India: Really a land of miracles?

14 Nov

India is known as a land of wonders. Devotees gather to receive the blessings of the holy person. There have been stories about deities who drink milk, re-incarnations of past characters, etc. We often come across such incidents that defy logic.
INDIA IS reportedly a land of miracles – our miracle makers are holy persons by the dozens, who can pluck goodies from thin air and hand these over to the devotees who gather to receive the blessings of god through the holy person. But, there exists simultaneously, a whole horde of humanity, which does not get a square meal a day! It is rather illogical – the holy persons could have distributed their largesse with the lesser mortals and not the crorepatis, who throng to listen to his words of wisdom. There have been stories and movies on the topic of ‘how the west was won?’ The role of India in winning the west over had been kept under covers till now. It is now known that ‘the Indian rope-trick’ was, but a figment of imagination of those who wanted to dish out exotic fare to keep their flock intact. Flock, in this context, meant the dedicated group of subscribers who paid to read such writings, apart from the exploits of travelers who were always on the lookout for new horizons to conquer. So, the scribes invented stories like these and gave credit to India for being known as the land of the rope tricks!
The rope trick is really a very simple affair – the performer mumbles silent prayers, throws up a length of rope heavenwards till it becomes taut, climbs it and does a vanishing trick. Old time fakirs were experts at performing this trick. They would set up shop at street corners and the crowds would go gaga over their actions. The assistants of the fakirs would collect coins from the assembled patrons who would, then, go their ways. No one would wait to see if the fakir returned to earth, because no one knew how long he would remain in suspended animation! These rope-trickwallas were very popular in fairs and carnivals, until magicians descended on the scene to drive around the city with eyes blindfolded or make a complete train vanish in front your eyes. The latest is a woman magician, who claims to have acquired powers to cycle her way over water! Like when Moses parted the Red Sea.
Indians are adept in not just rope tricks but in any type of hoodwinking. For proof you have bureaucrats and ministers who, as per Income Tax statements filed with the IT department, claim to be running their families on the really meager salary and perquisites made available to them by the government. Ask them about their gold and silver assets, posh bungalows, farm houses, holiday resorts and they stare back at you with wide open eyes as if to say, “You mean to say I own all that?” Or, they grin and reply, “I have no idea what you are talking about.” Or, they signal to the pehalwan, standing behind them and walk away leaving it to the pehalwan to handle the sensitive issue in a suitable way. In the bargain, you would have made an enemy.

Indians are proud to have invented the zero, Indians knew all about aeroplanes, long before the Wright brothers even thought about it, Indians gave to the world the culture of rope tricks. We have in our midst sadhus, who claim to be able to cure any disease. These are not tall tales because the devotees include affluent persons and not only the illiterates from remote villages. Flash news informs us of deities who drink milk, of women who are reincarnations of past characters – in fact, at every step we come across incidents that defy logic. The truth is seldom known hence, these are collectively put under the head of ‘miracles’ – but do miracles really happen?

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