Just the other day there was a report from South India that a woman was thought to be having intercourse with the devil. Now the devil has been almost dead for many centuries; suddenly he became alive in that small village. And the villagers took the woman to the priest who declared that she should be hung upside down from a tree and beaten: the devil is still inside her. Somebody informed the police of the nearby town. The police arrived, but the villagers were reluctant…. Two hundred villagers were standing, stopping the police, saying, “You cannot interfere with our religious conceptions.” And they were beating the woman – they killed her! Until she was dead, they were not satisfied. They could not find the devil, but they killed the woman.
This used to be the common practice all over the world. Mad people were beaten to cure their madness; people who were schizophrenic, who were thought to be possessed by ghosts, were beaten almost to death – this was thought to be the treatment. Millions of people have died because of your great treatments.
Now we can simply say that those people were barbarous, ignorant, primitive. The same will be said about us. I am already saying it: that your courts are barbarous, your laws are barbarous. The very idea of punishment is unscientific. There is nobody in the world who is a criminal; everybody is sick, and needs sympathy and a scientific cure, and half of your crimes will disappear. First, with the disappearance of private property…. Private property creates thieves, dacoits, pickpockets, politicians, priests.
You will be surprised to know that just a few days ago a cartoonist was put into jail in the contemporary, educated city of Madras, because he has printed a cartoon in a magazine with the caption that the man who looks like a pickpocket is a cabinet minister; and the man who looks like a dacoit, is the prime minister. There were two men in the cartoon. Immediately, he was caught by the police – and this is called democracy! One cannot even joke, one cannot even laugh. He has not named anybody – but all your politicians are pickpockets, are dacoits. They also need psychiatric treatment, they also need sympathetic psychiatric nursing homes. They have to be cured of their politics.
Politics is a disease.
Man has suffered from many diseases and he has not even been aware that they are diseases. He has been punishing small criminals and he has been worshipping great criminals. Who is Alexander the Great? – a great criminal; he murdered people on a mass scale. Adolf Hitler alone killed millions of people, but he will be remembered in history as a great leader of man.
I received a letter from the president of the Neo-Nazi party saying that I should stop speaking against Adolf Hitler because, “It hurts our religious feeling.” I said, “My God!” I had been receiving letters from Hindus, from Mohammedans, from Christians, from Buddhists, from Jainas. I have been facing hundreds of cases in courts on the same grounds, that I have hurt somebody’s religious feeling – but I had never even dreamt that to speak against Adolf Hitler was going to hurt someone’s religious feelings.
And the president of Neo-Nazi party had said, “Adolf Hitler, to us, is not just a great political leader, he is also the reincarnation of the ancient, Old Testament prophet Elijah. Now he will be remembered in history as the great incarnation of the prophet Elijah who killed forty-five million people. Certainly it must have been done according to the will of God. Who are the people you read about in history?