Of Gods, Pseudo Gods and Demigods

A critical look at real Gods, Demigods and Pseudo Gods

God, Demigod and Pseudo God are intertwined in our society that has to do mostly with acquiring power and wealth
God, Demigod and Pseudo God are intertwined in our society that has to do mostly with acquiring power and wealth.

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]I[/dropcap]ndia is a religious country with many gods in different forms and facets. There are more than a dozen religions that are flourishing including a few that count our nation as its birthplace. Splendid architecture representing each of the religion can be found in many cities and Indians are rightly proud of this rich heritage and culture. Since independence, spirituality and tolerance has been the bedrock of our society. And as a country we have been living together as citizens and chugging along for the better part of our lives respecting the differences and uniting on commonality. The importance of God and religion in everyday life of Indians is an immutable and undeniable fact.

God, Demigod and Pseudo God are intertwined in our society that has to do mostly with acquiring power and wealth.

The “Guru-Shishya” model is prevalent in the widely followed religion of Hinduism. Devotees of Hindu faith who aspire to reach God depend on Acharyas in temples and mutts. A somewhat similar model is customary in most other religions. The Imams in Dargahs and Mosques provide guidance to devout Muslims who aspire to reach the higher power. The Cardinals, Bishops and Fathers in churches and chapels act as the intermediaries between Jesus and mankind. Each religion has its own mores and traditions to wash off the sins committed on earth. And the fascinating concept of heaven and earth is what makes most people rush to these places of worship in hope of finding the absolute path and gateway to divinity.

The need for a Guru has also paved way for the rapid rise of Pseudo Gods. The mushrooming of fake Swamis, Babas, Imams, Cardinals and Bishops all over the country at an astonishing pace is perplexing to say the least. Aping the western model, they regularly appear on televisions in the morning with many of them widely known for televangelism. By creating a mystique in the name of spirituality and projecting themselves as doyens of fortune telling, they are able to attract the most vulnerable as well as the insecure in society.

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]A[/dropcap]nd then there are the demigods. Political leaders who project themselves as saviours of a community are bestowed divine status by their constituents and voters. Our country has numerous Demigods representing various caste, creed and communities. They shower government programs and schemes on their supporters and the warmth is reciprocated during election time. Once elected, acres of Land, a precious natural resource is distributed free of cost in the name of spirituality. And the present day phenomenon is to allocate resources from state budget to religious congregations and pilgrimages.

In the meantime, during this festive season may real gods bless all real believers.

Being extremely superstitious, most Demigods find the need to bow to the Gods and consult their intermediaries on electoral prospects. Gurus or the Intermediaries of their religion tell them what to do when, an advice Demigods perceive to be the key strategy to be successful in the highly competitive world of politics. Come election time, they are at the altar prostrating before their Guru to be blessed and pleading for divine intervention to sway voters.

Sensing an opportunity, Pseudo Gods have become adept in political machinations. They are well aware of the fact that at the heart of democracy lies a numbers game. All of them market religion and recruit people to their mutts and congregations in order to be appealing to Demigods. Head of the Mutt’s, many of them supposedly influential, ask their devotees and followers to vote for a particular party or a leader. And the Imams and Bishops issue similar diktats to savour benefits after the elections. With the blessings of Demigods, Pseudo Gods are able to accrue enormous wealth and power in a very short period of time. Running large business empires that spawn many continents, they are much like multinational companies.

God, Demigod and Pseudo God are intertwined in our society that has to do mostly with acquiring power and wealth. Devotees who go to worship God almost always come out with their wallets loosened. Demigods fool all the people all the time to get elected while Pseudo Gods fool some of the people all the time enriching themselves in the process. If a Pseudo God is exposed of ill gotten wealth or caught in unsavoury incidents, Demigod is ready to render protection for continued patronage.

If the Politician-Bureaucrat-Businessman nexus has been a hindrance for progress and prosperity of our society, so has been the God-Pseudo God-Demigod relationship. It must be purged before another generation becomes retrogressed in religious jingoism and political atavism. Increasingly countries around the world are turning into knowledge economies and for India to effectively compete requires not more Gods or Pseudo Gods or demigods but scientists, researchers and number crunchers.

In the meantime, during this festive season may real gods bless all real believers.

N. V. Krishnakumar is an investor and ardent follower of economic and political developments in India and United States. After graduating from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service with a Masters in Public Finance and Policy, he returned to his hometown of Bengaluru. He is active politically and engages in civic activities.

He tweets at @envyk_blr.
N V Krishnakumar

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