Dec 13, 2010
Today the world is marked by two eras, era before 9/11 and era after 9/11.
The attack on America shocked the world and left Americans speechless. These attacks were claimed by some Muslim fundamentalist groups as revenge for whatever reason. Attacks on Christians in Orissa were appallingly alarming. Insecure Hindus feel threatened that Christians and Muslims will dominate them. Muslim militants attacked a church in Baghdad recently and killed at least 40 worshippers. There are many more instances where ignorance of the people has been showcased in the name of religion.
I think there is a deviation of attitudes among people of goodwill. Religion is a platform to create a disorder and chaos in the universe. A true religion does not promote violence in order to spread its religious values and virtues. Every religion I have known promotes peace and harmony. No one has the right to curb the freedom of a person, and if it is done then the person is dehumanized and considered to be below human dignity.
Enlightenment attempted to keep religion confined to the private sphere but 9/11 proved to be the end of privatization of religion. I have a problem here in both aspects: on the one hand, a religion cannot be private because it concerns universal matters, and on the other hand religion cannot produce fundamentals who think that their religion is the true religion. How do we analyse this problem? Is it anything to do with religion at all or just politically motivated ideas? Is it the fear of insecurity that drives the thirst for blood?
I was brought up in a lovely neighbourhood consisting mostly of Hindus and Muslims. Do we not live as one family despite our differences? Do we really make differences based on religion? I was born in a village which has no hospital, and in fact a Hindu woman helped my mother during her labour, that is how I was born. I owe this Hindu woman a lot. She is no more now.
I think we transcend our little ghettos of religion when we consider others as our fellow humans. During my high school days, I used to work in an estate owned by a Muslim, and he paid me for my work which helped me pay my fees. Time and again this Muslim estate owner checked my progress in school. This shows his concern for me regardless of my religion. I am indebted to this Muslim. Whenever I go home I have a warm welcome from my Hindu and Muslim neighbours apart from my family. Isn't that lovely? It raises my hope for humanity and its prosperity. It shows me how God works in different people and religions.
Do we really need religion if it divides humanity into several painful fragments through means of violence? I do wonder at times why some people slaughter other people in order to promote/safeguard their religion? I don't think God will appreciate the destruction of His own creation by His own creature. God created us in His image and likeness because He wants us to be like him, if possible strive to perfection.
Those who try to destroy peace and harmony of the universe are clearly evil-doers within religious spheres. They work subtly by indoctrinating or brainwashing the innocent tender youngsters. They sow seeds of enmity between brothers and sisters and these seeds do yield fruits to a large extent because evil is alluring and gives the appearance of victory.
Sometimes it is hard to distinguish between good seed and bad seed of evil, thus both prosper. As Jesus said, let the weeds grow along with the good crop, a day will come when the entire weed will be gathered and burnt in the fire. This should be our hope if good is to triumph over evil. Evil cannot conquer well but it can overpower the good to some extent. Let us hope against hope that one day this world becomes one religion, a religion of love and peace.