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This author says it’s time to remember that religion was created to help people move closer to God – not to demonise or attack each other.
My best friend in school was a Christian girl, in college a Muslim and in the University a Jain. I get my monthly provision (including my puja samaan) from a supermarket owned by a Muslim. Fruits and vegetables are home delivered by a Muslim vendor. My clothes are stitched by a Hindu tailor. My domestic helper is a Christian and the list goes on and on…the point that I want to project is that in our Modern India, people from various faiths are so intricately woven into the fabric of our society that it is difficult to un- weave and view each religion in its individual entity.
As a child, I had been intrigued by the diversity of Religions! I used to wonder why Jennifer’s prayer room, food and culture were different from mine. Why does Fatima’s mother wear a Burkha, when she goes out? It is said Shree Ramakrishna Parahamsa too had been perplexed. He sought his answer through his unique way. He tried many religions! First he lived and prayed like a Muslim, then a Christian and lastly like a Hindu Vaishya.
Eventually, he came to the conclusion that all religions are good and that they are different paths leading to the same goal-God. Many people are aware of this yet, we get to hear of horrendous incidents all in the name of religion! The bomb blasts in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday are quite fresh in our minds. Everyone feels that his/her religion is superior to the others. When Ram, Rahim, Christ are but names of God, how can they be different or lesser than one another?
Religion is man-made and was created for instilling peace, love and harmony among humanity. Sadly, the reverse seems to be popular today. It was not created to propagate hate and violence. The common man has always lived in peace and amity with his brethren of another religion. He has not had much problem. Remember that during partition many helped each other. Hindus saved their Muslim friends and vice versa.
Even today people of different faiths are happy living together. They never peep into their neighbour’s kitchen or prayer room. We have the liberty to practice our choice of religion. But some fanatics have ruined such serenity.
Any instance, big or small is enough to instigate and fan great violence. In a mob, people lose their sanity and their power of rationality. They indulge in utterly demeaning and destructive actions. Unfortunately, many precious lives are lost, maimed or hurt. Lots of public properties are obliterated. We simply cannot afford to lose these. I feel completely desperate and pained to read about people being lynched, burnt or killed. Are we in a civilized country, in an educated nation?
We have improved and modernized in our style of travel, buildings, dresses, food, life style, then why not in our outlook towards other religions? This is not just a national but universal predicament. Why do we recognize people by their religion? Why can’t they be identified as just humans? Are we not all children of God? What is the harm in calling the creator by any other name than that known to us? Can there be different gods who created Hindus, Muslims, Christians and others?
I have taught in an International English Institute for several years. There, I had students from several countries including my own nation. They hailed from far off places as Mongolia, UAE, Yemen, Iraq, Iran, African countries (like-Egypt, Libya, Sudan and more) Thailand, Japan and several more. At times, in my class there would be people hailing from twelve to thirteen countries! Obviously, they would be of different faiths – Christians, Muslims, Buddhists and of course Hindus. However, in the class we were just friends-students and I, their teacher. Some called me Teacher, Madam and others Mom. The ambience was cordial and cheerful. Hence, I could teach with ease.
If we desire our nation to progress, we need to be tolerant and kind. We must recognize people as Human beings first. My God or your God, the Lord is great and one. We must have mutual respect for each others’ faith. I feel there is but One God and He may have infinite names – Allah, Christ, Krishna, Buddha and more.
It is time God himself came down to earth to solve these man made problem. Or can we women do the godly act and teach our children the glorification of all religions?
Image via Unsplash
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