Friday, December 30, 2005


People are talking about their faiths. Moving posts that shake you out of your slumber. Was reading Pottinger's article on why he left a coveted job of a journalist and joined the Marines in Iraq. If the world is getting bi-polar, with Muslims on one side and Christians on the other, which side do the Jews take?

Or is it the USA against the Muslims of the world? Which side do I take? What happens to my dear friend Khalid, my mechanic Assad, if I join the other side? Do we stop having beer together?

What about the communists and antigods? Should I join them? Yes, I am without a religion, but I don't mind when Srinivasa stops for a few minutes to say his prayers at the temple on the way to office. Should I be antigod, or just remain godless?

If there has to be bi-polarity, then the rest of the world has to join the Americans when they plunder a Muslim country to control their oil reserves. And if all the Muslims of the world unite, how are the Shiites and Sunnis gonna eat from the same plate? How will the converted Muslims be treated, the mujahirs in Pakistan who are bombed every week? Will they be taken into the same fold and given the same status of warrior for the sake of this war? What about the nonradical Muslims who don't want to join but write the best Urdu poetry in the world? Will they be killed before the war starts? What about the Muslims who have married Christians, or Jews, or Hindus? Will they start the war by killing their spouses?

And us, the Hindus. The millions of confused Hindus with a million different rituals and cultures. Which camp do they join? I, being a strict meat eater cannot tolerate the vegetarian Hindus. Will I let them join me? What will the Tamil Hindus want? Which land are they going to grab after Sri Lanka...Singapore?

Tell me something, where do the Cubans go? Without the former USSR, where do they go? Why is the US selling food to them now? I thought you guys had an embargo against Cuba? And are you pissed with Cuba because they are Communists and antigod and because you are predominantly Catholic?

I am very confused. Just today. Tomorrow when I drive my jeep through some abandoned wastelands, I may forget about you all. But today I cannot say Shalom Aleicheim or Salaam Aleikyum...there is no peace that I can wish for you.

If the world is getting bi-polar, let us go to the moon.


Gaurav G. said...

Your write up is more philosphical--idealist rather than realist. And you have a point in what you say. While I was a student (that seeemed to be never ending) read a lot of foreign policy/International Relations literature--the realist and the idealist approaches to IR. I was, in fact, an idealist for long. But have changed my color now. And it has happened over time--the attacks on innocent people like Prof. Puri at IISC just help in adding to the kind of feelings I have now. Perhaps until we are struck by such deadly violence, we tend to be complacent--"sab chaalta hai" attitude will not do. Tomorrow a bomb might be hurled at Oracle, Infosys, Wipro, IBM.
My point is this:
You can remain Godless, Hindu, Muslim, Jew --whatever--and still condemn wanton acts of terrorism. Voice together the condemnation and that should include all your friends--Hindus, Muslims, Jews and communists and the godless--make sure that the voice is heard--that terrorist acts will not be tolerated.
The one thing that has happened in the US over the past four years is that the American Muslim Council has been supportive of Bush's acts and has come out (rather forced to come out because of pressure from the media, the right-wing media if you say so and I won't disagree) with strong words condemning any kind of terrorist acts which have misused Islam. Is there any such voice coming out of India's Imams--sadly no. Not even from liberal secular Muslim intelligentsia and moderate Muslim leaders. One exception is moderate courageous Asghar Ali Engineer, who has been trying to reform the Bohra sect--was severely beaten up last year (or in 2004) in Bombay because he spoke of reforms within the religion and of condemning Islamic acts of terrorist violence. The other voice is Salman Rushdie has been writing about the ills of Muslim society (as well as Hindu society) in India in his more recent op-ed columns in NYT. Well I think he is as you are Godless, an atheist but he writes against what is wrong within. He has been one who has long been advocating Uniform Civil Code in India.
Any way, let us strengthen the hands of people like Engineer and may be your friends like Khalid and Assad who too may be like Engineer but are fraid to speak up against the Maulavis. Forget about Maulavis, even they might be scared about being shunned by their family members and friends. And together voice "our" protests against terrorism.

Oreen said...

man, lemme paste your response as another blog entry...

Anonymous said...

Ur last line is really the problem. u see trouble and u want to go to the moon, u dont want to engage, ask, find, explore, reach out. It is rather an almost amusing thought is ur head...these questions that u ask and are so ready to leave at the beckoning of ur jeep rise. Problem lies there with poeple like u who are so ready to leave without a trace. without feeling responsible. U dont realise ur silence helps. helps those who wage war. bcos silence is politics too. the politics of those who couldn't care less.

Oreen said...

dear anon, love you for gracing my page with your comment...there'll be more for you...not the idealist stuff...

but fiction

Vijayeta said...

And here's wishing you a Happy New Year!

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