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PUBLIC: Re: Brief comment on "kaffirs", "socialists", etc.

Administrative Note:

Week's Agenda: Economy

     The "pagan-nonpagan", "kaffir-nonkaffir" discussion is a non-issue 
     because ALL points of view consider all other points of view to be 
     wrong (or at least less correct than themselves).  
     The Advaitist Hindu considers the Vishistadvaitist Hindu to be wrong 
     (or at least less right), which is similar to the position of the 
     Christian or Muslim who considers other views to be wrong (or at least 
     less right), and similar to the position of the Buddhist convert who 
     considers other faiths to be wrong (or less right) and so on.    And 
     it is exactly similar to the view of the Keynesian who consider the 
     Friedmanite position wrong (or less right), the educated person who 
     considers the illiterate person unenlightened, and so on
     IP itself is in the process of identifying the "best" policies.  Once 
     we think we have arrived at these, while I hope we will always be open 
     to debate and correction, we will naturally consider other policies to 
     be wrong, or at least less correct than our own for the time being. 
     If we firmly believe that we have the right policies for India's 
     "salvation", we will then also firmly believe that other policies will 
     lead to the "hell" of Indian backwardness continuing.
     Whether the word that is used to describe "others" is socialists or 
     kaffirs or pagans or whatever is irrelevant.
     Everyone has a right to her or his own beliefs and that includes the 
     right to think that other views are misleading, dangerous or just 
     plain wrong.
     There is a fundamental distinction between, on the one hand, 
     considering others to be wrong and to use all possible rational 
     methods to persuade the "wrong" person that he or she is "wrong"; and, 
     on the other hand, INTOLERANCE - which consists in using physical or 
     monetary means to "push" a person into renouncing their beliefs or 
     "pulling" a person into another set of beliefs.  
     Between the use of physical and monetary means, the use of physical 
     force is the more abhorrent.  Because monetary incentives or 
     disincentives from one party can be matched or even exceeded by other 
     parties.  Physical force, on the other hand, has at least temporary 
     effects which are irreversible (even a slap, for instance, leads to an 
     experience of pain which can never be "unexperienced").
     There is no way in which we can ask anyone to give up her or his right 
     to consider others to be wrong (or at least less right than 
     But we can and do insist that no physical force or monetary incentives 
     or disincentives be used for purposes of "conversion".  And we can and 
     do insist that we welcome contributions from everyone, illiterate or 
     highly educated, rich or poor, atheist, agnostic or believer in any 
     standard or peculiar philosophy, religion or whatever, so long as 
     these contributions are intended for the common task of building up 
     the country for the common good of everyone.
     Professor Prabhu Guptara
     Director, Organisational and Executive Development
     Wolfsberg Executive Development Centre
     (a subsidiary of UBS AG)
     CH-8272 Ermatingen
     Tel: + 41.71.663.5605
     Fax: +41.71.663.5590
     e-mail: prabhu.guptara@ubs.com

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re: Brief comment
Author:  loraln (loraln@worldnet.att.net) at nyuxuu
Date:    13.10.98 00:24

Administrative Note:
Week's Agenda: Economy
From: Manjunath Somayaji <somayaji@rocketmail.com> 
Date: Monday, October 12, 1998 2:55 PM
>What Sanjeev is trying to say here, I believe, is that we all know that 
>under the current trend, it does matter to some people what religion 
>they follow; however, we should try to create an atmosphere where a 
>citizen's religion should not be a criterion for any form of abuse or 
>discrimination perpetrated by or towards that citizen. When we see a 
>fellow citizen, we should not look upon him or her as a Hindu or a 
>Muslim or Christian, Sikh, whatever, but should only see him as a 
>fellow INDIAN.
I fully agree. And I doubt if any member of IPI will disagree with this 
We should, however,  focus on the  core issue :  Nobody is going to object 
if a person belonging to one faith chooses to change his faith because of 
his own considered decision.  But as long as one religious group considers 
people belonging to another religious group as PAGANS or KAFFIRS,  that they 
will not achieve salvation (or get a passport to heaven!) unless they 
convert, and IF THIS CONCEPT IS OPENLY PROPAGATED,  it will be impossible to 
avoid tension between  the "PAGANS or "KAFFIRS" and the NON-PAGANS  or 
NON-KAFFIRS. How do we find a solution to this problem? That will be the 
foundation for inter-religious harmony in India.
"I don't care what
>religion you belong to, but I care for you." - That is the attitude we 
>need in India today.
Agreed. That's exactly what will happen once the Pagan Non-Pagan and Kaffir 
Non-Kaffir issue is resolved.
Ram Narayanan
janaky@indiaintl.com or loraln@worldnet.att.net 

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