Friday, August 23, 2013

Mr. Joy Paul Puthussery's letter‏

Dear friends,
When humans were barbarian hunters God wasn’t known to them and there was no religion as such in existence. Only when they settled in a place and opted agriculture as their main means of livelihood, religions came into existence. Jericho in Israel is one such place where early humans settled for agriculture and this place is one of the early centres of civilization. This is the place where one of the earliest religions, Judaism, was born.  Another team of hunters from Middle East Asia traveled to the Southern Asia and settled on the banks of Sindhu River. They were known as Aryans and their religion was subsequently came to be known as Hinduism. Other religions like Jainism, Buddhism, etc were the offshoots of Hinduism just like Semitic monotheistic religions like Christianity and Islam are the products of Judaism.
During the evolution of homo sapiens, religion had its own utility in the conversion of humans from barbarism to civilization. But after the passage of many centuries religion became a liability rather than an asset to the human race. Religion became a force that retarded the progress and scientific quest of humanity. Any impartial observer can convince himself of this fact if he goes through the history of dark ages in Europe.  Christian religion, especially its Catholic sect, was the most reactionary force that blocked all scientific discoveries of early scientists in the Middle Ages. Semitic religions like Judaism, Christianity and Islam are the most intolerant religions in the world whereas the Hindu religion and its daughter religions are more tolerant than the former.  As far as Semitic religions are concerned they believe their God is the only true God and their religion is the only way for salvation and passport for entry into heaven. They also believe that their holy books are the words of God that cannot be questioned or challenged.  A Hindu is free not to believe in any God and still he will be considered a Hindu. He may observe or not observe Hindu rites and still he will be considered a Hindu. There is no question of ex-communication as in Semitic religions. Hindu religion is broad enough to accommodate other beliefs also. But the story of Semitic religions is just the opposite and they brand other religionists as non-believers or khafirs.
I am a person who believes all religions have outlived their utility. If we study the past history of the world you can be convinced that more millions of people have been killed in religious  wars  than in political wars like 1st and 2nd  World Wars.  Everybody is born into a religion if we like it or not. There is no option.  I am born of Christian parents and I became a Christian at least in name. Nobody asked me whether I wanted to be a Christian, Muslim or Hindu. All the prejudices and false beliefs of the respective religion are injected into a human being from early childhood. Even though I am not a believer or admirer of any religion, if I have an iota of respect towards any religion, it is the Hindu religion. But I feel sorry to see that the most tolerant religion in the world is now represented by Sangh Parivar, Viswa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal and not by people like Sri Narayana Guru.
The ignorance of the faithful is being exploited by religions and their clergy. So far in India religious organizations were satisfied with protection of their vested interests by their proximity to the political powers and parties. But the situation has changed drastically and now the political authority is being determined by the religious leaders by exhibiting the true or assumed strength of their vote bank.  As long as the political parties unite and show the religious leaders their true place and influence in public life, India is doomed to be thrown into dark future.
Like Martin Luther King Jr. I too have a dream, a dream of a society where there is no tyranny of religion, where there is no exploitation of the common people by their clergy, where there is no distinction between man and man on the basis of religion and where there is no slavery of the mind perpetrated by the so-called religious leaders.
Joy Paul Puthussery

1 comment:

  1. I got a very provocative reply from a friend Wing Commander, now in US just like me. I could not resist adding a comment. So I wrote the following for Almaya as an answer to Puthuserry's letter. It may provoke others to add their sober but enlightening comments. Thanks for your help and service in anticipation. james

    Religion, Politics & Interdependence
    I sent the very inspiring letter of Puthusery to a good friend of mine, a Wing Commander and knowledgeable person, Mathew NJ. He wrote to me the following:

    “Man is a social animal. Unsocial and anti socials are exceptions…A human infant is the most dependent being of all creations. When God(nature) created him and gave him free will and intelligence He gave him this dependence also and this made him social. Real socialization is in interdependence.This interdependence has resulted in socializing, organizing politics etc.

    “Intelligence created many 'why' in human mind and God is the simplest answer for all the doubts/questions. From God came religions. Hinduism says religion should not be organised because if it is organised it will go against the very purpose which is helping God-realisation or spirituality. Spirituality begins where religion ends and God begins where science ends.

    What the world needs is Hinduism (way of life) and good politics headed by good people. If it remains an utopia, organised religions and politics will co-exist (Constantine and Pope) both adjusting and compromising for each other at various levels of the organised activity(ies).Om Shati..Shanti..Shanti ( The three Shanthis are for peace at personal, social and global levels)”

    I have only a small comment to add: Man is defined as “Rational Animal” the fact is, he is animal always and rational at times only, so too with his being social. Most of the time he is anti-social or envious, even inimical proving the maxim: Homo homini Lupus (Eating each other like a wolf ). Interdependence is heaven. That can happen only is in this world. It is not needed in the heaven of organized religions.

    Development is the new name for peace, as Pope Paul VI said once. It has to be development of the WOLE MAN and ALL MEN. For that we should stop separating church and state, religion and politics and stop throwing man in between to be torn apart by two wolves. Man is a composite of matter and spirit. Development of the whole man means development of his body and soul, not vivisection of man into two water tight compartments, one to be managed by political masters and the other by religious masters. That will be the end of all organized religions and party politics. Are we ready for that?