Thursday, April 05, 2007


Here’s looking at you Germania,

Goethe,Leibnitz, Kant, Karl Marx, Nietzsche, Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, Albert Einstein, Max Planck, Heisenberg, Schrödinger, Fahrenheit, Röntgen, Hertz, Hegel and Hitler

Kant, Hegel, Marx and then Hitler - the “germ” is always there

For anyone out there crouched in their prison cell, who cannot hear the ocean, who thinks “secular” and “progressive” are cliched twentieth century words - Germany is one lesson from history on eternal vigilence. A secular progressive society where every human being has the right to live in the land they were born into, a right to “food, medicine, clean air, pure water, trees and grass, pleasant homes to live in, some hours of work, more hours of leisure” is not a destination, it is a journey - something the society needs to achieve at the end of every day. Any one who strives for it is not a utopian but a realist. Because the ‘germ’ will always be there and every sunrise is another day.


Anonymous said...

There is something I never understood. How does a Germany or Indian Consciousness take birth? The collective consciousness? Isn't it just the Consciousness/morals/ideology of a man or few men?

Germany had been the cradle for Christian movements, if you recollect that is where the Catholic Church confronted Martin Luther and that is where the Luntheran faction started off. The Christian theology owe a lot to the country. But now, I find in incredible that they are one of the most secular of countries. Ours had been a civilisation that has always accepted the "others". The aryans to christians to muslims. And now we are being pushed back to a vedic era.

While the physical traits can be identical across a region/country, how is it possible that the mental attittude match so much? With so much information and progressive knowledge right at our finger tip, what prevents us from shedding the communal cloak and letting the underprivileged live a life too.

While the developed countries whom we benchmark are talking about nothing but global warming, what are we doing? A front page news for the day?

Whom do we blame? Me and You, the Media, Politicians, British Invasion, Pakistan, degenerating moral values or what?

I feel so miserable sometimes when i see people just glance over atrocious news and not even sigh. Most of us have become so disgustingly numb. Even those who haven't, are like me. They might cringe at such things and even feel deeply hurt, might even feel each of such issue is so personal to them, but wouldn't want to do anything. They write about it in the National English Dailies, someone make dosumentories and win awards - and then? Then they wait for a superman to emerge inspired by their efforts and take action they urge everyone to take; to rally behind him forming a collective consciousness. To make a secular india where everyonehas the right to live.

And even while I write I this, i know I am a hypocrite. I feel the pain, i wish it change. But i will wait, 'cos I don't want to loose my comforts of living in a Hindu Country, of being able to pay for my drinking water, of having an air conditioned office to work.


b v n said...

Nina, very valid points, esp the Martin Luther one. but look at this, religion is at a very low point in Germany now - but this could change and it might get an upperhand in some time.I feel this happens in cycles. if the Germans sit back now saying mission accomplished, the whole fascist shit could come back. Germany as such is just an example.

As you said, look at India - we had our times of progressive secularism...even in the last fifty years. if you'd noticed...after Shah Bano the mainstream media started calling it "pseudo-secularism" and most of us repeated it - while there is nothing called pseudo-secularism.

But there is something right about this country, its collective consiousness. India - assuming there is something like that - corrects itself. the nation thinks beyond the right wing jargon of the mainstream media.

As an individual there is a limit to what you can do, thats why we have peoples representatives. i guess there is hitler in every one of us and how we deal with him is also important.

i'm optimistic abt indian secularism, you could call me a "Utopian", then I was optimistic abt a non-NDA alternative at center in 2004 :)

b v n said...

chk this out - another worry

Anonymous said...

Let me cite Shah Bano case itself. What happened after the SC order? The parliament reversed it owing to the presure from Muslim leaders. Was that the collective consiousness? Did Rajiv Gandhi enquired if that is atleast the collective consiousness of the Muslims in the country? If he were couragous enuf to seperate the parliamnet from religion, probably the Sachar Committe report might have presented a slightly better statistics.

We can protest against Sardar Sarovar, we can have people giving up their lives in Nandigram but not a word against religious dogmas. Gandhi can be criticised, Sarvarkar can be proved a pseudo-patriot but don't dare say anything against thousands of yrs old gods having no historic or scientific base.

Secularism, in India or in Iran, is a sensitive issue. Too fragile. Keep the bubble under STP. Keep off.

I strongly feel the very definition of secularism in India itself is flawed. We give all religions equal importance, making it possible to every other second thing have a remote access point in religion. It shud have been -no importance to religion. I am not asking for an extreme leftist agaenda of banning religions. But why shud it get any particular treatment. They can receive crores of money and use it to do their-god-knows-what and enforce their version of god hypothesis. Why can't we say something like - fine, you can stay, but no preferencial treatment. Why can't we have a uniform civil code. By virtue of being one's birth as a Muslim woman, one doesn't get the same legal protection others get. Or by virtue of being a Christian male heir, one gets all of his parents money. I can't help showing my finger here.

Sometimes I feel, we need another Nehru at the helm. He was tied down at that time. Had he been ruling now, we would have seen a better India. Atleast, a bit more secular. (This has got nothing to do with Rahul Gandhi's recent comments. I meant Nehru, not his sons or daughter-in-laws or cooks or maids, who got nothing but a claim to him being a forefather).


clash said...

Ours had been a civilisation that has always accepted the "others"-----
I have a doubt! Did we always accepts the "others" or was it just a propaganda to masquerade the real truth or was it just the historical inevitability (That we just had to accept)? Because, we still talk about "vasu daiva kudumbakam" as a fad but do we really identify with that feeling? Rarely.

Anonymous said...

i don't think "vasu daiva kudumbakam" has got any role in that, but probably it was a historic inevitability. and i guess, all of those "others" forst came in as innocuous visitors and we had no reason to reject them. rather, may be we were amazed with their diferent culture.

you are right, we hardly ever recongnise that feeling anymore and we are turning into dangerous xenophobes


mathew said...

myself being in germany for about a year now..i figure out that there aint any religion in Germany anymore..except for some parts of Bavaria..

Its a country where 70%people are atheist..and the funny part is people become atheist coz christians have to pay additional tax here!!