#ThrowbackTuesday – “Is God still relevant in this day and age?”

Found this Old, old speech the other night when I was cleaning out my closet. Then cleaned some more, sifted and sorted out  piles of paper, old books, curios and found  more speeches and random jottings from my school and college days mostly. This got me inspired to launch a new category for my blog called #ThrowbackTuesday.

{ Forgive the hash-tag – in the world of social media I resemble a dinosaur who perhaps survived past the Ice Age but has just learned how to breathe! So I am kinda proud that I have adapted to thinking in terms of a hash-tag despite my Instagram account being non-functional! } 

Anyway, #ThrowbackTuesday is plan to post something – whether a speech, diary entry, drawing or even a quote that is a relic of my past. It has no greater purpose – but does give me an insight of how my thought-process(es) has evolved over the years. Some of it is cringe-worthy, most of my thoughts seem to naive back then, full of youthful idealism and minus the good ol’ cynicism. Below is a good example of that. 

To give a reader some context – This was the speech I made at a Debate and Elocution competition at St.Mira’s College in Pune on the topic ‘Is God Still Relevant in this Day and Age?’ somewhere in the first half of 2007. It wasn’t a typical two speaker ‘for’ and ‘against’ debate although my team-mate from college – Jyotsna ‘s speech was leaning towards ‘against’ and mine leaned towards the ‘for’ , so it balanced itself out quite nicely. We did not win this competition, but I do recollect one of the female judges (I remember her being sari-clad, hair set in a short bob) telling me that she quite enjoyed my speech for it was “personalised” thus “original”,  after the competition was over. 

“Respected Chairperson, Judges, fellow-speakers, Ladies and Gentlemen – Allow me to introduce myself.

I stand here as a nineteen-year old to share my thoughts on a topic that I often ponder about. I reside in this city away from Home, and have come here to pursue a career that I am not all that sure of. I routinely complain about the lack of hot water, sanitation and good food when I speak about my hostel. There is a dream that I have, and each day it seems all the more impossible. And, once-upon-a-time I had the sheer luxury of calling myself an atheist. Looking back I realise that it was when I lived in a sheltered environment- between school and home, unaware if the world out there – a world in which I soon realised that I need the being called GOD as my refuge.

History has often spoken about the rise and fall of civilisations. Be it the ancient Indus civilisation, the Nile Valley, the Greeks/Sophists or the Chinese – each era and culture had a mode of worship. Man feared some supernatural elements and believed that there is some force that controls it. Without this sense of fear in Man, anarchy and chaos would prevail. Therefore, the manifestation of this force or ‘GOD’ acted as a deterrent on human temperament. The fundamental fact remains that no matter what age Man thrives  in – this DETERRENCE is needed to keep him in harmony with himself, his peers and most importantly, Nature.

Who or What is God? Perhaps, God only knows!(short pause) As a child, I would often wonder, that if it were God were a human for, then what should people say when God sneezed? (Brief pause and smile) The truth is that nobody knows, and the few that have had a divine revelation often say that God is the PERFECT being.

Vedanta has this shloka

Om namaste sate sarva lokakshrayaya; Namaste chite vishwa rupa atmakaya!” This translates to – Hail to the being who is the Refuge of one and all, Hail to whom our very mind, creates the form!

In simple words, God is just whom we perceive to be. All religions are based on this truth. Yet it is unfortunate that Religion – what once was and is meant to be a unifying, harmonising force, now divides us all.

I believe that the Modern day youth is not against Religion. Religion is sometimes synonymous to a belief or a ‘BLIND FAITH’ and it is this ‘blind faith’  which stands questioned or debated upon through generations.

Why else do we see laws challenging the ‘varna’ system? Why else would there have been so many offshoots to e.g. the Catholic faith that stands firmly against abortion or contraception? Why else would there be so many questions as to why growing fundamentalism in all religions actually challenge the very premise of any religion that seeks One God, One Refuge, One Paradise?

The natural answer is that when one code of conduct was formed that regulated human behaviour, it also needs to be changed to keep up with the changing needs of society. Anything that remains static, stagnates and in its place comes a wave of dynamism. After all, what held good in one century may not be very relevant now.

I urge every person here who might believe that he or she is agnostic to think of how many times we may say “Thank God” when circumstances unfold the way we desire it to be. Every little thing- from having ready change for an auto-rickshaw to a clear road to safely cross on my way to college evokes a silent prayer in me. I may not know all my prayers, I do not believe in visiting a temple as a mark of my belief but I definitely believe that in this day and age, and in any age to come – WE NEED GOD.

To conclude- I would like to quote the famous Irish poet, W.B.Yeats – “Some people say there is a God; others say there is no God. The truth probably lies somewhere in between.”



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