faith and bias

AARMAN ROY

Religion holds a very special space in the social and political fabric of the country - I dare say it defines it. It is so pervasive and ingrained in our daily lives, the sights and sounds, the words we read - it manifests itself in some way or the other. I see religion as this invisible monolith which guides all our interpersonal interactions. Something which looms over us yet is not tanglible.

The problem of caste and discrimination in the Indian context is something that bore out of religion yet this bias allows religion to exert the influence that it does on all of us. Though the concept of 'samsara' involves the cycle of death and rebirth, I have taken the liberty of using this concept as a crude analogy to express how the problem of bias and faith is so intertwined and cyclic. The position of the female is also rather interesting when viewed through the lens of bias - on one hand we aggrandise the figure of 'Bharat Mata' but at the same time we disallow autonomy of the female and she is only pulled down by the chains of the societal roles she must fulfill. She is only a sister or a mother - never a woman.

In this artwork I've imagined religion to be this huge, fantastical structure - teeming with life and foliage - some place which is not in the realms of our material world. I've tried to highlight inter-religion conflicts and bias as well whether it be Babri Masjid or the Buddhists who were forced to exile from the very land it was born. Floating rocks was something that I decided on because I wanted some sort of symbolism to represent other religions which may not be in the majority but nevertheless are part of the superstructure. They can also be extrapolated to countless faiths that people in our country practice. The scope of this topic was massive (gross understatement) and even though I couldn't possibly cover everything, I've tried to include all my understanding into this one piece which represents how I view 'Faith and Bias'.