Boy, it’s been eons since our last edition of Incredible India, hasn’t it?
As those of us fortunate enough to be familiar with that irritatingly beloved land are well aware, India is host to an incredible array of odd stuff.
Things that you can’t even imagine in other settings happen with monotonous regularity in India.
Here are a bunch of unusual events from Incredible India that we’ve culled from recent editions of newspapers:
* Used Condoms for Indian Dickheads – What happens when there’s a shortage of free condoms in remote Indian villages where prostitution is not uncommon?
Well, if these are remote hamlets in the South Indian state of Karnataka, the condoms are used, washed and re-used, exposing the second users to HIV/AIDS, Herpes and other unwelcome sexually transmitted diseases.
Think we’re joking?
Here’s an excerpt from the Times of India:
Condom scarcity is reportedly forcing sex workers to buy packets of branded condoms for Rs 10-12 each. ”They are used, then washed and dried and offered to gullible clients to be reused,” said D Shankarappa Gonwal, working for an NGO in Koppal district.
* (Un)Holy Ganges – Indians consider the Ganges, or Ganga as it’s popularly known in the country, the holiest of rivers. Millions bathe in it, worship it and take the water back to their homes.
But the Ganges remains one of India’s filthiest, most polluted rivers. It’s been so for decades and, given that the past in India is often a sure indicator of the future, will continue to remain so for several more decades.
A quarter century after the late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi launched the Ganga Action Plan at the Rajendra Prasad Ghat in Varanasi on June 14, 1986, the river is more polluted than ever before.
As a recent newspaper story points out:
Ganga is more polluted in Varanasi today, especially between its two tributaries, Asi and Varuna, which have also been converted into huge sewage drains.
Much of the pollution in the Ganga is caused by the release of raw sewage directly into the river although there are other causes too.
* Fasting Babas – The other day, one of India’s countless saints, Swami Nigamanand died after a 73-day fast protesting against the pollution of the Ganga by illegal mining and stone crushing on the river’s banks in the Haridwar area. Did anyone even notice Nigamanand’s death?
* Millionaire Babas – India is a poor country but many of its Babas are filthy rich. Baba Ramdev has a huge business empire of over Rs 1,000 crore and the late Sai Baba’s assets were far too vast to even be accurately enumerated. Imagine, 98 kg of gold and jewellery, 307 kg of silver articles and Rs. 11.56 crore in cash were found just in Yajur Mandir (the private chambers of Sai Baba). Source: Hindu
What in God’s name was a Godman doing with 98kg of gold and 307kg of silver in his private rooms?
Only in Mera Bharat Mahaan!
Read more stories on Incredible India here.
Ours is a nation largely comprising of fools.
Barring a very few, none of us has ever seen a few lakhs together, but we are generous enough to facilitate these religion gurus and babas mint thousands & lakhs of crores from our pocket.
By the way Sir, this is a damn cool business idea too! If you have nothing to do, claim that you are a baba & boy watch kuber flow right to your private room!
After all in India, everything from non-actor stars to mute-puppet PMs works.
You write: By the way Sir, this is a damn cool business idea too! If you have nothing to do, claim that you are a baba & boy watch kuber flow right to your private room!
Alas, Babas are not hot property in our adopted country (USA). 🙁
SI: Alas, Babas are not hot property in our adopted country (USA). 🙁
Don’t fret, you can always be re born a Christian and can save a few souls and mint green.
BTW came to post a link on babas pocket money and paper weight, but you already have a post on it. jai SI baba ki.
At least, in India you can chalk up the actions of some followers of Babas to their blissful ignorance of the true nature of these ‘saintly’ con men.
Here (in the U.S.), it’s hard to grasp how even educated people fall prey to the machinations of crooks in some of the churches.
The only conclusion is that before the powerful spell of religion, education is a weakling.
i visited one of my friends who happens to be a (catholic) father from Mumbai yesterday and we chatted about the state of things in India and America. While he was telling me about his own personal sadhana (sleeping on the floor,praying five times a day etc.),i realized that he had more austerity than half of the so called”punditji’s” i have ever met!
As far as religion declining, things couldnt be going better! while mainline protestant churches have declined 25% of the last year, Buddhism, in a decade experienced a 250% increase in converts in the west and has the bragging rights for fastest growing religion in Australia.
Interesting point on Buddhism. But with the base so small, any growth seems significant. One of these days, we’ll take a long and hard look at Buddhism.
It seems like Western interest in Hinduism crested in the 1970s with the Beatles (George Harrison), Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Jiddu Krishnamurthi (??) and ISKCON.
j.krishnamurti was a fusion of buddhist philosphy mixed with deism.I have read many of his books and have some of his cd’s,trust me when i say that he was NOT hindu in philosophy….mabe in his diet(he was a strict veg.) but otherwise he was more buddhist or deist than anything.most of the names mentioned above were,actually are nondenominational.ironically hinduism is the only religion of the dharmic religions that doesnt really welcome converts but has the lowest turnover rate of all the world religions.I was doing reasearch on st.francis xavier(spelling???) who initiated the goa inquisition and found him to be perhaps the biggest hypocrite that ever graced god’s green earth.for example he encouraged people to destroy the”devil’s face(idols)” but he would then install the pictures and statues of mary and jesus in their place!same concept,different people.
We’ve been to Francis Xavier’s eternal resting place in a Goa church a few decades back and vaguely remember the guide telling us some drivel about the dead man’s nails growing or some such junk!
the christian saints did(do) in fact perform miracles….but the pagan’s did them FIRST!
a good site for comparative religions/history of religions students
Only feeble-minded people believe in miracles.
Someone said that srila prabhupada’s only miracle was turning stoned on drugs hippies into pure vegetarians who vowed also not to consume booze or drugs again,that i think is a miracle.
Weed and Vodka are good for the soul!
Regarding consumption of meat, we agree. We doubt the human body is constructed to eat other animals.
I just picked up a copy of the oddessy by homer,will let you know how it turns out….
As far as the book of mormon goes,it’s just a plagiarism(spelling??) of a few contemporary books around joseph smith’s time,also the cheap punk had the nerve to invent a bogus language called”reformed egyptian” a language that doesnt exsist either in egypt or elsewhere.After that,we can safely call the book of mormon the book of moron!(see link)
1. Ulysses was one of our favorite childhood heroes.
Guess, today’s kids worship Abhishek Bachchan. How times have changed! 🙁
2. You write: As far as the book of mormon goes,it’s just a plagiarism(spelling??) of a few contemporary books around joseph smith’s time….we can safely call the book of mormon the book of moron
I also finished the Dhammapada (a collection of buddha’s main teachings) published by penguin,read it in about two days time.I thought it bore a lot of resemblance to the upanishad’s,almost too much resemblance.
You ought to clarify in what way the Dhammapada is similar to the Upanishads.
it’s essentially the same only without the brahman concept,although buddha does mention brahmins in a whole sutra.they both denounce caste by birth and instead define a brahmin as one who possesses the qualities of self control, peace of mind etc.
Well, by the above definition, most Brahmins would not qualify to be Brahmins! 😉
American preachers arent better(see video)
BTW, All Preachers are Sick and All Believers are Idiots.
not nessesarily,kabir was ok so was terton sogyal(read “in the shadow of the buddha” by matteo p. for more info)
As atheists always love to say “Religion is the main cause of all violence and sufferings”. I pray to differ. Many religions, be it Hinduism, Islam, or Christianity, were invented only to spread good morals and ensure that men and women stay at peace. But as nature would have it, Man turned religion from a “Tool to gain inner peace” to an agenda for destruction.
For instance, Christ never created Christianity, he only spread messages of peace. Never did he mention that people have to convert to believe him. Only the Vatican and the so-called peace missionaries in India believe so. “Selling Jesus” has become the main business for Vatican all over the world and because of this, many have begun to despise Christianity itself. With all due apologies to my christian friends, the very sight of a Pastor in Chennai drives me crazy because i always find that they either 1) try to insult Hinduism and sell their own set of values and morals. 2) Claim Jesus to be the sole savior. While I do believe in god, I don;t like people telling me whom to worship!!
As for Hinduism, if the racism problem was not enough to kill it, the sudden birth of BABAs and other fake saints have killed its sole purpose, “Living in peace and harmony”. Hinduism was never a religion and never will be. But the problem is that some miscreants misinterpret the sayings of Gita and the Upanishads for their own devious agendas.
Hinduism can do better if Hindus really understand its true meaning and appreciate the values set down by elders. Ah! And by the way, can we do away with that MANUSHASTRA bullshit please. Abolish caste, stop supporting casteism. God doesn’t find difference between Brahmins or Dalits, he doesn’t care about your caste either.
I know you are going to hate me for this SI. But atheism, like theism, can never be a solution for Man’s problems. Man is by nature, barbaric, and he/she will keep finding agendas to raise hell and destruction upon humanity.
While religion is the root cause of many wars, it still instills some faith and values in sections of humanity. You can never do away with it.
You write: Man is by nature, barbaric, and he/she will keep finding agendas to raise hell and destruction upon humanity.
Never has a truer sentence been written.
“Religion is flawed because man is flawed” (from “Angels and Demons”).
One of the problems with all religions is that practices and beliefs outlive the reasons for which they were created. When that happens they lose context and within a generation they become meaningless superstitions. It is like keeping stuff beyond expiry date.
Hinduism being the oldest (?) known religion perhaps has more past expiry stuff than other younger religions. To its credit, Hinduism has survived despite the onslaught from other religions and the evolution of new religions.
Hinduism may once have been a rigid force with its strong caste system but with the influence of caste waning, particularly in urban centers, it would be interesting to see what direction it takes now.
We predict some splits within Hinduism with the Swaminarayan folks to be the first to strike a different path.
wendy doniger reports that the swaminarayan satsanghi’s tried to legally separate from hinduism back in the 60’s although the case was dismissed,the jaina’s however won theirs so did the buddhists.
Can anyone legally separate from Hinduism?
Sounds like a White Man yelling that he doesn’t want to be White or a Black Man acting as if he weren’t Black (you know what happened to Michael Jackson’s face when he tried bleaching it White).
Buddhism and Jainism had their historical break with Hinduism several centuries back.
Would need a “like” button / link for comments like this 🙂
Will look at the plugins to see what’s available.
Incredible India Indeed!!
They don’t realize, they could better kill the baby.
There is no hope for the benighted nation.
And we all think Pakistanis and Taliban are barbaric people over their treatment of women.
How is India any different given our treatment of girls of all ages?
The only slim hope we have is that the above story (your link) is inaccurate.