Highlights from Book talk by Mujeeb Jaihoon (author of The Cool Breeze from Hind) at Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, on Sep 29 2018.
The Nation is on the verge of a catastrophic implosion if the megawatts of Religiosity goes unpurged, urges Mujeeb Jaihoon during a book talk at at Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi
Sind. Hind. India
As we all know, India is named after the Sind river, after the Arabs changed the first syllable to ‘H’ which ultimately became Hind. Indians are, thus, incredibly indebted to the Arabs’ and Persians’ innocent misarticulation which is how we reached the Anglican form, India. (https://www.ancient.eu/article/203/etymology-of-the-name-india/)
Dubbed as a ‘mystical discourse on Indian Indigeneity’, The Cool Breeze From Hind is a spiritual discourse, than a romantic novel, science fiction or political critique— although a little of everything does appear scattered here and there.
India: Sacred Games of Indigenous Identity
The biggest debate happening in the country today revolves around the true legacy of a real Indian. Every community, state or religious class have their own legitimization for this identity challenge. It is impossible to liberate the spirit of India from the body of religion, or vice versa.
India is essentially a religious beast. There is a nuclear reactor of religiosity or religious identity within the majority of Indians today. The Nation is on the verge of a catastrophic implosion if this megawatts of identity-energy goes unchecked and untamed. An unbiased observer can easily notice Religion in every aspect of Indian popular culture. Movies, music, books and politics celebrate (read manipulate) Religion as an integral component. Every mess, literal or otherwise, we see today is done in the name of religion.
Religion inspires Civilization too
But it is equally true that Religion has within it as much noble energy to inspire charity, build homes for the poor, run educational institutions and architecture besides others. Many temples, mosques and churches are landmark contributions to our civilization. The greatest awe-inspiring architectural monument which generates the highest tourism dollars for the Nation is neither a secular nor political building. Rather, one which is designed after an apparent religious symbol.
Secular by Constitution. Religious by Action
India is indeed a secular nation by constitutional definition. Nevertheless, at heart, its legacy is blatantly religious. Religion cannot be divorced from Indian public life. Else, movies production houses did not have to start their products with messages and animations depicting gods or goddesses or even a Thank God.
Agreeable Discourse between Disagreeable Humans
Religion is essentially meant to be a private discourse between Human and God. Let us, in these troubled times, also attempt to transform it into an agreeable discourse between disagreeable humans. This would only help to clear the fog of ignorance and misunderstanding. Let spiritualists of different faiths talk to one another. For, Hate does not take courage. Love does. Amicable exchange of talks between interfaith believers will help to kill violence.
Extremism is the fruit of Ignorance
There are Extremists in almost every organisation. Let the extremists of one Faith show the guts to have an open discussion with the fanatics of another. If not in public, at least a confidential one, for fear of image damage. In fact, Ignorance is at the heart of one’s allegiance to Extremism.
Even if the discourse between the religious leadership— priests, pundits and Ulama— fails, only a few hours of talk may be wasted. But if it wins, the Nation can be saved from hell on earth. That will be a victory for all faiths. For, Religion strives to save Humanity from hell— before and after death too.
Posted Oct 03 2018