How dhongi babas, netas are feeding opium called religion to Indian masses
Chandigarh, August 28: German philosopher and economist Karl Marx in the introduction of his seminal work-- A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right--gave the world one of the most quoted quotes of our times. The quote which we are referring here is the one on "religion".
"Religion is the opium of the people" or "religion is the opiate of the masses", the famous quote originally coined in German--"Die Religion ... ist das Opium des Volkes"--by Marx perfectly describes what happens when religion (whether Hinduism, Islam, Christianity or any other religion in the world) takes over our public life and creates mayhem in our day today life.
Religion (if one is not an atheist) is a private affair and should be kept that way, but since ages politicians and religious leaders in India have perfected the art of using religion as an "opium" to turn the nation amok.
While there are strict laws against drug abuse, religion is allowed to be used and abused to twist and turn facts and logic for personal gain by politicians and self-proclaimed godmen (babas).
The saddest part is that the citizens are blissfully getting 'stoned' by religion without understanding that mixing religion and politics could prove fatal to the country.
Be it the demolition of Babri Masjid, riots that followed after it to the recent mob lynching cases, religion has been at the centre of all these violent episodes of modern and independent India.
What we have been witnessing in the last few days in Haryana--the epicenter of violence and anarchy perpetrated by supporters of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, a rape convict and head of Dera Sacha Sauda, headquartered in Sirsa--is a perfect example of symbiotic and unholy nexus between politicians and godmen, flourishing at the cost of very secular and democratic ethos of the country.
While death and destruction unfolded in several places across Haryana and Punjab as a mob went on a rampage after the CBI special court in Panchkula found the Dera chief guilty of raping two of his former female followers (sadhvis), the leaders of ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)--both at the Centre and in the state--stood like mute spectators shrugging off their basic duty of protecting their citizens and maintaining law and order.
What happened last week in Haryana, especially in Panchkula, known to be one of the most sophisticated cities of the country, gave a picture as if jungle raj prevailed in the state and residents of the otherwise calm city had no one to protect them.
Thus the hooligans, who are blinded by the power of their godman, showcased the uglier side of over-indulgence in religion, as they even had the audacity to enter the houses in Panchkula and harassed women and children.
No matter how much the BJP tries to shield Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar by giving some of the most bizarre excuses like blaming the judge of the CBI special court for not going to Sirsa to deliver the verdict or suspending the top cop for "clerical error", however, the fact remains that 38 people died because a rapist has been convicted.
What could be more shameful than this that our political class decided to turn a blind eye to the entire horrific incident in spite of having clear indications that violence was likely to break out if Ram Rahim was convicted.
The state did nothing to stop the congregation of thousands of disciples of the Dera chief right outside the Panchkula court ahead of the verdict. A couple of days ahead of the verdict on Friday, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had reprimanded the state government for allowing the march of Dera chief supporters from Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan to Panchkula.
Now, on Monday, as the sentencing of the Dera chief is set to take place, both Haryana and Punjab have come to a "pause" fearing recurrence of Friday's violence by his supporters once again.
Thousands of security personnel are currently manning the streets of both the northern states to thwart any untoward incident. The authorities have also put a ban on internet to stop spread of any rumours.
The judge who convicted the Dera chief will hold a special hearing inside the prison in Rohtak, where the godman is currently lodged, at around 2.30 pm on Monday to decide on the quantum of punishment. Ram Rahim faces a minimum of seven years in prison.
There were also reports that the godman was given "VIP treatment" inside the prison, which, however, was denied by the authorities.
The clout of the Dera chief lies in the fact that he is not only a billionaire with business interests in various fields, including the film industry, and owner of thousands of acres of land in various parts of the country, the rape convict also shares "great" relationships with politicians from almost all political parties.
Before the 2014 Lok Sabha and Haryana Assembly elections, the godman openly blessed the BJP and ensured that his supporters, mostly Dalits and backward classes, vote for the saffron party. Earlier, Ram Rahim had sided with the Congress and the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) in previous elections.
While Ram Rahim kept the pot of vote bank politics 'boiling', the politicians ensured that the baba continues with his nefarious activities including alleged rapes, murders and castration of men inside his Dera (camp).
At a time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi has promised to build a "New India", godmen like Ram Rahim and politicians, having close-ties with religious heads, have hijacked the nation in the name of religion.
The blame for such a pitiable state of Indian social and political life does not solely rest on politicians and godmen, but on the citizens at large, who get easily duped by fake babas and netas who are gleefully feeding the opium of religion to the masses.