Holi (festival of colour)

On the full moon of the last month of the Indian year (Phalgun – Feb/Mar), a special festival is celebrated.

I first experienced Holi in Panjab, after we had left Kenya during the Mau Mau uprising, and it was eye-opening.

I already knew the three main stories associated with the event. Inter-connected, they stemmed from the Arya tradition, morphed into Vedic tradition, aspects of which were then debunked in Sikh tradition, until they came to be made synonymous with Hindu tradition. The version of the story which one celebrates at Holi is usually chosen after a quick period of introspection as to which story resonates the most.

Story #1

An arrogant and obnoxious king of Multan, Panjab, considered himself the perfect human being – a god whom his subjects ought to worship. This king’s son, Hiranyakashipu (Hira, for short – which in its diminutive means ‘gem’), however, worshipped not his father but Lord Vishnu. When debate, dictates and threats proved useless in swaying the child to do his father’s bidding, the king employed a nursemaid to smear her breasts with poison before suckling the child. The nursemaid died from poisoning; Hira lived. Exasperated, the king then ordered his son to sit in his aunt’s lap – she who, following a prolonged period of penance had been granted the ability to withstand fire – and she would then sit on a pyre with the child in her lap. The son acceded to his father’s demand – his aunt was burned alive; Hira emerged unscathed.

Seldom making its way into this version of the Holi story is that Hira, Lord Vishnu’s worshipper, covered himself in an array of earth elements of various colours, and thus protected himself from the fire. The inclusion of such a critical aspect of the story would have been deeply problematic to a an Arya culture grown increasingly impotent in terms of its capacity for analytical understanding and instead pinning all its hopes on divine intervention. If Hira saved himself, whither the miracle of God’s intervention and grace!

Sikhs have taken up the baton of analytical understanding and insight discarded and lost by the Arya. Indeed, according to their dharma (i.e., Sikhism) there is no divine intervention. Psyche and divinity are logical aspects of creation, albeit at a rarified super-conscious level; though of course, they must get their hands dirty, so to speak.

Accordingly, Holi is celebrated as the victory of good over evil in the form of Hira smearing himself with the colours of the earth. No divine intervention in sight!

Story #2

As a child, Krishna’s skin pigment was deep purple. In fact, he was so deeply and darkly purple as to resemble people from Africa. You can conclude, therefore, what his origins were; I have an open mind about such things, but Hindu India is certainly not ready for such facts. Anyway, Krishna was besotted with Radha. She was fair. He was dark, very very dark, purplish-black indeed, on top of which he had all the usual boyish complexes. Following his mother’s advice, Krishna the child smeared Radha – who up until then had dismissed his approaches – with earth colours. Their differences thus muted, the children played together happily and went on to become the great lovers of Vedic Indian lore.

Story #3

Lord Shiva, a very boring guy should you happen to meet him since he is always meditating, is portrayed as moody, unapproachable and intolerant of mischief and petty conversation. You can decide for yourselves whether that makes him a social outcast or a god, though for my part I respect this configuration of his personality. Anyway, one day an upwardly mobile, divinely-steeped person decided to test Lord Shiva’s meditative focus. Assuming the form of an irresistible damsel, the changeling began dancing in front of Lord Shiva. Where others would have been fooled, Lord Shiva was not. The changeling was burned to ash with one look from Lord Shiva’s third eye, who then gave him back life. Thus, during Holi, ash is smeared on the forehead by the devout to represent the death and the revival of the changeling. Over time, earth colours were introduced too – suggesting some symbiosis of the various Holi stories.

Sikh analysis

Now let’s imbue proceedings with some Sikh analytical thought and insight. For this, I need to revisit my childhood.

As I said earlier, my first Holi celebration took place in Panjab after we had moved there from Kenya. In the days leading up to the event, all the local kids raced around borrowing each other’s possessions as if it were their right to do so (we would now call this thieving). We gathered together things we had thus ‘borrowed’, including from our own mothers’ kitchens, after school and raced to the local playground – basically, a large area of dry and barren earth, around which housing was erected, and which we used for playing gulli-danda, kick-about and, above all, cricket.

Escaping the clutches of mothers and sisters, as we ran we held close our booty of turmeric, neem, dhak, kumkum, powdered red sandalwood, dried flowers, radishes, pomegranates, mehndi, gram flour, vibrant and deep coloured fruits and vegetables such as berries, grapes and beetroot, dried tea leaves and charcoal… and of course most important of all, water.

No single household had all these items, so we each gathered what we could find, and brought them to the playground where the older boys organised for us to take turns grinding everything into a paste using a pestle and mortar – basically a larger flat stone and a smaller more rounded stone. We would then leave the paste out to dry in the sun.

Each group of lads would end up with a fair amount of dry powder at the end of this activity. Three days before the last full moon of the year, younger kids like me were assigned to collect firewood from around the local area. As darkness fell and the full moon appeared on the horizon, we lit a fire to commemorate the symbolic burning of the young boy Hira.

The next day, the fun began. We dispersed our dry powder in large metal buckets filled three quarters of the way up with water. We filled our bicycle pumps, appropriately sealed to prevent leakage, with the colourful solution… and then it was a case of let them have it! No one was spared, as we sprayed all around us with colour, and everyone was a happy smiling target – old and young. Those of us who didn’t have bicycles yet, filled up glass Coca-Cola and Fanta bottles and shook them around. It was playful war.

Misunderstanding the rules, I would often forget the playful aspect in favour of the war aspect, thinking it was my mission to remain as dry as possible while soaking as many other people with colour as possible. One lad too umbrage at this misunderstanding of mine and came after me, glass bottle against glass bottle. The inevitable happened, the necks of the glass bottles broke, and I was slashed deep at the wrist just above the bone, while he was similarly if also less deeply cut. A gaping bloody wound opened up just centimetres from a huge vein that snakes its way around the wrist bone, and was duly wrapped in cloth. Instinctively, I submerged my hand and wrist into one of the buckets of colourful water, and then an elder yanked it out of the water and smeared it with some of the powder we had ground days earlier. I got an earful that day, and I still bear the scar to this day – but damn it was fun!

Looking back at the event now, I can apply some rational thinking to what went on.

The season is turning; bio-systems are undergoing a physical cleanse to release them from the rigours of winter; and the cold virus abounds. Cures and cleanses are sought in homeopathic medicines whose ingredients are earthbound. The beginning of springtime is thus the moment in which we boost our immune systems.

All of this activity is of course stepped in rite and ritual – but its effects are tangible and embodied.

In communities that celebrate Holi using traditional earth ingredients, none of the eye, skin, or inflation problems suffered by city dwellers are experienced; and rates of influenza are lower, as is their severity. In urban areas, by contrast, the use of industrial synthetic colours entails eye irritations requiring hospital intervention, severe skin problems requiring manufactured medicine, and seriously debilitating bouts of flu.

If I were you, I’d make my way to India – off the beaten track there are places where Holi celebrations last a month. Tell them Avtar sent you!

As for the story of Holi that resonates with me? Well, I prefer to conceptualise the event as a turning point away from old grudges, feuds and animosities; and towards the renewal of friendships and reinforcement of existing ties.

The new organic year has kicked off and has brought with it spring and new life.

Happy Holi!

Now, go bury the hatchet…

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Another End of a Beginning

A new club is formed. It makes a set of rules, followed by regulations. With these new conditions in place, the club becomes a humanitarian society, its ethos is to care for everything. It is eventually relabelled a sect. The sect then takes on the mantle of religion. Eventually, the ordinary, thoughtful activity embedded in humanitarianism becomes a fully fledged rites-and-ritual society. Once evolution has taken its toll, the rites-and-ritual evolves into Dharma: A lifestyle, unquestionable loyalty, an emotional bedrock sustaining well-being of the mortal coil to the unseen. At this juncture, modernity can take a running jump unless the forefathers had the insight to ensure that their new club had a place in modernity, and its ongoing manifestations, for better or worse. Non-European and non-Semitic belief systems fall into the Dharma bracket. European Christianity remains at the religion junction. Interestingly, Christianity practiced by non-Europeans automatically and immediately roots itself in the Dharma arena, due to their subjectivities and their racial traits.

A European Christian’s vehicle for control and conformity of the masses occurs via an organised church retaining a classical ethos – a society founded on Hebrew, Latin, and Greek literature and history. The church: A venerable organisation once held in high esteem, now arcane, and a relic at odds with its comical repackaging, where the dog collar and ‘father and mother’ or ‘brother and sister’ habit-wearer shelter as a new sound-image-bite of casual clothing and first names, in the vain hope of retaining a semblance of its past mystic authority and glory.

Dharma (pronounced ‘the-r-ma’): the non-European belief system is a lifestyle encompassing the realities of several astral lifestyles enjoyed in any given moment, and it is accepted as being as real as you are to yourself. By problematic comparison, religion limits itself to the here-and-now, with unsustainable concepts of the afterlife.

The term religion has become so obscure to all but its practitioners, as to curtail broader public acceptance, such that we now have people searching for its meaning, and being guided to the classics for this.

Europeans, toes curled as if enduring extreme pain, eventually admit when asked to being religious. It’s as if membership is an obligation rather than an honour. Christianity is throwing money at marketing itself and reinventing its core image, in the vain hope of curing its decay. Endowments are provided to re-image its doorways and its gatekeepers. An earnest attempt is made to re-package the word religion itself. Meanwhile, in order to retain a semblance of similarity to its origins, its erstwhile leaders hang on to its classic roots as if to some fundamental design template, and its connection to the antiquities.

Consequently, it emerges as Janus-faced and foists this emblem of confusedly facing both ways upon its members. They in turn look confusedly for an identity, a shelter, an image that might make them equal with Dharma.

Of all the Greek writers, the comic playwright Aristophanes would have the biggest field day with all this confusion.

Religion is literature. Dharma is soul. Europeans are desperately seeking soul, but their loyalty to the literature of ‘Christianity’ complicates their stance. Losing face, and internally admiring of Dharma, they feel themselves traitors for embracing this logical ‘other’ in their midst.

Religion has never been a healer. Religion is an earnest corrector of textural errors. Beyond that it flounders. Through religion one can become a great word-gamer. But word games do not feed the soul. They do not heal the psyche within. Mythologies, Biblical and impressive, are a scholar’s nightmare. Where on one hand they decree love for all, in the next sentence they give unequal authority over everything in creation: God created you, but gave you free will outside God’s domain and control. What next, the statement that woman was created from a man’s rib?!

Dharma has one theme. It is simple. You are created by an unseen, unfathomable source. You are answerable to that source, full stop. You have no authority other than to protect and care for all creation. It’s a simple code that does not sit well with the Jews, Muslims or Christians.

As an outsider, and when as a child I observed the conundrum of Judaism, I concluded that a Muslim is a Jew who will not tolerate anything outside scriptural lore. A Christian also follows the Jewish faith, but colours it with its psychopathic meanderings; a killer who enjoys killing for the sake of enjoyment.

If we look at pre-Socratics societies, we learn that Hellenistic scholars argued and developed glossaries and ideas, giving phonetic notes in order to arrive at a conclusion. Roman scholars took this as a base and ran with ideas that underpinned monastic norms. The modernity of the time we now dismissively call the medieval age stole a march on all this, in a way that is still confusing today. Not so medieval after all. The term medieval was coined by religious scholars around the 17th century, and was the result of about three hundred years of classical resurgence.

During the Reformation period, the monasteries reappraised the Jewish texts, and their offspring the Biblical texts. However, unpalatable truths reared their ugly heads. The enlightened thus engaged Jews of Hebrew descent from the Holy land. These Honest Johns spoke truths and facts, and maintained that the phoneticization of their language by earlier European scholars was a false construct. Hence, they maintained that official Biblical texts contained serious errors. Religion took a hit. It haemorrhaged. So, a compromise was arrived at that sullied, diluted and removed the formal boundaries. A mishmash was contrived.

The contrived mishmash now accepted as gospel won’t allow for detailed study of Christianity. The true facts are shrouded and left for scholars to debate over. Erudite academics, and outsider scholars, have created arenas challenging the Christian scholars, creating an invisible apartheid, where each side is frightened of the eventual outcome, so they gloss over the facts hoping for piece-meal acceptance of the minor revelation as and when revealed, where barbaric rites-and-rituals are watered, and the unacceptable behaviour of the Greeks and the Romans quietly hidden under carpets, eventually becoming material for anthropologists to unravel.

Christianity’s glue began decaying around the mid to late 19th century. Lip service seeped into the adulations and attachment of Europeans to the religion. Venturing physically outwards and en masse, into worlds thus far known only through folklore, Christians realised just how weak and petty their religion actually was. The automatic, natural, and evolutionary revolution that should have taken place in Christianity, but which was suppressed by the rulers and their monastic aides, prevented any opportunity that European religion might have in developing into Dharma. Authority, ignorance and fear triumphed over natural progression and selection.

The Bible has now become the intellectual’s ‘Harry Potter’ books. However, the detrimental effect of the loss of a formal reference and its subjective avenues has left the European race functioning as a human-born paraplegic. The mind wants to participate, but the formal, natural, physical limitations are an obstacle in experiencing the inner reward of participation in Dharma. Cyber limbs allow participation, but there is always a ‘what if’ or ‘if only’ in such minds. European Christianity as it stands today cannot and does not heal the soul. Due to this stunted growth, the mid 20th century witnessed a formal attack on Christianity’s irrelevance. Leninist learning replaced Greek and Latin literature, and well-founded arguments were made as to whether Rome was the creation of a tyrannical uprising turned imperialistic power.

Today, I see European Christianity trying to find its footing as a basic humanitarian sect, willing at times to embrace global literature in an attempt at self-study rather than remaining isolated. However, when I visit Christian seminaries unannounced, I experience the same age-old isolationist impulse that subdues the internal intellect and instead wants outside influence to rearrange core Christian scripture, while also lacking the humility to seek that input and without addressing the perceived inadequacies and inherent lies that underpin the Bible. Personal study of the original texts in ancient Hebrew is dismissed, and opaque translations from the internet are used as an authority.

However, I see in the Christian leaders’ eyes despair and recognition that they cannot genuinely debate immortality, samskar and the hereafter.

So, what hope for the ordinarywala in the street, fed a diet of psycho nonsense that we are about to be attacked by ISIS – who in all honesty cannot organise an orthodox Islamic wedding without getting into a long-term feud over appropriate rites-and-rituals?

The new religion of Europeans is an endless stream of ‘knowledge’ of the antiquities from Hollywood. Powered by such anti-knowledge and its nouveau Christian complexion, the ordinarywala is manipulated into yet another war against an enemy who is foaming at its mouth against followers of its own faith.

The white elephant in the room questions: ‘Had Christianity evolved centuries ago, would it still want to bomb, for no other reason than that ISIS is from another racial group, albeit a side involved in a primarily internal Islamic fight?’

Let’s imagine that during both the 1914 and 1939 European wars China had the means to autocratically bomb the hell out of each and every part of Europe in order to ‘stop’ an attack on itself based on an irate Christian announcing that European lack of self-worth was due to the modernity and achievements of China. How would the rank-and-file Europeans feel towards the Chinese?

The rank-and-file European would feel anger and hatred about the Chinese ability to arbitrarily kill one section of a European community after another.

Had Christianity evolved in its normal manner into Dharma, then the current ongoing Europeans lack of self-esteem and mass inferiority complex that requires killing of others from a different racial group and engaging in race-hate wars, would not take place.

The Mumbai carnage response was Dharmic, compared with the response to the twin towers attack.

I maintain that if someone cuts off your arm, pray that no one cuts off his hand. This is Dharma in action. Guys, life happens. It is an inescapable template. Each and every insult and attack does not always require an equally or more forceful answer. Life is for living with an open loving mind, and loving thoughts.

After all, cancer is a disease. So why do the Europeans not bomb it?

Islam, a faith I personally have great difficulty with, is undergoing evolution. It is going through birth pains. Leave it alone. The sooner it relaxes into its evolution, the sooner that area of our very small globe will find peace.

I, as an old fashioned Sikh, can only indicate. The rest is up to the motley crew who are confused with what exactly is their role in the world. Europeans without a religion which, by all rights, ought to have evolved into Dharma, are confused and at a loss. As a result, they feel the need to lead.

But a toddler cannot lead nor give advice to its adults.

Europeans, you need to grow up. How you come to terms with your inferiority complex is for you to work out.

But, please, work on it. Global peace depends on it.

Mirror Mirror On The Koran Wall…A Mirage To Confound Them All.

Paintings cannot, it is claimed, teach us about painting as much as literature about paintings can. Whiskers, it is claimed are an economic indicator. Harvard scholar’s Snoopy world-view, debatably dysfunctional, depicts his own mental relationship with himself.

Humans historically engage one great talent, to vivify their own narrowness; where wealth and sex appeal – domineering like anti-uncomfortable truths seconded to selfishness and cruelty, disfigure and open cracks, providing incremental mental comfort while pretending serendipity – marrowed in humbleness of piety.

At a practical everyday level, I have observed the following three examples: I came across a person with severely inhibited communication skills, who deemed it appropriate to use profane language to impress a lady he was trying to chat-up. On another occasion, I witnessed youths mocking a very old person who suffered from mobility restrictions, and who had taken offence at the insults by announcing that he was capable of taking them out physically. And to top this, I have come across many a car driver who thinks they are capable of passing through a gap that an anorexic person would find impossible.

Why the distorted value, and misappraisal of a situation, that in the main most ordinary people would automatically understand, and would respond to by reconsidering their options?

Over-simplification, or misunderstanding of the dynamics of the situation?

I am at pains to explain to newbies that spirituality cannot be understood or explained unless one is a fully fledged member of the dharma society. Dharma, as many of you who read my essays will recall, is a station of awareness well beyond the rustic requirements of religion. From religion one goes into rite and ritual. Christianity, Judaism, and Islam are religions. Hinduism is neither a religion nor a dharma. Sikhism, Buddhism, Chen (Zen), Vaidism and Jainism are Dharma. The dictates listed in the Torah, Bible and the Koran are an evaluation of a given moment in a given society’s biography.

The dictates have the form, structure and pronouncement of what passed for law at the time. Lawyers of that time were well-versed in the lore of their given social structure, and were therefore considered capable of collating information guided by senior theologians and philosophers, culminating in a list of guidelines; they also answered queries, problems and indeed misapprehensions. Future-proofing these guidelines was an art that bypassed them totally. Thus, the cause of the sieve-laced ambiguity of the gold-plated reservoir walls of their religion; the leaks from this causing the outright confusion, misunderstanding and mayhem we see on today’s global stage.

The massacre conducted by the Euro-Race Christians of the races in the Americas and the Antipodes, along with the brutal massacre meted out to the nation-races of Africa, as well as the Hiroshima atomic bomb, are underpinned by the then Bible-bashers in precisely in the same manner as conducted by the Koran-bashers.

Now let me put some sense into this mess.

At a very advanced inner growth awareness, the futility of what is deemed ‘life’ is the bedrock of one’s initial stepping stone. Life, it is agreed, by those at this level, is in fact a prison, a death, a limitation to what one can and is capable of enjoying if freed from the chains holding him to the mortal coil. While I agree with the reality of this awakening, I have to impress upon the reader that at no time is it considered irrelevant, or a confinement, to be chained to the mortal coil. In fact, the very environment is a space for education, and for refining one’s sensibilities and sensitivities; preparing the inner self to live as a non-mortal Being aimed at being an Essence rather than corporeally limited.

However, the problem engulfing the naive listener, albeit an ardent practitioner of the disciplines and rigours of the rite-ritual environment, is that they only understand according to these limited parameters.

A seven year old makes assumptions about the wonders awaiting him at age eleven. An eleven year old dreams about the wonders awaiting him at age eighteen. And within each age group they share, discuss, encourage, dethrone and recreate the illusions awaiting them.

Each time I read the Torah, I am struck by the sheer number of Vedic concepts contained therein. I am struck further by the fact that the explanation of the concepts is distorted out of all recognition. The Bible, based on the Torah, is equally confused.

Take the simplistic concept of female-covering in Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. It is only in recent decades that Christian European women have thrown off the shackles that required them to be covered lest they trigger ‘unhealthy’ responses in men. It was only in the late seventies that showing a bra-strap stopped being vulgar, cheap and shameful. However, each of these religions, and Islam in particular, fails to mention that gay men should also demand that men in general be covered head to toe, because the sexual allure triggering erotic thoughts, leading into eroticism, is present whensoever one sets one’s eyes on a person who triggers a sexual desire.

Of course, the simple answer is that the person who is attempting to walk a religious path, who cannot control his sexual impulses, should have his eyes gorged out, or at least in public he should wear a bandage over his eyes lest he see something that may trigger a sexual desire. However, covering one’s eyes is far too honest an appreciation of one’s own problem, and it is much grander to announce that one is pure and in control, and (this is the best part) that it is the person who inflames your own uncontrollable sexual hunger who has defiled your purity!

Confused? I certainly am.

So why the confusion?

Yes, it is accepted that to advance in the realms of dharma one has to have full control over one’s sexual emotion and triggers. In dharma, a male orgasm has to be as exciting and fulfilling as the sensation one experiences by tenderly stroking an index finger over the back of one’s hand. This state is reached as a byproduct of meditation where one is learning and mastering one’s own nervous system, such that the concept of sexual allure is incapable of effecting one’s own physiology. Sexual trigger and the resultant waste of a very valuable nervous energy is thus contained, and that energy is available for use in one’s inner refinement.

However, at the religious level, the well-intentioned surmise that in order to bypass the hard rigours of male meditation women should instead cover themselves up. Consequently, pressure is placed on women who do not comply, and their bodies are consigned to hell.

The seniors of Semitic religions jump ship and change their colours as it suits their needs: at times, they say the body houses the soul, and it is the soul that enters paradise or anti-paradise; at other times, and when admonishment is given, they talk about the body entering paradise or anti-paradise.

How convenient.

So, this means that Muslim men will enter paradise physically. So, where does their soul reside? And pure Muslim women who even for a moment become uncovered in public will physically enter anti-paradise. Well, what of their soul?

By this reasoning the great Allah has a physical body… but cannot be given a physical body here on earth. Now I really am confused. To me, the great Allah is an essence in which is merged a soul, so the soul will not enter anti-paradise, but a physical body will?

The Torah is equally contradictory. Hence the related contradiction in Islam. For, when I read the Koran and Torah side by side, I find very little that separates them. So I ask, why do the current Muslims not rewrite the Koran, separating their reliance on and attachments to the Torah, and create a more factual reality representing their own rules rather than copy-saluting another’s set of dos and don’ts?

In dharma, it is accepted that one can enter a realm of non physical confinement – paradise. However, the environment is utterly different from what is found here on this iron-ore rust bucket we hypocritically call Mother Earth. Guys, when was the last time any of you chopped your mother’s hand off finger by finger? Mother Earth indeed…Reverting: in dharam, ‘paradise’ is a non-corporeal environment. No physical presence here. Can you imagine how CCTV business would be a non-starter there?!

So, why the confusion regarding paradise?

Because people do not listen, let alone understand. You nod your head in deep agreement when we speak, but you go away with your own version and summary of what we say. This in a nut shell is what has happened in the ‘books’ of the Semitic religions.

Another confusion I hear constantly…

Islamic boys are told that there is no need to have a girlfriend since in paradise there awaits an unending line of the most gorgeous girls, that life really begins in paradise, and the best way to enter paradise is to become a martyr. So, how in hell did these sexually alluring, unbelievably desirable, irresistible girls enter paradise when here on earth those types of girls are told they will only enter anti-paradise? What, the two realms share a communicating door? A back alley? A doorman who holds the key and decides which girls from anti-paradise are allowed into paradise for the insatiable appetite of the sexually hungry youth? Explain for me please, when one enters either realm is one born as a baby and have to grow into adulthood, or is one a fully grown adult and ready to sow his oats?

Muslim women who enter paradise, are they gifted an endless supply of young handsome men with six-packs who never tire? And in paradise are Muslim women utterly wrapped in wanton and insatiable lust, when here on earth they are threatened with the anti-paradise if they refuse sex to their husband!

At this moment in time, I suspect that the lawyers who penned the thoughts of the theologians and philosophers forming the Torah, the Bible, and the Koran took the silver for their services but failed to deliver hardcore theology in return. Guys, the lot of you have been mega duped. Thus, I suggest a total rewrite of all the three books to bring them in line with modern sensibilities.

As an outsider looking in I find all three Semitic religions trying to put square pegs into round holes. My opening paragraphs were apt in defining the problem. In the case of these three religions, application and aptitude are not merely misaligned, they are not even on the same page.

The followers of all three Semitic religions should take a long hard lookat themselves in the mirror, and I hope you are sensitive enough to recognise the ignorance glaring back at you. Your religions are trying to mimic and mirror Vedic dharma of India, but have failed miserably. The annihilation of races the Semitic group has conducted globally is shameful, and there is no end in sight.

The Euro-Race Christians are equally as dim as the Islamists.

And why will they not listen to reason? Because stupidity has one great weapon, it cannot recognise its own stupidity.

On 20th November 2015, I watched Senator McCain of America in a televised interview justifying yet another attack on Muslims, this time on ISIS, by differentiating Christianity from Islam and claiming that Christians hold true to their belief “love thy neighbour”. Yeah, Senator, try telling that to the first settlers whose land you have stolen, conquered and arrogantly call your land and home. No mate, you are as mentally deranged as the Muslims of this day, and like you, they have been mentally unstable since their inception.

To the Christians of today I say, granted, your forefathers in their ignorance and arrogance divided the Ottoman Empire into what we see as today’s Middle East. Why, oh why, do you, today’s Christians not let the dwellers of that area decide for themselves how they wish to redefine their landmass? Have you Europeans forgotten the hundred years war you so deliriously enjoyed?

Simultaneously, the modern day Christians should sit with India and Pakistan and undo the mess their forefathers created there. To the Christians of today I ask, ‘Why do you not have the conscientiousness to lead and amend your forefathers’ stupidity?’ Unless you are as arrogantly stupid as were they.

Casting my net wider, I invite the whole of humanity to look into the mirror. However, to see the mirror one needs eyes. And humans no longer have eyes. They have delusions of grandeur where once existed eyes. And in the delusion of grandeur, one thing is certain: the carousel of illogical killing goes round and round.

Shameful.

Trophy Wife

Nothing infuriates cultures, societies and communities more than drug use within their circle or when an outsider from another racial, social, lower-economic group, religious or dharmic background wades in and charms the attractive, desirable, marriageable girl to marry him and convert to his faith group and bring up ‘her’ children in his faith.

It amuses those of my background that a family whose structure is steeped in rite and ritual (religion) or conducted according to the edicts of one’s faith should foam at the mouth when a girl hailing from their community elopes with, or with the support of her parent/s marries, her amour from another faith and follows his tradition.

If all faiths are identical (a red herring ever there was one), then why the knee-jerk sense of loss of ‘respect’? Should you not be pleased that your daughter has left one faith and is now following another faith with greater fervour than she did her own?

There is an art to, and an equal amount of violence in, the practice of religion and dharma. At a religious level, violence constitutes hands-on murder of those who fail to mimic your own religion; at a dharmic level, it is less overt, more sly.

Commonsense takes a vacation and the fervently devout are consumed by a need for vengeance at any cost. But Why?

Philosophically and historically, societies at the apex of materialistic grandeur have a reasonably relaxed attitude towards interracial, intercultural, and interreligious unions. Aryadesh exercised it. So did sub-Saharan Africa, China and the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. Now the western world is experimenting with such tolerance. And it is not by some elitist reverse-engineering of mentally retarded notions that such tolerance is allowed.

The basic cause of tolerance and respect of inter-group alliances centres on accumulation of personal wealth. When the masses enjoy a very high standard of material life, their obeisance to the dictates of rite and ritual becomes a lesser priority. But take away the veneer of wealth and the feel-good factor it connotes, and notions of social and communal ‘respect’ become the arbiter of self-esteem and prestige.

If from the apex society a suitor wooed a woman from the financially challenged community, then, somehow, the proposal is accepted in relative terms by both sides. However if the suitor happens from  an equal financial community, but of course from an outside faith, then the pain of this union by the girls parents and family is registered in suicidal and vengeance terms, where eye, tooth and life are bartered as if one was at a market buying ones daily ration.

So far, I have focused on the reaction of the ‘victim’ of this cultural insult. Now let me turn the tables on the suitor.

It is seen and enough evidence exists about how ‘high’ an African-American feels landing a European woman as his wife. Regardless of his commercial status, the happy, buzzing, high-heel kicks seldom leave his face, or his peacock walk. The sense of having pulled a master stroke and beguiled the European race and community by winning the affection and love of a European woman seldom leaves his or his communitys’ sense of attaining the unattainable.

However, we read in newspapers the sorry mess that the African-American pop singer Diana Ross had to endure at the hands of the Norwegian shipping magnet’s family whose son chose to marry her instead of a blonde blue-eyed Scandinavian woman.

It seems that if the rich marry ‘beneath’ their racial station then the knives are out for the couple. Yet, the same marriage seen from the racially ‘inferior’ party is viewed as payback for the horrors of centuries of subjugation.

Now, into this mix let us bring the motives of established Indian movie ‘studs’, of whom the vast majority are Muslim, while their partners are invariably from non-Muslim traditions. So, why, when more Muslims live in India than in Pakistan, do these Muslim movie ‘studs’ chase, woo and seduce non-Muslim women?

Is it that by doing so they will enter heaven and be overwhelmed by virgins for the rest of their stay?!

In any case, what is the duration of this heavenly vacation? And what happens to the virgin once deflowered? Is she rejected while he moves on to the next virgin in the queue and so on and so forth? And if heaven truly is heaven, presumably there’s no place for unclean things like blood – so do the virgins soil the sheets and are these hung out to attest to her former virginal state? Is the deed done in the heavenly home, and if so, surely its overcrowded with ancestral males involved in an endless conveyor belt of deflowering virgins. And Muslim women who enter heaven – what is their celestial reward: virgin males with bulging biceps and six-packs?

As I have maintained all my life, I have yet to meet ‘God’. So I seek education in this matter from those who lack my abilities, yet who are somehow more accurately able to state what goes on in Muslim heaven.

So, back to Muslim Bollywood movie stars and ‘studs’ – God’s gift to women and seemingly too good for Muslim women.

Why?

Why do these men invariably choose a non-Muslim woman?

Because esteem and wellness accrue from finally being allowed to sit at the high table. Self-respect and self-worth are measured in the ability to chase, woo and marry a non-Muslim Indian citizen. In ordinary life, in the realm of inter-religious marriages that I observe, the most sought-after liaison is with a Sikh partner. Male or female. Among the Sikh men who marry Muslim women, they always consider themselves to be married to a Sikh woman and there is none of the fanfare and shouting from rooftops at having converted a girl to your religion as is the case so often among Muslim men marrying actual Sikh girls.

Sikhs treat their inter-religious marriages as normal Sikh marriages. They never try to radicalise the girl or convert her or her offspring. They marry the people they love and go quietly about their business, believing the union is established by a higher order – nothing more, nothing less. The very opposite is true of Muslims – they mire their wives in emotional turmoil, impelling them to convert, to use a Muslim name and to denounce their origins and heritage.

One day, and I know this day will come: Islamic people will wake up and behave like the tolerant faith they really are.