With an overdose of religion we have been recently enthralled by Jain religious leader Shri Tarun Sagar at the Haryana Assembly. It was a plenary session and the MLA’s were listening in rapt attention. It was to mark the start of monsoon session. Delivering his “Kadve Vachan” he enlightened that audience with his mathematically moral metaphor that dharma to the husband and politics to the wife and the latter should “accept the discipline” imposed by the former.
“Rajniti par dharam ka ankush zaroori hai. Dharam pati hai, rajneeti patni. Har pati ki yeh duty hoti hai apni patni ko samrakshan de. Har patni ka dharam hota hai ki woh pati ke anushasan ko sweekar kare. Agar rajneeti par dharam ka ankush na ho toh woh magan-mast haathi ki tarah… ho jaati hai (The control of dharma over politics is essential. Dharma is the husband, politics is the wife. It is the duty of every husband to protect his wife. It is the duty of every wife to accept the discipline of her husband. If there is no control of dharma over politics, it will be like an elephant out of control).”
I’m sure he was not referring about Dharam Pati of my belief where even after more than 1400 years, I can mercilessly kick the wife out of my life by saying three times – “Talaq, Talaq. Talaq.’ Literally, ‘samrakshan’ and this kind of divorce do not jell together.
Sri Tarun Sagar wears nudity as a part of belief. Everyone is free to follow and preach his / her faith. However, ‘Nudity’ in any form is discouraged in Islam. I can’t recall any Muslim saint in naked state except Sufi Sarmad Kashani. He was an Armenian Jew by birth. Although I am a great admirer of his courage and poems we wrote but that doesn’t make his message – ‘A message of Islamic Religion.’ He was mystic poet who has had rebelled against the established norms of Shariah – the Islamic Jurisprudence during the reign of Emperor Aurangzeb. He was arrested and charged with several crimes. The first was going about naked, contrary to the Shari’a Law. However, the emperor himself intervened, saying that going around naked was not a serious enough offense to merit execution. He was accused of denying the Prophet’s miraj – the Prophet’s (PBUH) Bodily Journey to Skies. as Sarmad had written:
‘The mullah says that Ahmad went to the heavens.
Sarmad says the heavens were inside Ahmad.’
It was also charged that he was an atheist, since he said only “La ilaha” (There is no god) without completing the traditional phrase with “illa’llah” (except God). He was taken to the place of execution, near the Jama Masjid, Delhi and met his end. From the moment of his death he became known as Sarmad Shahid, literally meaning “the Witness” but in practice meaning “the Martyr.”
In his lecture Shri Tarnu Sagar was representing a particular style, religion and philosophy that is welcome but it could be just a point-of-view to enrich a dialogue in democracy. It may be the ideas of Jainism or Hinduism. The universality of message is fine with some scruples, The content and style of his speech was a clear expression of a particular faith.
“At the political level, the government should decide that those who do not have daughters should not have the right to contest Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha elections. At the level of society, people should not marry their daughters into families that do not have daughters. At the religious level, saints should decide that they will not accept alms from houses where there are no daughters. The result will exceed expectations if this formula is followed. We are living in the 21st century. Even today, when boys and girls are differentiated, I feel we are living in the 14th century………………… “Khattar sahib ko ismense bahar kar do (Khattar should be kept out of this).” Why Sir????
Shri Tarun Sagar also praised the Shri Narendra Modi government for prescribing a retirement age for active politicians, and had a word of advice for the Khattar government. ”Agar humne Rishikesh mein Ganga ka shuddhikaran kar liya, toh Haridwar aur uske neeche ke tamaam ghat apne aap shudh hote chale jayenge. Agar satra ke pehle hi din aapne dharam ko apne yahan pe baitha liya, rajneeti ke tamaam ghaat apne aap shudh hote chale jayenge. Khattar sarkar par yeh aarop lag sakta hai ke ihno ne rajneeti ka bhagwakaran kar diya, par main aap se nivedan karna chahunga, yeh rajneeti ka bhagwakaran nahi hai balki rajneeti ka shudhikaran hai (If we manage to purify Ganges in Rishikesh, then Haridwar and all its ghats will automatically keep getting purified. If on first day of this session you place Dharma in the assembly, all the ghats of politics will automatically keep getting purified on their own. There may be allegations against the Khattar government that they have saffronised politics, but I would request you that it is not saffronisation of politics, rather it is the cleansing of politics).”
Any more proof of exploitation of religion for a particular ideology in a secular socialist democratic country where ‘unity in diversity’ is the only guarantee of peace and prosperity for all?
Now coming back to his advocacy of religion and its application in politics, how could we forget that the major Indian religion – Hinduism encompasses a number of major sects, as well as countless sub-sects. And these sects have distinct religious traditions and specific theologies are followed to reach an end. With the advent and other philosophies and rejection and major breaks with Buddhism and Jainism, an outcome of this schism can’t be termed as ‘One Dharam.’ Even in Hinduism there are four major sects: Shaiva, Vaishnava, Shakta, and Smarta.
A monsoon session, the first such event that was organized at the Haryana Vidhan Sabha, a monk, who appeared in the nude, was seated on a dais, above the seats of the Governor, Chief Minister and MLAs might be a show of diversity but not Equality. The scholars of other faith should also have been invited. Will the Haryana government do that?
By Naim Naqvi