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Rising intolerance and worship of Goddess Saraswati

By Satya Narayan Sahu | PUBLISHED: 01, Feb 2017, 15:49 pm IST | UPDATED: 02, Feb 2017, 11:23 am IST

Rising intolerance and worship of Goddess Saraswati Invocation of Goddess Saraswati, the Goddess of learning, is an age old tradition of Hindus. It is a sacred and solemn occasion marked by piety and devotion.  

Swami Vivekananda invoked Saraswati in his mind before he got up to address the Parliament of Religions in Chicago on 9/11 1893 and he mesmerised  the whole of America by his erudition and spiritual wisdom.

Even much earlier the  legendary poet Kali Das attained highest standard of learning and wisdom after worshipping Saraswati and composed some of the best known epics known to humanity.

In Abhigyan Shakuntalam he described Saraswati in words and languages which amounts to eroticism. He first gave a vivid description of Her breasts and other parts of Her anatomy and today's Hindutva forces who are so violently offensive to Valentine Day celebrations very coolly accept such descriptions of Goddess Saraswati.

When the famous painter Hussain painted Saraswati in nude massive protests were organised. Eventually he faced criminal action and he left India and died outside Indian territory. Such is the level of intolerance of those forces which possibly would ban Abhigyanshkuntalam of Kalidas.

A question arises in mind as to how India has the largest number of illiterates in the world in spite of millennia old tradition of worshipping Goddess Saraswati in our ancient civilisation?

Suggestion of late Professor Radha Nath Rath of Ravenshaw that in stead of worshipping any God or Goddess students should worship books sounds so rational and scientific. These are the thoughts which come to mind on Saraswati Puja and I bow my head before the Goddess of Learning.

# The author Mr Satya Narayan Sahu was OSD and Press Secretary to the late President of India Shri K.R. Narayanan and served as Director in the Prime Minister's Office. He is currently Joint Secretary in the Rajya Sabha Secretariat. The views expressed by the author are personal and not that of Rajya Sabha Secretariat.