Thursday, August 10, 2006

Who's for conversion: Sonia or the Pope?

That was one of the many singularly political and highly inappropriate questions on a public service examination in Gujarat recently. This TOI story makes the mind boggle.
Which day is observed as 'Black Day' by minorities and 'Victory Day' by RSS? - September 11, July 2, January 26, December 6.

These aren't samples of questions to qualify for RSS, but some of the questions asked by Gujarat Public Service Commission (GPSC) of candidates appearing for Ayurvedic medical officers' exam on Sunday.

Outraged candidates were foxed to find that many questions had blatant political or communal overtones. Four of the questions dealt with chief minister Narendra Modi's achievements.

Of the 100 questions asked in the objective paper offering four options each, about 14 were political in nature, bearing communal overtones or mocking Union railway minister Lalu Prasad or the UPA government. A copy of the 16-page question paper is with TOI.
I mean this is absurd! To talk about December 6, 1992, when the Babir Masjid was torn down as Victory Day? This isn't some rabid right wing Hindu nationalist publication, but an examination administered by the State of Gujarat! I guess it's probably just another sign of the continuing discrimination against minorities (mainly Muslims but also Christians) in Gujarat.

Incidentally, this is also why I find it a little bewildering how so many right-wing Western blogs and website that are (rightly) concerned about jihadism and Islamic terrorist apply those lenses uncritically to the Indian situation, and start parroting stuff that sounds as if it were edited by the Bajrang Dal. As a Christian, as far as I'm concerned, minorities in India should band together. No, this doesn't mean pretending that jihadism is non-existent in Indian Islam. But it does mean that one isn't just knee-jerk anti-Muslim.

And, it would seem (see the post below) that the answer to the question on conversion would have to be the Pope and Soniaji! :-)

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1 comment:

Georgette said...

Amen! You said exactly what I feel. The strange blinders that so many otherwise smart folks have on. Doesn't make sense.

Great blog, by the way! Yes, you are kinda opposite where I am right now (I am the American living in India) but you seem to be thinking of returning, no?

God bless,
Georgette
PS I confess I am also guilty of "Ghandi" and my husband (Indian born) ALWAYS has to correct me!