Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Vandalising Libraries And Incinerating Books

By Sumit Paul, New Age Islam 18 April 2023 " To A Destroyer, A Book Is An Ideal Object To Be Torn And Destroyed." Ibn Hazm, Quranic scholar and one of the fathers of comparative religion " Vandalising Libraries And Burning Books Is The Favourite Pastime Of Neanderthals." Editorial in NY Times in 2005 when Hindu goons of Sambhaji Brigade vandalised Poona's famed Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute over a passage in the historian James Laine's book on Shivaji The destruction and desecration of 110-yr-old Madrasa Azizia library in Bihar Sharif, Nalanda reminds us of the ill-fate of the great library of Nalanda that was gutted by the marauding army of a Turkish invader Bakhtiyar Khilji in 1193 CE. ------------------------------------------------------------------ Related Article: The Destruction of Madrasa Azizia By Rioters A Huge Blow to the Cultural Heritage of India ------------------------------------------------------------------ Anil Dharker, one of the best editors India has had who edited now-defunct Debonair, wrote a long article, " Who're those who burn books and libraries? " Mind you, it was Debonair which carried this editorial piece! Prejudiced people often think that this magazine catered only to voyeurs and perverts. Nope! It carried profound pieces on all subjects, including religion and spirituality apart from flaunting vestiphobic damsels. Dharker wrote, " It's an ingrained misnotion that Bakhtiyar Khilji destroyed Nalanda Library because it belonged to some other faith/s (predominantly Buddhism and also Hinduism/Jainism). He burnt because the very sight of burning books gave him a macabre pleasure. Psychological whims and quirks have nothing to do with the faith of the perpetrators." Psychologists Duncan MaCabe and Maria Gilbert called it " Book Burning Orgasm." Whether Halaku, Mauqoof, Bakhtiyar, the Hindu miscreants involved in gutting Azizia or BORI in Poona or unknown miscreants burning Java library that housed rare Pitakas of Buddhism in the 15th century, all had one thing in common: They were depraved humans who had nothing to do with written words. All those who destroyed books, never read a single book in their lifetime because if you read, you cannot burn (books). Just imagine, by burning books, we destroy our own heritage and block all the paths to wisdom. Though not as serious and reprehensible as book burning, book banning culture can at times be as bad as book burning. They ban the book/s who never read a book is a famous aphorism. Rajiv Gandhi banned 'The Satanic Verses' of Salman Rushdie without reading it. In fact, he never read a book in his whole life! But his well-read grandfather Jawaharlal Nehru lifted the ban on D H Lawrence's controversial ' The Lady Chatterley's Lover.' Quran begins with the exhortation of Iqra (to read). Once we read and educate ourselves, the acts of vandalising books and libraries will stop automatically. But the question is, who reads in these times of visual overfeeding? ----- A regular columnist for New Age Islam, Sumit Paul is a researcher in comparative religions, with special reference to Islam. He has contributed articles to the world's premier publications in several languages including Persian. URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

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