Thursday, November 26, 2009

Our Religious Right

(A Letter to the Editor - published in The Kathmandu Post, 27 Nov 2009)

Biswas Baral should understand that we live in a democracy with freedom of religion ("Final Thoughts on Gadhimai", Nov. 26, Page 7). If people have faith in Gadhimai and wish to sacrifice buffaloes to the Goddess, who is to say they are "religious fanatics"? The Post has also published a letter from a woman in Norway who considers this event a "disgrace to Nepal" ("Not in God's Name", Nov. 26, Page 7). They are practicing their faith and let no one, especially someone living in Scandinavia, complain.

Baral goes so far as to philosophise, "people who commit violence against animals early in their lives are likely to commit violent crimes against other people when they grow up" (no reference cited). Animal sacrifice to Goddess Durga is a basic practice in Hinduism. I have a Chettri friend in whose family every male member is taught to cut a goat with a khukuri (in a single clean stroke) by the time he is 14 or 15. It is a rite of passage into adulthood. My friend cut his first goat at 15 and his first buffalo at 16. He is middle-aged today and has committed no crime in his entire life.

Hinduism was taken away as the official religion of this country, ironically under the watch of three Brahmin politicians. But at least 65% of the population are Hindus (another 15% are Buddhists). Let them practice their religion without uncalled for judgments. I will not judge the American people, for instance, for the number of turkeys they are going to kill for Thanksgiving. Let no one judge Nepalis for practicing their religion.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

The following is what I have responded to one of our friends when asked for the response on the Gadhimai religious practice. I stand with the practices of Hindus.

Namaskar to all friends!

I agree with Sumir Bhai. What is the difference between turkey and buffalo, both living beings. Vegatables and plants have lives. Every country has its culture and traditions.
We Hindus cannot force Islamic or Christian nations to stop slaughtering beef/cow. Their puppet Human Rights Organizations should not ask anything from Hindus while we pracitce our culture and traditions. But we definitely must ban the killings of cows in our nation because cow is considered a sacred by all Hindus.

Bishal Shah,
NY

Horatio said...

Well said, Bishal.

Anonymous said...

The hype created is understandable. After removing the Hindu Kingdom , and the Hindu Monarchy, the next onslaught has to be on the Hindu-Vedic practices. Gadhimai practices have been there for thousands of years, but it is only now the propaganda against it being unleashed.

Apart from this, if the persons falling for this propaganda are vegetarians, do not use leather goods, and do not use goods made out of furs, do not use medicines made out of animal products, then and then only can such persons be considered as not being hypocrites.

Of course their disregard for religious rights and being fooled by anti-Hindu propaganda still stands.

Anonymous said...

If animal sacrifice should not be condemned it certainly should not be promoted.
There used to be human sacrifice in the name of religion and widows burnt in the funeral pyre of their husbands in the not too distant past and that has stopped so too can animal sacrifice. I am against animal sacrifice.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:24, the issue is about partiality and timing of this onslaught. Good, if you are against all animal slaughter, if you are one of those as indicated in the second paragraph of my (Anon 9:43) comment above.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you. No one should try to teach us how do we practice our religion. I feel that there is a logic in Chhettri family about teaching how to cut goat at the age of 14/15.

Anonymous said...

Basically, we must maintain our national identity - be they religious, traditional or cultural.
It is equally a venerable act to sacrifice to the Almighty God prior to cooking and eating the meat
How do you kill an animal to eat the meat as a Nepalese ? Knife ? Khukuri ? Sword ? Bullet ? or Strangulation ?
Just because a foreigner says it or provokes through INGO money, that one should start abhorring one's tradition
is ridiculous? Looking for logic means prohibiting oneself from criticizing or contradicting others' traditional practices.

Has anybody dared to complain against the Maoists and its brutalities or them peeing on /at the Hindu temples?
Just because there is no fear of retaliation are you demanding that animal sacrifice should stop ? Then human sacrifice may begin with you as the first being to be severed.

Anonymous said...

Nearly 300 million turkeys are killed each year in the U.S. These turkeys spend their entire lives crammed in large sheds with little room to move. Artificially inseminated and selectively bred to gain enormous amounts of weight, they suffer heart attacks, broken limbs, lameness, and death from their genetically- induced accelerated growth rate.

Who is to say that Nepalis are behaving "inhumanely" by sacrificing 60,000 buffaloes to Goddess Durga?

Subodh said...

One of the enlightening revelations made by Iranian President Ahmedinejad when asked about his denying the Holocaust was that the Iranians were not involved in it, if it was a fact then Europeans did it. Wow!!!Likewise let us not make turkey slaughter the excuse for our own excesses. We Hindus are better than that!

Horatio said...

Similar to one man's terrorist being another's freedom fighter, "excesses" to some is merely expressions of Faith in the Almighty to most Hindus.