A good friend e-mailed me the text of Javed Akhtar's talk on Spirituality at the India Today Conclave of 2008.
You can read the text of the talk here. Brilliant.
While looking for more information on the subject, I came across the apparent response of Ravishankar of the Art of Living Foundation.
The response sounded insipid and defensive and often self-contradictory to me.
I sent the text to some friends who practice their respective religions. They all came back and said that the talk was very good. That has left me almost confused, but happy.
At one point in his response, Ravishankar challenges - does anyone criticize (Mother) Theresa or Dalai Lama. ( Well, I do.) This is a very well worn ploy of "(poor) us against (the evil) them" used by many to garner support. Christopher Hitchens even wrote a book about Theresa - provocatively titled "The Missionary Position". You can get a taste of his views here.
I hope you enjoy the read.