UNITED IN DIFFERENCES: No religion is superior or inferior, they are all equal.
UNITED IN DIFFERENCES: No religion is superior or inferior, they are all equal.Gomantak Times

FRANKLY FRANK: Let religion show us the way to unity

Goa, which is a fine example of religious unity, can act as an example for the rest of India to learn from

Looking at events that have unfolded over the past few days, there is no doubt that religion is the only discourse in this country and, right now, it is difficult to tell in which direction we are headed. However, the signs are ominous, given the fact that religious discourse has entered the public domain.

Everything may look hunky-dory at the top, but the minor incidents of religious violence against members of a minority community some days back do not infuse much encouragement and call for introspection, given the constitutional freedom we all enjoy as Indians.

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At this juncture, it can be easily construed that India has set itself on a path to attain the tag of a religious democracy, and now is the time for a debate on whether the State can administer religion to its constituents.

Religion as a weapon in the hands of those who use it for political gains can prove to be counter-productive. When leaders make religion and ideology their electoral weapons, the like-minded masses get mobilised in a different direction. And history is replete with examples of such governance making people insecure, and in the bargain, peace suffers.

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When any religion becomes a threat to freedom, it can no longer be termed as a religion. In India what we are seeing is the increased importance of religion in politics and the rise of religious believers, which was a trend in Europe years ago when religious hegemony led to persecutions.

Are we going back in time? God forbid, no!

In India what we are seeing is the increased importance of religion in politics and the rise of religious believers.

India is a developing country making great strides in different economic spheres. The political leadership has been boasting of healthy growth indicators that will catapult the country among the top nations of the world.

This is the right time for the country to use its strong religious beliefs and traditions to bolster its economic growth, but this can be achieved by encouraging an atmosphere of peace among the different religious communities that co-exist up till now.

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There is no doubt history is replete with facts about wrongdoings by one religion to another, but historical references are taken as Gospel truths. History is history, one will never discover the real truth. So by fighting over the past, the present can't be expected to be harmonious.

What we see today is normal people turning into religious experts and condemning others as wrongdoers, in complete violation of what's enshrined in the Constitution. Those who think they are right about their religion are taking a morally backward step.

History is history, one will never discover the real truth. So by fighting over the past, the present can't be expected to be harmonious.

If we start looking at the country, we could be assumed to be ranking high on the religious index and faring badly on the intellectual and moral parameters. We need good-thinking leaders to strike a balance between religious and economic growth.

Backed by science and scientific development, India has managed to land on the moon, a feat achieved by very few. This feat was achieved with the backing of a sustainable scientific and not by any religious temperament.

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Our understanding of history should on the contrary lead us towards peace and forgiveness, which is an inherent trait of all religions. But as we dig deeper into history, we want to change the present discourse even when laws recommend otherwise.

India doesn't need religious reforms, it already is a fine example of religious diversity in the world. Goa is a fine example of religious harmony that India can borrow. We certainly do need religion as well, but we need it to show us the way to unity.

If there is any guarantee that our political leadership could give us, it is the guarantee of peaceful coexistence.

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