The miracle industry: How godmen are a byproduct of our failed system

In one of the umpteen laugh-out-loud moments in Indian cinema, after checking on a coughing patient, a doctor informs the family, “Ab inhe dawa nahin dua ki zaroorat hai” (Now medicines can’t heal him, only prayers can). Cut to the mother or the wife praying in a puja room, temple, dargah or any other place of faith, after which, almost in all cases, the ‘dua’ works. The blind can suddenly see, a cripple starts running, lost brothers unite. The cliché has been used in film after film, even by progressive writers like Salim-Javed. In mythology and movies, it’s a given that miracles happen.

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