It is the greatest dilemma of modern times. On one hand where Mankind tastes success in unraveling the far reaches of the universe in search of its identity, on the other hand they are demeaning and polluting all the rationality and logic that had made Mankind into the indomitable force on the planet. Where Science endeavours to give meaning to life and to this universe, the proponents of religion are trying to dismantle that very idea of life. I won't take a cynical approach towards religion because much that is good in the society, much of our rich culture has unobtrusively been derived from religion. But also most of it that is wrong, that is unacceptable has crept in surreptitiously from religion.
Modern India, the brain-child of giants like Nehru, Gandhi, Ambedkar( to name a few), prides on its secular foundation- the confluence point of myriad cultures from all over the world over thousands of years. But that was the past and much of it has now been forgotten over newly found feuds and skirmishes. These words that are written in proud letters on our constitution have been reduced to banal fantasies of these great men. What we see all around us is propagandization of religion, hatred instead of tolerance that had long been the strength of India even in the early ages. What has led religion to be the bane rather than boon of modern society? Is it the inherent shortcomings of the religions or is it something else? If we dwelve into any of the holy scriptures of the world we will find that none are champions of hatred. Islam, Christianity, Hinduism(a very abstract religion) talk only of peace, and the duty of Man to his fellow human beings. So where have all the high ideals gone and why is it that all what is left of these great faiths are meaningless dogmas, superstitions and intolerance towards those of the other faith.
What has led me to think about these matters is what i see around me everyday. Somewhere people murder their own kin because they have married outside their caste, or married inside their caste in other instances. Mobs decimate places of worship under vigilance of the leaders of the nation who later argue for their right of having done so. It is a world full of hatred, a world full of irrationality where we are living. Science has tried to be the unifying force and has succeded in many ways but still there is lot left to be done. The plant of chaos that have been sown throughout the ages is difficult to uproot and to do so we need people to think for themselves, to choose between right and wrong. I long to see that day and I hope it isn't merely a utopian vision.
In the coming posts I woud like to comment on the origin of various religons, the need of it that was in ancient society and that is in modern society, the evils and the goods it has lead people to through all the ages and many other aspects.
signing off for now.