Indian society since Vedic tmes’s has one fundamental character. That is faith or Bhakti. Unquestioned faith. Blind faith. Blind Bhakti.

Now all religions are based on faith. But with India it’s different. Hinduism is not a monolithic religion. Their faith is not directed towards only one God. Our Bhakti is with anything that can provide solace or a sense of well-being or maybe a sense of belonging with the dominant community.

This Bhakti can take various forms. It manifests in a variety of:

1. Festivals and celebrations right from Ganapati festival, Durga Puja, chat puja, Wari, Deepawali, so no and so forth.

2. Penance and fasting.

3. Going on pilgrimage to holy places which are spread throughout the country.

4. Attending religious discourses. Like Satsang, Pravachan and Kirtan.

Innate in the celebrations is the display of faith or Bhakti. Sometimes it is in sophisticated format but most of the times it manifests very crudely. There is a competitive behaviour to show who has the most Bhakti(faith) or who is the biggest Bhakt(faithful).

Now the point here is religions were formed or created with some rationale or logic. But this logic or rationale has to be understood with respect to those times thousands of years ago. The reasons for formation of religions are many but these are the few one can think of:

1. For the society’s well-being.

2. For its moral and spiritual growth.

3. It also was meant to uplift the fallen and give them entry in the main flow of the society. So as to enlarge the size of the religious society.

4. Peaceful coexistence.

Religions provided for some sort of discipline and placed value on good and moral behaviour. Religions were very important in the earlier part of human evolution in that, they provided a moral framework and helped a large group of people to live together in harmony and peace. The uniformity of the rituals, the prayer and worship venues and the way or methodology of worship gave the followers a sense of belonging and lead them to believe that their life has some higher purpose. This lead to a self importance which enriched their lives. The prayers and the worshipping also provided a release to the individuals from the stress and anxiety of their day to day living.

But due to the multitude of Gods and Saints and their varying ways of worship, what has happened is that in every region, zone, states, etc., different groups of people have devised their own way of worship. The central theme has remained the same but interpretations have changed, rituals have changed and the prominence of the different Gods have changed. These differences have evolved overtime to give them a character which maybe extremely different from each other. When these different people come on a common platform for example during social gatherings or for business or commercial reasons they see their differences very clearly. But to avoid highlighting their differences they highlight the common quality they have. And that common quality or character is faith or Bhakti. So Bhakti has been gaining prominence over all other tenets of religion such as moral code, dress code, rituals and worship methods etc., if one sees the religious India one can easily realise that Bhakti is the most prominent or dominant mindset. If one person travels to another very different part of our country he has no qualms in praying to the God that is worshipped there. That happens subconsciously. And that is due to Bhakti. We see our God in their God. That is because of our very strong sense of faith our Bhakti.

So one can realise that having faith comes naturally to us. Without faith we cannot survive our day to day existence. We don’t get the sense of fulfilment without having faith in somebody or something. And that faith is blind without preconditions. Unconditional faith.

But sadly due to the strict societal regimentation, social hierarchy, differences in language and differences in physical features, having virulent and a violent faith also comes naturally to us. Just a trigger is required. And triggers there are plenty.

Also when there are problems or adverse conditions or somebody wants something very badly or out of turn, then faith is the only recourse to him. And there is nothing better than political faith in a democracy.

On this background one can clearly understand the bhakt phenomenon currently prevalent in India.

People have their real and perceived grievances, their own altered perceptions about others in the society, a mistaken belief of victimhood or a false sense of entitlement. How to get what one wants? How to solve the multiple contradictions in their own mind and how to understand the multiple contradictions in the extremely hierarchical and extremely diverse society they are living in? It’s a very difficult thing for a common person. And extremely difficult for a bigoted and a narrow minded person.

So instead of solving it is better to run away from it. And running away means hiding from the problem and finding solace in Bhakti. Because we feel our faith is a great force that can move things. And this faith is directed towards a God or a Saint(Baba’s) or a Human Being who might seem to have Super-human powers.

Now on this background arrives the Super Human. A Super Human who has led his life almost as a monk. Who has no known material assets. Who is an able administrator and a decisive leader. And who has a strong belief in an ideology. Add to this a cleverly built Super Human image with the help of creative media management, event management and branding. Social media is bombarded with the virtues and abilities of this Super Human. Digital Media is no different. And Lo!! a DemiGod is born. In fact a God is created. An extremely powerful God. The rest is left to the Indian mindset of Bhakti. And then one can understand why legions of bhakts are born overnight. The mission has been extremely successful.

Now it remains to feed the bhakts with tit-bits of perceived wins and successes. An aggressive posturing along with divine benevolence and the faith gets stronger and stronger day by day. A mass movement is created more powerful than any religious movement in India. And not only created but it is sustained very well. Even the huge religious gatherings like Wari and the KumbhMela’s pale into insignificance.

Kudos to the people behind this. They have done a great job. A job which would have seemed impossible to any other. A job nobody in their wildest dream would have thought of being possible.


P.S. There are many other contributing factors behind the faith of a large group of Indian in the current political leadership but Faith or Bhakti is the largest contributor.