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Power through religion

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All the religions claim to preach peace, harmony, love and humanity, yet there is so much of disharmony, hatred and violence in the world in the name of religion. During medieval period millions of people were killed in the war for supremacy fought among the followers of various religions, and in their (un)holy quest to enlarge the strength of their followers by coercing the non followers to convert.
Why had the followers of various religions resorted to large scale violence and genocide to spread the message of love, peace and harmony, in contrast with the ostensible pious teachings and preachings of their respective religions? (I presume that this question should be pricking the conscience of a large number of intellectually evolved people of modern scientific age)

To my mind, it’s because, most of the religions have been conceived, generated and perpetuated by the priestly class in connivance with the ruling class to create an army of followers, who could be subjugated to facilitate retention of power in the hands of it’s creators internally, and serve as fanatical soldiers of their masters to enlarge strength of their followers, by forcing conversion of followers of other religions, through violence, coercion and/or inducement. Millions of people were reportedly killed in various religious wars fought during the medieval period. Ironically,all these wars were ordained by the almighty to propagate their religion so that lasting peace and harmony could be established in the world.

In essence, religion was, is and will always remain a tool in the hands of rulers and religious leaders to acquire and perpetuate power. Religion and politics are intricately intertwined and linked , in almost all theocratic states. While, in the states having multi religious population, there is competitive,and sometimes, violent tussle among the followers of different religions to exercise control and power over the state . Politics and religion, are undoubtedly two sides of the same coin, whether a state is theocratic or secular. It is after all a source of fulfillment of innate and cardinal desire present among all living beings to dominate and control others.

Human beings, are no exception to this. In fact, it’s more intense and powerful among them.Darwin’s theory of genetics and the concept of “survival of the fittest”, bear testimony to it.

About one and half century back,religious wars for establishing supremacy had disillusioned and dischanted large population in certain parts of the world . That vacuum needed to be fillled up. It heralded advent of a new religion, called as “communism”. The ideology of communism, which proclaimed establishment of a new equitable and just social order, without a presiding deity and priestly class, soon captured imagination of a large population across the world. Since the new variant of supposedly people friendly religion, couldn’t be established without demolition and destruction of the existing system of governance drawing it’s power from religiosity , the preachers and practitioners of the ideology of communism resorted to mass killing of people,who weren’t willing for conversion to this new religion. Unfortunately, communism,too soon morphed into being a religion, both in character and essence, a copycat of the apparently inequitous and exploitative religions, it had sought to replace.

Much like certain existing religions, it also resorted to genocide of masses to retain its control and ensure it’s spread across the world. It generated new Gods, by the names of Lenin and Marx, who have had a series of avatars in the form of Stalin, Mao, Deng, Xi jinping etc. It differs from normal religions, only to the extent, that it avoids bestowing eternal and supernatural powers to the creator of this religion, except in case of N Korea, (where their dead leader is credited with possessing super natural powers). However, the supreme leader of the communist party- an euphemism for their own version of God, is perceived and regarded as a powerful and reverent force-just short of the unmanifested, but omnipresent God of other religions.

All religions, including communism, share one thing in common -their origin, development and expansion was realised through mass genocide of innocent people. In order to acquire power, while religions masqueraded their genocidal pursuits during medieval period as “holy wars”, communists branded it as a fight for establishing a just order, that would usher in respect for human life. Hypocrisy in both the cases stares so starkly, when the proclaimed saviour of life resorts to end another innocent life -ostensibly in pursuit of a higher ideological/divine purpose!

The quintessence of most religions is to acquire, retain and perpetuate power. It’s done differently in different political systems.

While in Mao’s communism, power flows from the barrel of gun, in a democracy, it flows from the ballot box. Therefore, in a democracy having multiple religions, it’s natural for each denomination to enhance its political power through enhancement of its voting power.

India, being the largest democracy in the world, has been suffering from the evil effects of this insensible struggle. There is a race among various religions to increase their voter base. Since it cannot be achieved through coercion current milieu, inducement of poor people to proselytise is often being practised by one religion, while another religious denomination has been apparently indulging in unbridled population growth as a means to achieve the same objective.

Burgeoning population has not only led to mass poverty, unemployment, poor law and order situation and depletion of valuable natural resources, but also created disharmony, suspicion and turmoil in our polity.

There is an urgent and inescapable imperative to address this burning issue with post haste, else the consequences of unabated population growth would prove to be disastrous for the nation, as well as for the advocates of unbridled population growth. Unfortunately,when the latter will discover folly of their moron strategy to secure power, it will be too late as they, too will be engulfed and decimated by the catastrophe. They will meet their end much before securing the “chimerical power” through adoption of this suicidal strategy. It’s, therefore, time to ponder and reflect on efficacy of strategy of securing power through forcing people to live in abject subhumanly conditions, without access to proper food, education and dignified life.

Finally, it’s relevant to quote Heinrich Heine, “In dark ages people are guided by religion, as in a pitch-black night, a blind man is the best guide; he knows the roads and paths better than a man who can see. When daylight comes, however, it is foolish to use blind old men as guides.”

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