Religion, as the great George Carlin said, is big business and the recent media explosion has seen a flurry of “religious” TV channels take to the air, broadcasting pravachans, prayers, congregations, faith messages, feel-good speeches, question and answer sessions, etc, in the name of the good lord, Hindu, Christian, Muslim or Sikh.
But there is bad news for the “pray” channels in the secular republic.
The telecom regulatory authority of India (TRAI), in a recommendation to the Centre, has suggested that religious bodies should be barred from owning television stations or having any role in distributing them. News reports quote TRAI as saying that where permission has been given, they should be phased out slowly: “Such a rule would be in tune with the secular nature of our constitution.”
In a nation where faith is such an integral part of every citizen’s life, is what we watch any business of the State? Is it a needless intrusion in our lives? Or given the incendiary revivalism, which has spread so much poison in our society, is it the correct interpretation of the law?
Also read: ‘There is no god, none, not one, never was’
No, should not ‘ban’ them.
Much as I want people to stop idiocy and divisions in the name of religion, much as I want people to become more rational in their outlook, an outright ‘ban’ is not the way a democracy should work. If a particular TV channel is actually fomenting and spreading hatred, that channel should be banned at once. But not a blanket ban, no.
Soviets ruthlessly suppressed religion for 80 years- central asian countries all became Islamic nations after fall of USSR. Russia is seeing revivalism of orthodox christianity. Ditto in Communist China.
There are religions who claim sole truth- condemn others as false, infidel, hathen. Its they who divides the world. Indic religions always accepts all paths to lead to God.
Its another instance psueo filled TRAI is picking up fight with religion- and will loose in a big way.
It would seem that the secular establishment will not stop at anything to restrict if not stifle a people’s right to spiritual life.
Vinay, I’m curious. What do you mean by “I want people to become more rational in their outlook..” Would it be similar to our “founding father” who wanted people to “become” secular in their outlook? Is there anything more demeaning than to treat a human being like a piece of machinery that can be programmed as we like?
Makes one think just how dehumanizing liberalism is.
The christian and islamic channels should be banned because they are spreading hatred.
Channels which show bhajans and yoga can only be beneficial to one and all. They should be encouraged by the government.
Vinay>>Much as I want people to stop idiocy and divisions in the name of religion, much as I want people to become more rational in their outlook
Visit Ramakrishna Mission Center nearest to where you live- and collect series of speeches by Swami Rangnathanandaji on the Gita. And listen to those for few months and you will have an understanding of what is religion, or Hinduism.
ALL religions are not same. The dominant class of Indian media commentetors neither understand this. This is the root cause of today’s problem in India.
You are a victim of Indian elite who understood it thro’ a glass of Nehruvian view imported from Europe- that has failed even in Europe.
“Rational” Marxists killed more than 100 million people worlwide.
15 November 2008 at 10:58 am
The christian and islamic channels should be banned because they are spreading hatred.
jayarasibhatta , now how do u know this ?? r u watching these channels secretly???
IMO religious channels should not be banned coz the old folks at home can have something worthwhile to watch other than the stupid degenerating serials.
Banning Religious Channels will be akin to banning religious freedom and may be ultravires to constitution itself. Giving call to Ajam over loud speaker and sending bhajans over satellite are all the same in intent, you can not ban one and let other. I am sure if a ban is done it can be successfully thrashed in the court because it directly interferes with our religious freedom.
Though most forms of prohibitions do not work, banning religious propaganda is a good idea. However it would be nicer if people themselves had developed their brains and call such stuff stupid. But as the same George Carlin said, “people are fucking stupid”.
Narayana>>Banning Religious Channels will be akin to banning religious freedom and may be ultravires to constitution itself.
UPA will never ban any religious channel- they have no galls to do that. I think something else is cooking here. RSS, or VHP is probably about to launch a channel and Govt is now sending signal thro’ TRAI.
Banning Religious TV will have unintended consequnces. It is difficult to imagine all of them now. As some wrote earlier any one spewing venom and creating public nuisance can always be banned under the present regulations.
In a democracy like ours we should allow all flowers to bloom and those which are not healthy will wither away in the fertile soil of democracy without the high handedness of the government.
Satisfying your idle curiosity is going to be a never-ending process. When you disagree with the basic premise that the state and religion should be separate, there is no point my attempting to satisfy your curiosity and explain how charlatans and self-styled swamis take gullible people for a ride by the millions on a daily basis throughout India.
Or are you an astrologer with a thatched hut somewhere near Mandya on Mysore road? Or maybe you’re one of those swamis who claim to cure every disease under the sun? Or one of those swamis who has a private jet and a Land Rover, and ask all your disciples to ‘shun worldly desires’?
Perhaps you have a vested interest in ensuring that the ‘junta’ remains gullible and superstitious?
Vinay – So, charlatans, self-styled swamis, an astrologer with a thatched hut, a swami promising a cure for every decease under the sun, or one of those swamis in jets and land rovers who ask their disciples to shun worldly desires, represent the State?
I think you should throw away your camouflage and just say you’re against Hindu society in itself and detest being part of it, if you are now, and would love to see it destroyed. This would at least make your position credible, don’t you think?
No, they do not represent the state. That is why I mentioned right at the top, that religious TV channels should not be banned and the state must not intervene here. You are confusing issues here again.
Vinay – Good of you to clarify. Are we then agreed that the “Secular State” debate is different from the “Charlatan” debate?
The opposite to a “Secular State” need not be a Theocracy.
Some food for thought for you. It is somewhat related to this topic, though not entirely. Yesterday, as you might know, Kumarswamy Devegowda and co. staged a mass rally in North Bangalore. Close to a million people were affected. There were traffic jams upto 4 hours, 6 hours, 7 hours.. one person was stuck for 8 hours I heard on radio. Ambulances were stranded, a severely injured person in Yeshwanthpur was lying on the median with no help forthcoming because the abmulance from MSR Hospital took 2 hours to cover 2 km. JDS workers from villages across the state descended on palace grounds (most of them drunk) climbing the walls, urinating (and some were even defecating) on the pavement, elbowing pedestrians out of the footpath, etc. etc. BMTC buses were ferrying these JDS workers and several commuters waiting on the bus stops began walking after waiting for more than 2 hours.
The JDS spokesperson said that they had initially planned to have the rally in Dobbabellapur/Devanahalli (away from city), but an astrologer told them that Palace grounds was ‘lucky’ for them, hence palace grounds was chosen (FYI, this place is just 4 km from Vidhana Soudha – city center, in case you don’t know Bangalore).
Yes, most certainly – the secular state debate is different from the Charlatan debate. The above post which I wrote (DG’s great ‘rally’) is a typical example of idiocy in the name of ‘astrology’. This kind of idiocy is what I was referring to in my first comment above.
Vinay, I was in that blasted jam…ruined my day’s meetings too! I live in Bangalore North very close to the Hebbal flyover.
Btw, you must know that the JD (Secular) leadership are against the obscurantist Hindutva forces? URA joined them that day too. These fellows are also for “seperating religion from the State”!
Christianity spreads hatred among those who do not walk in the light and live in superstition, idolatory and darkness. The moment they know the truth, their life would change.