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February 05, 2006
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February 05, 2006




Page: 28/33

Home > 2006 Issues > February 05, 2006

India That is Bharat
Sell a soul if the price is right!

Satiricus

This andh shraddha nirmulan business is getting curiouser and curiouser. Hindu Satiricus has belief/shraddha in Hinduism, but he is too much of a simpleton to know if that shraddha is andh or otherwise.

Did Gandhari really have a hundred sons, of is that blind belief on Satiricus's part? Indian stem cell research specialist Dr Matapurkar says there really were a hundred Kauravas, produced from stem cells by scientist-sage Dvaipayana. Could Abhimanyu really learn chakra vyuha bheda while in his mother's womb?

Not long ago western medical researchers found that foetuses can learn, and very recently an Indian doctor showed that they even appreciate music. Is there such a thing as antar-jnana, intuitive knowledge? Without it how could ancient Hindu astronomers/cosmologists have made amazingly accurate astronomical calculations without so much as a telescope?

Is there such a thing as punar-janma, transmigration of the soul? To this day the media reports authentic cases of people remembering their previous births. What does all this mean? It means religious truth could be stranger than secular fiction. But in that case is this test of truth equally applicable to India?s two secular religions, Christianity and Islam?

The ultimate dream of a believer is the attainment of Paradise. And what is the star attraction of Paradise? The houris. They are most beautiful ?Maidens with swelling bosoms? (The Tidings). Every man who enters paradise shall be given 72 houris (Mishkat).

Not long back Satiricus read about a photograph of Mother Teresa with a saintly halo above her head. A Christian later showed it was a camera trick. Around the same time some British church leaders publicly declared that they believed in Christ but they did not believe in the miracle of resurrection. In fact Satiricus finds a rich variety of versions about Christ. The Quran says, Christ was not crucified at all, it was somebody else. A couple of centuries ago some western scholars doubted for 200 years if there was a Christ at all. A Pope called Christ a ?Lie?. The Dead Sea Scrolls, strongly suggest there was no Christ at all. And in his book on the Dead Sea Scrolls, Dr Rajaram wonders if there were as many as (at least) three Christs?one Christ died on the cross, one Christ was banished from Rome for leading a Jew rebellion, and one Christ lived, studied and died in India. Take your pick, wot? But don?t we need Christ for the miracles of Christ? And if Christ himself was a matter of ?believe it or not?, are his biblical miracles a matter of andh shraddha or authentic shraddha? This is precisely what somebody has tried to find out. And that somebody is not a pernicious pagan, like Satiricus, but an American who not only has a degree in ?Religion? from a baptist university but is also an evangelical Christian. To cap it all, he is a professional ?illusionist?. He runs a show examining half a dozen miracles of Christ, including the multiplication of bread and fish, the conversion of water into wine, the raising of the dead, and walking on water.

In each case the question was: Could Jesus have tricked people into believing they had witnessed a miracle? ?Is it possible?? asks the illusionist?and answers: ?Yes, it?s possible that there was same trick, because I was able to do it,??he himself turned water into wine during a show. So much for Christian illusions as explained/exposed by an illusionist.

What about Islam?s miracles? For starters, it is claimed that Mohammed was a prophet before birth, so when he was born, angels started singing, idols fell down everywhere, and the fires of fire-worshippers in Persia and India became cold. Next, the ultimate dream of a believer is the attainment of Paradise. And what is the star attraction of paradise? The houris. They are most beautiful ?Maidens with swelling bosoms? (The Tidings). Every man who enters paradise shall be given 72 houris (Mishkat).

And finally, the language of Paradise is Arabic. So what does Satiricus think of these miracles and myths? He cannot say, because he is not a believer?but then, neither was Mohammed?s own mother. In fact, if the Quran is to be beleived, Allah had forbidden Mohammed to ask forgiveness for his unbeliever mother. All in all, an ignorant anti-secularist that he is, Satiricus does not know if Christian and Islamic miracles and myths stand the test of truth.

Fortunately, they are not required to do so. For our andh shraddha in secularism needs to nirmulan.

* * *

IT happened the other day, when, with his morning cuppa in hand, Satiricus opened his copy of the Indian Express. He stared and stared. The entire opening page was in mournful black! Oh, my God, he thought. Some very very very important person must have died. Surely a terrible tragedy. Why else would the Indian Express lose all the courage with which it practises the journalism of courage and, overwhelmed with grief, plunge into such deep mourning?

Then again, Satiricus took it for granted that the natural business of India?s biggest newspaper is to give India?s biggest news on the front page. So what was this shattering front-page news? It was that a cell phone company in Mumbai had changed its name. See? the biggest front-page advertisement in the Indian Express, Satiricus has ever seen was the biggest front-page news of that newspaper. And why not? Not that there have not been eight-column banner headlines in the Express that were advertisements of some soap or shampoo or what have you. But a full front page ad in the paper posing as a newspaper is certainly a big news?for its advertising department.

So Satiricus will not ask the Indian Express editor what he thinks of this blacking out of news. After all, all is fair in love, war and making money. The other week a columnist of this journal asked, should the media sell its soul? Satiricus's answer is, of course it should?if the price is right.




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