Wednesday, 27 June 2007


Are we truly a secular nation? When India and Pakistan parted in 1947, Pakistan assumed the form of an Islamic nation, and we took on the garb of a secular nation, and it was something we took pride in and continue to be proud of. But what happened recently is one of the many instances that makes us hang our heads in shame.

Recently the authorities of the famous Sri Ramanathaswamy temple performed an "atonement pooja" after the local MLA, Hasan Ali, entered into it. All he wanted to do was too see the cracks in the temple's East Tower and report to the State Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments to carry out repair work. Temple authorities performed "parikara pooja" (cleaning and atonement pooja) to 'cleanse the impurity' caused because of the entry of a non-hindu in the temple precints.

Even last month, temple authorities of the Guruvayur temple in Thrissur district of Kerala conducted a purification ceremony after the visit of Union Minister Vayalar Ravi's son, Ravikrishna, on the ground that his mother hailed from a Christian family. This inspite of the fact that Ravikrishna had been raised a staunch Hindu and had gone to the temple for the 'choroonu' (first rice feeding) of his son.

Its really sad to see such things happen. Why are people from outside the religion or community looked down upon. Does being born in a different community make people children of a lesser God?

An atonement is definitely needed. Whether it involves a pooja or not is secondary. But what requires atonement is our medeivial thinking and our fickle-mindedness.


  1. "Are we truly a secular nation?"
    We Indians are truly a secular nation.India provides the same opportunities for all faiths to grow.All people irrespective of their religious beliefs are treated equal.

    "Its really sad to see such things happen. Why are people from outside the religion or community looked down upon. Does being born in a different community make people children of a lesser God?"

    I see this offends you?I think I made it clear what "Indian" secularism mean.It gives an individual equal freedom to practice his/her faith without persecution.Secularism doesn't imply that a "hindu" (since its a hindu temple doing the cleansing puja and hence the source of your misery)place of worship needs to do away with its centuries old tradition of preventing the entry of non hindus into its premises.We still have a few places where they still maintain their old age traditions and again they have the right to do under the same provision secular provision.Just because India is a secular country doesn't mean that century old rituals and traditions should be done away with just to look "advanced" for our western counterparts.
    The trouble with us Indians is that we have lost our "Pride".Its about time we took pride in our faith.Secularism is one thing ,but do away with our traditions just to prove we are secular is another.
    This post of yours would have made a better topic of discussion if you had spoken about in terms of untouchability or the practice of denial of dalits or the lower castes in temples or places of worship.But instead your "Secular" side got bruised because a temple performed a purification ritual becasue a muslim or a christian entered its premises.

    PS:Nothing personal just my "Secular Opinion"

  2. First of all....its pretty silly to say that preventing entry of non hindus into the temple is a tradition carried on for years...simply because India of those ages had only hindus..christianity and islam spread much later. So if tradition demanded that a certain section of people should not be allowed in the temple premises, it definitely must have been people of lower castes. Which is the reason many of such people who did not feel a sense of belonging coverted in the first place, to religions like jainism and buddhism in those ages and christianity and islam as well today. and casteism is definitely a tradition which abhorable.

    the virtue of adaptability is what has kept us humans surviving through the ages. that is how cultures moved ahead. that is how the world is ONE global village today. People need to change with the times. blindly sticking to traditions that isolate people does more harm than good, if there is any good at all in it. if we had to preserve all centuries-old traditions we'd still have Sati, human sacrifices, and other medieval things. the church had imprisoned galileo and other scientists and called them heretics for their scientific findings. but later on the church stopped interfering and allowed them to work independently, which is why science and technology thrived. if they werent allowed, imagine how todays world would be.

    theres a difference between upholding traditions and blindly being subservient to them. after all traditions are not god made..god just made us..all alike..its we who've made religions, traditions et al.

  3. Secularism is respecting other people's choice,opinions, beliefs as long as it dosen't harm or hurt anyone. Giving them the freedom to follow what they want.You can't compare performing sati with pujas.
    And also you can't sideline any particular religion.Every faith/religion has flaws from others point of view.

  4. @ anonymous

    Im sorry to say but I don't agree. India IS NOT a secular nation. Everyone has been fighting ever since for small pennies and will continue to fight forever. No matter how optimistic you be but thers no changing that fact that no matter what heights the rupee attains...what height the sensex goes. India will still continue to lose. Lose in front of politics. The filthy game.

    And soon enough you will see a loser pointing out that its WE who make the government. Hell NO. Think about it and you will see.



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