Friday, June 30, 2017

Let's All Focus on Nation building

A very thought provoking  post that I received in my whatsapp group. Made a lot of sense to me and thus sharing.

Shared from Gen Prakash Katoch's wall...

*My problem with what's happening in the country* :-  is not about BJP
or Jats
Hindu Extremism and
Muslim Extremism, Or
Beef Ban
Porn Ban,
that 'India wants to know' guy*....                                      
*My problem is our mind space being occupied* with futile,
 regressive thinking.....

*In an age when this country should be thinking of INVENTIONS and IDEAS* ,

we are discussing subjects mentioned above....

*Why isn't the government
and media talking about it?*

*Why the subject of debate is not DEVELOPMENT?*

*Why isn't
talking about it?*

*Why isn't every Hindu talking about it.*

*Why aren't the Muslims talking about it?*

*Why the news channels aren't focusing on it?*

*Why Indians on face book not discussing it?*

*Or spreading that idea to the world?*

*Saffron or Green,
Beef or Chicken,
Porn or Sanskari channels,
Temples or Mosques,
Jats or Kashmiris

aren't tools of development*...

*These subjects of conversations are ANTI  DEVELOPMENT*

*And anything that's anti-development is anti-national

at least for me.....*

*I want to see my India look better than Switzerland.....*

*I want my India to do better than the US in the Olympics.....*

*I want to see my India more civilized than the most civilized country in this world.....*

*I want my India to be more innovative than Japan.....*

*I want my India to be more safe for woman than Copenhagen, Denmark.....*

*I want my India to be more open minded than Canada....*

*I want my India to be better than what it is today....*

*And not worse...*
*And that can only happen when we start thinking productive....*

*Else we will all be wasting time doing something that is useless,
and infertile.  

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Killings in the name of Religion

I find it very distressing to read/ see killings of innocent human beings, that too on a daily basis these days, and all in the name of religion. My mind starts to question the very basis of religion in such cases. I have always believed that religion was meant to protect the human beings, and not the other way around. I believe that religion is required to make me understand the unity of this Creation, of how each and every thing in this universe is interconnected and essential for the survival of this finely balanced and beautiful creation. I believe that no religion teaches the killing of others in the process of imposing one's beliefs on them. I definitely feel that such cases need a more holistic re-interpretation of the basic tenets of the religion, by wise and more knowledgeable people, rather than going by the interpretations of the people who make a livelihood by preaching these religions. I believe that we have come to a time in history when it is too dangerous to leave religious interpretations solely in the hands of our pandits, moulvis, granthis, priests, and other worldly religious leaders.

Image Courtesy: Google Images

What is religion? defines religion as "a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs". As per this definition, religion consists of 'a set of beliefs'. 

What is a belief?

Belief is the "feeling of being certain that something exists or is true".

Where does one get these beliefs from, as far as religion is concerned?

The person acquires these beliefs from ones immediate surroundings that are based on a person's family, place, and time of birth. I got my beliefs from my parents; I trusted them; they cared for me and looked after my every need; there was no reason to distrust them or even distrust their beliefs; they always had my best interest in mind; I could not have survived without their care and affection. I knew they had my best interest in mind; they had proven that by ensuring my survival, and growth against all odds. 

As I look back at my life I find that I was born in a Hindu household and was thus exposed to my immediate family's conception of Hindu beliefs, from birth. In case I had been born in a Muslim household, I would have been exposed to Islamic beliefs. I had no say in the matter of my birth, and thus of my belief. It was, I believe, pre-ordained. 

Pre-ordained by whom? 

By my Creator, who also happens to be the Creator of every one and every thing else on this, and other planets. How else could we all humans have been designed in the same mould, with very minor and superficial variations, of course. The evolutionary process has put us in the top of the heap, or so we think. We have evolved to have a very powerful brain; however, the power of this can be quite different in different human beings. And fortunately or unfortunately this is where our beliefs reside, by design. 

Whose design?

The Creator's design; a very intelligent design that can store vast amounts of data of the material world acquired through our five senses. However, this data can only be the one that we pay attention to during our experience of life, and our learning from life. We have the capacity to plug in to the cosmic energy field of consciousness too, from where we can draw major lessons of our existence. Since every individual has an independent brain that is a repository of his/ her own experiences and learning, then each individual's brain will interpret and perceive the same facts differently, based on his individual history and geography.
  • Newton saw the apple falling from the tree (a fact), and with great thought and deliberation came to 'discover' the phenomena of gravity. Gravity always existed, but he plugged in to the super consciousness and 'discovered' it for the future human generations. 
In case each individual's brain is hardwired differently, based on one's own experience and learning, then it stands to reason that no two individuals would be able to conceive the same facts in an identical manner; or in short 'every thinking individual would conceive the same facts differently'. Same is the case with religion, or God, or any thing else in this universe.

Over millenia, many belief systems have come in to existence and have been codified in to religions. As per Swami Vivekananda, every codified religion comprises of rituals, mythology, and philosophy. The rituals and mythology in any religion, I believe, are with the sole intent of developing faith in the individual. There is no proof provided for the mythology; some rituals make sense, some don't, but religious leaders of most religions do not permit one to question these. This goes against the grain of the Creator's intention of giving each individual his/ her own individual brain with which he can experience the material world, and if required, also to delve deeper by invoking the super consciousness, which is directly linked to the Creator, through contemplation. Religious leaders rarely talk of the philosophical part of the religion, as most are not competent to discuss that, as they are in the profession of religion to make a living.

Any thinking individual should be able to visualise that in case we are all the Creation of one God, and all available evidence points to that, then we should all be living in harmony. However, our brain loaded with divergent belief systems create a divide. This divide is strengthened by people who benefit from the profession of teaching/ imparting of different beliefs - be it the Pandit, the Moulvi, the Priest, the Granthi, etc. They cannot trudge your path for you. They can only teach you the rituals and give you the mythology. Their interpretation of the religious texts maybe at total variance to what was intended, as their brains may not have evolved to the level that is required to interpret those texts.

Once an individual has developed faith that a God exists, then it is an inward journey, as all questions and answers are within your own consciousness. No external help is possible, as no one can trudge the path for you. You have to develop your own link with your Creator, in whichever form that you wish to. There are no intermediaries is my firm belief. Once you develop faith, I do believe that you would then respect all of God's Creation, and would be very averse to violence/ killings, as no faith can profess destruction of the Creation of the One Creator.

I believe that there are many paths (religions) to the same destination; each chooses his own. Belief just happens to be the starting point, and that I believe is based on our birth, by design. This belief is strengthened through rituals and mythology, so that one can undertake the final journey alone by turning inwards, where the communication is between you and your Creator only, without need for any ritual, mythology, or external help. Religion is a very personal affair of an individual with his/ her own Creator. No religion is better or worse; right or wrong; no one needs to impose his/ her beliefs on others; and it is my firm belief that religion should make us more tolerant of others, because if we believe that we are the creation of One Creator, then we have no reason to kill any part of that Creation.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

India's Freedom on 15 August 1947 - Role of INA

All these years, I was convinced that India gained independence as a direct result of the non violent approach of the 'naram' dal under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. However, I have now changed my views on the subject after being exposed to certain facts that have not been public knowledge thus far, due to reasons beyond my comprehension. Getting to know these facts has led me to further exercise my grey cells. This exercise has now convinced me that as far as India is concerned, both 'naram' and 'garam' dal were equally important players in the achievement of our independence on 15 Aug 1947, and it thus stands to reason that equal importance should be given to each for their role in our birth as a free nation. Our history that is taught in schools, colleges, and universities would thus need to be updated to reflect these realities. 

Image Courtesy: Google Images

Gandhiji and the 'naram' dal had prepared every Indian mind for Swarajya (self rule), but the 'naram' dal approach would not have convinced the British to give us independence in 1947. My thinking convinces me that I would not have been born in a free India by just the 'non violent, non co-operative' approach, which I have been made to believe this far by my education and political systems. I feel the soil of Indian nationalism and the idea of independence had been sown in every Indian's mind by the efforts of the 'naram' dal. However, the independence would not have come about as long as the Indian forces and police remained loyal to the British. Many events that happened during those years led to the Indian police and defence forces loyalty being called into question. Thus it was rightly assessed by the British government that it would not be possible for the few thousand British citizens stationed in India to control millions of Indians without active and loyal support of the Indian police and military personnel. 

I believe the red fort trials of the personnel of the INA between November 1945 and May 1946 were the trigger that awakened the British Indian forces to Indian nationalism. The British joint trials of three stalwarts of the Indian National Army (INA), Col. Prem Sahgal, Col. Gurubaksh Singh Dhillon and Gen. Shah Nawaz Khan on  charges of murder, abetment to murder, and “waging war against the King-Emperor” did not go down well with the people of India, as they considered these three individuals, practicing three different faiths, to be patriots. Nationalist emotion was awakened which led the then Secretary of the War Department, write that "in a matter of weeks ... in a wave of nationalist emotion, the INA were acclaimed heroes who fought for the freedom of India." 

The British Indian forces revolted as a consequence of these red fort trials and some unrelated minor incidents in Bombay, in February 1946. These spread to the other forces as well. The revolt which started in the Royal Indian Navy soon spread to the Air Force and Army units and the loyalty of the the Indian troops could not be taken for granted by the British. This coupled with the fact that there were only 40,000 Britishers, who were fed up after the world war, and were also not considered adequate to handle this volatile situation. This fact also coincided with the demobilisation of about 25 lakhs battle tested Indian troops. The British felt that the situation in India could only be controlled with the declaration of independence, which was announced by the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Mr Clement Attlee on 20 February 1947.

I now firmly believe that the role of Netaji and the INA has not been suitably highlighted in our historical texts and school text books. I am also convinced that Indian independence in 1947 is a direct result of a number of factors, which prominently includes the activities of the 'naram' and 'garam' dal both. The 'Naram' dal had instilled the idea of Swarajya in every Indian's mind, but that by itself would not have been adequate grounds for the British to give us independence in 1947. The Red Fort trials were the needed trigger to awaken the nationalism in every Indian, and the nature of the trials were the spark that led to revolt of the British Indian forces, leading to insecurity in the minds of the British top brass in India, which finally accelerated the independence of India.

We need to suitably amend our historical records to bring out the fact that Netaji and the INA too, a defeated and forgotten Army, had a major role to play in our achieving independence on 15 August 1947.