By Justice Markandey Katju
I posted the pic of Hanumanji given above on my fb page with the words in the title of this article. I immediately got a lot of comments accusing me of being a hypocrite, since I have often said I am an atheist.
It is true I am an atheist, and am a strong supporter of science, but that cannot preclude me from loving my culture. Ramayan and Mahabharat are part of Indian culture, and I read them often.
It is true that a part of Indian culture e.g. the caste system must be rejected as an evil ( since it perpetuates inequality in this age of equality ). I also regard veneration of cows as ‘gomata’ to be silly. How can an animal be the mother of a human being ? To my mind a cow is just an animal, like a horse or a dog, and there is nothing wrong in eating beef.
But that does not mean that our entire culture must be rejected. There are many things in it which are good, and should be promoted. In this connection the following articles by me may be seen :
As regards why I praise Hanumanji, the answer is given in this article published in hastakshepnews.com :
After the October Revolution of 1917 many Russian artists and writers ( like the poet Mayakovsky ) propagated a theory called proletcult ( short for proletarian culture ) which said that all Russian culture before 1917 should be rejected. But the Russian leader Lenin and the Education Minister in his cabinet Anatoly Lunacharsky said that the good parts of the old culture must not be rejected. How could one reject Pushkin, Turgenev, Tolstoy and Chekhov just because he liked Gorki and Sholokhov ?
So also, we have to differentiate the good and bad parts of Indian culture, and reject only the bad part, not the entire.