All pervasive Religion
By George Merlo Pallath
In India religion is the biggest holy cow. From the moment we are born, we are labeled as Hindu, Muslim, Christian or whatever. This branding we must carry throughout our life. We are named based on our religion. We dress based on our religion. We eat food based on our religion. When we join a school, college, everything is based on this branding. At no point in our life we can escape from this branding. All are required to carry this branding or label as a cross. We are known and understood on the basis of this branding. It becomes a part of our personality, character and culture.
Religion is all pervasive and plays an important part of all Indians life. His emotions, beliefs, the way he sees other humans, our whole outlook on life are governed by religion. A major part of an average Indian’s life is spent for religious beliefs, rites and rituals. An average Indian relies on their beliefs in various Gods to realize their dreams. To an average Indian, his beliefs are as real or more real than reality. For many it borders on the schizophrenic world of illusions and make believe. The various religious groups and sects use these techniques of collective hypnosis to increase their number of followers. It is an extension of the deep rooted tribal mentality inside each one of us. We tend to see ourselves as belonging to one tribe or other and this leads to tension, violence and confrontation. It is a case of associating one’s personal ego with the tribe. Ultimately this tribal mentality is the root cause of all intolerance in this world. More people have been killed, maimed, raped and tortured in the name of religion than all the other conflict and strife in this world. Even though religion and spirituality must go hand in hand, the reality is otherwise. All places of worship are now focused on business and materialism. Crores being spent on gold covering of deities, footsteps, flag posts.
These religious peddlers have an easy job. Convince their followers about the life after death, they may call it heaven or something else. This promise of a better life after death is the biggest motivation for the ordinary people to follow one religion or other. The religious peddlers can rest easy that none of these followers are going to come back and sue them for breach of promise or deficiency in service. It is the best business that anyone can do. Promise the heaven and people are willing to make astronomical donations and none will come back to complain about anything.