By Sushil Kutty
The ‘Hindu’ stood in his balcony and read the banner headline – ‘Lingayat Is Newest Religion’. His lips tightened. Right then his Lingayat neighbour stepped on to his balcony and danced a jig, raised a fist to the sky and popped right back into his apartment. The ‘Hindu’ sneered, ‘What is he so thrilled about? He prays to the same god as me, doesn’t he? What’s the whole hoo-ha about?’
Right, what is the hoo-ha about? So, Lingayats are now a separate religious group. Okay, does that change anything? Siddaramiah is behaving like he is Jesus and Prophet Muhammad rolled into one, founding a religion. But he himself doesn’t believe in the religion he lays claim to have created – he is not a Lingayat. Lots of people think Siddaramiah has the dicey looks of a smug… This column will not stoop to that level even if some of the things Siddaramiah has done paint him the villain in the eyes of lots of people. Siddaramiah has every right to be what he wants to be.
That being said the final nod to give the Lingayats a religious-minority status must have come from the Congress high command, on the heels of Rahul Gandhi’s temple-run in Gujarat, after his revelation the other day at the Congress plenary that “there’s a Congress Hindu Pandit and there’s a BJP Hindu Pandit”, and that while the Hindus are a divided lot – nothing wrong in dividing it more – the Muslims and Christians are single solid blocks of faith – stronger than Ambuja Cement!
The Congress never was shy of playing the politics of appeasement, even if it led to the consolidation of ‘Hindu’ votes and the rise of the rightwing Bharatiya Janata Party. But now that the Congress faces near annihilation in almost all of India unless it does something to close the gap, the party has moved to make inroads into the ‘Hindu religion’ by carving it up. The Veerashaiva-Lingayat of Karnataka were sitting ducks.
Creating new minorities is a classic borrow from the Divide-and-Rule playbook. Prophets did it in earlier times and the politician does it these days. Don’t be surprised if sometime in the future Prophet Rahul Gandhi dethrones Basavanna as the founder-ideator of Lingayatism. ‘Sidda’ just doesn’t fit the bill; he is at most a poor duplicate of John the Baptist!
Everybody knows democracy came a 1000 years after the last acknowledged Prophet, and baked into the concept was the idea of ‘secularism’ – the separation of religion from politics/government. But God, the invention of prophets, is a busybody, a nosey sort of non-entity, omnipresent in the sense that He is always around to poke nose into affairs that do not concern Him.
No wonder the devil is in the details. Part of the ‘detail’ is that in Karnataka millions need jobs, infrastructure; farmers a leg-up and so on and so forth. Having failed to satisfactorily account himself on these promises, Siddaramiah has been indulging in all sorts of hanky-panky details, from playing the Hindi/Kannada card to storming the so-called unified bastion of ‘Hinduism’ which never qualified as a religion till the RSS got it into its hydra-head that Hindus, until they get it into their heads to think and behave as ‘One’, would not have a religion to vote for the BJP as ‘One’.
Towards that end, the VHP is right now on a Rath Yatra, the ‘Rath’ having reached Sengottai on the Tamil Nadu-Kerala border by noon on March 20, 2018. God is a pawn in the hands of the politician and the human being is a pawn in the hands of God. Wait till the ‘rath’ enters Kerala and see the Lingayats get buried in the inside pages, in the hardly read columns.
The divine truth is God is a divisive entity nobody has set eyes on, ever. Not even the so-called prophets whose agency was it to set out the divisive agenda of God before the masses of empty heads. Marx hinted of the true nature of God, which was delusion about an illusion, and which scientists like Stephen Hawking spent a lifetime searching in black-holes. Where Hawking and his ilk failed was to ask what was on the other side of the multi-Universe? The easy answer will be ‘God only knows.’ But God doesn’t exist – believing is in the seeing – which by now Stephen Hawking must know.
Rahul Gandhi and Siddaramiah by playing God and Prophet have been divisive. They have stirred the Hornet’s nest. Opened the Pandora’s Box. And like the first post of the day said, “two months short of Karnataka going to polls, there are no prizes for guessing what the real motives are.” In this ‘Land of Bans’, there should be no second guesses as to what should be done to non-existent gods and their politically-posturing prophets, creators of religions. (IPA Service)