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Web Exclusive | In god’s own country

Web Exclusive | In god’s own country
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First Published: Fri, Oct 12 2007. 12 17 PM IST

Raj Liberhan, Director, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi
Raj Liberhan, Director, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi
Updated: Fri, Oct 12 2007. 12 17 PM IST
New Delhi: It is God’s will that prevails here, and this is how things should be. Adam and Eve are strangers in this land. It is the Lord himself who is the author of Shristi and it is this Lord that anchors the descendants of Hanuman.
Raj Liberhan, Director, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi
Little wonder then, on the upsurge of resentment at what is tantamount to be an official and state denial of the historicity of Lord Ram. His many contributions including creating infrastructure for a campaign of honour against the Lankan King of yore, notwithstanding, this cannot be allowed to pass merely as an oversight by the ever somnolent bureaucracy.
God’s existence, nay, worse, his credentials have been questioned by mere mortals, yes the very same ones, who in their private moments of desperation have begged and pleaded for health, wealth and fame.
Their temerity to publicly question the Lord’s contributions is indeed blasphemous. But then mortals are always duplicitous; they say one thing, while they do the other.
Politicians who too are mortal, although do not believe it, are, even more lethally duplicitous, being at an advanced stage of deceit to which mere mortals cannot ascend – have seized the moment to further confound and confuse the issue.
The public discourse on the existence of Lord Ram has taken an interesting turn following the state denial of his existence. Some have questioned his academic, organizational and management credentials – a not an altogether fanciful proposition.
One look at the state of the world and its constituents suggests that if He is indeed in charge, then humanity is in a sorry state. Wars, conflicts, pestilence, and disease apart, there is so much of unhappiness in the world. Men and women routinely covet their neighbour’s possessions and continue to be lonely, even on this crowded planet. The opposition party is demanding that God pulls up his socks or his advisers and improve the world.
In the subcontinent everything seems to be in God’s hands. From the cradle to the grave is one long journey whose direction, pace and goal are led by a divine design and our people are content to let things be so.
Why rock the boat or the rath, depending on which mode of locomotion you adopt, and with God at the helm and holding the reins, there could not be a better guarantee of deliverance.
In any case, can a symbol of faith be put to measure on the scale of empirical evidence? Faith has historically moved mountains, and love has built bridges across wide chasms and the debate should rest on the peg, sorry on this base. No real need for further excavations at least by the hugely under-qualified diggers of the archeological type. Remember, the supramental horizons have to be explored and not unearthed.
The men of reason have not taken sides in the matter and have been content to let fools rush in where angels fear to tread. A vast majority of them feel that it is safer to go through life believing in God and not be surprised if you are proved wrong. The reverse is fraught with greater danger whose magnitude is hard to fathom. The larger issue is whether we are becoming more fascist by the day in the name of God.
A planned road network is thrown out of gear because somebody made a temple or a mosque to stand in its way. So an expensive realignment has to be done.
A metro route must take a costly detour to save some ruins from collapsing because of the vibrations of passing trains. A valentine’s day cannot be celebrated by the believers because it is alien to our culture.
A channel cannot be dredged because of rock formations associated with God’s sojourn on our earth. Hunger, disease and poverty does not excite our passions because this involves doing an honest day’s work and taking responsibility.
Should man then make way for God or should God make way for man is a fruitless debate we keep getting embroiled in. Why should Incredible India be at war with God’s own country? The two have to live together without coming in each other’s way.
Raj Liberhan is Director of the India Habitat Centre at New Delhi. Send your reactions to socionomics@livemint.com
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First Published: Fri, Oct 12 2007. 12 17 PM IST