[Fsf-friends] Pitfalls to avoid

Ramanraj K ramanraj@vsnl.com
Mon Sep 8 05:40:38 IST 2003

Vineet Chaitanya <vc@mail.iiit.net> wrote:
 >    On Sun, Sep 07, 2003 at 05:22:21AM +0530, Ramanraj K wrote:
 >    > The British used religion as a  tool to divide and rule India.  
 >    > attempted  to use  religion  to unite  us.   The use  of 
religion  for
 >    > uniting or  dividing is dangerous as  we now know.
 >        I think the "uniting" which is dangerous is only a superficial
 >        uniting and inherently involves "dividing".
 >        On the other hand, the uniting which Mahatma Gandhi attempted
 >        was a genuine uniting.
 >        Sorry, for bringing in extraneous philosophical points in this 
 >        but I do think that clarity of thinking is very much essential in
 >        any endevour. So I just wanted to clarify the statement of Shree
 >        Ramanraj.
 >    Vineet Chaitanya

It is futile to repent history, but to ignore history is folly.

Annie Besant left  the Home Rule League in 1920  because it had become
"intertwined with Religion".  Even if using religion in public affairs
was justified because  it was "genuine uniting", it  did not work well
from the start, and ultimately  ended in the partition of our country,
and the problems continue, inspite of the best efforts of our leaders.

Postings in this list  frequently relate to e-governance and education
using free software.  The past  ought to be carefully considered while
laying new  paths into the  future.  Mahatma Gandhi  himself clarified
the position of religion in a state:

"The   State  would   look   after  your   secular  welfare,   health,
communcations, foreign relations, currency and  so on, but not your or
my  religion.   That  is  everybody's  personal  concern"  
-  Harijan: Sept. 22, 1946

If a state ignores this, the state may be forced to spend huge sums on
peace  keeping, depriving  utilisation of  common funds  to  meet more
pressing and urgent needs for its children and welfare.

I hope  this clarity  prevails in  the minds of  those who  write free
software aiming for good education and governance.

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