I remember when I was in my first year, my sociology professor had posed a question to our class--->"Why is religion so important to people?" (or something very similar to that) I remember that my answer was prompt---->"Religion forms one of the most important part of a person's identity." My Prof was happy with my answer as this was the reply that she was looking for. But I was very amused with my profesor's happy reaction because I thought I hadn't said anything new. I completely believed in what I said at that point of time because personally I identified being a HINDU (obvious!) and that BEING A HINDU WAS A PART OF MY IDENTITY. I was never conscious of the fact but I thought it was the most natural thing and that everybody thought the same. But to my surprise I found not many people thought on similar lines.
I don't know whether today, 2.5 yrs hence I would say the same thing. I mean I am not sure whether being a Hindu forms a huge part of my identity as it did earlier. I am not negating the influence of relegion in any way.....NOT AT ALL, its just that I now question more and refuse to accept what is status quo.
I find this very funny. Religion is something which we inherit from our parents. We are HINDUS because our parents were HINDUS and this applies to any relegion for that matter. We seriously don't have a choice in that matter. Of course one has full freedom to change his/her relegion when we major, but well...that's only when IF THE PERSON WANTS TO! Don't you think its so funny that RELiGION which is inherited, something which you did not make a choice, forms a part of one's IDENTITY? It becomes such a fundamental part of ones life, governs our life to such a large extent.....but it is something which we never consciously thought about, or basically never really sat and exercised our right to choose (coz there was never any right to choose as such when you are a kid.) It's weird.....Therefore the attitude of relegious fanatics amuses me to a great extent....I hope I have conveyed what I want to say....
Whenever any changes are recommended for the better in any relegion, it is opposed tooth and nail. I don't understand why.....I can quote one example.... vedas are the prerogative of only BRAHMIN MEN. Women and NON-Brahmin men are NOT ALLOWED to learn VEDAS. Even our Shankaracharya refused to accept the changes stating that every relegion has its own set of discrimination and that we have to learn to accept and live with that. I disagree, I completely disagree. WHY can't women or any non-Brahmin people learn Vedas? Is Vedas a prerogative only of Brahmin Men? I know many uncles who are staunchly against the idea of WOMEN learning Vedas. "Its a sacrilege" they claim. DOHHH! "Some things can't be changed. Our ancestors might have had some thing in mind before formulating such rules." DOHHHHHH again. This is the justification that they have for all the discriminatory practises. The irony is that they don't have a justification at all....HERD MENTALITY being a mantra. Just because its been the tradition, we ought not to break it. DOHHHHHHH! There are many such discriminatory practises followed till date.....and well...WE ARE IN 21ST CENTURY.....huh! I am not singling out Hinduism for such discriminatory practises, there are other relegions too. However being a Hindu myself, I prefer tot alk about Hinduism or may be a miniscule part of it.
Note: It's just not my intention to hurt anybody's religious sentiments. These are just some of the questions that I have raised and I don't think so I have demeaned the religion in any manner. If someone thinks likewise.....too bad! Constructive comments, criticisms are most welcome!