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PUBLIC: Re: Brief comment on "kaffirs", "socialists", etc.
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
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)
Tel: + 41.71.663.5605
______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re: Brief comment
Author: loraln (email@example.com) at nyuxuu
Date: 13.10.98 00:24
Week's Agenda: Economy
From: Manjunath Somayaji <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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
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.
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