#Such-is-Life Staff Picks - Archived

Health activists fume after Minister for Religious Beliefs finds temples more important than toilets


Sanitation is the world’s largest burning, yet solvable problem.

When Ramrahim Ramesh, the Union Minister for Propagation of Religious Beliefs, said on Monday that “temples should be more important than toilets in this country”, little did he know that his well-meaning remark would draw so much protest. The poor minister was in the shock of his life when stupid social health activists and environmentalists made an issue out of it. “The Minister must apologize. 665 million people in India defecate in the fields every morning, and this is unacceptable from a Minister!” said an apparently uneducated health activist.

The Minister was speaking at a religious gathering (night-time jaagran) in New Delhi. The remark drew wide applause at the ceremony. The jaagran had wise and sensible devotees playing loud bhajans and pravachans from midnight till dawn in a locality where we later met several students who could not study for the exam next day due to the disturbance. But of course, the Minister and the devotees are honourable men, and indeed there should be more importance given to religion than toilets in India.

A silly TV channel advocating for proper sanitation in India. They should understand that the actual shame is that India doesn’t still have enough temples.

Meanwhile, to the idiots who protested and ridiculously claimed that toilets are more important in this developing country, Ramesh later retorted, “So will those people go to a toilet to pray? Hell, God is sort of everywhere, but in toilets?! Will toilets take this country out of trouble?” The Minister denied to apologize with the usual “comments-blown-out-of-proportion” remark, because he said religion is a good cover for everything (in)sensible in this country, and there is no need to bow down to pressure.

A Brahmin pandit from Varanasi, who has an expertise in the very Godly art of caste discrimination, went a step further and said that there should be more temples for higher castes than for Dalits. He allegedly beat up some peaceful pro-sanitation protesters near the banks of the Ganges. This reporter now plans to write to the government to suggest adding these ideas to the next Five Year Plan for fast economic growth in India, the rising superpower. The Brahmin apparently earns his bread by stealing women’s clothes while they take bath in the Ganges. When the poor woman comes embarrassed, the Pandit Charming comes to the damsel in distress and sells her a previously-stolen set of clothes in exchange of hard-earned cash. We suggest that the pandit be awarded the Bravery Award (or Award for Best Business Practices?) for successfully using his religious attire to help women in times of need.

Another Ramesh supporter, who is a strict vegetarian looking for buffaloes to kill on Dusshera, told us, “The people who are advocating more clean toilets should be hanged, as they are the true enemies of this country. Toilet cleans the digestive system, but to cleanse your heart, you have to go to the temple.” This supporter claims he goes to a temple every Tuesday to pray for a male child, ever since he killed his child at birth for being a girl. He has never felt the need of a toilet and pees on the roads of the city to keep them clean and green. And, his wife has to wait for dark to defecate even in serious situations. They still feel temples are more important than toilets.

The NTMN View: Faith aside, we shouldn’t deviate from the issue, when a Minister wants to make proper sanitation a reality in India. Jairam Ramesh may be insensible, but all practices that occur in the name of religion aren’t clean either. The Brahmin’s example of stealing clothes is a true story from Varanasi. So, let’s look at the issue at hand, and that is sanitation.


About the author

Tanay Sukumar

I founded this website in 2009. I served as Editor-in-Chief from November 2009 to May 2013.
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