The Union Minister for Rural Development Jairam Ramesh said, “This country has more temples than toilets”
The BJP reacted by saying, via Rajiv Pratap Rudy, said “Making of toilets and having faith in a religious place of worship are two different things. India is a multicultural country where we should have unblemished faith in a temple, a mosque, a gurudwara or a church. You cannot juxtapose the two,”
The Congress replied, via Manish Tewari, – “We respect the sanctity of every religious place irrespective of the community it belongs to. I do not know the statement attributed to Ramesh. Perhaps it could have been distorted and he is in the best position to explain. Congress party believes in sarvadharmasambhav. Equal respect for all religions. Equal respect for all religious places”,
While I am glad that the politicians at least respect some part of the common man’s life this deeply.
If only food prices attracted such sympathy.
But that aside, this whole business got me thinking on a different track.
Now I personally have never had the pleasure of performing before an audience, but if ever did find myself pants down in the chicken pose while the cool open air fanned my fanny, I wonder if I would give a shit about words like ‘juxtapose’ and ‘sarvadharmasambhav’.
In a situation like that, wherein I had to wash my ass while all of Mother Nature glowered judgmentally at my exposed balls, I would instead contemplate this – Do we actually have more temples than toilets?
The United Nations estimates that the backsides of close to half the living Indians in the country right now have an intimate relationship with the great outdoors.
The exact quote being –
“In 11 countries, a majority of the population still practices open defecation. Even in countries with rapidly growing economies, large numbers of people still must resort to this practice: 626 million in India, 14 million in China and 7 million in Brazil. Nearly 60 per cent of those practicing open defecation live in India.”
Side note: India in first place with 626 million, China in second place with 14 million? We REALLY out-shat the shit out of the competition, didn’t we?
Interesting figure that.
I wonder what would happen if 626 million Indians had no access to religion?
What if they prayed everyday just like they went to the loo – alone, in the open, with only a lota for company and five to ten minutes of SILENT but dedicated contemplation?
(And if you are a woman, then you get the added joy of flashing your ass to a thousand horny men while hoping you don’t get raped).
Presumably all time spent in solitary reflection – guided only by own common sense and without social pressure, mob mentality or a screaming priest – would create a race of super-divines at complete ease with themselves and at peace with the world.
Rationale sense would be as pervasive then as the stench of a million dumps taken on the footpath every day is right now.
I fear however, that most of our present politicians would not be joining us in Parliament because now they would be required to spend less time looting public funds while dividing us into ever smaller ‘reservations’, and more time actually do some work.
Without religion, castes or minority appeasement to get them elected, our representatives would be forced to focus on real problems – like building bloody toilets.
Also, 90% of Hindi serials (which feature homes with temples so elaborate that Varansi would blush) would find mature, adult ways of dealing with problems because no one would be quite so convinced that everything can be solved if the heroine stares weeping at a Mata Durga idol while “Jai Jai Durga” BLARES in the background on loop.
Side note: I have always presumed this to be some form of blackmail. The gods are being told – Do something else we are going to make this woman weep before you forever while we deafen you with endless repetitions of your name. Any god would cave in five minutes.
If 600 million Indians had less contact with god then perhaps they would stop giving so much of their wealth to tax-free money scams…err…I mean…temple donation boxes…and actually give that money to those fellow citizens to whom God has apparently told, “you want help? Suck it up, you pansies.”
If 600 million Indians grew up with no access to any religious establishment, then the shocking realization that more Indians can access temples than toilets would cause us to dig latrine pits so deep, the shit in the bottom would float because the mass of the earth would above it.
But such a day has not come and will probably never come.
Like so much else in this country, access to the less useful is more popular and widespread while getting the essential is completely ignored and barely possible.
Are there more temples than toilets?
But try it this way –
Does India have more communalism than commodes?