Sunday, December 24, 2006

The dual of religion...

The dual of religion is rationality.

And the proof of this is the terrible state of Dalits in India. Dr. Ambedkar has done an enormous amount for the uplift of the Dalits in India. But I believe the solution he presented was fundamentally flawed. He tried to replace their Hinduism with another religion - perhaps he felt the masses were not ready for no religion altogether?

What is the result? The violence that you saw in Maharashtra when their icon was disfigured. The Dalits cannot show their anger on the Hindu gods who help the upper-castes keep them oppressed. How can you show your anger on something you believe in? When there is no legitimate target for anger, it's taken out on public property.

What happened in TamilNadu when some stupid copy-cats disfigured the statue of Periyar? The rationalists paid them back in their own coin. "You disfigure our icons, we'll disfigure your idols," they said. The government and the leadership of the parties involved acted quickly to dampen the anger. But the religious right has been taught a good lesson in TN, one they will not soon forget.

I do not condone the violence done, but how do you teach an irrational dog tricks? You give him a reward and you give him punishment. You can't deal with the religious right in the same way you deal with a rational human being - you must understand their irrationality and use it against them.

Periyar has done this in TamilNadu. His lessons have gone in deep into the Tamil mind. My friend said yesterday, "I do not believe in God, nor do I disbelieve, I merely don't care and ignore it." What is this but rationality?

Ambedkar lead millions of people from one quagmire to another. Periyar lead them out. The dual of religion is rationality.

Who will do this for us today?