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Am I a Hindu?

By on Sep 21, 2002 in Comment, Culture & Society | 2 comments

First published as op-ed in Hindustan Times on 21 09 2002 I was born a Hindu, and had no choice in the matter. As an adult I have had no doubt in my mind that to me, personally, god, idols,temples or pilgrimages have no meaning at all. Yet, I have never refused to go to a temple or participate in a ‘puja’ along with my family, mainly because I believe that religion serves a purpose, it gives meaning, hope and direction to the lives of a lot of people and I should not do anything to take this away from them. But as religious extremism gains acceptability across socio-economic groups – from the poorest to the richest culminating in events as they happened in Gujarat – I am forced to rethink and take a stand. I know that the stand may not have large-scale ramifications but I also know that it will have significant impact on my two children and may have some bearing...