Tabloid headline like that would have caught lot of attention and people would have thought about the state of gujarat as obvious perpetrator of this heinous act. But this time around – it is the state of Texas pushing for “compulsory” bible study in Texas public schools. This is neat.
Bush and friends have asked for religious freedom in China umpteen times. This request/pressure is applied under arrogant presumption that chinease people need to be freed and enlightened from their animalistic, anhilisitic godless religions (taoism, buddism, confucious liberal thinking). The same activity is also applied with technological advances of internet/tv/mobiles/literature to the masses in India across the spectrum. Big hurdle is here to first denounce the local religion/label the local practices as uncivillized-inhuman and present the alternative in form of money/ticket to heaven and personal closeness to God/bribe in form of job-immigration etc etc. These are very similar tactis used in more brutal way by another Middle eastern religion where again proselytizing and opposing the non-believers is God given right. Which eliminates any moral hangups and frees the brain from extra thinking.
This ties back to the backlash which the local folks are seeing in Orissa. Now if this was middle ages the foreign religions would have dominated simply becuase of the docile nature of the local folks and use of raw power. Although a great coverup is done to hide the hideaous past of the proselytizing crusading religions with good backup story – but the south americas, east asia are witness to the washing down of the local customs, beliefs and eventual tieup to foreign location and foreign customs as more sacred and more close. As is evident in the wahhabbi/deobandi cult – even the dress culture, focus on arabic language and strict cutoff from the local other religions results in alienation and ghettoisation.
If militant/alienated way is one is going to push for particular religion – one better be prepared for some sort of backlash. Have you heard of Hindu/Buddhist places of worship in same city as Mecca/Vatican? Challenge with most of these religions including Sikhism/Jainism/Hindu/Buddhist/local adaptation for meaning of god across the tribal is that they are non proselytizing and depend more on individual freedom and usually are without one privileged seat of religion. This provides a green area of growth for the newer religions and thus forming a significant alien loyalties (you wonder how many times muslims can easily connect across the world for the perceived – attack ) compared to others.
Now conversion would all be justified and great if there was a guaranteed manna and heaven. Which we all know is hogwash when you see the massive wars inflicted by particular majority for long time. Practically two brothers will fight to death if there is dispute over land. Religion comes in little later. So this corruption of path becomes rampant and invites backlash.And the blinded missionaries and the thinking behind it needs to change.
The license of God’s true knowledge was not showered on one religion. If we agree that these are different paths and respect them, in between somebody wants to change the path, good for him/her – but this change of path should not be enforced/given/initiated and bribed into. Everybody should be free from forced “initiatives”.
There is tolerance and respect for the older catholic folks who focused on education but lately one sees the money flowing in from Saudi and Vatican/US props to address the business of conversion. Tolerance and acceptance of the paths will always not be one way street. God has not given exclusive license of achieving oneness with god to one religion. Don’t chance it by spreading rumors, spinning it all in different ways across the media/internet.
Just to prevent the other form of backlash – verbal diarrhoea – No one religion has all the hooligans, ruffians, thugs, murderers and perpetrators of inhuman crime under one umbrella. We all share them :), they get chance when there is misinterpretation.