Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Comforts and Dangers of Sin and Stupidity

Byline by M J Akbar: The Comforts and Dangers of Sin and Stupidity

The choice is admittedly difficult, but which of these three is the biggest threat to the social stability of India: greed, hatred or stupidity? Our polity is less vulnerable than our social compact, although the first can, logically, only be a manifestation of the second. But the former is structured in legislation and held together by institutions that have won support across diversity. Social harmony is always under threat from human excess and bile, both of which escape the confines of reason with a reprehensible consistency.

There are some specialists who go the extra mile and combine two of the three elemental dangers. Pramod Muthalik, chief of the Sri Ram Sene, is a standard-bearer of this breed; hatred is insufficient as a spur, he needs the greasy lubrication of hard cash as well. Such men must hate God even more than they hate men: why else would they name their parties, designed for evil objectives, after a God? Hindu belief places Lord Rama at the pinnacle of idealism; Iqbal, who was later adopted as the poet-laureate of the idea of Pakistan (although Pakistan was born much after he died), called Lord Rama Imam-e-Hind. It is only when you cannot differentiate between good and evil that violence becomes your ethic and hatred your ideology; when you have obliterated humanity from your consciousness you have also eliminated any understanding of divinity. This warp of the essence is not confined to any faith.

Terrorists who butcher innocents, but name their outfits after the Prophet of Islam are exactly the same. Any Muslim will add salle ala alaihe wa sallam after mentioning the name of Prophet Muhammad. It means: “peace be upon him”. We wish the Prophet peace precisely because peace is the highest ideal in our world. Peace, salaam, is the ineradicable element of public discourse, whether to garrulous friend or monosyllabic, minimalist stranger. Only irreparably twisted minds besmirch the name of the Prophet by associating it with terrorism.

The world, as has been said with too long a sigh, is what it is, but that does not mean that we have to accept it as it is. We can take some consolation in the fact that there is broad consensus against hate-fuelled violence, because it is clearly the greatest destabiliser. This consensus weakens considerably when we confront greed or stupidity. Both seem to have rather more supporters than common sense might bargain for. There is even a theory that greed is good because it is the Rolls Royce engine of growth. It is hardly surprising that such notions are perpetuated by grabbers, who claim respectability on the basis of a partnership between greed and agreed. Evidence to the contrary is building up at every level, individual, social, corporate, national. When greed infects the soul of corporate power then it can cause havoc, whether in a hyped-up cricket tournament or the New York Stock Exchange. Greed is eating away the capital of capitalism, eroding the basis on which a successful contemporary economy has been created. Greed is regressive, self-destructive, and yet has been turned into the holy grail of progress.

Face it: it is the greed of a limited slab of India that condemns 80% of our country to unacceptable levels of poverty, stark hunger and hopelessness. Each time the well-off look into a mirror, they will find one reason for the rise of Naxalism. The indifference of haves is the principal inspiration for the violence of the have-nots. Greed has a loyal friend, hypocrisy.

The most acceptable sin is clearly stupidity. It is possible that jokes have lent a slightly droll nuance to stupidity. Its dangers should not be underestimated, particularly when stupidity is harnessed to any interpretation of faith. This week’s evidence lies in some of the fatwas that are consuming the news cycle in this dull, post-Parliament season. A fatwa, it should be clarified, is only the opinion of a cleric whose academic credentials are considered acceptable; it is not a law passed through a legislature and backed by the authority of the state. Still, even if an absurd fatwa damages one home, it must be repudiated. Extremist clerics have misled Muslims by promoting bias against Muslim women with a consistency that is the prerogative of a closed mind. They have done their best to separate Muslims from modernity; now they want to divorce Muslims from the modern economy. This is a heinous travesty, since Islam rescued its first communities from the grip of jahalat, or obscurantism. Dramatic displays of silliness will, but naturally, provoke headlines, but they will not travel. No Muslim is going to resign from an insurance company, or surrender his or her LIC policy because of a marginal fatwa from Deoband. The faithful have more resilience than some of their self-appointed preachers believe.

The fringe, violent, greedy or stupid, will continue to damage, but will never destroy India.

2 comments:

pravin said...

well said,i am a great admirer of mj akbar

R.Alamsha Karnan said...

How to convert "Brahmin vs Muslim" into "Brahmin + Muslim" ?

I can tell these lines anywhere any time:

Hinduism is the oldest faith and mother of all faiths.

More than 50% of world's Muslim population has it's roots in Hinduism. Their forefathers were Hindus before embracing Islam.

It's the duty of every Muslim to respect and protect the life and property of every Hindu.

Islam without Hindusim is NOT my Islam.

***************************************

Can Hindutva/RSS/VHP/Bajrang Dal tell these lines?:

Praying 5 times Namaz, fasting in the month of Ramadan and Hajj are duties of every Muslim.

Every Hindu must respect the Islamic dress code of Muslim women, Burqa and Hijab.

It's the duty of every Hindu to protect the lives and property of every Muslim.

*************************************

Today Islam/Muslim identity has become a big challenge worldwide. Brahmins can convert this challenge into a Brahma Astra overnight by declaring the above lines.

This declaration will end Jihad/terrorism in one master stroke. India will be declared a hero for the Muslim world of 55 Islamic nations and 1.7 billion people. Every Muslim will proudly say that Hindus are our brothers. America will bow and submit to Dharm. China will roll out red carpet welcome for India's friendship.

Quran says "Lakum Dinakum Waliaddin - You follow your way, we follow our way". Since 1400 years every Muslim says these lines in every Namaz, 5 times a day.

Muslims have declared it. Can Brahmins make this declaration?

Lord Krishna says in Gita:

"Yada yada hi dharmasya glanir bhavati bharata
Abhyutthanam adharmasya tadatmanam srjam aham..."

"Whenever and wherever there is a decline in Dharm
I shall manifest myself and reestablish the Dharm..."

Muslim vs Brahmin - Defeat of Brahmin

Muslim + Brahmin - Triumph of Brahmin

Defeat of Brahmin is defeat of Dharm.

Triumph of Brahmin is triumph of Dharm.

I have been blogging and debating non-stop for the past 2 years about my Hijrath appeal theory in order to drive a consensus towards Brahmin+Muslim.

It took me 20 years of thought process to reach this conclusion.

I have been challenging Brahmins to defeat my Hijrath appeal theory to push them discover this truth.

Any act of rejection of this proposition by any Brahmin shall be deemed as an unpardonable sin and transgression of Vedic Dharm.

*********************************

Well, if you can NOT declare, make me a Brahmin and appoint me as Kanchi Shankaracharya for one day. I shall make this declaration.

Come what may, a Brahmin will be a Brahmin and a Muslim will be a Muslim.

Nobody can do nothing.

Satyameva Jayate - Truth alone Triumphs.