While having a chitter-chatter on my ultra favourite topic (Erosion of our indigenous faith/culture) I was told that our “Indigenous faith” is very much an “offshoot” of a certain majoritarian religion for they both have many similarities. Well, if we put it that way, all the religions are similar in one way or other, the most essential being the basic tenets of love, fraternity & humanity.
Converting or taking up a different faith is one’s choice. However, assimilating practices from other faith, something so alien to our ancestors and calling it “Indigenous” is nothing but blatantly “wrong.” Imagine the horror that our ancestors would experience if they witnessed the worship of a “photo”/ sculpture in form (we didn’t have a God in any form, it was abstract), lighting of incense sticks and the fancy offerings, chanting of verses in a language so alien from our mother tongue.
Also to the people who opine that we should leave all these behind and move “forward” with the “civilised world”..well, I think it is utterly rubbish to think that we need to “blend in” or incorporate practices from other faiths in order to stay “relevant.” Change is inevitable, no question on that. However, it shouldn’t be “imposed” or unnatural. Let it be gradual and organic. It is an established fact that faith or religion is not a unidimensional evolutionary process. The very reason we have hundreds of belief systems and even multiples of sub-sects is because every other place has a specific socio-geo-eco-physical environment in which their belief system was customarily developed. Even the practitioners of same faith in different places will have certain customisations/differences.
What more to say? We all are to blame, for although the outsiders have been imposing it on us, we have been readily absorbing it up like a dry sponge. Some aware, but mostly unaware of the long term consequences. Just hoping that we don’t end up like the tribals in other part of the country (especially central India) that have lost their way of life, have nothing indigenous on them, but still unaccepted by the majoritarian society whose faith/culture/way of life they have inculcated/emulated. “Na ghar ka, na ghat ka.” And all this started with the step by step, little-by-little dilution of their faith.