Wednesday, March 13, 2002

A friend tells me that religion is the root cause of our present troubles. Many seem to agree with him, post the Gujarat riots. I beg to disagree.
I am by no means a religious person. I neither believe nor disbelieve in the concept of God. I just don’t have an opinion either way.
And though fellow blogger, Sylvia, advocates reason, I see no reason to reason that one out. It simply doesn’t matter to me whether God exists or not.
If there were no religion, we would have probably invented something else similar to it. Humans, by their very nature, crave to belong. Religion is just one of the groups that we belong to. Battles have been fought over territory, language, ideologies, caste, class, gender…
These are layers of our identity, defining us. Like piles of woollens in winter, these layers make us feel warm and secure. We will repel any perceived or real threat to any of these layers with all our might.
So, how can we blame religion, when we are fundamentally divisive in nature?
I think religion is simply a scapegoat. A fig leaf for our natural prejudices. By blaming religion we absolve ourselves, and deny our fundamental nature: which is to differentiate, to distinguish, to belong to one or another group…

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