“Re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul.” – Walt Whitman
On one hand, we cry foul that our nation is becoming less secular and more polarised. On the other hand, we encourage religious institutions to expand their empires of education. So we want the patient to recover from fever and at the same time encourage him to take cold showers regularly.
The trend was started by the Christian Missionaries as part of their strategy to harvest overpopulated souls in developing and underdeveloped countries. Other strategies included opening hospitals and providing charity to the needy and underprivileged. These three strategies have something in common. The sick, the needy, and the under-aged are at their vulnerable worst, thus making their mind ripe to be instilled with a new form of God.
Slowly, followers of other religions woke up to the potential. Of course, these schools and colleges did not have any covert agenda to harvest souls. Some educational evangelists discovered the potential of harvesting millions (in hard unaccounted cash) by running educational institutions under the banner of religious organisations or by stoking the religious pride. Some of these institutes were established to counter the expansionist agenda of the Church.
You allow your children to study under the supervising eyes of a particular set of jealous Gods, who don’t see eye to eye with other sets of Gods (Or a God, Or the God) and expect them to emerge secular or religiously broadminded when they grow up.
For any such flaws of serious nature in our society, usually, the immediate response is to bring in new legislature. By the way there is no need for any special laws to be enacted now to cleanse our education system of things non-secular. The CBSE bylaws mandate that in order to get recognition schools must propagate secular mindset. Now the question is : who will bell the cat? (Mad Charvak says, ‘After all, dear brother, who would risk losing such a chunk of vote bank?’)
Vested interests (that includes parents) want that people spend their early part of life in heavily conditioned religious setups that emphasize ‘ours’ is the only way, so that they become protectors of their great cultures and religions when they grow up.
At the same time society should not go to the other extreme of banning all kinds of spiritual education. Let the students learn a little bit of history and essence of all faiths, including non-religious faiths like communism. That will prevent them from becoming chauvinists, and in the extreme case from becoming terrorists.
By the way, as 2017 is coming to a close a strange question is coming to my mind. Certain day is called a Hindu New Year, another as a Jain New Year, and so on. Why not call this one starting from tomorrow as the Christian New Year, which in fact is a Christian New Year?
Mad Charvak is warning me – Shsh…… a trade secret.
(In response to Indispire#202)