It’s impossible to remain apolitical in the India of today. It is impossible to convince people that you are not blindly following one party or the other, one person or the other. It is impossible to explain to people that religion is not something you are born into, theism is a bit more about faith than it is about surnames. And being an apolitical atheist in the India of 2019 is like being a white elephant.
Well, no man can be truly apolitical, it is true. One must care about the political scenario since it impacts everyone’s lives. What kind of regime are you living under? Have you voted for change yet? Is there even a change you can vote for? Or a similar disillusion you have convinced yourself is the lesser evil somehow?
And no human can be a true atheist either. Even atheist have wondered upon the thought “What if there was a God?” before shrugging off the thought with a smirk of disbelief. But the simple act itself brings in the illusion of theism for a short while as the mind imagines the possibilities of one’s life’s course of action. To live as a non-believer and be condemned to hell if wrong? To live as a believer only to befool oneself for an entire lifetime? Blaise Pascal determined that it was better to believe in a God that did not exist than it was to not believe in a God that might exist.
So when I, an apolitical atheist feel utterly helpless by the people comprising this country around me, I pray. I pray to Blaise Pascal to pass on my prayers to God if she exists and to humor himself if he doesn’t. I say, “Let the men around me be kinder, gentler, more humane than they are or have been. Let the women around me be fiercer, bolder, bigger Goddesses than they are or have been. Let the children around me grow up in a world that is fair and just and maybe, just maybe I wouldn’t need to demand proof of the existence of a non-existent entity for a little shred of happiness in an otherwise pointless tormented life.”