Indian Polity Today began as a comment on India’s politics and society. For a while, I have focused on the politics and written very little about social issues. I read a very interesting article written this week by a very close friend of mine, Ipshita Adhyapak, about the role of God in our lives and how human greed has trumped everything else.

Full disclosure: I am an atheist. But as a majority populace of this country has faith in the Almighty, this article is relevant in today’s times. 

It all started a couple of days ago,when my grandparents decided they wanted to go to the Siddhivinayak temple. Dad and I decided to accompany them, and we set off early in the morning.By mid-day, we not only went to Siddhivinayak, but also to two other temples and the Haji Ali masjid. I couldn’t help but wonder, what was the purpose behind doing so much – offering flowers, sweets, incensed sticks besides offering money? Every time we visit such famous temples, I see people offering ridiculously high amounts of money!

I don’t doubt anybody’s devotion and faith in god, butaren’t such offerings insignificant? It all finally goes to the trash bin!Its bizarre that we offer pure ghee,gold ornaments and even sacrifice animals to these deities. Why would they possibly need such things-supposedly their own creations?

There are millions of people who aren’t privileged enough like us to get a decent meal into their bellies. Anyone wants to give them a thought? How about offering that 500 rupee note to a beggar,at leas they’ll have some use for it!

I’m a student of science and my mind is supposed to work in the most logical way,but I still believe in god because I have been raised to do so. Much as I hate to admit it,my faith in god is fast eroding. I have witnessed too much of bad in the recent few years. Our country is probably in its worst state possible since independence.Politicians can’t get enough of filling their own coffers;scams after scams are exposed on national TV but the only thing you can expect from the political class (most of whom are a bunch of uneducated, uncivilised, irresponsible’leaders’) is the blame game. And still we can only blame ourselves for voting the same old gone-cases to power each time.

We can’t expect much from the people we elected and our solution to all public problems is blaming the government. Guess what, that’s not providing any solution! On taking a closer look, I found the culprit to be GREED.

Greed is the root cause of most of our problems and this brings me back to my original topic, which is our belief in the existence of a higher power-God. If god were really existed, would he not have realized what I did? Would he not see that millions are suffering unimaginable torture? Would he not see that we really aren’t capable of managing our lives? That our greed has gotten the better of us and the only future now is downhill? That there is nothing like punishment  for our previous life’s sins? If karma existed, the corrupt should not have lasted this long right? Does God not see that the sincere people rarely get anywhere in life? That on their way to success humans usually Have to give up on their values?

Where is the universe’s ‘balance of good and evil’ that we have all heard about since childhood?

These thoughts provoke me into doubting the existence of God. I’m 18, appearing for various entrance exams, going through one of the most crucial periods of my life. I would love to believe in God, but I can not, simply cannot turn a blind eye towards the most obvious facts thrown at me every morning via the newspaper. Take for example the severe drought that has hit Maharashtra and the southern states since last year. The fields have lost all its plantations, cattle are being sent to slaughter houses, farmers are committing suicide or are looking for labour. They are the source of our basic requirement-food, yet no relief is provided to them.

So what exactly is happening? I’m as clueless as you are. I know one thing for sure, our world lacks balance. Our greed has overcome every emotion and we have turned a blind eye to our fellow beings When the Mayans predicted 2012 to be the end of mankind, they probably meant the end of humanity.

Isn’t this where our ‘God’ should have stepped in and done something? Restore some sort of balance or justice in our world? Or does He still think we are capable of saving ourselves from this mess. If that’s the case then I’m sure we still have some goodness in us.

I can’t talk much about Gods existence, but I firmly believe that -we homo sapiens,are the most successful story of evolution; that we, have been gifted with this most powerful tool-intelligence; that if God exists, He didn’t make us humans just to provide for ourselves, but  to work for others.

We are all always complaining about not having enough. Take a look round, you might just thank your God for being this kind to you. We think too much about ourselves. I wrote this piece with a simple and earnest request to all of you to take a minute out of your hectic lives and just contribute towards the betterment of our cracked and decaying society. Be it in the form of a donation, social service or just using your resources responsibly. Every bit counts. Your God doesn’t need your money or offerings as much as that old lady you ignore on your way to the temple does.

We all have our own beliefs, but the need of the hour is what holds utmost importance. I think we’ll earn more blessings from God if we do for others rather than mindlessly wasting precious resources. As I type, my extremely god-fearing,god-adoring grandparents are making yet another plan of visiting a famous temple. Had they known that they have earned enough blessings and goodwill by doing for others to last them more then a lifetime of happiness, we would save a few litres of fuel. Shouldn’t we convey this more effectively to our countrymen that ‘Service to mankind is service to God’? Food for thought. 

-Ipshita.