Sunday, August 16, 2009
Has India Become A Hindu Country?
Title: The yoni and the cock and bull story - Has India become a Hindu country?
The Hindustan Times 17 August, 2009 reports a story written by Padma Shastri on how beggar children in one of the Jyotirlinga pilgrimage places in India - Omkareshwar have been gathered by Ma Anandmayee Ashram there and have been converted from a life of no dignity to a life of vedic education, music, art and songs. These children were begging on the streets only a few decades ago, but from the kind intervention of the Ashram since 1986, they have been admitted in the Ma Anandmayi Tripura Vidyapeeth. Here they are taught to read and write and learn music along with the Vedic slokas. Thus, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes which used to be a way of life for most of these kids before they entered school, has changed dramatically and been replaced by finer values of life.
The children receive free education, food, clothing and books to complete their studies. Many of these children have also found new ways to earn their living by visiting abroad doing music shows.
Parents of these children say that they are happy. " We did not want to send our children to Government schools because of poor standards of education".
However, the children of the nearby tribesmen village told the Monks at the Vidyapeeth - " We earn Rs 4000 every forth day by selling weapons. If you are able to guarantee that our children will earn that much and more by attending your school, then we are willing to send our children."
Swami Gurusharan Anand, the American convert and Principal of the Vidyapeeth remained tongue tied.
My questions are very simple:
(1) Has India become a Hindu Country? By focusing on teaching the Vedas at School level, is it not contributing to children growing up with non-secular thoughts as well as ill begotten thoughts that only Hindu religious texts are right?
(2) Is it worth bringing out children from poverty only to make them "blind believers"?
(3) Must education not perform its main duty of giving quality education without placing layers of religious toppings?
(4) Finally, is it not the duty of any education institute to promote the real spirit of India - diversity of thought, religion, peoples in its true sense? By teaching Vedas and not the Quran or the Bible, the Zenavestha or the religious text of the Sikhs, the teaching of the vedas amounts to telling a bed(Read: bad) time story of the yoni and the cock and bull story.
Reference: The Hindustan Times, Bhopal edition, 17 August, 2009