Saturday, December 03, 2005

Everything happens in India!

Last month the Thai princesses was denied entry into Lord Jagannath's temple because she was a 'foreigner'/non-hindu. Many Indians would be ashamed of this. And I saw some proof of that at this link at the RSS site, an organisation many would consider xenophobic but well, not in this case. As far as I remember when me and my friends used to go to temples which allowed only Hindus, none had any problem if one was a Buddhist, Jain or Sikh. All these religions are loosely accepted as part of the Hindu way of things, even if the faiths are different. I distinctly remember this when visiting the Pasupathi temple in Nepal, where when one of my friends from Sikkim mentioned he was Buddhist, the priest promptly mentioned that Buddhist are not excluded. Now, I am not sure.

The denial of entry to the Thai princesses is even more ironic considering that Hindu priests/organisations are a significant control in Bodh Gaya, the spiritual birthplace of Lord Buddha.

But I must say here, the above is limited to a few, though important temples.

One of the most unexpected voice calling for Jaganath temple to open its doors for all comes for a recently-in-news person - IG Radha. An Inspector General of Police, a senior position, who has fallen in love with Lord Krishna and who has chosen to dress up as a woman and depict himself as Lord Krishna's lover - Radha. Well it is common news in India for men to sometimes dress as women showing their love for Krishna. Some of course just offer their love without cross dressing. And some just pray to Lord Krishna as a supreme being. Either way its love. But in the case of IG Pandey, he is a senior policeman, working in an institution which through British heritage, puts very high value on the Uniform. So, cross dressing into office in the name of God - is at the least controversial. I, of course, find it cute. Better than the typical policemen with their bullying nature.

Unfortunately, most educated people in India will diagnose this condition very analytically trying to attribute various motivations and stresses to it - so that as modern beings we remain in control of our nature. I am not sure what's really in the mind of the person & why, but philosophically its one of those 1000s outlets Indian culture offers people and we should respect it, in my mind - before we damn it. How we deal with it is very much how we plan to deal with ourselves. Right now the IG has taken voluntary retirement to fulfil his 'union with Lord Krishna'. A slightly different version of covering this incident is found in the Indian Express article.

While India is full of old laws against the queer, has fair amount of xenophobia, can turn places of worship into aggresive commercial zones it is also the country where we have almost elected an Italian as a prime-minister; where eunuchs have become member of parliament; where men can cross dress in the name of God. And of course we have the family, the Himalayas, the IT boom, and people from fair to dark, from buldging-dark-dancing-eyes that tell you all... to the sharp-sherpa eyes which can take on all the snow blindness without flickering.

Everything happens in India!

(note: all pics picked. Click on them to visit the original site where they reside.)


Blogger iGotNoTime said...

Great links! I wish I had time to blog like that. This is why I try to keep mine personal, I have no time for research and nobody second guesses my family complaints. LOL

6:07 PM  
Blogger trangam said...

Thanks! In a way I feel little shame that I should have carried out my paknam role in the time I spent here. But after a gruelling & very busy week and more, I felt I rather meander around for sometime than focus!!

7:46 AM  
Blogger iGotNoTime said...

No way, you do plenty, no competitions. I prefer to read your blog, than to do work. :D

11:33 AM  
Blogger Chaichakri said...

It is weird when Indians do not understand the process of Indianization in early Southeast Asia.

It would be suprising that the worship of Brahma is more prevalent in Thailand than its land of birth!

Other Hinduistic aspects such as Ganesha, the Garuda, Kinaree, etc etc are everyday aspects of a Thai Buddhist?

Since when there is a clear distinction between a Thai Buddhist and a Hindu in Thailand, or for that matter Southeast Asia?

1:38 PM  
Blogger trangam said...

Dear Kitjar. Most Indians know of it but do not retain the thought 'up-their-mind' and like many things just keep it as a non-issue. Unlike me... I feel very connected to S-E. Brahma of course has far lesser temples than Vishnu and Shiva.

For an average person the diffirence between Hindu & Buddhist is a non-issue too. And both are loosely considered part of the similar foundations. Some Hindus include Buddha as the 9th Avatar too. Dalai Lama is part of most religious activities. Listened to and revered. But in the blog I was talking of temples which are rather orthodox and so its not the norm. Some of them used not even allow anyone else but a particular caste once. On the positive side many a renowned Indian Saints and scholars do not support this and are vocally against it.

3:45 AM  

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