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Religion revisited

Dinkan worship: Hundreds attend Kerala conclave of mock religion that reveres a superhero mouse

Dinkoism, which has its own holy book and rituals, was devised by rationalists to parody organised faiths.

God’s own country, has got another God. And on Sunday, its followers held their first convention to honour their deity – a mouse with a yellow body suit, a red cape and superhero-style red underwear worn on the outside.

The mock religion of Dinkoism was started in 2008 by rationalists in Kerala who were perturbed at the strength of organised religions, which, they felt, had led to rising intolerance and the weakening of rational thought. They adopted as their deity a character called Dinkan from a comic series in a children’s magazine that had been popular in Kerala for nearly three decades until it wound up in 2012.

Like another mock religion of Pastafarianism, which has the Flying Spaghetti Monster as its deity, and a colander as religious headgear, Dinkoism has all the trappings of the organised religions it parodies – a holy book, devotional songs, priests, faith healers, symbols and even a militant arm to counter attacks from other religions. The idea is to expose the absurdity of most religious beliefs through exaggeration.

Test of faith

Dinkoism has flourished online since its inception. But it faced its biggest test of faith on Sunday during its first Mega Dinkan Religious Convention held in the northern Kerala city of Kozhikode. The question was: Would its online followers translate into followers on the ground? Would they really make a pilgrimage to the convention venue?

As it turns out, there was no cause for worry. Followers turned up in hordes, and many had to be turned away since the hall hosting the convention at Manichira Maidan was too small to accommodate everyone. “We expected only a few hundred people,” said Sojan Joseph, a member of the convention’s organising committee. “But to our surprise thousands flocked the Sports Council Hall throwing the arrangements haywire. Many had to return for want of space.”

A Times of India report on the event put the number of those present at 500.

At the Kozhikode convention, Dinkoists clad in Dinkan T-shirts throw paper balls at a jackfruit that is seen as the enemy because, in the comic series, it caused the death of a rabbit, who was a prominent Dinkan follower.
At the Kozhikode convention, Dinkoists clad in Dinkan T-shirts throw paper balls at a jackfruit that is seen as the enemy because, in the comic series, it caused the death of a rabbit, who was a prominent Dinkan follower.

Joseph, a filmmaker, said the turnout was a vindication of the relevance of Dinkoism at a time the world was riven by conflicts and strife linked to religion. He said he felt that Dinkoism could offset the rising religious fanaticism and intolerance in the country.

Dinkoists got a boost when Kozhikode district collector Prashanth Nair endorsed it. The Indian Administrative Service officer said no worldly cause or vice had led to the scale of death and destruction that has been wrought in the name of God over the centuries.

Nair told Scroll.in since it was difficult to respond to the current climate of intolerance in a dignified manner as it didn't permit logical argument, Dinkoism was a good way to express the absurdity of blind religious belief. It did this by caricaturing the vocabulary, rituals and iconography used by established religions.

“Dinkoism is a religion where you learn to take things lightly and become tolerant to things that you don’t appreciate otherwise,” said Nair. “Dinkoists use humour to send the message. Humour is something that everybody appreciates. Therefore, it makes sense to promote this religion.”

A parody of the toast miracle . (Photo: https://www.facebook.com/DinkaConsciousness/)
A parody of the toast miracle . (Photo: https://www.facebook.com/DinkaConsciousness/)

Superhero God

At the convention, Dinkoists took potshots at the politics of religion by demanding minority status for Dinkoism, free or subsidised land to build places of worship, and the right to run educational institutions (with capitation fees, of course). It was also decided that Dinkoism would be registered as a religion and soon float a political party.

More seriously, Dinkoists resolved to fight for gender justice and the protection of the environment. It concluded with Dinkoists vowing to organise similar gatherings in other districts in order to attract more people into the fold.

The holy book of Dinkoists is Balamangalam, the children’s magazine that carried the comic series from 1983 to 2012. Created by writer N Somashekharan and artist Baby, the series was published by the Kottayam-based Mangalam group of publications.

The hero of the series is Dinkan, a mouse who lives in a forest called Pankila. Dinkan got his superhero powers after aliens abducted him and conducted some experiments on him. The mouse uses his special powers to help those in distress – he comes to the rescue of every creature who calls out his name aloud.

The comic series ran in 'Balamangalam', a children's magazine, in Kerala from 1983 to 2012.
The comic series ran in 'Balamangalam', a children's magazine, in Kerala from 1983 to 2012.

Dinkoism has followers around the world. In the US, Dinkoists have established a chapter in Chicago. In a mock documentary, Amy Watson, a member of the Chicago chapter, explains what Dinkoism is about and describes it as the most woman-friendly religion in the world.


Besides Balamangalam, Dinkoists have another holy book called the Dinkapuranam. Here, Dinkoists attempt to use science to counter superstitious beliefs and the irrational teachings of other religions.

One follower went so far as to get a special licence plate in the name of Lord Dinkan for his car, a photo of which he put up on Facebook. Parthasarathy paid the California motor vehicles department $48 for his bespoke plate. He said he hoped that Lord Dinkan's blessings will make 2016 a very auspicious year that will bring him and his family health, wealth and happiness.

A NRI based in California received a Dinkan licence plate. (Photo: https://www.facebook.com/DinkaConsciousness/)
A NRI based in California received a Dinkan licence plate. (Photo: https://www.facebook.com/DinkaConsciousness/)

Dinkoists believe the world was created when Dinkan got bored with eating cassava and laughed out loud. That laugh apparently created time and space. Dinkan does not demand prayers or offerings but his followers have created an array of songs to lampoon other religions. Of course, most of these are parodies of popular devotional melodies.

Dinkoists are especially outspoken against godmen and practices like faith healing, polygamy, child marriage, patriarchy and oppression of women never mind the fact that that Dinkan is a male deity following in the patriarchal tradition of most major world religions.

Dinkoists are likely to see their first miracle soon – a resurrection.

A spokesman for the Mangalam group of publications said that looking at the popularity of Dinkan, the publishers had decided to revive the children’s magazine Balamangalam shortly. In its rebirth, Dinkan will be its main feature.

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As corporate India changes from strait-jacketed to stylish, here’s how you can stay on-trend

For men and women, tips to make your office style game strong.

Office wear in India tends to be conservative. For men, the staple blue or white shirt and dark trouser arranged in a monotonous assembly line has been a permanent feature of the wardrobe (a tactic shrewdly administered to ensure minimum time is spent shopping). For women, androgynous work wear has been ever reliable and just as dull.

But camouflage is of no use in the corporate jungle anymore. The Indian office is no longer a place for dull, unthinking conformity, it is a place that expects vibrancy in thought and action. With a younger workforce and a greater mix of multinationals and jobs, there is a greater acceptance of edgier trends. Men are stepping away from their blues and greys and women are reshaping their workwear to be more interesting and distinctly feminine. As corporate India is proving its mettle on the global stage and to itself, it’s also growing confident in expressing individuality and style in the formal work environment. From clothing to office décor and fashion accessories to work tools, the workplace is becoming a place to display merit as well as taste.

Work clothes have shed their monochrome and moved into the light of technicolor. Bright colours have steadily become popular as Pantone’s annual colours of the year show us. For the corporate warrior who wants to be stylish here is our pick of trends worth considering.


Statement jacket. A statement jacket is one that doesn’t merely stand out in a crowd, but blows it open for you. How do you recognize one? You’ll know it when you see it. Most statement jackets have a non-traditional color. They could also have subtle prints on them if you want to go funky.

Technicolor socks. Multicolored socks (or hipster socks as they are known in some quarters) peek out every once in a while and brighten things up in the workplace. From polka dots and caricatures to geometric patterns, you can choose a pair to suit your mood or your workplace. A great way of telling people you don’t take fashion rules seriously (except these ones).

Plaid: Well played is well, plaid. Great for your 9-to-5 and even performs well after. Plaids, in shirts and jackets, are perhaps the most versatile tool in the corporate warrior’s armory, and straddle the fine line between formal and casual effectively. They’re also age-resistant meaning a young buck in his twenties can rock them as much as your seasoned forty-plus campaigner. Plaid, though Scottish in origin, has an Indian connection too, in the Madras checks that became popular all over the world after the World War.

Inside collars and cuffs. If you like to keep it classy but still a little edgy, nothing does it like contrast or printed insides of your collar and cuffs. After the work day, when it’s proper to roll up your sleeves, it even adds a touch of evening character.

Coloured Shoes. Alternate your staid blacks and browns with variants like burgundy, light buttery browns and ashen blues. Play with moccasins, tassel loafers and lace-ups. Go beyond leather and try suede and maybe even canvas. But do remember to take a quick course in matching.


Floral prints. Flowers are back (though one could argue that they never went out) and now they’re storming the bastion of your office. Even the traditional Indian paisley is making its way into formal wear. With the prevalence of digital printing, with a little hunting, you’ll even find beautiful florals in watercolour style.

Scarves. The first rule of wearing scarves is to rid yourself of the notion that they are to be worn only in winter. A colourful scarf paired with a monochrome top works wonders. A dozen online videos will teach you to wear it in a dozen ways. Plus, it always comes in handy when the thermostat isn’t to your liking. Kiran Mazumdar Shaw wears scarves frequently, and is a great example of how you can use it strikingly.

Pants. Yes. Pants. Experiment with different styles and you’ll be surprised how they can really spruce up a boring look. Silhouette is everything when it comes to pants. Choose from high-waisted, wide legged, pleated to ankle length pants and what not! The best part is offices rarely prescribe silhouettes, so you can always get by with some style even if your workplace demands a uniform.

Houndstooth. The houndstooth pattern is at the sweet intersection between casual and formal and can be worn to make a splash in either occasion. Whether its jackets or a dress or a simple top, a houndstooth pattern is incredibly versatile.

Chic suits. A sharp suit is a must for a modern professional’s wardrobe. And please don’t even look in the direction of black. Pastel colours or even greys with patterns are great options for suits. Uncoordinated suits are also a great option depending on how edgy you want your office attire to be.


It isn’t enough to be well-dressed in the modern workplace. A good professional is known by his or her tools and how they carry it.

Designer laptop sleeves. Your high-precision instrument deserves a cover chosen with as much care. Black Neoprene is out. Pastel monochromes, geometric patterns and bold designs are very much in. Different materials like cotton, leather and even paper are a great option.

Natural fiber or leather bags (yes kill your black synthetic one now). Briefcases are ancient and black messenger bags are done. Go for a color variant or a subtle pattern. Pay attention to the different leather finishes. Adding a few nicely done metal trims can make all the difference. But convenience and ease are top priority. If you travel a lot, get a stylish strolley and thank yourself later.

Commute pack. The urban corporate needs to be productive at all times, or at the very least, needs to be accessible. A modern commute pack should include wireless headphones, a USB battery pack (power bank) and a wire/gadget organisation pack just so that you’re always prepared.

Machine. We’ve all showed off our latest smartphones. Your work machine is way more important. And like in smartphones, a good laptop is no longer only about performance. The specifications must be top-notch but it has also become an expression of your personality. It can up your style quotient and significantly impact your experience.

Source: Dell
Source: Dell

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This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Dell and not by the Scroll editorial team.

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