Just the last night a friend shared a facebook post on a miraculous siting somewhere up in northern Kerala. I read the article with some reservation, as it appeared to be from someone faithful. I stopped myself from putting anything negative on the post. Why incur the wrath of Gods!
At different points in our lives, questions will be asked on our belief system. Be it in people or in God. And it is not so easy to come out strong through that
Years ago when I was too naïve and innocent about the world, we had a miraculous happening in our town. At an English school run by an Anglo Indian couple, some Muslim kids spotted Jesus in their classroom during the lunch breaks, while the Christian students were out for their daily prayers. This led to some huge spiritual chaos as the news spread like wildfire. My chest was puffed with pride as one essential question of ‘ Whose God is real’ seemed to have been answered. I went around, with a puffed chest, telling my Muslim friends about the spiritual encounter of their counterparts with MY God
The school organized a two-week vacation Bible school and miracle crusade. The Bible classes for kids were in the mornings and the miracle crusade in the evenings. The classes were led by a handsome American guy who taught us Gospel songs in foreign accent and the miracle crusades by the miracle worker from Tamil Nadu I started enjoying the whole programme- the accented Gospel songs and the crusade.
I never had an opportunity to watch a miracle crusade from close quarters before. This was an opportunity for me to witness the action from front row. Since this was a programme mainly meant for the kids, there was no much scope for any terminal illness. The illness, at its worst, would be a fever. But then there were may wearing spectacles. ( Back then we watched a lot of video games and ended up wearing specs). To my utter surprise there arose, many whom I knew, claiming they could see without their specs. The preacher called them to the front and asked them to read their Bible without their glasses. There arouse a collective gasp. I had pretty thick glasses too, which I wanted to get rid off. I shut my eyes tight and prayed hard. And then I opened to see the world was blurred still. I consoled myself saying, maybe my faith wasn’t strong enough.
But then I witnessed a curious thing. The same guys were wearing the glasses the next day. That was my first ‘shake of faith’. I struggled to comprehend the events just seen. It went for a even violent shake up the next day.
I happened to be sitting next to a guy during the session. He had the tattoo of a cross on his hand. I don’t know why I noticed the tattoo at that point of time. Towards the end of the session this guy gets up and goes to the podium, claiming that the cross mysteriously appeared in his hand while praying I was surprised and shaken.
That point in my life turned out to be defining in itself. As the years passed I started viewing things more rationally and I read more liberal literature
The last day my folks were talking about a Catholic Charismatic building coming up. Probably, people wouldn’t have to travel far away for the spiritual encounter. The whole infrastructure and money associated with such a unit is huge and we will have to appreciate the people working behind this I have known a few people who had this spiritual encounter resulting in a physical healing and there so many people who haven’t had the privilege to. There are many people who had to go through a relapse after some brief ray of hope.
I am not being judgmental about the whole thing. But it would do no harm, if we use a more liberal approach on our views about our own religion or religion of others.
The last day I visited a church known in the name of a martyr from 1st century. I walked around the church and there were no hint about life and times of the saint, but offertory boxes all around
We, the idiot electorate, should have realized by now the splendor of the Ache Din that have dawned on us. It hit me with all the vigour when I read the recent news about amending the laws to legalize 24x7 working hours for more industries.
Well, we are not talking about any conventional life saving industry here- but shopping malls and banks. Can you even imagine hitting a mall right at midnight to buy some shirt or jeans? Or even apply for a car loan because his car broke down in the middle of the night.
Now, please don’t think that the measure was to boost the employment or wages. Nothing of that sort is mentioned in the bill. But the measure is boost our industry. Here is a government that is so much into boosting the ‘industry’ that it’s passing archaic laws, which does no good for the economy, but a selected few
Speaking of the situation in bottom of the pyramid, we have a new trend of outsourcing “labour”. While in the earlier days you had a servant who comes in to clean your house and cook, a plumber, a carpenter etc who had their own livelihood, today they all have been collectivized under outsourcing agencies. These agencies ( contractors) do nothing much but rent out the labour services The good part for the ‘economy’ is we don’t have to beg/ cajole the plumber or carpenter. We need not even bargain or feign shock on hearing the wages. These agencies have every aspect fixed. Now for the people who were self employed, they can no longer fare out against the market forces or organized sector. And they opt for bare wages. One of my cleaner boys was telling how he was forced to do extra shifts without any additional allowance. He barely earns 7k a month and there are nothing like paid leaves or other benefits.
I can never walk into a mall without a feeling of guilt. We have all these women in odd uniform and liberal make up standing for more than 12 hours a day to earn a pittance. Are they compensated enough? Do they get their basic amenities? And are we going to push them clock another 12 hours a day.
Now just look at the other half of the population walking aimlessly, callous to the surroundings and only bothered about the discounts.
As long as we keep our eyes closed, everything will just turn out to be fine
Sree wouldn't have imagined such strong repercussion when he posted his thoughts on Pongala and the innumerable difficulties it brings to the citizens. This snowballed into a barrage of abuses with him being termed as anti-national, anti-hindu, sickular etc. Sree did the wise thing by simply removing the post.
It isn't uncommon these days for the people getting more and more hyper-sensitive about religion. The people have becoe aware and identify with their religios and cultural beliefs which inturn helps them to identify with their nation and fellow citizens. In a way it may be good to prevent a slippage into anarchy, while it becomes more and more difficult to identify yourselves with a neighbour of different ideas and beliefs.
India has always been a religin f spirituality, religion and Gods. Men of power realized that the easiest way to rule is to divide. Back then, in an agrarian society where mutual co-habitation was necessary for survival certain differences were tolerated for survival. Even then the society was not free of racial tension rifling ino riots.
Today in a scenario where individuals become independent in terms of his survival, he can coin his own thoughts irrespective of neighbour. But in an urban setup where physical spaces are less and information sharing takes place in a crazy speed throughout the breadth and width of the society, impact of religion and race could be catastrophic.
A decade ago Pongala was a local festival of the city where women spread out to few kilometeres to cook in the open air. In the eveining it was a prety thing to see the women crowding on public buses to rerach home. Even before that Pogala was a festival the rich household sent their servants to celebrate
Thanks to some marketing gimmicks of the temple and adoption by the media to develope this festival as some sort of cultural wonder plus world record fete, it got hold of public imagination. The film stars flocked into cook pongala in frnt of five star hotels. Various associations started even bigger cooking fetes of breakfast and lunch for the poor darlings. Then the sad truth that Devi would show her displeasure if you don't cook rice for her has made this a huge exhibition of vulgarity. People has to tolerate this show for the sake of national integration and secularism. All the shops and hotels close down. In the evenings over enthusiastic youths thrust cheap sodas into the faces of tired fat aunties. And all the garbage is cleaned out of the city by burning it all up.
Secularism is not tolerating bullshit