Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Pran Pratishtha

I viewed 3/4 of your YouTube videos a week ago. Your statement that we Hindus do "Pran Pristha" in the idols, therefore the location of the idol/temple is important, nay, sacred. A Masjid, on the other hand is a place to meet and pray together. Therefore, location is not important as it is not sanctified.

That "Pran Pritshtha" bit has stayed with me these last few days; the idea had weight and you appeared to be a sincere person. 

It occurred to me today, that many of the old temples are just ruins now: Angkor vat being the most famous. Where did the eternal God's Prana go?

Kindly allow me to say that the religion and faith themselves are all human constructs: useful in helping us mortals thru the stressful junctures in the journey called "life". It is axiomatic therefore that human beings must live by, not die or kill for these constructs: That Rubicon must never be crossed, as it negates the very purpose of religion and faith, indeed life.

A materially prosperous life informed with good family, social and faith-related values has been the ideal aspired to by all humans thru history. You are fortunate that you have the means to help your fellow Indians to walk the path to such a life; at the very least, “out of poverty”. Sri Krishan explained in Gita that ‘dridrta sab se bada paap hai”

The way out of poverty is education – teaching people to fish. There is empirical evidence that US and Europe had very high literacy rates ~90% since 1890s, which then became the basis of creating prosperous societies. Please see : https://ourworldindata.org/literacy

These very societies gave you also the means to do what you are doing.

On the other hand mere 18% of us Indians could read or write on Independence, in 1947. ASER-2017 determined that 62% of class 8, students could not calculate 10% discount. Our political classes including Dr S Swamy who shared the platform with you are culpable.

May I suggest that you please use your resources to establish good primary schools – one in each Tehsil of the district that you come from. Expand to cover all the 6500 Tehsils of India over the next 10 to 15 years.

Infinity Foundation may die with you; it works in “my daddy strongest” mode.
Imagine well rounded healthy young Indians, in mind and body, of all castes and creed, linguistic and cultural groups and regions coming out of your schools, say 500,000 “The Rajiv Scholars” per year!
A gigantic wave for building a prosperous Indian nation is created. 

A truly lasting legacy, my friend.    
( I was quite intrigued by the Kamahameha Foundation of Hawaii, established in 1887, solely dedicated to School Education, with $11.6 Billions in assets)   

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Religion & Rationalism

I recently saw a YouTube of a very powerful exposition on Rationalism by Jawed Akhtar, when Shoma Chowdhary featured him in “Algebra”. Jawed Saheb forcefully argues for Reason and Logic and debunks the Faith and Religion as the domain of charlatans.

I consider Jawed Akhtar as one of the modern Maharishi of the Indian sub-continent. Jawed Saheb is always listened to with an eagerness mixed with awe and admiration.

The Video is here : https://youtu.be/W1sMKzK67PM

Why Jawed Saheb is an atheist? He responds pithily, “Because I think”.
And he goes on to define for us the ideas of faith, belief and equates these to stupidity.

Now that rankles!
Is this 'show business’ that he is in, or plain ‘word smithy’, again his forte?

Most of the humanity, the middle 68% (as per the Gaussian Bell Curve) invests most of its mindspace to just putting the ‘bread on the table’ or in meeting the basic needs a la’ Maslow.

They need some pegs to hang their fears of the unknown; To seek solace in the otherwise scary world.
Admittedly, the Faith or Religion, is not the domain of logic or intellect, but a very large and important part of human existence.

The Gurus serve a very important purpose in human lives, while a few “dhongi babas”, or shall we say “word smiths”, exploit them and betray the trust reposed in them. 

We can conclude that such exploiters fall on the extremities of the Bell Curve. Aren’t Jawed, Modi and Asaram, Nityanand two ends on the distribution; +ve and -ve?

Pew Research Centre estimated in 2017 that Religious populations or beliefs are no where near any abatement under pressure from logic and science. Please see the table below (copy /paste without permission) :

So like all Gurus, Jawed Saheb, should also be heard and understood with caution. But that calls for application of mind and mindspace. And we complete the circle !!!
And that is the irony of human existence. Delicious !!!

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Atmosphere of Fear in India

The Right has shrugged off accusations of having created a culture of Fear and Intimidation in the country by saying that the incidents being reported are nothing but a continuum. Data is trotted out to prove that India has always seen such atrocities against minorities and marginalized.

Therefore the people and media are biased against the current regime. Such persons and media are then viciously trolled and threatened by targeting them as anti-nationals, unpatriotic, at best dismissed as Congis etc., who in turn fume helplessly.   

In the TV show Virtuosity with Vir Sanghvi young Swara Bhasker provided the most telling argument and evidence of the Culture of Fear and Intimidation being created in the country.

See the full interview here


Swara accepted that such incident occurred in the past and the media reportage is now extensive and intense.
But now a days the perpetrators of the lynching of Muslims and Dalits are emboldened to record these as heroic deeds with no fear of action or retribution from administration.
And nothing does happen to perpetrators ! Even ministers make supportive noises and obfuscate.

(Also please recall Mulayam Singh Yadav on rape and boys? My shield against trolls....)
In fact the subliminal message encourages others to commit similar acts with impunity