I react to these infringements by religious groups not as an artiste but as a layman and citizen of India. I think our governance, the system should be for the people but we are giving way too long a rope to these religious organisations to dictate terms. A line has to be drawn and such religious groups should not be allowed liberty beyond a point. The government needs to get strict, otherwise these artistic intrusions will keep happening and will increase day by day. After a point, all we would be worried about is whether it is safe to say or portray this or that, or will some religious group find it offensive? Free thoughts and artistic expression cannot thrive in this sort of environment. Hurting sentiments is a different issue but when the groups become a nuisance to the society, they should be curbed and not be tolerated at all, both by the citizens and the state.
It’s really sad to see that after so many years of civilisation, of evolution, religion is not helping us coexist. The basic philosophy of every religion is pure but it’s getting abducted and misused by those who control the masses. My point is, why give so much importance to an individual’s religion at all? I think religion is a very private, personal matter between you and God and it should remain so. No third person has any space here.
And why talk only of religious groups? Caste-based groups, professional protest groups—everybody is so prickly, everyone has begun to come together for an agenda. They keep raising their heads and protesting. In my film Billu, we were asked by a particular community not to use the caste name as suffix. Somebody saying ‘saali zindagi’ (this damn life) becomes objectionable for another group. I remember a line in one of my films—“Note ka rang laal hota hai”—was found disrespectful to the currency by some. Even currency was turned into God by them and we were told to show due respect! There is no credibility in these protests, they are undertaken for the heck of it. It doesn’t demotivate me as an artiste, but it’s certainly troubling that it has become part of the environment we are all living in today.
As told to Namrata Joshi
Irrfan Khan is a prominent Bollywood actor
Thank you to all those who have taken the trouble to read the article and share their thoughts. Out of the arguments made here, there are two that perhaps need answering. So here they go.
1. The first part of the article compares outcomes (relative percentages of population of the religions concerned) irrespective of the process that led to those outcomes - whether immigration, relatively faster population growth or conversions. This was for two reasons. One, to put the figure of 2.3 per cent in "numerical perspective", as the article itself explained. The second reason was that outcomes are ultimately what the crux of debate is about. The rest of the article in any case dealt with process - or conversions in this case, from both a contemporary and historical perspective.
2. Some commenters have tried to cast doubts on the reliability of Census 2001. Those who do this should bear in mind that Census 2001 was conducted by a BJP government. Considering the extreme importance that BJP gives to this issue, it would be reasonable to expect that IF it had perceived a problem with the methodology that was distorting the numbers, it would have fixed it. As the article mentioned, BJP or BJP-supported governments have been in power for 10 of the last 40 years, or about a quarter of the time, and the only reasonable conclusion one can arrive at is that any misreporting of numbers, real or perceived, would be marginal and hence, not of importance.
To all other arguments made, my answer is the following: Please read the article again, with particular focus on the quotations of Vivekananda and Monier Williams, and the history of the missionary efforts in Bengal and their outcome.
Irrfan is right but it would be much better for people themselves to fight these infringements than to ask the government to do it.
I wonder why the art exhibition in Delhi was titled 'The Naked and the Nude' . Was the aim to attract art or porn lovers? Genuine art lovers will not find anything objectionable but why attract the attention of the moral police?
Religeon is being misused by Politicians specially by Secu variety to garner Votes .
And this has caused serious concerns among the Majority.
It is not the God and Religion which are cause of trouble for us rather Politicians are the sole cause of trouble in ouer Country.
"Talking about Hindu issues is not being communal :; Kishore Asthana
Muslims have issues, Christians have issues, Dalits have issues and Sikhs have issues. So do non-Dalit Hindus. If we ignore the concerns of the majority of our population and hope that things for the minority will improve in isolation, we are living in a fool's paradise. The prosperity and well being of all Indians are tied together in a manner that we cannot deal with just one part and ignore the other, larger, one.
The word "Hindu" appears to be taboo in Indian politics today, where the sword of being labelled "communal" is omnipresent. As a result, no political party has used the term "Hindu issues" in its manifesto. However, Hindus, too have serious concerns.
The first issue is the discrimination that Hindus face in their own country in various fields, from the management of Hindu temples to religion-based reservations.
The second issue is that "secularism" has come to mean "anti-Hindu". The Muslim League can be termed secular by our media and political parties but a Hindu League will be immediately dubbed "communal".
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