While having a frugal breakfast of dosa with chutney, I watched my wife’s face. Pain was writ large on it. Two days of struggle with viral fever and splitting headache had taken much toll on her. I was about to complete a week’s glorious grappling with the disease.
“There’s so much pain in human life,” I initiated a conversation. “Illnesses, injustices, exploitation, chicanery, malice… Yet we believe that there’s some god sitting up there and looking after us lovingly.”
She ignored me. She didn’t even bother to look at me. Even her own pain wouldn’t deter her from her faith, I knew. Faith is very strong.
Faith doesn’t need logic or any other support. Majority of the people believe in god and religion. What the majority do is right. Psychology has proved it indubitably that people don’t like to get into conflict with the group’s ways. If the group says gau mutra is holy, it is holy. If the group says Mr Modi is taking the country on a glorious economic growth, it must be right (though facts contradict the claim through and through).
Recently a man in Kerala set a government office on fire because he had been harassed so much by the office. The other day another man in the same state committed suicide because another government office had tried his patience beyond his endurance. Most people will agree privately that government is a burden and nothing more, a gigantic leech that fattens itself on people’s blood. Yet they won’t set the government on fire, nor will they commit suicide. The group, the society, has accepted governmental venality as just another integral fact of life. And the group is always right.
Until a few months ago before the cow usurped our mother’s venerated place, most BJP leaders in Kerala were beef eaters. Many of the beef exporters in North India were BJP people. Now they have suddenly become worshippers of the cow. Overnight conversion. Why? Because the group is always right. If the group says that the cow is holy, it is holy. As simple as that. [Of course, there are political motives too and politics is not particularly fond of morality of any sorts.]
The cow deserves the veneration, it seems. Our herd mentality has become more bovine than the cow’s.