The liberal media along with its international counterparts almost went into ecstatic hysteria about how a Rapist Baba in the Hindu land of a superstitious India, remains a celebrated icon even after his conviction! Obsessed that they are about India so much they cannot stop highlighting about how fascinated the Indian heartland is with spiritual gurus!
Remember we are a secular nation as long as no Maulvi or Pastor is pulled up for their wrongs into a media marathon and the moment that happens, all the Dalit/minority exclusion or oppression narratives begin to take form. Whether we like it or not every civilization is bound to have different groups of people who may or may not agree with each other but at the end of the day have to integrate into the commonalities of the social framework they live in.
But when one group does not address or acknowledge the difference of ideas and work on its solutions the other groups may become vulnerable to a simmering animosity that may have the potential to explode and disrupt an entire civilization. Little differences if not nipped in the bud could lead to bigger problems especially in the current global times where some forces work on disintegration of resourceful nations by inflicting civil wars by deliberately creating divide in the society.
Most social groups are formed on the basis of shared beliefs, customs, food habits, shared resources in a society that provides means to one’s economic ends. These social groups have been categorized as classes from a very long time, sometimes based on their economic status, jobs and sometimes by attributing a specific form of custom, spirituality or religiosity. Although these two terms are not the same I shall use it for the sake of convenience in the current context where even a cult leader like Gurmeet Singh is being called as a spiritual Guru!
Every society in the world has class groupings implicitly or explicitly and are not specific to India alone as the western nations have followed it more abusively and ardently than India has ever had. But it is just that the Europeans when they came here to India, in order to underplay their own savage system of feudalist classes, they introduced the term ‘caste’, in an attempt to nullify or downplay their brutal antics as against the Indian context where different classes lived comfortably and in harmony with each other although with negligible differences.
In fact the class structure in Victorian England of 1850s was at its debilitating worst. Inequalities and social gulfs were taken for granted and seen as perfectly normal. A Reforms Act was brought in to resolve their abusive and regressive practices of class structure but even The Reforms Act had little to offer as it divided the society into classes of Aristocracy, Upper Class, Middle class and Working class. The worker’s class was further demarcated into skilled and unskilled labor which further classified them as foremen, journeymen, house owners, renters, those in fixed employment and itinerants who sought seasonal work and then there were types of workers – men, women and children! Those at the bottom end of wage scales even if male and above 21 _ they had no vote!
The Reforms Act provision was that an elector/voter must be a ‘Ten Pound Householder’ in a borough and a ‘Forty Shilling Freeholder’ in the country constituencies. Hardly any working class fitted into this scheme and it left them with no bargaining powers to increase their wages or improve their social life. They lived in insanitary, dark, damp conditions where women were lowest paid. The Government was of no recourse as the bishops of the church were members of the House of Lords. The Church Of England was as much a department of state whose bishops were appointed by the queen! The only access these working class or if I may consider using an Indianized term, the only access these ‘poor Dalits’ of Britain had was the local father or padre who again sought their subservience to the queen.
It was only in 1891 that education for all was introduced in England but even today their subservience is pledged to the pope or the Papal bulls at every local level where canonized saints, pastors and bishops become their cultist idols. Cult leadership is a very Christian concept that was alien to India until the missionaries penetrated into the spiritual fabric of our society. Yes we did have religious leaders but we were never misled into worshipping the cult leaders instead of the many forms of the supreme lord that we believe in!
In fact it is this very freedom ‘to worship multiple forms to reach the one goal’ concept of Hinduism that is being misused and manipulated today. And in this process a whole lot of cults and cultists are created, but then any attempt at curbing or controlling this innate freedom will lead to anarchy which is more about usurping power and less about imparting spirituality. To understand how there could be spiritual anarchy let us peek a little bit into the British history.
During 54BC, the Celtic isles of ‘’Prydein’ which is today called as Britain knew no religion in its prehistoric precolonial times as they were mostly sun worshippers who measured seasonal movements of the Sun with precise astronomical knowledge, until their lands were sieged by the warring and expansionist Romans when Prydein became Britain, Camulodunum became Colchester, Verulamium became St.Albans and Londinium became today’s London. These northwest places were headed by an Iceni tribal queen called Boudicca. But she was attacked and whipped off her post as she had no sons to continue to rule after which she killed herself!
Are you reminded of Doctrine of Lapse? Well it must be shocking to learn that even The Great Britain was colonized by the cultist Romans who claimed to bring civilization by first setting the ground by burning, rape, plunder, extortion and mass killings.
This Roman concept of cult leaders is what we get to witness even today almost everywhere.
A cult is a religious group of people with a particular set of beliefs who venerate the personality more than the philosophy itself and this is what is dangerous in today’s times. A cult in itself is not bad but it is important to ascertain the intentions of the personality they so dearly follow because most of these kinds of cult leaderships in today’s society are simply based on power – power to capture and control the masses in whatever form with no particular obligation towards anything or anybody whatsoever as long they wield powers! And more worrisome are apprehensions of what if these cult leaders are instituted by vested foreign forces especially in today context of cold geo-political authoritarianisms!
So there is a lot of difference between a cultist leader and a spiritual guru, a cultist leader may be spiritual but a spiritual guru would never claim to be a cultist because his primary responsibility lies in imparting knowledge or skills to social groups.
These social groups may seek out a spiritual Guru for guidance and enlightenment but it has never naturally been the other way round where a Guru without spiritual acumen is synthetically instituted to gather devotees. Essentially social groups are not formed by Gurus but Gurus come into existence because of social groups who seek the guidance and knowledge of the Guru for mental solace to lead lives in the right paths.
But in recent times the word ‘Guru’ has been digested out from being a provider of knowledge to just a provider! Knowledge or skill is the means to establish a living but today cultists directly provide for food, shelter, jobs, clout, social security through reservations, almost anything and everything but never a spiritual guidance towards an integrated and harmonious society. But whose job is it really to be providing these basic material necessities for a living?
It is obviously the responsibility of the administrative set up of the day to facilitate the means for a living – a respectable living! It is the duty of the administrative authorities and the political leaders to enable people with education, awareness, and opportunities with ample resources to achieve the same, not at the cost of other sets of people but with a non-appeasing rational policy of creating egalitarian opportunities aimed at holistic development of the society. It is like a wishlist in today’s politics as the biggest matter on hand is enable earning and earning enough, not just to feed the family but also to meet the education, medical and social needs.
If people are unable to fetch jobs, unable to feed their families, bereft of facilities and denied of opportunities for a living it is not a social problem but definitely an administrative problem. And this administrative gap or inefficient leadership crisis is often filled with religious rhetoric, the loopholes of which are scavenged by cultists which will sooner or later be occupied by those with an eye on power where anarchy is camouflaged as spirituality or religiosity or even Minority for that matter!
Classes are bound to stay because every individual is bound to pick up a job of their expertise, if there is a doctor there is also a cleaner in the society so the challenge really is to empower all of them with equal opportunities and provide standard functional facilities where the poor and the middleclass need not seethe in pain that he could not afford a good doctor or a good teacher! And to achieve this we need not adopt socialist schemes of taking from Paul to feed Peter and kill competitive creativity in a society.
It is just that standardized education, medical and infrastructural facilities should be made affordable and available to all and that is when nobody would feel alienated, that is when everybody would be living dignified lives in hygienic and developed conditions where there would be no need to differentiate someone as unhygienic or uneducated or underprivileged which is the elementary reason for emergence of reproachful divides of castes or classes.
An inclusive society can be established when people are made to believe and experience that we are all the same but how can anybody feel that oneness when we continue to have legislated constitutions and policies devised differently for different castes, reminding us not to forget those very castes or classes we aspire to shun. How can any poor feel socially empowered if he is continued to be called a Dalit or a SC/ST?
As humans we could never perhaps cast off the diversities in our thinking but certainly we can empower ourselves to imbibe unity in diversity which is the essence of all our spirits. It can to some extent be achieved by relying more on scriptures and less on scripted popes of hopes.
Whether or not a Guru exists, whether or not there is any advocated adherence of any religion or class it is an innate human trait to feel secure in a social group, and every social group will have some person who advises, another one who implements, administrates or fixes the problem, yet another one who restores and reinforces. It is only when we truly believe that the head is as important as the feet and vice-versa that we begin to put the mind to fruitful use lest there will continue to be a barrage of Baptist babas who will instigate the feet to cut itself away from the body.