Generous Orthodoxy  

Thursday, July 26, 2012

More politically incorrect thoughts about Hinduism

In view of my recent Rumination about Hinduism (please read that together with this), a New York Times article interested me tonight, especially because this voice of Bollywood conscience is addressed particularly to the abuse of women and "untouchables" (Dalits).

I can't prove it, and such views as mine produce wrath from the multi-culti enthusiasts, but I believe that Hinduism, with its cyclical and repetitive view of history, does not have within itself the resources to correct these injustices, and that it is the Judeo-Christian tradition which has influenced the rest of the world in that regard. I had a long conversation once with the famous rabbi Arthur Hertzberg, who was excited about a meeting he had recently attended with representatives of all the world's religions. He said that they had come to a decision about common ground, and that it was "the defense of the defenseless." I expressed doubt that everyone could have come to this conclusion. "What about the Hindus?" I asked. He hesitated, then said with the hint of a twinkle, "Well, they're coming along."

Speaking of Hinduism (and India), I am in the process of watching Satyajit Ray's Apu Trilogy for the first time. It's on all the lists of Best Movies Ever. I agree with whoever it was who said that all other film trilogies, including The Godfather, pale in comparison. It is superb, unforgettable. And the music was especially composed for it by Ravi Shankar, which adds tremendously to one's sense of absorbing something important about another culture.