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Lies and Men of God “Proselytizers” – Part I

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Yeh Hakumat ke pujari hain, Yeh daulat ke gulam
Jo jahnum is musibaton se darate hain muje
Khud to bana lete hain duniya me jannat apni
Khab khoi hui jannat ke dikhate hain muje.

“The worshipers of power (and) the slaves of wealth build paradise on earth for personal pleasures and promise martyrs (me) paradise in afterlife.” 

The above couplet popped in my mind as soon as I started thinking about the truth, politicians and clerics. Politically motivated orthodox clerics in general and radical fundamentalist evangelist engaged in proselytizing in particular behave as the purveyors of purity and defenders of the faith. Both politicians and clerics shade or distort truth to suit a given political ideology.  

Metaphorically, an aphorism aptly describes the behavior of such people. The aphorism, “Is hammam me sabi nange” means, “In a Turkish hammam (community bathroom) everyone is naked.”  

The two parts blog discusses various shades of truths by politicians and clerics. The part I of the blog addresses the following:

  1. Multifaceted Truth and Faiths
  2. Lies, Dictators and Elected Politicians
  3. Lies and Men of God
  4. Sanskars, Deep Impressions and Proselytizers
  5. References and notes


Multifaceted Truth and Faiths 

If it is scientifically verified information or objective knowledge it is truth. This blog looks at subjective truth from various angles.

Subjective truth is asymmetrical. Understanding truth by subjective methods is dependent on individual perceptions and intellectual capacity. Truth is also subject to ability to look at the apparent truth from different perspectives to get a complete picture. It is not easy to subjectively decipher all relevant aspects related to truth on given issues. Truth comes with contours and depending on the position and intellectual capacity of the observer it is presented differently. Subjective truth is not one or two dimensional; it is multifaceted.

Politicians and purveyors of purity are not scientists. They follow an ideology to power and personal enrichment. Truth is often distorted by politically motivated pundits, leaders and clerics with evangelical bend for proselytizing. Some times the distortions sink in to public opinions and public may become infected with an absurd view of the power of government.

Most politicians, politically motivated pundits and warlords, and proselytizing evangelists overrate their capacity to shape the future. That’s fine. Optimistic people rise in this world.  The problem comes when these optimists don’t look at themselves objectively from the outside.

Take faith, any faith. Each is presented as the truth. God is one. Yet, in practice there is the God of laws, rewards and punishment practiced by politicians and the God of love, mercy and forgiveness preferred by most citizens. The Christian Biblical God and Muslim Allah haven’t seen eye to eye for 1,500 years. Christian and Islamic bigotry against people of other faiths have prevented germination of seeds of mutual respect for more than 1,500 years. The constitutional democracies offer a chance for germination of seeds of mutual respect for people of different faiths.

People of different faiths in countries like India and the US live for most part amicably as they believe and respect in the national constitution that grants basic human rights to all its citizens. These nations are good examples of unity in diversity, free of radical norms dictated by evangelic or fundamental radicals. In such societies the progressive forces for modernization and conservative fundamentalists radicals for purity of faith learn to live within the bounds of the constitution.

Democracy offers a potential for diagonally opposite forces to come together to build a working coalition to conforms to the will of majority. That is unity in diversity offering personal choices and personal responsibility. As old generations are replaced with new generations, the will of the people may change with emerging new realities. Structurally each successful democracy is designed to peacefully handle such changes.

Additional issues related to democracy, laws of nature, human laws, political ideologies, and common purpose and community norms in part II of the blog.

Lies, Dictators and Elected Politicians 

Lying is second nature to politicians and to the clerics of any faith. The art of politics is to shade truth to prevail their point of views. Politics, by one definition, is the art of recognizing the possible, the chore of building large coalitions and the will of compromising on non-essentials.

Dictators turned politicians generally are autocrats and compulsive liars. Dictators are military men and with rare exceptions not able to transform themselves into viable, intelligent (albeit amateur) politicians with leadership ability. Dictator’s lack training and political skills for compromise that trained politicians have to build large coalitions. Many dictators rule by suppression. Since dictators do not seek votes to occupy the political office, orders and suppressions rule until the dictator is killed or over thrown.

Although graveyards are full of indispensable dictators, every new dictator waltzes in as the new savior. With Arab Springs (2010 – 11) the dictators are finding out that suppression and autocratic rule is not going to work forever. The recent uprisings in Middle  East and North Africa are a result of awakening of the Arab youth through internet connectivity. With the waves of revolutions called the Arab uprisings dictators in three of six nations are gone. There is a potential for the Muslim brand of democracies to surface in these nations.

Elected officials, especially in established constitutional democracies, are considered liars if they are unable to keep the promises made to get elected. However, once in office sanity dominates to build coalitions. They are guided by the legally binding constitution to compromise and build coalitions for effective governance.

Previously unrealized finer details of realities for effective governance generally guide political decisions. Before elections politicians may not be in a position to learn full truths or all relevant facts about realities of the issues that concern the effective governance. They essentially have to break promises not made under the oath of office.

To respect compromise, in democracies the constitution are built on the principle of checks and balances. The politicians, pundits and public interest groups, etc discuss views that may or may not prevail before policies and laws are enacted by authorized elected bodies. In the US the legislators have authority to enact the laws and approve policies. This process is built on compromises and building coalition of the majority consensus. Additional powers for checks and balances rest with the President and the courts.

The policies and laws are adopted only if signed by the president and in the courts’ opinions it conforms to the constitution. Once all legally binding constitutional requirements are completed the policies and the laws come into effect. The opposition politicians and public outbursts that they were lied to in any democracy during campaigning is just that, rhetoric and not the facts.

Lies and Men of God 

The clerics of every faith unlike politicians persist and present themselves as ‘Men of God’ and many politically motivated clerics act as purveyors of purity of faith. Some clerics are corrupted intellectuals playing games of political passion. They become accomplices and participate in the organisation of political hatreds and a sanctification of the passions of the masses. Not to fall for a fancy veneer of “Men of God” coated politically motivated clerics is hard for impressionable youth and adults.

In some parts of the world purveyors of “purity of Islam” continue to politically exploit faith to wreck havoc and induce human sufferings just as Catholics in lands governed by Romans and Europeans Christians did prior to the Renascences period. Colonization by European imperialists surfaced during the Modern Era. After WWII most colonies were freed. Newly born nations increased membership of the UN from 61 in 1945 to 192 in 2011.

In the US and many nations a big business is sale of furniture that looks like teak, oak or cherry at attractive affordable prices to customers looking for bargains. Once delivered customers discover that the furniture is made of pressed wood coated with veneer. Life is full of surprises and disappointments for people who fall for veneer coated products.

By same logic the “Men of God” – the pious looking clerics and politically motivated purveyors of purity are able to entice impressionable youth and families looking for help of God. The victims of jihad have paid a huge price for more than a decade as jihadis traveled path of terrorism and extremism in to the targeted nations.

In the pseudo theocratic Pakistan the army and its ISI wing has invested heavily for more than three decades to build infrastructure for training Taliban or the army of students of God for jihad. It started as essentially a collection of mercenary private armies trained to fight gorilla brand low level proxy wars outsourced by the army. After the first Afghan War (1979 – 89) the private armies morphed into several dozen jihadi organizations spread into the fabric ofPakistan.

The era of proxy wars started a new wave of Islamic imperialism. Taliban co-linked to al Qaeda ruled Emirate of Afghanistan (1996 – 2001) before it was destroyed by the US. With effective defensive military strategies in place across the borders to the east and west, the costs for Pakistan of wagging jihad have gone up. Economically Pakistan is sliding down as the revenues from sponsors for the rentier army are decreasing. Globally, many bank accounts of jihadi organization are frozen. Armies exist to fight wars and Taliban terrorist are busy internally destabilizing Pakistan.

Sanskars, Deep Impressions and Proselytizers 

The Sanskrit word samskaras or sanskars in English means ‘deep impressions’. It comes from our past life experiences and it is continuously evolving as it is also what we are gaining in this life. In our childhood and even today, when we interact with people, our sense organs are constantly receiving many stimuli, the conditionings and the deeper impressions, which remain as residue in our subconscious and it is called sanskars.

Judaism, several Vedic origin faiths and Zoroastrians societies are more than 5,000 years old and people of these faiths have acquired sanskars for more than 250 generations. In fact they in general and Jews in particular may have acquired sanskars as many as 400 generation ago as the world started transforming about 8,000 – 9,000 years ago from the “hunters and gathers” nomadic tribes in to agricultural settled farmers’ societies in the lands of the Fertile Crescent region, the home of Semitic people. Christians and Muslims have existed for less than 2,000 years or 100 generations.

Christian and Islamic imperial powers compete globally and insist on proselytizing or converting the people of other faiths. It is fallacious of proselytizers to present that only through their faith salvation can be achieved. European and Arab pagans as well as many mostly economically disadvantaged people seeking free medical and economic aid have converted to Christianity and Islam. Some were forced to convert to escape religious and political persecutions. About 50% of seven billion global populations have not converted even after more than 1,500 years of trying by evangelical clerics of Christianity and Islam. Sanskars have helped them preserve their faith from conversion.

God for Jews is Yahweh, for Christian the Biblical God, Muslims Allah, Hindus Bhagwan, Zoroastrian Ahura Mazda and Sikhs Guru Granth Sahib. Jews follow Prophesies of Moses, Christians of Jesus, Muslims of Mohammed and Sikhs of Guru Nanak. Buddhists follow teachings of Gautam Buddha, Janis of Mahavir Jain, and so on. That is how societies developed unique cultures and traditions through inherited sanskars. Proselytizers for more than 1,500 years have tried but failed to overcome deep impressions or inheritance of sanskars.

Proselytizing or conversions involves presenting one or more untruths or lies. Proselytizers do not practice the principle of the mutual respect for other faiths. The intent is to synthesize common purpose to create religiously homogeneous communities to increase the size of congregation in the occupied lands.

Proselytizers are ignorant of the connection between faith and “sanskars,” or “deep impressions.” They may also be ignorant of the inherent connections between the faith and preexisting common purpose, the traditions, “community norms” or the genetically associated social and cultural norms. Survivals of Hindus and other faiths linked to Vedic scriptures of India, Jews spread all across world and Zoroastrians in South Asia and other parts of the globe are a testament to the strengths of sanskars and common purpose of followers of each faith that withstood the religious persecutions by imperial rulers for more than 1,500 years.

To be concluded

References and notes

  1. Kishan Bhatia, “Proselytizing and Political Ideologies: Truth vs Revisionist History
  2. Kishan Bhatia, “History of Imperialists Bigotry – Christianity, Islam and Pagans
  3. Kishan Bhatia, “Heritage and Awakening
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