I believe, it was some time in the year 2003, there was a big noise in Raiganj and its surroundings about a sadhu coming down from the Himalayas, and going around the cities and country side in India. And then one day, while I was on my motorcycle, I found a great crowd of about 600 – 700 people following a naked man who had his hair flowing, walking stiff, with only a small trishul in his hand. There was a group of police men surrounding him, with another lot of police following on two vehicles. This is a man who had forgotten everything, and had no botheration about his nakedness being known to the world. He is Buddha, in a sense. But did he need so much of protection, if he had left everything? I wonder. Now, contrast this with what I saw on 14 Aug 2010 morning, the eve of Indian independence day. I was rushing in and out of Howrah railway station to look for a local train to go a little known village called Chaulakuri, in Sabang block of Paschim Medinipur district. I was on a mission, as UNICEF has requested me to support their partner non-profit organization to help them develop a detailed village disaster management plan. As I was getting out of one gate of the station to go to another gate of the station, I saw a plainclothesman was beating a young man who was naked, just a skeleton covered with skin, barely in his twenties, crumbling, and trying to hide his nakedness on the floor against a wall! It was so pathetic to see that the plainclothesman was beating him, and trying to push him out. I had nothing with me. I opened my briefcase, took the simple towel I had, and threw it on the man. I had to rush to catch the train! The people waited there. And here is a man who needs attention. In a dilemma, all that I could do was just that. To hide his shamelessness.
But why was the policeman in plain clothes beating him up? I could never answer this to myself. May be he should have walked with a sign of religion in his hand….and walked straight with a garland on his neck!
Our country is full of hypocrisy. And religion and authority have grown to support it.