A lecturer tells his students that people of one faith are dirty and had to be taught to be clean by those of another faith. And he has the founder of another faith as a confused non-person. So, who is really confused and dirty?
LET’S say I were a teacher. And I taught my students that the Earth was flat and that if you sailed past India, you would fall off the planet and into a deep abyss, what would be the result?
Or, if I told my students that this cuboid earth is the centre of the universe and that the sun is orbiting it while the moon is some kind of “water horse” creature that dies every month with a new one then being born a few days later, would I still have a job?
I think I will bet on being put in the mad house.So why is it a lecturer who drew up a paper full of obvious mistakes still in his job? No, He has not even been identified and it seems no one knows who wrote the paper.
It’s amazing, isn’t it? You write a Facebook post anonymously or say something on Twitter and you can get tracked down in a jiffy, arrested and charged.
Yet, a lecturer who produced a supposedly “educational” paper remains unidentified. And he did it in a university that’s now ranked among the top 25 in Asean and top 200 in all of Asia.
Since we do not have an inkling about who the writer is and the students will now be wondering about the content of his paper, here is a bit of a clarification for the unnamed lecturer.
The Sanatana Dharma was founded on the banks of the Indus river. And that’s why it later came to be known as Hinduism or Hindu Dharma.
And why did it begin by a river? My guess is: they would have bathed in the river, washed in it and even cooked with water from the river. It was even an obligation for the adherents to bathe at sunrise and pay homage to the sun, which sustains all life on earth.
So, there goes one piece of wisdom from the good lecturer’s paper. No Mughal invader came along to teach those people to wash themselves.
The Hindus have this thing about rivers. The Ganges is considered sacred and to this day, millions bathe in the river.
Obviously, it was a much cleaner river when the practice began centuries ago and it is very polluted now. But bathe they do. And they consider all rivers holy, giving them female names. Even the Ganges is called Mother Ganga.
Oh yes, there are the Aghori. These people are not known to bathe. They wear little clothes and stay as nature brought them to earth. They smear themselves with the ashes of the dead and are usually high – high up in the Himalayan mountains, that is.
But they remain that way to this day, so the lecturer’s theory that others came and taught them to be clean does not hold water.
India has seen other religions rise. Jainism is a great religion where the adherents are careful not to hurt or kill even the smallest of living creatures, Buddhism has grown into a major world religion.
And many of these religions were preached to the followers on the steps of the Hindu temples. No, they didn’t mind others preaching right on the doorstep of their temples.
Sikhism was yet another great religion to come out of India. And there was no Kabir. The only Kabir they would probably know of is Kabir Bedi, an Indian actor who featured in many movies, including the James Bond flick Octopussy.
Sikhism was about selfless giving. That’s why the Sikhs started their practice of langgar – feeding all who would come to the gurdwara.
There are similarities with other religions, in terms of modesty, kindness, unity, things like that. But the founding Guru – Guru Nanak Dev Ji – was certainly not a confused soul.
There were 10 Gurus and the 10th Guru, Gobind Singh, gave the Sikhs their identity as saint soldiers. It was then that all men bore the name Singh (lion) and all women were Kaur (princess).
He gave them their 5Ks – kes (uncut hair), kangha (small wooden comb), kara(circular steel or iron bracelet), kirpan (sword/dagger), and kacchera (special undergarment).
Upon his death, the holy scriptures The Guru Ganth Sahib became the eternal guru of the Sikhs.
And with that cleared up, I hope the students now realise that the only confused person in this whole episodes is the lecturer who wrote the paper. And the Hindus aren’t the great unwashed. It’s probably the writer of the report who had dirty intentions. Dorairaj Badason The STAR Home > Opinion > Columnists Why Not? Friday, 24 June 2016