I was agnostic. Yes that’s past tense. I’m religious now. I hope I’ll stay this way for a long period of time. In fact even then I wasn’t agnostic. I just questioned a lot and I thought that’s what agnostic meant. According to Wiki, it means “the philosophical view that the truth value of certain claims — particularly metaphysical claims regarding theology, afterlife or the existence of deities, spiritual-beings, or even ultimate reality — is unknown or, depending on the form of agnosticism, inherently impossible to prove or disprove. It is often put forth as a middle ground between theism and atheism, though it is not a religious declaration in itself, and it is occasionally argued that the terms are not mutually exclusive, since agnosticism refers to knowledge, while atheism and theism refer to belief.”
I frankly don’t even know what that means. And I was calling myself agnostic? Well, I feel everyone goes through their weird phases. Ok. Maybe not everyone. But I have mine from time to time.
Although the process through which I turned religious was not an overnight one, I guess I never really lost faith in Hinduism throughout. Yes I know that sentence didn’t make any sense. Now I’m digressing.
Also I don’t think I ever became atheist, though I kept telling everyone that I was(much to the resentment of my mother). Now I feel stupid about saying something that even I was not sure of, and saying it so confidently too. I think it takes some time for an individual to realise certain things that he or she takes for granted throughout. Religion is one of those. I happen to know a lot of people who don’t feel happy saying that they belong to a particular religion or caste. I feel there’s nothing wrong in something like that.
Now, that doesn’t mean that I’m communal or casteist. It doesn’t mean that I’m secular either. I think secularism is a concept that wouldn’t hold good for a country like India. It actually means a separation of the Church from the Government. In India, religious institutions never had a hand in the Government. In fact, it is the other way around now. This is an example. Of course the author’s personal bias interferes with a factual representation.
Also, I don’t think it’s wrong for political leaders to identify themselves with a particular religion. It is their right as individuals. But a lot of people misunderstand this as a step taken to woo voters, or to divide and rule the country.