Aug 26, 2011

on neutral spaces

Practically there is very little space left for the non religious but spiritually oriented people in our society. Far less for the so called agnostic, and for the rationalist it is virtually nonexistent.
What concern us is who have occupied the space previously contained the pure spiritualist. the evidence suggest it has encroached by the aggressive religionist and they have very little to travel to qualify as fundamentalist, or likely not at all.
And a real inquiry in this matter is urgent as we are fast approaching a state of cultural intolerance negating the scope for pluralism.
Social occasions which earlier encouraged cultural sharing and coexistence were penetrated by the assertive religionist and these are fast becoming exclusive .Separate identity and isolated existence are being seen as natural. And what should normally be inside your heart as your religious views ought to be,is shown outside decorated with every type of costumes. Your dhoti, beard and mustache are  in peculiar pattern, your forehead, sandal and saffron telling. You graduate in optimum verbal paranoia.
Any news of crime that come across prompt you to look for the name of the culprit and victim and you relieve or plunge in to despair or feel betrayed learning the name. Nothing exists outside your sphere of social existence, where you belong. Anything outside that is irrelevant. Support or friction is determined by the space you belong. Slogans, mass produced, ready made to suite any kind of occasion.....We are evolving.

The wheel seems to have reversed much earlier though the  pacing was slow. Planning has been in the making generation before. The ground was prepared in advance. Sowing was done decades before, the seed though take time to adjust to soil , grow in plenty. The reap has started. And who keeps the medal is questionable. As history revealed many times, fresh and variant claims are at stake at the time of harvest.
And who is responsible?.
Who can save our children from wielding the weapon and fighting each other?.
All are confused and an answer is nowhere to be seen. The path is hard. The freedom struggle which culminated in division of the country, though gave us sovereignty, also started the polarization, facilitated by the theology of hatred. The present crusade against corruption shall not stall its progress but seems to orient it further.

And thinking about anaphylactic response to real or perceived threats to a community, we wonder the whether the response was spontaneous or orchestrated; the inference is obvious. There was massive planning behind the screen, support, encouragement and nourishment. The supply line was erected well before; the replacement brigade was ready, perfect. All the tragedies across opposite fields are counted into credit, a tendon dissected, a hand severed , a life taken away, a house looted, everything.

But surely this has nothing to do with religion. This is organized vandalism, only the feeling of guilt drained away by systematic brain washing, emotional embarrassment at the suffering of man on other side of the line suppressed by frequent karmic/jhihadic rhetoric. The humanitarian sympathy prevented from getting upper hand, showing. The sorrows taught to be neglected. And melancholy prevails on both sides.
To think about remedies is allowing to get lost. To talk about harmony is to be looked suspicious. To act is risking your life, especially at the height of euphoria. But to remain calm is self betrayal. We are at a loss.

We do not have any Gandhian left. The left have gradually drowned in capital. The moderate are week and the battle is fierce to stand. So a war should be avoided at any cost. We have to use every opportunity to promote pluralism. Everything in scriptures which uphold, cultural harmony hailed- heaven is no space for  intolerance. Harmony and brotherhood should be the way.
Public space should always be nonreligious, pluralist and heterogeneous. The profit from the religious propaganda should be relinquished by the media; circulation should not be the only criteria.
And a movement against communalism like that erected against corruption may not give a overwhelming response. It may not to be greeted by whole fractions of society. Resistance, veiled and masked are possible. It may not be as cheerful a business.
Still a movement is a must. Across the nation. Embracing every society.
.Because health of a society depends on neutral spaces
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