Before I begin, let me state this with a lot of conviction that I do not have anything against those who see value in following a religion or those who maintain that the staircase to GOD goes through the pavement of GURUs! We’re a free country, right to worship/faith is a constitutional grantee, no one under the sun can deny it. Freedom, however, remains absolute only for so much time as we treat it like a right just as much as we see it as a responsibility. Responsibility to exercise it right, for the betterment of self and the larger community. India of today is a result of meticulous political integrations of several hundred provinces, formed by one and ruled by another dynasty in every single case – political integration couldn’t have been possible if the marriage of faiths under one flag wasn’t arranged and made to look happy. Which is why ever since the Idea of India was conceived in 1884, religion was given importance more than it rightfully deserved.
In my personal view; Religion is the most disastrous of all human creations!
God and everything that is close to it is of extreme value to people who live on extremes (both ends); of wealth, success, sorrow, happiness & health – people struggling somewhere in the middle never have enough time and other resources to pursue their interests in GOD. Look around you’ll see either filthy rich or sick & dead poor going crazy after the idea of super power. People like you and me; may be believers but always have other priorities to take care of before we devote our time to searching GOD or uniting with him/her/it (haven’t met GOD not sure of the gender).
Founders of our nation knew for a fact that a nation built on religion is a recipe for disaster. And if India were to be of any global consequence it would need landmass sizable to stand with its taller and older brothers in the world recovering from the wounds of 2nd-word war – secularism was the only answer. Bapu knew it since the very beginning of his freedom campaigns, Likes of Patel, Balgangadhar, Maulana Azad, etc. had to swallow it reluctantly. Nehru was agnostic of the structure as long as he had a role to play placed right at the center of it ( his idea of India was all that he learned from Bapu). But there was another factor that made it essential that herds praying differently were kept together – that was the tolerance that this nation had somehow mastered thru centuries of its existence. We hear a lot of great stories about how brave our ancestors were, and most of it is true but the hard fact is that India was never a military superpower – fighting and winning wars was never its forte. This landmass was RICH; in minerals, skills .. because peace time prevailed and people practiced vocations for generations; and most important of all the – the art of co-existence.
An Indian even today feels out of the place if he only sees people of his faith around him; we are used to seeing a different flag and we like it that way.
Integration of the nation had happened both political and of faith; society, however, was tormented by poverty, floods, droughts, social ills and competitive communalism– good 80% of the nation was in distress always and did not know how to live their time on earth with hope and this is when they turned towards faith. Life became increasingly difficult, meeting demands were no longer something that could be bartered, the monster called money was a reality and people needed resources to cope up. More often than not, people failed, they had to; given the fact that literacy was in single digit, and every other indicator of prosperity – infant mortality, poverty, life expectancy, etc. in dangerous double figures. People started frequenting their place of worship they had always visited for generations, for hope first and remedy later.
Soon, places of worship become a market place; full of footfalls. Wise men saw devotee as consumers and alongside other articles, faith & hope also become commodities for sale. Those who could speak started making their voices up to sound godly, they temporarily gave up their small homes to end up in large ashrams, they parted with their families to gain the support of millions of those who were lost. And an empire got silently built on the crumbs and miseries of ordinary people.
These babas are a creation of lack of education, fear, ill health & lack of resources. It is just not a coincidence that from Saint Mother Teresa to Pervert Asharam Bapu to Rapiest Ram Rahim to Sexist Maulvi Abdullah – they all have claimed to cure people of their medical illness – people submit and surrender because they do not want to die and can’t afford treatment. Slowly these men cage them in their own fear and there comes the point when they completely own them. Initially, the deprived intellectually, financially and otherwise saw going to a baba as a small investment of time and time alone but slowly babas captured their imagination and they parted with their little saving, pride and sometimes even life to make their beloved baba stronger & richer.
Those ready to die in Haryana are victims of ill distributed privileges and resources.
The situation will not improve till education makes its way in every home, and that education is also able to woe an employment contract that pays enough for its bearer to enjoy gifts of present and secure future. Each one of us can play a role, by educating people about fundamental principles of natural justice. Making them believe that they can achieve whatever they set their mind up to. By supporting them .. by being with them.
Think about it – see if you can pull one person out of poverty!
Remember one Ram Rahim is in prison there are thousands out there ready to prey on the weak.