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The Banality Of Religion: The Trends in Hindutva Actions

It seems that recently the Hindu extremist fringe is desperately trying to stay in the news: the controversy over the reconversion,the  statements made by Niranjan Jyoti,the allegations of love-jihad by saffron organizations, and now the latest example being the demand of a ban on the film PK. These have all created quite a scandal and countrywide controversies. However, as the headlines keep coming, it seems that the protests, the allegations and the politics involved are getting more and more baseless and pathetically desperate,

The Issue

Protesters are demanding a ban on the film PK because it hurts the religious sentiments of a few groups. Thus, Hindu extremist groups like Bajrang Dal, attacked many theatres and have lit up the streets with protests against the film.

The General Idea

I personally find the current situation ironic in a way. Asking people to believe in God and not in the falsifications of God generated by corrupt seditionists seemed to have offended these sensitive hard-core Hindu groups. Unknowingly, these protests have quite fittingly taken the same course that was being aimed at in the film.

The way these religious brigades are carrying out their protests is what is worrying though. The latest trend in protests or marches by these Hindu organizations suggest a certain vehemence and violence rather than sentimentality in their approach; a certain force that is somewhere asking people to indeed ‘fear’ God instead of just believing in Him.

Right or Wrong?

I agree that declaring someone’s religion as rubbish is wrong, but there is no wrong if one honestly questions the reasoning behind religious practices. Religion is very necessary for humankind but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s devotees need to follow it blindly or give anyone the right to become the judge of anyone else’s life.

Even if what PK has questioned is wrong, and even if these extremist groups are right in their stand, I think that a better way to protest would be to actually provide an answer (if there is any) to these questions raised on them, rather than burning down theatres. Moreover, what intelligent person would interpret an effort to show that love transcends borders and that all humans are capable of and worth loving, as an extremely clever and obscure scheme by anti-religious elements of propagating love jihad? I don’t think PK, if it were involved with or funded by the ISI (as alleged by Subramaniam Swamy), would be showing the greatness and high reasoning capacity of the general public (as shown in the movie) in India or their quest for spiritual liberation.

The fact that now the movie has been made tax-free in few cities, and that proposals to do the same in other states also have been put up, is a reassuring sign that the audience of India is indeed very intelligent and those that have actually seen the movie without bias, really want the message to spread.

The Present Scenario

Every action may ignite inspiration in someone and draw “boos” from someone else. Expressing your opinion is quite alright, but violently overturning the peace of the country is both unscrupulous and intolerable. What bothers me is that you and I, we, being innocent citizens, are being drawn into all this. I as an Indian citizen feel very unsafe, leaving for the streets or being seen with a male friend. God knows who might come defending His honor and beat me up with sticks to correct me. We need the streets to be safe and the air around us progressive; not regressive. As long as we keep our thoughts chained by the shackles of blind faith, India will continue getting pulled down into the deep waters of doom.

What Next?

Was it a movie gimmick, a publicity stunt, or just the plain absurdness as it seems? Can’t say. In any case, this too will definitely pass, like all the controversies in India pass after a brief extravaganza. However, it is saddening to think that even after over 6 decades of independence, we are yet to witness India free itself from the clutches of not only religion/caste-aimed, but also brainless politics.

I just hope that as this New Year advances, this wave of religion-based banality washes away and we can move ahead towards development freely.

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