Does the dream of a utopian society create blind followers?
Are we following rituals blindly? Or do we deny them boldly without understanding the reasons behind them? We need to discuss the logical threshold of such beliefs to understand the world around us.
The intent here is to analyse the psychological profile of the followers who are strong in numbers but weak in logic. Is it the fear of God, hope for stability and prosperity, peer pressure or consuming what’s served on the plate – that drives people towards self-proclaimed Gurus and Gods. How shamelessly the people attack other fellow humans who are also created by their ‘beloved God’. So much in the name of God and the irony is none of the teachings of God have mentioned violence for nirvana.
The ideal society ideas have several cells integrated to make the larger part functional. Perhaps, this could explain the crores of cells working together to form the ‘Dera Sacha Sauda’ (Indian religious cult group) kingdom. It took 15 years to award a sentence of 20 years to a rapist, the leader Gurpreet Ram Rahim singh. Does the blind following corresponds to that of the Hitler or Mussolini, who were dictators and ruthless in their own ways. Is it the same psyche which is attracting people to a power that they believe can change the world and create a utopian future for them? And is it the same drive that is making people insensitive to the pathos of women because they think that ‘Gupreet Ram Rahim’ (former Indian sect leaders charged with several crimes) is the visible avatar of the invisible God.
The infamous case of mass suicide at Jonestown at Guyana is another example of the devastation caused by blind cult following. 913 People committed mass suicide/ murder on November 18, 1978. The leader Jim Jones was a self proclaimed churchman. When he realized that some of his followers wanted a way out of the set up, he ordered all of them to gather and drink poison. A few followers obeyed and the rest were made to do it in on a gun point.
Inspired from such examples of cult following, Canadian author Margret Atwood wrote ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ which has recently been documented as a TV series was based on the fact that followers are made to blindly follow the acts that is being fed to them as ‘God’s will’. ‘The Handmaid’s tale’ is a dystopian novel about the manipulative power of the mighty – a class of women called handmaids are kept only for the purpose of reproduction and are forbidden to perform any task that can be even slightly related to freedom of expression; all done in the pretext of a better future.
Indian mythological characters can help us to understand the concept of the two famous kinds of kingdom we had. However, any profound example of an ideal society hardly exists. Simplifying the definition of an ideal society we can deduce that it is ‘a man’s dreams of a better world’. So, let’s compare Rama’s and Ravana’s Kingdoms, as they portrayed a clear distinction of thoughts that ruled both the societies
Here are some points that mark clear differences in their approach
|Rama ‘s Kingdom||Ravana’s Kingdom|
|Society||Person belonging even to the lowest strata of society can also question the king||Even the king’s own brother cannot question him|
|Environment||Art of living in harmony with nature||Kumbhakaran was given 6 months of sleep, otherwise he would have eaten up a lot of food|
|Wealth||Use of wealth was aimed at fulfilling the necessities||Wealth was collected for pleasure and show off|
|People||Everyone was happy||The happiness of the society could be killed for the king’s pleasure|
|King||Deedful and lived for people||Was indulged in pleasure and devoted his life to become powerful|
|Family||Difference of opinion was permitted but they shared the same feeling of love for each other||No one was allowed to differ in opinion from Ravana|
But the situation is quite tricky, irrespective of the presence of various intellectuals trying to build a model society; ‘my ideal society’ never came into existence. There could be various reasons for it; clash of egos, or too many possible outcomes from combining different opinions that affects decision making skills.
Even today, if we get all the intellectuals to decide the country’s future, the possibility of building an ideal society will be one in a million. Now, if we factually know that even the great epic like Ramayana couldn’t create an ideal society, how can proxies from all around the world, who have no right to rule the fate of thousands of people can create a utopian society for them?