Saturday, February 18, 2006

Clash of Civilizations

Woke up in the morning and saw the following link on my IP aboutWebchutney which is some interactive media company. There were a number of makemytrip ads with themes from Indian mythology where Ravana doesn't come to take Sita because he is enjoying travelling in the plane. Also the concept of Srilanka tour is shown as Ram going to Lanka with the Vanara Sena. I cannot stop wondering about the creativity of these ppl.

Then I took up the newspaper. I was shocked to read about UP cabinet minister and Samajwadi Party leader Mohammed Yaqoob Qureshi on calling for the beheading of the cartoonist who had sketched Prophet Mohammed for a Danish newspaper and announced that he would give "the avenger" Rs 51 crore and weigh him in gold. The difference between two cultures or two religions stunned me. When a person of rank of Cabinet minister can stoop to such low levels what to say of common Muslim folks. When Hindus, Christans and ppl of other religions are all so tolerant and open-minded about their religious beliefs why are Muslims alone so insecure.

Religion is there to provide a sense of security and strength of mind to believers. If Islam is under threat because of some stupid cartoons then I pause to wonder can Islam be called a religion. And frankly what is the use of such religion which has led to so much killing and bloodshed in the world. If Webchutney had made similar animations on Muhammad or something related to Islam, Indian Govt would surely had to order closing of the company. I salute Danish govt of standing by principles of freedom and liberty of Press.

I cann't compare the cartoon showing Muhammad as terrorist with the nude images of Hindu goddesses by Padamsree, padambhushan and PadamVibhushan M F Hussain(He actually is a contender for Bharat Ratna). And yet the most Hindu extremists have done is to raided his exhibition. Nowhere they have threatened to take his life. And here we have a Muslim Cabinet Minister calling for beheading of a cartoonist.

And the theory that these cartoons may lead to clash of civilizations is baseless. The war is already going on. The country that has given in most to Muslim extremists is India. We banned Lajja before anyone else. We fudge population census figures so as not to hurt Muslim feelings. And in return we are actually the biggest victims at heir ends. More number of ppl are killed in India by Muslim terrorists than in any other country of the world.

So the solution lies not in banning the cartoons, books, movies etc. but actually coming out in support of them. As long as we think of Muslims as forming a totally separate identity and continue to give in to their demands, we will continue to suffer at their ends. Anything should be open to criticism including religion. And when terrorist are killing innocent people in the name of religion what is so bad in depicting god as terrorist in a cartoon. Much less than depicting a goddess in nude.

The expected but sad reaction came out from Indian media. Most of them didn't come out in favor of the cartoons or freedom of press. Indian media is always hell-bound on showing the miniority community in India in good light. Alas they have done it again.

A rather hilarious aspect of the minister's speech was where he said that Muslim women would sold their gold and jewellery to pay to the murderer. The community who still have not been able to assert their natural rights and live behind the veiled burkha can become so organized to protect their god. And the Muslim population in UP is one of the poorest population in the whole world. First they should try to improve their condtion and give respect and dignity to their women. Humans are more important than God.

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10 Comments:

Anonymous Hiren said...

More violence has been there in the history of mankind in the name of religion than any other factor.

The long term solution to this problem is to vouluntarily refrain from using "freedom of expression" in religious matters when one knows that it is going to be provocative and may cause loss of innocent lives. Freedom of expression is not without responsibility.

At the same time, some people have to learn to be more tolerent and use civilised means of protest.

3:46 PM  
Blogger Vaibhav said...

Please visit the following link to learn the other side of the story:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/17/AR2006021702499.html

7:28 AM  
Blogger Vaibhav said...

Seems like Eco Times has also picked up on my views:

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/msid-1423239,curpg-1.cms

10:18 AM  
Blogger Neelima Arora said...

Hi Vaibhav!
Adding link to your blog .it was pending since long time.
Regards
Neelima

10:46 PM  
Blogger Vaibhav said...

Read it on one of the blogs:

More Cartoonists Targeted

Breaking News - '15000 atheists in London rioted after a blank sheet of paper was found on a cartoonist's desk'

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Peace be with you.
My friend I would like to correct you on a few things you mentioned in your blog.

Yes! freedom of expression is Important. But not it if hurts an individual or worse a community.
I completely agree with you that there are a few organisations that are causing distress within our communities. Which we have today named as terrorism. What do you call when the spanish Invaded the Aztecs? Ashoka the great invaded his neighbouring countries to gain more power...the only difference I see here is that yesterday it was the King who took the blame...today the politicians are not showing a face but putting a religion in front as a shield. You can see see more of this in the movie black friday. But if people have such strong feelings about thier neighbours then they shoudnt, cos it can cause political distress, and give birth to more violence.

As far as drawing cartoons of Mohammed is concerned.
The BIGGEST difference in Islam and jewism & Hinduism and christanity is that the first two say there is no god except one. Where as hinduism makes any one good or with a good deed a god or goddess.
To mantain this Islam and Jewism Dont have any pictures or faces drawn, cos its only a matter of time till we people put a picture and make an idol.

As far as Islam being a religion, It is the same is essence as all other religions who believe in the Oneness of god, the almighty.
On the contrary I dont think Hinduism is a religion.
Hindus - Meaning People staying this side of the Himalays.
Thats no religion but a term for a person living in a certain area...Like sindhis from sind, Navabs from Avadh etc.
It is one of the most ancient cultures. Hinduism started from the Aryans.
Since then all those who did gr8 deeds have been written down in the books as avtars of god.
My dear friend, If mother teresa was in the ancients she'd be a goddess. But we all know she was someone who hastened to good deeds and felt the pain of others. Which even we do but we tend to Ignore it thinks its got nothing to do with us.
I hope you understand my plight, This world is like a farm where we have made partions of religions and then sow the seeds of hatered.
And then reap the fruits of sin.

Lets end all this as we are all well educated to rise above this and become better farmers.

I didnt mean to cause any offence but wanted to share my point of view. I hope it doesnt hurt anyones feelings like I was hurt after reading your post.

Regards,
A human following the code of god.
A brother to all of mankind.
Yours truly.

8:35 AM  
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