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Why Does ‘God’ Have A Singular Meaning In India?

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By Ojaswini Srivastava:

We live in a high society. We live a totally prejudiced life. We all suffer from the pangs of prejudice and hypocrisy everyday. By ‘we’, I refer to all the atheist and agnostics.


My belief in god in not ‘idol worship’. I don’t believe in going to temples and participating in aartis. I don’t believe in standing in long lines of shrines like Vaishno Devi or Tirupati Balaji to get a glimpse of ‘god’ and feel I have done my religious duty. I rather believe in the theory of self-god. For me, god is what I make of myself. I am my own god. My conscience is my god. I believe in karma, not god. And there are hundreds of other people in our country who believe the same. But how many will actually be able to say it to our parents? I don’t think even 5%. That is the problem.

Most of us belong to families that cannot stand the notion of someone not believing in god. They cannot accept that one of their own children is not a follower of the idol-worship system that has been a custom since generations. The best way out for such a child is to bear a double face. He must join his family in the various pujas, aartis and pilgrimages and secretly disbelieve. A life of hypocrisy is therefore the most ideal one for all atheists, agnostics, spirituals and anti-idol-worshipers.

I am not being insensitive, critical or biased to anyone’s religious sentiments. All I intend to say is there are people with different beliefs in all religions. But sadly, our society has no room for such people. Most Indian families are god fearing. That is good, one must believe in something superior to them so that they can lead a better life. If one assumes they are the master of the world and there is no greater power than them, it can be destructively dangerous. God is good therefore. God is essential I say. But why does god has to be a singular-meaning concept?

How long shall our society be prejudiced to all other beliefs? Many people don’t believe in god, many believe in god but not idol-worship, many doubt the concepts of god, and I, on behalf of all of them, question why cannot we have such diverse beliefs and a society that accepts them all cordially? Fasting, pujas, aartis, pilgrimages and all such beliefs should be a personal choice. Let children grow up and decide what beliefs they want to preach and not force them into one because being a half-hearted believer is the worst form of religion. Don’t you agree?

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  1. Madhuri

    well, i belong to a very pious family and i dnt give a damn if god exists or not.. N i have been very open about my views for more than 10 years now.. n made it even more clear with the religious heads of my community,. I guess it all begins with u.. one has to be strong n bold about his opinions n respect it.. then only others will respect.. even i saw all the aww’s n oohhs ..but didnt give a damn.. its ur life at last n live the way u want.. n my personal beliefs dnt hurt anyone.. so wat the hell

  2. ronak


  3. Prashant

    You have an extremely superficial knowledge of ‘Hinduism’. Do you know there do exists sects like ‘Arya Samaj’, within the folds of Hinduism, who don’t believe in Idol worship at all. Do you also know that ‘Hinduism’ is so stretchable to even accommodate ‘Atheists’ within its fold ?
    And these diverse groups have been happily co existing for more than several thousand years..
    I beg you, please do a proper research before writing on such topics.

    1. teryvak

      Exactly! No fresh insights or perspective. This article is like a second grade moral lesson ugh

  4. desi

    God is you but to understand you have to start with baby step called murtipuja. Idol worship is misnomer of murtipuja. Its not easily explainable, you have to go through it.. Islam and Christianity claims they do not believe in idol worship but they are killing or converting people on the same either you worship caba or cross, both represent murit/idols.

  5. Deepak

    I find your views very progressive. We need to hear more of such voices. What you say about hinduism holds very true about christianity too (my religion). I agree that not holding onto ‘traditional beliefs’ is frowned upon in all Indian families, whatever our religion. I suspect there were always voices like yours that broke the mould and forged their own part. However, only the very few around such people were aware of the ‘why’, how’,what made them, etc.. Thanks to technology and social media, a lot more people are aware of voices like yours. So keep it coming, there will always be people who will take courage from your way of thinking and your way of writing.

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