Tuesday, December 23, 2014

        I usually tell a story to make a point about anything. So let me tell a story before I make my take on RELIGION shouldn't be forced on children. Yes, I was born to a Hindu man and woman, and was married to a Hindu guy, which makes me a Hindu till death. I declare that I am not Anti Hindu.

            Once upon a time there lived a family in India; a family in the sense a father, a mother, two children and a cat to defend them from the atrocities that rat created.  The father, every year, performed the custom that he needs to follow on the death anniversary of the late grandfather of the family. According to the custom he had to make rice balls and later drown it in the river near their house. The cat that was a new comer to the family did not understand the value of these customs, being a 5 sensed life-form, ran around and tried to eat these sacred rice balls. The father tied the cat to a pillar in the house. He did the same year after year. The cat died and the kitten of the cat grew. He had to tie this cat also to the pillar, every time, before he started the death anniversary customs. The grandchildren watched this closely. This story is not just about Hinduism. It's the state of customs in all religions. If not, Quran will not be misunderstood to kill innocent children.

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            One fine day the father, who was now the grandfather for the kids of the family, passed away. His son performed the death anniversary customs for his dead dad. He also made sure that the cat was tied before he started the custom. The grandchildren watched this closely. They grew up. Rat kills were introduced to the country. They no longer had to pet a cat to take care of the rats. So they preferred not to have a cat as a pet. Their father passed away. They had to perform the death anniversary custom for their dad. Before starting the custom, they ran around to find a cat. They begged and borrowed the cat of a relative, tied it to a pillar of the house and performed the custom. Their children watched this closely. As these children grew up, houses did not have pillars. Their father passed away. Every time when they had to perform the death anniversary custom they made an artificial pillar, borrowed a cat, tied the cat to the pillar and then did the custom.

            This is what we do. We forget why a certain custom was brought into practice. Most of the Hindu customs and practices had a scientific value attached to it. But we do not want to understand why we do certain things and just follow it because our parents followed.

            I will never make my son have a Namam or sreecharnam ( a thin red/orange line on the forehead drawn by castes like the Brahmins who belong to Hindu religion). I will not force my daughter to keep a Bindhi. I will not make my child do anything that will make him/her be seen as a Brahmin at school. There should be no difference between kids in school. That's one way we can make kids strongly believe that the religions are just different sets of principles and disciplines to follow in life and not something that differentiates one another.

I will not force my religion on them just because they will be born to or brought up by me. I will teach them all the good things that I see in my religion. I will encourage them to read and understand about all the religions. At the age of 18, I will let them choose the religion they wish to follow. When 18 is the age a person can decide the future of the country I am sure that's the age for a person to choose his/her religion.

            I am a Hindu by birth and I choose to be Hindu because I don't know much about any other religion. Also, I am very very proud and happy with the practices (the right ones) that they follow in Hinduism. I follow all the practices that I think have a value, I understand the values before following each of it.


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