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Letters from Readers

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October 2017
Letters from Readers

“Sickular” editorial?

Your editorial (“Don’t Mess with India’s Secularism,” September 2017) calls for more introspection by the writer. Secularism should bring in equitable treatment for everyone irrespective of their faith, race, or ethnic origin. The so called advocates of secularism tend to blame our beloved Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his party for messing with secularism.

They deliberately ignore the fact that the basic tenets of secularism have long been violated when the pseudo-secularist Congress party favored Muslims by giving them unfair appeasement for the sake of wining their votes. Wasn’t secularism violated when Muslims started receiving subsidized pilgrimage while Hindus continue to pay pilgrimage tax, when the judgement in Shah Bano case was undone by Indira Gandhi by making retroactive amendment to the constitution, when [Abdul Rahman] Antulay was appointed a trustee for Hindu public temple but vice versa cannot even be talked about. Why are the editorials of your kind completely silent when Mamata Banerjee starts paying salary to mullahs out of government funds, when a blind eye is turned to more than 30 million illegal Bangladeshi Muslim immigrants for the sake of their votes, and when Muslim clerics openly declare that Supreme Court has no authority over the Islamic rules. Either you do not have courage to write the truth or you are that “sickularist.”

We should get rid of this kind of secularism and bring in real secularism that brings in one-nation-one-law policies and complete elimination of minority appeasement.

Jaydev Jani
By email


Editor’s Note: You are right in pointing out the flaws in Indian secularism. We have published editorials advocating a Uniform Civil Code over Muslim Personal Law (e.g. January 2009). However, the greater threat to a nation is not the flaws favoring a minority, but rather the bully pulpit of the majority that has a far larger potential to derail the peace and stability of the nation. As to addressing the flaws favoring minorities, that is better done through legislative changes, rather than through alienating minorities. A good example is PM Modi’s erstwhile outreach to Muslims for a legal elimination of ‘Triple Talaq’, the archaic Muslim decree about divorce.


 

A bold and appropriate editorial on secularism

Your editorial was very bold, well written, timely, and appropriate. Extremism in any country should be condemned. It has never worked and will not work now. I hope your message will be read by the people in authority in India. Mr. Modi should not encourage VHP and Hindutva, and he should put a curb on their agenda.

I know that some people of other faiths are not loyal to India but their number is small. This relates to patriotism, not enforcement of religious beliefs. Every Indian should take an oath to defend the country, irrespective of color, caste, religion, or the country of origin, quite similar to when a green card holder becomes a U.S. citizen.

I have read The Rig Veda and The Principal Upanishads (the latter by S. Radhakrishnan, the great scholar, former President and Vice President of India and Vice Chancellor of Banaras Hindu University). Nowhere does the word Hindu appear in these books. The word came when soldiers who came with Alexander the Great settled down in India instead of going back to Macedonia. The old scriptures written prior to Alexander’s invasion of India used the word Aryan and India used to be known as Aryavrat which included today’s Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Tibet, and Burma (Myanmar).

And what about the following words from our sacred scriptures? Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, which means “the whole world is my family.” And the following shloka?

Sarve bhavantu sukhinah
Sarve santu nirāmayāh
Sarve bhadrāni paśyantu
Mā kashchit duhkha bhāgbhavet

(May all be prosperous and happy
May all be free from illness
May all see what is spiritually uplifting
May no one suffer)

Now should we replace Sarve (meaning All) with the word Hindu? Is this what Hindu extremists want? Should we ignore the teachings of our sacred scriptures?

Ajay Mehrotra
Greenville, South Carolina

 


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Indians and tipping in restaurants

I read the article “What’s your Tipping Point?” (September 2017) and just began to think how some Indians spoil the name of all Indians.

My friend had a restaurant in Alabama, and he had the same problem. Waiters, when they saw Indians walking into the restaurant, would go to the bathroom, and the other waiters would attend the tables very reluctantly. There was a day when three Indian families, 10 people, came to the restaurant, and the bill I am told was $190.20. They enjoyed the food and were in the restaurant for more than two and a half hours. The tip: $0.80 cents. These three families all have a number of gas stations. When he told me that, I suggested to him to put a note on the menu saying that for a group of 5, a 15% gratuity would be added, and for a group more than 8, the gratuity would be 20%. He did that and the problem was solved.

Three weeks later the same three families came to the restaurant for dinner and the gratuity of 20% was added. They called the waiter and asked why, and he told them that is the restaurant policy. After that I am told they had no problems.

B. P. Andrade
by email

 


What’s on YOUR mind?

We welcome original, unpublished letters from our readers. You could either respond to a specific article in Khabar or write about issues relevant to our community. Letters may be edited for length and other considerations. Longer submissions by readers may be considered for the “My Turn” column.

Email: letters@khabar.com • Fax: (770) 234-6115.

Mail: Khabar, Inc. 3635 Savannah Place Dr, Suite 400, Duluth, GA 30096.


Note: Views expressed in the Letters section do not necessarily represent those of the publication.

 



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