Not only the practice of ‘tawaf’ (going around the Kaaba) but ‘umrah’ (the pilgrimage of which ‘tawaf’ is a part) too has been stopped in Mecca. Pilgrimage to Muhammed’s burial site in Medina has also been halted. Quite possibly they will stop the Hajj as well. Numerous mosques have cancelled Friday prayers. In Kuwait new azaans can be heard, not asking the faithful to gather at the mosque but to stay at home and perform prayers from there. This is truly an incredible transformation, albeit one that is necessary for survival. Because if you go to pray your namaz and end up coming back with a virus then you will end up infecting your entire family. From a single person to ten, from ten to hundreds, this is how the contagion will spread and hordes of people will die. A single virus holds the power to drive humanity to the brink of extinction. Mullahs are no longer claiming they will go to mosques and pray before Allah to save us from the virus. That is because the businessmen of religion know very well that Allah will not save us. If anyone can it will be the scientists, who are busy at this very moment in trying to find a vaccine. The ones who should be truly surprised by such a turn of event, the ones who should have a lot of questions, are the idiots who believe in religion. The ones who flock together like sheep and follow the herd without asking where or why. Neither do they ever seek to find proof of god’s existence, nor do they have any faith in rationality and free thought. Even today are they not curious as to why their religious institutions, the ones where people are supposed to seek refuge against disease, have shut their doors to the people? Then do these religious institutions serve the common people no actual purpose?
Coronavirus has been detected in the Vatican too, the holiest of places for the Catholics. Apparently the Pope can communicate with God. But where is that now? Even he has not been able to lead us to any wonder drug revealed to him by divine intervention. The Vatican instead is reeling from the fears of a viral outbreak and the Pope is not appearing in front of the people. Numerous Christian religious festivals are held there in the presence of the general public. Holy Week, Good Friday, Easter, etc. all upcoming events stand cancelled and congregations have been prohibited. Isn’t that incredible? Where is God then? Do religious people don’t have this question?
Priests in temples are moving around with masks on. In fact, in some temples masks have been put on the gods and goddesses. The Hindu Mahasabha has organised a cow urine party because they believe cow urine will drive away COVID-19. Some have chosen to cake themselves in cow dung to shield themselves against the virus. Religion and superstitions are usually complementary. The Tarapith temple is shut, the lines of people seeking flowers, blessings or holy water are nowhere to be seen. Belur Math has no crowds, devotees are not being allowed to meet the Maharaj. The evening puja and the arati will be projected on a big screen. These are our saviours, the ones who people pray to throughout the year for protection. But when humanity is in peril it is usually god who flees first.
The states should stop all grants and subsidies guaranteed to all religious institutions. The Popes, priests, mullahs and sundry religious heads of the world are feeding off the people’s hard-earned money but come to no actual use to the people. Instead they are force-feeding people untruths and unscientific facts, raping children and pronouncing misogynous judgments from time to time. What is the use of such institutions? What has religions done over the centuries other than causing harm? Other than genocides, abuse of women, partitions, bloodshed and pervasive hate? Religious structures should henceforth be repurposed for the betterment of the people as museums, science academies, laboratories and art schools. Nature has demonstrated again and again, science has proved again and again, that there is no religion? Although many people have managed to extricate themselves from the jaws of religion, especially in the more developed parts of the world, wherever poverty, social inequalities, misogyny and barbarism are acutely present, one can also find a hyper-reliance on gods and worship.
It’s been nearly 160 years of Charles Darwin disproving the existence of god by his theory of evolution. Man was not made by a Creator, man has evolved from apes. Much before Darwin, in the sixteenth century figures like Galileo, and his predecessor Copernicus, had shown that the biblical notions of the space and cosmos are wrong. Despite all this most people in the world have continued to believe in the divine over the ages. Their invisible gods have remained invisible, no proof has been found till date of their existence, but blind faith in them has persisted. Now that the Coronavirus is a global pandemic, it’s spreading from one person to another, all gatherings and congregations where many people are usually there have been cancelled. Numerous people run to their nearby temples, mosques, churches and other places of worship in order to seek protection from illness and disease. These places are now closed as well. So the facts as they stand now are clear that diseases are not cured by Allah, God or Bhagwan, diseases are cured by scientists! Human beings are not saved by supernatural powers but by other human beings. Even religious people are no longer waiting for benevolence from their respective gods, they are waiting for a vaccine to be found.
Has the time not yet come for people to cast aside their religious madness and embrace reason?