The Plutocracy Of Religion And Its Many Investment Schemes
Announcement in yesterday’s ‘The Hindu’ (February 24, 2011):
“Just a week to go for the Plus-2 [class XII] examination. Special prayer for the students on Vijay TV on February 26 & 27 from 6 AM to 6.30 AM. Do not miss the opportunity.”
What a load of crap! The number of bones of contention I could pick with this one statement range into the tens. I’ll pick a few and go point by point.
- First off, asking for any student to take time off his books and spend it on any activity that isn’t recreational is just stupidity.
- Assuming that I place any faith in Hinduism or the way of life it suggests for its believers, attaining salvation by its rules is predicated solely on the obeisance to its doctrines in all their fundamentality. Even expressing anger is considered sinful. Listening to tape-recorded prayers and watching telecast prayers goes nowhere if you were to take the Vedas’, the Vedanta’s, the Ramayana’s or the Mahabharata’s word for it: sages have spent hundreds of years (apparently) in attaining the “Lotus Feet of God”.
- If a mass prayer has been held for students and is going to be telecast, then are those unfortunate students who come from families that can’t afford a TV going to be sidelined? If they are, then shame on you for turning a blind eye toward this unreasonable discrimination; isn’t god for everyone? If they are not going to be sidelined, then why telecast it in the first place? Won’t it suffice to have a small notice advertised in a newspaper: “Note: we prayed”? Pulling publicity stunts, are we?
- 6 AM to 6.30 AM? On a weekend? The organizers of this gathering know that this is the exam “season” in India for class XII students. To top it all off, the entrance examinations for universities in India are so disproportionately competitive that there are special classes for that during ungodly hours of the day. What’s the bloody point of expecting such a student to wake himself up at 6 in the morning, that too on a weekend-day when he’ll probably be looking forward to the few extra hours (or minutes?) of sleep.
- I don’t know if the gods are there somewhere (which I doubt), but any religion is not religion anymore. Of course, it sort of evaporated the day the pilgrims brought it out of the temples, but over the years, it’s become the world’s largest and most organized Placebo Deployment Institution. I appreciate the instilling of that in the students, but I must ask: really? Isn’t the extra sleep much more valuable? Doesn’t it make a better student that believes he can succeed because he’s ready rather than that he can succeed because the gods have been prayed to?
- Special prayer for the students? I didn’t know faiths offered a credit transfer option. If monetized, this could go a long way because I could just pick up a beggar from the street and pay him to pray for me 24/7 while I went about my business. At the end of each day, with the aid of a rite or two, the frequent-sinner points could be moved through accounts and we’d be good to- Wait a minute.This sounds familiar. Bollocks!
You want to pray, go right ahead. I’m not stopping you. Why prompt the students (by exploiting the oft-baseless faith of their guardians) to do something that falls completely outside even the most lenient schedule that befits their academic stature?
(Dear Dr. Naik, I will rejoice at the fact that some site claiming to offer your sermons for download is linking to my blog. It’s such a pity how the same technology that goes into making those downloads available is the evidence that your arguments are absolute guano. After all, your god did predicate Boolean algebra and vector calculus, didn’t he/she/it/oO?)