We Indians are going through a difficult time. Extremist groups are hell bent on creating religious antagonism. My considered view is: take our country forward in the social and economic spheres that the lives of the ordinary people becomes better. The hallmark of an under-developed region is the low level of education (not literacy alone), inadequate nutrition for young children and their mothers, un-empowered women, endemic diseases, non-sustainable environment and absence of infrastructure and such relevant matters.
With no ill will to none, let me give a synopsis of the tragic fate of the original Knight Templars.
The Order of Knight Templars was a Catholic military outfit recognised by a Papal Bull of the Holy See. It was founded in 1119 in France and was active until 1312.
The Order was the wealthiest and most powerful organisation with highly skilled fighting units, own network of nearly 1000 commanderies and fortifications across Europe and Jerusalem. It played effective role in the Crusades and liberated The Holy Land and administered it.
In the meantime the Order could expand its power and membership enormously. The fighting wing consisted only 10% of its members. The non-combatant members managed large economic infrastructure throughout Christendom and developed innovative financial techniques and instruments including early form of banking. It was in fact the first multinational corporation. It was also the favoured charity organisation.
When Jerusalem was lost to Saladin, the support for the Order faded. Rumours of the Order’s secret initiation ceremonies created distrust. It’s enormous wealth, power and independence were resented both by the Church and the French state.
The papacy was powerless and was in Avignon captivity with the King of France calling the shots. King Philip IV of France was highly indebted to the Order and took advantage of its declining popularity. With the tacit approval of Pope Clement V the members of the Order were arrested at the dawn of Friday, the 13th of October 1307 (the superstition of 13 Friday had its origin from this). The Templars were tortured into giving self incriminating confessions. Accusations were levelled that during Templar admissions recruits were forced to spit and trample upon the cross. Other charges against the Order were denying Christ, worshiping of idols especially of Baphomet, worshiping even a cat, sodomy, sex with animals, indecent kissing of navel, anus and penis. After kangaroo trials, the members of the Order were burned alive at the stake. The Pope acquiesced to the horrible and inhuman tortures and burnings of live persons alive on triumped up charges. He disbanded the Order in 1312.
The elderly Grand Master of the Templars, Jacques de Molay and another leader Geoffroi de Chennery were tortured for extracting confessions and sentenced to be burnt alive at the stake in Paris on 18 March 1314.
De Molay, managed to face the Notre Dame Cathedral and called out from the flames aloud that Pope Clement and King Philip would meet him before God.
Knights Templar India may thank their stars that they operate in another time and in another country.