The sudden spate of increasing instances of religious intolerance set me thinking. At a time and age where religion has been reduced to mere festivals and a small form of worship once a day or perhaps once a week, why should it matter so much that lives are being lost, political battles are being waged and even cultural legacy is being interfered with in the name of religion?
But is it really the ultimate purpose. Religion most times have been founded on the premise of bring in peace, unity and harbouring the community feeling yet religion stands to be the biggest dividing force today more often than not. As a thinking, engaged and involved citizen of my country, this situation decidedly disappoints me and suddenly the answer was all clear to me!
There is a very important need today to channelize religion constructively, use it as a binding force and punish all those who try otherwise. Am I confusing you? Well check the walls in a public property, or the well lined bricks on the joggers park. There was a time when most of these used to be spitted on or peed upon or soiled by throwing used gum and chocolate wrappers. But over a point of time, most civic bodies discovered a sure cure for it. All they had to do is stick images of Gods or Goddess or inscribe words like ‘Ram’ and like magic most users figured alternative options for all their sundry activities.
Now that is what I consider is a constructive use fo religion. Instead of deciding who eats beef and who does not have pork, I think the time has come for people to embrace the true power of religion and practice it to make their lives a better place instead of making others’ hell.
The community Ganapati Utsav in Maharashtra and Sarbajanin Durga Puja in West Bengal is another brilliant example of using religion for some long-term humane gains. People come together wholeheartedly irrespective of their caste, creed and yes religion to make these occasions a success. Even the ancient techniques used today for preservation of trees and forest rely heavily on religion.
So why do we need to let some petty politicians use religion as their trump card to victory. Let us all join hands and pledge to use religion constructively to usher in a better tomorrow that does not use religion as a divisive force and accepts it magnify the unity aspect!