A few days ago, an atheist named Armin Navabi, shared a video of himself spitting on and tearing off pages of Quran. Many Hindutvavadis took it as a sign of support and shared his video. Many Hindus praised him on social media for being courageous. However, they missed two points. First, defacing a book in itself is against ethos of Hindus and secondly, atheists by definition are not allies of any religion.
Navabi was raised a Shia Muslim in Iran and was made so afraid of hell, that he tried to commit suicide before he was 15. The reason was that according to Islamic theology, any sin done by boys before 15 has no effect. This fear of eternal hell and hope for heaven is a constant motivating factor in lives of Muslims and Christians. Navabi hated his religion and ultimately turned an atheist. However, he did not leave his Abrahmic worldview and sees all religions by the lens of his own experiences.
This was in ample evidence when Navabi shared some objectionable tweets about Goddess Kali day before yesterday. The Iranian-Canadian had founded Atheist Republic, a community of atheists in 2012. He posted objectionable pictures and wrote lewd comments about the Goddess, which we are not posting here to maintain decorum of this platform.
Atheists : allies of Hindus?
The response of an Indian atheist on this whole episode clarifies certain things. As FIRs were filed against Armin Navabi, Kushal Mehra, an Indian atheist who runs the Carvaka Podcast came out in support of the ex-Muslim Navabi.
He termed the Hindus opposing Navabi as being influenced by “Victorian morals”. He claimed that Hindu Goddesses are “hot” and “sexy”. As a Hindu, we consider Kali as our Mother. I am not sure how many Hindus would appreciate their mother being called “hot” and “sexy”. Maybe Kushal has evolved into that “modern” consciousness, but most of us practicing Hindus condemn use of such words for our mother. As an atheist, he clearly has no belief in Kali, or does not feel about her as a son would. So he should stop preaching other practicing Hindus.
Indic God's and Godesses are beautiful, sensual, compassionate, forgiving, angry, sexy, hot, sensitive etc. They represent every shade of human nature. And as a Hindu I am proud of that. Our culture celebrates these aspects. We're not Abrahamic & should not become like them.
— कुशल मेहरा (@kushal_mehra) September 3, 2020
Among other such ‘Hindu’ atheists, who have damaged Hindu Dharma, M. Karunanidhi must be mentioned. Under him, DMK’s Dravidian politics was decidedly anti-Hindu and remains so to this day. A youtuber named Dhruv Rathi famously described himself as ‘practicing Hindu atheist’. What ever may that mean, but his anti Hindu mindset is quite evident from some of his videos.
In the past, Hindus have been deceived into supporting atheists. But it should be remembered that if atheists had any goodwill towards Hindus, they would have converted to Hindu Dharma. Atheists might be enemies of other religions, but they are no friends of Hindus. Thus Christopher Hitchens did expose Teresa of Calcutta, but he also criticized Hindu Dharma. Similarly, a few weeks ago, ex-Muslims of North America again perpetuated the myth of Shambuka.
Note: The character killed in the book is Shambuka
Shudra is a member of the lower caste in Hinduism pic.twitter.com/zfiyb7drWE
— Ex-Muslims of North America (@ExmuslimsOrg) July 7, 2020
A separate class of atheists in Bharat is that of Muslim atheists. Like Navabi, most of these retain a bias against murti-puja. Indeed, many of the Muslim atheists of Bharat are closet Islamists. We have seen how the “Akeli-Awara-Azad” Shela Rashid of All India Student Association becomes a pious Muslimah in Kashmir. Not only that, she openly welcomes people to Islam without anyone raising an eye. When was the last time you saw any communist Hindu welcome any convert to Hindu Dharma? So Hindu communists are supposed to be pacca atheists and Muslim communists have a leeway even there!
A bigger example of this would be Hakim Ajmal Khan, who was a communist, but also part of Muslim League and supported partition of Bharat. He was “star campaigner” of Muslim League in 1946 elections. However, he never went to Pakistan and even served in Constitution Assembly of Bharat! More recent such examples of Muslim atheists would be Javed Akhtar and Umar Khalid. I need not tell the informed readers about their deeds.
The enemy of an enemy is not always a friend. It must be recognised that most atheists are also anti-theist i.e. they are totally opposed to religion and consider it to be positively harmful for humans. They can be tolerated, they can even be respected for their expertise in other matters. Many of them might be good economists, scientists, lawyers or engineers etc. However, their limits must also be clear to Hindus.
In Ramayana, there is only incident where Shri Rama says his father did wrong. It is not when he is exiled to forest. This incident is recorded at the time when a minister named Jabali comes with Bharat to bring Rama back to Ayodhya. When Jabali expounds his atheistic philosophy, Rama scolds him and says that his father did wrong in keeping an atheist like Jabali in high positions! This episode is a lesson for us to follow.
As for people like Armin Navabi, they thrive on publicity. Stop the publicity and his antics will stop. Bharatiya atheists, in the meanwhile, should keep their large noses out of Hindus Dharma and practice their ‘religion’ in privacy.
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