After a whole day of travel from Karuizawa in Japan to Chennai in India, I was exhausted. Without asking me as usual, my mother booked film tickets for the movie PK for a couple of us, running a nearby cinema. Starring Amir Khan and Anushka Sharma, it was undoubtedly pretty famous around town. To summarise the plot, it was about an alien who was lost on earth and had his “remote” stolen, his only tool of survival. People he meets from around town tell him of “God”, the one and only greatest being who could grant anything by his wishes. He attempts following all religions, practicing all without fail, but doesn’t find his remote. Stumped by the unfairness of it all, he spreads his made up theory of the “wrong number”, stating that man’s wishes aren’t reaching god, and hence the entire system is messed up with priests and holy men the cause of it all. What follows after is the whole debate-and-controversy, once finally proving his point, this alien called “PK” is able to travel back home. In my opinion, this film boldly confirmed the absurdity of blind beliefs and the numerous values and practices associated with it, which got me thinking.
Masses of the world’s population, especially indian, have faith in god, the all-knowing intellectual being. How did religion become such an important part of our lives? Obviously, once the story of a great soul like Allah or Jesus is spread and is widely accepted, followers begin to pray and land their faith in these idols. They create prayers, superstitions, and beliefs, forming this religion spread worldwide. Besides this age-old craze, today’s youth aren’t extremely into such age-old beliefs. They have their family’s tradition passed on and unquestioningly follow it, or perhaps they have a pretty limited option as to what they can choose. Although human rights are granted to every being on the planet, oppressed nations and borders have citizens with no idea of the world outside theirs. Although the religious identity of an individual is no big deal, once a person begins to question, insult or mock at a religious idol, he or she is doomed. The 2015 shootings of France and nearly all terrorist attacks are a result of religious intolerance, which also make contribute to the enormous gross budget of films like PK and OMG. Undoubtedly, religion has had one of the deepest influences on mankind. Once a person puts in faith into an idol, and worships it for better days, praising it’s greatness, it ensures this devotee that his or her wishes will be answered. Millions of devotees can’t bear to see their idol mocked at, as their beliefs in this supernatural force is much more deeply ingrained than shallower objects they are attached to, like their new car or favourite ice-cream flavour.
Although science by all means is more rational than religious superstitions, this doesn’t stop the most educated men and women with diplomas and degrees from following a religion they believe in. Although in some ways, religion has taken a turn into business and commercialisation with construction of idols, maintenance of temples and churches and selling of books, movies and CDs with prayers and choir songs, it contributes enormously to human culture and development. Places of worship like temples and mosques have artwork with skill rewarded by international agencies like the UNESCO, contributing to the tourism industry. All religions emphasise upon peace and goodwill towards other men, respecting nature and other creatures, working hard and general moralistic values taught in the yearly years of school. The enormous gurdwaras and mosques feed free lunches for all devotees, from far and near.
Although PK brings out the stark reality about illogical and slightly overrated religious beliefs, it brings fourth a really important source influences who the modern man is today-his religion, which brings about an identity, knowledge of the all-knowing god and the and an “internal home” to mankind, still promising a better life.