Wednesday, 8 April 2009

12:39PM

Advani filed his BJP nomination papers from the Gandhinagar constituency today, at exactly 12:39pm.

So did, Suresh Patel, who filed his Congress nomination papers today. Also at 12:39pm.

Advani’s filing of papers was preceded by a Hindu puja at his house.

12:39pm is an auspicious time for Hindus. They believe that every thing they do at this stroke of the clock, will be fruitful.

Apart from the stark incongruity of the fact that both rival parties have filed their papers at the same time, both expecting that it will bring them luck in the form of winning the elections, is the fact, that the BJP who is rampantly claiming it is a secular party, amidst wide spread skepticism of the weight of the statement, conducted a Hindu puja over the nomination papers, with no thought to emphasizing their ‘secular nature’.

This issue really pertains to the possibility of a secular-democracy, and the possibility of existence of a democracy in a secular state. I have with me an article I’ve written over a year back, on the same issue. I haven’t blogged it, because I wasn’t able to arrive at a suitable consensus (I will soon, and this post will be rehashed). So I’m not opening that subject right now, but I do want to bring to attention this one fact, as below.

Is it appropriate for a secular party, to embrace the majority religion, as the party religion?

If I stand for election, as the BJP candidate for Gandhinagar, as a Muslim/Christian/Sikh/Jain/Buddhist/ Jewish/Zoroastrian/atheist candidate, am I expected to attend the puja, be decorated with a tikka, and file my papers at 12:39pm too?

All over India, in said secular environments, at business establishments, generator rooms and more, on every Hindu festival, puja is carried out, no matter what the sentiment of the minority community is. The sentiment is ignored by the minority community themselves, as well as the ones carrying out the puja, ie: the majority community. It has become commonplace, such that nobody has an opinion any more, and nobody expects an opinion either.

But, I'm not going to talk about it now. I will when I put up that post I mentioned earlier.

33 comments:

Kertz said...

Well I don't know why all the time I have to say something that contradicts your post. :)

I'm not religious and I have very little confidence that I will ever be. But my question here is why the minority has to bring their sentiments over what the majority does? Well, that question even confused me! I'll make it clear...

If someone does 'pooja' in the generator room, how does that affect the so called minority? Can't they just understand in the end, everyone is lost in a warp of illusion?

Maybe I did not understand your point, or you are just too religious and takes all these little things/jokes seriously. I'm not sure, I'm waiting for the one year old post that never saw the light. May be that would give me a clearer picture.

PS: Diversity is good, but India has too much of it!

kicking.and.screaming said...

Nothing more welcome in my house than contradictions. Provided there's an honest exchange of intelligence in the end.

I can argue you on this, but wont. For now.

This is not a joking matter. Majority takes minority for granted. Not funny.

That post should see the light of day in about umm.. 2 months. Heh.

Kertz said...

Believe me, I would give up on an argument involving religion unless I'm very close to that person. Its always a dangerous discussion as religion is built upon the human psychic. Its a wall, the human mind is bound within. I'm not against it, but its better we don't have an argument on it. Or if you are ready to peek over the wall that surrounds you, I will be happy to show you a broader picture of the world I live in :)

But you are too religious, too patriotic and too stubborn. I'm too 'non-religious', too 'non-patriotic' but stubborn! So in the end it will be just a waste of time! :p

kicking.and.screaming said...

This is not a post on religion. This is a post on the presence of religion in a democracy.

Kertz said...

I actually wrote a comment then I thought, no I'm not able to understand your point here... So let me clarify. You said

"All over India, in said secular environments, at business establishments, generator rooms and more, on every Hindu festival, puja is carried out, no matter what the sentiment of the minority community is. The sentiment is ignored by the minority community as well as the ones carrying out the puja, ie: the majority community."

I need to know what is the sentiment involved here? Once your answer is up, I'll tell why in my view India is not a secular nation.

Cheers :D

Random Red Fire said...

"This is not a post on religion. This is a post on the presence of religion in a democracy."

It is unfortunate that religion plays a key role in Indian politics. Religion is personal and should not have anything to do with governance. The government, instead of providing sops for the minorities/backward classes should instead focus on uplifting the condition of people irrespective of their religion.

It is a shame that some people vote for a candidate based solely on his caste/religion, instead of his work record.

Surreptitious Shogun said...

It is important to understand what is meant by the term 'secular' in the Indian context.

When the constitution was drafter and subsequently adapted in 1950, the Preamble did not label India a 'secular' state.

The amendment to the preamble was made during the emergency period in 1975. At the time of the amendment, it was understood by all members of the Lok Sabha that the s'secular' refered to in the Indian constitution would be different from the Western meaning of the word 'secular', which is what you know.

While 'secular' in any dictionary (Western meaning) will be defined as anything that is unrelated of religion or bereft of religion.

In this meaning, the Chinese Communist Party is truly 'secular'.

However, when the amendment was made, it was agreed upon by the members of the house that 'secular' would mean 'equal towards all religion' , which, you will appreciate, is considerably different from having nothing to do with religion.

Thus, anything practice related to religion can indeed happen in an Indian secular environment, with there being no 'so-called' about it.

Uh, the BJP is not a secular party and nor do they claim to be. Several leaders have openly admitted and championed their Hindutva ideology.

Kertz said...

Religion, colour, community, gender and every possible difference plays a role in politics.

If people don't vote based on religion, they might do it based on party/community/gender, well the end result seems to be same. Its true its a shame, but more like an acceptable one :P

kicking.and.screaming said...

@ Random Red Fire
I agree with you completely. But this is an agreement I have the privilege to make, only because Im part of the educated middle class.

kicking.and.screaming said...

@ Surreptitious Shogun

Thanks for the history. I didnt know it was only incorporated in, in 1975.

I am conscious however, of the point you raised. I have discussed it in the essay I spoke about in this post, that I havent blogged yet.
At first thought, 'secular' seems to mean a state of no obvious religious manifestation, but what it really means is that a secular state will be partisan to no particular religion. I do understand that.

Most everybody in India knows that the BJP does not come clean with regards to their affinity for a particular religion. While there might be party workers who shout Hindutva ideology through any mic they get, the party itself, doesn't agree to it (or at least thats what they say), as we saw with Varun Gandhi.
My question on this specific issue, was just, what would a minority-beliefs-person in the BJP do, when the majority belief is so.

Like I said, this 'secularism in democracy' issue has agitated me for a while now. Im still researching it, with other people and myself. Do check back in a while, or I will let you know, when its ready. Thanks.

kicking.and.screaming said...

@ Kertz

:)

Ah um yes, youre right. But I didnt understand the last sentence.

Kertz said...

:D

The last sentence was about the shame of voting! ;)

A state is made up of its people. So unless until the people have a secular mindset, the state can not be called secular. Its not about a party, its not about the majority or minority. When one talks about the the sentiments of minority, apparently the person is being religious and in a way non-secular. Right? :)

I would say, 'secular' means being not affected by any pre-defined ideology, it can be religious, cultural, social or anything. Simply put one who acts upon the influence of emotion is 'non-secular'. An example would be a mother who would try to save her kid first from 10 drowning kids. Isn't she being non-secular? Trivial?

You, me and every single human being is non-secular and India or any country in this world can not be secular, its an Utopian dream and it will remain so...

Surreptitious Shogun said...

See, the thing is the upper echelons of the BJP do not really believe in the Hindutva propaganda.

It is what it is- a once successful manner of securing a vote bank.

With the exception of Narendra Modi, there are few political leaders in the BJP who subscribe to hardline modern RSS ideology.

Vajpayee is an excellent example. Shivraj Chauhan and Arun Jaitley are others. If you have noticed, the BJP when in power, have drafted policies for the nation, not just for Hindus. Yes, there have been communcal riots. Yes, the BJP had a hand in several (if not all of them). But communal polarisation remains a tactic they adopted with great success in the 80's and early 90's, a tactic that does not work anymore and no doubt needs change.

As for the so called secular Congress, they are no less communal than the BJP. The fact remains that the Congress has passed exceedingly conservative legislations in order to retain its Muslim vote-bank.

As for religious majority-minority, I doubt such a thing exists anymore, for even if an individual belongs to a majority, he may well belong to a minority caste within the majority.

Such issues are deeply complex and require accurate pyschographics to be studied with trends over time being studied before one can simplify things to the level of majority/minority.

For example, there are religions, castes, sub-castes, ideological castes, ideological subcasts within the religious casts and so on and so forth. I hope you can comprehend what I'm saying.

Random Red Fire said...

@ Kertz

I agree with you that unless the people have a 'secular' mindset, the state cannot be called secular. This brings to the fore another issue - education.

Let us assume that I am uneducated, poor and at the mercy of the rain gods, season after season, to earn my livelihood. Now, this politician comes up to me and says, "Vote for me. I will give you rice at 2 rupees a kg, waive off all your debts and provide electricity to your town."

This politician may be from the BJP or the Congress or any other party, what difference does it make to me? So long as he has given me these hopes, I will vote for him. I'm not educated enough to read the papers and know that he does this to every person he meets on his campaign trail and that all the promises he made will in fact never be fulfilled.

The point I'm trying to make is, the people cannot be "secular" unless they are educated. I hope you understand what I am trying to say.

kicking.and.screaming said...

When you ignore the minority, they huddle, and conspire, to defeat the majority.
And if it means that have to take up sickles, hammers and hay forks to do it, they probably will. If it means they have to form their own political parties, thus destabilizing the constitutional machinery, they will. End result will never be pretty.

@ Kertz

Your point about extending secularity to the mindset, even with regards to culture, makes sense. I'd like to jot that down for my essay, if its all right with you.

@ Shogun

Majority-minority is definitely relative, and statistics are imperative to do a proper study, but the one indisputable fact is that needs to be taken care off within their respective spheres.
Why do you not think its exists anymore? If it doesnt, what really is going on in our country?

@Random

Education is directly linked to poverty. And eradication of poverty has 'almost impossible' tagged to it. Sigh?
I have an article on this too.. should blog..
Peace in my lifetime.

Kertz said...

@Red Fire

Yes, I hope I understand what you said.

The point you are trying to make and the topic we are discussing here are all trivial. In fact this whole blog is trivial! :P

We associate secularism to religion so often that we have forgotten the meaning of secularism.

D. L. Munby states

"secular society refuses to commit itself as a whole to any one view of the nature of the universe and the role of man in it".

Now that is perfectly impossible, isn't it?

Any man who would claim himself to follow a religion is in fact following a set of ideologies set by someone or a group. So any person who is religious is, well a non-secular! I don't want to fight over this, but if anyone wants one I have time. I did see people who call themselves secular burn the pages of a book, where a man expressed a different view of the world.

In the end, the whole idea of a secular society is a dream. Call yourself secular and you are not secular! Seems like we have forgotten the divine question "why?"!

PS: I have nothing against any religion, though some examples may seem to relate to a specific one. I hate every religion as much as I love them, no discrimination.

Kertz said...

@Micky

Yes, you can use them, that would be my pleasure :)

But one condition... you should give me honest answer to my one question. Will you? :)

Kertz said...

*@Mickey :D

Surreptitious Shogun said...

What I'm saying is India has to stop drafting legislations on the basis of majority/minority.

the best functioning welfare states' in the world are those who have refused to classify communities as majorities/minorities and have ensured uniformity in legislation throughout the country.

You have to understand that the problem is not majority/minority. The FEELING of majority/minority exists in the most developed nation, the most most educated household. We constantly discriminate people on the grounds of majority of OPINION and minority of OPINION. At its roots, this is not different from religious or caste minorities.

The whole minority/majority divide was created by politicians in order to polarise the community. Instead of bringing about benefits for the community at large, they bring about benefits for a certain part of the community with a view of securing votes from them and ignoring the rest of the community. The part of the community that recieves benefits is often the majority populace of that particular community.

Therefore, it is only by drafting policies for the community at large can any measure of 'minority' upliftment be achieved. You cannot, CANNOT continue to think along divisive lines.

Which is why I'm against reservation (amongst other discriminative policies) as a long term measure. What it should be is an interim measure, till the government can commit more of its GDP to education and welfare [ creation of social overhead capital]. However, politicians do not want this to happen, as when such development is effected, people will realize their significance and their awareness levels will increase which will lead to the culmination of vote bank politics.

Come on, see it from the point of view of a politician. Would you really want to fulfill the needs of those who are your slaves because they are the needy?

Kertz said...

@Shogun
I agree with the point you made. It's true reservation has ruined the structure of the democracy. But lets go back in time for a while.

If you look 100 years back in some of the Indian societies, you will find the level of discrimination that existed. We are talking about the state of affairs before the period of colonization and during the period. In some cases lower caste women were not allowed to cover their breast in public. Lower caste men had to move out of the way when a higher caste man was on the way. They were in fact slaves. I and many of us would have been part of the slaves if born a 100 years before! But the strength and courage of a few gave us a life.

After independence, the government realized the discrimination based on colour and caste still exist in the society. It was almost impossible for someone of lower caste to climb through the ladders. That is exactly the reason why government proposed reservation for the backward/minority community.

But today the whole aspect is different. The discrimination still exist in some cases, but the reservation is claimed by those who already have their life settled pretty well. More like an abuse of the concept. People got so used to it that they are not ready to give it up.

Still there are needy people, who require reservation if they need to build a quality life. So reservation still stands some purpose, but people are misusing it. There are mistakes from part of the government too, but well we are the government right? :P

kicking.and.screaming said...

@ Kertz

The secularism i talk about here, refers to justice. You dont seem to have quite got it.

A religion-less society is an immoral one. Being religious has everything to do with justice and nothing to do with fanaticism or 'non secular'
Argue?

Well, Im not going to debate on this. Please give me some time, to come out with all my views. I had a 2 hour discussion with someone on this even yesterday. Soon..

kicking.and.screaming said...

@ Shogun

You seem to suggest the moulding of India into some fantasy European society.

In France, there's a head scarf ban. They dont give two hoots about minority. "Its our country, if youre coming here, you do it our way. Homogeneity."

In India, nobody is 'coming there.' We've trickled down through the ages, and some are in excess, some arent. But we are all Indian. If we havent welcomed the trickles, we have certainly allowed and subsequently accepted them. For the most part, we try to establish that we are all Indians, and order of settlement doesn’t govern order of priority.

These differences IS us. We are a heterogeneous society that goes by the collective name of India. This doesnt in any way give us a unity, as we can see. But we live with it.

We cant ignore minority. And if we do, what standards are we going to use? Majority standard? Or draft a 'balanced standard'? If we do the latter, its much the same as 'accepting and taking into consideration', the minority. And this is exactly what Ive been talking about all along.

The 'best functioning welfare states' you refer to, are states where minorities will travel to, and keep shut about their numbers, because they know they are in no position to make demands. Besides, since they are in the 'best' welfare state, the WANT to be there, and will do nothing to get themselves deported.

In India, they dont want to be here. They are here, have always been. They have ownership here, and thus feel the right and have the right, to assert themselves. This is not something they can do or will dare to do, elsewhere.

About trying to create that best welfare state, in our society- I believe (almost?)everything in life needs to be determined contextually. There can very rarely be a one-size-fits-all. If there has to be one, somebody has to be willing to put up with a tight squeeze or one which is so loose, he will get lost in it. No minority in India is going to do this, because they are not immigrants, they are Indians. This land is their land as much as it is ours.

------

With regards to the 'feeling of minority/majority', I agree. I wish Muslims wouldn't think of themselves as minority. I wish they wouldn't see themselves as suppressed. But in a lot of cases, these grievances are also true.

And in a lot of cases, theyre not(not with regards to Muslims). Here's when exploitation of benefits begins.

These arguments of equality vs. benefits are similar to the contradictory nature of feminist arguments. Just a remark.

2 examples:
There are low caste people who have fully shaken off their ancestry with regards to caste, but will still check the OBC box, on college applications.
I have a friend who lives in a marble floored house. Recently renovated. But she said, that she knows she can never fall in love. Her father may be out of the village and in the office, but her marriage is going to be on caste lines. She cant marry someone of similar economic status or a greater one. She's going to have to marry similar caste.

So sometimes, in India, people themselves are unwilling to shake off caste, even if they can, and sometimes its imposed on them.

This is India. I dream of a day when both the above scenarios wont happen. But this is not going to happen in my life time. And forcing this change on my country, I dont agree with.

----

Majority-minority is certainly used by politicians today, but what makes you say they created it?! This has existed long before we got freedom and democracy, and you know it. The British didnt have to divide us really, because we already were. They played with our pre-existing divisions... and ruled.

-----

Perhaps you should explain further, on how we can devise policy for the community (consisting of you-know-who) at large... which as you ALSO say, will achieve minority upliftment, without giving special consideration to minority. Maybe I will understand you better then.

----

I agree with your plan, on making reservation an interim plan, so that more GDP can be committed to the cause of upliftment.
But the economy is not so simple.
The conspiracy theory is tempting though.

Kertz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kicking.and.screaming said...

@ Kertz and Shogun

I dont think we can truly call ourselves a democracy if we didnt have reservation. The true purpose of reservation is to be the rope that people can use to come out of their pits.

Shogun though, seems to turn it on its head, and believe that it is an evil policy to divide.

What I have to say is almost the same as what Kertz has already said, but briefer: Reservation is a handy tool. It is used to politicians to divide, and by those who can avail of it, to seek a sometimes unfair advantage. As fr it being an 'evil tool', both sides are to blame.

But for the few people who may actually need this benefit, we have to leave the system in place. Restructuring is always a good idea though.

Kertz said...

@Mickey

You said it right most of the time but still I have the urge to differ.

"The secularism i talk about here, refers to justice. You dont seem to have quite got it."

Well secularism can never be referred to justice. Judiciary revolves around a set of written rules or the word of witness, which well is completely against the concept of secularism.
I assert to what I said, you don't quite understand the meaning of secularism or you prefer to not understand.

"A religion-less society is an immoral one. Being religious has everything to do with justice and nothing to do with fanaticism or 'non secular'
Argue?"

I've not said, religion has to do something with injustice? Did I? I said the concept of religion would never allow one to be secular. You are believing blindly to something a few people said or wrote. This is in regard to every religion that exist. There have been religion-less societies, but they lived in harmony rather than the ones you see today. You need to dig up the history of religions.

"Well, Im not going to debate on this. Please give me some time, to come out with all my views. I had a 2 hour discussion with someone on this even yesterday. Soon.."

Probably even I'm not interested for a debate. When you are building your views, please do not close your eyes. Try to see the things you have ignored. Lets see what you come up with...

PS: I myself would like to brand myself a part of minority. In fact I am... :)

Surreptitious Shogun said...

"I agree with your plan, on making reservation an interim plan, so that more GDP can be committed to the cause of upliftment.
But the economy is not so simple.
The conspiracy theory is tempting though."

Pray check your facts before you spout such fine words, m'lady.

Half the children in India are underweight/malnourished. In fact, India accounts for more than half the child deaths of the world every year.

Maternal mortality in India is the second highest in the world.

9 lakh Indians die every year from drinking contaminated water and breathing polluted air.

1,000 Indian children die of diarrhoeal sickness every day.

1 in every 3 malaria deaths in the world is from India. (The Malaria/Typhoid figures are from 2001, bear with me.)

1 in every 4 cholera deaths is in India.

We currently spend 0.8 % of our GDP on healthcare.

I hail from Tamil Nadu which is home to one of the poorest districts of the country, Pudhukottai (here has been some improvement lately now, though) I have visited parts of Pudhukottai several times. I'll tell you what, those figures tell you nothing of the kind of suffering they're enduring. Conspiracy theory? Tell that to them.

I've visited a few villages in Malkangiri in Orissa. Again, one of India's poorest districts. In 3 houses (if you could call them that) that I spent considerbale time in, they did not have a toilet. The rains were off that year. One particular household had barely enough foodgrain to last them a day.

Conspiracy theory? Tell that to them. They have no drinking water supply (over half the developing countries of the world have now gaurenteed every citizen drinking water. India has the highest GDP amongst them all. Conspiracy theory? Please, please analyse the quality of life in every other developing country that has HALF the economic wealth India has)

The Primary Health Centre I visited was being used as a provision store.

Economics is not that simple? We cant gaurantee them food, a house, drinking water, healthcare? Yes, its a conspiracy theory.

The ten richest Indians accounted for 25 PER CENT of our national income in 2007. Thanks to the recession, the figures have decreased.

We are hovering around #30 in the world millionaire list... and at 132 (below bloody Bhutan) in the HDI.

Conspiracy theory, yes, Indeed. 1991. ManMohan SIngh and his trickle down effect.Tax cuts to the tune of Rs.10000 Crore. He cut the National Malaria Eradication Policy's funds by almost 50% at a time when malaria was rampant.

People die of dysentery everyday, something you and I face every other month. 0.8% of the GDP.

We have the HIGHEST PRIMARY LEVEL DROPOUTS IN THE WORLD. 52%. We spend less than 4% of our GDP on education. Corruption is rampant in the government education schools in rural areas. I wont claim to have seen all of rural India. But, I have seen some of it. The poorest of the poor.

Ground relaities are wastronomically different from what we debate here every day. Conspiracy theory indeed. Reservations dont help these people and they never will. Reservations dont help the poorest of the poor to put together enough rice to feed the family.

After 60 years of Independence, the state of Gandhi's India, its villages, are absymal.

These people who can barely get enough food to feed their families, they do not care about majority and minority. All they care about is getting by till sunset and ensuring their family is safe for one more day. All they want is some empathy and change.

The Indian Government has made such a mess of its economy that it will be unable to deliver of ANY of the food/water/quality of life promises made by either of the leading colations. The RBI has printed 66,000 crore rupees in the last year (as of February). Our fiscal deficit is up from 2.5% to 7%. 25 kg rice at Rs. 2? Even if they wanted to implement it, tehy cant. And even when they have in the past, corrupt civil servants and government officials have ensured that such amentiies never reach their intended audience.

Cuba has THE best healthcare in the world.

China had comparable statistics to those of India in every field I have put forth to you.

In fact, at the time of independence in 1950, China has a poverty rate of 85%, which is now at 13% and decreasing. India is one the world's largest exporters and is endowed with bountiful natural resources. Our revenue receipts, capital receipts and debt receipts are enough to ensure development of the country, both qualitatively and quantitatively.

China and Cuba are communist states that are atheistic and draft uniform policies for the public. I take thir example because they are comparable to India.

The EU, UK, US are so far ahead in terms of quality of living that you can barely see them.

Fact is, the poorest of the poor would choose devlopment and emancipation anytime. They could'nt care less about majority/minority as long as they survive. And there's no conspiracy here when I saw your taxpayer rupees are going down the drain. Where to? I dont know. Not to those 50% malnourished children, they're not.

kicking.and.screaming said...

@ Kertz

I dont know where the gap is.

This isnt the first time you have insinuated a closed mind from my part. You wont meet a more open minded person than me.
And open mind doesnt mean, 'falls for/accepts everything' either.

kicking.and.screaming said...

@ Shogun

Do you think I dont care about these things you brought up?
We're on the same side Shogun.

------

Lets clear up stands on this then.

>> On the question of prevalence of majority-minority, you believe nobody's opinion needs to be taken, for policy making. Also, we should not accept this facet of our country, because it is regressive.
Then how do we make them? Who makes them? Anybody qualified enough for the job? There is a great likelihood, that he wont belong to the minority, because as you suggest, we shall not have reservations. Capitalism will continue. Wont minority then, always remain deprived and backward?
There's something I want to say here about economics and minorities, but I shall come back when I have developed it better. Knowing you though, you can probably guage what Im going to say already.

>> On the issue of politicians, you believe their plan is: "pretend to want to save the people, but actually inflict more pain, while continuing to pretend to want to save the people."
But there is almost no non-criminal politician. Can we ask why, and what we should do about this?

>> And on the issue of reservation, you believe, its quite frivolous and quite unnecessary.
You also want to bring upliftment. But you believe it should be done by simply pouring down the money, so that everybody is at par.
I wish Communism worked.

Have I understood you clearly?

ANYWAY.
Theyre protesting capitalism all over the world, this very minute [In a post, at a blog, close to you, soon!]And Ive been wondering about democracy as well. So um, still looking forward to hearing the Shogun System of Governance.
Without reservations. No sarcasm intended.

kicking.and.screaming said...

@ Shogun

To provoke you further, you may also enjoy this: http://soapboxfound.blogspot.com/2009/04/spare-change.html

I dont think the paragraphs work on this post.

Kertz, you have a friend.

Kertz said...

Mickey, sorry if sounded harsh. I do not think you can be open minded in case of religious views. It's quite built inside your sub conscious to just pull a shade over it. I have never seen an open-minded-religious person. Both never seem to go in the same plate. May be you are an exception but you have to prove it.

It's hard to convince you and I'm not quite able to express what I want to say! I had come up with a better way which you never seem to accept. I avoided posting a few of my comments as it might seem a little harsh until unless I quite get the way you function. You can not be that open-minded either. :)

A small discussion on religion can break a long standing friendship in seconds, yes its evil! I would always try to prevent myself from having such a temptation. Especially with an 89 year old lady from Tuvalu! Ancient artifact handle with care! :P

tiyan said...

Tell me mickey-that's-my-name-dont-call-me-anything-else if this pooja was attended by non-hindu candidate(s)of the party as well would you still pose the same question?because in that case i dont see how they're contravening their secularist ideology.

kicking.and.screaming said...

@ Tiyan

of course i will. it does change the dynamics a little though. go on and tell me then, why you think this scenario you created would not be a contradiction, which is what you are insinuating.

kicking.and.screaming said...

ANNOUNCEMENT.I wrote an exam yesterday. We had to write a half an hour essay at the end of it.

3 topics.
I picked 'Promoting Multiculturalism is Important for a Vibrant Democracy.'Hee!

This is an 'announcement' because I must thank everyone on this discussion here. I used the assimilated best, from this post and this discussion, for the essay, and MANAGED to keep it 500 words(300 words word limit).