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Divine Guidance

As you may have noticed if you've been a follower of my blog for any considerable amount of time, I'm not much of a believer in God. Not that I have anything against religion, or God, I'm just far, far too lazy to believe. I don't have the sheer dedication required to go to a temple every week and sit through a pooja, or go to a church and sit through a sermon, or say my prayers five times a day, or any of that. Forget the dedication, I'd probably do it one week and forget it the following week if I tried!

However, that doesn't mean I'm atheist - at least, not necessarily. My policy is more, "I don't know if there's a God and frankly, I don't care." I've not believed in God for over half my life now and I've been quite alright, so it's really just easier to carry on as I am than to suddenly invest in large quantities of jaggery or wine to satisfy the divine. However, if, upon my death, I find myself standing in front of a set of gates or, as is more likely, subject to eternal torment, I shall immediately rescind my claims and take up religion. Until such time as it is resoundingly proven to me that God is, indeed, real, I'll stick to the option that gives me the least commuting-between-home-and-shrine, thank you very much.

Recently, though, religion has been taking quite a bit of flak. ISIS is driven primarily by religion, and people are understandably upset. "Islam is a religion of war," they cry, and rally behind any leader who agrees with them. It's a mark of how bad the situation is that people are willing to put their faith in, even elect into power a man whose primary goals are the propagation of racism and, if his pictures are anything to go by, using way too much spray tan. Apparently, they've forgotten the crusades and the numerous little wars the Hindu kingdoms fought with each other and the fact that people have been persecuting each other in the name of one religion or the other for thousands of years.

But I think maybe we ought to give religion the credit it's due. People have achieved amazing things in the name of religion. Buddha revolutionised the country in the name of religion. Agnostic I may be, but I think religion has the capacity to unite people at least as much as it's able to rip them apart. People meet at temples, get to know each other, start performing poojas together... All because of religion. Religion is what allows my 80-year-old grandmother to climb Tirupati once a year. Believing that they will be held responsible by some higher power allows people to accomplish things that they might not have had the mental strength to achieve otherwise. And let's face it, what better way is there to bond with your family than to go out rioting and killing people every once in a while?

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