HELL IN HEAVEN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The prevalence of all forms of crimes and sexual abuse in religious institutes is nothing new ,but the horrifying stories from the Churches of Kerala (Sex, Scandal & the Church-Cover story, OUTLOOK, July 25,2012) literally sent shivers up my spine. If this is the state of sexual activities in the homes of God, supposedly close to heaven , then one wonders, what hell would be? And if drinking, womanizing, indulging in pornography and unacceptable sexual indulgence is the code of conduct of these guardians of religion, then one wonders what would be a poise life for a common man. All this is however not new. Power games, financial rackets and sexual scandals are well known not only in Churches but in establishments of all religions. Sexual abuse of woman and kids has existed since eternity and customs like those of Devdasis had been given social sanctity. In fact one of the major purposes of the enrolment of women and children in such establishments has been with the intension of satisfying the sexual needs of the Demi Gods of religions. The social trend of patriarchal supremacy has existed ,globally, in all religions ,in the Homes of God ,too. The males here, have been sexually abusing women and children since religion came into existance and there is probably more sexual exploitation, sodomy, paedophilia and homosexuality within the gates of these supposedly sacred four walls, than in the world outside! Initially it is forced but gradually it becomes an acceptable evil, with no alternative ,nowhere to run and no one to complain to!

The horrendous acts committed by these perpetrators of religious and social laws cannot be condoned and need strict action and the toughest punishment. In fact they deserve double the punishment than a common man indulging in a similar crime, because stealing ,while guarding a property is an doubly serious act than just stealing it. Similarly indulging in these heinous acts, while being the preachers and guardians of religion ,and that too within the holy premises of heavens on earth, is unpardonable.

It would however be unfair on my part to blame solely, the people involved in this ,because much of the onus of these deplorable trends ,goes to the religious systems and social norms. Majority of people accepting life in religious institutes is not by choice of the individuals but due to circumstances, by force or as a family profession. Secondly sex is a basic need of a human being, and in these circumstances, following the imposed celibacy is not only very difficult and but almost impossible. These ex inmates of the churches and other religious institutes, who have mustered the courage to expose the darkness in the hallowed edifices, should be complimented, protected and listened to. The warning of these whistle blowers is a cry to herald changes. The present days primitive norms have existed since almost twenty centuries and anything that stays stagnant is sure to start to rot and stink. It’s high time that the religion and society moved ahead to change these prevailing non acceptable ,abnormal and almost inhuman customs! Acceptance by anyone, willingly or forcefully, to spend whole life in celibacy , within four walls and under the strict norms is actually going against the normal behaviour and nature of mankind. Why can’t the guardian of these religious establishments be permitted to have a family and lead a normal life. Will that make them less human, or can it interfere in their religious duties!

Its high time that the religious bodies, society and judiciary join hands to bring radical reforms in the norms and the functional systems of religious bodies and homes, to bring an end of these nightmares where people go for peace, solace and a new dawn!

Brig Sanjay Kapoor VSM

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