Thursday, May 18, 2006


We have a new definition of being secular- genuflecting to the demands of each and every group that exists in our nation, be it minority or majority. It does not matter how outrageous, frivolous, or dishonest the demand is. It does not matter that the group in question cannot give any reason for the demand, apart from the fact that they just feel like making that demand. We must accede. That is the hallmark of a truly democratic, free country. The motto is anything goes. For us, being secular and being servile flatterers is the same thing. (Pseudo) Secularism is such a lofty principle for us, that even freedom of expression has to defer to it. In our secular nation, Hindus, Muslims, Christians, whether mainstream or on the fringe, are given affirmative and equal opportunity to abuse the constitution, bend legal rules, and stifle basic freedom of speech and expression. Religious "rights" are much more important than basic human rights, including the right to live. How come other nations still don't learn from us? Although I must agree that the US is making commendable efforts in doing this, and some Islamic countries are even surpassing us.

Creationism has not usurped evolution in our schools yet. The creationist movement in the US is evidence of a truly regressive social vision, and it often galls me in the extreme. But I comfort myself with the fact that there are places where it surely can be even more outrageous- India for example. I can almost bet that if tomorrow, any group tries to insist that the story of creation be taught alongside evolution in school science classes as an alternative 'theory', the government will generously accept this demand in a heartbeat. If we are bothered about such a conflict in the US, I think we can be reassured that in India, fundamentalism is peacefully accepted. Another great sign that we are secular, not to mention peace loving.

The good thing about the world is that there is a way you can spare yourself from feeling outraged at some event, because simply by looking around, you can convince yourself that there are places where things could always be even worse. Fortunately for us, no amount of social backwardness is backward enough, and we can always find a way to sink to lower depths, just when everyone thought we reached the nadir. After all, not failure but low aim is crime, isn't it? You can always aim lower.


Anonymous Anirudh said...

Unfortunately true.

1:27 AM  
Blogger Saket said...

Tolerance very often boils down to just putting up with things and not complaining even though you are affected. I dont know which is worse, putting up with unjust policies or just continually fighting every change. Imagine both sides of a debate going on hunger strikes. Makes problems a lot harder to resolve.

We are moulded by the teachers who teach us. The ability to protest somethign wrong is lacking in most of us because no one ever teaches you these things.

3:12 PM  

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