War and Peace Through Faith

They say do not contribute silver bricks for Ram temple, because it is difficult to stock silver bricks there. Funny! Union Ministers are pleading to people to contribute to the Ram Temple. This guy called Ram did not walk over silver for 14 years in the forests as per the myth. However, people are contributing silver bricks. People who broke the Babari Masjid are scot free. They claim to be innocent. Yet, in power. It is a bunch of criminals in power! Lot of dead bodies flowed on the streets after the attack on Babari Masjid. But nobody is guilty.

I smelt the air in Mumbai during the Mumbai riots after the demolition of Babari Masjid. I felt like puking. On the way to Mumbai, I smelt the air in Gujarat also. It was even worse. My question to myself was, how could human beings behave in such cruel manner? Is there anything called humanity within human beings? In this democracy, anybody has a right to worship any historical God or non- historical myth or stay free from any God. This right has to be respected.

Narayana Guru said `One God, One Religion and One Caste for Human Beings’. Sahodaran Ayyappan, another social reformer said: `No God, No Religion and No Caste!’ And I say: `Millions of Gods or No Gods, Millions of Religions and No Religious Atheist Faith and No Caste for Human Beings!’

Somebody raised this question to me in a discussion: If there is no God then who created this universe? My answer to the problem was simple: If there is a God then who created God? Obviously, human beings created millions of Gods in this world, because of their own insecurities and fears. And all the Gods provide them some psychological relief and emotional security in life. Therefore, I do not have any problem with Gods. But please do not say God. Say Gods! Gods need not have conflict with each other. Only human beings can have conflicts with each other in the name of Gods.

However, one important thing has to be remembered. There are several Gods who are getting threatened and also getting extinct in this country. If one variety of butterfly is getting extinct, there are international funds to study that variety of butterfly which is getting extinct. But if a God becomes extinct due to the power expressions of majoritarian faith, then there are no funds or researchers in this country to study the threatened and extinct Gods. In Adivasi cultures, there are so many Gods which are being threatened and extinct. The threatened and extinct Gods in this country are also symbols of how you treat marginalised cultures

My point is that let us have as many Gods as possible. Let there be millions and millions of Gods. The money collected in the name of Gods can be more democratically divided in that case. Let there be more Gods than the number of human beings on this planet. Let there be a traffic jam between the Gods. Only then, these human beings will realize how to behave with themselves.

We are a country where even snakes, tigers, rats, monkeys, cows, trees, hills, seas, rivers and fully naked people are Gods or representations of Gods. Let them remain as they are. So long as you don’t touch my nose.

And I do not know why Raj Kapoor made a film called `Ram Teri Ganga Maili’. The association with Ganga was much more with Shiva than Ram. Among the Trimurties, there were Vishnu, Brahma and Shiva and not Ram. How did Ram succeed over all these three Gods? As per our traditions, we have cultures of Vaishnavites and Shaivaites and not Ramites. The first Ram temple in this country cannot be older than 200 years, though Ramayana existed among Muslims, Adivasis, Turks, Malaysians, Nepalis, Thais and many other countries. There are birth places and references to this myth in many places.

But to me Ramayana is a good war story. Mahabharata is a more complex and better war story. In fact, Mahabharata is a better piece of work as far as its imagination, complexities and literary sense. But to say that it is war that is determining our consciousness is something that is problematic. That is why I am repeating: Let there be millions of Gods and let no God trample upon any other God. Let people worship or not worship. Let us respect their choices. And if we respect people’s choices of Gods, a true multi-cultural democracy can emerge. More than that we will have to really struggle to protect the `human rights’ of the Gods. Let no God vanish. There is a beauty and aesthetic sense even among Gods.

K.P. Sasi is a film maker, cartoonist and writer


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