Right to beliefs

We are in the age of claiming various rights, many of which are enshrined in the country’s Constitution, adopted on January 26, 1950 as the guide to carry on administration by the government according to globally accepted principles of democracy. When the functionaries as well as the land’s various section in the population deviate from those principles for good, bad and indifferent reasons, we witness a flurry of reaction from individuals and outfits who are featured in the media and also during (noisy) debates in different elected bodies namely, the Nation’s Parliament, State Legislative Assemblies and Councils (only seven among the 29 States across the country). A thorough scanning of the script of the Constitution may have to be done to know clearly whether the right to beliefs, false or valid, is also enshrined. The well-marked rationalists often come in the open to express their disfavour of beliefs, most of the time using strong and repulsive language. Mysuru too hosts some of them.

The bone of contention in various circles of discussants about beliefs or superstition is that the habit lacks rationality and also not substantiated by principles of science. The antagonists of superstition, a derogatory term for belief, even don’t hesitate to berate the false beliefs as due to ignorance. Such comments don’t seem to change the attitude of those who firmly believe in their beliefs.

The episode of extensive devastation following rain fury this season also featured a none-too-pleasing diatribe between one section citing the cause of calamity as divine angst and the other section, including a group of scientists at the Bengaluru-based Indian Institute of Science strongly expressing the view that whatever destruction has taken place in many parts of the land, particularly Kodagu district and Kerala State, was due to vagaries of nature. Such clashes of views while hurting the sentiments of believers may only satisfy the ego of non-believers, incidentally earning some column space in the broadsheets and tabloids, including this one.

Non-believers, who exert themselves with no inclination to change their stand on beliefs of various sections of society, believers who take umbrage at their challengers and the rest who are fence-sitters will do well by not stepping on the toes of others getting provoked for trivial reasons. Harmony in society shall not be disturbed as there are more rewarding agendas for the nation and its people than squabbling about beliefs and falsifying them.

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