35. Smt. M. Sandhya
35. Smt. M. Sandhya
I am reacting only to one of the points raised in Dr. Godbole’s Second Document, namely, the similarity between Christianity, Islam and Marxism as distinguished from true religions.
David Frawley in his book, Hinduism; The Eternal Tradition, says that ‘the attempt to connect human being with the Eternal is the very essence of true religion’. He further elucidates that true religions base themselves upon something Universal and function harmoniously with the World and Nature. They are assimilative, inclusive, spiritual and tolerant. The individual in true religions has absolute freedom to choose his own path, evolve his own methodologies and practices to realise the True Self (God). The true religions like Hinduism, Taoism, Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Jainism, the Pagan religions, and the Indigenous religions of Africa and the Americas have evolved over long periods of time through the process of assimilation. They promote universality of vision and strive for spiritual experience. As they are organically connected to Nature and the Earth, they are peaceful and passive.
On the contrary, the institutionalised religions, viz. Islam and Christianity, are monolithic and belief-oriented systems. ‘Such religions identify religion with belief in one God, one primary representative of him, and one book of revelation from him. The right belief is said to bring about salvation. The wrong belief is thought to be the worst of all sins and bring about damnation. Such religions are trying to convert the entire world to their belief, which conversion they view as salvation for humanity.’
Marxism which lampoons religion as the opiate of the masses has very close doctrinal affinities with Christianity and Islam. It seems as if they had all come out, indeed they did, from the same mould. All the three, viz. Christianity, Islam and Marxism, believe in only one Book - the Bible, the Quran and the Das Kapital - received through the only representative - Jesus Christ, Prophet Mohammad and Karl Marx. Division of humanity into believers and non-believers or bourgeoisie and proletariat is integral to their doctrines. Aggressiveness and militancy against heathens, infidels and bourgeoisie in the form of Crusades, Jihads and Class Wars is in-built into their theologies and ideologies which strive to establish their own world orders. Conversion, proselytization, destruction, subjugation and annihilation of non-believers and class enemies are the methodologies through which their expansionist and imperialistic designs are sought to be achieved. Dogma is their central tenet - that their’s is the only true faith, the only true belief, the only doctrine for salvation, and that all other doctrines are false and bogus. In the name of Holy Wars i.e., Christian Crusades and Muslim Jihads, millions and millions of people have been slaughtered over the centuries. The extent and quantum of destruction and loss of millions of lives in the so-called Communist Revolutions (whose halo has already been punctured) in the erstwhile Second World countries fuelled by Marxist doctrines, is still fresh in the memory of mankind. One wonders that if the personalities of Jesus, Mohammad and Marx had not existed, World History would have probably been without so much blood-flow.
Intolerance within and without is the name of the game. Koenraad Elst in his book, Psychology of Prophetism: A Secular Look at the Bible, says: ‘The problem with Christianity and Islam is superficially their intolerance and fanaticism. But this intolerance is a consequence of these religions’ untruthfulness; if your belief system is based on delusions, you have to pre-empt rational inquiry into it and shelter it from contact with more sustainable thought systems. The fundamental problem with the monotheist religions is not that they are intolerant but that they are untrue.’ Replace the words ‘Christianity and Islam’ in the above passage with ‘Marxism’ and we find as if Elst is describing Marxism and its variants, viz. Leninism and Maoism. Compare this with the natural religions like Hinduism and non-communist and non-totalitarian ideologies. They welcome and encourage criticism and rational inquiry as a help in human advancement and scholarship. Yet another disturbing ideological congruence which Christianity, Islam and Marxism share is their totalitarianism in seeking to govern and establish through the institutions of the Church, the Umma and the Party, a uniformity and a conformity in every sphere of life and society.
Ask them: ‘Why should God have only one Son when all things come from Him? Why should there be a final prophet when there were previous prophets and while the capacity for spiritual knowledge can be found in all people? Why should Dialectical Materialism alone define all aspects and dynamics of the Universes, history, and society? Why should dictatorship of the proletariat alone be the methodology of correcting the inequities?’ They cannot answer these simple but vital questions because the totality of life and society are too complex to fit into any strait-jacket or over simplistic and artificial definitions and doctrines. The similitudes in the Christian, Islamic and Marxist ideologies are not only in their fundamental and essential precepts as seen above, but as a matter of fact in their modus operandi too. Unlike the natural religions, Christianity and Islam being bereft of spiritual teaching, are essentially socio-political ideologies, much the same as Marxism, with the ultimate aim of attaining absolute power over the whole of humanity. They therefore promote trans-national and extra-national allegiances by mentally uprooting people from their nationalistic and native cultural moorings. In their quest for power these totalitarian ideologies are ruthless and treat human beings as mere instruments. They do not show any respect for human individuality and therefore seek to establish uniformity, thus militating against the Nature’s principle of diversity. They heap scorn on, indulge in false propaganda against, and denigrate and debunk the religions, faiths, beliefs, practices, ideologies, concepts and doctrines of others by distorting the truth, by painting the others as the infidels, the kafirs, the capitalists, the bourgeoisie and as the worst sinners and exploiters to be condemned forever to the Hell or to be annihilated and eliminated. In their false propaganda they seem to adopt the principle of Goebbles (or is it vice versa?). They are adept at distortion of history to suit their exclusivistic claims and to paint others in black. For instance, the early Christian missionaries by consciously distorting history made the Jews guilty of ‘Deicide’ (God-murder of Jesus) which was largely responsible for centuries of Christian anti-semitism culminating in genocide of Jews in Nazi Germany.
Genetically also there are striking similarities in all the three. Christianity began by debunking Judaism and Jewish beliefs as false. Mohammad started his Islam by lampooning Christianity for corrupting the message and revelation of God. To pre-empt any rational inquiry and criticism of his Faith, the Prophet put a permanent seal on himself by proclaiming that he was the last prophet and anyone who claims prophethood after him should be treated as an impostor and done to death. On similar lines, Karl Marx started with the disparaging statement that ‘religion is the opiate of the masses’ and went on to propound his own delusive concepts of dialectical materialism, thesis, anti-thesis, synthesis, dictatorship of the proletariat and so on. The only discernible difference in the proclamations of these essentially socio-political ideologies of Christianity, Islam and Marxism is that in the ancient days of people’s gullibility the former two could be masked and sold as religions, whereas by the time Marxism came into existence the society (Western) was getting fairly modernised and therefore it had to remain contented with ‘ideology’ status only unlike its more fortunate elder brothers - Christianity and Islam. Had Marx been born in ancient times, Marxism probably would have become another opiate of the masses. Not that it has not become an ideological opiate of some. But that difference is only in semantics.
Footnotes: The writer lives in Jagatsinghpur, headquarters of a district in Orissa.