A video of women ‘Worshiping’ a kangaroo deity in rural India has gone viral. A kangaroo shaped garbage bin has been placed in the courtyard of a Hindu temple. Instead of using it for what it is, the rural unschooled women have started anointing it with the ritualistic vermilion, water, and flowers.
The Indian media and intellectuals have made it front-line news, mocking and berating the simple village women, who perhaps have never seen a kangaroo, for their superstitious upbringing. I think the Indian intelligentsia is stupid, and I am serious.
The core belief of Hinduism is something every unschooled villager has imbibed. That core belief is that this universe is one, integrated system where divinity resides in each one of us whatever be our denominational religion, skin colour, passport, sex or even species.
That core belief teaches us that human beings are not placed at the top of the food chain and we are not entitled to enslaving and killing animals for our food and other selfish fetishes. It teaches us that human beings are placed at the top of the conscience chain, so that we become noble trustees of our ecology, evolve continuously, develop sciences and practice ethics more consciously compared to animals and other sentient beings.
These villagers do not have access to the modern schools, where Indians are taught to become rational in the Western sense and obtain academic degrees to become commercially productive.
It is us the thought leaders and capitalists whose responsibility is to make an India where the benefits of global exposure and holistic wisdom spread to every village so that no one remains unschooled. It is a shame that we have not succeeded in getting there so far.
The joke is on us who hold on to the cleaving and violent beliefs that divide the society in to rich and poor and believers and apostates, that divide the nations into the developed and the third world, that divide the animals into humans and meat bags.
I respect the villagers who continue to innocently carry on the millennia-old tradition of being kind and affectionate to real animals and even their images. The elephants, mice, tortoises, snakes, lions, tigers and monkeys or their images in stone or canvas that I have met in temples have reminded me that the same divinity that is my essence is also their essence.
I adore the kangaroo deity. Do you?