Saturday, September 30, 2006


My friend Smriti likes to give herself names that almost belie her... Names like Tattle-tale (though she does spin beautiful tales). And Chatterbox (which she can be, too). But the names say nothing of the understanding, the depth, the challenge of her writing.

Most recently, she has made me re-think Sita, as a feminist model. Sample this -

"She remains loyal to Ram during captivity.
She trusts Ram to remain loyal towards her. Upon rescue she does not demand an agni pariksha of him though she could have wondered what Ram had been up to while she was away.
Her trust matches her love.
After the washerman incident she leaves Ram's palace to never return.
Her self esteem is fiercer than her love.
She is proud and capable and does an excellent job at being a single parent."

And here's something equally thought-provoking about Kekayi - why, after all, is it so hard to forgive her?

"Kekai chose the throne over Ram.
Ram chose the throne over Sita.

Why is it so easy to not forgive Kekai?
And why is Ram a god?"

And here, the miserable linkages between religion, war, texts and media.

"Are you very sure the removal of Islam from politics in Islamic countries will bring peace and order?
Stalin ruled and murdered without religion, so did Hitler.
Killing Jews does seem like a very religious thing to do…Jews being a religious sect. How come you don’t view the World Wars as a religious war?... Why is the Abu Gharib just another political/moral crisis?
Would you call such torture if conducted by Iraqies another political/moral crisis?"


Anonymous said...

I don't think it was ever about religion. It has always been 'my way in the only way'. From the micro wars that we face in our families and among friends and colleagues to the world wars.

Ashish Gorde said...

Religion is usually a convenient excuse for numerous aggressions. In many cases, it is either a misinterpretation of the original text or pulling meaning out of context to suit a particular action. The problem is not that religion is misused, but that there are few people who are willing to question either the misinterpretation or the pulling of meaning out of context. Is it because people are lazy or they don't care? Or both?

Zaphod said...

Not directed at this post, just wanted to say its been a pleasure reading your blog....the stuff you do is quite removed from my own life and is in that sense, touching and eye, thank you!

1310 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
1310 said...

Thats the irony. Religion which teaches anything but violence is used as a scythe to harvest the seeds of violence and hatred.

sp said...

i don't think anything is truly about religion but rather about economic interests.

Annie Zaidi said...

pawan: you're right. and one way of fighting an idea is to question it.

ashish: probably both. no wonder 'sloth' is considered a sin.

zaphod: thanks.

khushwant: hmm. yes, but sometimes, it is wise to question what exactly comprises religion, and whether all of these things that comprise religion truly do not preach violence?

fin: that too is true. it often boils down to money, or a variation thereof.

oskar: am not sure if i can help; am not very familiar with any dialect. actually, smriti might be able to help (whom I've linked to, in this post). if you're interested in filmi songs sung in dialect, then, I can point you to a few.

One in the crowd said...

Isn't violence under the garb of religion cowardice? If you really believe in what you're fighting for, why shy away from saying it upfront?

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