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Sunday, January 15, 2017

Religion in 21st century

Religion has slowly started creeping into every tiny little aspect of life recently. Everyone seems to wear religion on their sleeves. Even a person who does not even think about religion on a day to day basis is being forced to do a rethink and take an extreme position. Then there are those people whose very existence in based on taking extreme views on everything-reason religion.

It feels like people are taking extreme position and building walls around themselves. Take the social media for example where people are spewing venom against other religions and spreading the word that only my religion is right and the rest all are wrong.They want to throw muck at every other religion.

So, here are a few things that every religion must do to evolve , stay relevant and most important of all does not see other religions with hatred.

Stop building walls around yourselves in the name of religion : Every religion should follow an open door principle.  Open the doors of your places of worship for anyone and everyone who respects the sanctity of the place. A closed door always gives rise to suspicion that something is being cooked up inside the four walls. The overall mentality of the people should be welcoming and not see people of other religions with suspicion.

Stop thinking only your religion is right :  Respect other religions for god's sake. I have heard preachers who run famous television channels with peace in it's name doing the exact opposite. They are inciting people to think that all the other religions are wrong and only theirs is right. This is making people take a very narrow view of things and attack any other views that are not in alignment with theirs.

Propagate your religion :  Yes . There is nothing wrong in propagating one's religion. Strive to get more and more number of people into your faith. But, do not turn opportunists in the name of god, forcing people to come into your faith using a bait , be it financial assistance, curing a disease,etc

Stop committing crime in the name of God : Looks at what ISIS is doing in the name of God. No god would tolerate what they are doing to their own brothers and sisters. They have brought disgrace to Islam. People have started using the term "Islamic Terrorism" with ease. They have made the whole world look at Muslims with suspicion. They are normal people going about their life like anyone of us. It has given an opportunity for hypocrites like Donald trump to fuel this anti Islamic sentiment by talking rubbish.

Stop Minority appeasement : The majority of the country should take special care of the minorities in their country, so that they feel welcome and safe. But, its always a two way hand shake. Minorities have every right to practice their faith. But that does not mean that a few people in continuation of their appeasement politics can behave as if they are allergic to the majority community and their beliefs. Minority propagating their  faith is secular, but majority asserting their rights is communal. This is not right. Expecting dignity/respect from the majority community is right, but expecting them to lead an apologetic existence is wrong.

Consolidate people within your own religion: We have created divisions and sub divisions within our own religion and are fighting among ourselves. Be it Shias and Sunnis in Iraq, Catholic versus protestants in Ireland. In Hinduism we have a long list of people fighting among themselves, discriminating against one another. It has gone to such an extent that a few politicians are forming groups called -" Ahinda"(meaning not Hindu) among the Hindu community. We have a long history of caste discrimination, so much so that we fail to identify as one religion. This is detrimental to the cause of all people coming together under a religion. This should stop once in for all.

Stop wearing Religion on your sleeves :  It is recent phenomenon that people are bringing religion into everything. Take the Yoga for example , which has been accepted worldwide by millions of people. A few people back home have started seeing it through the prism of religion. Off course, no one can deny its roots to Hinduism. But does it mean that you have to kick it away saying it is an imposition on my faith and beliefs. Why do you have to behave as if you are allergic to other religions ?  Another example of this allergic syndrome is  the famous -" Bharat mata kin jai controversy".  I seriously fail to understand how chanting Bharat would demean one's religion. Thank god , such people did not exist during our freedom struggle. There would be no single country as India.

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