In India, where 2.3 billion people resides is also a land of 33 M god and goddess. From a 22 carat golden idol residing in a posh car to We love you, Jesus! sticker in a auto rickshaw – religion is everywhere and for everyone. Whether you want it or not; nobody is bothered.
Religion is an emblem, a taboo and a means of existence for crores of Indians. Apart from assembling the masses, religious India contribute to our ailing economy by being a reliable source of income for many. The impact religions create in our society is beyond our imagination.
Try to locate any holy shrine whether that is, major or a minor, doesn’t matter whether it is in a far east village or in a posh area of a Tier 1 cities, there will always be bounded by a an organized market or at least a small shop around it.
Let us break down and study these religious markets
TIER 1: LET’S SAY, TOP MOST BENEFICIARIES
This market is created for the priests, preachers and all such messengers of God who have no alternate profession to earn money from. To meet their needs, they have put up illegal stalls outside every temple. They block the pathway leading to the temple and make you go deaf while trying to sell their religious merchandize.
The goods on display include: holy robe, holy thread, holy ash, holy sandalwood, holy water, holy beads, holy trident and shivlings or the idols as a whole, holy vermilion, holy flowers and other vital ingredients needed for the special Pooja and prayers allowed to be done only the messengers of God.
They also perform so called grah correction poojas and other special divine poojas to please the God. These set of people make you fear God and they have a list of to-do things to please and unplease God!
This market is created to strengthen the belief of divine worshippers and followers. This is the most thriving segment of the religious industry. This one comprises of fruit sellers, candle sellers, incense stick and perfumers, audio-video CD sellers, religious books publishers, the Prasad sellers and the special array of men who can get you do the special darshan in a special way.
There are also tour guides of the temple and the story tellers who narrate how on this auspicious day the idol blinked, cried, drank milk or the religious bells and chatri (umbrella) and chandelier moved despite all windows remaining shut. If you talk about the chaardhaam or Vaishnodevi or Amaranth yatra then add the horsemen, pithus, palki carriers, hotels, restaurants and food stalls..this list will can go on till the end of time.
TIER 2: REAL BUSINESSMAN AKA POLITICIANS
Politicians – no election is complete unless votes are garnered in the name of religion. Enough is already said and known we will move to the next and emotionally stirring category – beggars!
Why do beggars beg in the name of God? What would happen if there was no God believer or God fear-er? While there are many genuine needy people but there is an equal number of people who are beggars by choice.
The flag bearers of religious propagation in the form of trusts, associations, charities and foundations. Heard temple of Tirupathi has opened up online links for devotees to offer their equity shares to God since physical money, hair and gold were not enough!
THE ISSUE OF RAM MANDIR AND THE POLITICAL BUSINESS AROUND IT
I may called it a shame in the name of India. This is one of the most inflammable topics of recent years. Let go back to the history to analyse why it is an issue that need to be address.
According to archeologists starting from Alexander Cunningham, after the Mahabharat War, the city of Ayodhya was abandoned. If there was a temple at that time, it fell into disrepair. Thousands of years later, Buddhists settled in Ayodhya and called it Saket. This was the time of Samrat Ashok who was a propagator of Buddhism. The ruins of the Ram Mandir, if they stood at that time were demolished and Baudha Vihars were constructed around Saket but not at that precise location.
After Ashoka’s line came to an end and the Mauryan Empire crumbled, the Viharas were all destroyed by the new king, Pushyamitra Shunga, a propagator of Hinduism.
In the second century AD, Vikramaditya of Ujjain came to Ayodhya and built a Ram Mandir at that exact spot. Later kings expanded the temple.
In the eighteenth century, a general named Mir Khan destroyed the Ram Mandir and built a mosque over there. He used the pieces of the temple to build various buildings in Fatehpur Sikri.
Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb made renovations to the mosque Mir Khan had built. This mosque was known as Babri Masjid.
In 1992, RSS people, from a radical Hindu organisation, demolished the Babri Masjid which was in disuse by standing on top of it. The mosque fell and a small makeshift temple was constructed in its place.
During the riots, lots of lives where lost from both sides, a lot of Hindus who killed many Muslims in the riots have nothing to do with that temple. While, a lot of Muslims who killed many Hindus in the riots have nothing to do with that mosque. I suspect most of them hadn’t even visited the disputed land before they decided to step out of their homes and kill other strangers.
Then, why killing strangers?
Because it is now the matter of ego and hypocrisy and politics plays and important role in it.
Both the parties are now in such a mess that that they just cannot afford to compromise on this issue. Not because of the freaking land (nobody cares about the land that much), or because of religious beliefs (their religious belief has exactly zero connection with this) – but only because of their ego. They want to come out winning in this childish race.
What a Mughal emperor did during his tenure hundreds of years ago shouldn’t concern the Government of India that was formed in 1947. Everything before 1947 was not the government’s decision, but everything after it (including the demolition of a structure) was under the government’s watch.
Political parties are the only ones that appear to be winning. Even today BJP gets votes because of some ‘heroic’ act of destroying that mosque. It was apparently an act of ‘valour’ to destroy a mosque.
For any party to become so popular in politics, it requires any huge movement or a big issue. Most of the political parties in India are derived from such movements or issues , like Mayawati’s BSP , Janta party , DMK and AIADMK , AGP etc. BJP is not the exception and it gained popularity from Mandir and Mandal , mostly from Ram Mandir. But what differs BJP from others is that they used it as a platform, diversified their agendas and nowadays they looks completely different from what they were in 90s. As a result , BJP consolidated its position and today it reigns over half of the Indian land and population , runs central government with full majority and world’s biggest political party in terms of number of members.
Since the matter is pending with the court, you and I have exactly zero rights to decide what should or should not happen over the land.
Same in case of Politics, they use it as a weapon to conquer elections. They shout those words in the election rallies which people want to hear, thereby reaping political points from the entire controversy.
It’s actually crazy!
In short, this is all about ego and politics. Not about the love for Lord Ram, or Allah. I believe those two deities (if they even exist) would be sad at the immaturity displayed by their followers. It’s a shame. The entire affair should be ignored by ordinary people like you and me.
Eyeing to the upcoming 2019, Lok Sabha Election this is issue will eventually become a hot topics to earn point by using it as a weapon to eye votes from the people.
Same old BJP, who won the 2014 Parliament election whose first promise was to make Ram Mandir, who coming to power, haven’t touch a issue to resolve it. Does it matter?
Yes, It does!
Do you know why? They need votes from you to run their business and to fill the pockets fooling you. They will come up with false promises that they will build the temple or whatever,
But, believe me! If they ever build the temple, they lose their political reign. They will have no issue to talk about for their vote bank. In short, they lose power and money.
Also, Just question yourself! What you are getting from it.?
Honestly, the drainage pipe in front of my home concerns me more than whether a temple is built on that disputed land or not – because my belief in Ram or Allah does not diminish even if there is no temple over there.
You have been doctrinated to think that the temple or the mosque is important. Listen to me: it’s not important. The politicians keep saying that because they want you to vote for them. The politicians are playing with you. They don’t care a damn about the temple or the mosque. They are only feeding on your ego and your insecurity and your fear and your paranoia.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this post is personal and has not been influenced by any caste, religion and gender.