Letter about Samarth Bharat
Comments of Shri Dhiru Shah (USA) are in black.
Reply of Anil Chawla is in green
Dear Shri Dhiru Bhai,
Thanks for writing. My pointwise reply is as follows:
I just came across your website and read your objectives for starting it. It is an interesting website. I also find that two members of your group are from The Times of India group. I wonder if you like to comment on the following points:
Please do not read anything into Mr. V.T. Joshi being an ex-TOI man and Mr. Arun Dixit working in Navbharat Times. Both have independent minds and it is not proper to assume that they are spokespersons of TOI or believe in the editorial policy of TOI at a personal level.
1. Since you have made reference to Christianity and Islam, I am sure you must have read Bible and Gospels as well as Quaran and Hadith. I also presume that you must have read the complete history of both these Semitic religions not only in India but world over. Of course, you must have read most of the basic scriptures of Hindu Dharma including Bhagavad Gita, Vedas(including Upanishads), Epics: Ramayana and Mahabharat. Do you believe that the two Semitic religions, Christianity and Islam, can coexist peacefully with the Sanatan Dharma based on your reading of the scriptures of all these three religions?
I have never praised Islam. I am aware of the fanatic portions of the Islamic creed. I am also aware that there exist Muslims who are not fanatic or extremists irrespective of what may be contained in the religious texts. A religion is what its followers believe and not what is written, since there will alwaus be conflicting opinions on the interpretations. Islam has its own share of differences of opinion on interpretations. We should encourage the liberal rational interpretations and discourage or even actively resist the fanatic extremist views.
Christianity has changed in the past three hundred years and is still in a state of flux. You must realize that Jesus Christ did not write the Bible, which was written a couple of centuries after the death of Jesus. Old Testament was opposed by Jesus and yet the Christians accepted it. In my opinion Jesus was a Hindu saint who was persecuted in the land of his birth. His followers made some compromises with the ruling classes and built a religion. The renaissance brought Christianity closer to Hinduism as I understand it. Please download my article "Hinduism - A global Religion of the Modern World" to read more about it.
Let us not do wishful thinking. We must realize that there is no alternative to co-existence. Our attempt should be to encourage the elements in all religions that talk the language of peaceful coexistence.
2. Why is that 90% of the conflicts in the world today have its origin in the Islamic ideology?
How is it relevant to the context of the contents on SamarthBharat.com website?
3. Why do the Indian English media like TOI, HIndustan Times, Indian Express, Hindu etc. indulge in Hindu bashing? Why does TOI and others call the Islamic terrorists as militants/freedom fighters in Jammu and Kashmir? Why does Indian English media ignore the plight of 350,000 Kashmiri Hindus who have been ethnically cleansed from their ancestral home, Jammu and Kashmir and who are living the horrible refugee camps? Why does TOI etc. blow up the killings of one or two Christians or Muslims out of all proportion and side lined the daily killings of a lot of Hindus not only in Jammu and Kashmir but also in the North Eastern states? Why did the Indian English media present to the world only the Muslim side of the story in the recent Gujarat violence but completely cover up the gruesome burning of innocent pilgrims, mainly women and children, in the train at Godhra by the Muslim mob?
I hold no brief for English media and cannot answer this question. Let us do our work and not bother about why this or that media group is behaving in the fashion that it is behaving.
4. Do you realize that the Indian English media is mainly responsible for creating a bad image of India and Hindus in USA and other parts of the world?
English media is partly to be blamed. The so-called Hindu organizations cannot be spared either. RSS and its family organizations have never encouraged any intellectual talent. One of the reasons BJP is unable to make any impact even though it is in power is that it has never respected or cared for intellectuals (even for those who are aligned to its ideology). I speak from personal experience. I was assigned the job of serving tea to BJP leaders.
5. Is it true that most journalists and editors of the Indian English media are on the payroll of the Christian and Islamic organizations operating in India and abroad?No, it is not true. The fact is that even Hindu ideology inclined writers and authors have had to suffer insults at the hands of high-priests of Hindu organizations. Each and every one of journalists or authors with any gray matter between his ears is forced to move to the other end of the spectrum. There is a long list of people who were earlier writing in favour of Hindu organizations but are now writing sharply against. RSS and BJP have followers but have no friends. Rather they do not know how to behave with friends. They treat the media and intellectuals either as sworn enemies or as blind followers. Since an intelligent person cannot act as a blind follower, he automatically is given the status of a sworn enemy, which he is forced to accept.
6. Do you believe that the Indian secularism as preached and practiced now is the correct one? Will you call a country secular if it has different laws for different religions? Will you call a country secular if one minority gets its pilgrims subsidized by the government while the majority has to pay taxes to visit their pilgrim sites?
Please download my DRAFT OF THE NEW CONSTITUTION OF BHARAT to read what in my opinion should be the ideal constitution for India. Plase also read my article COMMON CIVIL CODE - A NEW PERSPECTIVE.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.
I hope that I have answered your points adequately. It will be my pleasure to keep in touch with you. I am taking the liberty of adding your name to our mailing list. A formal letter is being sent to you separately in this regard. Of course you have the option of unsubscribing anytime you wish.
I look forward to building a longterm relationship with you.
Please write to Anil Chawla your comments about the above debate.
ANIL CHAWLA is an engineer by qualification but a philosopher by vocation and a management consultant by profession.
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