Saturday, January 31, 2004

Religious fanaticism strikes again

Once again religious fanaticism annoys me. This time it is Hindu Fanatics.

According to the prestegious journal _Science_ there was a book publised by James Laine whose content apparently said something about 17th century Hindu-Muslim relations, and had a "disparaging" remark or two about some legendary Hindu King Chhatrapati Shivaji.

Big deal, one might think. Academics publish all sorts of stuff all the time. No one really cares. Not this time. Apparently somewhere in the Acknowledgements section of the book there are some people from some research institute thanked for thier help. And that is all it took. On Jan 5, about 150 Hindu nationalists ransacked the institute, destroying priceless and ancient documents, and tore thousands of books, and generally caused about a quarter of a million dollars worth of damage. 72 people have been charged with various crimes.

So I am wondering, did these people go home that night and tell their kids with great pride how today daddy went and trashed a library with some historic treasures? One day you too will grow up to defend the honor of your religion by destroying some old books? Geeze! I am so pissed about this. What ever happened to just being nice to cows and stuff? Where is that Ghandian non-violence that we want India to stay famous for? At the very least, stick to annoying Muslims who are a real challenge to Indian Hindus. Stay away from the defenseless libraries. Those who attack libraries are like the child molesters of religious fanaticism. They only attack the innocent books.

Update: Now that I think about this, (according to "R") it is most likely that this was more political than religious. Shivaji was not a religious figure, he was more of a political figure, more akin to Martin Luthur King Jr, than say, Jesus.

No comments: