Just yesterday, I came to know of a shocking conversation that took place between my 7-year-old daughter and her classmate in school.
Classmate: Which religion do you belong to?
Daughter: My father is a Christian, mother is a Hindu, I am an Indian. I have Muslim friends as well
Classmate: Muslim? What are they doing here; shouldn’t they be in Pakistan?
This small, but significant conversation sums up the vitiated atmosphere prevailing in the country at present. As 7-year-old kids, we didn’t even know the proper meaning of religion, and here there are children drawing a conclusion as to which country people from a particular religion belong to. What exactly are parents teaching their kids? Although this incident alone cannot be enough to justify how bad things are in the country, when looking at the larger picture (read Kathua and Unnao rape case), it definitely raised one BIG question in my mind.
CAN RELIGION AND GOD ACTUALLY CO-EXIST IN TODAY’S TIMES?
I, for, one have always been a firm believer that Religion is a man-made concept, which mankind has been using for ages as a tool of hope. However, that hasn’t in any way hindered my relationship with those who are firm believers in religion. It has been rather easy to mutually respect each other’s viewpoints on the issue. And, that will never change. At the same time, it is really bothersome to see the country being divided on religious lines, and that too in the name of GOD. While every religion has a lot of positives in itself, in the current scenario one really must ponder upon whether it is better to do away with religion completely. (Impossible in India, but just a thought, inspired by John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’)
Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace, you
My theory that it is difficult for GOD and Religion to co-exist in today’s times is based on the fact that the definitions of the two ‘holy’ aspects are ironically contrasting. First things first, if GOD is GOD, he or she wouldn’t divide people on the basis of religion, caste, creed, etc., would he/ she? And, if religion is determined by GOD, he/ she certainly wouldn’t be teaching what some lost minds have been practising of late – lynching, rape and murder, all in the name of religion.
As soon as the name of religion crops up, the right wing would pop up claiming why is the BJP being targeted? Didn’t incidences of religious crime take place during the UPA government as well? They very well did, but not to the extent of what has been witnessed over the last year or so. To be fair to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, we cannot and shouldn’t blame him for each and every crime happening in the country. But, where Modi has let down the country is in allowing the fringe to rise to such an extent that they have become mainstream. Had the ‘Hindutva’ brigade been nipped in the bud when it all began, things might not have come to such a being.
Kathua, Unnao, lynching, beef ban, dress code, petrol price hike! Sorry Mr. Modi, this is not the Ache Din we expected. And, if nothing else, there has been more talking about building temples than development. Bringing religion into main focus, the government seems to have lost its vision. Wonder if GOD is still watching, or if he too lost hope, and left the country.
Speaking of hope, I would like to end with these rousing lines from ‘Anjaana Anjaani’, sung soulfully by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, which define the concept of GOD much better than any religious leader ever can
Dhundhla jaayein jo manzilein
Ik pal ko tu nazar jhuka
Jhuk jaaye sar jahan wahi
Milta hai rab ka raasta
Teri kismat tu badal de
Rakh himmat bas chal de
Tere saathi mere kadmon ke hain nishaan
Tu na jaane aas pass hai khuda
(The views expressed by the writer are completely personal. The company does not endorse the views)