Essay No. 57:
The Devotional Believers Coin Baseless Stories About Their Gurus: The statement shows the devotion of followers for their spiritual/political guides. The followers unnecessarily coin fantastic stories about their spiritual guides in order to raise their image in the eyes of others. They can narrate their miraculous powers to the people in order to convince them of their spiritual strength. The devotional believers thus raise their guides to unknown heights. They are seen doing such things as could earn them the pleasure of their gurus.
The phenomenon takes place in primitive societies, where the hold of religion is strong. People are bound by beliefs, religious dogmas and these encourage hero-worship in societies, which are devoid of enlightenment, progressivism. Mostly the illiterate, the ignorant are the followers of certain religious guides, who exploit this weakness of the people mostly to their advantage. The followers come out with stories which are designed to expose the supernatural powers of their gurus.
There are a number of religious centres in Pakistan, where people go to seek recipes for the salvation of their soul. Some religious mystics who do not have any interest in worldly things or possessions, guide followers to cleanse their souls of dirty worldly impurities. All the same, followers do not hesitate to narrate the greatness of their guides before others. By doing so, they aim at earning the pleasure of their gurus (guides). Some are attached to religious guides for seeking their material advancement in addition to the spiritual. Multi-motives are involved in following religious guides.
In a democratic setup, some people are emotionally attached to certain political personages, whom they worship for one reason or the other. The followers take their political guides as redeemers. They tie their loyalty with the political guides, for whom they work day and night to outshine them in the eyes of the public. Hero ship is the instinct of man, and this indication creates certain personality-enclaves in a society.
People love certain leaders whom they think capable of delivering the goods effectively. In western society, certain political leaders with charismatic personality create their followers, who work for them as workers. There is no blind following. People are educated and capable of distinguishing between good and wrong. They can easily judge the credentials of the leaders.
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Even if some eulogize certain personality’s people are not going to believe in them blindly. Education helps them to judge who is genuine and who is in-genuine. It is unlike a traditional society like Pakistan where the ignorant gullible could be duped so easily. People in Western society apply rational norms to determine the soundness and unsoundness of things.
With the spread of education in Pakistan, things are going to change for the better. The present tendency of blind hero-worship in the field of religion would decline with the occurrence of economic development and the spread of growth values in Pakistan. Religion’s role in man’s life cannot be questioned.
However, the need of the time is to come out of the conventional interpretation of Islam and to reinterpret it in light of the changing conditions. The basic principles need not be touched. However, the solution of problems needs to be discovered according to the existing socio-economic trends.