By Dhirendra Sharma, New Age Islam
28 June, 2015
Neo-conservatives believe that modern science was known or at best rooted in the old Divine testaments. For 5,000 years, everything on Earth and in Heaven was fixed by Perfect God who also created Men, in His own Image, and Without Wings. Birds can fly but Not Men. And the human science intervention was not necessary to interfere with the Divine dispensation.
Some neo-conservative Scientology groups believe that all modern science systems were mentioned in the Ancient Holy Books. The Vedic (Hindu) Science groups e.g., believe that the ancient Aryan (Vedic) tribes could fly between the heavenly planets. If Necessity is the mother of Invention, at that early stage of civilization, settlements of the Vedic times were Forest dwellings (Aranyakas), near the water resources, with no necessity for flying to cover the distant journey. At best, elephants and horse-ridings were sufficed for hunting or visiting friends across the forests.
There are neo-con Christian Science and the Muslim (Islamic) Science groups who claim that the Divine Messengers could communicate with the Creator in Heavens. No Holy Book or the Divine Messenger ever questioned God’s imperfect human creation. The Prophets of all faiths promised carefree living for their followers, but after death, in un- specify heavenly abode, called Moksha or Paradise. But the history of World Religions makes it clear that no God Incarnate or Avatar ever felt it necessary to Fly or pray for growing the Wings on the human body.
Aerodynamics is a complex engineering system based on multi-dimensional structures – and connectivity. The flying technique cannot be mastered instantly by meditation or by chanting any holy text. But as humans are born with Knowledge gene and learning process are experimentally leads to discovery of natural forces. To believe that any pre-science age people or tribe could have achieved the flying capability – is rather irrational belief.
There is no mention of the Law of gravity in the ancient literature. Aerodynamics and the air-flying become a possibility only after the Falling Apples were noticed in the 17th century by the Newtonian scientists. Nobel physicist Steven Weinberg has confirmed that “to find mathematical laws of great predictive power of active manipulation of nature is in fact “modern experimental science”. That appeared in the 17th century, with emergence of secular education. The informatics made the scientific ideas available to society. The systematic popularization of scientific (knowledge)” led to advancement in the Techno-Scientific Space Age civilization.
The Concerned scientists in 21st Century Manifesto stated that conflicting issues are indicative of ever widening gap between Scientific Knowledge and the cultural belief systems. Neo-conservatives today using the advanced technological tools, defending the outdated sectarian belief systems. The conflict, therefore, is not between East and West, but between “Science and Religion.”
For thousands of years, Dissent was not permitted in any society. Women, Low castes citizens, and the slaves had no civil rights in any Religion.
Caste and tribal- identities were used to enforce social discrimination, and sectarian violence was used against “ the others”, the outsiders, or the out-casts, the “Enemy” and the Infidels.
But, the bio-scientists have found no exclusive Blood group that divides humanity in terms of gender, caste, country, region or religion. According to the Concerned Scientists and Philosophers it is irrational political reasoning to justify the Jihadi violence as “revenge”, or the last resort of resistance against the Western cultural onslaught.
The neo-conservative forces, although using the advanced scientific tools, are guided and inspired by non-scientific sectarian belief systems of the dark ages.
Whereas Equality and Democracy were missing from all the Holy Books of the past civilisations. Democracy is the scientific mantra that grants Equality irrespective of gender, caste, race, region and religion.
No nation or religion was free from wrong doings against the women, Dalit and the Slaves...
The Hindu belief system, e.g., justified the Caste discrimination on the authority of the Vedas. It is said in the Rigveda that “The Dalits were born from the feet of Divine. (Purush-sukta). And the lower social status of women and the poor were ordained by the Law of Karma. Lord Krishna clearly stated that “women, traders, peasants and Dalits are born in lowly social status due to sinful karma- papayonis.” (Gita 9.32)
Therefore, Gandhi was prophetic when the Mahatma said that
“ All Religions are imperfect as they are men made.”
No Religion aimed to establish a Non-discriminatory Social order. There is no commandment against raping, stoning to death a helpless female, or a slave. In fact, all Faiths had disfranchised the women, and practiced discrimination against the poor and the non-believers. There is no Fatwa against raping women or killing the infidels or non-believers.
In 18th century, when the English arrived in India, the natives were living at “a very low level of ignorance, superstition, extravagance and immorality” where polygamy, and child marriage, and burning the widows ( Satis) were essentials for the Hindus.
“Not less than five thousand men (Hindus) held the protest meeting in Calcutta against banning the Satis and legalizing re-marriage of widows. The Brahmins (organised) in a body bewailed their hard fate that the ancient caste of Hinduism was attacked by a foreign (Christian) government at the instigation of outcastes.” (The Times of India, December 8, 1855)
No Divine Messenger, No Pope, No Shankaracharya, or Holy Men of any Faith or Nation had questioned the Divine discrimination against the working men and women.
Karl Marx (1818-83) was the first who declared that the Religion is the opium of the masses.
Those who think the conflict is between the East and the West, ignore the historical fact, that discrimination, and poverty were not questioned in any Faith. Equality and Social Justice are scientific paradigm challenging the old belief systems of Dark Ages.
Today, the Arab-Islamic peoples are resisting the reforms that were opposed by the Christian church in 18-19thth century. Anti-slavery and women civil rights were the main reform movements of the 19th century. Women’s voting right were enacted among the white Christian nations only after the Communist (Russian) Revolution (1919). Women’s voting was enacted in 1928 in England and other European countries.
The western nations witnessed the Civil Rights and Anti-Nuclear Peace Movements in the 1950s, when the Western youth were protesting against the Vietnam War. During the cold-war decades, the Arab-Islamic nations were involved with anti-Socialist policies and the Arab-Islamic states were pre-occupied with sectarian civil wars. No social democratic civil-rights movement could rise in the conservative Arab-Islamic world..
No Muslim assembly would discuss the ideology of Marx or Gandhi. The messiah of Peace Gandhi and Mandela were not found in the text books of Muslim states and universities. There is a statue of Gandhi outside the British Parliament in London.
But no Muslim state in the world has a memorial of Marx or Gandhi. The Peace and Reconciliation are missing from the political dictionary of the Arab-Muslim states.
The Gandhi-Mandela Effect:
Humans make history by fighting, but Mandela (who died on 15 December 2013) had offered a new mantra to close the age-old conflicting fault-lines. The Gandhi-Mandela Effect offers Reconciliation polity for Peace and Progress in 21st century globalisation.
An Islamist leader once said that “the very term Islam means Peace”.
But in entire Islamic history, we find no Muslim Gandhi to bring Peace among the Shia-Sunnis. In the South Asian (Indian) sub-continent, though divided we are, we need to begin with assertion that “the World is One Family” ( Modi) and that the South Asians share not only geo-graphical space but also a common history and culture.
History teaches us not to repeat the past mistakes. India is a multi-religious and multi-cultural Secular Democratic Republic with the world’s largest Muslim population. Speaking about the Indo-Pak relation, Mrs. Benazir Bhutto had observed that
“There is a bit of Indian in every Pakistani and there is an element of Pakistan in every Indian.”
The Benazir was eliminated by the Jihadi Warriors of the Islamic Republic.
The cause of conflict between the two South Asian nuclear weapons states (India and Pakistan), cannot be “self-defence” or revenge against majority by minority. It is, therefore, imperative that the peoples of South Asian community give up fighting for exclusive regional, sub-national, sectarian or religious identities.
Threat to Islam is not from any Hindu or Jewish state. There is no divine (Islamic) dress that makes one entitled to Paradise. Hindus and Christians can wear any dress or pray in any language, that makes no difference to the Religion. But in 21st century, to enforce women to Burqa and not allow them entry to mosques – would not be acceptable by the democratic civilized nations.
Pakistan and India are armed with Nuclear Weapons of Mass Destruction, and Iran is preparing to go for N-weapons. In the globalisation world order, we shall live together or perish together.
We the people of South Asia, have to forget the past caste and communal identities.
In 20th century, all white European Christian states fought Two World wars. But they have now united as “One Big European Union” family of 27 states. Geographically, South Asia is an inseparable entity with multi-religious peoples. Nonetheless, in a Union, no “nation-state” is deprived of its Sovereign identity. All member states can keep their flags, and Parliament. But within the Union, all member nation-states work together for common security, and scientific industrial and economic development.
Formation of the South Asian Democratic Union is, therefore, the historic call of the millions– from Kabul to Karachi, from the Bay of Bengal to the Central Asian Hindu Khush to the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean.
Campaign for South Asian Democratic Union (SADU) call for turning the conflicting borders of the Indian sub-continent into a Democratic United South Asian borderless Family.
May Children of all Faith in South Asia live in Peace.
That is the Message of SADU campaign.
Insaan-Ko, Insaan-Se Ho Bhai-Chaara, Yehi Hai Paighaam Hamara!
Dhirendra Sharma is India’s Nuclear Odyssey, Director, Science Policy Research Centre, is Convener: Campaign for South Asian Democratic Union. He contributed this article to New Age Islam)