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Religion, Politics and Power....

All of us in this world are followers of a certain belief system or faith. There are also those among us who do not follow any of the belief systems or faith but adhere strictly to an ideology based on objective thinking, behaviour and so on. All through the ages, there have been numerous contributions, trials, tribulations, debates, arguments, criticisms etc between the various sects. Inherently all human beings exhibit the trait of “individual self-expression”, all of us trained to express our feelings, thoughts as well as absorb and understand life through the same ways. All human beings depending upon the situation carry out this process of understanding and assimilation with the world around consciously or unconsciously. What poses here as a question is do human beings necessarily at all times follow only the prescribed model or the pattern of the majority or the path of individual self-expression.

It is here that I begin my debate….
A statement goes that
“Every man
Is like every other man
Is like some other man
Is like no other man”

(I am using the word “man” consciously.)

The growing religious fervor in the country has led to many dissent and disaster among the people in our country. Religious groups each trying to outdo each other and display their followers, power, control and prosperity. I am going to refrain from adding the adjective “greatness” as no religion equates shameless display to greatness or expects followers to explicitly define, highlight the greatness of the religion. Religious processions have been for long the trigger point for violence and many groups manipulate this situation to serve their own means. Mob violence has been on a rise with organised violence sanctioned by the so-called leaders of the religious groups.

India has been the melting point for different cultures, activities, faiths, beliefs as well as ideologies. The land enriched by the various invasions is subsequently the home to many religious groups. The major religious groups Hindus, Muslims, Christians followed by other groups like Buddhists, Parsis, Sikhs, and Jains. In addition to them, we have numerous tribal groups who have their own specific forms of faiths, beliefs as well as sects of people belonging to rationalists, communist’s school of thought and strong atheists. The mere presence of these diverse schools of thought has been the cause of tensions long enough. However, the Indian democracy announced the country to be secular and proclaimed the ever-popular slogan “India –Unity in Diversity.” It is not easy to imbibe this slogan, as by nature: as (fragmented) Indians we remain divided not merely by religion, in fact religion is only the starting point followed by caste, class, culture etc.

Ages of history has kept molding and remolding the people of this land in order to adapt and survive the situation. This history does not let us set aside the “excess baggage” of mistrust and fear aside. Even when we proceed towards radical and new beginnings at the heart incidents keep repeating, tormenting and planting seeds of suspicion and tensions within us. The nameless fear has successfully integrated itself within us making “change” a very complex process.

Beginning with the partition, our country has witnessed bloody violence and indiscriminate loss of lives just because of the hatred and intolerance. The display of ruthlessness and equating the same to assert a faith has suspended objective thinking. Rape, torture, looting and murder of anyone different from us have become sadly, the accepted norm of the day. The saying “survival of the fittest” reinterpreted to suit the selfish motives and designs of the “supposed” leaders. The burning vengeance from the blood split during partition remains fresh in our consciousness as a beast awaiting prey. It was following the partition, the preparations for the intolerance war began.

Frequent brawls, fights, clashes, violence kept erupting and effectively building up the dogma of hate and antagonism. With the years the agenda of the many religious and political figures worked to their expectations and people have successfully divided located themselves in places favorable to them. This pogrom of planned divisions happens all around the country and the visible examples of this is the “New Delhi”, “Old Delhi”; “New Bhopal”, “Old Bhopal”; “Hyderabad”, “Secundrebad” and so on…. Even within the city that we reside we can demarcate the lines of Hindu habitat and Muslim habitat (although there are exceptions to this). These carefully alienated localities help nobody but the rioters and extremists during their killing, bombing and looting sprees. This strategically planned religious persecution is evident from the Babri-Masjid as well as the recent Godhra massacres.

The extent of inhumanity is beyond the capacity of our imagination. Survivors of these riots place their experiences as that being worse than hell (however, horrifying HELL been portrayed)… When human beings can create HELL on earth why has not the gods protected the innocents? Why has not god punished the guilty? Why has not the lord saved the defenseless? Why has god instead let loose the inhuman creatures capable of wicked and sadistic crimes? These are the questions of the millions of the survivors and victims’ alive to speak out of these religious regimes vicious cruelty. Sadly, no GOD answered these questions. These questions remain as ramblings floating around us and echoing of the shameful acts of brutality that we “Human Beings” are capable.

Many organizations have branded themselves for the cause of “religious/cultural glorification and revival.” They find faithful and active supporters among the disillusioned, disappointed and unemployed youth groups. Once taken in the youth extensively trained to practice, preach hate and anger towards all others whom they regard as different. Grilled into their psyche that “certain”, “particular” groups are to blame for the disparities that are in existence, the leaders effectively control, create havoc and destructions to fulfill their personal goals and ambitions. (‘Political’ by nature.)

Where do women fit into this whole agenda? Easy… they are the countless victims, they remain the most vulnerable targets and most affected by all forms of these religious, caste based, ethnicity based violence. The numerous assaults, abuses, sadism that women had to endure during these forms of bloodshed go mostly unreported or censored to avoid further provocation. While this is quite genuine, this does not lead to arrests, detainment or punishment for the accused. In most cases, the perpetrators of these heinous crimes go scot-free.

Why is rape of a woman justified by these rioters? Why do the religious leaders not end this form of violence but use “rape” of woman as an excuse to continue with the same behaviour? Why are women who have till then been excluded, kept away from self-expression and disregarded in political fronts used as a “COMMODITY” to upkeep the hypocritical, insincere religious/caste based/ethnicity based values or morals of the groups and their so-called leaders?

The systems of the country have failed to protect the innocent and punish the accused; the country has sadly become an example where dictators function with democracy and use “religion” as their weapon for POWER.

Comments

Fatima Waziri's picture

Well stated

Thank you for your thought provoking write up. All i can say is "well stated". It is a travesty that women are always at the receiving end during any crises. In times of war, women are raped and exploited in different grotesque ways, in times of peace, women's rights are grossly disregarded.

To answer your debate question, i believe every man or women as it were, is like no other man and we are unique in our different ways. Religion is a personal thing and no one should trample on anyone's religion and tolerance for each others religion is very key. It is my opinion that all regions are one because to the best of my knowledge we are asking one supernatural being for guidance and assistance and his name is God, Allah, as it were.

We are all aware of how the word "religion" is responsible for the mass genocide during the world war. A group of people felt they were better than others because the others were Jewish. The Jewish were being exterminated and what was their crime? being Jewish. The Baha'is are being exterminated in Iran and what is their crime? for being a member of the Bahai faith.

As sensitive as the issue of religion is, i think it is our place to keep talking about it, its negative effects and the importance of tolerance. What happen to the Jewish should never happen again. I come from a christian nuclear family but also have moslem extended family. We all get along like one big happy family and tolerance is the key.

Peace!
Fatima

jataia's picture

Power of Intent

I hear your pain and the pain of millions on this planet. I too do not understand or can fathom the autrocities that are carried out daily on this planet. My heart cries out for these people and the planet.There is much darkness on this planet which is what is the cause of this.
I believe only in Love and Light and it will prevail. Look at what is happening on the planet at this time, I believe this system is going to end as we know it as it must. We as a whole cannot keep living this way, we will be our own destruction or evolvement.
Lets not focus on the chaos. Where you place your thoughts is where your energy goes and feeds it. The chaos feeds on our fear and creates more.
Lets focus on what we can all do as a collective group and around the world with Love and Intent.
The power of intent is amazing.
Let us be the light force that brings down the light to every dark place and corner of this planet through thought and prayer with intent of lighting this world with pure white devine light in the name of love and all that is.
I know this is very challenging in these times of pain and despair. Its like when you are depressed (if you have ever esperienced this). If you stay in the darkness it just gets worse and harder to get out of. When you focus on being happy and things that encourage happiness you can get out of the dark. Sometimes we need a little help. We are all here to help as a collective group and voice that wants to change the way of the world as it is.
We don't have to leave our chairs, houses or countries to do this and it will cost you nothing.
We can even choose a time that we can all meditate around the world at the same time and focus on lighting the world, to see the world completely consumed in Divine White Light on the planet and spreading outward, especially the places that are suffering the most a this time. We need to do this with the intent of creating love, peaace and joy on this planet.
We have everything to lose if we don't try.
This is a message that has been asked of beings on this planet for some time now. We need to place our focus on what we want (peace) even in times of darkness. Its tough I know especially when you are living it.
I ask that you please consider this. If you are doing it, then keep doing it. The light will prevail.
In Love and Light
Jataia

efe's picture

one sect too many

In Nigeria, the country of my birth.Religion has also become an excuse for committing all sorts of atrocities of which corruption is not the least(members of these congregations need to get their hands on lots of money to "sow a seed" as it is termed).Not too long ago, a certain reverend "gentleman" by the name of Mr Kings burnt a female follower to death.Till date, majority of his followers are convinced that he is divinely inspired.Women are indeed vulnerable in most cases.This vulnerability of being ignorant has also made women more active in helping to perpetuate all these craziness that are taking place in the name of religion.

Ambica Priyadarshini's picture

Justice = ?????

Women are the most vulnerable during violence, irrespective of whether it was caste,religion or ethnicity based.......This is a fact. The torture that women endured during the communal riots and the haphazard way the government dealt with the guilty are examples of how repressive a state can act..Justice is a long way for the countless victims of this intolerance war...

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