My ebook: Journeys with the caterpillar

My ebook
Journeys with the caterpillar: Travelling through the islands of Flores
and Sumba, Indonesia
" is available at
this link

Thursday, August 21, 2008

How televangelists saved the world

Every morning, televangelists rule the world as they mesmerize millions of people and help them spend another 30 minutes separating them from their death. These stardog champions, saviors of middle class souls, never get frustrated even though despite all their preaching to save the world Georgia keeps fighting Russia and Will Smith slapped Charlize Theron. Everyday, surrounded by groupies, they deliver their “Sermon on the TV channel”, making fun of behavior by lesser mortals and their foolish situation of having to work to make a living. One wonders if the biblical Original Sin would ever have been committed if the mythical Adam and Eve had access to television channels.

When I first saw a televangelical show in India, with the face of a man occupying almost the entire screen, I initially thought that pictures of lost and found people were being telecast. Only later did I realize that they are future Woodstock stars who know it all. Some even use selective findings from physiology and particle physics to support their sermons. I heard this the other day from an Indian televangelist:

Matter is made of atoms. Atoms from protons, electrons and neutrons which are in turn made from elementary particles like quarks, bosons and leptons. These elementary particles are made from emptiness and when we die our soul goes to emptiness. So everything is ultimately made from our souls.

Eloquent, confident, and seemingly rational; only the Blair Witch Project comes somewhat close to such mastery.

Even though televangelism began as a uniquely protestant American phenomenon, its success in countries from India to Saudi Arabia with very different religious contexts proves that everybody loves instant noodles and instant spiritualism. It has been such a superhit in India that even news channels fill much of their morning slots with such sermons. They are particularly popular among newly married women who can gain immediate credibility with the in-laws by feigning an enormous libido for such shows every morning during her first week as a wife.

A big benefit of televangelical shows is that once recorded, it can be re-telecast an infinite number of times without the audience getting bored of it. Also one can start watching at any time during the show, a trait only displayed by two other shows; Teletubbies and Roadrunner. But what does it take to be a televangelist star? Apart from pleasant looks, soothing voice, a repertoire of politically correct jokes and some basic knowledge of religious texts, one needs to have a strong spine. After all, most televangelists have to remain in the same posture for hours. Therefore, a good stomach and a strong bladder are also recommended so that one doesn’t need toilet breaks during the production.

Try imagining a world where scientists and economists have their own shows in the lines of televangelical shows: officials from Central Bank explaining monetarism with Pentecostal fervor; thousands of Indian housewives tuning in everyday to know more about Schrödinger’s cat the first thing in the morning to impress their in-laws. Of course such a world is possible only when continents reassemble to form Pangea, the ancient continent again. Till then, having long forgotten and ignored rational education at schools, adult middle class people will have to understand physics or other sciences from these televangelists only.


Bulla_ki_jaana said...


Reading your blog is amusement prime time!

Shivaji said...

@bulla ki jaana