India. I only wish, sense dawns on so-called Indian Intellectuals. Regards and Thanks once again – KRV

  18. @SATYA

    Pathetic- Why asks west help; they are the one who creating this problem.

    Re Convert the converted Muslim/Christian. Dont B a coward all the time

  19. Quote from the book A Wonderful World – Vikas Publishers

    Secularism is the most misquoted word in the context of religion. Secularism does not mean that a government does not lean towards a religion. It means that governance is not influenced by individuals or institutions that have a religious mindset. If a Muslim is placed at the realm of affairs in Benares Hindu University, he will not be biased by his religion for governance. This is secularism. The primary aim of secularism is to limit violence caused due to religion.

  20. hem raj jain · · Reply

    “Democracy & Human Rights” is practically a new ‘religion’ of mankind which is the result of unprecedented advance in modern Science & technology of last ~ 600 years (where every human being has become valuable and important ). No other religion is so powerfull and relavant in contemporary world. All the religions (Hinduism, Christianity, Islam etc) came in existence during rule of kings and emperors hence hey all buttress ‘Rajtantra’ (State-cracy) and mostly come in conflict with “Democracy & Human Rights”. Therefore we need not waste our time and energy on these religions (Hinduism, Christianity, Islam etc)

    As far secularism in India we need not search some deep meaning into it. It is simply the result of India’s partition on religious ground where ~ 1 million were killed and ~ 10 millions were displaced in gory situation and still riots occur in India (even in 21st century people were killed in Gujarat and Muzaffarnagar in the name of religion). Therefore secularism has been kept for practical purpose to discourage riots between followers of different religion, and nothing more.

    Hem Raj Jain

    Email: jainhemraj59@gmail.com

    1. @Hem Raj Jain:

      A person who preaches that present human kind does not require any religion, who uses the religious and caste name for himself and says religion is waste of time. Religion is not a waste of time but it is a faith; belief. Don’t apply your atheist thoughts on us. If you don’t like to follow, just keep away from religion, nobody is here ready to here your waste of time thoughts.

  21. If my reading of the Constitution and the intention is correct, the phrase “Secular” to the Government was to mean ‘Equality’ in following one’s faith so far as its religion is concerned. Government would not interfere in any religion/communal group and Government shall not allow these religion/communal interests to interfere is Government while discharging its constitutional obligations. But the so called “Vote Bank” had distorted this vision and divided the entire political fraternity into two blocks – Secular and Communal. But secularism to this so called “Secular” political groups meant only one thing – appease Muslims to the maximum and to some extent appease distinct minority groups like the Christians, Sikhs. All others were classified as Hindus and any political group favoring these Hindus had been termed as “Communal”. Let us not view the term “Secularism” though the lens of Western thinking. Let us interpret the phrase though Indian Ground Realities. Let this interpretation be not clouded with the Mythology, different interpretation of the preaching, and the history during the rules of Mughals/Muslims/Britishers. It is high time to correctly interpret the phrase “Secularism”, correct the anomalies, and rightly enforce the Secularism in its true spirit and intent. That would mean – (1) Enforce common law for every citizen of the country; (2) Repeal any special personal laws which run contrary to the Constitution; (3) Repeal any and all preferences related to any religious performances (Like subsidy for Haj, holding city to ransom in the name of religions functions, declaration of National Holidays in the name of Religion etc.); (3) Modify the reservation system based upon the economic and financial condition of the citizen as opposed to reservation on the basis of cast, creed and religion; and finally (4) No influence of any religion/community in forming the national policies. Over a period of time, the country could become truly Secular.

    1. Nail Truth · · Reply

      @ Bansal I appreciate your learned thoughts. I am a Christian by way!

  22. V. Dev – Hindus would never retaliate. Firstly due to the basic theme of Hindu Religion – “Kshama”. Secondly Hindus in India is a heterogeneous group consisting of too many faiths – Sanatan, Shaiv, Vaishnav, Dravidian, Jains, Budhism and within each group the so called casts or varnas so andd so forth. Why do we get guided by West? Do we not have our own brain and logic. Today’s malady in India related to “Secularism” had been distorted by the importance of “Vote Bank”. Why for every secular political Party, Muslims are of utmost importance? Muslims over-ride the factors like casts, economic conditions so and so forth. In 1947, according to the history known to us, this sub-continent was divided into two countries spread over three geographical regions solely on the principle of Religion – Muslims and Non-Muslims. If substantial size of Muslims chase to remain within the divided India, they must submit themselves to the Constitution of India. The Government should not have enacted special laws and special privileges for them. Secularism should mean that in this country there is freedom to follow one’s own faith in religion so long as one submits itself to be governed by the Constitution of the country.

  23. Alka Lahoti · · Reply

    Hi Maria !

    A deep insight on so called Sick-ularism. Nice article.

    Me and my Family too have been the VICTIM of so called Sick-u-larism.

  24. Dinesh Chandra · · Reply

    yes what has been written is true. It is also true that we are paying heed to it because it is from a German and not an Indian. Ever thought why Indian intellectuals never questioned the Indian ‘secularism’! Because the only read Indian intellectuals are the ones who are westernised and only echo western thoughts and views even on Indian-ism. Original thinking that was the center- piece of Indian-ism was destroyed by the British when they introduced the present system of education in India which was tailored to produce cronies and yes men to support British rule in India. Our national anthem was written by Gurudev Rabindra Nath Tagore for the first visit of the then British ruler, who is referred to as ‘adhinayak’ and ‘Bharat bhagya vidhata’.

    1. brother dinesh
      i did not want to write anything but u and others pointed on my heroes.
      i know many r here communal, and when u talk hate about Muslims that does not matter I understand this is what has been taught to you by ur parents, But when u people talk about Dr. Ambedkar, u criticized rabindranath tagore, that make u a terrorist of this country
      ur kind of people who points on our freedom fighters r just mean nothing for our country.
      thats all i want to say
      I M VERY SADDENED AFTER READING COMMENTS BELOW THIS ARTICLE.
      @MARIA thanks for writing this article now because of HATE SPREADERS like you i got the chance to know that in my country still these kinds of people exist. SHAME ON YOU MARIA SHAME ON YOU
      this is my last comment on this blog i am going to unfollow it.
      SORRY BROTHER DINESH FOR MY ILL WORDS BUT STILL UR COMMENT HURTS ME MOST
      very unfortunate
      WISHING U LUCK FOR UR FUTURE ……………

      1. @kashif khan, don’t get upset. And believe me that not everyone got these kinds of education from their parents. You can imagine a person who could blame Rabindranath, who denied Knight because of Jallianwala.
        @Dinesh Chandra, please read the history of India. For your ready reference :
        http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bangalore/Was-Jana-Gana-Mana-in-praise-of-George-V/articleshow/32609087.cms
        @Maria, the meaning of a word changes from place to place, depending many factors. It’s unfortunate that people would comment about something with only dictionary knowledge!
        Please understand “Dharma” and religion is different. You have touched upon it.
        Please understand, that the winner has always looted and butchered. Nothing new in it. It does not matter if it was Muslims or Christians or Shintos! Yasukuni Shrine is one of the examples. Look at Japan and what Japan did to China and Korea!

        Did someone mention a word “Kshama” (Sughosh Bansal)? That sums it up all.
        Hope sanity prevails.

  25. @MIKERANA

    Secularism-
    (1) the strict separation of the state from religious institutions.
    (2) that people of different religions and beliefs are equal before the law.

    Your self-made/rented definition of secularism is meaningless and misguided.
    Your declaration – “does not mean that a government does not lean towards a religion”.
    is applicable to India and this can’t be used as a principle.

    Secularism in India = minority (Muslims) appeasement at the cost of majority {Hindu).
    Read & digest Maria’s article if you can, may well learn something.

  26. @ DINESH

    The Song was written for King George??? – Tagore denied it, it is an unsettled issue.
    You can translate “‘Bharat bhagya vidhata’ in different meaning to suit your own objective.
    Tagore was Angophile but not an a$$ licker. He returned his ‘Sir’ title to same King George!

    The greatest and most enduring gift of the swedeshi movement was Vande Mataram, the uncrowned national anthem- objected by communal Maulan Mohd. Ali (congress) and other Muslims.

  27. Maria, I read your writings, because I can associate my thinking and you put things in proper perspective. Lot of us grow up in the environment but are not well read and most argue based on what they hear on TV or read in news papers. Unfortunately, both are against Hindus in India. I certainly hope more and more people learn from your writings if not other things…

  28. Ranjit · · Reply

    This is a great piece, with a lot of interesting perspective. Unfortunately the way Indian history has been written doesn’t lend our own nation to understand the values that our culture stands for.

    As an Indian Christian, I feel the need to say that while certainly there were historical prejudices against Hindus by both the Mughals and the British (read Muslims and Christians), brandishing the followers of these faiths today as opponents of Hinduism who have no respect for the Hindu faith is dangerous. Equally dangerous is the assumption being made (and I could be wrong) that the followers of these religions today are sympathizers of those colonists, and do not deserve the protection afforded by a truly secular state. I do not doubt that there are sections of my faith, Christianity, that seek to undermine Hinduism. However, the true mark of a secular state is to do away with the complete intermixing of religion and state. And for that, India’s version of secularism needs to be updated. However, not at the expense of labeling minorities as the aggressors responsible for historic wrongs that we did not have any control over, nor sympathize with.

  29. Reblogged this on blur-eden blog and commented:
    Interesting write-up on secularism and its roots. And what secularism has come to in India.

  30. Secularism in India these days is a tactic used by political parties to gather votes during elections. How else do you explain a mix-up of politics and religion in a secular country – given that a truly secular separates the state from the religions. India is moving towards its dark ages I fear.

  31. Nail Truth · · Reply

    Political parties either want the votes of the major religion or minor ones and the secularism debate on TV is the outcome of that.
    It is not a creation of any religion.
    You have unnecessarily brought in Christianity and other religions here.
    The past (the history) need not be brought in to incite anger of different groups.
    It is wise to bury the past and look for harmony.
    Country’s prosperity will come in harmony even if it is forced like Singapore.
    If you really want to do good, if you have found something good in your new-found religion, write something that will bring harmony and not divisions.
    For your information India has enough divisions on language, regions, caste, water sharing and many more. No need for added spice.
    You have written: Golden Rule: not to do to others what one does not want to be done to oneself. It was about having noble thoughts. It was about how to live life in an ideal way.
    By the way this is from the Bible Do unto to others as you would have them do to you.

    1. @ NAIL TRUTH

      Why Christianity is above criticism. Indian civilisation has been trampled upon by the foreign bloodthirsty mercenaries & barbaric sect for too long. India got independence, but Hindus are still marginalised. Many of them are refugees in their own country and even unable to build a ‘Ram temple for their Gods; this scenario is unacceptable.

      Hindus in India (except as licking so called lefties) are grateful to Maria’s effort to highlight the injustice.. She is not threatening, excommunicating or issuing fatwa against anyone. If you are so hurt, perhaps you would present your own case with accompanying facts. Hindus must fight to safeguard their rights in their ancient homeland and pussyfooting is not an option

      Maria is focused on real issues and not into minority appeasement, unpleasant truth hurts. So be it. I am sure Maria will carry on regardless.
      Minority religious groups inciting violence against majorities; have you ever commented or complained?

      Marias writings perform as a guide, to awaken passive ignorant Hindus. India calls for millions more Maria.

      1. Nail Truth · ·

        @Agni
        It is up to you to keep the hatred on for your life time if you believe that will do good for your country. There are many riot torn countries in Africa with bullet decorated buildings and deserted streets. If your vision for your country is that, God help you.
        Maria or anybody spreading hatred between religious groups or linguistic groups or caste groups is not good for the country and now against the law.

  32. Mr. Kashif Khan – Who on this earth is not communal? In the context of India, in fact no one hates Muslims, but they do hate constant appeasement of Muslims by the political class of the Society. And having relationship between Muslims and Non-Muslims is the matter of individual choice. In case this country wants peace, and harmony, the first thing that need to be done is complete abolition of appeasement of any community, including Muslims. So far the Muslims in this country have not assimilated themselves into the mainstream. On the Social Media, many Muslim leaders do spread fanaticism. That must stop. After 67 years of living in this part of sub-continent, if the Muslim community consider themselves as Non-Indian, then situation would never improve.

  33. Nail Truth · · Reply

    None with thinks that his religion is a lie.
    It applies to all, Hindu, Christians and Muslims.
    Nothing wrong.
    But, there may be some who are not sure if they are in the right track or not.
    When not sure, some try to find the find the truth that satisfy their mind and change. But many, due to social, cultural pressure don’t do that.
    Maria has believed that there is truth in Hindu religion and changed. Many in this bloggers are so happy about this, a Christian becoming a Hindu.
    No angry posts from Christians. She is free to choose.
    Maria says she has found truth. Fine.
    But Christians cannot say that they have the truth. It is wrong she says.
    I see a bias there.
    Christian belief is dogmatic ( unbending) she says. Yes it is. Truth is unbending. If it is bending it is not truth for the one who believes.
    A Hindu or Muslim believes in what he thinks is dogmatic truth, it is fine and that is a reality. Saying any religion is not dogmatic is a fallacy.

    1. Dear Nail Truth,
      You have posted many comments, also on other posts. I saw them, sometimes wanted to reply, but did not get down to do it. Now a few points:
      You are grateful to the Christians that they saved you from poverty. You wanted to show gratefulness and converted (by convincing yourself first that it is a good religion). So far I can follow.
      The problem comes now that insidiously, you will feel pressure to look down on your ancestor’s faith. I once asked a priest whether it is true that converts have to eat cow meat. “No, we don’t force them”, he said, “but of course they have to show that they belong to us now.” This includes in the case of tribals destroying the murtis they had worshipped….
      I would request you to tell even your children, the second generation, not to believe this unfounded, outrageous claim that Hindus go to hell, that their devas are devils, etc. and please also say this openly and boldly to Church people. Can you do this? Or do you believe meanwhile that Hindus go to hell? This would mean your intelligence has suffered already.
      Exclusiveness, which means only Christianity (or Islam) is true and everyone has to adopt it, came with the dogmatic religions only some 2000/ 1400 years ago. Humanity is here since much much longer. I read once an interesting analogy: Do you think the one great God gave life to human beings on earth and then sent the instruction manual, how to live life, much later….

      Regarding truth. Yes, there is only one and ever the same, but it is not ‘dogmatic’. Truth is not a story, that this and this happened at that and that time, that Jesus is the only son of God, etc… truth is what is true about yourself ) right now (yourself is the starting point for discovering truth, as you don’t even know whether anything ‘outside’ of you really exists or whether it is a dream).
      And here Hindu Dharma is outstanding. It points to that one truth (as of course it cannot be contained in words) and gives innumerable ways to feel this truth as real (which is infinite and not limited to one’s person). Hindu Dharma does not even restrict you from worshipping Christ as a means to experience this truth.

      I meet often Christians, including missionaries. They open up to me, expecting a pat on their shoulders. I ask them what I asked you: don’t look down on your Hindu brothers and sisters. Their tradition stands tall among other religions. It is in fact the solution for the problems that dogmatic religions create.
      Maria Wirth

      1. Nail Truth · ·

        Thanks for choosing to reply. We are told in our Church that if you are born in a garage, you are not a car. That is to say that if you are born is a Christian home; you don’t automatically become a Christian. Each one has to take a conscious decision. As I blogged earlier, I took a conscious decision and did not become a Christian to show my gratitude.
        Every religion has punishment for sins and reward for sinless living. You must be now familiar with rebirths, being born a Brahmin and then swargam as a Hindu. If you have sinned, a dip in Kasi or certain pujas would purify you. Or doing a good deed to cancel a bad deed.
        Christians believe that God is a God for all, that is literates and illiterates, poor and rich and he has given us conscience which directs us in the right path and so none has an excuse. Nobody can commit a wrong deed without knowing it is wrong. (This also answer the instruction manual for life coming late)
        They also believe nobody, be it a bishop or a priest can live without sinning because God can see your thoughts and intensions too.
        Coming out of sin is by believing Jesus died on the cross took our punishment. This is available to anybody even to the poor who cannot go to Kasi or spend money on Puja or doing good which too needs money. In fact people belonging to my caste are not even allowed inside many temples. Now you know why my group of people become Christians. It is not by force or by luring. Christianity can be the only choice for people like me. Some in the blog are venting out anger when we convert to Christianity, but these people (those who belong to higher caste) will not even enter the area we live as they think that God created us lower than them, but they are so concerned when we change our belief.
        I hope you won’t single out Christianity in having different route to salvation and a different punishment for sin. You can see that Hindus too have distinctly uncompromised route with different punishment and reward. Logically both cannot become true to one person.

  34. I am secular.I belong to a religion which is not dogmatic.It is more a philosophy to Live and let live.It is tolerant towards all religions.Well that’s all there is to this issue.I as an individual respect individuals for what they are,instead of based on the religion they follow!Maj Gen VP Yadav

    1. Nail Truth · · Reply

      @ Major.
      Appreciate your respecting others . But you can be in a dogmatic religion which believes in one truth and still respect others. What you believe should teach you that. That’s what I am.

      1. @ Nail Truth, If u consider a lie to be a truth whose mistake is this.u were talking abt Hinduisim. i will tell u abt a weird practice in west some 150 yrs before.If a xian wants to go to heaven he will have to go to the pope give him donation the pope will write a promisary note in which so & so amount has been received & will be written requesting god to allow this person to heaven & provide him with better facility, this note has to be buried with the person so that god will give special attention to him,this was the practice in Europe finally stopped in the reform process of ur Religion.u told u converted becse of caste discrimination r u now free from Discrimination, then what r those many groups in ur Religion who dont go to each others place of worship,pls dont blame the caste system in Hindm it is the best system but wrongly followed.Regarding african cities burning if u check it out thats b’cse ur people landed there & destroyed their culture, where ever there is Resource (Gold, silver, Iron, Oil,Diamond) those place will always burn b’cse those place r all controlled by ur Religion people.I pity our Grandchildrens & prey to God that they be Hindus so that they dont face the same Fate as that of Natives of America,Aborginals of Australia & Moaris of Newzeland whom some were converted & made to fight with each other destroying themselves.
        As Vivekanada said
        our Religion is based upon Principles & not persons.The Base of Hinduism is based upon Eternal Principles. Eternal principles apply to all human beings everywhere. The laws of physics exist and work all the time. The healing principle will get to work immediately the moment a little cut is sustained on a finger. No one can tell when this healing principle began or when it will end. It is there existing eternally, all pervading (available everywhere), omniscient (aware all the time and therefore healing principle gets to work when injury is sustained). (These simplified examples serve to understand God’s power: omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent).
        And this ought also to be observed that except our religion (Sanatan Dharma; Hinduism), every other religion in the world depends upon the lives of some personal founder or founders. Christianity is built upon the life of Jesus Christ, Mohammedanism (Islam) upon Mohammed, Buddhism upon Buddha, Jainism upon the Jinas, and so on. It naturally follows that there must be in all these religions a good deal of fight about what they call the historical evidences of these great personalities.

        If at any time the historical evidences about the existence of these personages in ancient times become weak, the whole building of the religion tumbles down and is broken to pieces. We escaped this fate because our religion is not based upon persons but on principles. That you obey your religion is not because it came through the authority of a sage, no, not even of an Incarnation. Krishna is not the authority of the Vedas, but the Vedas are the authority of Krishna himself. His glory is that he is the greatest preacher of the Vedas that ever existed.

      2. @ Ajay:

        Ajay well explained. What the matter is that your valuable water like thoughts are falling into the drainage area like deaf ears. Yes, you can wake up a person who is really sleeping but not the one is adamantly blocking eyes with cloth and pretending as sleeping. All Indian converted Christians and Muslims are as same as the above example. However, your thoughts have enriched the people like me in a more perspective way towards Sanatana Dharma. Keep posting Bro!

  35. @ Nail Truth

    Millions of converted impressionist like you exist in India.
    Nobody should be touched with your emotional outburst.

    You traded your soul to missionaries, be happy with it, Hindus won’t complain.
    Hindus & Jews don’t believe in conversion. Though it sound very ethical, but in today’s
    world, a serious mistake. India must stop all conversions, and start reconverting the Christian /Muslim for the sake of India’s security & integrity..
    Every time a Hindu gets converted, a potential ‘enemy within’ is born.

    Maria shares ancient Hindu wisdom, which your parents did not have and could not give you, and the result you are being Christian.

    Nobel laureate ‘V.S. Naipaul’ puts it brilliantly- “Islam has had a calamitous effect on converted peoples. To be converted you have to destroy your past, destroy your history. You have to stamp on it, you have to say ‘my ancestral culture does not exist, it does not matter’….”
    “It makes imperial demands. A convert’s worldview alters. His holy places are in Arab lands. His sacred language is Arabic. His idea of history alters. He rejects his own: he becomes, whether he likes it or not, a part of the Arab story. The convert has to turn away from everything that is his.”

    Now, can you see yourself in this depiction?

    1. Nail Truth · · Reply

      @ Agni:
      Before they convert they are dirt and after they are enemies. Have I put it right for you?

  36. People who have not experienced anything are the ones who talk loudly and criticize others. Our ancestors have taught us a practical method of experiencing our true nature as spiritual. Indian spirituality is not just theoretical but practical. Any one can practice the yoga of Patanjali and experience peace and joy within. This is explained clearly by Paramahans Yogananda in his lessons. His Autobiography of a Yogi is a fascinating book.

    One who experiences his real nature will realize that the same spirit dwells in everyone and loves everyone. He does not see Hindus, Christians, Muslims etc. but sees the same cosmic spirit in every being. This is what India has been teaching for millennia. But unfortunately some self styled spiritual leaders are dividing humanity for selfish gains. This malady has even affected India. It is high time we promote scientific spirituality cutting across all barriers of caste, religion and nationality. Indian spirituality is not dogmatic. It encourages everyone to practice and experience himself

  37. @ Maj Gen Yadav

    . What you or anyone believes is purely personal choice.

    This so called secular, tolerant concept that you seem to boast, did not save India being conquered, brutalised throughout the history, did not save being divided, did not save Kashmiri Brahmins being homeless ….. did not stop Hindus being massacred.

    You sound more like a monk than a general. I hope you have retired; you would be a wrong choice to fight for India. Nonviolence, secularism, ethics & philosophy will not wash with the adversary. To have peace, you must make war.

    Your believe should reside in the temple, not in the battlefield.
    . A general with a tunnel vision

    1. Dude go defend the country if you have the balls to do so instead of questing a soldier who has served his country. And ask yourself this question have you considered the muslims as one of yours?? While you expect them to consider them one of us.

  38. Nothing can be more ridiculous than believing that a person will go to heaven simply by changing his religion, name and going to a different place of worship but continuing to be the same person,. If a person improves himself there is no need for him to change his religion. Religious conversion is a major cause of conflict today.

    When a person changes his religion he gets alienated from his friends and relatives. This can lead to conflicts.. If one community wants to increase its numbers there is no reason why the other community should not try to preserve its numbers. This world cannot enjoy lasting peace unless religious conversion comes to an end.

    Christians and Muslims think they have to save Hindus. Let them first decide which of the two leads to heaven. If it is Christianity then all Muslims should convert to that. If it is Islam then all Christians should convert. Those who claim that only their scripture is perfect are killing each other. What makes them think they can save others. Let Hindus save themselves.

  39. yogindra Rawat · · Reply

    dear Maria Wirth,
    I hv bn reading your article for the past couple of months,they are interesting,information rich,do you have your articles avvailble in German language,as I am a Tourist Guide German language,if your the articles available in above mentioned language it wud be easierfor me to add the same to my info treasure,
    regards,hv a nice time
    thanks
    Yogi(it is mr shotr name)

    1. dear Yogi,
      i have the open letter to Pope Francis in German. will send it to you. Further there are some articles (like God in India) on the Yoga Aktuell website. The article on research on rebirth is also on the net (google: maria wirth, der Fall Titu).
      i have written a book in German (personal account on my 25 years in India) “Von Gurus, Bollywood und heiligen Kuehen”, Herbig 2006 and a long chapter on Baba Ramdev in another book “Indien wie wir es sehen”.

      i have many more articles, but have not put them up on the net, as i don’t want to dilute the blog too much, as mostly English speaking readers visit it..
      Maria

  40. Guys I yet to understand as to why we should bear the nuisance of religion conversion?

    We have already paid the cost for this by dividing out country into 3 pieces, do we need to see more split in this country?

    Boss, the point is simple, we don’t care about your religion and their customs as long as you don’t sneak in to our path. If you can’t co-exist with us, no problem, find a country which supports you (not country will accept you without Indian passport) or else keep your mental balance in control and continue your routine work without fingering into others’ religion.

    1. Nail Truth · · Reply

      @ Balaji
      I can only debate on equal terms. The way we debate also reveals our background, education, family and also how each one’s religion has shaped him. We are debating on someone’s blog who has become a Hindu. Think, what opinion she will get about Hindus after reading your post.

      1. @Nail Truth:

        I. as representing whole Hindu community,make it clear one point. We harmless to anyone, extend love to everyone, share our rich culture to the rest of the World, bear pain for some level, but the rest of the World should consider our goodness as goodness not as incapable. The day the rest of World feels being good to others is our incapability, we also know how to resist and retaliate in same manner.

        Look back your ancestors and your race that is strongly linked with this country. Whether you like it or not, you accept it or not, you are a Hindu, You may only change your name and worship style but not all the customs. I still see more Indian born Muslims and Christians follow Hindu rituals than that are mentioned in other religion holy books. You cannot sail in two boats at the same time, it is dangerous to you buddy. Western women dare to walk on streets with bikini clothes, would anybody in your family can do this? (as you are so proud of your new Christian religion, the religion which gave you lot of love and freedom). You can’t, because our race is not like that, changing name and wearing religion clothes and going respective holy shrine is not changing religion. Those are for outer World, but what is in your blood is your inner stuff.

        Do you know the the greatness of Hinduism? Anybody can mingle in this way of life (so called Hinduism), once mingled they can enjoy the freedom and fruit of outcome in it. We don’t invite anybody into ours, we don’t force anybody into ours, we don’t lure anybody in the way of money, food, cloth, education, force, love and affection into ours, we don’t have any such history too, but yes, those who are following Sanatana Dharma are naturally become tolerant, lovable, sharable people.

        I don’t want to explain all these to non-believers like you and some of the people commenting in this blog, but any Westerns who reading this blog, should not, by mistake think bad on this country. The country which gave great contribution in several aspects to the rest of the World.

        Hope Ms. Maria would also accept this.

  41. you have echoed the true feelings of a Hindu. He is not at all dogmatic. his religion has a place for an atheist. Hinduism is a way of life. as you put it BE GOOD AND DO GOOD. That is the essence of hinduism. God bless you . It is immaterial whatwvwe name you give to that God

  42. Nail Truth · · Reply

    @ Balaji
    I am happy with the tone of your post and this will definitely show what you believe in a better perspective.
    One request. You have brought in the word bikini in your post connecting with Christianity. You need to know more about the Christianity. If you don’t have any apprehension, like Maria learnt about Hinduism when she was still a Christian, you can try to find out more on Christianity. Some of my relatives are Hindus and they don’t have any problem in mixing with us and we don’t hurt their feelings. We don’t eat beef, we don’t drink. Many feel all Christians are on the same boat. Not true. Some in this blog said “Hindus in India is a heterogeneous group consisting of too many faiths – Sanatan, Shaiv, Vaishnav, Dravidian, Jains, Budhism and within each group the so called casts or varnas so andd so forth”. Same thing applies to Christians also. Some are ritualistic some are emotional and some are enlightened. Talk to someone enlightened to know more about Christians or read ‘the book’.

    1. sacred saffron · · Reply

      great to hear there are good christians who actually don’t have a problem with others faith and i appreciate that,but friend i have seen more pro christians abusing hindus both internet and outside india with religious steriotypes and i don’t mean other steriotypes such as racial ones but religeous steriotypes to be very specific.I wish all christians were as accepting as you were,but you cannot deny the persecution commited on hindus out side india specifically on christian countries.For instance some time ago i read on the internet that Indians are most hated in Germans.

  43. v v anand · · Reply

    Maria, you need to be aware of the following facts:

    (a) There has been internecine conflict among different Hindu sects, sometimes violent. The recrudescence of Brahminism under Adi Shankara was followed by some attacks on Buddhist Viharas. The Bhakti Movement encompasses several streams of reform in Hinduism including Vaishnavite cults. The founder of Srivaishnavism, Sri Ramanuja, set out in the 11th century to move towards caste equality and was at loggerheads with the then dominant smartha brahmin hierarchy who accepted Shankara’s interpretation. Kulothunga Chola , ruler then in Tamilnadu, was a fanatical Shaivaite and summoned Ramanuja to his court to demand his obeisance to Shiva. (Srivaishnavites do not worship shiva or Parvathi or any of their kin). Koorathalwar, a follower of ramanuja got wind of this, persuaded Ramanuja to exit the kingdom, and he, koorathalwar assumed the identity of Ramanuja and appeared before Kulothunga. The king came to know of the real identity and blinded Koorathalwar. ramanuja moved to Melkote in Karnataka and remained there for 12 years. So, there are some examples of Hindu rulers who have persecuted reformers.
    (b) Manusmriti is one text which is unredeemed by anything enlightened and prescribes cruel penalties for violating caste prohibitions. There is much to be proud of in Hinduism, particularly in the Bhakti cults as also in the composite culture of Kabir, for example. One of Kabir’s dohas ha sthe most succinct exposition of Hindu ideas. But one does not have to be proud of manusmriti and so on.
    (c) Maria, we dont have to be told that western secularism is not a model. We know that only too well.Our secularism is based on many roots in our own history,. Ashoka’s rock edict (I think no. 13, but I am not sure) forbade any hostile comments on any other person’s religion.Two housand three hundred years ago. This was at a time , when your teutonic ancestors were running around in forests and even now when you people get a day off, you vanish into the trees! Again, there have been several reform and radical movements in Hinduism. Jainism was probably the first to raise the banner of revolt against Brahminism, over 3000 years ago. Buddhism is probably the wisest religion to come out of India. Various streams of the Bhakti movement were not unlike the protestant reformation in Europe. Some bloggers have attacked Akbar. Akbar began , it is true, as a warlike ruler, but he did transform into an enlightened eclectic leader later. Maria, well before Europe, Akbar set up the Ibadat Khana in fatehpur Sikhri, which was a platform for debates among various religions. Jains, Zoroastrians, and many Hindu sects were represented in a first such venture in the world. Akbar changed even more later, adopting vegetarianism for much of the year. True, his own Din-i-ilahi religion had elements of opportunism, but it is likely that he ceased to be a muslim at the end. Ramanuja’s followers would have been admitted to his Ibadat Khana , even while they were thrown out by Kulothunga , the Shaivaite. Lingayats in Karnataka are also believed to have destroyed some vishnu temples , motivated by militant shaivism. Maybe, none of this comes anywhere near the destructiveness of Islamic or Christian militancy, but its existence is undeniable and should be disowned or opposed by all right-thinking people.Khatris, Kashmiri Pandits and Kayasths, upper-caste Hindus in the North have always belonged to the composite culture and it was common for them to visit shrines of muslim peers along with Hindu temples. And our modern secularism is based on our national movement for freedom. We resisted the British intrigues though we finally surrendered to partition. But the two-nation theory has not worked. Pakistan is in dire straits from inception. The British rascals pressed us to compromise, “even without giving up your principles”, but finally , without so much as a by your leave, inserted into the India Independence act, the words, “as there are two nations of Hindus and Muslims in India”. We had never agreed to this proposition and Gandhiji alone promptly protested against this wording.

    1. prakriti · · Reply

      Dear friend,
      We have been deceived, we all Indians have been divided on purpose. First you should keep in mind, whatever came from Vedas, is flawless, as vedas are divine revelation by divine seers. If you find any description, that means that book has been poisoned, throw it.
      When you talk about manusamrtii with flaws, then dear Friend that is the one fake one in circulation, indeed the original one is not accessible easily. i put a link last month from Capt vadakayils blog, please read it and make yourself proud you belong to Hindu only neutral philosophy on earth. Take one month of you time and read this person and about hinduism from Scientific, cosmic and spiritual purpose, if you are really unbiased,you will be a totally changed person. My life have changed, I am not same person. Click Control and find with my user name and you can read my previous post, you will find various links. i will put again 2 of them, 1st one is about Manusamriti.

      http://ajitvadakayil.blogspot.com/2011/01/manu-first-law-maker-capt-ajit.html

      http://ajitvadakayil.blogspot.com/2011/07/untouchables-capt-ajit-vadakayil.html

      If you go through these links, you will understand each and every word what Maria is saying in this article. lets unite again.

      1. v v anand · ·

        Yes, let us unite and let all indians unite, of all religions and sects. But we cannot unite around Manusmriti and its dogmatic gender-biased claptrap. I wholeheartedly agree that there should be no pampering of any minorities and so on. Unfortunately, Article 30 of the constitution was incorporated by no less a person than Sardar Patelj who was the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Minorities of the Constituent Assembly. Article 30 has been interpreted by the courts to be absolute and to confer total autonomy from all rules of governance to minority institutions. we have to find a way to deal with it.Opening govt schools in minority areas and such steps are ok since there is evidence of social backwardness there.You must know that Manusmrit did not remain the last word on many aspects of Hindu law. Manusmriti is dated roughly 1st century ad and around the same time or a little later , Yagnavalkya wrote a Smriti codifying law on similar but different lines. In the 10th century AD, in the Chalukya kingdom in Badami in Karnataka, Vigyaneshvara wrote the Mitakshara which purported to be a summary of previous Hindu law including Manusmriti and yagnavalkyasmriti. But, Vigyaneshvara made many departures, notably in respect of succession and ownership of property. He secularised it. Manu and others had prescribed various religious duties on the sons as a condition for sharing and inheritance. Vigyaneshvara dropped all that and the rights came simply from birth. Mitakshara came from the south a thousand years ago and it spread like wildfire and was adopted by most of the north. The rival system of Dayabhaga is still prevalent in Eastern India and that continues with some religious prescriptions. True, Vigyaneshvara did not set right the gender biases. but it was a great leap for his time. The next serious step was Hindu Succession Act of 1956. The Bhratiya Jan Sangh and the Hindu Mahasabha vehemently resisted any provision for divorce and ultimately, it was watered down.The Act of 1956 was also unjust to daughters, and it is a wonder that it was not challenged as violating Article 14 on equality. The final rectification was the Hindu Succession (Amendment ) Act of 2005, which gives gender equality all the way. This time round, even BJP did not oppose it. Let us be proud of the way Hinduism has evolved. The Jains, the Buddhists, Ramanuja and the Iyengars, and numerous others were all progressive and ropposed Brahminism and moved towards caste equality. In fact, communities like the Kashmiri Pandits, Kayasthas, Khatris, Iyengars, Lingayats were comparatively free from retrograde practices like dowry and such. We need to take the evolution forward instead of remaining silent on abominable attitudes like that of Baba ramdev.. In Tamilnadu, in the early 70s, there was a practice of the thevars (an OBC community just a shade better off thn Dalits) simply entering a hut of a Dalit and committing violations . It is very likely that castes outside Tamilnadu also had some track record like this. Which is why comments like Baba Ramdev’s are hurtful.The sad thing is that Shyama Prasad Mookherjee and N C Chattewrji and others who argued powerfully against having any provision for divorce themselves had sisters and daughters and mothers. Of course, most of these men had received dowry.

      2. v v anand · ·

        I saw this line in the second site reference you have given

        “No matter how much a woman says she is equal to man , she cannot be . ”

        This is just not acceptable and even violates law

    2. prakriti · · Reply

      I think you did not read my post carefully, Manusamriti, which you are referring to is fake one, Original one tells a higher level of punishment for a Brahmin and does not categorize one by birth right. you google it ,you will find the answer, first read the right version, then discuss, there is one website from Agniveer, they have explained in detail whyat original Manusamrit says.

      Now regarding women, equality, i m myself a woman and personally feel what my husband is worth, I am not, that does not mean I am inferior, Woman has her own qualities, yes when it comes to being human they both should get equal rights, but women should always see her man as protector and provider of home, woman needs to be polite, humble and full of vitue as she is who will give birth to new human, so she should not start acting like man, both gender are to serve their own purpose, i believe in sati savitri image of hindustani nari as that is the only way you can produce healthy calm and peaceful creature. having said so, do not think I m typical behnji type dehati lady, I am a scientist/doctorate and live in america and have american lady friends with the same mind set. Many Women in India are living in post feminism state, they have lost respect for men.
      I would request you to go through Capt blogs again, and you don’t need to agree with all what he is saying, i don’t, but i can bet, he is the most perceptive, knowledgable man on earth, not even a single modern human can come close to him. read the comment section how his readers tells their story of getting changed forever. it took me 6 months to actually comprehend what he is saying. And by the way from your surname Anand, if you are from north India, then i share your background and i know how we so much believe in Arya samaj, but actually we know partial truth.
      Jai hind.

      1. v v anand · ·

        this is a reply not only to prakriti but also to agni and sacred saffron . Why are you harping on Manusmriti when there has in fact been further evolution and Vigyaneshwara in Karnataka in the 10th century had already amended many aspects in authoring Mitakshara ? The succession law has been completely overhauled over time and the latest amendment in 2005 has brought gender equality in full. Sons and daughters now have equal shares in property and a daughter can also be a karta , which awaits a clear decided ruling in its favour from the courts. Do agni and sacred saffron oppose the 2005 amendment ? This is all that we mean by equality of gender. The dowry prohibition act of 1960, the anti-bride-burning legislation all await proper implementation as we can see from the khap panchayats and so on.

  44. Shourie · · Reply

    Another excellent article Maria. I seriously dont know why speaking up about being hindu or having hindu beliefs is termed communal and doing the same by other communities as secular. With the BJP coming to power I hope they take this up and also make sure that we an inclusive society and can “let go” whats done in past and look for a bright future for the country and also to Hinduism – the way of life.

    Thank you,
    Shourie

  45. v v anand · · Reply

    re shourie
    No-one is communal just because he speaks of Hinduism. Rajaji had lifelong interest in Hinduism, even translated into english, the Ramayana and the Mahabharatha, yet no-one calls him communal. If someone demands a Hindu Rashtra, he is communal. Of course, it is legitimatr, even neccessary to demand that there be no appeasement of anybody. it is also legitimate to question the absolute status given by the courts to articles 28 and 30 of the constitution,.

  46. @ V V Anand

    Maria is very much aware of facts (Hinduisms & Indian history) and not your fiction.

    Your enthusiasm for Akbar worshipping is amazing, but not surprising. Seems another gullible Hindu become a victim of secular stage-managed Indian history.

    Your assertion “North have always belonged to the composite culture and it was common for them to visit shrines of Muslim peers along with Hindu temples.”
    Your perception of secularism is parallel to congress and Indian left brigade.

    Have you ever questioned whether Muslims ever visit any Hindu shrine to be secular or otherwise?

    1. v v anand · · Reply

      there has been indeed a practice in Assam at some hindu shrines and muslim peer shrines located nearby for both to be visited by hindus as well as muslims. Let us build on that history of harmony

    2. The irony is that in India, vested interests, particularly the politicians, mix up ‘Secularism’ with ‘Communalism’.Being Communal should not necessarily mean ‘Anti Secular’. Beauty is that when Hindu talks about his religion – Hindu, he is immediately branded ‘Anti Secular’. And reverse is not true i.e. when Muslim speaks against Hinduism, no one dares to call them ‘Anti Secular’. Every one knows history and we need not repeat the same again and again. The country should adopt the correct meaning of “Secularism”. That is practice your won religion the way one likes it but do not hate other religions. And second the Government must remain uninfluenced by any particular religion or religious group. Any and all policies and decisions of the Government should be meant for every citizen of the country. And if this means stopping pampering and appeasement of Muslims, lt it be.

  47. @ V V Anand
    Grasp ur subject matter first then ask question. What inequality is not acceptable for you and why?

    Male and female, are not equal because of biological differences. Nature has created differently for a purpose.

    Nature and common sense, free from any contamination of ‘feel good political correctness’.
    has established inequality of minds, characters and capacities.

    Equality has multifaceted meaning and same rule can not be relevant in all circumstances.

    State law, can only apply non discriminatory treatment, but cant make two genders or various racws equal.

    Start thinking out of the box.

    1. sacred saffron · · Reply

      You cannot be more correct than this.This leftist utopian will never be a reality,it is only going to remain a dream and is full of empty promises.If it were to be true it would have succeeded through out the world.No matter how much we try,man cannot defeat nature.Every time man fights nature,nature always wins.Utopia cannot ever be a reality due to inner selfishness of human beings.No matter how much we try people will always want more for themselves and refuse to share.Hence achieving equality at every thing for every one sadly is far far away from reality and can only be at best be a dream.Like agni correctly said think out of the box and don’t fall for such propaganda that promises you everything,and in the end gives you absolutly nothing but poverty and misery.

      God Bless You…

      Bharat mata ki jai!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: