Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Killing - because YOUR God wants it

Say what you like about American wackos spraying bullets around school campuses - given that you can get an assault rifle from Walmart, the recent incident in Peshawar is different. This is endorsed by a political movement, bolstered by a deeply felt religious opinion that there is a God that sanctions the savage butchering of children in his (yeah, this God is definitely a 'He') glory.
This isn't just about Islam though, so don't any of you accuse me of the so called 'Islamophobia' or racism.
I've lived through times when bus-loads of Hindu (and Sikh) wedding parties were machine-gunned by Sikhs, times when Sikhs blew up a plane full of people who had nothing to do with anything, times when a mosque was turned into rubble by a horde of Hindutva adherents with their bare hands and rudimentary tools, times when thousands of Sikhs were brutally murdered in the streets of Delhi, just for being Sikh, times when Ahmaddiya Muslims were savagely butchered in their own mosques - by other Muslims, times when Sunnis savaged Shias and vice versa, times when Hutus machete-ed Tutsis, times when one faction of Christians bombed the other, times when Buddhist monks went on a killing rampage, times when a group of fanatics flew planes into buildings containing thousands of completely innocent people, times when early morning London commuters were blown up, despite their religious affiliation, times when religious institutions - pretending to be all about love, equality, and inclusion, refused to allow marriages among people of different faiths, times when hundreds of people died because someone wrote a book, or made a cartoon... I could go on forever.
Of course, most people will come up with, 'but religion is meant to be peaceful'. Really? The more your set of beliefs claims to be the 'right path' and the 'ONLY path' it creates adversaries. The more you stress 'you gotta look the part' as opposed to 'act the part', you are complicit in the propagation of this meme whether you like it or not. Some of the nicest, kindest and most generous people I know are non-hijabi Muslims, non-amritdhari Sikhs and un-baptised Catholics..
If there is a God, I'll bet it's a sorely disappointed one and we're the worst things he (she?) has ever created. If there isn't one, then we're as stupid as the person who feels it necessary to strap himself up with bombs, blow himself to bits, just so he can finally get laid.
I think institutionalised religion insults God more than it praises God. The all-knowing, all-controlling, all-powerful, all-seeing and all-powerful God, we all claim to love, and adore and sing hymns and psalms and shlokas and verses about is what WE need to be.
We're not. We never can be. Evil is a lot simpler. Especially evil in God's name.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Dorian Grey

This actually happened.

I was at this skills & training event in east London, and a former work colleague I hadn't seen for 7 or 8 years recognised me. The only thing about her I remembered, was that she was an English graduate from Kingston University.

"Hey Banti! Great to see you after all this time! How have you been?"

"I've been great! How have you been?"

"I've been good too, I see the years have been kind to you, how come you look younger than I remember you?"

Great line, flattery always works - especially with an ego like mine - but it's not a line everyone uses, so I thought, 'Hmm brainy', and I went with, "Oh, you should see the portrait in my attic."

It went down like a lead balloon. She didn't get it. Neither did her entourage. 

Turns out, you can get a degree in English with just 'Of Mice And Men' and 'To Kill A Mockingbird' these days... Gove and now his successor have such an uphill battle on their hands...