‘What is Hinduism?’ by Jawaharlal Nehru

‘The foreigners (Muslims, Turks),’ says Vincent Smith, ‘like their forerunners the Sakas and the Yueh-chi, universally yielded to the wonderful assimilative power of Hinduism, and rapidly became Hinduised.’

What is Hinduism?

In this quotation Vincent Smith has used the words ‘Hinduism’ and ‘Hinduised’. I do not think it is correct to use them in this way unless they are used in the widest sense of Indian culture. They are apt to mislead to-day when they are associated with a much narrower, and specifically religious, concept. The word ‘Hindu’ does not occur at all in our ancient literature. The first reference to it in Indian book is, I am told, in a Tantrik work of the eighth century A.C., where ‘Hindu’ means a people and not the followers of a particular religion. But it is clear that the word is a very old one, as it occurs in the Avesta and in old Persian. It was used then and for a thousand years or more later by the peoples of western and central Asia for India, or rather for the people living on the other side of the Indus river. The word is clearly derived from Sindhu, the old, as well as the present, Indian name for the Indus. From this Sindhu came the words Hindu and Hindustan, as well as Indus and India.
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The famous Chinese pilgrim I-tsing, who came to India in the seventh century A.C., writes in his record of travels that the ‘northern tribes’, that is the people of Central Asia, called India ‘Hindu’ (Hsin-tu) but, he adds, ‘this is not at all a common name … and the most suitable name for India is the Noble Land (Aryadesha).’ The use of the word ‘Hindu’ in connection with a particular religion is of very late occurrence.
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The old inclusive term for religion in India was Arya dharma. Dharma really means something more than religion. It is from a root word which means to hold together; it is the inmost constitution of a thing, the law of its inner being. It is an ethical concept which includes the moral code, righteousness, and the whole range of man’s duties and responsibilities. Arya dharma would include all the faiths (Vedic and non-Vedic) that orignated in India; it was used by Buddhists and Jains as well as by those who accepted the Vedas. Bhudda always called his way to salvation the ‘Aryan Path’.
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The expression Vedic dharma was also used in ancient times to signify more particularly and exclusively all those philosophies, moral teachings, ritual and practices, which were supposed to derive from the Vedas. Thus all those who acknowledged the general authority of the Vedas could be said to belong to the Vedic dharma.
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Sanatana dharma, meaning the ancient religion, could be applied to any of the ancient Indian faiths (including Buddhism and Jainism), but the expression has been more or less monopolized to-day by some orthodox sections among the Hindu who claim to follow the ancient faith.
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Buddhism and Jainism were certainly not Hinduism or even the Vedic dharma. Yet they arose in India and were integral parts of Indian life, culture and philosophy. A Buddhist or Jain in India is a hundred percent product of Indian thought and culture, yet neither is Hindu by faith. It is, therefore, entirely misleading to refer to Indian culture as Hindu culture. In later ages this culture was greatly influenced by the impact of Islam, and yet it remained basically and distinctively Indian. To-day it is experiencing in a hundred ways the powerful effect of the industrial civilization, which rose in the west, and it is difficult to say with any precision what the outcome will be.
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Hinduism, as a faith, is vague, amorphous, many-sided, all things to all men. It is hardly possible to define it, or indeed to say definitely whether it is a religion or not, in the usual sense of the word. In its present form, and even in the past, it embraces many beliefs and practices, from the highest to the lowest, often opposed to or contradicting each other. Its essential spirit seems to be to live and let live. Mahatma Gandhi has attempted to define it: ‘If I were asked to define the Hindu creed, I should simply say: Search after the truth through non-violent means. A man may not believe in God and still call himself a Hindu. Hinduism is a relentless pursuit after truth … Hinduism is the religion of truth. Truth is God. Denial of God we have known. Denial of truth we have not known.’ Truth and non-violence so says Gandhi: but many eminent and undoubted Hindu say that non-violence, as Gandhi understands it, is no essential part of the Hindu creed. We thus have truth left by itself as the distinguishing mark of Hinduism. That, of course, is no definition at all.
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It is, therefore, incorrect and undesirable to use ‘Hindu’ or ‘Hinduism’ for Indian culture, even with reference to the distant past, although the various aspects of thought, as embodied in ancient writings, were the dominant expression of that culture. Much more is it incorrect to use those terms, in that sense, to-day. So long as the old faith and philosophy were chiefly a way of life and an outlook on the world, they were largely synonymous with Indian culture; but when a more rigid religion developed with all manner of ritual and ceremonial, it became something more and at the same time much less than that composite culture. A Christian or a Moslem could, and often did, adapt himself to the Indian way of life and culture, and yet remained in faith and orthodox Christian or Moslem. He had Indianized himself and became an Indian without changing his religion.
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The correct word for ‘Indian’, as applied to country or culture or the historical continuity of our varying traditions is ‘Hindi’, from ‘Hind’, a shortened form of Hindustan. Hind is still commonly used for India. In the countries of Western Asia, in Iran and Turkey, in Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, and elsewhere, India has always been referred to, and is still called, Hind; and everything Indian is called ‘Hindi’. ‘Hindi’ has nothing to do with religion, and a Moslem or Christian Indian is as much a Hindi as a person who follows Hinduism as a religion. Americans who call all Indians Hindus are not far wrong; they would be perfectly correct if they used the word ‘Hindi’. Unfortunately, the word ‘Hindi’ has been associated in India with a particular script -the devanagri script of Sanskrit- so it has become difficult to use it in its larger and more natural significance. Perhaps when present-day controversies subside we may revert to its original and more satisfying use. To-day, the word ‘Hindustani’ is used for Indian; it is, of course, derived from Hindustan. But this is too much of a mouthful and it has no such historical and cultural associations as ‘Hindi’ has. It would certainly appear odd to refer to ancient periods of Indian culture as ‘Hindustani’.
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Whatever the word we may use, Indian or Hindi or Hindustani, for our cultural tradition, we see in the past that some inner urge towards synthesis, derived essentially from the Indian philosophic outlook, was the dominant feature of Indian cultural, and even racial, development. Each incursion of foreign elements was a challenge to this culture, but it was met successfully by a new synthesis and a process of absorption. This was also a process of rejuvenation and new blooms of culture arose out of it, the background and essential basis, however, remaining much the same.


*This blogpost is directly copied/typed from the book ‘The Discovery Of India’ !

The One Who Wants No Prisoners !

I first came to know about General Abdul Raziq when he was supposedly forced to resign from his post as Kandahar Police chief. My interest in him grew when I watched another video clip of his that had started making rounds on the internet in which he asks the soldiers under his command to refrain from taking Taliban prisoners and killing them all. Such an aggressive tone towards Taliban and that also in Taliban’s birthplace (Kandahar) : I thought about how the hell has he managed to stay alive! Interestingly, I was informed about his confrontation with death yet again via another TV show in which a Pakistani Pushtoon politician was being grilled for having met General Abdul Raziq. In that video broadcast by the Pakistani TV channel, General Raziq maintains a very stern tone towards Pakistan. He also boasts of having survived several assassination attempts in the form of suicide bombers and vows to remain a die-hard enemy of Punjab (Pakistani Taliban or Pakistani establishment) even if he has to face a hundred more assassination attempts. 

This chain of events, chronological in my case, qualified him to ascend to my list of ‘interesting individuals’. Now, to really know about the degree of interesting-ness (I don’t know even if that is a word), one needs to know more about his deeds. 

Recently I got hold of a report by Anand Gopal titled ‘Kandahar’s Mystery Executions’ which also features General Raziq. The report is pay-walled on that site, which is why I have uploaded it here so that you can read it.

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My favorite lines from ‘The Catcher In The Rye’

Something really bizarre happened that day. I was going through my twitter home page when I saw one of the people I am following, tweet this:

Tweeet

See, yeah right! I mean seriously, who the flowers will ever give such a remark about one of the best books of all times. I couldn’t bear the insult so I started asking her about the reason of why had she not liked the book. Turns out she has read the book in her (honestly, I don’t know her exact age but she looks like in her early or mid 30’s in her profile picture).

Anyway, the point is that you need to read this book as soon as you can if you have not already. Because who knows you might become one of those uncool people giving bad remarks about ‘The Catcher In The Rye” once you read it in your 30’s or 40’s. And believe me giving bad remarks about this book:  an instant turn off !

So, here are some lines to whet your appetite. Read them and realize how much coolness you are missing.

Spoiler alert: Most of the lines are by Holden Caulfield, a teenager drop-out, who is the main character of the novel.

Here :

  • I like to be somewhere at least where you can see girls once in a  while, even if they’re only scratching their arms or blowing their noses or even just giggling or something.
  • I could puke every time I hear that.
  • I didn’t feel like being lectured to and smell Vicks nose drops and look at old Spencer in his Pajamas and bathrobe all at the same time. Really I didn’t.
  • I am pretty sure he yelled ‘Good Luck!’ at me. I hope not. I hope to hell not. I’d never yell ‘Good Luck!’  at anybody. It sounds terrible, when you think about it.
  • I’m the most terrific liar you ever saw in your life. It’s awful. If I’m on my way to the store to buy a magazine, eve, and somebody asks me where I’m going, I’m liable to say I’m going to the opera. It’s terrible.
  • What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend if yours and you could call him up in the phone whenever you felt like it.
  • I didn’t answer him right away. Suspense is good for some bastards like Stradlater.
  • He gave out a big yawn when he said that. Which is something that gives me a royal pain in the ass.
  • That guy Morrow was about as sensitive as a god damn toilet seat.
  • He was one of those bald guys that comb all their hair over from the side to cover up the baldness.
  • People always clap for the wrong things.
  • I certainly began to feel like a prize horse’s ass, though, sitting there all by myself.
  • She had some Navy officer with her that looked like he had a poker up his ass.
  • He was one of those guys that think they’re being pussy if they don’t break around forty of your fingers when they shake hands with you.
  • I’m always saying “Glad to’ve met you” to somebody I’m not all glad I met. If you want to stay alive, you have to say that stuff, though.
  • One of the troubles is, I never care too much when I lose something. It used to drive my mother crazy when I was a kid. Some guys spend days looking for something they lost. I never seem to have anything that if I lost it I’d care too much.
  • God damn money. It always ends up making you blue as hell.
  • Certain things they should stay the way they’re. You ought to be able to stick them in one of those big glass cases and just leave them alone. I know that’s impossible but it’s too bad anyway.
  • If a girl looks swell when she meets you, who gives a damn if she’s late? Nobody.
  • Girls. You never know what they are going to think.
  • The trouble with girls is, if they like a boy, no matter how big a bastard he is, they’ll say he has an inferiority complex, and if they don’t like him, no matter how nice a guy he is, or how big an inferiority complex he has, they’ll say he is conceited. Even smart girls do.
  • She was about as kind hearted as a god damn wolf. You take somebody that cries their god damn eyes out over phony stuff in the movies, and nine times of ten they’re mean bastards at the heart. I’m not kidding.
  • Anyway, I’m sort of glad that they’ve got the atomic bomb invented. If there’s ever another war, I’m going to sit right the hell on the top of it. I’ll volunteer for it, I swear to God I will.
  • Boy, when you’re dead, they really fix you up. I hope to hell when I do die somebody has sense enough to just dump me in the river or something. Anything except sticking me in a God damn cemetery. People coming and putting a bunch of flowers on your stomach on Sunday, and all that crap. Who wants flowers when you’re dead? Nobody.
  • It’s funny. All you have to do is say something nobody understands and they’ll do practically anything you want them to.
  • You can hit my father over the head with a chair and he won’t wake up, but my mother, all you have to do is cough somewhere in Siberia.
  • Boy, did he depress me! I don’t mean he was a bad guy. He wasn’t. But you don’t have to be a bad guy to depress somebody. you can be a good guy and do it.

The following lines are by Holden’s teacher:

  • The man falling isn’t permitted to feel or hear himself hit bottom.
  • But I can very clearly see you dying nobly, one way or another, for some highly unworthy cause.
  • “The mark of an immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one.”
  • Something else an academic education will do for you. If you go along with it a considerable distance, it’ll begin to give you an idea what kind of thoughts your particular size mind should be wearing. For one thing, it may save you an extraordinary amount of time trying on ideas that don’t suit you, aren’t becoming to you. You’ll begin to know your true measurements and dress your mind accordingly.

Nehru’s take on religion and mythology

Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.

Eleanor Roosevelt

Therefore, I thought people who are seeking to nourish their minds should benefit from the views of a great personality about his knowledge and ideas regarding religion, religious scriptures and mythology. If I continue with the introductory stuff, this post is going to get too lengthy. I will stop right here. Hope you read it till the end!

Nehru says:

“How are we to consider the scripture of various religions, much of it believed by its votaries to be revealed scripture? To analyse it and criticize it and look upon it as a human document is often to offend the true believers. Yet there is no other way to consider it.

I have always hesitated to read books of religion. The totalitarian claims made on their behalf did not appeal me. The outward evidences of the practice of religion that I saw did not encourage me to go to the original sources. Yet I had to drift to these books, for ignorance of them was not a virtue and was often a severe drawback. I knew that some of them had powerfully influenced humanity and anything that could have done so must have some inherent power and virtue in it, some vital source of energy. I found great difficulty reading through many parts of them, for try as I would,I could not arouse sufficient interest; but the sheer beauty of some passages would hold me. And then a phrase and a sentence would leap up and electrify me and make me feel the presence of the really great. Some words of the Buddha or of Christ would shine out with deep meaning and seem to me applicable as much to-day as when they were uttered 2,000 or more years ago. There was a compelling reality about them, a permanence which time and space could not touch. So I felt sometimes when I read about Socrates or the Chinese philosophers, and also when I read the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita. I was not interested in metaphysics, or the description of ritual, or the many other things which apparently had no relation to the problems that faced me. Perhaps I did not understand the inner significance of much that I read, and sometimes, indeed, a second reading threw more light. I made no real effort to understand mysterious passages and I passed those which had no particular significance for me, Nor was I interested in long commentaries and glossaries. I could not approach these books, or any book, as Holy Writ which must be accepted in their totality without challenge or demur.Indeed, this approach of Holy writ usually resulted in my mind being closed to what they contained. I was much more friendly and opened to them when I could consider them as having been written by human beings, very wise and far-seeing, but nevertheless ordinary mortals, and not incarnations or mouthpieces of a divinity, about whom I had no knowledge or surety whatever.

It has always seemed to me a much more magnificent and impressive thing that a human being should rise to great heights, mentally and spiritually, and should then seek to raise others up, rather than that he should be the mouthpiece of a divine or superior power. Some of the founders of religions were astonishing individuals, but all their glory vanishes in my eyes when I cease to think of them as human beings. What impresses me and gives me hope is the growth of the mind and spirit of man, and not his being used as an agent to convey a message.

Mythology affected me in much the same way. If people believed in the factual content of these stories, the whole thing was absurd and ridiculous. But as soon as one ceased believing in them, they appeared in a new light, a new beauty, a wonderful flowering of a richly endowed imagination, full of human lessons. No one believes now in the stories of Greek gods and goddesses and so, without any difficulty, we can admire them and they become a part of our mental heritage. But if we had to believe in them, what a burden it would be, and how, oppressed by this weight of belief, we would often miss their beauty. Indian mythology is richer, vaster, very beautiful, and full of meaning. I have often wondered what manner of men and women they were who gave shape to these bright dreams and lovely fancies, and out of what gold mine of thought and imagination they dug them.

Looking at scripture then as a product of the human mind, we have to remember the age in which it was written, the environment and mental climate in which it grew, the vast distance in time and thought and experience that separates it from us. We have to forget the trappings of ritual and religious usage in which it is wrapped, and remember the social background in which it expanded. Many of the problems of human life have a permanence and a touch of eternity about them, and hence the abiding interest in these ancient books. But they dealt with other problems also, limited to their particular age, which have no living interest for us now.”

Nationalism and Internationalism – Nehru

This extract is again from the book ‘The Discovery Of India’ … I am sharing these lines because I want you people not to miss this piece by a great man. And even if you missed it, you should somehow have an idea about some important stuff in it. I can not share my opinions on what I perceive of all the things I read because I don’t feel like it. Although the following paragraphs are written during the WWII and revolves around  Indian (Colonial) Nationalism, I want you to read between the lines and see how it fits you and your condition.

Nationalism And Internationalism

“My reaction to India thus was often an emotional one, conditioned and limited in many ways. It took the form of nationalism. In the case of many people the conditioning and limiting factors are absent. But nationalism was and is inevitable in the India of my day; it is a natural and healthy growth. For any subject country national freedom must be the first and dominant urge; for India, with her intense sense of individuality and a past heritage, it was doubly so.

Recent events all over the world have demonstrated that the notion that nationalism is fading away before the impact of Internationalism and proletarian movements has little truth. It is still one of the most powerful urges that move a people, and round it cluster sentiments and traditions and a sense of common living and common purpose. While the intellectual strata of the middle classes were gradually moving away from nationalism, or so they thought, labor and proletarian movements, deliberately based on internationalism, were drifting towards nationalism. The coming of war swept everybody everywhere into the net of nationalism. This remarkable resurgence of nationalism, or rather a re-discovery of it and a new realization of its vital significance, has raised new problems and altered the shape of old problems.  Old established traditions cannot be easily scrapped or dispensed with; in moments of crisis they raise and dominate the minds of men, and often, as we have seen, a deliberate attempt is made to use those traditions to rouse a people to a high pitch of effort and sacrifice.  Traditions have to be accepted to a large extent and adapted and transformed to meet new conditions and ways of thought, and at the same time new traditions have to be built up. The nationalist ideal is deep and strong; it is not a thing based on the ineluctable facts of to-day, have arisen, the international ideal and proletarian ideal, and there must be some kind of fusion between these various ideals if we are to have a world equilibrium and a lessening conflict. The abiding appeal of nationalism to the spirit of man has to be recognized and provided for, but its sway to a narrower sphere.

If nationalism is still so universal in its influence, even in countries powerfully affected by new ideas and international forces, how much more must it dominate the mind of India. Sometimes we are told that nationalism is a sign of our backwardness and even our demand of independence indicates our narrow-mindedness. Those who tell us so seem to imagine that true internationalism would triumph if we agreed to remain as junior partners in the British Empire or Commonwealth of Nations. They do not appear ti realize that this particular type of so-called internationalism is only an extension of a narrow British nationalism, which could not have appealed to us even if the logical consequences of Anglo-Indian history had not utterly rooted out its possibility from our minds. Nevertheless, India for all her intense nationalistic fervor, has gone further than many nations in her acceptance of real internationalism and the co-ordination, and even to some extent the subordination, of the independent nation state to a world organization.”

In Loving Memory Of A Cousin !

“Why the fuck should I be so careless as to park my bike over there” … This sentence was on a loop play for a week in my mind when my little brother was 4 years old. I had parked my Honda 70 cc in a wrong spot and my little brother, seeing the opportunity to have some fun, had mounted the bike. I don’t know about what exactly had caused his fall, but that resulted in him nearly loosing a tooth and partially breaking an other. He had a beautiful set of teeth !

This incident was discussed in our family gathering for quite some time and the person guilty of parking the bike in the wrong spot was criticized every single day!

That was not a small incident but NOW it is.

June 30th, this date is what my family will not forget. That is the unfortunate day when one of our dear members became the victim of a game so shadowy that neither the victims and nor the perpetrators know the rules of! Behrang Yosufi (May He Rest In Peace) might have had plans for his Monday class, but as I said the situation in Quetta knows of no rules. Men, women, children, students, laborers and … no body is excluded. Belonging to a certain faith and a certain tribe, the Hazaras are destined to face all these atrocities.

The young, vibrant and jolly member of our family will certainly be missed and will be discussed in our gatherings. But will we be able to bash and criticize the ones claiming responsibility for our pains? Will the government and LEA’s be human enough to have any sentence stuck in their minds like the one I had ?

Na … They wont !

!ہوتا نہیں

I am a poetry fanatic. I basically love it ! If I have to choose between a $1000,000 and a beautiful Ghazal as the following one, I would surely go for the later. But If you make that $10,000,000 I might consider my options though 😛

Saghar_Siddiqui
Saghar_Siddiqui

Anyhow, the following masterpiece is by ‘Saghar Siddiqui’. A master in poetry, I shall say. The story goes that after the partition of sub-continent, an annual poetry contest was held in Layallpur (currently Faisalabad, Pakistan) cotton factory. In 1958 another poetry genious, ‘Jigar Murad Abadi’ was heading the show. The ground for the poems were the  line ” سجدہ گاہ عاشقاں پر نقش پا ہوتا نہیں ” ! Lots of poets recited their pieces. Then came Siddiqui’s turn. He went and recited the following Ghazal.

ایک وعدہ ہے کسی کا جو وفا ہوتا نہیں

ورنہ ان تاروں بھری راتوں میں کیا ہوتا نہیں

جی میں آتا ہے الٹ دیں انکے چہرے سے نقاب

حوصلہ کرتے ہیں لیکن حوصلہ ہوتا نہیں

شمع جس کی آبرو پر جان دے دے جھوم کر

وہ پتنگا جل تو جاتا ہے فنا ہوتا نہیں

اب تو مدت سے رہ و رسمِ نظارہ بند ہے

اب تو ان کا طُور پر بھی سامنا ہوتا نہیں

ہر شناور کو نہیں ملتا تلاطم سے خراج

ہر سفینے کا محافظ ناخدا ہوتا نہیں

ہر بھکاری پا نہیں سکتا مقامِ خواجگی

ہر کس و ناکس کو تیرا غم عطا ہوتا نہیں

ہائے یہ بیگانگی اپنی نہیں مجھ کو خبر

ہائے یہ عالم کہ تُو دل سے جُدا ہوتا نہیں

بارہا دیکھا ہے ساغر رہگذارِ عشق میں

کارواں کے ساتھ اکثر رہنما ہوتا نہیں

(ساغر صدیقی)

Listening this Ghazal, Jigar became ecstatic and the audience applauded joyfully. When the turn came to Jigar to present his Ghazal, all he did was go to the stage and tear his writings to pieces and he declared Saghar as the winner !

Secularism As A Theme For Social Life

Before reading this piece let me tell you that if you liked it, thank Ahmed Khalil Poya (My dear cousin) and Sir Khadim Hussain Zia (Our dearest teacher). The prior for writing this piece and later for making the students of ‘Pentagon Academy’ to write long essays and present it on Mondays … That said, now read and share your views!

“As my turn came, I chose to write a seminar about Secularism … The title of my seminar is ‘Secularism As A Theme For Social Life’. But prior to proceeding with secularism, let me first define life. According to me,

Life is a phenomenon itself,
Life is to explore, to search,
Life is to say inorder to listen,
Life means a new day, a new night and a new ideology,
Yes! Life is pretty,
Life is an everlasting old furnace
If you ignite it, the dance of its flames will be visible from the horizon,
Or else it is silent and silence is a sin!

Coming to secularism, I would say;

To portray a new theme for human life on earth, the word secularism had announced it’s existence in our social life. Secularism was not needed for our contat with GOD, but was needed for our contact with our society.

The term ‘Secularism’ derives from the latin word Saecularis and means pertaining to the real world and time where we live, and is based on realism. Secularism in no way opposes the religious contributions in society but totally supports the isolation of religion from politics.

Religions may emphasize on mortality of the cosmos and observe the eternity only for religion. But secularism has an approach to materialism in which they have an experienced proof for the ‘Law of conservation of energy’ through sience. Thus, secularism while describing various aspects of life, wants us to decorate and celebrate life!

Secularism talks about the role of an individual human being and his wisdom in recognizing the phenomenon and society with full freedom.

From centuries, plenty of intellectuals have had their research about secularism and they have found this ideology very sympathetic towards the independence of thought and statements which is essential for giving talents and abilities a chance to run in the race course unlike religious government which restricts and limits the talents and abilities from exploration which is snatching a right ! Thus we can say that secularism is a product of Humanism.

In other words, secularism is not a governing system but is an idealogy through which we can fashion our behaviour, character, view and logic to deal with social environment and domination !

If you have ever seen the real Islam – not the one which is used for personal/political gains – you might have noticed that Islam itself is a secular religion! Interestingly, you cannot find a single person who can announce this! Although some people tried to introduce that secular version of Isalm in Iran but they were defeated because it would have jeoperdized the monopolized domination and was against the status and positon of ‘Wilayat e Faqih’ !
Likewise, people like Osama Bin Laden*, Mullah Omar, Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman and their fans and followers want to establish the pure extremist Islamic Emirate which is/can be very opposite to today’s social structure of every community according to me! Despite being a Muslim I think it will be not acceptable to the majorty.

To understand further about the topic and portray a clearer picture, I did a research on the secularist tendency of well known poets like Maulana Balkhi And Ferdowsi whose proper aspects of philosphy and sprituality can be seen in their poems and verses. It must be stated here that other great poets like Hafiz, Khayyam, Sanaei Ghaznawi etc. also had secular tendencies.

The various identifications given to the afore mentioned personalities are obvious through their messages, remarks and poems. These personalities have gained such a position that even centuries after their demise they are celebrated all over the world. You may call them and their ideas as ‘classic’ but I would say how ‘Neo Modern’ because of the level of their knowledge, vast outlook, virtue, liberality, opposing fundamentalism and radicalism, opposing dictatorship and favoring realities.

It is necessary to mention that the views of people about those poets are diverse. Each person according to his ideology. Some people may acknowledge them as only poets, sophists and literate personalities. These type of people might be of the kind who don’t have the tendency to discuss and interfere in social and political issues. Thus, such people will analyze their poems and remarks from spritual point of view . On the other hand, other people will not just limit these poems to spiritual and literary circle. Instead, they will utilise those slogans to raise awareness for our social and cultural gains so that we can claim that our ‘Eastern Culture’ is rich but unfortunately the ideologies of these great personalities have remained unidentified and dead for centuries.

Maulana states in his Masnavi :

هرکسی از ظن خود شد یار من // از درون من نجست اسرار من

سر من از نالهٔ من دور نیست // لیک چشم و گوش را آن نور نیست

What I picked from it was that here Maulana is talking about the term secularism asnd usage of wisdom in Identification. Something like this can also be extracted from Ferdowsi’s poems. It is :

خرد گر سخن برگزیند همی // همان را گزیند که بیند همی

Human is smart. He is powerful. Human has had revolutions in his history. And Human wants to drive towards the beautiful destiny for exploring the his identification, luck and happiness and he strives to complete his mission. But the obstacles of life changes his wishes and hopes to ashes! This is then when human with the help of his wisdom will put his efforts together and will try till the lilt of music ends, inorder to cope well with the consequences in life. And this is wisdom which helps human to be successful. So, secularism is basically a return towrds wisdom through which we analyze various issues in our society. Including that, Secularism talks about isolation of religion from politics. Not from the state where people live. Better to say that secularism is not against the personal religious beliefs of people! The belief is that ; this is how the wisdom can be more functional in an open atmosphere where religious obstacles will not dominate.

The common idea is that Islam is incompatible with secularism, but as far as I am concerned, I think its quite the contrary.

According to the common belief, Islam was completed by Muhammed and every alteration or updating in it is counted as a sin. That because they think Islam of Muhammed is  a complete code of life and that human had reached the highest values back then and that it is the last stage of human’s improvent.

But I think things are inverse to what is percieved.

According to my knowledge, Islam or you could say religion can never be stated as a final code of life because human has not reached at complete civilization and religion. This is because religion is simultaneous with our life and our civilization. The doctrine of  Muslims that Islam is a complete code of life is a very old one. This saying is from the times of Prophet Muhammed. We are obviously ahead of that time now. Decades and centuries ahead. And a religion that old might not be able to answer today’s ambiguties and inventions and problems related to it unless it is improved in the frame of time.

The discussion: Isolation of religion and government is a lawful discussion.

An Islamic government says that the right of domination is personalized only to those who are spritual leaders or clergy men, or in other words belong to ‘Vilayat Faqih’ . But it is opposite to justice and realities ! That because spiritual leaders can not perform as good in finance, defence and interior ministries as a political leader would and these jobs are not our devotional affairs to be put at the hands of mere spritual leaders. Such jobs need professionals, not clergy man !

That included, in a country, domination of only one religion is possible. So, the dominating religion will be fierce and unwelcoming to other minorities which will possibly give birth to conflicts and clashes and in this process will deprive the citizens of their right to live peacefully !

Concluding my seminar, I would like to state that Let’s not make a dictator government by paralleling the government with religion and let democracy to be imposed through the frame of moderate secularism and liberality.

Thanks for your attention !

But Mother

By : Hadi

 

But Mother

What if you die?

Today or tomorrow

Leaving behind your stories

Ending up in second hand bookshops

Or resonating with the tobacco smokes of us ‘men’. . . Once a year.

And my Dearest

What of your wrinkles:

The soul witnesses of your ‘life’.

Burying under the earth.

As if they never existed,

As if you never suffered.

But my Old Lady

What if you live forever?

With more and more wrinkles

On your dimming face,

In proportion to your lost battles. . .

No! It is not wise. YOU MUST DIE.

And let us ‘men’ celebrate you. . . Once a year.

 

All This Madness

Being a Human, I should keep silent and tend to shrouding my dead clan members. I should remain silent and let my countrymen shout against the injustices of cruelest form being done to me and my people. But then again, being a Pakistani Hazara, I should remember that I am a lesser Pakistani, I am a minority, I am one of the ‘Les Misérables’ and that my countrymen are dead! They are the walking talking dead who are  alive and hyperactive only when it is 14th February – Not to celebrate Love, no sir, but to condemn and renounce it. Being a Pakistani Hazara I have to keep it in mind that my countrymen are no longer my well wishers! Someone has put it beautifully:

“Remaining Quiet After A Tragedy, By God, Is No Less Than The Tragedy Itself”

A countrymen speaks up and stands up for his fellow, he does not inflict another tragedy to his already grieving fellow.

I want to write lots of things but the successive shocks and psychological pain conquers me and I reach a dead end every time I realize how fragile and vulnerable has the Pakistani Hazaras become.

I was reading Nehru today. He has written beautiful lines about DEATH which is inflicted on innocent people for no reason. In a paragraph I thought he was a man from future and was writing about the current situation of Quetta. He writes:

“But here death had no purpose, no logic, no necessity; it was the result of man’s incompetence and callousness, man-made, a slow creeping thing of horror with nothing to redeem it, life merging and fading into death, with death looking out of the shrunken eyes and withered frame while life still lingered for a while. And so it was not considered right or proper to mention it; it was not good form to talk or write of unsavory topics. To do so was to ‘dramatize’ an unfortunate situation.”

Peace !