Business As Usual

It was just another weekend for her as a professional comedian; one where she could regale the crowd and take away their sorrows, if only for an hour or two. Today’s theme was religion – a business that never ceases production. Quips and jests were made over an ingrained concept that has created multiple global massacres, bloodshed and extortion, and she pulled no punches. A standing ovation was duly received.

The following morning, there was a knock at her door. She opened it to find a graphic note, that was unlike anything she’d ever seen. She hastily dumped it into the bin. Soon, a deluge of anonymous calls followed. Requests for apologies over hurt sentiments. Then came the social media spite. Some people called for her sacking, others, for her head. The rape threats plodded along, with other forms of vile degradation. In a country where women are regarded as Gods, the irony of people’s beliefs seemed to elude them.

Eventually, while constantly sobbing, she was escorted to her cell, where she was jailed until her hearing. It became the focal point of discussion on prime time news debates, where the word ‘ jihad ‘ was randomly thrown around.

The officer moved back to his seat, sipping a hot cup of tea. In the background, a religious seer’s speech blared on the 14 – inch television, where he commanded women of his community to birth at least 4 children, to combat the ‘ minority’s overpopulation ‘. Radicalized religious groups brutalized protesters, and were rewarded by politicians for ‘ participation in nation – building ‘. An 8 year old from a lower caste was murdered, but her body was cremated at midnight by officials to hush up the incident. In India, religion is a business. And that business was running smoothly.

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