“Ramesh followed every processes and procedures religiously and encouraged his fellow team members to follow the defined processes religiously as well.”, I wrote my feedback as manager for Ramesh as part of the appraisal process. I stopped for a while thinking the choice of words and the truth behind this statement. It is not new for me to say or write something and then find the truth behind it but this time it took longer. It’s not because of Ramesh did not do it but because of the word ‘religiously’. I got this word from first manager of my professional career. Some 13 to 14 years back I found this word in my appraisal and liked it. It gave such power that you don’t tend to question it. If somebody says I do a particular thing religiously that means I do so. No other questions asked.The other similar word I learnt through this appraisal process is ‘judiciously’. I use ‘religiously’ to show 100% and ‘judiciously’ as 80 to 85%. It’s all in my mind and I do not think anybody else cares much about my choice of words. But as I care a lot about what I say I give a deep thought every time.
The more I think about the word religiously I become more religious. Religious means in my view doing something without even thinking of questioning it.Although India has an increased population of “science” students who question every ritual and custom and make good fun of it but Bharat was always a scientific nation.
To my advantage I was born to a Bharatiya family and in a very much Bharatiya state called Odisha. Before many eyebrows raise and start disconnecting from the skull, let me explain.
Bharat is the state which still respects the traditions and although has not got the logical/scientific proof but has a great belief that the traditions we follow have deep scientific meaning and will undoubtedly help us lead a good life. The first attempt to reach to anybody or anything is with respect not doubt. The questioning part of the story starts when it hurts or looks like it is causing injustice. And if at any point it proves to be illogical or unjustifiable then have the courage to change it. So for me religion is pure belief with great courage be flexible at times.
The ‘India’ I referred to, is that class, which has learnt to reject things at the face of it and ask very hurting questions to humiliate it then if by chance somebody is able to convince it and that to if it comes after western validation then accept it. It is all based on rigidity and rejection.
Just last weekend I visited a temple with my parents. Like any other religious institutions it has helped create job and prosperity for lakhs of people.All the people and business there happening was due to faith or religious beliefs. People give a portion of their hard-earned money thinking god will help them rescue the complex path called life. By believing so, they get the courage to face life. Like many of current generation purchase lot of self-help book to help understand our true potential. If we read the book we will find the only thing it helps improve is confidence in oneself. People solve the problem because they find many right ways and take many right actions due to confidence. By purchasing a book I help the publishing house as well as the author earn money. But by completely devoting myself and offering prayer at the temples I create business in the area surrounding the temple. I buy flowers, candles, incense sticks, sweets, ornamental accessories to please the god and make myself very confident. This helps the local shops and the people earn money by selling these stuffs. By this way I gave business to people who would have otherwise begging or live in poverty. I paid some money to the temple. This helped in giving job to some people who offer prayers on our behalf and other staffs of the temple. This also helps developing the temple further so that more people travel to this place and provides better facility to the people visiting this temple. The temples also give free lunch to poor once a week which is a good social service. So what’s wrong in visiting a temple and spending some money there if it can help create better living for many. Is it not my social responsibility. Many a say this money goes into wrong hands where only some people take the entire money and don’t share with others deserving. Which means there is corruption. Which institute we know of has no possibility of existence of corruption. Why should I stop doing something which has more possibility of giving benefit to society.
Explaining all these to entire mankind would be impossible task hence visiting temples and offering prayers we put as very vital part of the religion and tell people follow it religiously. The more people follow it the more the country and world is going to be prosperous. Hence once again I feel I am a religious person.
– Stray Dog