Would you like to sin on a tiger skin: What is Hinduism?

  • Renuka Narayanan, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Nov 23, 2014 12:22 IST

The antics of Indian babas remind us of how our fairly recent masters, the British upper-class, played musical beds, as told in this amusing verse, "Would you like to sin / With Elinor Glyn / On a tiger skin? / Or would you prefer / To err with her / On some other fur?"

Elinor Glyn (1864-1943) was the creator of the lurid romantic novel and longtime girlfriend of our very own viceroy, Lord Curzon (who partitioned Bengal in 1905 and hacked away the greenery around the Taj Mahal, landscaping it into an outsized English 'folly'). But nobody had their wicked way with Elinor Glyn by claiming to be a man of God, or God, although Curzon was pretty close to being a lesser godling.

Now this Rampal business of making war on the state is beyond anything. Don't you think the law should clamp down on the whole baba bandwidth? And that modern sanatanis should take legal action against all piggyback entrepreneurs who appropriate Hindu concepts and stories to subvert and retell as theirs and/or set up shop as competitors by badmouthing Hindu gods? http://i.imgur.com/aqqc39r.jpg?1

Pandit Nehru's stand is finally making sense; I mean his objection to involving the state in matters of faith - ironic that it was his daughter, when PM, who politically legitimised the baba breed by flaunting her particular baba. Since we follow our leaders, it's been downhill ever since for the masoom public, one baba-betrayal after another.

To counter this, Sanatana Dharma could sternly sort itself out like Adi Sankara did, take an all-India, pan-diaspora party line on who shall and shall not be worshipped, besides the Parashakti and the Trinity of Brahma-Vishnu-Mahesh; centralise itself and ban wannabes and their promoters. After all, Zoroastrians, Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs have a party line each. The three Abrahamic cousins have super-strong lines. Most began small, as alternative baba movements, before they became institutionalised.

Why should Hindus remain the only ones to float free to engage and disengage as they please? It's wonderful that Hindus held fast through the millennia. But now that nobody can tell a Hindu what to do, isn't it time someone did?

What is Hinduism? It has exciting philosophy on tap but is also very practical. It honours normal human goals and lets us formally express our wish to achieve those goal - be cured, get married, have children, get rich - by propitiating a personal deity. Shouldn't such propitiation be addressed to classically sanctioned deities?

How about a Modern Hindu Rulebook in all bhashas? This should edit babas out of the Hindu narrative. A strong message should also go out to the masoom public that no avatars are expected in our time; that all claims of divine pedigree and all human claims to performing/having performed miracles are illegal and rejected by our personal laws: Babas who do such things are bad (and so are tiger skins). And since other religions rejoice in penalties, why not institutionalise light new ones, since our old ones were either wicked or too expensive?

Let's join the world by tightening up (just kidding, baba).

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