Untitled

India! I dare you to be rich

Category Archive: Religion

Mohammed (hence true Islam) stood for ABSOLUTE free speech

FAKE Muslims are as common (or more) than FAKE Hindus.

Islam stood for ABSOLUTE freedom of speech, and it was only some POLITICIANS of Islam (who had NOTHING to with Mohammed or even the Hadiths) who introduced sanctions against those who may criticise the Prophet.

These were FAKE Muslims, who had not either understood Mohammed nor bothered to even abide by his lessons to the barbarian tribes who lived in the deserts of Arabia.

I quote Maulana Wahiduddin Khan – whose talk in February 2012 I attended, and who has written CLEARLY against the FAKE MUSLIMS who are destroying freedoms across the world.

I quote again:

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

The Maulana is a man of peace and liberty, widely recognised by many for his contributions.  Fortunately, his work is now available FREE OF COST, online.

About the Maulana

His books

His articles. I've picked this article that he published in India Today last year.

Islam Believes In Freedom
Islam Believes In Freedom India Today | January 2011
Blasphemy is in the news. According to the general perception, Islam prescribes capital punishment to a person who indulges in blasphemy, that is using profane language against the Prophet of Islam. But this concept of blasphemy is completely alien to the original teachings of Islam. Before the advent of Islam, difference of belief was also a punishable act. They used to punish on matters of belief just as on matters of social crime. This old practice is called religious persecution in history. Islam abolished this practice. The Prophet of Islam declared that personal belief is a subject of discussion and persuasion rather than of legal punishment.
 
However, if non-believers use profane language against the Prophet, Muslims are directed not to react. They have only two opportunities, either to simply ignore it or to respond on equal basis, that is, issuing a statement in return for a statement. The Quran says: “The recompense of an ill-deed is an ill the like thereof (42:40).” According to this injunction, reaction must be on an equal basis, that is, word in return for word, statement in return for statement, book in return for book.
 
If you go through the Quran and Hadith (sayings and actions of the Prophet of Islam), the only two authentic sources of Islam, you will find that there is not a single Quranic verse or Hadith that gives this kind of injunction which  says: “Man shatama nabiyakum faqtuluhu (Kill the person who commits blasphemy against the Prophet)".
 
Such an injunction was added in the Islamic law only during the Abbasid caliphate, about 150 years after the death (632AD) of the Prophet. Although the majority of the Fuqaha (Muslim Jurists) of this period accepted the law, it was clearly an innovation which is not acceptable in Islam.
 
According to a well-known hadith, there are three authentic periods of the Islamic history: the period of the Prophet, the period of Sahaba (companions of the Prophet), and the period of Tabien (companions of the companions). It is a fact that all the Fuqaha belonged to the Abbasid period which came after these authentic periods. According to a hadith, the Prophet of Islam has said: “I have left behind for you thaqalain, two authentic sources of Islam: the Book of God, and the sunnah of the Prophet. You will not astray till you adhere to these authentic sources.” (Mu’atta Malik, Hadith No.1661). And those additions made by the Muslims Jurists of the later history are certainly not a part of the authentic sources.
 
According to this Islamic injunction, if there is a person who commits blasphemy, then the responsibility of Muslims is to meet him and persuade him and to remove his misunderstanding by peaceful means and if supposing he fails to understand then Muslims are left only with one option, that is to pray for him.
 
There is ample evidence that tells us what to do in cases. For example, once when Prophet was in Mecca, one idol worshipper came to him and told him face to face, “Muzammaman abaina (O Muhammad you are a condemned person).” The Prophet simply smiled. This smile was a kind of moral response and was bound to hit his conscience. He fell into introspection. And after some time he accepted him as the Prophet and become one of his followers.
 
Islam greatly believes in freedom of expression. I would like to say that the secular law of India in this context is more 'Islamic' than the so-called Islamic law of Pakistan.

 

(A picture I took at the talk in February 2012).

ADDENDUM

Affirmation of Freedom of Expression and Belief in the Quran by Haris Aziz

Quotation:

Let there be no compulsion in religion (2:256)

Said (Noah): O my people – what do you think? If ( it be true that) I am taking my stand on a clear evidence from my Lord . . . to which you have remained blind, can we force it on you even though it is hateful to you? (11:28)

And so (O Prophet) exhort them; your task is only to exhort; you cannot compel (88:21-22).

If then they run away, We have not sent thee as a guard over them. Thy duty is but to convey (42:28)

Whether We shall show thee (within thy life-time) part of what we promised them or take to ourselves thy soul (before it is all accomplished),- thy duty is to make (the Message) reach them: it is our part to call them to account. (13:40)

And to recite the Qur’an. And whoso goeth right, goeth right only for (the good of) his own soul; and as for him who goeth astray – (Unto him) say: Lo! I am only a warner.(27:92)

Say, “The truth is from your Lord”: Let him who will believe, and let him who will, reject (it) (18:29)

Verse 2:256 is indeed the Magna Carta of religious freedom. Muslims believe that a religious belief is not meaningful if it does not come through personal conviction, contemplation and a conscious effort to love and obey Allah [God]. The general message is exhorting and sincerely advising instead of using coercion. In the face of such clear verses concerning religious freedom and also the Sunnah [example] of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), it is surprising that some Muslims have no qualms in demanding execution of any Muslim who is perceived to leave Islam. This appears to be based on a couple of ahadith [sayings attributed to the Holy Prophet]. These ahadith must be seen in the light of the cited verses and the general dealing of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him). The Quran talks about apostasy at least twenty times but does not mention any worldly punishment. The only warning given is about the consequence in the life here after.

 

Continue Reading

Religions are like an Emperor without clothes, but don’t want that to be told!

There seems to be an "offence" industry that has sprung up (just like we have the poverty industry).

But religions forget that their story is WEAK. VERY WEAK. They have no ground to walk on.

Even a school child can't ever be satisfied with the absurd stories that religions expect us to believe.

I'm quoting an extract from Aesop's fable,  THE EMPEROR'S NEW SUIT

The good old minister went into the room where the swindlers sat before the empty looms. "Heaven preserve us!" he thought, and opened his eyes wide, "I cannot see anything at all," but he did not say so. Both swindlers requested him to come near, and asked him if he did not admire the exquisite pattern and the beautiful colours, pointing to the empty looms. The poor old minister tried his very best, but he could see nothing, for there was nothing to be seen. "Oh dear," he thought, "can I be so stupid? I should never have thought so, and nobody must know it! Is it possible that I am not fit for my office? No, no, I cannot say that I was unable to see the cloth."

"Now, have you got nothing to say?" said one of the swindlers, while he pretended to be busily weaving.

"Oh, it is very pretty, exceedingly beautiful," replied the old minister looking through his glasses. "What a beautiful pattern, what brilliant colours! I shall tell the emperor that I like the cloth very much."

"We are pleased to hear that," said the two weavers, and described to him the colours and explained the curious pattern. The old minister listened attentively, that he might relate to the emperor what they said; and so he did.

Here is a very prominent TRUTH that no one can possibly deny: that the "God" alleged by the various religions is absolutely invisible.

I can't see any God, nor can I (therefore) deny God. The MANY contorted stories of various religions and their gods are purely unbelievable. I'm entitled, therefore, to speculate that the stories are the case of the the "invisible clothes" of the Emperor. Without proof why should I believe?

In the fable, a child pointed out that the Emperor has no clothes, but the Emperor and his stooges pretended that the child was wrong.

The emperor marched in the procession under the beautiful canopy, and all who saw him in the street and out of the windows exclaimed: "Indeed, the emperor's new suit is incomparable! What a long train he has! How well it fits him!" Nobody wished to let others know he saw nothing, for then he would have been unfit for his office or too stupid. Never emperor's clothes were more admired.

"But he has nothing on at all," said a little child at last. "Good heavens! listen to the voice of an innocent child," said the father, and one whispered to the other what the child had said. "But he has nothing on at all," cried at last the whole people. That made a deep impression upon the emperor, for it seemed to him that they were right; but he thought to himself, "Now I must bear up to the end." And the chamberlains walked with still greater dignity, as if they carried the train which did not exist.   

Unlike these "smart" people who can "see" the invisible, or "see" the truth of stories written in books, I DON'T.  I can't.

I am like the child who wants to see direct proof. I want even more than that. A thorough interview with God to check out every "claim" made. Like inquiring into the truth about Modi.

Unlike most people, I actually use the ONLY instrument of understanding that I have: my mind.

The point I'm making is that when religions can only offer us a FABLE, how can then then also demand the right to prevent others from questioning their fable?

ONLY FREE SPEECH CAN ELIMINATE DELUSIONS FROM THIS WORLD.

Don’t stop the child from speaking.

Continue Reading

Hinduism stands for ABSOLUTE free speech

I’m compiling a few (a very few!) of the many sources/arguments that confirm the commitment of Hinduism to ABSOLUTE free speech. Please send me as many links/sources as you can, to bolster this post.

No culture of book burning in India

It is true that books that people did not agree with were not necessarily preserved through the oral tradition, but there is no record (to the best of my knowledge) of systematic book burning/ destruction in Hinduism.

Open-ness to ideas expressed in Rig Veda

The Rig Vedas state clearly: “Let noble thoughts come to us from all sides.”

Pedants might argue that this applies only to “noble” ideas, not to “ignoble” ones, but a broader analysis of the Indian tradition shows that this applied to ALL ideas, regardless of their pre-judged merit.

Hinduism is not doctrinaire: you get to pick your own path

A long time ago I studied Tantra for an article I wrote. I was amazed at the varieties of beliefs in Hinduism. Hinduism is not a doctrinaire religion and allows all kinds of beliefs. As Jeff Spinner-Halev notes (Hinduism, Christianity, and Liberal Religious Toleration, in Political Theory, Vol. 33, No. 1 (Feb., 2005), pp. 28-57):

Religious affiliation is not a matter of belief-the Hindu can believe whatever she likes-but of social belonging.20 You can decide that you will not give offerings to a particular Hindu god; you can even announce that you do not believe that the Hindu deities exist, and still remain a Hindu. You can celebrate Christmas and remain a Hindu or you can pray with Muslim Sufi saints and remain a Hindu, as many do. Since Hinduism, like many Asian religions, has no doctrine to keep pure, it easily incorporates rituals of other traditions within it (though leaving behind certain practices is another matter).

Full-fledged alternative world views, e.g. religious ‘fictions’ and atheism

This is one of the most interesting aspects of Hinduism. My father often talks about the Mahabharata being a story devised to illustrate key aspects of the Vedas. This idea, that ancient sages of India created religious stories deliberately, with a view to illustrating key spiritual or moral points, is uniquely Indian. The gap between belief, logic and fiction is seamlessly traversed, and all options to analyse or present a message, considered valid.

Salman Rushdie said in a recent talk:

“S. Radhakrishnan would talk about how many of the earliest texts of Hinduism do not contain the idea of the existence of God; and contemporaries of the Buddha, quoted also in this article, would say that there is no other world than this one, and would deny the idea of a divine sphere. So again, in the oldest parts of Indian culture, there is an atheistic tradition in which the ideas of blasphemy and heresy have no meaning because there is no divinity to blaspheme or be heretic against. This is our culture. This is not an imported culture. It's not alien to the Indian tradition. This is the Indian tradition, and those who say it's not are the ones who deform that tradition.

These ancient sages thought, and I think, that God is an idea that men invented to explain things they didn't understand. Or to encapsulate wisdoms that they wanted to capture. That Gods in fact are fictions. So when there's an attack by Gods or their followers on literature it's as if the fans of one work of fiction were to decide to attack another fiction. [Source]

Specific commitment to free speech in Natya Shastra

Here’s Salman Rushdie telling us a nice little story from Natya Shastra:

TRANSCRIPT:

But the Indian tradition also includes from its very earliest times, very powerful defences of free expression. When Deepa Mehta and I were working on the film of Midnight's Children, one of the things that we often discussed was a text dear to our hearts, the Natya Shastra. In the Natya Shastra we see the Gods being a little bit bored in heaven and deciding they wanted entertainment. And so a play was made, about the war between Indra and the Asuras, telling how Indra used his mighty weapons to defeat the demons. When the play was performed for the Gods, the demons were offended by their portrayal. The demons felt that the work insulted them as demons. That demoness was improperly criticized. And they attacked the actors; whereupon Indra and Brahma came to the actors' defence. Gods were positioned at all four corners of the stage, and Indra declared that the stage would be a space where everything could be said and nothing could be prohibited.

So in one of the most ancient of Indian texts we find as explicit and extreme a defence of freedom of expression as you can find anywhere in the world. This is not alien to India. This is our culture, our history and our tradition which we are in danger of forgetting and we would do well to remember it [Source].

Aṣṭāvakra (in Ramayana and Mahabharata) as example of why not to stop free speech

Ashtavakra was in the time was tretayuga, before Rama’s birth. He refuted his father when he was pronouncing some shlokas in the Vedas wrongly. His father was so angry that he cursed him to become wrongly shaped at eight ocations in the body and hence the name Ashtavakra. But the irony is that the same Ashtavakra had to save his father when he was held captive by Varuna. This was perhaps one of the last cited cases where freedom of speech had been curtailed.  [I've paraphrased from Harsha's blog post: Source]

Note: Such liberty was not available to Sudras and Dalits

The above applied largely to the higher castes. Sudras and Dalits did not always have this freedom.

I won’t go into details of this issue at the moment (that’s a separate topic altogether), but it can be said that in principle, Hinduism is committed firmly to absolute freedom of speech.

ADDENDUM

Deepak Sharma's analysis

"Hinduism" is much more resilient and tolerant than the behavior of the censors would lead one to believe. In fact there is a "Hindu" tradition that embraces texts that conflict with its fundamental doctrine. The Mādhva school of Vedānta, founded in the 13th century by Madhvācārya, thus considers mohaśāstras (confusing texts), which conflicted with Mādhva doctrine, to be canonical and an integral component of its system. In hisMahābhāratatātparyanirṇaya, a commentary on the Mahābhārata, Madhvācārya, states:

The śāstras [texts] whose meaning is confusing are made by the servants of Hari [i.e. Viṣṇu]. Because these [śāstras] have been described as unacceptable [they] guide theasuras(demons) to hell. As these texts are composed by Śiva etc. by the order of Viṣṇu…[1]

In a subsequent passage Madhvācārya again states that Viṣṇu is responsible for these texts:

I [Viṣṇu] emit this confusion that will confuse people. You, Oh Rudra, Oh Strong Armed One, cause the confused śāstra to be composed. Show those false [śāstra], Oh Powerful One. Make [your] Self renowned and conceal me." This is stated in the words of the Vārāha Purāṇa and similarly in the Brahmāṇḍa Purāṇa.[2]

Madhvācārya thus includes texts that conflict with his doctrine as vital components of his system. They are texts that serve a purpose for those who are easily deluded and who are not destined for mokṣa (release from the cycle of birth and rebirth). They also place any text that conflicts with Mādhva theology within the Mādhva narrative, thereby explaining away their danger. The texts, then, when contextualized, are thus neither prohibited nor harmful. If a person were to read them and were to be convinced by them then it would prove that the person is destined to hell and will not achieve mokṣa.

From this it would follow that texts like Ramanujan's essay exist by the grace of God (i.e. Viṣṇu). Such texts, moreover, delude those who are meant to be deluded. For that matter Ramanujan's existence itself is at the pleasure of Viṣṇu himself.

PURVA PAKSHA

[From Wikipedia, 23 February 2014]

Purva paksha, sometimes also transliterated as pūrvapakṣa or poorva paksha, is a tradition in dharma discourse. It involves building a deep familiarity with the opponent's point of view before criticizing it. The purva paksha approach was used by Adi Shankaracharya in his work to re-establish Sanatana Dharma in India.[citation needed]

In ancient Indian jurisprudence, purva paksha referred to the complaint, with other parts of a trial consisting of uttar (the reply), kriyaa (trial or investigation by the court), and nirnayaya (verdict or decision).[1]:13

In his book Being Different (2011), Rajiv Malhotra sought to use the purva paksha approach.[2] Malhotra states that purva paksha

is the traditional dharmic approach to rival schools. It is a dialectical approach, taking a thesis by an opponent ('purva pakshin') and then providing its rebuttal ('khandana') so as to establish the protagonist's views ('siddhanta'). The purva paksha tradition required any debater first to argue from the perspective of his opponent in order to test the validity of his understanding of the opposing position, and from there to realize his own shortcomings. Only after perfecting his understanding of opposing views would he be qualified to refute them. Such debates encourage individuals to maintain flexibility of perspective and honesty rather than seek victory egotistically.In this way, the dialectical process ensures a genuine and far-reaching shift in the individual.[2]:48

According to Shrinivas Tilak, Malhotra's use of purva paksha in Being Different may be regarded as a kind of "reverse anthropology."[3]:288[4] Tilak states that

By "reversing" the gaze on contemporary Western and Indological constructions of the dharmic worldview and ways of life, Malhotra seeks to expose how "exotic," "ethnic," and "provincial" such constructions have really been notwithstanding the West’s allegedly "universalistic" claims (2011: 67, 176, 334). His other objective is to draw attention to the Christian-centric focus of the West’s archive of knowledge and its historical involvement in the systematic suppression of the dharmic worldview and ways of life to be found in the works of Indologists. By problematizing the way in which Dharma has been represented by Western scholarship, he exposes the asymmetrical nature of the relationship that obtains between the powerful discipline of Indology and its disempowered subjects, the Indians (334).[3]:288

Continue Reading

BJP/VHP/Sangh Parivar are Muslims /Christians who pretend to be “Hindu”

An amazing phenomenon has come into India over the past few decades: there are bunch of people who have forgotten everything about India's glorious philosophical past, and started COPYING the worst elements of Islam and Christianity.

We know that Christianity was the WORST "religion" of the world for nearly 2000 years. Almost no religion comes even close to it in terms of intolerance. Burning books, burning anyone with a different view – these were regularly practiced in this "religion".

Only after many determined attacks against its brutality, including from people like Locke and Voltaire, did Christianity become a somewhat civilised religion. Even in the 20th century, it was deeply involved in the killing of millions of people, including in Nazi Germany.

Similarly, Islam has a troubled history. Although liberal in its foundations,  it grew increasingly intolerant and book burning was part of its regular practice.

Therefore there is no surprise when we hear of Muslims going on a rampage against anyone they don't like.

These monothesitic religions are intellectual dead-ends. There is no life/fertility of thought in them.

Christianity led to the Dark Ages where the light of science was completely blocked for 1000 years. Without non-believers like Newton, Europe would have remained in the Dark Ages for ever.

Similarly, Islam could NEVER have produced any of the discoveries of modern science on its own. Oil would have remained below the ground on which they lived like barbaric, uncouth tribals interested only in loot and plunder.

These are the 'dark' religions of mankind. No light of knowledge can shine through them into the human mind. Either you believe in their 'books', or you are an apostate.

Not so was India.

Hinduism (by which I mean the entire conglomeration of philosophies and schools of thoughts of ancient India) was an OPEN 'religion'.

Everything was up for discussion/debate. NO BOOK WAS EVER BURNT OR DESTROYED IN INDIA.

Till recently.

Recently a bunch of Muslims and Christians, calling themselves "Hindu" and leading organsations called "Vishwa Hindu Parishad", BJP and the like, have started destroying Hinduism from within. Like a Trojan Horse.

These Muslims and Christians are aping the WORST characteristics of Christianity and Islam and have commenced the destruction of books.

I object to these people who want to destroy Hinduism as I know it.

Continue Reading

One of India’s best school teachers, Mercy Jeyaraja Rao of Timpany

I chanced upon this vitriolic critique by Christopher Hitchens's of Christianity. I partially agree with it (indeed, in DOF I have a somewhat similar critique myself), but I think this critique is overdone.

Such a critique should be tempered with direct experience of people like me who were taught (for part of my schooling) in missionary schools by some of the most wonderful principals like Mercy Jeyaraja Rao (in Timpany, Vizag).

In the sea of socialist mediocrity promoted by Nehru and his godchildren, these missionary schools shone a light of knowledge and they NEVER, ever expected anyone to become a Christian. It was a book of philosophy found in my home that made me an atheist first (now an agnostic), but whatever little I learnt of the English language and science I built upon knowledge acquired in these missionary schools. There were many HINDU teachers in these schools. I thoroughly commend this aspect of Christianity.

I think the Church has made many mistakes, and should be condemned for those mistakes, but it also acted as a channel for some of the best souls that the world has produced.

The same can be said of all religions. Condemn INDIVIDUALS, not entire groups, else we will make the same mistake with Islam and with Hinduism also.

Being reminded of Mercy Jeyaraja Rao, I googled to find out more and came across this talk by her at age 80:

Undoubtedly one of the greatest teachers produced by India. I wish someone would write her life history. She brought a unique passion for education that I've never again seen in anyone else.

Continue Reading

Why are Indian courts permitted to UNCONSTUTIONALLY allow God to own property and to litigate?

Fellow FTI member Supratim is not happy with my outright rejection of the idea of "God" contesting legal cases. In his view:

"Artificial constructs are allowed under law – and their status as legal entities. The HUF is as abstract a concept as god – it does not exist in the natural world or as a material being. Similar is the case with say, a Company or a Trust – they are material beings, in a manner of speaking but are not natural entities. So, under Indian law, there must be some case law or provision that allows hindu deities of temples as legal entities – they ARE “material” beings, even if they are not natural beings, and they are not god, in the sense you mean it (I think). A specific entity is the litigant here."

Well, I had pointed out a few links in my earlier post. Let me summarise from these links the reasons/ history of Indian gods being recognised as litigants:

In the Indian judicial system, deities have always been regarded as legal entities who can fight their case through the trustees or managing board in charge of the temple in which they are worshiped. The ancient Indian system of law recognized Gods as legal entities. The Supreme Court, in Sri Adi Visheshwara of Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Varanasi, vs State of UP [1997 (4) SCC 606 recognized, though not for the first time, the right of a Deity to move court and said, Properties of endowment vest in the Deity, Lord Sri Vishwanath. [Source]

Further,

In the eyes of the law, all deities are treated as perpetual minors. No suit filed on their behalf can be treated as time-barred and rejected on the question of limitation. Eminent Supreme Court lawyer Harshvir Pratap Sharma says: “The Indian judicial system treats deities as legal entities who could have a legal representation in courts through trustees or an in-charge of the temple in which they are worshipped.” According to him, Order 32 of the Civil Procedure Code recognises a ‘sitting deity' as an individual. 

Can a presiding deity of a temple be treated on a par with normal litigants and can its petition be entertained by courts? Legal experts are unanimous that a Hindu idol, as per the long established authority and founded upon religious customs of the Hindus, is a ‘juristic entity,' and it has ‘juridical status' with power of suing and be sued. In 1983, Sri Adi Visheshwara of Kashi Vishwanath of Varanasi fought a legal battle in the Supreme Court when the Uttar Pradesh government enacted the Sri Kashi Vishwanath Temple Act, 1983, for better management of the ancient temple. The Supreme Court had ruled that a deity could move the court and said: “Properties of endowment vest in the deity Lord Sri Vishwanath.” Besides the Supreme Court, various High Courts had also recognised the fact that a temple deity would be a legal entity and even a devotee or a regular worshipper could move the court on behalf of the presiding deity, which will be considered a perpetual minor, says Mr. Sharma. [Source]

Further:

The existence of Hindu idol as juristic person capable of having rights and discharging duties through sevakars were established in the court of law as early as 1925. In Pramatha Nath Mullick v. Pradyumna Kumar Mullick'. The court observed that "One of the questions emerging at this point is as to nature of such an idol, and the services due thereto. A Hindu idol is, according to long established authority, founded upon the religious customs of the Hindus, and the recognition thereof by Courts of law, a "juristic entity". It has a juridical status with the power of suing and being sued.

Its interests are attended to by the person who has the deity in his charge and who is in law its manager with all the powers which would, in such circumstances, on analogy, be given to the manager of the estate of an infant heir. From the very inception in Hindu Culture the Idols are considered as personification of deity itself and the image of the deity in the shape of idol which are often based on visualisation is bestowed with gifts and valuables by the worshippers. The gifts made to the idol are made in the same manner as made to a natural person. The rationale behind giving Hindu idols a juristic personality is best explained by Ganpathi lyer in his valuable treatise on "Hindu and Mahomedan Endownments". He had this to say in regard to the legal status of an idol in, Hindu law:

"The ascription of a legal personality to the deity supposed to be residing in the image meets with all, practical purposes. The deity can be said to possess property only in an ideal sense and the theory is, therefore, not complete unless that legal personality is linked to a natural person." 

It would be correct to say that if we don't give idols a juristic personality then there would be lot of practical difficulties in the matters of taxation and allotment of land as well as on the subject to alienation of property. Further, we would be examining many case laws based on the practical realities on personifying Hindu Idols.

In the case of Bishwanath & Anr.Vs. Shri Thakur RADHABALLABHJI & ORS2.

FACTS:
The Manager of a temple alienated the idols property. A worshipper of the idol, who also assisted the Manager in his duties, filed a suit as next friend of the idol challenging the alienation. The reliefs sought were a declaration that the property belonged to the idol and recovery of possession. The trial court's decree in favour of the plaintiff was upheld by the High Court. The defendants came to this Court, with certificate. It was urged on behalf of the appellants that s. 92 of the Code of Civil procedure was a bar to the suit, and that no one but the Sheba it was entitled to file the suit and represent the deity.

HELD:
The suit was filed by the idol for possession of its property from the person who was in illegal possession thereof and therefore it was a suit by the idol to enforce its private right. The suit also was for a declaration of the plaintiff's title and for possession thereof, and was not therefore a suit for one of the reliefs mentioned in s. 92. in either view this was a suit outside the purview of s. 92 of the Code and therefore the said section was not a bar to its maintainability.

ANALYSIS:
It can be clearly inferred that the court recognised and accepted the principle of juristic personality of idol otherwise; the procedural difficulties would not have allowed the plaintiff to claim back the property, which was illegal in the possession of the person. The court in this case took the view and gives effect to the personification that as the property belonged to the idol and the suit was filed by idol to recover the property.

This is one of the aspects why courts have always recognised idol as a legal personality that is conferred with legal rights and bestowed with duties.

Through the various case laws following principles of laws have been settled. They are:-

1) An idol of a Hindu temple is a juridical person;
(2) When there is a Shebait, ordinarily no person other than the Shebait can represent the idol;
(3) Worshippers of an idol are its beneficiaries, though only in a spiritual sense.

In cases where the Shebait acts in a manner which is against his duty then a worshipper can bring up a case in the name of the idol. B.

K. Mukherjea summarises the legal proposition in the following manner in his book.
(1) An idol is a juristic person in whom the title to the properties of the endowment vests. However, it is only in an ideal sense that the idol is the owner. It has to act through human agency, and that agent is the Shebait, who is, in law, the person entitled to take proceedings on its behalf. The personality of the idol might therefore be said, to be merged in that of the Shebait.

(2)Where, however, the Shebait refuses to act for the idol or where the suit is to challenge the act of the Shebait himself as prejudicial to the interests of the idol then there must be some other agency, which must have the right to act for the idol. The law accordingly recognises a right in persons interested in the endowment to take proceedings on behalf of the idol.

Hindu Idols are also given juristic personality for other purposes such as taxation and other assessment requirements under various implementation plans. The case mentioned below will give a clear reason of personification of Hindu Idols for assessment purposes. [Source]

Well, I think I've had enough of this.

What seems to have happened is that somewhere in India's history, idols were given legal status IN THE ABSENCE OF ALTERNATIVE LEGAL VEHICLES LIKE TRUSTS.

What has happened is that law did not modernise and therefore all temples were not forced to register as trusts or other entities. As a result a vague, and in my view extremely dangerous legal concept is allowed to OFFICIALLY operate in an India where it is the constitutional duty of every citizen to promote the scientific temper.

All temples should be immediately required to register as trusts since this idea of having an IDOL/GOD (deity) recognised by the Indian law is beyond obnoxious. It is open declaration of war against science.

Now, I can also see why this provision has caused so much mischief in the case of the Ram Janmabhoomi case. Instead of thinking of market based solutions, people have been taking recourse to the MOST DEVIIOUS AND DEVILISH "legal" "solutions" to squeeze out property that had changed hands in some other country (not India, which did not exist) hundreds of years ago. Such properties can, and should, be reverted to the market, so those who care about them can buy them (under appropriate regulation).

I'm really sick of India in every way. No matter where you look we have the most sub-optimal institutions/ways of thinking. Why has no one challenged this nonsense on constitutional grounds, yet?

Continue Reading