The immigrant’s rage and last refuge of faith
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http://expressbuzz.com/biography/Last-re...03955.html

He might have got full marks from ideological parvenus for calling religion the opium of the masses. Karl Marx couldn’t comprehend the subtlety of God nor foresee the opiate inhumanity of the bloody, godless religion his philosophy created. “Evil be thou my Good”, said Satan in Milton’s Paradise Lost; for the spawn of Marx, the only good is the death of faith.
The essential belief that all men are equal—an admirable thought—lies at the heart of communism. Unfortunately, all men are not equal. That is the logic behind religion. Because all men are not equal, they depend on the infinite mercy of god to overcome fate’s travails.
In this age of faithlessness, two separate incidents—seemingly unconnected—show up emptiness and weakness of societies that find little to believe in: the London riots and the Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple affair. British society, weakened by years of welfare liberalism towards black immigrants, witnessed large-scale looting of community property by rioters used to living on dole. Religion, however flawed some of its practices may be, is the binding force of communities. When political correctness replaces moral laws, faith is the first casualty. The new law is, it is unwise to offend the minority, consequences be damned. The Daily Mail, London reported how a stewardess of British Airways was once forced to remove a crucifix around her neck because it may offend the religious sensibility of non-Christians. On the ground in Britain lives a lazy sub-generation born out of faithlessness, that found work distasteful, riots and strikes a past time. Feels familiar? Feels like god’s own country?
God’s own rationalists who claim the Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple treasures belong to the public are only indulging in fashionable faithlessness. Voyeurism and schadenfreude play a part too: after CPM came to power in the 1950s, they decided Hinduism and god are safe targets. They brought temples under state control through politically appointed bodies—Travancore and Cochin dewasawom boards, followed by Malabar and Guruvayur devaswom boards—and appointing captive Hindus, much like Josef Stalin used state-sponsored priests to sabotage the Russian Orthodox Church. In January 2007, the LDF Government got a bill passed that amended the Travancore Cochin Hindu Religious Institutions Act 1950. Of the three Hindu board members, one would be a woman; the second from a member of a Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe. But the irony of godless communism using pet Hindus to govern god may not have been lost on the weary Sree Padmanabha. Over the centuries, both Christian and Hindu reformers fought and won bitter battles for equality against caste and religious persecution. Only to be subverted later, by politicians who survive on caste votebanks.
Places of worship, believed to be seat of divinity, have their own esoteric laws that govern worship. Holy communion or devaprasnam, all rituals have occult significance. They embody the beauty of faith, and its terror—the eternal mysteries that provide the keys to individual salvation. By undermining ancient, hallowed places by misusing the legislature and judiciary, the triumph of faithlessness is being hailed as the victory of reason and humanity. When all reason fails, isn’t faith the only refuge left?
Ravi.shankar@newindianexpress.com
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence
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