As section 66A of IT act has been removed by the saviour of civil rights i.e. supreme-court, so I feel free to write on some sensitive issues, it’s religion this time. PK movie has raised an excellent point when the protagonist of the movie said, “There are two gods, one who created us and other, whom we created. We are completely oblivious about the first one.” The second one is the cause of many barbaric and horrendous violence going on across the world. Whether it was Charlie hebdo or Islamic state, ghar wapsi in india or boko haram in Nigeria, shia-sunni conflict in arab or Nazi hatred of jews in Germany, religion, or to be specific religious fundamentalism was always the cause for these abominable acts. Even, bifurcation of india and post partition riots trace its origin in ostensible religious conflicts. Now, I would like to explicate the issue raised.
What are the real causes behind such religious holocaust? First, Misinterpretations of religious scriptures . The message inscribed in these scriptures is quite difficult to fathom, so often we manipulate the facts to serve our narrow interest. We forget that religion was made for the people, people were not made to protect the religion. The burning example in true essence is of caste system in hinduism, which was not by ones birth, but by one’s acts or by profession. A shudra can become a Brahmin (Valmiki who wrote Ramayana). But, now caste is only decided by birth and it’s a vote-bank for political pundits. Second, Intolerance towards other faiths practised. We all have our own prejudices and prerogatives, which make us different from followers of other faith. But, to gain a sense of supremacy with respect to some other religion we develop a feeling of intolerance towards others. The tangible example is, fate of Christians in Islamic state region. Third, Religion as a tool for gaining political power . Theocracy is the first choice of many religious leaders in arab world to gain a political hegemony in their countries. The live example is of muslim brotherhood in iran. Fourth, Religion as a tool to serve narrow and petty interest . Over the centuries leadership has acknowledged religion as the best tool to mobilise people in the name of sacrilege of hallowed traditions. So, they try to give religious angle to whatever agenda they want to peddle. The current example of beef ban in Maharashtra is enough to suffice this fact.
So, what’s the solution? First of all we need to define a new religion free of gods and goddesses, principles of which are simple to interpret, free of charlatans, rigmarole rituals and byzantine traditions and which knows no fundamentalism or extremism. Whose philosophy is “people first”, “Humanity first” , “Poors ,starved and homeless first”. Where people don’t take umbrage on frivolous remarks on religion but they believe in sanctity of forgiveness .Where there is only one service i.e. philanthropy or human service. Where the pleasure of human service is heaven . And we all are gods and goddesses for each other in one form or other.
Whatever I have said in above paragraph is not my own philosophy but people of credible stature have been saying for years. For example his holiness, Dalai lama has proudly proclaimed, “My religion is very simple, my religion is kindness.” In-fact the father of nation Mahatma Gandhi has also said something insightful about the appearance of god i.e. “There are people in the world so hungry that god cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.” Even prime minister Modi also acknowledged the afflictions caused by modern religions during his recent address at UNESCO headquarter in paris, when he said, ”We must turn deep into our cultures, traditions and religions to overcome the rising tide of extremism, violence and divisions across the world.”