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Jul 13, 2006

Proud Hindu

What will bloggers assume, when I say I am a Proud Hindu?

1.Why should it be assumed, I am out to kill other communities and drive them out of their country, just because I take pride in my religion

2.Why should it be assumed, if I dont support killing/driving away of communities, I will oblige even the most irrational demand and be an appeaser forever?

3.Why should it be assumed, I vote for the BJP.

4.Why should should it be assumed, because I dont vote for the BJP, I vote for the Congress.

5.Why should should it be assumed, I dont vote, because I dont seem to vote for the Congress or the BJP. (I do vote, but its based on the person and not the party)

6.Why should I support building a temple for Ram in Ayodhya. Lord Ram, refused Ayodhya, even when Bharat gave it back to him.
Choices, gives us power. And power is the true test of Character. When I refuse to go against my conscience, even when I can get away with the consequence, I am laying down a brick, in my heart, to build a temple for Lord Ram in my heart.

7.Why should I say kill/drive away all Muslims because many of the terrorists are Muslims. Lord Ram could distingush between the Ravans and the Vibhishans.
(And I certainly dont say, just because most of the rapists are men, lets castrate the men, let there be conception through artificial methods and after all men are not going to die, if we castrate them, but its going to be convenient for the women, and since men also have sisters, if they object it means they are anti-women.)

8.Why cant I be a Secular Indian and a Proud Hindu. If Turkey with 72 million population and 99% of them Muslims, can be Secular, Why cant I be Secular? Why can't I love and be proud of my religion and respect other religions. Why can't I be Secular and still support the concept of Uniform Civil Code?

9.Why can't I be proud of my religion, and yet be aware that it need not be perfect. Two centuries ago, widows were burned. Today we dilute and dismiss, it as a custom and say its not part of religion. But it wouldn't have been viewed similarly, back then.
The point remains, that irrespective of what others say, I can distingush the bad from the good, and can choose to take only the good from my religion.
And why should I believe that I can do it, only because I am a Hindu.

10.Why shouldnt I accept, a Woman from a Scheduled Tribe could be The Guru and still be a Proud Hindu.

11.Why should I believe that only the Proud Hindus are the best of the humankind.

12.Why on earth should I say I am a proud Hindu. Isnt it natural to be proud of one's religion. I dont write a blog post on Clean Human and say I took a long bath today. Well thats what I thought till yesterday. But I am sick and tired of what many think, when we hear the term Proud Hindu or for that matter Proud Muslim/ Christian/ Buddhist / Jew...
I am sick and tired of only fundamentalists, associated with what I feel. If they are the Proud Hindus, what am I an Ashamed Hindu?

Yes its possible to be a good human and live without religion. The question is not whether there is a God or no God or whoose God. For me the answer is, I need God. When I feel thankful, overwhelmed, uncertain; and when my cricket team is in trouble. When I come across the cold finality of death, I need to say a prayer to God, and hope that prayer makes a difference. When I recite the Dhanvantri prayer while massaging someone's knees, it helps me focus and adds a dose of certainity of success, which I like, even if its unreal.

Speaking of knees, for me religion and God are a form of walking stick, which help me support myself through the journey of life. There are the brave, who dont need the stick. Fine. But just because some use this walking stick to attack others, doesnt mean that I wont be able to make discreet use of it.

Religion is not the reason for Cruelty and Stupidity, its just an Excuse. Every Proud Hindu need not be a Good Human or a Good Indian. But just because I happen to be a Proud Hindu doesnt mean I cant be a Good Human or a Good Indian.

Other posts in Pilgrim Series
Blog post no.308


  1. Always keep to hand the five fingers of Fraudulism

  2. Interesting and absolutely valid points regd. Lord Ram
    1. He was more than willing to leave his kingdom the moment his parents desired and without a moment of remorse.
    2. He was willing to even forgive Ravana if only he rerturned Sita back

    But there is one point to remember. Lord Rama was in a 'perfect' world where it was just black or white. World since then (more specifically from Lord Kirhsna's time) has changed to shades of grey. Infact, this is why only Krishna is referred to as 'Jagatgurum' and not Rama.

  3. Now - this is the last thing I had expected from you.

  4. master peace ?

    whiskeypriest, i dont think it was a black and white world for rama.
    rama himself wasnt a "white" character. he killed vali on the sly but refused to kill ravan weaponless
    he asked for agnipravesh from sita, and got seperated from her because some guy doubted her.yet he wasnt "black" because he didnt marry again, though his father had 3 wives.
    the question is not who is a "better version" of God. just who inspires me more..

    Vaibhav :) i have replied in ur post. my point is simple, i dont have to be a fundamentalist, to be a proud hindu. and i dont have to be an appeaser to be a secular hindu.

    and after the bomb blasts, lot has been said about religion..and according to me religion is an excuse for cruelty . it can never be a reason for cruelty.

  5. If you have noble itentions, they do not show through your post.

    And being a proud hindu, muslim whatever is the last thing we need right now. Religion was - and will always be - the main reason why there is so much hatred in the world.

  6. ok vaibhav tell me one point atleast, which is objectionable.
    and if i am convinced, not only will i remove it, but also apologise for it.

    its not religion but misinterpretation and misuse of religion which has been the cause of the prob.

    why should religion stand for killing people from other religion, why should religion stand in the way of treating all men and women as equals.

    how do i exhibit my pride - point no.5 and whats wrong with it??

    the problem is not pride or religion, but the lack of character. one can give 100 excuses for a wrong, and one of them happens to be religion. just because i love my mother doesnt mean i dont cant love or respect other women.

    this post had to be taken in context of many posts in blog world.
    today islam just means jihadis, and this is the view because the tolerant ones, refuse to stand up and speak for their religion.

    people hear about muslims protesting against headscarf ban in schools in france but not about turkey which has a headscarf ban inspite of having 99% Muslims.

    anyway when it comes to core belief, this post reflects what i believe when heaven is not a goal

  7. Even if you need to believe in the fairytales about God, why do you need religion for it? What is the exact relationship between religion and God?

    I wish some wise one would tell this poor atheist.

    I supPOSE this post has been prompted by the recent blasts, but where has been the call made to drive all the Muslims? So, why did you need to prove your credentials?

    If at all, I would say drive away all religions, the root cause or excuse(does it make a freaking difference) of all evil.

  8. Oh!

    Since you harp about Turkey, let me intercede. It is a secular country only by the force of the Army, which has not allowed Islamic fundamentalists to come to power even to the extent not allowing popular vote. Links required?

    btw, there are 51 other countries in the world which are 99% or so Muslim majority, wonder why are they not secular?


  9. confused,
    :) i would prefer to keep hidden from you the connection between religion and God, after all its always nice to have an atheist.

    i express, what i want whenever i want.

    i dont prefer to throw out the babyw ith the bath water.

    People will have to accept it, even if its enforced by the army. and whats the army made up of ?the 1% non-muslims?

    i would prefer if every nation muslim christian buddhist jewish hindu or even the one filled with atheists to be secular.
    i can say this in my blog but if they arent, what should i do get a nuclear bomb and tell them to become secular?

  10. WD,

    The exact connection is tenous I suppose. Anyway.

    My purpose was not to question your right to express your opinion, here or anywhere else. Not at all, I was just speculating.

    The only reason why I mentioned Turkey was because you mentioned it as shining example of Muslim country blah blah..I was just pointing out how wrong that notion is.

    No, of course not, why should we drop nuclear bombs on them? But when did I say that? Or when you reply to a specific comment, you reserve the right to introduce any arguments? :)

  11. confused, i wasnt suggesting that u suggested the nuclear bomb:d

    re turkey . its irritating when politicians for their own purpose suggest, that either muslims cant live in a secular manner and therefore will have to be driven out etc or they cant help it and need concessions.

    my point is, whatever the reason, the muslims in turkey arent crying oh we are in so much trouble because we are secular, and if some are capable of living in a secular manner, why assume its impossible for the rest?

    sometimes i mix the sarcasm too subtly into the post perhaps..

  12. What is the connection between Religion and God u had asked earlier confused.

    Well perhaps the same connection between political parties and public service:d

    Religion is just not rituals. Its a group. So I can choose to ignore all the rituals, and still be a Hindu under the law.
    And to me that membership is like a membership with a political party:)

    And when I am told to be a Congress style appeaser Hindu or a VHP style fundamentalist Hindu, I get mad.
    It irritates me when others claim to represent me, and act on my behalf.
    Its something like finding that members of your parties are taking bribes, on the party's behalf
    And in a passive way I become part of the rot.

    I have 2 options
    Give up my membership and become an independent candidate and serve the constituency
    Or get mad at the corrupt members and point out that they are being corrupt, for their own benefits and not for my and party's benefit. And just becaus they exist doesnt mean the political system or the political party is wrong, and hope, that there would be more like me and we could throw out the corrupt party workers and takeover the party.

    I agree that religion is not necessary even if you believe in God
    But religion is useful, and I see no reason to dissociate myself from a religion, just because others are abusing it.

  13. What is the point of power if a king knows not the art of power pointing?

  14. Religion is the donkey which takes you till God's door and thereafter prevents you from entering.

  15. interesting perspective, aswin warier :)

  16. Brilliant Thoughts...

  17. Wow ma'am, this was truly amazing! The rate at which my respect for your ideas is increasing, don't start complaining if it reaches a plateau soon! :)

    I won't say, I'm awed by your ideas, because I've thought of all of these before, but am truly, truly impressed! Not in the least by your honesty!

    There's hardly anything I could disagree with, and in fact whatever I differ in from your views (not exactly, disagree), would quite likely surprise you!

    I prefer the BJP to the Congress! :) Unfortunately, who we vote for in the LS elections ultimately determine what policies the central government will draft.

    The way things stand in India, and going by the logic that law-enforcing agencies have been employing, I feel ethically speaking, a Ram Temple should be built in Ayodhya! You'll find that logic here (click) in my second response to Rakesh.

    Why it is usually not possible to respect religions whose ideologies differ from the one you follow is because they all deal with the same thing--the nature of God and the Universe! Religions are not seen (by others, and not you) are 'opinions'. They're seen as works of God, and thus, immutable and absolute! Religions do not claim to be dwelling in the zone of fantasies, but of facts. You and your friend might differ on which color they like. Because they're personal tastes. But can you differ on what is 2+2?...

  18. ...Can you say, I like 5 as answer, even though, you feel the answer is 3?

    Your religion is customizable (meaning, which of the traditions you want to follow, and which to discard). And that is indeed a good thing, but then don't religions lose their identity if their central tenets are not followed? You might not believe that to gain entrance into the paradise, your pyre need not be lit by a male progeny, but what about your neighbor, who precisely does believe that? Who is more Hindu of the two, despite harboring diametrically opposite views in some of the important areas of life? In fact, your ideas on life would be closer to a more liberated and wiser Christian or Muslim or even an atheist like me, as compared to your orthodox 'Hindu' neighbor! In which case, does the label of 'Hindu' retain any relevance?

    With passage of time, almost all the well-read people have turned pantheists--with a single omnipotent, omniscient, benevolent, intelligent, intention-driven God, who created the Universe and 'runs' it their central essence. So, now why would any further labels rather than simply--'theist' be required?

    But the most important reason I would object to being proud of anything defined by birth is that we never got to choose these affiliations! That's why I am not proud of being Gujarati, not proud of being a doctor, not proud of being of fairer skin than a few people, not proud of being male, not proud of being taller than those shorter than me!...

  19. ...The binding factor in all the above attributes that somewhat define me is, I did not choose any of them! And even, if I chose something (like vocation), I did not do so with complete knowledge of what all would it entail.

    Being a Hindu, would you ever say, I'm proud to be a Muslim? Or being born an Indian would you ever say, I'm proud to be German? I know these suggestions sound weird! But that's what I'm trying to point out! How flimsy were the circumstances that you were born as a Hindu and as an Indian? Why be proud of those things governed by random chance?

    Had I been born merely a few hundred kilometers away, my mother tongue would've been Hindi/Rajasthani/Marathi! What's the point in being proud of my mother tongue in that case? It was all pure chance!

    I'm a capricornian, should I be proud of that too?

    I've dealt with these ideas in greater details in this post (click).

    Regarding God/religion as a support-system, I appreciate your honesty! :) Truly, I do. 'cuz there was a time I was a believer, and these concerns were greatest impediments in discarding a hypothesis ('hypothesis' is a term I do not use with contempt) that had no value for me as far as explaining the World was concerned!

    I've typed this comment in great hurry. Might comment later, too! TC.

  20. Comments were also interesting! :)

    Can't believe your post inadvertently attracted a few atheists/skeptics!

    People across all the cultures and civilizations are, if not same, comparable. And that includes religions, too. But when certain religions suppress inquiry, learning, doubting, protesting and right to equality and rationality more than other religions do, then no doubt, they take up a very demonic form. Of course, not because of nature (genes), but nurture (cultural ethos). And unfortunately, the same social evils get transmitted across to next generation simply because questioning, doubting and protesting would be censured. This, as is clearly apparent despite attempts at denial, is what is causing religion-derived evils to persist and spread at an exponentially alarming rate.

    Discouragement from learning and scientific research leads to relative as well as absolute hardships, and consequent disenchantment in the society, and a desire to destroy all that is more beautiful/prosperous out of collective jealousy. The problem gets further compounded by unchecked population growth, which puts tremendous strain on scarce resources.

    Do one or few of the religions fit the bill?

    It is all very easy and accountability-free to say, religion is only my personal relationship with God. But is it truly, only that? As I asked priorly, then why put collective labels like, 'Hindu', 'Muslim' or 'Christian' if that relationship is so very individualistic?


  21. 1.I started as an atheist, 3rd-4th standard. I used to feel outraged at school when we had to say our prayers. I felt, how can they promote God, when God is unscientific:)
    After some years I became neutral and then, I started my spiritual journey.
    And to put it simply, felt God.

    2. Feeling God, is not getting good things in life. Moments after my first son died, when I was alone, and just wanted to fling myself down from the hospital and die, I asked myself, "Do I belive in my God, now". I don't know why, but the answer was Yes.
    I could till then accept that Tough things happen to Good people (well as per my conscience I was good:D). But it was not easy to accept bad things happen even if you do everything you believe is good.

    Definition of Hinduism
    3. Now, I have spiritual gurus, who have read more than me and I accept them, when it comes to Hinduism. My main guru, Sri Shiv Shankar Baba, doesn't give importance to customs, but to doing good deeds. He doesn't ask money from his devotees, and in his ashram there are places of worship for people from all religion. And he tells people instead of building just temples, build schools and hospitals. (He has built them too).
    For me, their definition of hinduism is more relevant than my neighbour's.
    And yes, people won't be my guru, if they told what my neighbour believed. I choose the path, (secularism and shunning materialism) and these people are way ahead of me in my path. My path is Hinduism. I accept if I had been born a Muslim or Christian, my path wouldn't have been Hinduism. But I don't see any reason to deviate from this path, just because my neighbour tells me, he is taking the Hindu Path and not me. I look ahead at my Gurus, not at whoose taking which path.

    4. I agree that when there is no choice there is no logic in pride. But pride has no logic, its a feeling. I tried telling my husband, when he feels proud of our son, its no big deal, and we wouldn't have felt a thing for him, if he had been in an orphanage..(so i blogged it about it in They have a name for him)
    It doesn't work..and sometimes, it doesn't work for me too:D Its silly to feel proud and pray for Team BCCI, but hey I can't help the emotion.

  22. Ram
    4. Ram is an important part of my spirituality you might like the post, "Path of Ram" written when the Sethu bridge was being hotly debated.
    If I think of Ram, for few minutes, I will start crying..I don't know what it means, just that Ram means a lot to me. I think the thought of Ram temple has been polluted by killing people (I lived in Mumbai during the riots so more personal). And Ram wouldn't have wanted a temple. The best tribute to him would be to do away with corruption. Thats true Ram Rajya. And perhaps Ram ties me with Hinduism. I might have cared less to talk about my personal beliefs, if Ram had not be politicised. And keeps me being a panatheist. Raja Ram Mohan Roy could have said, I walk away from Hinduism if it means, burning widows, or he could say, wait a minute, thats not Hinduism, its just a custom, with economic reasons, but to make it easier for people to get away with, it says it has God's sanction. Or, I can change the system, by being in the system..I am not Raja Ram Mohan Roy, but every soldier counts.

    Will respond to your posts on Ram temple..btw I couldn't read the post you linked yday...

    Political Parties
    On the BJP, I can't support a party (now) which maligns the meaning of Ram and the Gujarat riots. And as for Congress, I can't forgive them for their stance on 1984 riots and the dynastic idea. But I understand that there are effective and ineffective politicians in every party. And if the BJP or Congress, puts up a good candidate, I might vote for them. After all, do we think of Dr.Kalam as a BJP choice or a good choice?

    Why "Proud Hindu"
    To come back to the point, I got outraged when I saw a blog id, Proud Hindu, with what I believe is not the core Hindu beliefs. (And I have my books (eg Yoga for Beginners - Swami Gnaneswarananda, Sri Ramkrishna math publications ) and gurus to support my core beliefs). So I made the point, hey wait a minute, a Hindu can be proud and yet feel and think the way I do.

    The need of the Hindu Label.
    Imagine being a South Indian in a class in Mumbai, when a student yells, hey this new kid is a South Indian and therefore stupid.
    One can think rationally, there is no connection between region and stupidity. So there is no need for me to tell or hide being a South Indian.
    Or one can think "Oh so thats the reason for my stupidity:D (or wow I am smart inspite of being a South Indian)"
    Or say, "we are all Indians, don't use the label".
    Or one can get up and say, "hey I am a South Indian, and they are not stupid. Even if you have met only stupid South Indians"
    I dont want to be the best Hindu, just like I dont want to be the smartest South Indian. But when you see an association without logic, its not easy for me to disassociate, and simply say I am an Indian (pan atheist) . I prefer to stand by my religion, more when its in trouble (perceived according to me, incorectly).

    This blog and my posts in other blogsites, did attract a lot of comments. Now I am in a dormant stage actually.
    PS : I am a Leo, and proud of it, and try finding me a Leo who is not proud of being a Leo...

    To go further on the label point..
    If you see your parents being made fun of, you can simply step in as a stranger. Or as a child. Religion has become just too personal for me.

  23. hey i like my earlier comment 7/16/2006 01:56:00 PM
    i suffer (not joking) from memory problems, had forgotten I had said it, and it was a pleasant suprise to read it.

    (Actually, I dont remember half my posts too..and they are always pleasant suprises..)

  24. Dear Wise Donkey ma'am,

    Your response was very interesting, and one aspect of it made me smile in pleasant suprise. :) Most specifically, till at least 7th class, I was an absolutely firm believer of concepts of God, soul and rebirth! In fact, I used to harbor a desire to relinquish all 'materialistic pursuits' to 'meet' God, though I didn't really have many materialistic desires (curiously, I still don't have too many of them! :) ) back then.

    And somehow, I have felt the hypothesis of God as an irrational one, not even now!

    But then, somewhere down the line, I became increasingly convinced and confident of conclusions that could be drawn through empirical observations.

    By the time I reached 11th class, one day when nothing special had happened in my life, I asked myself if I could imagine a Universe without God? And to my own shock, I could! I could imagine a Universe without God. Instantly, I felt some kind of fear, of loss of a great equation in my life. Loss of an anchor that connected my existence to its purpose, loss of anchor that connected Universe's existence to its purpose. I also felt vulnerable. And instantly, I said something tantamount to "Sorry God, forgive me for contemplating your nonexistence, even if for a moment"! But the next moment, I smirked at myself, only to realize, I was simply playing a monologue! I was deluding myself!...

  25. ...I'd found it very tempting, and almost compelling to revert back to my old self, which used to converse with God almost on a moment-to-moment basis.

    But then, the concept of God had been very dear to myself. I realized, I was being dishonest in reverting to complete faith in the existence of God. I realized, if I revert it would only be to shield myself from the feeling of vulnerability and complete responsibility of the 'self'. I could not cheat my God by starting to believe in him, only for psychological benefits he was to offer! I know the previous sentence sounds weird, but then I am and was weird! :)

    You know, somehow my belief in the existence of God was never dependent on how good or bad my life was! So, I'd performed the above mental experiment on a perfectly normal day.

    With regard to loss of your first child, I am absolutely at loss for words--I think I can only say, I'm sorry for you. And hope and wish, you are 'fine' by now and are finding your life fulfilling.

    I would not want to delve too much into your psychological response, but possibly, your answer to your question of belief in God could be because of your taking it as a challenge to keep up the belief, especially, in times of difficulty.

    And one thing I want to state, and state it with absolute seriousness, is that you don't need to give needless clarifications to the effect that you're a good human being. To the extent I know you, and my criteria go, you're a very, very nice person...

  26. ...And that is something I want you to be proud of and not which religion you were born into! I'm not sure if you're understanding my sentiments here, but there's a lot that goes into living one's life on one's own difficult terms. I've come to realize, each of our acts, words and responses are exercises in morality. It takes lot of effort to keep up a moral 'self'. And I find it most unfortunate that you state that you've been moral with hesitation/embarrassment/skepticism, only because something unfortunate happened to you. You see, there is a reason 'fortune' is a component of 'unfortunate'. 'Fortune' and 'misfortune' are quite random, mostly unpredictable and totally independent of how we would have been all our lives.

    There are politicians who commit the gravest of crimes all their lives and yet die peacefully in their sleep! But forget it, I digressed.

    But it is imperative that you be proud of the person you are. Why? Just how, when someone prepares a great meal for you, which you enjoy, and if you don't appreciate the effort, it is totally unethical, just like that if you've been a good person (even if only for one year) by your stringent standards, you must feel proud of yourself. Because if you don't, you're doing injustice to yourself! If you appreciate another person for their high morals, you must appreciate yourself, too to whatever degree you maintain high morals. And the form that self-appreciation takes is self pride...

  27. ...I hope I've been able to convey why I would feel anguished if you say even with slightest hesitation that "well as per my conscience I was good:D".

    "My path (secularism and shunning materialism)" The question I wanted ask here is, say if a Jain or a Buddhist would follow exactly the same path, what would be the difference between you and them?!! I think my issue is somewhat with the label--'Hindu'. In fact, the issue is with all such communal labels, like Indian, Gujarati, South Indian, simply because they reek of generalizations and rob us of our individuality. Because however much you deny it, the only common thing that connects all those who call themselves Hindus is birth in a 'Hindu' family. And conversely, the only thing that separates you from other people who might be equally good human beings as you (moral and conscientious), and following EXACTLY the same ideals, is their not taking birth in a Hindu family!

    I'm not saying you discard the label of being 'born as a Hindu', but do not make it the most prominent aspect of your personality.

    I suffer from myopia (near-sightedness), and wear spects. It is basically a hereditary condition beyond my control. So is it justified in my feeling ashamed or proud about being bespectacled? Is it a significant portion of my personality?

    Relinquishing materialism. You know, never on my blog or even in my views, will you find that it is religion that makes people commit horrible crimes...

  28. ...It is the inherent nature and amount of introspection and modulation by one's conscience that determines one's final actions. By your own admission, just because some people use religion as an excuse to do bad things, religion per se is not bad.

    But have you thought the same way about materialism? Just because, I might desire to own a car, does not make me bad. What might make me bad is the means I use to earn the requisite money! The phone I'm using to type this comment had cost Rs. 14k 2.5 years back. You may or may not consider it costly, but it is a 'thing' (materialistic), and helps me connect with people I value through blogging. Is there anything wrong in my liking my cell phone (materialism)? It is what after all, has contributed greatly to my life being fulfilling to whatever degree it is. But just because I like this cell phone, and might like some other cell phone in the market even more expensive than the current one, that doesn't mean I'll do something against my conscience to get that cell phone! That doesn't mean, I'll be so stressed and anguished that I feel suffocated till I don't get that cell phone! :) Rather, to earn that money will give me a momentary direction to actions and life.

    Pride. I think there is an issue of semantics, too that is involved in what you say. Some of the emotions you've described, I'd rather term as emotional attachment or affection....

  29. ketan
    On the Proud Hindu personality. It goes like this.
    If a criminal justifies his crime saying its because he is Hindu and proud of it, I am not going to say, I happen to be a Hindu, and you are wrong. I am going to say, I happen to be a Hindu, Proud of it, and that doesn't mean doing what you do. The post must be seen in the context of what was posted by others..
    Logically you are right. But emotionally I can't be that.

    Well its not hesitation in pride, its attempts at humility when it comes to my values..When I started blogging few years back. I thought being myself was enough. I had some probs with the administrator in o3 blogsite and I had said I wouldn't post till the probs were resolved. Then the tsunami happened. Instead of my regular blog I started a new blog, and mentioned details about the Primeminister's relief fund etc. (without linking or mentioning anything about my existing under protest blog).
    Just when I was trying to cope with the enormity of the tsunami loss, another blogger, thought I was being holier than thou(don't know why) and went on an attack (making ridiculous claims which I would handle in a better manner now). I wouldn't have cared if it had been someone who didn't know me or a known blogger with an known id. But it did hurt when a regular reader misunderstood me and used a new id. (Claiming I would harass, if the real id were to be revealed)

    The deceit did traumatize me. And after that I have tried to tone down, to avoid false impressions. I think you would have realised, not all blog readers are like you.

    But I am definitely proud of my response to those "holier than thou accusations" : lessons from a cat
    or a recent response to an abuse on my looks
    Thankfully I don't think I look Pretty

  30. As far as the struggle, I prefer to keep an open mind..and so go into phases of doubt and examination..Its tough for me to accept, God can let a massacre happen or children be hungry or orphaned.

    I can understand the "I could not cheat my God by starting to believe in him, only for psychological benefits he was to offer" part. If it had not been for some other experiences, perhaps I would have come to your conclusion too.

    On child part, I have a one and half year old son now, after 8 years. Even in between, my faith in God, was irrespective of whether I got another child or not..

  31. What I post beyond this is in continuation with my original responses, and not in response to your above two comments. If you don't mind, could you please remove comments' moderation only for 1 to 2 days? Since, I post comments from a cell phone, I find it difficult to keep track of what comments have I published, and what remain to be published. :)


  32. ...It is the inherent nature and amount of introspection and modulation by one's conscience that determines one's final actions. By your own admission, just because some people use religion as an excuse to do bad things, religion per se is not bad.

    But have you thought the same way about materialism? Just because, I might desire to own a car, does not make me bad. What might make me bad is the means I use to earn the requisite money! The phone I'm using to type this comment had cost Rs. 14k 2.5 years back. You may or may not consider it costly, but it is a 'thing' (materialistic), and helps me connect with people I value through blogging. Is there anything wrong in my liking my cell phone (materialism)? It is what after all, has contributed greatly to my life being fulfilling to whatever degree it is. But just because I like this cell phone, and might like some other cell phone in the market even more expensive than the current one, that doesn't mean I'll do something against my conscience to get that cell phone! That doesn't mean, I'll be so stressed and anguished that I feel suffocated till I don't get that cell phone! :) Rather, to earn that money will give me a momentary direction to actions and life.

    Pride. I think there is an issue of semantics, too that is involved in what you say. Some of the emotions you've described, I'd rather term as emotional attachment or affection....

  33. ...Plus, I'm not saying I'm free of all the above prejudices. But the only point is to recognize them as that and try to guard our future generations against them.

    I have many personality-flaws/deficiencies, but I try that my actions would be devoid of those negative influences. At least simply being aware of our limitations makes us conscious of them, and many times helps us give more balanced responses than we'd have given overlooking those flaws.

    I can somewhat understand your sentiments for Ram. Probably, for you he stands for a prototypical good/moral/ideal human being. And that makes you value him, in fact, be deeply emotionally attached to him. I too have felt that way, but to lesser degree for a few human beings who I have only read about or seen on TV. And I feel angered if their names are maligned. So possibly, you might want to be better identified as 'a lover of Ram', rather than a 'Hindu', because possibly that is what actually distinguishes you from Jain or Buddhist people who share all other ideologies with you! And that's what is the only thing that's keeping you from parting from the label of 'Hindu' as a significant component of your individual identity. Am I right?

    Well, if you'll be able to understand my sentiments with regard to your position, please read my exchange with Saimukundhan on this post (click)....

  34. One of the parties is manipulating in name of Ram only to win votes.

    I don't disagree. :) I can understand, it would make you feel bad. But now I realize surprisingly, and paradoxically, I take it as a more acceptable election-winning tactic as compared to totally destroying the academic, economic and social fabric of our country through policies like educational and job-reservations, which would in turn be based on divisive criteria like caste and religion. Plus, I find sound economic policies and lesser corruption more important than whether a temple is built in a town or not.

    That post of mine, where I'd referred to responses to Rakesh has got nothing to do with the temple issue! But, I'd still like you to read the entire post as well as the comments (carefully! :) ). The issue with Ram temple is not whether Hindus are alright with a temple not being built there, but if considerations of social equality, secularism and judicial fairness are made, should there be a temple or not? By my logic, there should be one.

    Gujarat riots. I don't know your sources of info, but all my relatives live in Gujarat, and most of them in Ahmedabad. I wouldn't reveal too much of what I came to know through them, but it would suffice here to say that all the impressions I had built on the basis of watching TV news and reading the most widely read newspaper in the World, had got totally overturned when I heard all the first-hand accounts of what all truly happened there. Please go through the Wikipedia article on the topic, and you'll find that 10% of those who had died were armed policemen! Does one get these kind of statistics if violence is state-sponsored or the government is complicit in it? It's for you to conclude.

    Our former President. For me, the only good thing about him is that he is somewhat better than our current one! One of my class mates' dad was his junior colleague. Also, he'd come to my college on his b'day. So from my class mate's accounts, and the political ploys I could make out from his speech, I have a good idea of how much to respect him. Which is significantly less than what image he holds amongst common people. From my post on Obama, you must realize by now, why have I become so skeptical about the greatness of 'great' people....

  35. The following is in response to your subsequent two comments.

  36. on materialism, i haven't thought much about it. like you, i use the mobile, for browsing. unable to do the blogging thru it, since the rates are high for me..and well i like my mobile to have certain features, yet like it at a bargain..and when i dont use it, dont feel its the end of the world..
    mobile is just an eg..

    ultimately, its all similar to money.. u can make good use of it..u can use it to make more of it..i feel just dont use it to hurt others..

    on the Jain or buddhist angle. actually i dont think too much on those lines...for me its just like a family name, (hinduism) which i dont like to see maligned. yes Ram is the way u described, dont know if I mentioned Gandhi, is at similar level for me.

    unless i have a disagreement on the issues representing what I believe is Hinduism, i dont use the Hindu card with if a buddhist says, you are like me, i will say great..

    to continue with ur earlier myopia point. if you had a political party claiming to represent myopic people and doing nothing about it...and if bloggers tell you they do things only because they are might not be so indifferent to it..

    moderation is of..:)

    will check link.

  37. Actually, now I better understand what you mean by defending the identity of 'Hindu'. :)

    Imagine if a doctor says the following:

    "I'm a proud theist doctor, and everytime I treat a patient, it is actually God who treats him! It wouldn't matter who gives what drugs, only those patients will benefit who have God's blessings. If I prescrible a drug even by a lottery system, all my patients would get treated because God loves me and has showered me with blessings. In fact, my skill is so useless that it wouldn't matter whether it is me who puts sutures or a cobbler or a tailor! Also, it wouldn't matter before performing a surgery, I scrub my hands with soap and baktolin, or dip them in animal dung!"

    If I hear something like that, I'd feel anguished, and angry. But you know, seriously, I'll also heartily laugh at one who believes that!

    I'll not reserve my explanations for those blind to plain facts.

    Likewise, I'm a Gujarati, and hardly anyone ever is able to make out that I am till I tell them. Many times, I've heard generalizations (very slightly true, too) that Gujaratis are illiterate semi-educated money-minded cheaters, who wear bright gaudy clothes, and cannot do well in any other profession than business.

    What's my response?

    I don't go about recounting all educated Gujaratis right from Gandhi to Sardar Patel to Vikram Sarabhai to my uncle to dad to myself. I smile, that too inwardly.

    Sometimes I even agree, adding a few points to their huge list of bad things about Gujaratis! That's my way of mocking them! :)

    But I do not miss the jealousy that sometimes forms the basis of such generalizations. And most important, such generalizations tell a lot about that person's character and maturity.

    But the most important thing is I do not get affected. Simply 'cuz, I am not as good/bad as the perception of one generalizing thus! I know what I am, and what I stand for. If I start giving rebuttals to such generalizations, I would only be lending further legitimacy to this concept of generalizing and communalizing!

    Also, I defend myself only before those I value or consider superior to me morally.

    When you defend your pride in being a Hindu, who is your audience? Who is morally so upright as to deserve a justification from you?

    This part of my response is only my attempt to keep you at peace if you encounter such situations again! :)

    Take care.

  38. i would have written this post, even if i had no audience perhaps..but that doesnt mean i wouldnt want an audience.

    however silly and ridiculous it might sound, this is the kind of thing that goes in my mind..

    i dont like riots..i dont like the concept that "ordinary" people turn killers, and "ordinary" people turn victims just for belonging to a religion. people have been killed for not just belonging to a religion, but because they seemed to look like belonging to a religion, or they had married someone into a religion..

    i dont care if its defense or whatever it is,but i just feel a compelling need, to present my point of view of a religion..

    the emotion of pride can be used as a weapon..when people promote the idea, that kill, to be proud of your religion, i just cant walk away..

    its too serious, too emotional..i think of the hopes the victims would have had..and the problems they would have faced in their lives and the way things end for them..i think of the geetabens of gujarat riots and the pappus of mumbai riots, i think of a young boy who said on a tv channel documentary, the delhi riots changed his life, because his father was killed and he had to stop school..and i cant help being emotional..

    if the audience is a hindu who remains passive during the riots, i hope to wake him/her a bit atleast into defending non-hindus..
    if the audience is a non-hindu who remains passive during the riots, i hope to let him/her know that not all hindus are fundamentalists..

    the fundamentalists wont change because of what i write, but even if it makes a difference in one person's life..that would be more than enough..

    its easy to think that hey people will aleady know that..but whether they know or not, whether they listen or not..

    its important for me to feel i have done whatever i could have..

    its easier to accept when someone makes fun of me than someone saying its ok to kill because they too feel like me..

  39. if i walk on the streets during riots, i dont have to defend myself against someone morally superior..
    again this is not about logic, i cant help being emotional..
    for some flag is just a piece of cloth..not for others..this is not to say, that a person is less patriotic, or a worse citizen if he/she thinks flag is just a piece of cloth..just that somethings evoke more emotions than other things. and for each person its different..

    i am sure if i see the blog id PRoud Hindu again and read the thrash that was written rage would rise....

  40. Dear Donkey and Kitten, this is Pagal Kutta -:)
    Last three days, your articles have esentially replaced my news paper, pani puri and late night porn.

    Have you met your alter egos?I have now. And I am glad.


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