From the day one onwards, humans through evolutionary processes ridden over so many millenniums from the level of primitive living creatures began their lives surrounded with innumerable mysteries and uncertainties. Later humans stabilised as the creatures with reasoning which made them different from the other living beings on the Earth.
But they did not have proper understanding of nature , life – its complexities and many other things. With the limited knowledge they possessed and a lack of proper approach to study and understand the surrounding mysteries, they were unable to think and act beyond a functional limit. They tried to define everything within the limit of their awareness and knowledge , they possessed. In order to put an end to exploring further with their level of knowledge and to find out explanation, of course pseudo explanation for many things which they were unable to find out solution, they perceived an illusory icon in the name of ‘god’. They shed down the past path to attain the current level of existence, as if god created all creatures including humans.
Then people needed some system which can help them to solve many things in their lives, of course pseudo salvation without any permanency. Thereby religion was born to explain and enforce the belief of poorly knowledged humans. The prime question is – if , god as per the belief of certain people , truth is one, then why are there so many religions in the world? When modes of communication were not that well developed, knowledge and information generated was difficult to get communicated and transferred; so people living in different regions developed their own way of understanding nature and its functioning.
This sort of approach and adoptability gave birth to many religions which are adhered to today around the world. These religions are very different in their advocacy and approach , but all of them try to explain nature of some super power which they consider has created and controls the universe.
Religion – A belief system
In brief, religion is nothing but a belief system , which was created by people who were unable to understand the mysteries of universe, life and the related things. The prime purpose of formation of religions was common and it was to satisfy the curiosity about uncertainty and unpredictability in life. Later it got perpetuated as an identity of solidarity for their sustenance and to stake claim for the set of ideas about creation of universe and its creator.
But the identical features of all the religions rest on faith , reposed by its believers negating the reasoning aspect of the belief propounded many centuries ago when science and technology were in primitive stages. Adhering to the ideas for salvation towards uncertainty and mysteries is understandable during the earlier primitive period .
But why to stick on those irrational ideas even after getting exposed to the advancement in science and technology, enlightened by the answers to the so far unanswered and enjoying the ease and comforts developed as the result of such progressive thoughts and action. Sticking to the religious ideas does not stand alone. It inhibits further advancement in science and technology.
It remains as impediment for the progress of humanity. It endures as limiting factor for harnessing the human power to the fullest extent. Above all , religions deconstruct society and destroy the humans. In the name of solidarity and identity in order to stake claim superiority over others, to dominate and establish the rule of one religion for all, religions are on the invading path to destroy and eliminate the people who do owe loyalty to other religions.
People may argue that religious fervour and practices are beneficial to peaceful human existence and survival and this would shape up human behaviour in a cultured way. But the historical happenings and current events do not stand as proof of such arguments. It does not remain as mere religious feeling but gets strengthened as fanaticism and ultimately leading to terrorism. It creates a lot of social disharmony among the societies and countries resulting in mass killing of people belonging to one sect of religion by the dominant and oppressive other religions.
Crusades – the holy (?) war
In European countries, during the medieval period, religion was used as political power- backed weapon to rule the masses. The medieval period witnessed so many Catholic holy war viz. Crusades, which were sanctioned by the international religious head, Pope himself. The purpose of launching crusades against provinces was neither for progress of humanity nor for any harmonious living. If they noticed the prevalence of heresy i.e. contrary to the Catholic belief, that ideology had to be demolished.
Catholic wars were waged against the province that either has a large Christian population under non-catholic rule, or was controlled by a nation, Pope had ill will towards if the seeds of heresy were being sown. Historically there were nine Crusades to the holy (?) land. By killing people in lakhs what peace and harmony, did the religious leaders establish? Religious ideologies were advocated to bring peace and harmony among the masses; what purpose was served by having waged holy wars by killing people who were innocent without knowing the agenda of the religious administrators?. Many people lived only for protecting and patronizing their religious causes.
Jihads of Islam is a form of protest over the religious feelings which are other than their own. Bringing the religious practices under political banner would give a permanent and perpetuating facility to that religion but not the humanity. Many religious heads and functionaries are trying to add more political strength to their religious faith and practices.
Attack on Muslims in Myanmar
In the recent episode in Myanmar, disturbances, displacement and killing of people between two religious groups i.e. Muslim Rohingya and Buddhist Rakhine was reported. The Myanmar government has done nothing to prevent the violence and at times government forces have joined in the attacks of Rohingya. The Muslim Rohingya seems to be really hated, there is no other word to describe other than religious racism. According to the report by Human Rights Watch, a New York based non-governmental organization, more than 1,25,000 ethnic Rohingyas have been forcibly displaced since the two waves of violence in May and October, 2012.
Satellite images show almost 5000 structures of land mostly owned by Muslim Rohingya have been destroyed at the instigation and involvement of Buddhist Rakhine. The October attacks were co-ordinated by the Myanmar government officials, ethnic Rakhine Nationalist Party and Buddhists Monks. The report says in the deadliest attack at least 70 Muslim Rohingya including 28 children-were massacred. Thousands of Rohingya have fled to neighbouring Thailand and hundreds at least have floated down to Muslim-majority Indonesia in Make Shift Boats, setting the stage for the next face of violence.
Sinhala Buddhists attack Muslims in Sri Lanka
During the first week of April 2013, a mob of Buddhist extremists led by monks, belonging to the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS or Buddhist Force Militia) ransacked two Muslim – owned business centres in Colombo, Sri Lanka. They first stormed the Muslim construction equipment yard and then the warehouse and head office of the clothing chain, These were the most violent attacks so far by Sinhala- Buddhist extremists against the Muslim community.
While the Buddhist monk stoning a CCTV camera at the building , the police officers stood by. The BBS has tacit government backing. Earlier this year, President Rajapaksa met BBS leaders at his residence and sanctioned their pledge to defend Buddhism.
Discriminating and dividing text of Hinduism
The pseudo majority of Hinduism in India, with the support of the political leaders during the past and present has been dominating not only other religions but discriminating and dividing its own religious people . Such discriminating tactics continue to the advantage of the miniscule population at the uppermost in the hierarchy in the birth based caste system viz. Varnashrama dharma, keeping the major chunk of toiling population as outcastes.
The religious atrocities of Hindu extremists are both inter religious and intra religious which distance themselves for its exclusivity from the rest of the religions in the world. History reveals that the Hindu saints who were in close association with the King of Pandya in Tamil Nadu facilitated impalement Jain saints in Madurai. Humanism is anathema to the fabric of Hinduism. Discrimination and division of labourers ( not labour) is the cunning inherent feature of its religious text viz. Bagawad Gita.
Living without Religion
The social factor i.e. religion always kept people in its abeyance and control. The religion which remains oppressive to others in one country becomes oppressed in another country. The people who are owing allegiance to the oppressive religious belief are supportive to the respective religious atrocities though not physically. They fail to question or raise objection to the extreme activities of their religious leaders and functionaries with the result that the religious leaders boost themselves as if their religious masses support their action of atrocities. This sort of approach is the start of vanishing process of mankind. Religions can not protect humanism and humanity.
On the contrary, they would keep people ignorant dividing them. Religion must be distanced for the peaceful and harmonious living of humans in the world. Can people live without religion ? Yes; they can ! Nothing they would lose in life if they detach themselves from religion. Many people are so living both individually and collectively. By that they are successful in life. Many scientists and scholars who were atheists and distanced themselves from religion have contributed a lot to mankind and all of them got benefitted out of it.
There are religionless people living collectively , striving for societal welfare . The living and practical examples are the Black shirt people of the movement founded by the great social revolutionary, Periyar E.V. Ramasamy and presently led by Dr.K.Veeramani. This atheist movement has been delivering many reforms in the social fabric which had been ill- knit under religious influences during the past.
Living without religion did not harm them but has added strength to the society and the people. Living without religion must become the future culture of humans. Many constructive wonders await as the result of such religion- less culture and living. Let the Religion-less living dawn for the further progress and civilization of mankind!