Thursday, February 11, 2016

We have no religion

Professor Roddam Narasimha (a Caltecher, by the way) points out that the Kannada word that is used for "religion" in the "what is your religion?" question is "mat" (Devanagari: मत ) which is the same word for the vote. "Mat" means "opinion" or "view".  Anyone who tells you religion is just an opinion or a view, analogous to a vote is simply wrong.  "Religion", even after a millenium of exposure to Islam,  and centuries of exposure to Christianity, simply is not a native Indian concept.

With that,  perhaps this description Kalavai Venkat gives of himself, "a Silicon Valley-based writer, an atheist, a practicing orthodox Hindu" might become a little closer to comprehensible to those from the Western cultures grounded in religion.