US President Donald Trump gestures as he arrives to hold a Make America Great Again rally as he campaigns in Gastonia, North Carolina, October 21, 2020. (Saul Loeb / AFP)
Religion was once described as the opium of the people, but Indians derive their own version when it comes to making a religion of hero worshiping or seeing God in living human beings.
A ready reference is the life and death of Bussa Krishna in Telangana state, southern India. The death of the 33-year-old man could have gone unreported, but for the fact that he worshiped Donald Trump as a god in statue form.
Krishan's adulation was locally viewed as normal. It is usual for Indians to see a god in their hero. Several popular politicians and film personalities are worshiped, and even temples have been built for them in states like Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. No one is fazed.
But Krishna's worship of Trump was elevated to a different level when media reported that the US President was hospitalized with COVID-19. Krishna shut himself in his room, refused to eat or drink, and on Oct. 11 he collapsed and died.
Krishna's worship of Trump, media said, was because the farmer believed the US politician was a strong leader. Not just that. Krishna said Trump was bold enough to speak the truth and stand up for it. Unfortunately, Krishna is not alive to tell us about the truth Trump spoke.