Hinduism is known to be the world’s oldest religion. Having no founder, it is mostly divided into six parts including Sruti, Smriti, Itihasa, Purana, Agama and Darshana. Originally known as Sanatan Dharm, Hinduism is having Thirty-three types of gods and goddesses and is one of the few religions where deities are female.
From time immemorial, Hindus as seekers ask questions that led to the formation of society under Hinduism. Sruti mostly comprises books that were earlier transferred orally from one generation to another and were heard. This includes Vedas, Up-Vedas and Vedangas. Smriti, on the other hand, is the type of knowledge that was used to memorize by the public for their benefit. This includes the likes of Manusmriti and Yajnavalkya. Itihas of Hindu Scripture includes Ramayana & Mahabharata. Purana describes the deities of Hinduism while Agama describes the distinction between deities and their followers. Darshan at last includes Yoga, Nyay, Sankhya, and Mimisha. These six types of scriptures make Hinduism what it is today. There came various times when one of them is challenged for something or the other. And because Sanatan Dharm accepts vaad-vivaad (discussion & debate), things that are accepted by a larger section of society prevail. Due to this, Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism were allowed along with Hinduism in their original form. In case of a clash between sects, Shastrarth (discussion on scriptures) used to pave way for a solution. Hinduism is often seemed like a religion that is the union of science and spirituality as it has both Vedas and Ayurveda, Bhagwat Gita and Yoga, Mahapuran and Arthashahtra.
Christianity on the other hand is over 2000 old and is the world’s most-followed religion. Believer of Christ who was a Jew and was crucified by the rulers are today known as Christian’s. It was mostly non-existential when ruler of Rome made it compulsory for Pagans to follow it, which led to its expansion. All Christians have to follow the commands given in their religious book named Bible. The Bible is not a single book but a collection of books that began as songs and stories orally transmitted from generation to generation before being written down in a process that began sometime around the start of the first millennium BCE and continued for over a thousand years. The Bible was written and compiled by many people, from a variety of disparate cultures, most of whom are unknown.
Considered to be scriptures, the books were compiled by different religious communities into various biblical canons. Due to these multiple versions, Bible often used to collide with Science and other religions including Hinduism. Churches killed and assassinated millions of people in the world to stop them from questioning the concepts written in the Bible along with the authority of Christ and stopped only when it became difficult for them to oppose it any further. Later, Christianity at large converted itself into machinery, and rather than attacking someone physically, they followed converting the person and his thoughts.
Islam on the other is over 1400-years-old religion and is the fastest-growing religion in the world. Having been started by Prophet Muhammad, Islam today is everywhere. The expansion of Islam has been bloody and forceful and often controversial. Those who follow Islam are known as Muslims and the religious book of Muslims is Quran.
Quran includes the saying of Prophet Muhammad but was written by others since he didn’t know to write. The Quran is taught by Muslims to be not simply divinely inspired, but the literal word of God. Since the expansion of Islam took place in a very short period and often violently, the only thing which combined Islam is the name of Prophet Muhammad and the scriptures in the Quran. Anyone who objects to any of these is treated as blasphemous. Punishment of Blasphemous is written in Quran which talks about beheading. So even if there is a question logically correct on Prophet Muhammad’s life or Quran is often treated as Blasphemy.
India is a country that is the origin of Hinduism, has the third highest population of Islam and with a significant population of Christianity. In such a complex population, India opted for a secular constitution so to keep religion out of state and giving equal importance to every religion including the three mentioned above. Hindus and Christians have mostly given up their responsibilities to the Constitution, however, Muslims are different. From the time of partition till today, Muslims in India often call for their separate laws based on Quran and other Islamic customs. One of them being the Blasphemy law which calls for Death punishment for anyone who questions or even remotely opposes the precedents of Muslim society. The biggest sin according to Islam is questioning/mocking Prophet Muhammad and the punishment is beheading. A notorious slogan often used in the Indian Subcontinent against anyone accused of Blasphemy is, “Gustakh-E-Rasool ki ek hi saza, sar tan se juda, sar tan se juda” (There is only one punishment for speaking against the Prophet and that is beheading).
It is high time for India to bring a law to curb such callings as they can’t be allowed in any democratic society. A society is democratic only if it is allowed to ask the third-highest question in that society. If there is no question allowed or no change in the thought process, everything else is a waste. Having lost over 40% of its size, 30% of its population, and 35% of its natural resources, it’s high time that India makes itself strong and doesn’t let itself further break in the name of Islam. India deserves a society that allows Vedas, Upnishads, Yoga, Mahabharata, Ramayana, Bible, and Quran to coexist and not otherwise.
Author: Adv. Shashank Shekhar Jha
Legal Editor, GoaChronicle.com