Over the years many of us unwittingly got ensnared in the web of dogmatic approaches to beliefs and have been stagnating in a quagmire ever since. Some of these beliefs distinguishes religious identity while other beliefs rouse motivation for taking pride in race, colour and ethnicity. In each of these demarcated areas, the common strain is that for some reason ‘we are better than the others so we must have our way’. In a growing number of regions in the world, one or more of these diversities are exploited by power hungry leaders to ascend in status. In countries where sentiments of religious affiliations are extraordinary, the political climbers assemble a plan of growth based upon the emotion of faith or religious belief of what they calculate to be a major chunk of the population and, in order to give that plan moralistic sanction, tacit or explicit support of culpable priests is also obtained for its implementation in a spirit of religious duty. The priest, in turn, is pleased as the game plan guarantees a stimulus to status, prestige and coffers. While in countries where religion is not such an emotive issue, the political leaders stimulate the racial and/or nationalistic chords of the group which they consider to be in a majority and rope in big businessmen to fund their campaign in lieu of an assurance of economic largesse subsequent to grabbing the power which would enable them to do so.
Though both of these strategies have worked to the benefit of wily leaders in many countries, the tactics have at the same time been making those regions increasingly inhospitable for those who do not agree with the method employed and strongly object to the age-old ploy of divide and rule. It is also believed in some quarters that religion has been the cause of the rift in society. For now, let us examine the role played by religion in fragmenting the society which in realistic terms benefited only a handful of people lucratively.
All of the major religions fundamentally agree upon four basic principles:
- Belief in an Almighty Creator.
- The Almighty created the universe, including all living and non-living things in the world.
- Human beings, at some point of time, have worshipped or in other words paid obeisance to the one who they believe created them.
- The basic teaching of all religions is to guide mankind on how to pursue a righteous life which is in harmony with fellow beings.
Atheists may not believe in a creator, but ironically, they too religiously try to pursue a righteous life just to prove that they don’t need to believe in a creator or necessarily adhere to any specific religion. However, they too are vulnerable to standing in line as per roll calls of race and colour.
Looking into the above fundamentals, the basic doctrines of various religions should have worked as a cohesive force for the society, but in reality the opposite has happened. The fault lay not in the religions but in the exploitation of visibly apparent ceremonials of religion by power hungry people. And as this exploitation has benefitted these people they would continue to plunder on this course and thereby would widen the rift that it creates. The purpose is only to harness more and more supporters who, ultimately, exult in the adversity of strangers but, when on the back foot, never fail to sing paeans of the exploiter.
But have we not had enough of this degeneration? Except for a handful people, has the generation of this cleverly disguised conflict ultimately profited anyone socially or economically? Why must man be pitted against man to circumvent much more pressing demands of the society? Has not exploitation of emotion, held as sacred, been the bane of a society which primarily wants to live in peace? If correction of this schismatically worsening trend is the need of the day, it has to come about by those who are fed up with it.
Black Lives Matter kindled a hope. Perhaps survival of a pleasant life needs more of such matter.