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Journeys with the caterpillar: Travelling through the islands of Flores
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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Urgent need for new gods

So, global warming has found its first significant victim and that’s the ice lingam (phallus) at Amarnath, one of the holiest sites for Hindus. After days of being present in a form resembling more a labium than a phallus, it has melted completely. Many devotees are secretly whispering that their god Shiva could no longer handle this public display of shrinkage and finally decided to retreat. More knowledgeable devotees are whispering that it’s a habitation shift to cooler areas akin to one witnessed in Iguazu national park.

But that brings forth a scary prospect. What do we do now that our most powerful god had to retreat in front of global warming? Can we wait till 2020 for Shiva’s phallus to return as many of the emission control plans by several governments kick in?

As it is common understanding to show utmost respect to all religious faiths and their practices (including female circumcision), asking believers to get used to the melting of an ice stalagmite is futile. Also, as no religion has a god or goddess for curbing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, we are left vulnerable to the effect of its excess. Of course one can pray to generalist gods as in the holy trinities of Christianity or Hinduism, but most agree that global warming is best to experts. A god specialized in GHG is the need of the hour. Any believer will attest that praying to a specialized god is much more rational solution to curb global warming compared to years of uncertain R&D efforts to reduce emissions. New gods are also needed to specialize on common problems like appreciating rupee hurting our IT services market and for arranging parking at shopping malls. Wasn’t life so much better in 1920s, when we had one god per capita as opposed to 0.33 now?

But coming up with new gods is a not-so-well understood process; probably not undertaken since the Vedic period (~1500 BC). Recent attempts in creating new gods and goddesses such as Vasundhara Raje Scindia, Advani, Jayalalitha, and Sonia Gandhi were met with widespread opposition. So what do we do? May be our would-be president, Pratibha Patil’s divine babas (saints) could help.


Anu said...

Don't you think Sri Sri Ravishankar, Mata Amritanandmayi, Baba Ramdev and several other Bapus and Matas are not the new GODs created in the new economy, most of them have huge Green Ashrams too...

Shivaji said...

Yes indeed...
Televangelicals worldwide are the most capable candidates for being new gods