As as kid, one of my favourite subjects was Hindi.One of the things I enjoyed was writing an essay(yes sounds boring but I was really good at it)
Most essay questions in schools revolved around some finite set of themes, and one theme was religion, superstition etc ..or something like that. My Memory fails me here
I no longer remember the exact title of the essay , but I do remember that I used to always quote two dohas by Kabir for good marks
Kankar pathar jod ke, Masjid laye banay
Taa chadh mulla baang de, kya behra hua khudaey
Loose translation: You collected pebbles and stones and made a masjid out of it.
Then you got your priest to go on top of it and shout. Has God gone deaf?
Patthar puje hari mile, to main poojun pahad.
Ghar ki chakki koi na puje, joko pees khaye sansar.
Loose translation: If praying to a stone gets you God, then I will pray to a Mountain
Instead, why doesn’t anyone pray to their flour mill at home, it gives people food
Now I am pretty sure, I am not the only one who used these dohas for those “extra marks”. Many must have remembered it years afterwards like me.Many who came before me and many who came after.
Both the dohas question and satirise one of the most dearly help aspects in both religions. Azaan and Idol worship.
But it was ok to write about this in examinations.It was all ok, at least that is what we felt, to question these things without getting an exaggerated reaction from anyone.
What worries me now is, that the generation that I studied with, the generation that remembered these dohas and probably wrote them down multiple times, is also among the generations that are getting so offended over someone questioning the use of loudspeakers for azaan , aartis etc
The same generation, as kids, thought that it was OK to question the whole concept of azaan and idol worship, now has people who think its blasphemous to question the use of loudspeakers?
Yes, there are people across all age groups who fall into this category, but it makes me much sadder when I see people who I presume are from “my generation” discussing this.
Yes education is not same across, people change and blah blah blah
It is the same feeling you get when you see one of your old classmate who has ruined his life. You had nothing to do with it, but you feel so sorry and somewhat guilty. He is a part of your childhood and you cannot fathom it taking such a turn.