- Category: Politics
- Written by Jim Dee
Are the Hindus currently losing their minds?. I'm not often critical of Indians; I've even visited the balmy subcontinent once (rather a rarity for many Americans), and will likely return within a few years ... unless this sort of thing keeps up. I can't tell you how sad this makes me feel for India, a developing nation so close to making the transition out of the so-called third world. Maybe this is just a symptom of that transition, though. It can't be easy when you've got 1.1 billion people (2005 estimate) running around as this whole awakening occurs. You've got unprecedented corporate activity, industrial development, etc., yet also rampant problems such as extreme poverty, disease, and a whole caste system that's no doubt a nasty wrench in the works.
Going back to pre-9/11, my sister can vouch that I called it early: These "Taliban" folks, which few had heard of, were dangerous. If I'd had a blog back, then, I'm sure I'd have devoted ample time to the subject. When they destroyed the Buddhas of Bamyan, they declared war on common sense. While I personally see most religion as a form of mass hysteria (no pun intended on the word "mass"), it usually doesn't bother me (not that my feelings matter one iota in the grand scheme, of course) until it starts to affect others (which it usually does).
If you read that Wiki article, you can almost get inside their heads about the Buddhas. There are two stories: In the first, the Taliban claims that they destroyed the Buddhas because they (the Afghans) were approached by representatives from Sweden interested in paying for repair work to the landmark statues. The Afghanis took this as an insult. Why would a country offer money to fix some statues when millions of Afghanis are starving? Frankly, that's a pretty good question.If you're completely insane, though, the obvious answer is to dispatch a regimen of tanks to blast the mountainside to oblivion. (So, on the one hand, we can blame the apparently undiplomatic Swedish delegation for the destruction of these World Heritage treasures. And they thought they were so friggin' clever after the whole success story of Ikea, right?)
The second story was that the Taliban came to view the statues as idols, which is a big no-no in the Islamic world. It's like the fourth item in the Sharia -- right after, "1. You must stone women to death every so often, just to keep them in line; 2. You should invent sports that use goat carcasses as "the ball"; 3. You should riot until multiple fatalities have been documented when anyone draws a cartoon about the Big Mo -- especially the Dutch." (Rule #4 covers idolatry, #5 covers Jihad, #6 covers Martyrdom, and then there's a long Chinese-menu-like section describing the various Fatwas in which a Cleric must select two barbaric punishments from Column A and one insane Arabic war cry from Column B.)
(Revealing even this much has likely put my life in danger, which I hope you'll appreciate.)
So, let's switch gears for a minute. Actually, let's keep gears (extremism), and just switch places. In New Delhi, we have a rather large protest going on this afternoon -- not just one or two kooks like our "street preachers" here in America, but a crowd 150-strong. They're chanting "Death to Valentine's Day!" and, perhaps more importantly, "Down with Western Culture!"
"This is against our ancient civilisation," says Jai Bhagwan Goyal, the group's leader.
Oh really? I guess he hasn't read, oh ... the Kama Sutra? I guess he hasn't visited any of the thousands of ancient Indian historical sites, most of which are covered with frescoes, carvings, and statuary -- hardly a one of them without an unfilled orifice or ungroped breast thanks to the, may I note, exceedingly happy Blue God. How the country evolved from the orgiastic early days to the puritanical morality of Bollywood must be quite a tale. (If you know, I'd like to hear it!)
So, keep an eye out for these Shiv Sena folks -- the Hindu hardliners. There's a fine line, I submit, between first making news with the whole "Down with Western Culture" mantra and issuing your first beheading video over the Internet.
But, maybe I should close on a happy, completely sane note. How about this: Only when the people of this Earth wake up and realize that the one True God is Ra, the Sun God, can civilization move forward peacefully (save for the occasional sacrifice). The Sun God just loves Valentines Day, by the way, the romantic old fool.