Old article posted in Times of India on July 24th, 2016. Link here-
For years I wanted to know why I would feel uncomfortable in front of overtly religious people especially the ones whose tongues would never stop wagging about how deeply religious they were.
Or why I could not relate to the deeply conservative norms which they believed were their path to salvation as prescribed in various religious scriptures or customs.
In Pakistan, a Mullah shouted from the top of a Minaret in a Masjid that Islam was in danger and it was time to launch a religious Jihad against the infidels and Lo! A herd appeared from nowhere, ready to butcher and sacrifice their lives in the name of Islam.
In India, a Pandit cried at the top of his voice how it was time to take revenge for the mother cow’s perceived killing and Lo! People came out in droves to burn the non-followers alive, all in the name of saving the Hinduism.
In USA, a pastor shouted how Jesus was the true son of God and Bible the only true holy Book and Lo! Men and women from the civilized society did not blink an eye setting Quran on fire in order to cleanse their nation and save Christianity.
Religion was built on the principles of universal love and brother hood. Manu, Krishna, Dayanand, Jesus, Mohammad, Nanak, Buddha, all spoke of compassion and acceptance.
But their followers, who accepted their words as holy gospel and developed religious boundaries out of them, focused more on preserving the respective domains and the names of their prophets than their teachings.
Taking ‘pride’ in being a Hindu and maintaining Hindu traditions has become more important than ‘being’ a Hindu. The same is true for others.
Alas in the real world it turns out that when you chose one religion, you automatically tend to denounce the other. A Hindu cannot be a Muslim or a Christian or vice versa. You become captive of one domain.
Religion gives you the power and surprisingly a right to hate others who differ.
A Muslim can be most pious and yet be ready to kill the infidels. A Hindu can be devout and yet at the same time preach to eradicate the nation of its Muslim population. A Christian can be God fearing and yet be ready to ban all Muslims from entering the soil that he treads on.
The more religious acts you perform and the more you feel that you are getting closer to your chosen God, the more powerful you become in your eyes. This also enables you to develop more venom towards the person who does not see eye to eye with your chosen God.
Eureka! I knew exactly the cause of my discomfort with religion.
Religion as is practiced today, can only lead to hate! Hate is the necessary by-product.
For decades and centuries, religious and political leaders, kings, power mongers and even the elite knew this and have used religion as a tool to define boundaries, divide and rule over people.
They knew that ‘fear is the key’ and have mixed the brew of fear and hate as sugar and salt dissolved in the holy water of religion for people to drink and lose their senses. Today even this masking is not required and they carry out their agenda out in the open. Blatant and straight!
Hate is the new religion!
The true religion of the successful leader! The true religion of the real believer! World over!
You have to hate someone to be truly religious. It is the primary test.
The hate could be between Hindus or Muslims or Christians or Jews. It could be between Whites or Blacks or coloured. It could be between straights and gays.
Hate creeps everywhere—class, caste, colour, creed, kind, gender, religion and has no boundaries.
Hate is well and truly universal.
The Trumps of the world, know it clearly. They may reside in the rich lands of USA, or among the leaders of various political parties of India, or even in the troubled lands of the Middle East.
Trump is only following in the footsteps of the great leaders who have used Hate and fear to capture the imagination of their people. Be it the Islamic forces of the Middle East or Pakistan or even the Hindutava brigade in India.
Trump’s message of ‘Make America hate again’ is just more loud and on the face.
Will he succeed? Do you want him to succeed? The answer lies in how you see the Muslim who lives in a ghetto in your own city because you may not really be willing to accept him as your own.
The modern man is trying hard to break free from this most powerful religion of hate by the liberating powers of education, knowledge and scientific temperament.
It is a tough battle being fought on the streets of Toronto where a Treudeau sings and dances in the Pride parade or offers ‘Ardas’, in the speeches and thoughts of true leaders like Obama, Aga Khan and Dalai Lama, in the defiance of a Kulkarni in India, or even in the silent outcry of millions like us who feel—’enough is enough’.
We are ‘not’ going to leave a world for our children where religion and hate are synonym.
If need be, we will break away from religions themselves. We will create a new world with no walls.
In our new world there will be no differentiators of being Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Muslims, straights, gays, poor, rich, Brahmin, Shudra….. We will follow no past dead scriptures, believe in no superstitions, have no kalams or psalms to recite or mantras to chant or even no ‘Vastu’ or ‘Grahas’ to fear. We would have no love limited to a particular sect and hence no hate for others. We would have ‘created’ no God to die for and no God to fear. In fact there will be no words as hate or fear!
Is this too much of a utopian dream? To be just human and nothing more!
In your answer lies the future of humanity. And the true essence of our knowledge and learning!