Monday, March 31, 2008


Dear ALL this matter requires urgent action on our part So please get active, oppose this move and send letters to Central/state govt. we are doing so soon

Punjab bans rationalist literature

Submitted by admin on 22 March, 2008 - 09:57.

In a shocking affront to freedom of expression, the Government of Punjab, India, has banned four rationalist books and threatened legal action against the authors and translators, Tarksheel Society of Punjab reports. The supposed grounds for the ban is that the books are "incorrect literature" about Hindu deities.

Dear friends,

There is something, we want to bring to your attention.

In whichever states in India, Bhartiya Janta Party (backed by Right-wing Hindu fundamentalist organisations – Vishva Hindu Parishad and Rashitriya Swayam Sevak Sangh) or their allies are in power, there has been a common practise of attempting to crush the voices of dissent and rational thought, of banning the literature, documentary films, silencing the writers and journalists through state machinery.

Punjab, a north Indian state, is the most recent example of this undemocratic, fascist and dictatorial act. And Megh Raj Mitter, founder of Tarksheel (Rationalist) Society and a prominent Punjabi writer (honoured with the title of Shiromani Lekhak, Punjab state's highest award for writers) is the latest to bear the brunt.

On Thursday afternoon, Punjab Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal (leader of Shiromani Akali Dal, a party supported by the BJP), imposed an "immediate ban" on four books, including Sri Lankan Dr Abraham T. Kovoor's renowned 'God, Demons and Spirits', translated into Punjabi by Megh Raj Mitter and his associates in 1985. And Punjab Government is said to be gearing up to take the legal course of action (like arresting the authors, confiscating the copies of books and banning the publication) as well.

Unfortunately, the Punjab government has forgotten the vital role these books have played in the development of rational temperament among the masses of Punjab. Ironically, about two decades back, with a written letter the state government had recommended these books for the libraries of the government run schools for the scientific knowledge they imparted. Also, when Mitter was awarded the Shiromani Lekhak Award by the Language Department of Punjab government in 2001, the citation of the award ceremony prominently hailed these very books.

Today, fundamentalist forces, partonised the by the government, are threatening to attack Megh Raj Mitter and other rationalist activists. A few rationalist activists were even attacked in the last few days.

Thus, through this letter we appeal all the humanist, democratic, rationalist and secular people to come forward to defend the right of freedom of speech and expression.

It is not just a question of a few individuals or organisations, but also a matter of protecting the shrinking democratic space in the India.

We appeal you to condemn this heinous act at every possible level. Kindly forward this letter to as many people as you can, write an appeal to President, Prime Minister of India, CM Punjab and Governor of Punjab.


Surjit Talwar
(Editor, Tarkbodh)

For any queries you can contact on our Web site :

Dear friend,

Please e-mail this letter to the Chief Minister of Punjab Prakashsing Badal & to the honorable Prime Minister of India, both separately. I have given their respective e-mail addresses.

Please use cut-Paste to send e-mail

--------------------------use (for cut) ctrl+c and (for past)ctrl+v --------------------------

E-mail-Address of C.M.Punjab.


The Honorable Chief Minister,

Shree Prakashsinh Badal.

State Sachivalaya.Chandigadh,

Punjab. India.

Sub-With Ref-to your action-banning Rationalist Literature in your State.

Particularly banning the book written by Dr.Abhram T Kavoor-“GOD-DEMONS &SPIRITS.’

Respected Sir,

I the undersigned is the free citizen of India humbly request your honorable office to lift the ban which has been imposed on the Rationalist Literature including the book written by Dr Abrams Kavoor namely God –Demons & Spirits..


Ours is a free country & we know that rationalist people just try to develop scientific attitude in the society. May I remind you sir that Article 51-H of the constitution expects from the citizen to develop scientific attitude. Your honorable office tries to reverse it.

Please lift the ban on the same & oblige.

Yours Faithfully

(your name)

--------------------------use (for cut) ctrl+c and (for past)ctrl+v --------------------------

Prime Minister of India,Manmohansingjee


The Honorable Prime Minister of India,


The Prime Minister Office,

New Delhi.India.

Sub-With Ref-to the Punjab Government Decision to ban Rationalist Literature in the state of Punjab&

Particularly banning the book written by Dr.Abhram T Kavoor-“GOD-DEMONS &SPIRITS.’

Respected Sir,

I the undersigned is the free citizen of India .I humbly request your honorable office to use your reasonable influence & request the Gov’t of Punjab to lift the ban which has been imposed on the Rationalist Literature including the book written by Dr Abrams Kavoor namely God –Demons & Spirits on 27th of March-08.

Ours is a free country & we know that rationalist people just try to develop scientific attitude in the society. May I humbly remind you, Sir, that Article 51-H of our constitution expects from the citizen to develop scientific attitude. The Punjab Gov’t under the Chief Minister ship of P . Badal office tries to reverse it.

Please I humbly request your good office to say a few words to the Badal Government of Punjab State to lift the ban on the same & oblige.

Yours Faithfully

(your name)


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Narinder Kumar said...

27349, Mohalla Hari Nagar,

Lal Singh Basti Road,



Ref. No. ………………………. Dated: 12.5.07.ToSh.

Parkash Singh Badal,

Chief Minister, Punjab,




1. We have been extremely shocked to learn about Punjab Govt’s move to impose ban on 4 books published in Punjabi by the Rationalist Societies of Punjab, titled ‘DEV PURSH HAR GAYE’, ‘DEV DAINT ATE RUHAN’, ’TARAKBANI’ and ‘ ANDHVISHWAS MURDABAD’. This move is a direct attack on the freedom of expression so pompously enshrined in the Constitution of India, and is violative of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

2. It seems that the Punjab Govt has been misguided and misinformed by some disgruntled Hindu obscurantist organizations, about the contents of these books to settle their petty personal scores. It has been alleged by some BJP & Hindu Shiv Sena leaders that these books contain some derogatory remarks about Hindu gods & deities, which is not correct. There is nothing like that in these books. The authors have explained the historical events, writings and phenomenon from rationalist angle.

3. It has to be borne in mind that the first two books, namely ‘DEV PURSH HAR GAYE’, and ‘DEV DAINT ATE RUHAN’ have been authored by the renowned rationalist thinker and activist of Sri Lanka- Abraham T. Kavoor. These books have been published by reputed publisher ‘Jaico Publishing House’ Bombay in English under the titles ‘Begone God men’ and ‘Gods, Demons & Spirits’ since 1976, and have been translated in many Indian & foreign languages. Millions of copies of these books have been sold throughout the world.

4. Similarly the book ‘Tarakbani’ is authored by Sh. Megh Raj Mittar, who has been awarded ‘Shiromani Lekhak Award’ by the Language Deptt of Punjab in the year 2001. In the citation of the award these books have been prominently hailed.

5. These books have been approved by various departments of Punjab Govt such as Education Deptt, and are provided in the libraries of the schools and colleges.

6. The present move by the Punjab Govt strikes at the root of the constitutional provisions, which proclaim that the state shall endeavor to imbibe scientific temperament and outlook amongst the citizens of the country. India is not a theocratic state and the atheists also have the right to propound their views. All right thinking people have resented this move. It has rightly drawn severe condemnation from a large number of mass organizations.

7. It is clear from the above that the proposal to ban the rationalist books is illegal, undemocratic, authoritarian and strikes at the roots of freedom of expression. In view of this you are requested to kindly rethink over the matter and drop the proposal to impose ban on the above said books.We shall be highly obliged to have a positive response.

Yours Sincerely,


AdvocatePresidentLok Morcha PunjabDistt Courts, Bathinda
Monday, May 12, 2008 1:17:00 PM

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Bible v the Koran- The battle of the books

The Bible v the Koran

The battle of the books

Dec 19th 2007 | WASHINGTON, DC

The business of marketing the Bible and the Koran says a lot about the state of modern Christianity and Islam


CHRISTIANS and Muslims have one striking thing in common: they are both "people of the book". And they both have an obligation to spread the Word—to get those Holy Books into the hands and hearts of as many people as they can. (The Jews, the third people of the book, do not feel quite the same obligation.)

Spreading the Word is hard. The Bible is almost 800,000 words long and littered with tedious passages about begetting. The Koran is a mere four-fifths of the length of the New Testament; but some Westerners find it an even more difficult read. Edward Gibbon complained about its "endless incoherent rhapsody of fable and precept". Thomas Carlyle said that it was "as toilsome reading as I ever undertook; a wearisome, confused jumble, crude, incondite".

Yet over 100m copies of the Bible are sold or given away every year. Annual Bible sales in America are worth between $425m and $650m; Gideon's International gives away a Bible every second. The Bible is available all or in part in 2,426 languages, covering 95% of the world's population.

The Koran is not only the most widely read book in the Islamic world but also the most widely recited ("Koran" means "recitation"). There is no higher goal in Muslim life than to become a human repository of the Holy Book; there is no more common sound in the Muslim world than the sound of Koranic recitation.

Reciting the Koran is the backbone of Muslim education. One of the most prized honorifics in Islamic society is "hafiz" or "one who has the entire scripture off by heart". Do so in Iran and you get an automatic university degree. The great recitors compete in tournaments that can attract audiences in the hundreds of thousands—the world cups of the Islamic world. The winners' CDs become instant bestsellers.

The Bible and the Koran have both gone global. In 1900, 80% of the world's Christians lived in Europe and the United States. Today 60% live in the developing world. More Presbyterians go to church in Ghana than in Scotland. In 1900 Islam was concentrated in the Arab world and South-East Asia. Today, there may be as many practising Muslims in England as there are practising Anglicans; though in the 20th century, at least, Islam's expansion has mostly come about through population growth and migration, rather than conversion. Muslim "missionary" activity is aimed more at reinvigorating the faithful, and encouraging them to greater zealotry, than at winning new souls.

This mountain of Holy Books is a giant refutation of the secularisation thesis—the idea that religion recedes as the world modernises. "The book lives on among its people," Constance Padwick, a scholar of the Koran, has written. "For them these are not mere letters or mere words. They are the twigs of the burning bush, aflame with God." The same can be said of the Bible.

It also poses a couple of intriguing questions. Why are today's Christians and Muslims proving so successful at getting the Word out? And who is winning the battle of the books? Is either of the world's two great missionary religions gaining an edge when it comes to getting their Holy Books into people's hands and hearts?

The straightforward answer to the first question is that Christians and Muslims are both proving remarkably adept at using the tools of modernity—globalisation, technology and growing wealth—to aid the distribution of their Holy Books. "Give me Scotland or I die," John Knox once cried. Today's faithful aim for the world.

The combination of globalisation and rising wealth is proving to be a bonanza for both religions. The most prolific producer of Christian missionaries, on a per head basis, is now South Korea. The biggest Bible publishing houses are in Brazil and South Korea. An interlinked global network of 140 national or regional Bible Societies pools resources to reach its collective goal of putting a Bible in the hands of every man, woman and child on the planet. The American Bible Society, the biggest of the lot, has published more than 50m Bibles in atheist China.

Saudi oil wealth is supercharging the distribution of the Koran. The kingdom gives away some 30m Korans a year, under the auspices of either the Muslim World League or individual billionaires, distributing them through a vast network of mosques, Islamic societies and even embassies. Go to and you can have a free book in your hands in weeks.

Saudi-funded dissemination of the Koran, along with literature promoting the stern Saudi understanding of Islam, may not have much direct effect on Christians, or the unchurched. But it does increase the relative weight, within Islam, of teachings which tend to sharpen the Christian-Muslim divide. For example, traditional Muslim teaching stresses those passages in the Koran which affirm the Christian Gospel and the Hebrew Torah as valid revelations of God and paths to salvation. But there is a harsher, Saudi-influenced view which insists that since Muhammad delivered the final revelation, Christianity and Judaism have lost their power to save.

The Muslim diaspora and Muslim missionaries are bringing the faith to previously untouched areas. The Tablighi Jamaat ("the group that propagates the faith") is a global network of part-time preachers who dress like the Prophet, in a white robe and leather sandals, and travel in small groups to spread the Word. Their annual gatherings in India and Pakistan attract hundreds of thousands.

Technology is proving to be a friend of the Holy Books. You can consult them on the internet. You can read them on your "Psalm pilot" or mobile phone. You can listen to them on MP3 players or iPods ("podcasting" has given rise to "Godcasting"). Want to "plug into God without unplugging from life"? Then simply buy a Go Bible MP3 player. Want to memorise the Koran? Then buy an MP3 player that displays the words as you listen. Want to network with like-minded people? Then the eBible allows you to discuss biblical passages with virtual friends.

Several television channels and radio stations do nothing but broadcast the Koran. At the other end of the technological spectrum, the American Bible Society produces an audio device, powered by a battery or hand crank and no bigger than a couple of cigar boxes, that can broadcast the Bible to a crowd of a hundred.

There is a difference, however, between getting and understanding a Holy Book. Here both Christianity and Islam suffer from serious problems. Americans buy more than 20m new Bibles every year to add to the four that the average American has at home. Yet the state of American biblical knowledge is abysmal. A Gallup survey found that less than half of Americans can name the first book of the Bible (Genesis), only a third know who delivered the Sermon on the Mount (Billy Graham is a popular answer) and a quarter do not know what is celebrated at Easter (the resurrection, the foundational event of Christianity). Sixty per cent cannot name half the ten commandments; 12% think Noah was married to Joan of Arc. George Gallup, a leading Evangelical as well as a premier pollster, describes America as "a nation of biblical illiterates".

Muslims greatly prefer to read the Koran in the original Arabic. Yet the archaic language and high-flown verse, while inspiring, can also be difficult to understand even for educated Arabic speakers. And only 20% of Muslims speak Arabic as their first language. Illiteracy rates are high across the Muslim world. Many students of the Holy Book do not understand much of what they are memorising.

This needs to be kept in mind when considering who is winning the battle of the books. For some, the question is an abomination. Can't both sides win by converting the heathen? And aren't Christianity and Islam fellow Abrahamic faiths—different versions of the Truth? Others worry that the question is impossible to answer, since there are no systematic figures on the distribution of the Koran, and the battle's front-line cuts through some of the darkest and most dangerous places on the planet. Muslims would argue that their struggle was aimed more at galvanising their own flock than at converting unbelievers. But Islam's relative introversion doesn't make for peaceful coexistence. In many parts of the world, Islamic authorities have reacted furiously to attempts by Christians to entice Muslims to "apostasise" or renounce their faith; in traditional Islamic law, the penalty for apostasy is death; and encouraging believers to apostasise is also treated as a crime.

In many parts of the world, battle seems to be in progress. The Saudis will not allow the Bible to be distributed on their soil. Many Evangelical Christians are fixated on what they call the 10/40 window—the vast swathe of the Islamic world in Africa and Asia that lies between latitudes 10 and 40 north of the equator. The Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Texas has even created a masters degree to train missionaries in the art of converting Muslims. Some Evangelicals produce counterfeit Korans that are designed to plant doubt in Muslim minds.

And the battle of the books is certainly at the heart of the battle between the two religions. People who get hold of Bibles or Korans may not read them or understand them. Unless they are introduced to the books they will certainly remain heathens. Even an imperfect report on the state of the battle tells us a lot about the world's two great missionary religions.

The Christians entered the 21st century with a big head start. There are 2 billion of them in the world compared with 1.5 billion Muslims. But Islam had a better 20th century than Christianity. The world's Muslim population grew from 200m in 1900 to its current levels. Christianity has shrivelled in Christendom's European heart. Islam is resurgent across the Arab world. Many Christian scholars predict that Islam will overtake Christianity as the world's largest religion by 2050.

More recently, though, Muslims complain that the "war on terror" is making it much more difficult to spread the Koran. Contributions to Muslim charities have fallen since September 11th 2001. Several charities have had their funding disrupted. Missionary organisations such as the Tablighi Jamaat are under investigation by Western intelligence services, on the grounds that they may be way-stations to jihadism. And Muslims confront much bigger long-term problems in the battle of the books.

The first is Christianity's superior marketing skills. Its religious publishing houses are big businesses. Thomas Nelson, which was once owned by a former door-to-door Bible salesman, was bought in 2005 for $473m. And secular publishing houses have also got religion: HarperCollins bought Zondervan, a religious book publisher, in the late 1980s, and now most mainstream publishers are trying to produce their own Bibles. As a result, all the tricks of the publisher's trade are being applied to the Bible.

Consider product proliferation. Thomas Nelson publishes 60 different editions of the Bible every year. The Good Book now comes in all colours, including those of your college. There are Bibles for every sort of person, from "seekers" to cowboys, from brides to barmen. There is a waterproof outdoor Bible and a camouflage Bible for use in war zones. The "100 minute Bible" summarises the Good Book for the time-starved.

Consider user-friendliness. There are prayer books in everyday vernacular or even street slang ("And even though I walk through/The Hood of death/I don't back down/for you have my back"). Or consider innovation. In 2003 Thomas Nelson dreamt up the idea of Bible-zines—crosses between Bibles and teenage magazines. The pioneer was Revolve, which intercuts the New Testament with beauty tips and relationship advice ("are you dating a Godly guy?"). This was quickly followed by Refuel, for boys, and Blossom and Explore, for tweens.

The world's richest and most powerful country contains some 80m Evangelicals

There are toddler-friendly versions of the most famous Bible stories. The "Boy's Bible" promises "gross and gory Bible stuff". The "Picture Bible" looks like a super-hero comic. "God's Little Princess Devotional Bible" is pink and sparkly.

There are about 900 English translations of the Bible, ranging from the grandiloquent to the colloquial. There are translations into languages, such as Inupiat and Gullah, that are spoken by only handfuls of people. Bob Hudson, of the American Bible Society, wants everybody on the planet to be able to claim that "God speaks my language". A couple of eccentric geeks have even translated the Bible into Klingon, a language spoken only by scrofulous space aliens on "Star Trek".

Publishers are producing sophisticated dramatisations of the Bible with famous actors and state-of-the-art sound effects. Zondervan's "The Bible Experience" features every black actor in Hollywood from Denzel Washington to Samuel L. Jackson. Other outfits are making films that dramatise Bible stories as faithfully as possible.

And then there are the spin-offs. A "fully posable" Jesus doll recites famous passages of the Good Book. There are Bible quiz books, stuffed with crosswords and other word puzzles, and Bible bingo games. There are Bible colouring books, sticker books and floor puzzles. There is even a Bible-based juke box that plays your favourite biblical passages.

Muslims have also gone into the Holy Book business, but nowhere near as enthusiastically as Christians. This is partly because their commercial publishing houses are smaller and less sophisticated, but also because Muslims believe that the Koran is the literal word of God—dictated to Muhammad (who was himself illiterate) by the Angel Gabriel and then written down by Muhammad's followers. "The Koran does not document what is other than itself," one scholar notes. "It is not about the truth. It is the truth."

This makes Muslims uncomfortable with translations. The Holy Book says sternly that "we have sent no messenger save with the tongue of his people." Today most Muslims tolerate translations—there are now more than 20 English translations—but do so reluctantly. Most translations are as literal as possible. Pious Muslims are expected to learn God's language.

The second advantage the Christians have is America. The world's richest and most powerful country contains some 80m Evangelicals. It supports more missionaries, more broadcasting organisations and more global publishers than any other country. Despite some countries' oil wealth, the Koran's heartland is relatively poor. The Arab world has one of the highest illiteracy rates in the world, with a fifth of men and two-fifths of women unable to read. It also has one of the lowest rates of internet usage.

The third big advantage is the West's belief in religious freedom—guaranteed in America by the constitution, and in Europe by an aversion to religious persecution caused by centuries of it. The heartland of Islam, by contrast, is theocratic. The Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Endowment, Call and Guidance employs 120,000 people, including 72,000 imams. Saudi Arabia bans non-Islamic worship and regards attempts to convert Muslims to another faith as a criminal offence. Pakistan has witnessed the attacks on Christian missionaries. Sudan punishes "religious deviation" with imprisonment.

Christian Evangelists complain that this creates an uneven playing field: Muslims can build giant mosques in "Christian lands" while Christians are barred from distributing Bibles in Saudi Arabia and Iran. But uneven playing fields tend to weaken the home players. Open competition is a boon to religion: American Evangelism has flourished precisely because America has no official church. And theocracy is ultimately a source of sloth and conservatism. "The Book and the Koran", by Muhammad Shahrur, which tried to reinterpret the Koran for modern readers, was widely banned in the Islamic world, despite its pious tone and huge popularity.

This state-of-the-battle report comes with a health warning. Predicting the fate of religions is unwise, for they can burn or gutter in unpredictable ways. But two things are certain in the battle of the books. The first is that the urge to spread the Word will spark some of the fiercest conflicts of the 21st century. The area that is being most heavily fought over—sub-Saharan Africa—is a tinder box of failed states and ethnic animosities. The second is that the Bible and the Koran will continue to exercise a dramatic influence over human events, for both good and ill. The twigs of the burning bush are still aflame with the fire of God.


Bipin Shroff

Sunday, March 16, 2008


Cow's Urine as Medicine!

Faith's leap into blind Alleys

Ram Puniyani

Recently the BJP ruled Uttarakhand Government (Feb 2008) has announced that it will procure cow's urine, on the pattern similar to the procurement of milk by dairies, refine it and sell it to Ayurvedic pharmacies. Other BJP ruled Governments are also working on similar lines.

Cow has been having a central place in the political symbolism of RSS combine. The place of this symbolism may be only next to Lord Ram. On these premises, so far cow has been projected as mother. In its major campaign against minorities' right since 1950s, BJP predecessor Bharatiya Jansangh, had undertaken a nationwide, Desh Dharm ka nata Hai Gau Hamari mata hai (Cow is related to us through our religion and nation as mother) and also Janm Janm Ka Nata hai Gau hamari Mata hai (Cow is our mother in our every birth). Since Muslims, one does not know why Christians were not targeted for it, are not prohibited from eating beef and since many a butcher belong to Kasai (butchers) occupation, this fact has been used to demonize the Muslim community. We worship cows, they eat, they butcher cows! This has been used to rouse the sentiments of majority community time and over again.

With Uma Bharati becoming the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh (2005) for a brief while, she introduced cow based economy, funds for Goshalas (cow sheds) were given from Government treasury, and her official residence became the first such Goshala. Cow based economy aimed at promoting cow products as the core of economy. The present effort now transcends the earlier efforts as faith is being transformed into blind faith. The Government's move to collect urine, to procure it, refine it and sell it as a medicine defies all the logic of science and medicine. It is converting the political symbolism into health related prescription which is fraught with dangers.

As such urine is a product excreted through kidneys and contains the waste metabolites. It can also contain the bacteria, bovine tuberculosis for example, and other harmful germs and metabolic products. The biochemical studies of urine have clearly shown its composition. There are some who claim magic healing powers of drinking one's own urine, called Shivambhu, the most famous consumer of the same was Morarji Desai. Some claim that it contains antibodies which act against the harmful diseases affecting our body, but analytically and biochemical it has not been proven so far. Physiologically kidneys do not let the antibodies pass out of the body as the molecular weight of antibodies is much more than the pore of the kidney membrane. Of course when kidney is damaged, these antibodies can pass out, not when the cow is healthy.

Murali Manohar Joshi, who as MHRD minister initiated the introduction of faith based disciplines like Astrology, Paurohuitya (Ritualism) also diverted some of the funds for doing cow research. One CSIR lab went to the extent of obtaining a patent on a pharmaceutical composition contating cow urine distillate and an antibiotic. Another CSIR lab, in collaboration with a NGO undertook a study to see the effectiveness of cow urine in cancer treatment. Our own ayurveda does not mention any medicinal use of cow urine. Ayurveda as such has lot of valuable empirical observations which can be deepened by rooting them on firmer rational grounds but that is shrouded in mystery and faith and any questioning of it meets angry protesters, who claim their faith is under threat. Baba Ramdeo does claim that his 'Ramdeosim' is scientific but forgets that the basic premise of science is peer review, facing the questions and a constant transcendence of inadequacies in our knowledge system. The faith based enterprise of Ramdeo is too individualistic, too much dipped in faith and has too little to offer on rational grounds. Same is the method of cow medicine, too much faith, and that too of blind variety, too much assertion and zero scientific research. One will like to explore the veterinary sciences to see if there is something drastically right in cow's excreta in contrast to the excreta of bullock or buffalo or a dog for that matter. Also one does recall the claims of the section that cow dung has purifying effect. Impurity brought in by the shudras touching of water was undone by mixing cow dung with the water touched by a dalit.

The basic difference between medical sciences, empiricism, and grandma's medicine needs to be understood before state Government investing and promoting cow excreta, urine, for human consumption and application. Mercifully one has not heard so far of such efforts to promote cow dung. The present effort by the BJP government is an extension of RSS combine's cow politics. It is totally against the understanding of modern medicinal sciences and also has no mention in the traditional wisdom gained over a period of time. In a way it is the translation of RSS combine's political understanding in to the arena of application to human society. In some Islamic countries, on similar lines, state sponsored research to undertake the study on djinns to solve the energy problem. As per mythology djinns are supposed to be infinite source of energy so why bother about oil and electricity when these blessed beings can solve our problems for good. Surely these will also prevent the wars which are taking place in the globe for controlling the energy reserves. And not on a very different track, Christian right is asserting creation science to oppose the theory of evolution.

These efforts have no rational and scientific basis, something which our constitution ordains us to follow in the public domain. Social auditing of efforts, which affect human health are mandatory, control by bodies sanctioning the drugs and other medicinal means are an absolute must for public safety, all the claims of politics notwithstanding.

As such enough of politics has been woven around cow. Just a few years ago, one of the eminent historians of Ancient India, Prof. D.N. Jha, came out with a book on the dietary habits in ancient India, which showed that beef was one of the major items consumed in Ancient India. The move to project Cow as holy animal, mother, was a response to the non violence propounded by Lord Gautam Buddha. With the rise of agricultural society the cattle wealth was to be preserved. As people started embracing Buddhism, the aggressive reaction of Brahmanism came up at theological, social and political level. Cow was projected as the symbol of rising Brahmanism, as a counter to the non-violence of Buddha, and has remained so through centuries. Many a Mughal kings in deference to these sentiments, to respect the feeling of the section of society, advised against cow slaughter. Babar in his will writes to his son Humayun to avoid the slaughter of cows.

In Hindutva politics also there are many streams. While Savarkar called cow as a useful animal, the other sections ignited the emotions against Muslims around cow. Irrespective of that many a poor Hindus and Adivasi did consume beef. Incidentally it is amongst the cheapest source of protein for the poor. Many a surveys showed that a vast number of Indian communities consume beef. RSS combine's propaganda went on to assert that Muslims are violent and one of the reasons is that they consume beef. This is so much against the pyschosoiological understanding of the human mind and the violence. While one knows that beef is a staple diet in major parts of the World, one also knows and modern psychological theories demonstrate that violence does not emerge from diet but from social and political situations. Beef can surely build muscle power in conjunction with proper exercises, but violence is in the mind.

Undoubtedly one should respect those regarding cow as their mother. RSS combines' many followers devote their lives organizing fodder and other supports for Guashalas. Some of them, the upholders of Cow as mother, non violence, go to the extent of justifying violence against dalits on the ground that they were skinning a dead cow as happened in the killings of dalits in Gohana. This cow urine in the pharmacy shops defies all the logic and faith and is directly a threat to health of people of the society. Faith can take such dangerous turns is to be seen to be believed.


Issues in Secular Politics

Feb 2008 II