Are we Different?

The tragedy of Orissa is intensely painful. Hundreds of homes have been burnt in the fire fueled by irrational minds and the remnant are longing for someone to come in their shelter. Thousands of Christian lives have been taken away and the blessed few are dismayed to keep their lives to themselves. The blue sky clothes the tattered, bleeding earth.

Post independence riots have been imminent and incessant. There have been four major conflicts between the Hindus and the Muslims, which will always be regretted. During the eighties Ahmedabad and Hyderabad were riot stricken cities. Ahmedabad, especially, has a history of riots since 1714, which got cracked when a Hindu, by mistake, sprayed holi color on a Muslim.

In 1989, Bhagalpur in Bihar witnessed a filthy uproar when a Ramshila procession taking bricks for the Ram temple in Ayodhya was incited by the Muslim mob. Islam is a highly civilized culture of etiquette and elegance, such act of barbarism is disgraceful. As a consequence, Muslims were butchered by the Hindus.

Subsequently, in 1992, Babri Masjid was torn down by Hindu fanatics on the grounds that Ayodhya is Ramjanmabhoomi (birth place of lord Rama) and that there should be a Ram temple in the place of a mosque. However, it is doubtful if the extremist Hindus’ maryada puroshottam Ram would ever want to come to a temple which was built against mrayada. The effect of Babri Masjid demolition was the worst one affecting not only India but also the neighboring countries. Innocent Bangladeshi Hindus were massacred for their innocence.

After all the mayhem black day created, the episodes following the burning of a train in Godhra, Gujarat in 2002 shocked the nation on how inhuman a human could be. Yet again the passage of fear, bloodshed, and cruelty is repeating. Only this time Christians have replaced Muslims.

Every time a riot occurs the entire nation gets into action. Every newspaper covers every incident of carnage, every reporter visits dead places to report on how lively the place used to be and how lifeless it is now, the politicians of the nation proclaim their concern for the victims and regret for the incident. And after few days when people are bored of killing people, peace prevails.

The narration of the scenes during a riot is not to blame the newspaper or the reporters or the politicians but to assert how helpless power can be. The blame is on the heartless demons who, in the name of god, find solace in discarding lives. The sin is to the man who, in the name of religion, seeks peace in inflicting pain on another man. May be, as Mathematics is a mandatory subject to students of all religion and schools, there should be compulsary classes on human values, on educating that religion did not give birth to man but men produced religion.

The history of how religions came into existence is unknown. This world, undoubtedly, would have been a better place if the word ‘religion’ was never coined. But, now that it has been invented, surely not discovered, – it is dubious ‘religion’ will ever get buried deep under the earth’s crust. If it does, the civilization coming up next can heave a sigh of relief- it should be declared with pride and herd by the other, of a different religion, with not just tolerance but with the same respect as one would give to his own religion.

I am a Hindu by birth and I hold no prejudice against any religion. I have not been to a mosque or a church but I am sure those places would be as peaceful as any mandir I visit. We are all ultimately made of same elements and so are our worship places. We share one sky, one earth then why are we different? Blood runs in me, blood runs in you, then why are we different? I rose from the soil and will get buried in it and so will you, then why are we different?

We have made the impossible possible. Our intellect has improved but our hearts impoverished. A single man cannot change cold hearts; in fact the entire nation put together fails in resolving differences between people of different religions. It should be every individual’s own consciousness. Perhaps, our daily religious chants should be followed by an age old hymn “as the different streams having their sources in different places all mingle their water in the sea, sources in different tendencies, various though they appear, crooked or straight, all lead to Thee.”

Suhani Dewra

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