India - an abode of diverse cultures, ethnicities, practices and beliefs. We’ve long prided ourselves for our secularity but the politicisation of religion has strained this heterogeneity on so many levels, it’s a bit of an understatement to insinuate it might be creating a tense environment, even a violent one, in the country. When politics and religion starting going hand in hand, it becomes a fraught terrain between the blind followers of faith and those minds contending it. And while we may still be the birthplace of Hinduism, home to the second largest population of Muslims, millions of Christians, Sikhs and Buddhists, our politically charged climate has also facilitated the creation of a slightly unconventional faith that’s garnering a growing number of followers - both in india and abroad - called Dinkoism.
A parody religion mocking the irrationality of blind religious faith and their infallible followers, Dinkoism was started by a group of rationalists in Kerala back in 2008. Satirising illogical and borderline absurd practices, Dinkoism’s deity is a superhero mouse called Dinkan, the famous comic hero of series in Balamangalam, a children’s magazine considered a holy book in Dinkoism, from 1983 to 2012. Dinkan lived in a forest called Pankila and gained his superpowers when he was abducted and experimented on by aliens.
The universe was created when Dinkan was eating a cassava, got bored and laughed. His laugh created space and time and the entire plane of existence; such is the Dinkoist belief. Like all religions, including parodies such as Pastafarianism whose colander-clad followers revere a flying spaghetti monster, Dinkoism has its own set of practices, rituals, priests and even devotional songs. Apart from Balamangalam, Dinkapuranam is their holy book, but while this all may seem like a joke or a group of online trolls, there’s actually a lot more to it.
Dinkoisms beliefs and practices and hyperbolic magnification of ideals sheds light on the absurdity of organised religion and the power accorded to its leaders. Dinkoists fight superstitions, orthodoxy and irrational principles expounded as the ‘word of God’; they rally for gender equality and environmental protection and have over time gained a huge following across the globe. Dinkoism’s strength was seen during the first Mega Dinkan Convention that was held earlier this year in March in Kozhikode, kerala which, as Times of India reports, witnessed a turnout of close to 500 people. K Papputty, former President of Kerala Shastra Sahitya Parishad, who according to the report was in attendance at the convention stated that the “Dinkoists have been successful in giving a creative and satirical response to undesirable practices in established religions.”
Click here to learn more about the beliefs, practices and ideology of Dinkoism. You can follow the ‘Holy Dinkan Religion’ on Facebook and we’ve posted below a tongue-in-cheek mockumentary in which Amy Watson, a member of the Chicago chapter of Dinkoism, explains what the religion is all about.
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