|Babri Masjid destruction 22 years ago|
Religion benefitted immensely whenever political power became its handmaiden. Christianity, for example, was a suppressed religion until Emperor Constantine (r 307-337) was converted to it after the Battle of the Milvian Bridge. As Paul K. Davis, scholar of military history, writes, "Constantine’s victory gave him total control of the Western Roman Empire paving the way for Christianity to become the dominant religion for the Roman Empire and ultimately for Europe."
Buddhism spread far and wide after Emperor Ashoka became its votary. Later some Shaiva kings ordered the destruction of Buddhist monasteries and the killing of monks in north-western India in the mid first millennium A.D. Later still, Muslim rulers in India destroyed many Hindu temples or converted them into mosques.
|Christian church destroyed in Delhi on 2 Dec 2014|
More recently, in our own times, the Babri Masjid was destroyed by the knights of our own emperors who stood at a distance and watched the destruction even as Nero watched Rome burning in allegedly less civilised times. Now, Christian churches are under attack in India. A month after a church in Dilshad Garden, Delhi was gutted, the crib of a church in Rohini, Delhi was found burnt down in the morning of 3 Jan 2015.
Can’t political power wean itself from religion? That’s not easy is the plain answer. Reason: religion is a shortcut to political power. People can be manipulated easily in the name of gods. This is just what the Modi government and the numerous organisations that have sprung up like grotesque mushrooms are doing: manipulating people in the name of gods.
Destruction of religious places was not always motivated by religious animosity, as historian Romila Thapar said in a speech she delivered in Delhi on 3 Dec 2014. “There was also a greed for wealth and a desire to assert power,” she said. Both these motives are evident in the acts of India’s contemporary knights in shining armour.
|Crib burnt down in a Christian church in Delhi on 3 Jan 2015|
The only solution to this sort of problems lies with the people themselves. If they are ready to open their eyes and see what really motivates the religious warriors, if people are ready to broaden and deepen their consciousness, if they are ready to learn from history, if they are willing to cultivate their intellect a little more, then there is a solution to the mindless violence and wanton destruction engendered by religions throughout human history. Otherwise history will continue to repeat itself ad infinitum, ad nauseam.
PS: When the Garden needed blood for its survival, it was our throats that were first slit. Yet people in the Garden tell us/ This garden belongs to us not to you. [Source]