Saturday, October 4, 2008

Heavenly outsourcing

As we know, much of the USA is extremely religious - and not just in a contemplative, spiritual sense but in a very aggressive, God-and-bible-are-the-literal-truth sense. One would be hard put to distinguish an American religious fundamentalist from his or her counterpart in other countries that are more commonly considered fundamentalist.

But the US is also a liberal democracy and there's a small but accepted tradition of taking potshots at God. The latest in this trend appears to be a movie called "Religulous" (=Religion+Ridiculous) that releases in the US today, to mixed reviews (but no mob violence, please note).

In the meanwhile I wanted to share with you something quite hilarious that I got off the website "disbeliefnet.com" which is linked from the Religulous website. It's a take-off on an opinion poll, with the question:

"What if God is busy, and your prayers are being answered by some guy in Bombay?"

The allowed answers are:

(i) Then you should be prepared to wait a very long time before your prayer is answered.

(ii) Hope that the guy in Bombay has a good working knowledge of currency exchange rates before you make the big ask.

(iii) If America can outsource, so can Heaven.

4 comments:

samudrika said...

I am looking forward to that movie too! In the meantime I usually go to http://www.jesusandmo.net/ or http://lolgod.blogspot.com/ for my daily fix.

B. SUNDER said...

Either this is a racist comment or too foolish as a thought process. "Thoughts create words, words create actions and actions is what all human being are about" is what my grand ma taught me or rather most of us in our culture are taught so, and hence the invisible conscience and good thoughts are must rooted in us.

But America is following up the reverse path to this doctrine. For their information, today we call it outsourcing and Americans feel that they are either loosing jobs or they are giving us opportunity to answer their calls and make a living. We Indians might be feeling that they are foolish and stupid and are actually dependent on us. Silly how people from both side think so opposite on the same issue. Outsourcing or importing goods(instead of services) has always been there since the dawn of civilization and culture exchange.
Even in our epics & myths we hear about this all the time, when Gods created a All Powerful Woman called Durga to fight the Demons. What was that? An Outsourced Job! During the start of their nation building, they brought people from Africa to work for them and thats how Kipling phrased the doctrine, "Blacks are White Man's Burden", not exactly in the context of India. What was that? In-sourcing perhaps, but was another way of giving your work to some one else. Why the sudden hooplah about this?

On my personal opinion, Americans take freedom of speech too, way too far.

With regards
Sunder

Sunil Mukhi said...

Dear Sunder,

Of course it's a racist comment, but deliberately so, and the target of the joke is actually someone else. The comment was probably a parody of the thought process of an insular right-wing American, but applied to an issue that the very same people consider sacred, namely God.

On outsourcing itself, your points are well taken. They can also be taken close to home: in Bombay we outsource certain tasks (milk delivery, taxi driving) to Biharis and UP-walas. Yet a lot of people in the city get worked up about the presence of these outsiders.

It seems like the most primeval (or primitive) instinct of human beings is to get worked up about "outsiders"!

Shanth said...

Hartung's essay may not be off topic, when talking about religion and outsiders. Although he's talking about semitic religions a lot of it is applicable more generally to all social groups.