A celebration of faith
Multiculturalism is not denial of religion
By Amulya Ganguli
Veteran journalist writes, after Samuel Huttington followed up his clash of civilisations theory with a warning about the U.S. losing its core Anglo-Protestant culture because of the influx of immigrants of various faiths, two British clergy men expressed the same fear about their country losing its identity.
If you take the Christian faith out of British identity, what have you got left, asked George Carey,arch bishop of canteburry.Earlier, the Ugandan- born archbishop of York,John Sentamu said that multiculturalism do not let the majority culture tells us its glories.
Since the white Europeans on the sides of Atlantic are still not accustomed to the concept of multiculturalism, they believe that the use of Christian terms will offend the non-Christians among them. The whites also believe that the Christian symbolism might be interpreted as a reassertion of their sense of superiority, which has long characterised their behaviour towards the blacks and browns.
V.S.Naipaul believes multiculturalism has prevailed in India for centuries. Unlike in the west, where it is virtually equated with atheism, multiculturalism in India is a celebration of religions not their denial.
Even the mughals emperors observed Diwali and Nauroz, the Parsi New Year. Until the early 20th century, Hindus routinely took part in the mohurram processions.
To emphasise this aspect Gandhi had passages read from the holy books of all the major religions before his prayer meetings.
When the Zoroastrians of Persia felt that their religion was in danger from the invading Muslims, where else could they go but to India! The Tibetans felt similarly in their homeland, they chose India.
There is little doubt that the situation in Europe and America has been complicated by the paranoia about Islamic terrorism. The racial complex of the whites would have made it difficult for them to accept large members of coloured aliens in their midst. Yet, they are losers because borders cannot be sealed in today’s world. The best course, therefore, is to worship all the gods with gusto.
(Reviewed by Ashish Dimri, a freelancing journalist)