Narcotics speak no religion
Anabel Hernandez, the well-known Mexican journalist has penned a report on the drug cartels around the world. The report, published by dw.com, one of the leading media houses in Germany begins this way: "Afghanistan and Mexico might appear distant from one another on a world map and are also separated by major historical, sociological and religious differences. But the Taliban and Mexican cartels are united by the fact that that they are both financially dependent on drug trafficking and use extreme violence to expand their political power and control of territory.''
The fact that Myanmar is the third nation in this triumvirate in the global production and traffic of opium along with Afghan and Mexico also merits our attention. The majority of the population of these three countries follow Islam, Christian and Buddhist religions respectively. Religion might be the opium of the people, but narcotics have neither religion nor colour.
We shouldn't also forget the opium wars between China and Britain. These wars were fought mainly to have free access to the Chinese markets for the corporates in the West including the East India Company. The Indian farmers were brutally exploited by the East India Company in its quest to control the cultivation of poppies and the trade of opium.
And those who lament over Afghan being the epicentre of opium should not fail to see the forever war fought by America during the last 20 years on the Pashtun soil. It's no longer a secret that the Taliban was nurtured and nourished by the Pak - America project which aimed the destabilization of the Soviet Union. The smear of narcotics can't be attributed to any nation or religion in particular. Any attempt to do so definitely smacks of vested, political interests.
Nothing originates in a vacuum. The observation that war clouds gather over the borders when the regime faces domestic crises is highly relevant here. There is a clear cut context to the concerns raised by the bishop of Pala on love jihad and narcotic jihad. The move to polarise the society along the communal lines comes when the Syro Malabar Church looks deeply divided over the 'uniform liturgy'. The question is whether the celebrant should face the congregation or the altar while offering the holy mass. Many of the faithful are up against the decision of the synod which they feel is regressive and undemocratic in nature. It should also be recalled that the concept of love jihad was taken up by the same Syro Malabar Church when Cardinal Alencherry was deep in the midst of the property scandal and Bishop Franco was accused of sexually harassing a group of nuns.
It cannot be ruled out that the Churches in Kerala have started trudging along the path prepared and opened up by the Sangh Parivar knowingly or unknowingly. Institutional suspicion and fear of Muslims have been an apt cover for all the problems with in Hinduism that included the discrimination against the Dalits. The Hindutva forces captured power at the centre when the Hindu - Muslim unity, postulated and propounded by Chaudhary Charan Singh, Mulayam and Lalu Prasad Yadav, was giving shape to new political equations in India.
Putting the Muslims in the dock is a political strategy. It is a strategy that is saleable in India in any climate. The Christian society in Kerala must realise the danger when the Pala bishop and co walk into this trap willingly. The investigative agencies and judiciary have made it crystal clear that there is no substance in the much touted love jihad. Then the vested interests scout for something else and invent narcotics jihad. The devil is of course in the details. So where is the devil here? The scrutiny of the bishop's speech does not provide any insight into the devil i.e. narcotics jihad. We don't find any evidence that pinpoints the unholy liaison between a particular community and narcotics.
Narcotic business is anti-societal and anti-people. It's a crime against humanity. And it's the duty of those who hold responsible positions to come forward and submit the evidence of this crime before the investigative agencies. If they are not doing it that means only one thing that they are simply generalising the issue aiming to sow the seeds of disturbance in the society.
Kerala has been enjoying religious harmony for quite a long time. We shouldn't forget that Kerala remained peaceful even on December 6, 1992 when Babri masjid was demolished. The religious and political leaders were not led by the mob then. When the leaders, who should lead the mob into the pastures of sanity and wisdom, are led by the mob, they turn out to be the scourge and cross of the society.
It is heartening that there are still voices of the wise. The nuns, who walked out of a prayer service at a church in Kuravilangadu protesting against the anti - muslim stand by the priest, are the torch bearers of wisdom amidst this engulfing darkness. They are the same nuns who fought against bishop Franko, who is accused of being a sexual predator.
Let me quote Sisters Anupama, Alphy, Ancitta and Josephine: 'What Christ has taught us is to love everyone, to love one's neighbours and not seed communalism. We reacted when we felt that the priest was saying things contradictory to what Christ teaches us.'
It seems Christ has gone out of the churches these days. He must be feeling the pain of crucifixion once again. And we are bound by duty to pronounce it to the public that the journey that the bishop of Pala has undertaken is not at all christian either in letter or in spirit.