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Volume XLIV, No.50

Some Stray Thoughts

SatyaPal Dang

Tuesday 24 April 2007


It was at a very young age and before I became a Communist I was convinced that there was neither any god nor God (with capital G). In other words, it was not God who created man in this image. In fact, it was man who invented God because there were many things in nature which he could not explain. These included even such phenomena as eclipse of moon or of sun (Chandra Grahan or Suraj Grahan). In fact he did not even know the phenomenon of rains which would often be a boon for tillers of land but would frequently be a curse because it ruined the corps and washed away their huts and homes.

This inability to explain a natural phenomenon, that is, of rains, which had given birth to the god Indra. And this god began to be worshipped. There were many gods, in due course of time. All were born in this manner.
Man’s curiosity has no limits. And he began his search more and more to find out from where the gods came, that is, who had created them . It was more or less a long time not in terms of days or years but perhaps a century or even many. It may be that period was even longer. What is certain is that it was this process that resulted in the creation of God. And it is because of this that we said that it is not God who created man but it is man who created God. And for obvious reasons man began to worship many gods, then also only one God.

And when this happened, it was inevitable that sooner or later many men would become atheist. Advances made in sciences expedited this process. It was not long before India became one of the most developed amongst the developing countries. However, it was not as yet one of the most developed countries.

It is only this process which explains as to why the percentage of atheists in Europe would be and, I believe, is higher. And not because that Indians are “spiritualists” and Europeans are “materialists”.

And that is why a correct study and understanding of sciences helps man to increasingly realise that there are not only no gods but there is also no God.

We have been taught that in ancient India too there were many atheists just as we are told now that atheism is growing in India. Many may consider this development to be bad and even very bad. In fact, it is the march of progress.

A large number of young people and their organisations hold big public meetings to observe the Shaheedi or the birthday of the great martyer S. Bhagat Singh. Long and in many places very long speeches are made. The question is: how many of these people tell the audience that Bhagat Singh was an atheist and had even written a pamphlet, “Why I am an Atheist”? Is this honest? Does it not mean that many of those who pay “glowing” tributes are either totally ignorant of the teachings of Bhagat Singh or are deliberately misleading the public? In fact they may only be using the great name of Shaheed-e-Azam to benefit themselves.

In our younger days we always saw pictures of Bhagat Singh along with Raj Guru and Sukhdev together singing revolutionary songs and shouting slogans and marching to the gallows. They were also shown as being hanged together. Now we only talk of Bhagat Singh and do not even recall the names of Raj Guru and Sukhdev. Is this correct? Is this just? One can be absolutely certain that Bhagat Singh would have never desired this and would be feeling even angry (if this were to be possible).

We are very liberal when we observe holidays but are very miserly when it comes to remembering our great martyrs whose lives can teach us a lot.
I know some people would misinterpret my views to mean that we should have more holidays. Is India not already a land of holidays? Perhaps India has the largest number of holidays in the world. To abstain from work in the name of the martyrs and enjoy holiday by going to films etc. is to insult them and such a practice can only hurt the interests of our nation. India no doubt is one nation but our unity will be stronger only if it is unity in diversity. No doubt India and its States are homes to different linguistic groups or to different sub-nationalities of the great Indian nation.

That, however, must not mean that we should become narrow minded.
Indians can be proud of the fact that many concepts like “zero” were born in India. However, let us also remember that many other concepts of equal or more or less importance were born in some other countries.

Some Advice to Trade Union Leaders

Whenever you find that workers of an industrial unit are divided on the question as to whether or not they should strike work to win their just demands, the leader should not try to force his/her views. A meeting of all the workers (or, members of the union, as the case may be) should be called at a suitable place to discuss the matter. Before the discussion starts workers should be appealed to regard any decision even by a majority as if it had been taken unanimously, and implement it in that spirit. There should be no doubt that by this way of functioning trade union democracy would produce the best results.

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