With reference to Barkha Dutt’s article In the name of God (September 15), one should not forget that Gandhi’s last words were ‘Hey Ram’ and his favourite prayer was ‘Ramdhun’, which is a prayer to move together towards God. It creates a bond of love that is much needed in India. Such prayers bring about faith in the unity of humanity, rather than religious tolerance. All religions must have faith in peace.
NISHA BALA TYAGI
Barkha Dutt may be an agnostic or an atheist, but crores of Indians have sanctified spiritual beliefs, values and practices. These cannot be questioned by any rationalist experiment, the ASI’s reports, Nasa satellite images or by the Law Minister of India. The government, by commenting on the Setu project being beneficial, is trying to wring political gain from the issue. Matters of religious beliefs cannot be circumscribed by empiricism.
Barkha Dutt has highlighted the government’s blunder. There was no need to file an affidavit in the apex court disputing the existence of Ram and, when there was sharp reaction, to withdraw it with alacrity. The motive of the so-called secular government becomes questionable when it does not keep away from religious matters and gives short shrift to the sensitivities of millions of people. It is no surprise that the BJP and other groups exploited the situation to their advantage.
Barkha Dutt’s analysis is appreciable though some points are contestable. When the movie The Da Vinci Code was released, a hue and cry was raised because the movie showed Jesus Christ to be married. The movie was finally released but with a disclaimer.
Now if some Hindu parties protest when Hinduism as a religion itself is questioned, they are called orthodox. Questioning the existence of Lord Ram translates into the worthlessness of crores of Hindus going to temples to worship him. Should we not include protection of Hinduism on the secular agenda?
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