Indians of 2022 are rescuing the Gods!
Yeah, you read that right!
We’ve reached the critical point in the evolution of our species at which we’re done with all our earthly problems. We seem to have attained immortality. Small and nagging issues like the ones listed hereunder are not things that bother us, not in the least bit. Not anymore, anyway.
- Wholesale inflation which has risen to an alarming level. 12.94%, record high!
- Worrying unemployment rates, close to 6% in May, 2022!
- Weakening rupees seems to have lost its grip, 76 and still sliding fast!
- Serious power crisis, at the time when the mercury in most parts of the country has nearly reached the halfway mark of the boiling point of water.
- Disputed borders with China.
- Diblitrating income disparity.
- Shrinking press freedom.
We, however, do not have any time or attention to devote to them.
As a nation, we’re busy trying to excavate tension from the relics of the past. The Islamic establishment seems to be at the top of our minds. From Banaras to Mathura, the dominant social conversation is about correcting the wrongs of the past. In modern-day India, no debate can capture the national stage unless it is clothed in religion and given a hard coat of historical injustice.
What we do not seem to understand is that however unjust the past must have been, it is in the past for a reason. We’ve grown as a nation and as a society, into a fully functional constitutional democracy. When the collective conscience of the nation obsesses over the past, it is the present and the future, of the nation that pays the price of the meaningless indulgence.
It is impossible to drive safely by being glued to the back view mirror: The road that lies ahead deserves all our attention – this simple fact eludes us.
Let’s suppose for the sake of argument that this madness stands the moral, ethical, and legal scrutiny. Yet, what are we effectively going to achieve by creating tension today? How many fewer bellies without food will go to bed the night we correct all historical injustices? How many more kids will return to schools who had to drop out as Covid broke the already fragile backs of the finances of their families? Will this resurrection, in any way, make our society a more just one?
One does not have to be a genius to know that it won’t do anyone good, whatsoever!
‘Anyone’, in this argument is the everyday Indian – you and I.
Who will it help, then?
- Those who drump religious passion up, to secure electoral victories.
- Those who believe that Indian people should be kept embroiled in non issues, so that they never get to notice the real problems of the day.
Think about it, why are we debating the misdoings of a despotic ruler that died more than 300 years ago?
Aurangzeb was batshit crazy, no doubt about it. He jailed his own father and killed his own brothers (Shuza, Murad & Darashikoh). He ordered the destruction and desecration of many temples, some very prominent ones. What he did was wrong, just as the Hindu rulers in the Gupta clan brought, to the ground many Buddhist monuments. What Indians suffered back then was not very different from what Europe went through, when the protestant movement hammered many churches into oblivion.
Such were the medieval ways!
The rulers ruthlessly destroyed monuments that symbolized the past glory of the enemy. The rubbles were left for the people to know that the republic that they once swore allegiance to has fallen as a result of which they should shift loyalties if they do not wish to end up in similar ruins.
Six centuries ago there were no social media platforms, no radio and no television for amplification of narrative. Religion was the ultimate glue that held people together and as such to assert oneself the victor would attack the religious establishments. Temples were particularly rich in the past as they also served as the treasury of the state – they naturally became high-value targets for the invaders.
The world has since changed. Societies have evolved and social contracts have updated themselves too. We can still go back in time, well that is always an option, but as many would argue it is not always the smartest or the wisest choice. As people, we need to progress in the direction of peace and collective prosperity. Creating a just and civil society should be the goal of modern human dwelling.
India does not need another Babri on its conscience.
How far back in time are we willing to go to assuage the bloodthirst of the frieze?
The debate has been settled constitutionally. The places of worship act give the direction that is not only reasonable and practical but also just. We’re required to maintain the religious character of places of worship as it existed on the 15th of August 1947. Never mind the past.
Surely, something existed before temples were built and something existed even before that? We’re descendants of the same people, we inhabit the same beautiful country, breathe the same air – who are we settling scores with?
Rulers in the past used religion to give their political message.
Even today the rulers (elected) put religion into practice to gain in politics.
People suffered then and people are suffering now.
As people, we need to loosen up. We need to acknowledge that unless we do not begin rejecting useless religious controversies those manufacturing them at scale won’t stop. As long as the market for hate and communal tension exists, there will be those who will make an attempt to seize upon the opportunity to benefit from them. The sensible who are able to see through the fog need to speak up, choosing to not participate in the debate may not be the smartest alternative, as it would mean giving the hatemongers a walkover!
I write this appeal in the service of my citizen duties!
I do not expect politicians to behave – well, if they could they wouldn’t have continued in the charming profession of politics.
I do not expect anything from the judiciary of our country.
I do expect from the people, ordinary citizens. People like you and I to see through the clutter.
Indians have been praying alongside one another for centuries in the most peaceful and cordial manner possible, there is no need for that to change because someone with a blinding majority in the lower house of the parliament thinks that he can change the basic character of the country we call India.
Thank you and have a good weekend!