13 May, 2021

In What Do We Repose Our Faith When Harmony, Interdependence Have Been Ripped Up?

India's greatest strength has been its ability to engage with diverse sources and impulses. We need those wise men to guide us away from alienation and brutalisation in the name of faith, writes poet and art curator, Ranjit Hoskote

Visual Feast
Images from The Gita: Mewari Miniature Painting (1680-1698) by Allah Baksh by Bhalla and Deval, Niyogi Books
In What Do We Repose Our Faith When Harmony, Interdependence Have Been Ripped Up?

What weaponisation of faith destroys first is faith. In what higher principle do we repose our faith during a week when we have experienced and witnessed the havoc that the cynical manipulation of religious feeling can wreak on a society? A week in which a police force mandated to protect all citizens has transmogrified into a communal militia that stigmatises a minority community and subjects it to brutal persecution?

In what collective formation do we repose our faith at a time when almost every institution that should have guaranteed the rule of law is either silent or averts its gaze or is complicit in the subversion of justice? In what dream of solidarity do we repose our faith at a historical moment when the language of identity has been privileged over the language of empathy and deployed to raise barricades between Us and Them, Inside and Outside, To-be-redeemed and To-be-annihilated? In what faith do we repose our faith when the weave of harmony, interdependence and oneness of being that all the world’s great religious traditions cherish have been ripped up...

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