Friday, November 2, 2007

Today's Hinduism – Does it truly depicts India’s past ?

Hinduism – Does it truly depicts India’s past

I thought of writing this post to shed light on some of the myths about Hinduism.
As many of us believe, Hinduism is not a single religion. People who call themselves as Hindus might have completely different beliefs.

It might be hard for the pro-Hindu activists to actually accept this fact. But, inspite of all the differences we are all united with the hypothetical term “Hinduism”.
Digging into the past, the term Hinduism was framed by British in early 1800’s.
So, if Hinduism didn’t exist then where did it come from?

It has been proved genetically; India is multi-cultural, multi-racial society.
Historically, different forms of worship or religion have been closely tied to races. Each race had its own religion to the least.
Hinduism is a term used to conglomerate the beliefs of Shaivism, Vedism, Shakthism, Tantrism and other popular beliefs that seemed to have existed in the greater sub-continent of India.
People in South of the Vindhyas followed Shaivism and people in the north of Vindhyas followed Vedism or Vaishnavism.
Mongloids followed Shakthism and Sino-Tibetian people followed Tantrism. Of course, Buddhism and Jainism are other popular religions that branched out from here.

Vedas which were contributed by the Brahmans, was unable to make inroads into the already pre-existing form of worship by the Dravidians. That’s the reason it was restricted to specific caste in South. Contrary to the popular belief where Brahmin priests are only allowed to do Poojas in the temples, South Indian villages have devoted non-Brahmin families to do Poojas in temples (also called as Pandarams in Tamil).

Vishnu is one of the Gods worshipped by Aryans. But, he developed into supreme God because all other Gods are depicted as the incarnation of Vishnu in the Vedic religion/beliefs.

The reason that lord Siva is of Dravidian worship is tied to the fact that the name “Siva” does not occur in Vedas. The word “Siva” means “redenned” in Tamil. It can be tied to the fact that ancient human race worshipped fire. There is no sensible etymology from Sanskrit for “Siva” or any other Indian language for that matter. Also, interesting to note that Dravidian God “Murugan” is similar to the East African form of worship named “Murungu”. Dravidians are god fearing and are excellent temple builders. This is so obvious from the excellent temple architecture in TamilNadu.

Thought I don’t believe below theory, crime rate in Tanjore, TN (place with more temples than any other part of the world) is the lowest in the world. And pro-God worshippers believe that it might be tied directly the number of temples and the God fearing nature of the people.

At least in ancient India, women were treated with mutual respect in all other religions except Vedism. This can be attributed the number of female poets in the Tamil Sangam period.
Of all the forms of religions practiced in India Vedic religion are the considered most inhuman as far as treatment of women is concerned. The horrific practice of Sati can attribute its root to Vedism.

But, Vedism has contributed to Indians history and culture a lot (both good and bad). There is no point in arguing who is superior as we all binded by our common mother (Bharatmata).

Though there is no existing proof that caste system was introduced by Vedism, they had tried to preach their Varna (color) system throughout India. Many people tend to believe that cruel caste system doesn’t exist in India anymore. Deep rooted casteism still exists in Indian villages and it is time we get rid of this hierarchical mess.

PS: The intent of this article was to specify the hidden truth about Hindu religion. There is no point in arguing which is the best as each and every belief is independent and unique to specific group of people. Trying to paint Vedism is Hinduism will only hurt the sentiments of other people.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

South Indians - By a North Indian

I got this as a forward few weeks ago(see below). Just shocked and suprised to read this.
Anyway, this clearly proves the attitude of majority of people in the North. Obviously, people from South will have similar points. My intention was not to start flaming war, but to the reveal the differences and attitude of fellow Indians.

We make fun of our own country men and blindly follow the path of westerners. That's why I couln't find a Indian outside India. All I can find is a Punjabi, Tamilian, Gujju, Gulti..

These type of comments upsets me. Anyway, I am just another fellow citizen who believes that we will stay united inspite of all the differences. After all, it is all these cultural differences that makes India unique.

Description about South Indians(Must be written by a North Indian):

1. Keep long names. Names should be of atleast 4 words and each word should be atleast 10 characters long. Afterall, the longer the name, lesser the probability of sharing it with someone!! If words fall short add "an" in the end e.g. swaminathan, gopinathan, karthikeyan etc etc.

2. Add fathers name, grandfathers name, village name, street name whatever to identify you, afterall you dont have any identity of your own.

3. Use "H" after every "T" and "D" in all nouns, but dont pronouce the "H".

4. Make decoration outside your house with WHITE chalk, and call it RANGoli !!!

5. Wear lungis and fold them upwards to reveal your magnificient legs

6. Wear the most old fashioned and dull shirt (light brown and dirty cream is the way to go) match it with a brown trouser (if office ppl dont allow lungis of course) match it with equally dull sandals (wearing shoes is prohibited by culture), dont tuck in the shirt and walk taking short steps and shaking your butt. Give every impression that you are a homo (half of you actually are)

7. Wear a 100 rupee shirt, compare it with a 1000 rupee shirt and argue "whats the difference"

8. After taking bath apply lots of sandal wood paste on your head, after all its a bit lighter than your skin color. also apply it on the neck, chest arms and wherever possible.

9. Mix rice with curd, add salt to it. Eat it with lemon achaar and call it a delicacy.

10. Mix a few grains of daal, oops "dhaal" (read point 3) into a litre of water and call it sambhar.

11. Remove a few grains of "dhaal" from the sambhar and call it rayasam.

12. Remove the entire butter from the lassi and call it "butter milk".

13. Make sabzi mixed with coconut, cook it in coconut oil, add coconut to thicken the gravy, garnish it with dry coconut and eat with "parotas" alongwith coconut chutney! wait you are eligible to do that only if you have applied coconut oil to your head.

14. Make the smallest house on the smallest site possible and raise it to 3-4 storeys and put them on rent or better still make a PG.

15. Make houses so close to each other so that sunlight and fresh air doesnt get inside and humidity and stink doesnt get outside. 16. Make the smallest possible toilet in one corner and isolate it from the rest of the world by having no outlets for the gases and foul odor to keep the environment clean!

17. Have no flush in the toilets to save water!

18. Do engineering after your school. After all your father, mother, brother, sister, grandfather, uncle are engineers.

19. Bastardise the english oops yenglish language. Mind your "YEMs" and "YOs". Make atleast 10 grammatical mistakes in each sentence. After all its not your mother tongue, you "didnt learnED" it in school and so "cannot able" to speak properly.

20. If you somehow by mistake construct a proper yenglish sentence, scramble the words and leave it to the zig-saw solving abilities of the non south-indians to figure it out.

21. Hate people from any other part of the world, especially north-indians as they make you realize your miserable lifestyle by having a extravagent lifestyle.

22. Wash your feet in the bathroom before eating. Wash hands at the place where you eat and throw water on the floor, to prove that you are not dirty!

23. Screw up things and exclaim "aiyoooo thuuuu"

Monday, October 8, 2007

Karunanidhi - Politician dare enough to speak on Ram Sethu / Sethusamudram

Karunanidhi – A CM dare enough to express his thoughts (on Ram’s existence)!!

Freedom of speech forms the basis of any democracy. But, it shouldn’t hurt the sentiments of other people!!
Thought I am not supporting the way that Karunanidhi had questioned the existence of RAM, I am not against him either.

I can interpret one thing from this for sure.
Irrespective of the risk of losing his votes from (82% - Hindus in TN) the people of his state, he is dare enough to express his thoughts.
This kind of behaviour from an 83 year only man is amazing.
I am completely against the secular politics played from the Dravidian founders.

But, I am also surprised by the fact his open I challenge to Advani didn’t get any response.
Karunanidhi is an experienced political player; one should remember that TN is the first state where a regional party won the election in 1967.
After questioning the existence of RAM, he also replied saying that he didn’t say anything other than what Valmiki mentioned.
I am pretty sure he know what he talks about unlike the BJP and VHP leaders who argues without reading Ramayana or being spiritual.

The so-called Ram Bhaktha’s burned a bus in TN-Karnataka border taking the lives of 2 people.
These types of dramatic scenes are never going to end in India.
Leaders like Karunanidhi will trigger the hatred buried in the minds of the people.

Now the question comes to the so called Ram-Bhaktha’s.
A party whose leader is the backbone of destroying Babur Masjid has no right to speak over preserving a Hindu heritage site.
The bridge was not called Rama’s bridge until the Sethusamudram project was announced. It was called Adam’s bridge.
Adam’s bridge was linked to Ram’s bridge in Ramayana after the VHP and BJP made use of it to play the dirty game of politics.

It is proved that, this very own BJP leaders approved the Sethusamudram project.
Why did they bother to approve the project that if it is going to destroy the RAM built bridge?
And we Indians are foolish enough to follow something without any basis.
Why didn’t any of the Hindus consider that to be sacred place before this issue popped up?
Oh, Man!! I am just tried of watching Indians fight for something so silly without even analysing it.

Anyway, now it has become such a huge issue. It will be taken up with a vengeance on both sides.
UPA government on the other hand is smart enough to dismiss the ASI employees for telling the scientific findings.
This is just a mere drama to get the votes of Hindus.

What I also noticed was there was a sudden increase in the number of blogs that cropped up in relation to this issue.
Most of them are biased and they believe it should be protected.

I can’t express such a view for this issue, as I don’t seem to understand the benefits nor the issues (ecological) it would cause.
But, I would like tell people, asking to preserve the bridge to honestly ask for themselves the following questions:

1. Why BJP approved such a project in the first place and now opposing it? Why wasn’t it such an issue when it approved it?
2. How many Bhaktha’s of RAM would have visited the sacred site?
3. Why wasn’t the name RAM SETHU or Ram’s bridge mentioned in any Indian map if it was the belief of 80% of the Indian population? Why didn’t anyone raise their voice against it?
4. If the bridge is 17 millions years old, then why there is no human existence in this subcontinent during that period?

Anyway, heard enough crap from well educated people regarding this without any justifiable answer.
But, in my opinion we Indians just carried away my emotions and it is easy for politicians (Be it Karunanidhi or BJP or VHP) to make use of it.
And, unfortunately we are paying the price for electing such politicians and being victimized.

For now, let us watch the game with patience!!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

India's / Indians obsession with fair skin

Anyone who grew up in India would be very well aware that Indians are much obsessed with fair skin.

This is true especially in the marriage market ( Sorry, couldn’t find a better word to put this).
If we look at any matrimonial sites in India all of profiles would self-describe them as fair, wheatish etc… but none of them would call themselves dark. But, majority of Indians are brown rather than fair.

Though fair skin is always considered best in the north, South Indians obsession with fair skin had increased a lot in the past 30 years. I can see this transition transparently in my family. My grandma never acknowledges fair skin, blonde hair as beautiful but that is the not the case with my aunts.

This might have something to so with the heroines South Indian film industry as well. Most of them are fair and this seeds the mentality that fair skin is beautiful. And on top of that most men would want their groom to be fairer as they want to have fairer kids.

To me, it is your own freedom to be obsessed with fair skin, but I think you shouldn’t discriminate the darker counterparts.
Not to mention the fact that outside of India we are all brown Indians.

Fairness creams in India are sold to a greater extent and have untapped potential( I believe last year they were sold for about $200 million). In the past few years, not so surprisingly many Indian men have started using them as well.

I think dark people in South India are comparatively better off than dark people in North India.
Simple reason would be, there aren't that many dark people in the North and you would be the odd man out in the group of fair skin.

Anyway, I believe discrimination against dark skin people will aggravate the fair skin obsession and companies like UniLever or sure to make a huge profit out of it.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Do we need a common national language in India??

As I am not particularly busy at work for the past few months, I thought of doing some study about birth of our civilisation. But, I came across a lot of regional chavnistic posts in the web and started to start a blog - with a vision to unite India!!

BTW, I am from India. I would like to stop it here as I don’t want to be identified as a Punjabi, Marathi, Tamilian …

I did have the feeling that I am Indian while I was in India.But, when I came out for work here (Australia) I started interacting with many other Indians. I realised that when you are out of India, regional identity matters a lot.
That is the reason that many westerners ask me which part of Indian I am from.
They can very well identify the subdivision among us.

I haven’t had a chance to learn Hindi during my childhood and I never felt bad or inferior about it. But, whenever I meet an Indian over here (Australia) and while they try to converse with me in Hindi, I need to say “Sorry, I dunno Hindi. English please!!” .They get so annoyed with my request, immediate response would be “Why can’t you learn the national language of India?”. (There are some people who would respond to my request politely. But, 90% of the time you can expect this type if reply!!). Whether you are from either four of the southern states (AP,Karanataka, Kerala, TN..) or from any other north-eastern states this is the response you would get of you are an Indian who doesn’t know Hindi.

Ok. Fair enough!!

First time I thought, “How come I didn’t even know that Hindi is the only national language of India?”. There comes my quest to find out the answer.Finally, I found the answer, “Hindi is not the only national language of India. There are 23 other national languages recognised as the national languages by constitution of India”. Hindi and English are merely the official languages of India. (Which means it is used by the government for documentation purposes)

So, I am relieved by the fact that what I learnt in my school days is correct. So, at least some factual information regarding the basic language stuff about India is not corrupted in my academics.

My worry didn’t stop there. What I also came across in the web was hatred comments on a regional basis in most of the forums and blogs.Not surprisingly there are chauvinists on both sides (Hindi and non-Hindi). I had the intention to learn Hindi (merely for watching Bollywood movies), but dropped that idea after realising it was merely imposed on non-Hindi states in India.

Ok, here is my justification that you should learn your regional language instead of Hindi.

How many film industries are there in India and how many films do they produce?

The answer that springs to my mind is Bollywood, Tollywood, Kollywood, Mollywood , Bengal, Punjabi, Marathi, Bhojpuri, Gujarati… (ranked based on approx.size..)

As you can see from my answer, number of films produced in north Indian industries is considerably lower except Bollywood. I read somewhere that only 7 movies are produced in Gujarati industry a year in recent times.
Where we like it or not, movies are one of the major factor that contributes to the culture and region. If all the people in southern India knows Hindi basically 4 industries Tollywood, Kollywood, Mollywood,(sorry dunno the name for Karnataka film industry..) will eventually die.

After few years, there will not be any Malayalam songs for a Malayalee to hear, no tamil songs for a tamilian…

One might argue that movies are just a part.
But, movies songs are of a greatest contribution to a language these days.

How many of you read a book with poems written by the greatest scholars who contribute to your language?

I would say it will not exceed maximum of 5%.

If the major factors that contribute to a language die, then language dies.

So, if Hindi is imposed on any other non-Hindi speakers basically you are seeding the death for that language.If you think that is Ok, I think you are not a patriotic Indian as you are not accepting the basic Indian motto “Unity in Diversity”.

If you are learning English, why can’t you learn Hindi?

This is the second question that sprouts to the mind of the Hindi speaking person.
In my opinion, you are not even entitled to ask this question if you are a Hindiwalla who knows English. And, fortunately or unfortunately 99% of the people I interact with know English. If someone asks me this question, my reply would be “If you are learning English, why can’t we?". You want the whole of India to learn Hindi and want to send your kids to learn English. This is simply not a “fair go” policy for any Indian citizen.

Reasons I prefer to learn “English” instead of “Hindi”:

- People prefer to learn English than “Hindi” because simple answer would be “It was never imposed on us”.
- Hindi is as alien for us as English. If English was brought to India by British, same with Hindi from some or other forms of foreign invaders. ( It is less influenced by Sanskrit)
- It is not Anti-Hindi and it is merely Anti – Hindi Imposition. People are free to learn Hindi in all the non-Hindi states if they wish to. Just not compulsory as part if the curriculum

English is only for literates, how about an illiterate?

This might sound like a valid debate. But, let me tell my points:

- Hindi is as (or more) hard for an illiterate to learn as English. From my understanding, Hindi is no way similar to any of the Southern languages.
- If a non-Hindi speaking illiterate need to learn Hindi why can’t a Hindi speaking illiterate learn English

I think these explanations are sufficient to justify why there is no necessity to learn Hindi to be an Indian.

I really support the leaders of Tamil Nadu( thought I am not a fan of their atheistic principles or corruptions) in promoting affinity towards Tamil language among Tamilians. I regret such thing is not done in other regional languages and hence they are in decline. (Eg. Would be the Marathi film industries and literature...). It is time to raise voice to protect it !! ( Of course, without hurting the sentiments of others).

As an Indian, I am happy to learn Hindi if I need to work in UP and Kannada if I need to work in Bangalore and English, if I need to work in India and abroad.

Now, to my dear regional people we can definitely be united in spite of comments from some Hindi people as leaning Hindi is no way related to patriotism.
Try to protect and contribute towards your language!!
We can definitely make India contributing towards various literatures and a vibrant culture.(from different regions of India)

Healthy debates and comments welcome!!
No flaming chavunistic posts here ….