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India the Holy Grail of South Asian jihadists

Magazine interviewed member of Islamist militant fraternity who dubbed Hinduism as a ‘filthy, cow-worshiping religion’.

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Terrorists are not customarily rooting for a particular religion ( as they believe in a ‘civil uniform code’ of eliminating humans) as their current target, though this time they are. All this is mentioned with much pomp in Dabiq. So, you ask what does it stand for!

It is neither one of those lavish magazines which you can flip through while leisurely sipping your cosmopolitan nor among those which you tend to follow while sharpening the barrel of your AK-47 or Kalashnikov, well maybe. Dabiq, a magazine with its glossy pages and state-of-the-art printing may with some oblivion be presumed to be a replica of Forbes, but it aims for the Islamist religious fanatics and not for the industry bigwigs.

The magazine recently interviewed Shaykh Abu Ibrahim al-Hanif, one of the wings of the Islamist militant fraternity, whom they hail as ‘Khalifa’s (Caliphate) soldiers in Bengal’. The group operates on both the sides of Bengal (India and Bangladesh) and one of the members of the group has asserted on their antagonistic feelings for the Hindus whom they believe as having no respect for either the Islamic religion or for that matter toward the Muslims. The ‘soldier’ further adds that the Bengali Hindus has a more implicit way to show their animosity towards the Islamic community while the Hindus of India as a whole have relegated them openly.

Still, one cannot separate this one incident out as a single thing as back in 2015, the militants took the effort to release an e-book in which they have cited PM Modi as a ‘Hindu nationalist’ who is in the process of ‘preparing his people for a future war against their number one enemy – Muslims’. Above all, the Hinduism is described as a ‘filthy, cow-worshiping religion’.
To add more spice to the aggression that has been waging in, PTI came up with a document – ‘A Brief History of the Islamic State Caliphate, The Caliphate according to the Prophet’ last year, one that has been already translated by a Harvard scholar. And the translated version mentions in one place, rather prominently – “attacking in India is the Holy Grail of South Asian jihadists”.

Such instances will certainly instill fear in any rational mind and will expect their elective representatives to relieve the country from such atrocities. The solution to terrorism and religious extremism is rather complex – with the reasons being as varied and exhaustive as American Absolutism to unemployment and deeply entrenched social evils like Communalism and religious dogma.

Time can redeem the wounds and may as well subjugate such extremism, but ignorance and alienation of certain communities can very clearly stem the deep-rooted feelings of hostility once more. (Input from agencies)

 

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  • Pashchiema Bhatia

    We talk about Unity in Diversity but with Incidents of religious bigotry coming up such as the Dadri incident, we can easily assume that yet some things are not right

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Shankaracharya: A remarkable genius that Hinduism produced (Book Review)

The irony is that most leading scientists, particularly outside India but also within, have little knowledge of the structure of Shankara's philosophy and the transparent interface it has with scientific discoveries today.

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He was greatly influenced by three basic texts of Hindu philosophy: Upanishads, the Brahma Sutra and the Bhagavad Gita
He was greatly influenced by three basic texts of Hindu philosophy: Upanishads, the Brahma Sutra and the Bhagavad Gita.

Title: Adi Shankaracharya: Hinduism’s Greatest Thinker; Author: Pavan K. Varma; Publisher: Tranquebar Press; Pages: 364; Price: Rs 699

This must be one of the greatest tributes ever paid to Shankaracharya, the quintessential “paramarthachintakh”, who wished to search for the ultimate truths behind the mysteries of the universe. His genius lay in building a complete and original philosophical edifice upon the foundational wisdom of the Upanishads.

A gifted writer, Pavan Varma, diplomat-turned-politician and author of several books including one on Lord Krishna, takes us through Shankara’s short but eventful span of life during which, from having been born in what is present-day Kerala, he made unparalleled contributions to Hindu religion that encompassed the entire country. Hinduism has not seen a thinker of his calibre and one with such indefatigable energy, before or since.

Shankara’s real contribution was to cull out a rigorous system of philosophy that was based on the essential thrust of Upanishadic thought but without being constrained by its unstructured presentation and contradictory meanderings.

He was greatly influenced by three basic texts of Hindu philosophy: Upanishads, the Brahma Sutra and the Bhagavad Gita. He wrote extensive and definitive commentaries on each of them. Of course, the importance he gave to the Mother Goddess, in the form of Shakti or Devi, can be traced to his own attachment to his mother whom he left when he set off, at a young age, in search of a guru and higher learning.

The irony is that most leading scientists, particularly outside India but also within, have little knowledge of the structure of Shankara's philosophy and the transparent interface it has with scientific discoveries today.
Shankara wrote hymns in praise of many deities but his personal preference was the worship of the Mother Goddess.

Against all odds, Shankara created institutions for the preservation and propagation of Vedantic philosophy. He established “mathas” with the specific aim of creating institutions that would develop and project the Advaita doctrine. He spoke against both caste discriminations and social inequality, at a time when large sections of conservative Hindu opinion thought otherwise.

Shankara was both the absolutist Vedantin, uncompromising in his belief in the non-dual Brahman, and a great synthesiser, willing to assimilate within his theoretical canvas several key elements of other schools of philosophy. He revived and restored Hinduism both as a philosophy and a religion that appealed to its followers.

Also Read: Hinduism: The Nine Basic Beliefs that you need to know

Varma rightly says that it must have required great courage of conviction as well as deep spiritual and philosophical insight for Shankaracharya to build on the insights of the Upanishads a structure of thought, over a millennium ago, that saw the universe and our own lives within it with a clairvoyance that is being so amazingly endorsed by science today. The irony is that most leading scientists, particularly outside India but also within, have little knowledge of the structure of Shankara’s philosophy and the transparent interface it has with scientific discoveries today.

Shankara wrote hymns in praise of many deities but his personal preference was the worship of the Mother Goddess. The added value of the book is that it has, in English, a great deal of Shankara’s writings. Unfortunately, most Hindus today are often largely uninformed about the remarkable philosophical foundations of their religion. They are, the author points out, deliberately choosing the shell for the great treasure that lies within. This is indeed a rich book. (IANS)