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“Not Today” Another Wake Up Call For India

Not Today

If Church produces a movie, you won’t get a prize for guessing the theme of the movie. Christianity is great, Jesus died for you – all expected & well taken. But it’s stepping on someone’s foot when you say that mine is good because yours is bad. When a religion operates like there is a fixed set of customers and you can grow only at the cost of others, its actions need to be monitored carefully.

One such movie that came out recently is ‘Not Today’. Looking at its website (http://www.nottodaythemovie.com), there is no hidden agenda, no beating around the bush – it’s admitted openly on the website that the movie is produced by church. It’s a blatant display of Christian chauvinism and illogical insult to Hinduism with childish reason, but expectedly packaged in nice flashy wrapping. Verbatim from the website - “For three thousand years, one dominant religion branded more than one fourth of our nation's population as sub-human—nearly three hundred million people known by many as Dalits.”

The protagonist of the movie is a super-rich 20 year old American guy who drives a Lamborghini and comes to India partying on a whim. Seeing the poverty, he tries to help a poor father who had to sell his 7 year daughter for money and so forth.

Good job! When the declared motive of the movie is to slam Hinduism, the movie must be made a hit and what better way to show Lamborghini, Indian slums and dirty children on streets – they all look great on screen, don’t they? Well tested formula!

Another way to popularize a movie is to award it with lots of prizes. Needless to say, as soon as the idea of the movie was born, the awards it’s going to win would have been decided (read fixed) also. Everything is going as per the script, on the screen as well as off the screen.

Coming to the ‘centuries old caste system’ mentioned and widely popularized, this claim needs to be seen in the light that history is written by victors. British planned to rule this country for a thousand years, and as part of the Divide-and-rule policy - they systematically rewrote the history, banned the gurukuls, pampered some people groups and robbed some others, so that Indians kept fighting with each other without noticing that British were ruling and robbing them. And today, they come out and say that centuries old caste system is responsible for plight of Dalits. No, the truth is they created or rather forced this system on India, to systematically destroy its well-balanced sustainable system. It’s like a pharma company using crooked ways to make people sick and then selling them the medicine it makes.

Legitimacy of historical events may be debatable, but does it make sense to blame Hinduism for everything going wrong in India? It’s a well known fact that western nations produce disproportionately high amount of green house gases compared to their population. And majority of their population is Christians. Does it mean that Christianity is responsible for global warming?

Thousands of cases of child sex abuse by catholic priests are being reported and it’s happening unabated for decades (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_sex_abuse_cases). Aren’t priests supposed to be more learned in religious matters than normal people? So do I conclude that Christianity teaches child abuse?

The website of the movie says that “Our goal for the entire movement is no small thing: to eliminate the caste system, to free the Dalits.” Are they going to be fine if caste system is eliminated from India and all Dalits remain Hindus? Or are they saying that caste system can be eliminated only if Dalits convert to Christianity?

Another one from the website – “Working in partnership with the Dalit Freedom Network, Friends Church has made a $20 million commitment to build 200 schools for Dalit children.” Can they declare openly in their schools that students can keep practicing their faith, and that schools are just going to impart normal education without any religious bias? What if there is a strictly enforced law in a particular geographical region that bars religious conversions, will they open a school in that region?

In fact after wide spread reports of Christian missionaries using money to lure poor people into conversion, the term ‘Rice conversion’ or ‘Rice Christian’ has been coined to describe such cases (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rice_Christian).

Money needs a special attention here – Irrespective of the crux of a religion, money can be and is used to propagate shallow ideas, distort facts and launch sophisticated attacks on other faiths. Make flashy movies, open schools, pay cash to those who convert, award/fund those who publicize negative news about competitors – all this needs money. So do I conclude that the religion that spends money to propagate is better? As the world is getting westernized, people who spend more money are considered more successful in society, but does it make sense to say that the religion that spends more money to get more followers is more successful?

For a devoted Hindu, it’s good to serve the society but religion is basically something that provides him ways to reach a higher state of consciousness, so that he can realize the ultimate truth – what is life, where we came from, where we go after death, how this universe is created. And there are many ways to realize this truth, so there is no need to aggressively market one particular method, and not at all a need to resort to violence or guilefulness in favor a specific way. For a Hindu, mobilizing masses to convert to a particular faith is more like a social movement, just like Marxism, capitalism or environmentalism. So even if there were rich Hindu organizations, they are not likely to propagate Hinduism as church is doing to propagate Christianity.

So it may not be expected from a Hindu to launch a counter-attack against church, but when someone has launched an all-out war against you, it’s your duty to at least understand the script behind the war – on the screen as well as off the screen.

Author: Arun Kumar

Published: April 16, 2013

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