Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Religulous Secular Channels

So on Headlines Today there was a report about someone called Isaac Tigrette who claims to be the ‘heir’ of  Satya Saibaba’s (Puttaparthi) legacy. He claims Saibaba spoke to him in secret telling him what to do when he passes away. This always amazes me. That baba spoke to people, interacted with them and yet wanted to tell only Tigrette, that too in secrecy, what should be done after his death. Throughout history we have had God almighty always whisper to Moses or Mohammad what they should tell people. One would have thought God is so powerful that in one stroke he could have directly spoken to all the people in the world in one stroke. Well, I suppose God also tells our secular channels what to report where religion is concerned. He specifically tells them what news to broadcast!
Pastor Shantaraju
I did not coin the word ‘Religulous’ but we will come to that later. Take a look at the picture on the left and this related report : Bangalore Mirror, June 17  “A city pastor has been accused by his own wife of being a paedophile and of misappropriating church funds. The charges against K Shantaraju, the 45-year-old pastor of the Bethel Church and Bethel Student Centre in Siddhartha Nagar, Jalahalli West, are being probed by the police after a complaint was filed by his wife Priyalatha at Gangammanagudi police station on Wednesday….. Minor children are being used for sexual activities in the centre. He has sexual relationships with many girl children… I have witnessed these activities. When questioned, he threatened to kill me and my two children

Imagine if this were a report about some Hindu swami (like a Nityananda or someone) and your NDTVs, CNN-IBNs, Headlines Todays etc. would be all over the place with the news. By now the swami would have been roasted by these news channels and there would be debates on all news channels on how Hindu godmen are cheating the masses, are rapists and so on. Not surprisingly, this Bangalore pastor was hardly to be found anywhere on these secular news channels.

In Evil Orders, The Economist wrote: (on child-abuse by Church): ‘The scandal is more widespread than the one that swept through the United States in recent years, costing the church up to $2 billion in compensation payments. In recent weeks at least 350 victims have come forward in the Netherlands, along with around 300 more in Germany and Austria. In Brazil a priest and two monsignors have just been suspended from their church duties following allegations of involvement in the making of a sex video involving a youth”. Do our secular channels ever discuss that?

India constitutionally became a  ‘secular’ country in 1976 during the Emergency. There is, however, no clear definition of secularism in the constitution. So unlike the West which largely defines it as the separation of state and church, many Indian experts (like Shashi Tharoor for example) suggest it means all religions are equal or the state will ‘treat’ all religions equally and respect their freedom? But is that really true? Practically, over the years, inspired by communist ideology,  many in the media, the Congress and some more political parties have practiced secularism as the right to ridicule or abuse Hinduism. To the Congress it also meant practically take control of temples and Hindu religious institutions and fund minority group activities. Wait and watch what happens to Saibaba Trust (Puttaparthi) funds.

While all this is happening there are reports that politicians and state governments are directly helping Christian outfits. Well, sure these are reports from predominantly Hindu sites but they do quote sources that are not necessarily Hindu. This is from Christianisation of Andhra Pradesh: “With YSR’s advent in 2004, evangelical activities increased alarmingly and mass conversions were witnessed in rural areas on a large scale. His open pandering to Church and missionaries emboldened evangelists to go all out in their conversion activities. They dared focus on Hindu pilgrimage sites such as Badrachalam, Simmachalam, Srisailam, Ahobilam, Mangalagiri, Kalahasthi, and didn’t spare Thirumala-Thirupathi! YSR aided the Church and missionaries in many ways. He sanctioned Rs. 80, 000/- per Church for repair works in August 2006 as per GO MS. No: 21 dt 22/08/2006 (CM Reddy okays public money for Churches – Deccan Chronicle, 23 August 2006) and an aid of Rs. 1.5 lakhs for the construction of each Church. This is done while the government is controlling over 30,000 Temples and taking all their revenue. Only 15% of temple revenue is given back for temple maintenance and salaries of priests. Over 40,000 Priests earn a salary of only Rs. 500/- to Rs. 1000/- per month. The rest of the revenue is being used for other government schemes and minority welfare schemes, as in Tamil Nadu..”

So why do our TV channels think it is only funny stuff about Hinduism or Hindu god-men that should be reported. All religions have enough of funny stuff that will provide a good laugh any day. Religulous, a combination of Religion + Ridiculous, is a 2008 movie by American comic Bill Maher. Maher was born Jewish-Catholic but is now an atheist. The movie is meant to poke gentle fun and have a good laugh at the funny side of religion. However, many parts of the movie are actual interviews and the movie itself is non-fiction.

So let’s first start by meeting the descendant of Jesus Christ himself: (Jose Miranda actually claims to be a direct descendant of Jesus Christ and that there were angels who informed him so - Caution: clip contains some offensive language)
Well, what do you think now? Do you feel better now that you've met the direct descendant of Jesus Christ? Now, that isn’t all. Here is one more clip from the movie where Bill Maher is at the Vatican.
A senior Vatican Priest, Father Reginald Foster, himself believes Jesus wouldn’t have stayed at that mansion where the Pope lives. Secondly, Father Foster also suggests, hypothetically, Jesus could have been born on July 3 and all that midnight birth on December 25 could be a myth. There’s more, he mentions that in a crisis situation Jesus is the sixth man that Italians pray to.

So you see, there are enough funny things in religion. The good part about Hinduism is that there is no rule of blasphemy. You can make fun of the god-men and Hindu rituals and customs. That our secular channels are able to debate so much about everything in Hinduism is a credit to Hindu culture itself. Would they dare to debate Christianity or Islam that much?

This post or the video clips aren’t put up here to offend anyone. I believe if we could laugh a bit about religion then we wouldn’t need the stupid and much-abused concept of ‘secularism’. There’s more in Religulous, watch this space!


  1. @Ravinar

    As usual, i am posting again off the topic of your posts. Please forgive me :(

    This is about Barkha Dutt... She sees herself as champion of kashmiri cause and just last year came up with so many myths of kashimir youth protesting against government attrocities and all such lies.

    The truth from the mouth of horse is below


    "I am not going to say to you that the stone pelters did wrong. They were misguided. They had energy, they were angry and didn't know how to say No, when money was offered for a seemingly non-dangerous assignment."

    "This discontentment was channeled by the separatists for their ends. For example if the separatist got 500,000 rupees from Pakistan or the other Muslim countries, which fund the separatist movement, they distributed 100,000 to each leader," he said

    "They in turn paid each young boy 5,000 rupees to throw stones. Those young 16-18 year old boys who were sitting at home because of schools being closed due to bandh calls by separatists, and who have little job prospects, with nothing to do and fed on azadi slogans, picked up stones without realising that they were being used as pawns. We all did it," he said.


    Why do not the media channels conduct sting operations on these poeple? Why not Barkha dutt have a special show on this?

    And if it was some Majority related story, by now all media would of gone gaga...

    And more importantly..during last years protests no media noted very important fact.."It is only kashimiris who have problem and neither jammu nor laddhak regions have.. and whenever we talk about j and k issue, media talks only about kashmir.."

  2. @ Tamoghna

    I agree with you. Lately, Barkha Dutt has been more on vacations than on the TV screen. That should indicate to you that she has become quite irrelevant and that people all across have seen through her.

    If in the past she has not presented facts accurately and fairly there will be other journalists who will step up to the job. In this case Smita Prakash, of ANI, has done a good job in bringing out the facts.

    Mediacrooks is a small blog, but with many others, it will continue its attempt to expose the liars in the media. I keep saying, in this day and age people in the public domain won't have a place to hide. Rahul Gandhi is another good example.

    Keep sharing your thoughts.


  3. Even my question is ---Where is Barkha

  4. Aaj ka Mahabharat

  5. No religion is sensitive to blasphemy.Its just your assumption that there is you have tolerance.If I am blaspheming Saraswati by questioning her modesty Internally (if you believe in God) wouldn't you be praying that I am hit by a raging lorry while walking on a Sunday evening,for hurting your feelings?

  6. @ momentumcalls

    You are free to abuse and blaspheme Saraswati as much as you want on this blog through your comments. But if you spew mindless abuse, it will be deleted. And BTW, do us a favour, dont compare Islam to any other religion, if thats what youre doing.

  7. I did not compare islam with hinduism.Hinduism was never a religion,Islam is a political doctrine.My point was on blasphemy.

  8. @ Momentumcalls

    Your comment that I deleted was irrelevant to the post and way off topic. I do not believe in blasphemy. People are free to think and say whatever they want about any religion or belief. I have absolutely no problem with that. Mindless name calling is unacceptable...

  9. words such as believer,infidel,blasphemy & even religion were never part of indian cultural lexicon....hinduism was never meant to be a word equivalent to religion exists in any indian languages...there are lot of hindus who are monotheist(eg. arya samaj,brahmakumaris etc)..there are even atheist hindus..& they have absolute freedom...

    i am proud to be hindu,not becuz i claim hinduism to be the one & only true religion but because it's not a religion in the first place ....a hindu has absolute freedom to believe/disbelieve/un-believe in whatever god he wants..

    Who really knows? Who shall declare it here?
    Whence was it born? Whence issued this creation?
    Even the Gods came after its emergence.
    Then who can tell from whence it came to be?
    None knows when creation has arisen;
    Whether He made it or did not make it,
    He who surveys it in the highest heaven,
    Only He knows, or maybe even He knows not.
    -Rig Veda(about the origin of the universe)

    here veda encourages men to question the existance of god & this shows the plurality & diversity within hindu philosophy...

    now compare this to "earth is flat" theory of biblical & quranic scriptures..
    people have been burnt at the stake for saying earth is

  10. Very Good Blog. Its my point that only because of Hinduism,we talk of secularism. These bleeding heart sickularists r quiet when it comes to a #Rinkle or Sikhs being made to pay Jazia in Pak.There is no secularism in Islamic states. Even Israel and European countries like France are saying this much and no further.The point that you make about selective reporting and targetting of Hindus and their beliefs by media is very true. But the blame lies with us Hindus. I am reminded of cassius quote in Julius Ceasar " The fault my Dear Brutus lies not in our stars but in ourselves" . Unless we stand up for ourselves and protect our identity, we shall be wiped out soon enough. Dont forget that Hinduism once extended to countries like Indonesia etc but now India and Nepal are the last bastions of Hinduism.

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