they are at it again

A nun was burnt. It is just incidental that she was a nun. She could have been any lady. In the fiery final moments she would have shrieked, not with the passionate love of God but with pain- a pain exactly similar to the sisters, mothers and wives of the arsonists. She was not the enemy of the fanatic mob. She just belonged to another group which had another ideology. I have no idea whether she was a fanatic or a fraud. I do not even know if she provoked the fiery mob. I do not even think she may have been right in her views. But, though those flames have not scalded me directly, the news has charred my mind with a hurt. I am hurt that my country men are losing their sensitivity and sensibility. I am hurt that selfish leaders are goading idiots into a riot mode. I am hurt that I am just potent enough to write on the virtual space instead of directly interfering in this social sickness.

This is not new. Neither the feeling of impotent rage nor the happening that hurts is new. But every time such a thing happens, it hurts. It puts me to shame. Like the arm-chair analysts of yesteryears, there is this new lap-top-indignant Indian breed into which I have willingly initiated and included myself for it is easy to be angry from the safe distance, the comfortable room. But the least we selfish, cowardly but superficially concerned and angry, pseudo-intellectuals can do is talk about these things. Talk with the hope that some sincere and selfless member of the society would do something.

Some of the news creators say that this was a retaliation by a righteous(!) mob. The mob had lost a veteran member and was grief stricken. The ordinary you and me would shed tears, but not this mob. They become angry. Perhaps if their leader is allegedly taken away by God, they would torch down some temples; maybe they would even stop trying to build a temple. The mob that inflicted these burns on our social fabric belongs to a particular party. Their anger was allegedly created when one of them was killed.

Like the female nun who died in the hands of the mob, it was a Hindu swami who was killed by his enemies. As in the case of the nun, I have no deep knowledge about the swami. Though I read that he was having a strange habit of creating ruckus every Christmas, I do not agree that he had to be killed. The sorrow of the fact of the matter is that religion has become a touchy subject in this secular country. I honestly don’t care whether a Christian or a Hindu is killed, but I am pained when a man or a woman is killed because she or he happens to follow whatever their religion demands; and am more incensed when the killing is done by a cowardly face-dissolving mob.

A Christian and a Hindu have been killed; many more Christians and a few more Hindus are also getting killed. Temporarily the Muslims have been left out of the killing fields. But soon the government will do something, some more talking and some more hoodwinking. Evidences and accusations will be promised a fair trial. Tehelka tapes, notes and printed material have already started gathering dust. There will be some more enquiry commissions. Some retired judge will have another stint of salaried pomp and an office. After a brief breaking-news and flash-news game, the socially-committed but TRP-obligated newsmen would scourge for other sensations. The print media too would send this matter to the second page and soon out of its pages. We will begin our daily routine. We would go on to do our religious rite-oriented activities. Some day in the future another outburst will be reported. And the game will start all over again. What is wrong?

Criminals just get away too easily. Government is more concerned about retaining itself than ensuring peace and harmony. News-persons who should be stirring our consciences are focusing on their own sensational stories- after all, all the news gathered and briefly told can someday become a book. We have no time to pause and ponder. Our stock watch and ad-watch are consuming all that is left in our mechanized minds. Politics is no more about policies. It is not a blunt and apathetic nation, it is just that every one’s vision has become selfishly narrow. What a situation!! Can there ever be a more fertile ground for mobs to be instigated, hatred and violence to be nurtured, and for petty, perverse politicians to play verbose and venomous games? They are all at it again.

The senseless and savage mob needs its daily money and alcohol. The sick people need just an assurance that the mob will not turn into their streets. The politicians need any and every gimmick to try to make people vote. Not that voting really matters, for the candidates and the poll process will all be crooked.

Though the entire system appears to be flawed and the society happens to live in its paradise of folly, the main problem is the new found religious fanaticism. If one can kill another and escape the wrath of God and the terror of hell, how can legal punishments be a detriment to unleash the un-evolved violent nature? Especially when the loop holes are larger than the laws!

Religion and race have always gone hand in hand. Using any one of these potential weapons one can cause havoc in any society. Let us just ignore for the time being the oft-referred Hitler, and look back upon our Indian leadership.

Tilak was the one who used religions sentiments in a brash and direct fashion, and it worked only because Vivekananda’s weakness for universal religious brotherhood could not douse and light up the sleeping Indian slaves. Then came Gandhi. We all know and remember him as an apostle of peace who preached non-violence. Ofcourse he did make it his life’s mission to focus on non-violence. But, if only non-violence and non-religion were to have been his commandment, imagine how India would have become. Even this day fat , hungry and thirsty politicians pretend to fast and observe non-violent protests following his style. If Gandhi had not encouraged religion, BJP would never have even been considered by Indian voters. Possibly the ‘Ram’ of Gandhi was not just the blue colored, calendar-art inspired god, but a more mystic and true divine power. But since these things were never spelt out to the illiterate masses that worshiped Gandhi enough to get their skulls broken, religion and its co-ordinates continued as our heritage and his legacy. Now in the hands of criminals and money-power oriented politicians religion has become the simple spark that can make the whole country turn and stare. Defying archaeology and mocking the courts, mythic narrations have become themes for slogans. How many would pause to ponder when such stories heard from the time of (and by) grandmother’s grandmothers are used to fuel a foolhardy indignation? Religious faith, an unquestioning acceptance of myths as facts, is not just a hindu phenomenon. It is pan religious. Therefore is it dangerous, omnipotent t and omnipresent like the gods it alleges to follow.

Religion is no more used in the gandhian way to inculcate values and moral systems in the minds of the public. It is an easy fuel now to inflame the minds of idiots and jobless mobs. It is now a potent weapon to disrupt democracy. It is the easiest way to spit on the face of secularism. It is an election tool and a mass-gathering technique. It has been so used in the past and the unscrupulous have tasted blood. They are thirsty again. Therefore they are at it again. They will be at it again and again till we wake up. Let us atleast know that the enemy is within the country.

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