Institutionalization of finer elements of life
If the word ‘institutionalization’ is synonymous with a movie it’s ‘Shawshank Redemption’ . The pitiful Tim Burton plotting methods to escape the gradual death, sentenced by the society standing on a higher moral ground.
We have a family tradition of meeting up for lunch during festival seasons. This Onam we had our luncheon get together at our uncle’s. They invited in their parish Vicar to grace the occasion. He was young, smart and witty. After the sumptuous lunch he sat down with a deep sigh and out of nowhere started a religious discourse. To me this sounded as a fee for the free lunch. He started with every Vicar’s favourite topic. The moral degradation of youth, lack of piety in the family, lowering attendance in churches.
My dad being a fervent anti church guy seized the occasion and blamed the entire evil on the bishops. He pointed out at the bishops being invited to inaugurate rich man’s textile shops, boutiques, jewellery. Is it a bishop’s duty? The Vicar being the soldier of the church had to defend his bosses. The vicar came up with an interesting observation. The bishop after the inauguration asks the owner to donate some money for the charitable organisation. The big hearted owner willingly does so. At the end of the day the rich man is happy, bishop is happy and some unfortunate being is also happy. What other example is needed for the ideal Christian harmony: The peaceful redistribution of wealth.
Even with a highly literate population, Kerala is well known for the number of demi gods it creates. At the blink of an eye, they amass huge wealth and at the same time ‘untouchable’ status in media and power circles. Ofcourse, the favourite topic to thrive on is love and ‘the same God theory’. One such ‘Godess’ is Amrithananda Mai. Her orgins were very ordinary. Predictable she had some vision, got a few spirituality-starved Americans around and the rest was history. The prime time ritual is hugging and kissing everyone around. Then came Engineering colleges, Medical colleges and Nursing colleges along with vast acreage of land in European countries
She went on preaching and hugging for world peace and love, while a bunch of poor nurses were forced to do bonded labour without pay at her hospitals. When this was questioned goons were sent in to tame the rogue nurses. A few broken bones & a little prime time bad publicity were the inevitable bitter wine. Soon she filled the hoarding. Apparently the country was getting ready to celebrate the 60th birth anniversary of love incarnate. Everything seemed to be forgiven mutually and she was back to loving and hugging ritual.
The very institutions that are supposed to protect and preserve the precious traits of life like love, justice is getting itself busy in manipulating and exploiting them. Is it some form of religious corruption?
our childhood we have been taught and programmed to believe that ‘A’, ‘B’ , ‘C’ are good qualities of life and life enhancing. While the ones like ‘D’, ‘E’ ,’F’ are abominable. Whoever exhibits d,e or f ought to be punished or castrated from daily walk of life. The real problem is we fail to see that the so called good qualities are defined so as to sustain the institutions. Hence the traits that ought to sustain human life simply becomes traits that sustains the privileged few.
I am not trying to single out any individual. But its a collection of individuals themselves who set up an institution and manipulate mindset of masses. And institutions are devoid of any race, religion or colour. So here are a few so called ‘good’ qualities that are subjected to subtle manipulation.
You are taught to ‘work hard’ for your success. So you slog your ass off believing that some day you will be able to earn just enough to overcome the hardships of life and save some money left over from the legal looting. As you are so meek and peace loving, you can never question the gross injustice you suffer. Besides you are taught that the almighty would take it upon himself to punish the wicked and justice is none of your business, The good news is since corruption is being renamed as charity and donation, it will soon climb into good qualities of life category. The only corrupt left in the country would be auto-wallahs who charge you more.
So here’s a handful of institutions monopolising people’s ability to choose between right and wrong. Justice is served only to a few and in the way they choose. Even when a few swindle money, kill, loot and rape, they are untouchable as they stand on the other side of line.
But i have hope on the swarming millions who stand on the wrong side. I hope they will stand up to question.