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Ridiculous Acts of Faith

I am not a believer. At best I’m agnostic. When and where I lost my faith in organized religion, I do not remember. But the seeds were sown in early childhood when I was forced to attend church and listen to uninspiring sermons. Later, during the tumultuous adolescent years, with the fire of rebellion burning inside, I became more and more skeptical of religious authority and its tenets. Over the years the fire has subsided and I have come to accept religion as the private affair of an individual. I have realized that religion is not really about God; in fact God it seems to me is a hypothesis, a prop to support a massive social engineering structure. I could be wrong though, given the immense support God and religion enjoys on our planet, these ideas have a morbid fascination equivalent to that of sex. The difference is that while sex exists the other is at best chimerical. That these two, religion and sex, are at loggerheads is obvious from religious condemnation of sex as evil. According to me, such enmity is only natural; after all they are two competing energies wrangling over our lives. Many a time this leads to a desperate struggle within ourselves, as we try to balance our biological needs and religious aspirations. Spiritual gurus like Osho Rajaneesh recruit followers and amass enormous fortunes by claiming to reconcile these disparate forces that govern our lives. According to me, this compulsion to achieve a blissful ménage a trois of self, spirit and sex is self inflicted. In reality there is no conflict of interest. Religion, to me has no business interfering with sex and vice versa. Each occupies separate spheres of influence. It is only the desire of religion to poke its spiritual nose into the natural order of things that is the cause of a lot of our troubles.


All religions lay claim to one God, omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. All of them lay claim to human soul too. Existence of both these entities, God and soul, has not been verified till date. Religious crusades have been waged and immense agonies have been endured by the faithful for appropriation of these abstract entities to their respective religions. With the exception of a few, most world religions have been aggressive on winning over flock from other religions, either by way of evangelism or by compulsion. The latest mutant of this conversion drive is “Love Jihad“. Armed with money, mobile phones and other essential romantic paraphernalia, religious Casanova‘s are unleashed on unsuspecting young women. Once married the girl is converted to the husband’s religion. This impressive modus operandi offers several advantageous over the traditional one. It does not require brain washing or whipping up of hatred or promise of posthumous bliss. Young men hardly need inducement to undertake such missions. Love-Jihad is its own reward. In this enterprise, holy war and love dissolve into a transcendent cocktail, a rare mix of business and pleasure. More like in a Bond movie script. However, the flamboyant Love Jihadi, unlike James Bond, marries the girl and forces a conversion before taking her to bed. It is nothing short of a miracle. The throat slitting, gun toting terrorist is transformed into a charming Adonis, a knight in shining armor riding the latest motorbike, smartly dressed, and bristling with mobile phones with a liberal supply of moolah. Such flashes of religious inspiration have been very rare off late.


Religion sanctifies love. It screams unconditional love from every pulpit. Love thy God, love thy neighbour and love the poor etcetera. Love Jihad provides an alternate definition of love, one driven by laws of entrapment, something fanatic and disrespectful of human values. Love as a weapon instead of grace. The underlying message it seeks to propagate is “If you love me, change your God”.


In my view, a Love-Jihadi is little more than a sophisticated version of the unscrupulous Romeo. The ulterior motive in this case is religious conversion rather than sex sans commitment. Love-Jihad is an unprincipled exploitation of innocence, in religious garb, and hence more potent and dangerous. But it seems to have the same flaws as say, network marketing; it would take a lot of gullible to prop up the pyramid. It is also expensive and time consuming, all that courtship, marriage and conversion takes time, effort and money. The conception of such an inefficient and ridiculous idea only indicates the depth to which religious evangelists can sink to grow their flock. Personally I think Love-Jihad has already fallen flat on its face. The only problem is the trouble it would cause to genuine lovers from disparate religions. From that perspective, it has done considerable damage to the social fabric.

Categories: Musings
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