Does God have Religion? A very sensitive topic was put out for discussion on the first day of Kerala Literature Festival at Thulika venue.
The session was attended by a diverse panel indirectly possessing particular religious views and also one who directly represented a religion.
Fr. K.M.George, M.N. Karaserry, Thaha Madai, Rosy Thambi were among the panelists. The session was moderated by Dr. M.C. Abdul Nazer.
Moderator began by briefing the topic and pointing out its relevance in recent times. He briefed about how religion became a tagline and how it’s turning into an institution. Even with so much religious freedom, we can see that religion is turning into a mass murderer. The conflicts that rise due to religion are endless.
He began with Mr. M.N. Karaserry. Karaserry stood up and spoke his points and when he asked to be seated by the panel he replied “ I am obliged to stand in front of you all and answer this question.” And looking at the panel he said “They do not realize that I’m not that old to be seated.” He was in his usual jolly good style yet very bold in making his point. He made the crowd rethink about our religious democracy. He began by quoting Buddha-“I’m not worried about the mystery of God but the misery of man.”
God decides the democracy of our country Now we all are slightly worried about religion.
He put up an example of Gandhiji who once said ‘God does not have a religion’ and later he said ‘Truth is the only religion.’
India’s religion is decided by the politics too and BJP is not completely responsible for it. Every religion is equally responsible for the riots. The intolerance sown by Muslim religious fundamentalism, Hindu religious fundamentalism are almost the same.
He spoke more about religious fundamentalism. Kerala should be a religious harmony. It is the need of the hour.
He pointed out to the media, fascist society, and rational thinkers asking ‘What kind of democracy are you talking about?’ A democracy with no freedom to think or act freely in ones religion. He opined that religious fundamentalism is the cracks and crevices of our society.
Next Father K.M.George continued the discussion. He started saying ‘you must be wondering what a person like me is doing in this discussion. All I have to say is it is our livelihood. We live off using religion.’
You all know what answer we are bound to give. God is nameless yet has any names. He quoted an author Richard Dawkins a very famous atheist who used his own money and published ads on buses and billboards saying ‘There is no god’. He had said “ when one person suffers from a delusion it is called insanity and when many people suffer from delusion it is called religion”. His strong statements never made any influence on any one.
Next Rosy Thambi spoke. She is known for showing God in a different perspective. She started by saying how relevant this question is and Yes! God does have religion. There are almost 300 religions and many more gods in it. Every religion has their own god. I would be able to talk about Christianity. What we are seeking is spirituality and this lies beyond all the religions we have created.
God comes in search of man, creates man, creates woman and all other living beings and retires after the 7thday. There after Satan takes over and rules. This is what we have been preaching through our religion.
Humans are such hopeless creatures. We are dependent on everything and anything right from birth unlike other creatures. So this hopelessness drew us into creating religion.
Then she cited how woman are subjected to religion. She says God fears woman. Woman is considered soulless. What people don’t realize is women are the most blessed creatures because they have the power to create a life from within. And when a religion or god fears a creature that can create another life then we should rethink about our perspective about religion.
It’s high time we have a new religion or new set of religious rules where woman, dalits, outcasts ect have equal rights. She says watching a birth of a new life, sprouting of a plant, skies and oceans are the right way of spirituality.
Then Thaha Madai spoke on this topic in his personal perspective. His opinion was derived from his personal experience. He shared his experience of religious circumcision. From the pain he experienced that day he realized that God was fascist and religions are also fascist. He pointed out how woman are degraded in his religion and how they live under a certain fear.
Towards the end there was a very active and interesting audience interaction