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'Beliefs make a religion, not scriptures’

india Updated: Sep 22, 2007 23:08 IST

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In his article Two views of Hinduism (Counterpoint, September 16), Vir Sanghvi has raised an interesting aspect of the ongoing tussle over the Ram Setu. Though ASI’s and other scientists’ findings are true on a pragmatic level, do they undermine our genuine faith in religion? Politics shouldn’t be allowed to enter the realm of contentious issues. Literature and scriptures do not make a religion, people's beliefs make it.

Prashant Malaiyya, Vellore

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Being a resident of Ayodhya, I have been affected by the petition filed on the Ramayana by the ASI. Is there any doubt about the existence of God? Indian tradition and culture are based on the Ramayana and Ram is being worshipped as Maryada Purushottam. The UPA government behaving in such an irresponsible manner is a serious matter. We can't afford the risk of religious unrest while dreaming of becoming a superpower.

Pallav Kumar Maurya, Ayodhya

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The present debate between fact and truth on one side, and fantasy and fossilised beliefs on the other is a politically motivated one aimed at securing electoral mileage.

The Constitution envisages scientific temper as the foundation, but we are still prey to myths and superstitions.

BM Singh, Amritsar

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Only Hinduism tolerates statements that Ramayana, Ram Sethu and Ravana’s Lanka are myths. What about other religions? It’s believed Christ was born to a virgin, walked on the sea, and was resurrected after crucifixion. The ability to produce offspring without fertilisation exists among insects, but is unknown in humans. How do we then believe that Lord Jesus was born to Virgin Mary? Likewise, what do Muslims gain by going on the Haj pilgrimage? It is best to leave religious issues alone.

R Saxena, Gurgaon

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Any comments about antiquity of religious texts should be made with intellectual caution. Sanghvi seems a bit hasty. Current international opinion about the date of the origin of Old Testament is 1200 BC and for the Rig Veda, the earliest Hindu seminal text is also 1200 BC. The difference of a few centuries between their authorship, as mentioned by Sanghvi, is neither here nor there in relation to his thesis with which I have no dispute.

Mala Shelley, Kolkata

Pakistani Politics

I Fail to understand why Karan Thapar`s photo in Sunday Sentiments covers his face with hands. The tongue-in-cheek observations about Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto’s gift of the gab remind me of what Otto Jespersen wrote in Growth and Structure of the English Language: women use less difficult words in writing and speaking and stammer much less than men. But is it advisable to take Pakistani politicians seriously? Time will tell whether Bhutto is trying to avenge her father`s hanging for which she needs to be back in power.

Ghosh Kuranchandra, Delhi