Thursday, May 9, 2013

Religious fanaticism- Let's talk about it...

Recent incident of Boston Marathon bombing is another example of how religious fanaticism can drive people to do totally insane things. This bombing is not the first example where some crazy person (or a group) attacked innocent civilians to take some imaginary revenge for some incidents in past where they feel their religion or people following their religion were targeted unfairly. Everyday we read news about these type of attacks all over the world, some places are more prone to these type of attacks than other but technically this happens all over the world and no country is an exception to this.

Religious fanaticism can  drive people crazy, it has capacity to push them to do unimaginable things, they can do extremely good things (Mother Teresa is one example of this according to me) or can do extremely crazy or cruel things (mass killings of non-believers, religious riots and terror attacks are some of examples). The problem is not the religion itself but the feeling of 'fanaticism' which is encouraged in almost all relations with the hope that it will motivate people to become a devotee and totally surrender to their God, create a group which will practice and defend those beliefs without questioning it but it doesn't work in positive way all the time. No other discipline preaches fanaticism as much religion does, the closest second can be politics (actually both are like twin brothers or sisters of each other). Religion needs devoted followers, who don't question basic foundation of that religion, submit themselves totally to serve the purpose of that religion, that is to propagate it and protect it against any danger, these things sound very divine and noble but can instill fanaticism and feeling of hatred about others who don't subscribe to the same ideology. This hatred can be in many forms, subtle form of it makes people to discriminate others based on their faith, they form exclusive societies which only caters people with particular beliefs and mindset, they stereotype particular gender or group (like gays or transgenders) and extreme form of this hatred can result in violence. But the problem is there is very thin line between these things, you never know when any person can cross that line and start doing crazy things.

Many people who carry out all these barbaric attacks look and behave like perfectly normal people most of the time, only difference if at all they have is they are very passionate about their beliefs and faith which is not very unusual thing as many religious groups like this type of devotion but then there is no way to control this feeling. We need to remove this fanaticism from religious teachings and gatherings, they should absolutely abstain from preaching hatred of any type against any group. All religions need to update or revise their syllabus, the one which they are using is too old, totally outdated and not at all suitable for current world in which we live.

Just for the sake of not hurting feelings of its followers or for diplomacy many people say that in reality no religion teaches hatred, they all teach truth and love, NO, this is only the half truth, they all teach love and compassion for their own followers not for others, in some way, directly or indirectly every religion in its current form says that people who don't follow path prescribed by them are either on wrong track or are misguided that's why we see so many attempts of conversion (from one religion to other), riots, killings in name of religion, otherwise what can be the reason for all this? Where is the love which they claim to teach? If they all teach only love then from where this hatred and violence is coming? Time has come to acknowledge that this current system has a problem, a serious problem which teaches people to hate or discriminate people with different sexual orientation, which also forces particular gender with so many restrictions. Even kids in these families or groups are not spared of such teachings, from very young age when they cannot decide what is good or bad these kids are fed with heavy dose of sectarian beliefs which kind of isolates them from rest of society and limits their intellectual growth in so many ways, by doing this these groups feel happy that they created ideal role models who follow their respective beliefs and rituals to the core but at the same time some of these kids become like time bombs (with so much hatred in them about non-believers of their own sect or religion) which no one knows when it will explode. I think there is enough risk in this methodology that they should totally abandon it and think of something new.

Many of these religions and cult movements teach one totally ridiculous thing that any crime (no matter how heinous it is) if done in the name of religion or to protect it is forgivable or rather rewarded lavishly by their super powerful almighty and highest authority God. They all also promise some totally imaginary, unrealistic and outrageous after death rewards and just to encourage conversion (that is to attract new customers) to their own sect or religion many of them (be it Islam, Christianity or cult movements like ISKON) they even promise that all your sins and crimes will be immediately pardoned/forgiven once you surrender to their deity or God and not only that you will also be eligible for lucrative rewards just for surrendering to that super almighty, sounds so stupid, outrageous, something like super bumper offer to wash all your sins but this is a very desperate and clever marketing tactic, many people believe in this false propaganda and fell for it and this turns out to be a big selling point for all these organizations.

Fanaticism in any form (not necessarily all are violent) is ugly side of all religions and cult movements, it shows its presence more than often in various forms some times in the form of suppressing particular gender or group, sometimes in form of physical or psychological violence, this is one aspect of religion which its followers don't even want to discuss and many don't even accept that this even exists and is a problem, as long as we keep on pushing this issue under carpet under the name of diplomacy or for the sake of not hurting others sentiments it will keep on hurting all of us in some form or other, lets first acknowledge that this problem exists and then search for its solution, we need to talk about this and talk loud so that everyone concerned with this issue can hear it because our silence was way too long and if we remain silent then it will be considered as our approval to these type of activities.

Thanks for reading and please share your views on this topic. 

(Copyright: Vinay Thakur. Please contact the author for re-posting or publishing)

2 comments:

  1. your all post are really so good.and the way you narrate it is so simple and understandable.

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    1. Thanks a lot Hitesh for visiting the blog and also for your kind words. My intention behind writing this blog is to share my ideas and listen to others views and also if possible initiate a healthy and positive discussion or at least stimulate some concern in others mind about these issues, encouragement from people like you definitely helps. Thanks again.

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