Monday, January 28, 2008

Imagine there's no country....

I read with great interest an article Do you have a (religious) identity crisis? by Shoba Narayan, mainly because I agree with what she says. She says 'I am Hindu, yes, but I am not sure if I am a proud Hindu. To me religion is an inheritance and a choice. I was born Hindu and I like the religion enough not to choose another and convert. But being a proud Hindu is something that I wriggle away from. India today isn’t the India I grew up in. A simple example is that there are more Muslim women wearing the hijab than during the time I grew up in. This seems a symbol of self-confidence as well as a symbol of insecurity. Muslims today tend to assert their identity through religious means. I am as uncomfortable with this as I am by saffron-robed swamis who extol the Bhagvad Gita or Christian missionaries who want to save your soul. Religion in my view is a private act. Or should be. Humanity should supercede religion. Every great religion has behaved in ways that it shouldn’t have. I am ashamed of the things that some Hindus do; I am sure that some Muslims and Christians share the same sentiments with respect to their religions.' Unquote.
I think this quite sums up the way I feel about religion. We never ever gave our religion a serious thought when we were young. For us it only meant that we could go over to a friend's house and help her set up the Christmas tree and of course eat the goodies that were prepared and then also the delicious Sheer Korma on Ramzan . Our religion was only something we stated in application forms - we never wore it on our sleeve .

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