Monday, February 25, 2013

Session 0: Religion and Identity

Attendees: Padmini Sankaran, Raakhee Suryaprakash, Ayesha Nawab, Aditi Kumar, Hafsa Badsha, Tanya Jaison and Kirthi Jayakumar
Point of discussion: Religion and Identity
Date: December 11, 2016

Our conversation centered around looking at religion as a part of one's identity. The group examined individual and personal relationships with religion and how religion has tended to manifest in our daily lives, be it in a bid to define our personal relationship with our idea of god, or in our interpersonal relationships. A lot of our individual inquiries relating to religion have tended to stem from our personal understanding and refuting some of the ideas that were fed to us as acceptable yardsticks to define religion per se.

Padmini Sankaran examined religion as an ideology, and therefore suggested that religion, to her, was more of a philosophical exposition rather than a ritualistic observation. She exampled instances where ritualistic manifestations were never easy for her to accept and observe, and often times compliance was out of either force or a need to be respectful.

Raakhee Suryaprakash examined religion as more of a way of life for her, given that the general idea around religion only went so far as to govern her perceptions, and therefore looked at religion as one aspect of her identity as opposed to one that consumed her entire existence.

Ayesha Nawab looked at religion and her choice of adopting religious practices as something incredibly personal and evaluated the journey of discovering religious ideas and philosophies as an ongoing process. Deriving from personal experience, she explained that she was not interested in a patriarchal and narrow-minded interpretation of religion, and therefore always pushed the boundary further.

Aditi Kumar agreed with Raakhee in that religion to her was more of a way of life rather than a straitjacketed ideology paradigm. She also rejected rigid orthodoxy.

Hafsa Badsha explained that her journey with religion began as an adoption of the external but soon meandered into an inquiry into the internal. Part of her learning journey went into the process of rejecting ideas that confine and limit religion to radical beliefs.

Tanya Jaison examined religion and its observance as a matter of personal interpretation. Having seen rigid orthodoxy in operation, Tanya's idea and manifestation of worship has come to remain her personal version born out of her discretion and choice.

Kirthi Jayakumar looked at Religion as an ongoing process for her, as she looks at it for answers. The journey then has led her to curate themes and theories from different religious beliefs and faiths to help hack at what seems incomprehensible in the larger metaphysical frame.