Religion and its aftermath


Here I am, writing a post to this blog nearly after 4 years. I could say I no longer wished to write as it involved getting in touch with my emotions and what-not. However, I decided to write today to overcome that hurdle. Big step, of course. Since the last time i wrote here, I have become an Advocate practicing law in Bengaluru. Quite challenging, it is one could say. I practice primarily at the Hon’ble High Court of Karnataka. A young advocate like me, sometimes, feel out-of-place as the place is always filled with a battery of advocates with decades of practice. Intimidating, really. But, an experience to cherish nonetheless. Today, in furtherance of my right to free speech and expression, I’m writing about a unique situation about Religion and its place in India.

I live in Bengaluru, India.  A true Bangalaroean, having born and brought up in one of the oldest localities of Bengaluru, Basavanagudi. Its vibrant with a life of its own, everybody bustling about in their own work, full of energy with a distinct shade of colour and charm to it. Having said that, my area was at first dominated by Brahmins. I’m a Brahmin by birth, which according to some people, was a big deal. I could not understand the full extent of that until i started reading and studying on my own and forming my own opinions. Brahmins, as we call ourselves, is one of the four varnas which divided our ancient society based on the employment or skills they possessed. Brahmins undertook the profession of priests, teachers, scholars etc, and other varnas being Kshatriyas (Kings, warriors and the like), Vaishyas (merchants, artisans, etc) and finally Shudras (labourers). The division of this nature was only a matter of convenience for effective functioning of the society but not to promote discrimination. It should be borne in mind that ancient Varna classification is not to be understood within the meaning of modern day ‘Caste’ system. One could ask, was it fair to impose a profession a person just because his/her father belonged to a particular Varna? To answer this, one must look at Varna as a class of people and not caste. With this premise, it can very well be concluded that inter-varna migration is quite possible. But, these days Varnas are gravely misconstrued as present-day caste system and if caste-system is the premise then the only conclusion is that inter-varna migration is high improbable. It can be explained with a simple example, as follows: ‘Mr. A’ is a brahmin by birth with an open mind about education and is interested in propagation of knowledge or ‘jnana’. ‘Mr.B’ is a shudra who is very keen on learning and an aspiring teacher. ‘Mr. A’ is approached by ‘Mr.B’ begging him to teach him everything he knows. ‘Mr. A’ agrees and at the end of 15 years of education and imparting of knowledge, ‘Mr. B’ graduates with full honours as a learned man at the hands of venerable ‘Mr.A’. Now, ‘Mr.B’ with his accomplishment of having mastered the Vedas, travels the country teaching and imparting knowledge without discrimination. Is not ‘Mr. B’ a Brahmin by definition now? Is he not entitled to the respect teachers are accorded in the society? OR Must he be ostracized for migrating from one varna to another? One must keep in mind that though Vedas form the principal literature in Hinduism, Hinduism existed much prior to Vedas itself. Hinduism is a modern day name given by foreigners who invaded my country but Hinduism is actually known as ‘Sanaathana Dharma’ or ‘Eternal Order’. Sanaathana Dharma never contemplated division of society based on caste system. Such perversion is unheard of. Varnas, once crystallized, during the later-vedic period and subsequent periods did the caste system stated coming into prominence. Sanaathana Dharma, as we know today, was systematically torn down of its essence and filled with contempt and malice towards people of Vaishya and Shudra varnas. It is these times which came to define the caste-system during the freedom struggle and post-independence era of India.

I was brought up as a Brahmin but I do not have to live by the societal rules that was imposed on me. At least, they thought they imposed on me. What a pity. We’re in a democratic society governed by the best Constitution in the entire world but yet we’re yet to break free from the shackles of casteism which was put forth by a bunch of vile, bigoted, divisive lot of no-brains who had the audacity to benefit from the people of allegedly lower caste (read:class) and banish them for being people of lower caste. Such level of hypocrisy was not heard of in that millennium. And, We, the People of SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC [:D] of India gave to ourselves this wonderful set of laws that defined my country’s ideals and principles upon which it was founded, only to watch it obliterate quite magnificently at the hands of hapless politicians who stooped down to caste-based politics instead of welfare-oriented approach to gain votes. Babasaheb’s vision enshrined in Article 14: Equality before the law and equal protection of the laws within the territory of India remains a notional concept only to be used excessively by lawyers  to abuse the process of law.

Hinduism is seen from the outside as a profoundly layered religion. It is not so. It is a simple practice of acceptance, honestly, truthfulness and non-violence. Concept of God made this Sanaathana Dharma so perverse that God is now commercialized by the opportunistic few. Divinity must be attained through spirituality. These days, Sanaathana Dharma is hijacked by the businessmen that spirituality is attained through capitalism with divinity as an accomplice. Well, we all know Hindu temples hoarding wealth. Enough said about that. Hindiusm is no longer Sanaathana Dharma. It is now a business aimed at making the most of ‘faith’ people have in God (whose Soul I pray for). Hinduism as we know today has divided my country with people shouting ‘intolerance’ at every chance they get. Sure, we’re intolerant. That’s how we got so far. That’s how we still exist. My religion is so tolerant that we accepted every person that made it to our shore. Muslim invaders were influenced by my religion to such an extent that they became exceedingly tolerant and peaceful. Period. My religion is not intolerant. Its the twisted right-wing ultra-conservative Hindu groups who are intolerant for the sole reason that they failed to understand the religion they look to enforce or guard. I agree my religion is not perfect. Nothing coming from man is. My religion has sustained for over 2 millennia. It will subsist for millennia to come. There is no place for intolerance in my religion. A Mohammedan can practice Hinduism, so can a jew or a christian or a Slav or a Croat or a Pole. India, though referred to as Hindustan, is a country with no religion, caste or creed. It is a country with all Religions strategically situated to be beneficial to one another. Religion is an extremely personal matter and should be used to drive the country.

 

 

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