Friday, June 22, 2007

Sulman Rushdie Gets Knighted

I don't think he needs any introduction, after all he has been an
endangered man for long enough to gain limelight and public sympathy.

You can see a cartoon and a small write-up about his knighting here
<http://beyondthepunchline.blogspot.com/2007/06/salman-rushdie-awarded-b
ritish.html> and I will say my piece here itself. I have not read his
Satanic Verses. The only book of his that I ever picked up was
Midnight's Children (If I have the title right in my mind after so
long), and I could not read more than a few pages. It was incredibly
boring. But yes, I did see his contemptuous attitude towards religion
even in the first few pages.

Now, I consider myself a rebel, and I have several reasons to support
Rushdie.

I do not believe in organized religion.
I do not accept anything just because it comes from High Up, be it from
God or Pope (one and the same, right?).
I strongly believe in the freedom of expression.
I don't believe in the supreme authority of maulvi's and priests to run
everyone's life.

And yet, I don't support Rushdie. I believe that nudity must be an
integral part of the story, otherwise it's just vulgar. The same way, if
you have an axe to grind against any religion or religious practice, you
should be free to say so. But with freedom comes responsibility. Just as
you are free to say what you like, millions of other people are free to
practice anything they like, as long as they are not interfering with
other people and their right to live as they want. So, both parties
having the same freedom, Rushdie seems to like to abuse that freedom by
purposefully and uselessly hurting the feelings of millions of people
(possibly billions, I read that he makes fun of both Islam and Hinduism
on this blog
<http://sidsphere.wordpress.com/2007/06/20/i-just-finished-reading-the-s
atanic-verses-and-for/> ).

I was born a Hindu and currently I consider myself an intellectual as I
do not feel the need to go and kneel before any so-called God in order
to ask forgiveness for my "sins". Let's leave my confused beliefs aside
for the moment, might be too long a discussion. But having an open mind,
I can name many bad customs, religious or otherwise, prevalent among
Hindus and Muslims. Raja Ram Mohan Roy, a well-known Indian reformer,
saw the same things in his time and worked against them with great
success. That is a good, responsible use of the freedom of expression.
Making cheap jokes about something that others hold sacred is just abuse
of the freedom.

Either he writes for sensation, to make money from the hatred he
propogates, or he has a perverted sense of humor. While I was not in
favor of the fatwa to kill him, I am not in favor of his knighting
either. But who asked me, eh?

1 comment:

Melody said...

No one asked you :P But that doesn't mean I'm not glad you said it. I agree. Extremism fighting religion is as wrong as extremism defending it.

As for religion and what it has done to mankind through the centuries: I am reading Richard Dawkins' "The God Delusion" at the moment. I'm pretty sure you'll like it, if you haven't read it yet. Oneof those nodding head going "Yes!" books, and laughing my head off in between, the guy has a sense of humor too.

Enjoy your rainy Monday ;)
Mel

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