Modern Legal Systems VS Ancient Religious Beliefs

Modern Legal Systems VS Ancient Religious Beliefs

by October 19, 2018 0 comments

The constant disagreement and collision between modern legal systems and ancient religious beliefs is bound to happen more often than not.

Belief in a higher power, faith, as we would call it, has been an essential component of humanity since the first human being capable of cognitive thinking emerged on the planet. After all what was our purpose on this planet? Who put us here and what did the future hold in an often dangerous planet with forces of nature far beyond our comprehension and prediction let alone the ability to control them. Organised religion as we know, dates back to 2000 BCE if one considers the time when the first basic beliefs of the Zoroastrian faith were formulated. The earliest tents of Hinduism and Judaism date back to 1000 BCE.  The problem is that living in this modern age of communication technology and the fact that you can cross half the planet in a single hop in under a day is something that people, who wrote those ancient scriptures, could never have imagined, no matter how powerful the hallucinogens they took. There was disease, pestilence and constant war back then, women were bartered as commodities and wars over minor slights killed thousands. Communities and possibly religions were swept away in tsunamis or buried under volcanic ash. Because people those days knew no better. We do know better today but many still believe in ancient wisdom, and make no mistakes, some of the words in all our scriptures are very powerful and hold good even today. But some beliefs should hold no place in a modern, forward-looking society.

The question however is not whether we should change those beliefs but we should change those beliefs. It is not easy and to pretend that those who believe will not fight back or refuse to change no matter how compelling the reasons to change is irrational. And that is what we see happening at Sabarimala right now. The Supreme Court feels it is upholding the constitution, but it has ignored the beliefs of millions who are, rightly, in their opinion deeply hurt and troubled. Unfortunately in Sabarimala, India’s deadly democratic dance is playing a role with opposing sides being taken and making matters worse. To pretend that such change would not have been violent is almost criminally negligent by the authorities. And for the Supreme Court justices, sitting in Delhi to believe that with the stroke of pen such change can be enforced seems bizarrely naive.  Changing beliefs is, for better or for worse, a long and painful process which has been evident in the schisms and trauma that afflicted Europe in the late-middle ages. But those changes led to the remarkable scientific and artistic progress of the Renaissance and beyond and took Europe to a higher plane. In India, our beliefs should also evolve to reflect the times we live in, but the state and the judicial system should be wary of trying to hasten the process, lest things get much worse before they get better.

Writer and Courtesy: The Pioneer

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