Religion, brought to you by the bourgeois.

Raat kali ek khwaab mein aayi …wafted in through my window, stirring me up.

It’s 4:30am in the morning; the workers below have started their morning shift. Or perhaps, ended their night’s; in the dusty world of mortar & earth, breaks aren’t at all synchronous with the biological cycle. They’re humming with a radio pedestaled on a brick, cheerful, always at peace with them; yet making sure they meet their contractor babu’s deadlines. These able-bodied men, and particularly women, are the real powers of a Nation’s progress. While we dream about the heavenly villa at a posh locality splurging with modern amenities, these men & women work day in day out building them, brick by brick. They earn wages high enough to buy subsidized rice for a family that’s categorized as ‘unplanned’ under Gov.’s regulations, yet low enough not to afford a sheet over their heads.

Poverty is very intensive: caught in the day-to-day battle for the bread, man seldom finds solace for thoughts that are wittingly trifling. Religion is one such gnarled beast from the bourgeois’ stable. One of the many sugary vices doled out by their confectioneries, it finds easy prey among the workers. Struck by the plague of the worker ant, they seem to lose their individual judgment to be easily exploited by religion.  In the fields, in the mills and in the construction sites they work, ceaselessly forgetting their religious inclinations to form a caste-less, formidable force. Time often their limbs speak up for their pains leading to disarray in the dreams of the State. It is times as these that the oft-applied, quickly forgotten strategy of the colonists is revived by the bourgeois.

Religion works its wonders, shredding the united voice of the people. Teaming them up against each other so that the sickle which was to bring food for the family evolves in to a weapon to dismember the neighbors’ bodies all in the holy name of upholding divinity, while the bourgeois smear each other at the center-stage. They’d invite & incite the workers through their bellicose speeches, wearing the garb of systemic education. The blood that spills on the streets nevertheless belongs not to them. Drugged by the onslaught of the plague of Godliness, the able-bodied workers effectively create the mayhem required for a careful purge by the bourgeois. It’s ironical that later, the victims and perpetrators shall both come from workers’ families in the esteemed courts of the rich. Justice will be dispensed with, while they guffaw at ‘those uncivilized workers’ chuckling at their cunningness.

Why then, can’t this taboo be burned at the stake for finality? Let those who can see above the divisions of the society take heed to Marx’s “opium of the masses”. For religion, as the evil genie of the bourgeois shall continue playing out its cards. The unity of the masses is important, for themselves and for humanity. Unless the divisions are bulldozed, no religion can help man find peace. Humans don’t need to look up to find peace; they need to look at each other or rather, a glance in the mirror.

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