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Assertion of Gods: BATTLE ROYALE IN SWING!, By Chanchal Chauhan, Print E-mail

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New Delhi, 8 July 2014  

Assertion of Gods


By Chanchal Chauhan


The controversial statement of a Shankaracharya dethroning the Sai Baba from the status of a God, asserting the supremacy of his religious thoughts and barring his followers from worshipping Sai Baba has led to fierce debate on Hindi television channels. Thereby, regaling price rise, corruption or conditions of the poor to the back burner.


This is not all. The Shankaracharya wanted only those Gods worshipped who are depicted as deities in religious books of his creed as they alone were genuine. Notably, according to him, Sai Baba has no mention in the holy books, hence deserves no offerings from them.


Indeed, it is unfortunate that a powerful modern scientific medium invented to disseminate information, knowledge, educate and entertain people to inculcate reason, logic and scientific temper is being used to propagate the most backward and superstitious ideas of tribal and feudal times. Whereby, the people remain bogged down in age-old ignorance and darkness.


Pertinently, any person like Narendra Dabholkar founder-President of Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti who dared to take up the pious cause of eliminating superstitions and blind faith in illogical myths was murdered recently.


Sadly, till date we were suffering from the cancer of communal violence and extremism in the name of religion, but today the same elements are arousing bitter feelings of sectarian hatred within society. Worse, TV channels are becoming a tool of instigating this sectarian loathing by arranging foolish debates on superstitious myths.


Recall, a few years back, a rumour was spread all over the world that Lord Ganesha’s marble idols were seen drinking milk in temples and to quench His thirst devotees should offer milk to His idol in temples, and lo! A huge crowd of devotees rushed to temples and tonnes of fresh milk flowed in Indian drains and even abroad.


However, some TV channels showed programmes to educate the public that Ganesha’s idol never drank the milk, it was just wasted. Such telecasts encouraged scientific temper and were appreciated by enlightened people. This phase is over. Nowadays whatever appears on some TV channels strengthens the shackles of ignorance, superstitions and spreads unscientific beliefs.


Undeniably, Indian social consciousness is even now governed by classical Brahmanism ideology which justifies inequality among equals. True, there have been social reformers in the past who tried to challenge this philosophy but all failed resulting in the Brahmincal order remaining intact.


In strengthening this philosophy which preaches sectarian hatred our media is playing a very inglorious role. There are some TV channels which exclusively telecast sermons given that all sects and religions have their own channels wherein some Sadhu, Baba and other religious leaders preach inequality and sectarian hatred ideas.


Significantly, our Constitution bestows an individual the Fundamental Right to preach faith, but this right has been usurped to the extent wherein it markets superstitions. Also, some Babas buy a slot on a channel to preach superstitions by suggesting ludicrous solutions to problems of their followers. Namely, from treating cough and cold, even cancer and providing a readymade solution for joblessness, poverty and personal or family problem etc. Some sell gems, ornaments for the same purpose and read horoscopes of viewers.


Clearly, this scenario is a deterrent to society’s progress. The reason why India has hardly any great invention to its credit. Think. We buy technology and latest machines from other countries but we still do not possess the brains to invent a new machine for the use of humanity.


We take pride in our ancient civilisation, pat our backs for teaching yoga to the world and feel proud of our ancient literature, our epics and drama. But we never think that we still fail to analyse scientifically some of the natural events, such as solar and lunar eclipses. Yet, Babas and Sadhus appear on TV and tell lies about how the eclipse impacts on pregnant women and even cows! Some also relate the eclipse to certain political developments.


So, Shankaracharya’s assertion of supremacy of his Gods is in essence the assertion of a Brahmincal order which is already deep-rooted in Indian psyche. This philosophy is just like the Christian philosophy of the chain of being, an established order which cannot be violated, and any transgressor deserves punishment.


In North India, long back some Sufi saints followed by few ‘Nirgun’ poets such as Kabir, Nanak, and Ramdas who opposed the theory of incarnation of Gods tried to reject the Brahmincal order.


But their followers gradually forgot the original mission of these reformers and embraced similar rituals, built temples, accumulated gold and wealth and converted these religious places into commercial ventures to earn huge profits. They also began to preach the age-old philosophy of inequality and created sectarian hatred.  


In sum, it is the irony of our times that those in power feel at home with this philosophy. This is also true in the case of neo-colonial powers that invest huge amount to strengthen sectarian hatred in all backward regions the world over.


The US Administration supplies weapons to the same ‘Jihadies’ who are fighting against Syria’s secular regime and now the same extremists are attacking Iraq and the US Administration that declared its policy of eliminating  Al-Qaeda extremism is hesitant to fight them.


The entire world knows about this duplicity. The Iraq war is propagated as a sectarian battle between the Shia and Sunni community, but in essence it is a war for the benefits of neo-colonialism. Thus, all the powers that stand for inequality and support hegemony of international finance capital are busy in creating an atmosphere of sectarian war to divert the anger of people against the exploitative nature of the ruling classes across the world. India is no exception with TV channels busy telecasting their ‘Masters Voice’. ---INFA


(Copyright, India News and Feature Alliance)

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