Representational Image, Courtesy: Johsua Hoehne/ Unsplash

The thought: Faith, Food and Society

Shariqe Ahmed    

TNW, New Delhi, May 12: This subject should make you introspect your alignment with your faith, not to question your respective religion or absence of it but to reiterate that we surely are not aligned to our own faith (whatever you believe in) and what we are showing off are mostly a charade

Let’s align ourselves first in-terms of which faith part we are touching, I believe in one god and believe he is the creator, sustainer and punisher ( most omni god believers is aligned to this concept), there are people who believe in multiple god, still believe in creator, sustainer and punisher and another segment doesn’t believe in god but still believe in his/her birth, sustenance requirement and end of life. So here we established that whoever has been born, requires sustenance and eventually will end. 

And one concept whatever belief system we have, one thing is sure that we believe it for all, Since I believe in one god , so I believe that he created everyone be it non believer or who believes in other god, I am sure other have the same system means an atheist is sure that there is no god for everyone not for himself only and the person who believe that there are different gods (one for creation, one of sustenance and one for punishment) believes that creator has created everyone not only him and  people who follow the same religion. This explanation has been put so that we are on same page and henceforth any reference to god or faith, you can relate to whatever segment you believe in.

Let’s discuss the sustenance, this covers huge aspect of life start from getting first drop of mother’s milk to last breath of oxygen. Both mother’s milk and oxygen are something which we get without having to do much self-effort and these two elements in our life we receive from creator and provider who has no ulterior motive in the world.

The majority part of sustenance covers, food, cloth and shelter and in same order for all the obvious reason. 

I believe when someone is born, he gets the equal right to this world and it’s resources for his/her survival. Just upon birth we have been sent down to the pipeline of society (Not referring as civilization or humanity), which doesn’t have clue how it should run, the “Society” word has overtaken humanity word (although synonyms) for a long time.  

I believe almighty has created us and provided us the abundance of resources for survival and to be thankful to him, and we are supposed to share the resources in harmony and be humane, instead we created a society with different order, to control more instead of sharing. One such example is that in India itself we waste 40% of food produced in cold storage and around 15% of our people live in hunger. We as country alone can feed to all our Indians and many people in the world if we are able manage the resources well. 

The world waste one third of global food produced for human consumption. 

The top 10 countries who waste more food in term of per capita are US, Belgium, Canada, Australia, Austria, Denmark, Lithuania, France, Finland and Italy. In terms of per capita food waste, the best 3 countries are Greece, China and India.  

The amount of food lost or wasted cost 2.6 trillion USD annually and its more than enough to feed all the 815 million hungry people in the world – four time over

The above is just a glimpse of how misplaced our priorities are as society. If you ask each person individually, I promise everyone will say with their heart that they cannot think of letting a person die in hunger in their control and their believe system won’t allow this, each individual weather they believe in after-life, or reincarnation their faith has taught them to feed the needy, help the needy and help the orphans. As soon as you go out from individuality and come as society, suddenly this become acceptable. The acceptance is because individual start feeling the burden off from their shoulder and we have a system to blame and forget the society and system is there because you choose it to be there. 

Sometimes food storage and/or hoarding is there so that demand and supply can be manipulated to control the cost, and we accept it as it is. 

I have seen lot of people are sharing the food packets and kits with the needy at this time of pandemic, and indeed they are on the right path. We need to set our priorities right and we need to do what we preach and stop blaming the society for the same. We are not aligned to our respective faith and it’s about time we do that and ensure that no one, means no one near you go to sleep empty stomach the same shall be done as duty and not as favor.

Normally changes follow hierarchy, mostly in today’s world top to bottom, top means leadership and bottom means you and me. We need to go  reverse here, we need to start behaving responsibly and do what we have been sent to do, care for humanity. The change within will ensure the change across the world

Let’s be thankful, helpful and fulfil the purpose of human life with smile all around us and remember that Almighty may not accept any prayer offered by us if we fail to be a decent human with compassion.

(Sharique Ahmed is Kolkata based freelance writer)

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