Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A new Hindu

If you observe closely a new dimension of, previously unthinkable, Hinduism is surfacing. This new breed of 24*7 middle and upper middle class IT highway population of India drinks, like steaks with peas on the side, will have multiple sexual partners in their life time (possibly partners of the same sex), not hesitant to get involved with inter-caste or inter-religion opposite sex.

Having lived in Chennai for a year and working for the first time amongst people from all over India, it was an experience in itself. I worked with the young and energetic workforce that earned considerably (although paid out most of it in debt) and enjoyed extravagantly. Going out for drinks on a Friday in a nice pub, listen to rock music and eat steak or pork ribs for dinner was something that we did without a second thought.

For me it doesn’t matter which religion you come from. But I wondered if this new Hindu population is just an anomaly or a new and growing trend which is set to change the way middle class population of India practices religion. I grew up in a Jain family, but I eat beef and have meat as my diet. I consider myself to be an anomaly because I lived abroad, had the chance to draft list of do’s and don’ts on my own and lived outside the circumference of family and social intervention in my private affairs (although being an atheist did help!)

But the developed social culture I experienced was different. These people went to temples, believed in the teachings of Hinduism and had families not far away to teach what shouldn’t they be doing. But this new trend of eating beef, drinking every other day etc seemed an acceptable behavior. I accept that equating life style with religion is an incomplete assumption, but a thought nevertheless.

I wonder what RSS , HVP or BD will have to say. I am sure they will be all up in arms about this. They have degraded themselves by calling themselves as the moral police which, in my opinion contradicts the whole idea of justice and free will, upon which our democracy was founded.

Sometimes I think (surprisingly aligning myself with Arundhati Roy’s Listening to Grasshopers) state and democracy has failed us. Not the idea, but politics required to maintain democracy. Churchill once said democracy is the worst form of governance, except that all the others have been tried.

The above analogy I made is not really prefect, but this shows how our society is mutating for worse (as a Kar Sevak will put it) or changing for better (as I put it) I do not dispute the necessity of religion in the social culture, but despise the idea of morals being imposed on the social culture by religion. Religion is not a social commodity (although it was formed to bind the civilized society) but a private affair and so are the moral standards, which flow from it.