Wednesday, December 16, 2015

On rational thought in India...

I have been writing more than usual in the past few months - problem is, it's mostly on Facebook! In the interests of better archiving, I'm posting a couple of original writings from there. The following was posted on August 31st, soon after I heard of the shooting of Prof. M. M. Kalburgi, a rationalist and scholar:

My mother's brother is visiting today - my astrologer cum Vaasthu-consultant uncle who has magical abilities. He can influence people to tear down newly built houses/offices because the way they were built has caused marital strife, business losses, deaths... He advises people to perform all kinds of rituals to ward off their impending 'bad times'. He even re-writes history - yesterday he told me that my late mother became a veena virtuoso in a few months (and after that, never touched a veena again because she didn't have one after marriage - WTF?). And he claims that he never told me the world was ending in 1999 - the gravitas with which he laid out the destruction from tidal waves, earthquakes etc. had scared the sh** out of the childhood me for years. Now he says that half of India's population will die in 2037 and a messiah will come forth to lead them to a better future...

Oh wait, he does admit his mistakes occasionally. We had had a raging fight 12 years ago because I said that chillies came to India in the 15th century and he claimed that they were mentioned in the Vedas. A few months ago, he came back and told me I was right - wow!

I do care for my uncle, but I think it outrageous that he earns lakhs of rupees for a few days' work, is revered by many and considered a great man. And what happens to people who point out the flaws in such beliefs, who try to get our blind-ritual following, mob-mentality type people to think on their own for a change? Bang Bang! The truth hurts, so let's destroy the truth tellers..

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