Tuesday, September 16

Sects of religions are profitable outlets for their founders and proponents

All religions of the world have multiple sects, and now one can find everyday new sects coming to the fore from the existing ones, which is further dividing people into different layers. Moreover, these sects are becoming more and more radical in their practices, interpretations and inventions to the religion, leaving little for dissent. And if one questions them, he is labeled as an infidel, and even fatwas (decrees) are issued against them. It is a perfect example of self-aggrandisement by using religious interpretations. These sects are strengthened by domestic and foreign fundings. First it starts with ‘requests’ for opening a mosque or a madressah (religious school), which acts as a platform for propagating their particular ideology. The followers or Mureeds contribute according to their bank balance, while the rich with bigger financial interests outside the sect gather influence to warding the government machinery off, and thwart any threats to their business interest. Also, these sects look for unattended prime lands to construct places for religious prayers ostensibly – India and Pakistan lead in this regard – while the followers never question the forcible possessions either since they feel protected under the umbrella. Its next level is of either getting illegal possessions vacated upon a payment of at least 30 per cent of the total prize of the land, or deal is matured by getting the papers signed in their own favour, which is considered to be the most liked manner since the grabbers can claim that they have bought the ‘booty’. Whenever such religious outfits have to hold a congregation, their teams reach out to the ‘targetted’ businessmen and others for getting the grants. In Karachi and Mumbai this is the most likeable manner of extortion. Where is the writ of the government? The state machinery seems to be sleeping and even if one is harshly woken up, it turns blind eye to it, and never realising that it is actually a breeding ground for tomorrow since the social fabric is torn to threads by these religious mantra speakers, who love to create divisions-within-divisions to enhance their influence. On the other hand, foreign countries are also helping their followers to enhance the influence of a particular sect. Recently, in the remote Southern Punjab, in a road-side restaurant, a man was openly discussing a plan to construct a Medressah and construct a mosque in his village. Though apparently he himself was a person of reasonable means, but he was certain that he would get money from some of his foreign ‘friends’ which not only would be enough to run the mosque and the seminary for next ten years rather would also help in multiplying his wealth, while the state organs would not dare him question too. No doubt, with this, he would be given more ‘respect’ and gather influence in the society. Ultimately, the only aim of the founders and proponents seem to be fattening their bank balances, and gaining influence; it is no way a favour to the humanity, and to any religion. Political hobnobbing is part and parcel of it, and one can find a lot of politicians, bureaucrats and men in uniform being part of such religious outfits. At this point, it seems that majority of people are part of one sect or of another group. Its last stage is a proxy war, which is and are being fought on one ground of any country or another, ultimately to the trouble of the masses and benefit of a few.

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