Rizwan and Priyanka got married. She belongs to a rich Marwari family in Kolkata; he was not so well-to-do. He was murdered, his body found on the railway tracks. They say the injuries showed he was killed before being thrown on the tracks. Killed because of his religion. This is Kolkata where the Left Front rules, a political party that is avowedly non-communal. It is sad the police have been trying to give the case the look of suicide.
In recent times more and more such couples are being harassed. Panel discussions are concentrating on a weird theory. Last night I watched Tarun Vijay of the RSS tell us that this has to do with jihad. I don’t have a clue. A Muslim guy was murdered; where is the jihad here? But Islamic conversions invariably come into the picture.
Let us be open about it. Is there any compulsion here? Unfortunately, it is, not just with Muslims but with every community. It is the man’s religion that prevails at most times. It is indeed rare for a male to convert. I have problems with non-ideological conversions, anyway. It does not thrill me to know that some boxer or rock star has discovered Islam while doing time in prison.
You might attribute it to the fact that I am not a religious person and that various streams of Islam and other religions can and do co-exist in my environment.
However, in Rizwan’s case it is clear that it isn’t merely financial circumstances that have caused his death. One would hate to make it sound communal, but unfortunately this is the case. We in
I am in no position to talk about Islam, which is why I will not quote surahs. Islam does not need me to justify its existence.
My position on god and religion do not conform to any set pattern. God could be…
A mythological character
An abstract entity
A source of inspiration or succour
However, for those who believe that god is a Supreme Being, I do not see any reason to invalidate it.
Given the above incident, and many such that happen within the confines of secrecy, I do not believe a Supreme Being would make such distinctions. A Supreme Being in any religion is supposed to be superior, so whether it is a Priyanka or a Rizwan, both have a right to be together and to follow the paths they wish towards spiritual enlightenment.
I have constantly argued that Hinduism must stop this pretence about being a ‘way of life’ because it does not allow everyone to have their own way of life. The heavy adherence to rituals makes it difficult.
These are not abstract issues; they are real. And please don’t tell me what would happen in