(The Hindutva wave of violence during the elections and after is not really against Muslims and for the safety of the cows. It is an excuse to administer what Karl Marx called the “Opium of the people” to the millions of poor Indians!)
The ultimate goal of every religion is to explain the purpose of human existence to make it meaningful. Without religion a human being is just like any other animal. Every religion believes in an ultimate being, who is the creator, the sustainer and the retirbutor. Without belief in religion, life becomes meaningless. Just an animal existence without any purpose or goal. However, every religion also teaches the equality of all human beings before the ultimate Being. Unfortunately, the material greed and lust for power to rule over human beings totally distorts the sublime religious beliefs. It becomes a tool in the hands of the few rich to keep under millions of the teeming poor.
This distorted use of religion had been explained by the great philosopher Karl Marx, the author of Das Kapital, which is supposed to be the virtual bible of the communists. The full quote from Karl Marx translates as: “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people”. This quotation of Marx was further explained by Lenin while describing the exploitation of the poor by the rich. “Those who toil and live in want all their lives are taught by religion to be submissive and patient while here on earth, and to take comfort in the hope of a heavenly reward. But those who live by the labour of others are taught by religion to practise charity while on earth, thus offering them a very cheap way of justifying their entire existence as exploiters and selling them at a moderate price tickets to well-being in heaven”. Charles Kingsley, a canon of the Church of England, wrote this four years after Marx: “ We have used the Bible as if it were a mere special constable’s hand book, an opium dose for keeping beasts of burden patient while they were being overloaded, a mere book to keep the poor in order”.
Going beyond the Communist beliefs totally negating religion by labelling it as a tool of exploitation of the rich against the poor, if one studies the present state of affairs; religion is being practically used to cause worldwide mayhem. People are being exploited in the name of religion to unleash an era of mad violence. Some of the most civilised and historical countries like Syria, Iraq, Libya, and Yemen have been virtually destroyed in the name of religion. No religion permits suicide. In fact, suicide is a big sin. However, one hears every second day suicide bombers, sometimes very young kids fully brainwashed, blowing themselves up in the name of religion! While the poor are killing and blowing up each other in the name of various sects and beliefs, the rich are collecting their bounties and piling up their wealth in foreign banks and as material assets all over the world! Every second day there is disclosure of un-proportionate assets and cash stashed in foreign banks. The panama papers are haunting the rulers across the borders!
The situation is same on this side but in a new garb. India has over 350 million people living below poverty line who cannot afford even a single good meal in a day. Almost half the population does not have access to treated and cured water supply. Majority of population in rural areas eases themselves in open fields. The same is the case with the basic healthcare. On the contrary the major chunk of the budget goes to defence and security related purchases. India is the largest importer of weapons in the world! The entire Indian economy is controlled by the 6% upper caste people. The Hindutva wave for the protection of cow and the open threat to Muslims from some of the top RSS leaders is to create a religious frenzy to drown the real basic issues confronting the majority of the population. Aakar Patel in his recent article mentions that India is run by 6% upper caste Brahmins, Banias and Jains.
According to Ram Punyani,“Communal politics in India is primarily due to the absence of land reforms, absence of a process of secularization and failure to reduce the hold of clergy”. The same is being used as “opium” for the poor. So Modi with his colleagues in RSS and BJP have found the best “Opium” which he is distributing in the form of Cow Protection, Ram Mandir, Ghar Wapsi, and the Love Jihad. The idea is to make the poor forget about the issues of Vikas or development. The slogan Sab Ka Saath, Sab Ka Vikaas has been forgotten. Now religion is the most important issue. The Hindu Religion has to overtake everything to usher “New India”, which would be a Hindu Rashtra without any non-Hindus who can only stay as second class citizens. They are asking Muslims to leave India and have started a systematic campaign to target them everywhere accusing them of being outsiders.
In fact, those asking Muslims to leave India do not know that most of the Indians are migrants from outside. According to Justice Markandey Katju, the real inhabitants of India are the Adivasis! He says 90% Indians are immigrants who chased the pre-Dravidian Adivasis into jungles. Only 7 to 8 % of these original Indians are left now. He says Akbar the Great was not only the greatest ruler of India but the greatest ruler of the world. When entire Europe was engaged in total religious mayhem, he had given the philosophy of religious tolerance. His top officials like Toddermal (Finance Minister), Birbal (Chief Advisor), and Man Singh (Commander-in-Chief) were Hindus. India’s secular tradition comes down from this great ruler which was followed by secular and progressive leaders like Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru. However, the present set up is undermining and destroying the same and could eventually cause disintegration of India! The secular and progressive people in India need to wake up before the “Opium” has its full effect. Otherwise, the country is heading for a disaster which may engulf the entire South Asia!
Mohammad Ashraf, I.A.S. (Retired), Former Director General Tourism, Jammu & Kashmir