Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Christian Bishnupriya Manipuri vs Hindu Bishnupriya Manipuri

By RK Rishikesh Sinha
Here is a hypothetical conversation between Hindu Bishnupriya Manipuri and newly converted, anti Hindu, colonised, western, Church-dictated Christian Bishnupriya Manipuri. It is a caricature to understand basically Hindu Dharma and Christianity, inspired from the Rajiv Malhotra-authored book Being Different - An Indian challenge to Western Universalism.

Christian Bishnupriya Manipuri : Mine is the only one true religion and everyone should convert to it.
Hindu Bishnupriya Manipuri: This attitude stems from your ‘exclusivism’ of your religion. My Hindu dharma not only allows religious pluralism but it is built on it. I don’t have to convert you. I have respect for you, but it is ‘mutual’. By the way Bishnupriya Manipuri is a Hindu jati. We have varna and jati, and there is no 'caste'.
Christian Bishnupriya Manipuri : ‘Religious tolerance’ shows how good we are towards your Hindu religion.
Hindu Bishnupriya Manipuri: 'Tolerance' is a patronizing way to say that my Hindu dharma is bogus. It is a posture of condescension and an accommodation due to political pressures. We need ‘mutual respect’. To respect someone’s faith implies that it is seen as legitimate for that person.
Christian Bishnupriya Manipuri : Inculturation shows respect for your dharmic culture.
Hindu Bishnupriya Manipuri: It is a deception used to gain easy entry to my jati and dharma. The strategy is to subvert my dharma.
Christian Bishnupriya Manipuri : Your Dharma is incomprehensible to me, hence useless and ignorable. 
Hindu Bishnupriya Manipuri: This is a false assumption means to retain your domination in philosophy.
Christian Bishnupriya Manipuri : Equality demands that we erase difference.
Hindu Bishnupriya Manipuri: Only by respecting difference can there be true equality. If I mimic your western culture, it does not bring equality but servility.
Christian Bishnupriya Manipuri : Remaining different would isolate you from globalization.
Hindu Bishnupriya Manipuri: We can be different and yet be positively engaged, only in office, bus, shops. You are not welcomed in my home and in my social space. Why don't you understand, your understanding of Jesus and Christian theology is very different to my dharma.
Abrahamic Bishnupriya Manipuri : Difference causes tensions, so we must become the same in order to end tensions.
Hindu Bishnupriya Manipuri: Difference that is based on supremacy does cause tensions, but difference built on unity-in-diversity and harmony does not.
Christian Bishnupriya Manipuri : Cross-cultural fertilization is good and that is why ‘fusion’ into a single global culture is natural.
Hindu Bishnupriya Manipuri: ‘Diversity’ brings deeper cross-cultural fertilization which is sustainable in the long run. Erasing difference will relocate my jati and dharma in museums, ending the cross cultural fertilization, as has happened in the case of native Americans.
Christian Bishnupriya Manipuri : Advaita Vedanta says that everything is One, so why bother with difference.
Hindu Bishnupriya Manipuri:  It is a misrepresentation of Vedanta to say that, since the existence of our world is only relative and not absolute , no worldly outcomes should matter. In truth, no school of dharma calls for the abandonment of the relative world, and every school of dharma encourages responsible action without attachments to the rewards. If difference did not exist in the relative reality, there would be no ethics, because dharma and adharma would be viewed with indifference.
Christian Bishnupriya Manipuri : Western liberalism has already embraced difference.
Hindu Bishnupriya Manipuri: In western liberalism, religious diversity does not enjoy the same place as racial and gender diversity. ‘Religious tolerance’ is disrespectful of difference. The other common policy is the sameness of all faiths, which dilutes their difference.
Christian Bishnupriya Manipuri : Secularism represents progress as defined by the trajectory of western history.
Hindu Bishnupriya Manipuri: The West’s historical experience is not universal. Forcing all civilizations to follow the west does not bring humanity the benefits of others experiences.
Christian Bishnupriya Manipuri : Hindutva ideology asserts difference the Indian way. 
Hindu Bishnupriya Manipuri: It is too political and reactionary, and has adopted some western approaches to difference such as emphasis on a 'unique history'. 
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