Jul 9, 2009
News flashes of the portrayal of a Hindu deity seated atop a meat sandwich in an American fast food advertisement have been hitting the television screens incessantly. The act has indeed hurt the sentiments of our Hindu brethren and needs to be condemned for the disrespect shown.
This is however, not a novel encounter for us. We have been hearing of religious sentiments being hurt more often than not. Not too long ago, we witnessed massive protests worldwide, concerning the cartoon episode of a Danish newspaper showing Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in bad light. Most of us might remember the dissent shown by our Hindu brethren for the depiction of a ‘Hanuman-like’ monster in the Hollywood flick Tomb Raider. Nor have the ripples created by Da Vinci Code regarding Jesus Christ (pbuh) faded away from our memories.
Such incidents have been popping up quite consistently off late. Perhaps they would not have appeared to be that consistent had the media not popularized them. Whether the media should go on and make the dishonor caused known to the world is a different subject altogether. However, one does get the feeling that a lot of corporate and commercial interests prevail behind these ‘strategies’.
Generally speaking, the corporate world considers religion in general as its enemy. There is a good reason to be. Religion advocates a simple life, devoid of lavish spending, greater importance to charity, truth and honesty and several such ethoses. This philosophy of religion that disregards the materialistic way of life, acts as a thorn in the flesh of the commercial powers. For a person who believes in life after death in the true sense of the term, it will not make a difference whether he owns a Mercedes or not. He is more concerned about making it to heaven in the next life, which would be given to him on the basis of his deeds in this world. In other words, if people start following and practicing religion in its true perspective, it would mean disaster for the corporate interests and the markets across the globe are likely to go as flat as a pancake.
This is the reason why we find a lot of anti-religion propaganda in the world today. The means and methods may differ. It could be bombarding the minds of the people by making baseless allegations that religion advocates terrorism, or that religion is against homosexuality and therefore against ‘human rights’, or that religion facilitates fundamentalism and thereby curbs freedom of speech and expression, so on and so forth.
If not this way, the corporate world tries to paint religion in its own colours. An example of that is the unveiling of the ‘Jesus in Jeans’ statue in Essex, East London that took place in May earlier this year. It is a statue that represents Jesus Christ (pbuh) on the cross wearing baggy jeans accompanied by a casual shirt with buttons open. Jesus Christ (pbuh) said ‘Follow me’. What an irony we see today as to who is compelling to follow whom.
Similarly you have the hijab fashion shows wherein women are made to walk the ramp displaying burkhas that are tight and figure revealing in nature – going against the very concept and objective of hijab.
Commercial activities today, are in the driver’s seat. The world’s busy saying ‘It all about money honey’. But all said and done, money might buy you a palace or an aircraft, but not internal peace, which is attained in the true sense of the term by submitting one’s will to Almighty God
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