September 23, 2009

Secularism anyone??

Some weeks ago, there was a good article in the Times by Gurcharan Das. He had brought out the dilemma that most liberal Hindus face in India. I for one completely related with what he wrote. For the benefit of those who didn't read this column, I encourage you all to read the full column here. Secularism is such a maligned word that nobody wants to be on the wrong side of secularism. But aren't we missing out on being honest with our feelings and actually lead very hypocritic lives? Like Gurcharan Das says in his article, I am completely fine with people following the religion they were born into, and likewise I be given the freedom to choose to live like a Hindu. Things have gone to such an extreme today that sporting a tilak means you are branded as a fanatic or a saffron or a rabid Hindu. If Swami Vivekananda, Sri Aurobindo, Lokmanya Tilak were alive today and entered parliament, they would be called communal:-). Do you see what I mean??
Also, its important in our country for people to read the Mahabharatha / Ramayana instead of only being exposed to Western thinking and philosophy. I really enjoyed the part when he says his desire to read the Mahabharatha was a subject of ridicule at a party - such is today's society.
Apparently, his latest book, "The Difficulty of Being Good: on the Subtle Art of Dharma" is written after his academic holiday in Chicago spent pouring into the Mahabharatha. I will definitely like to read this book. Meanwhile he was interviewed when he was here by The Hindu and you can catch the interview here.
I am glad to see such people stand up and speak and put us liberal Hindus at ease:-)

No comments: