With thousands of people still congregating for religious festivals and political rallies in the middle of a raging pandemic, the question one feels compelled to ask is: Are the faithful stupid?
The one-word answer is “No”.
It may be a tempting conclusion to draw that all those who have congregated at the bathing ghats of Haridwar or the pre-election rallies in West Bengal have lost their minds. That anyone practicing a ritual or showing up in support of a leader is ignorant, if not dumb or plain evil.
But investiture of faith—whether in a God or a leader, in a system or a philosophy—is a complex matter with several layers of meaning. It often makes a person eschew rationale and act in completely contrary ways.
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