By: Srinivasan K. Rangachary
India is a multi-religious, multi-ethnic and multicultural nation. Religion which has been a driving force of man’s life has unfortunately emerged as a tinderbox in the present scenario. Sociologists have observed that the people living in India and in a host of Islamic states have developed very tender and frail sentiments pertaining to religiosity. Consequently, those striving to attain political power and worldly objectives have begun to blatantly exploit such a mighty weapon. The exploitation of religious belief is not new. We have been witness to the jihads and crusades from history-but its greatly increased extent and rising influence would appear to be more dominant factors in the foreseeable future. Umpteen number of ghastly carnages and the lynching of the commoners in the name of religion (what have occurred during the last decade) set the new but unpalatable narrative that religion in present times has been fully hijacked by the wicked minded people with the sheer nefarious objective of grinding their own political axe. The way the entire matter of the implementation of Citizen Amendment Bill has been lent religious colouring is not only appalling for a nation with secular ethos but worrisome also.
During these tumultuous and turbulent times, one of the primary duties of a true religious leader is to make the earnest of efforts to maintain peace and concord among the diverse communities. It is indeed incumbent on him that he should practice and preach the real canons of his religion with utmost sincerity and formidably work in the direction of knitting the people in a compete and cohesive whole. Today not only India but the whole world has innumerable faiths in shape of varied forms of religion, spread in the different segments of societies. Their fundamental tenets also vary in nature. The beliefs one set of a particular creed clings to may not gain currency with the other cult. Their modes of divine eulogization and obeisance can be distinctively non-identical. The various rites and rituals they perform to propitiate and please their deities can also be characteristically in contrast with that of some other parallel faiths. But there is one altogether identical canon that is conspicuously enshrined in the books of all faiths. This common chord that binds all the religions together is the ever abiding principle of universal brotherhood and camaraderie. Inarguably, no religion has ever advocated the spread of venom and violence in any society. A great philosopher rightly says if your religion requires you to hate someone or kill someone, you need to change your religion.
Undoubtedly, love and compassion for the fellow humans make the warp and woof of all the branches of variegated beliefs that have been in prevalence in this world since time immemorial. Per se the real religiosity is purely unadulterated and uncontaminated conglomeration of truth, beauty and goodness. It is this truthful and beautiful goodness that is born out of the pacifistic practices of a particular denomination in which, in fact, there is no room for the hatemongers with acerbic tongues who remain constantly occupied in unleashing vitriol and virulence. But it is a matter of despondency that today the number of such vile and wicked custodians of a religion is soaring brazenly high. These blemishes of society have not only besmirched the otherwise charming face of religion but have also reduced it to a mere agency of terror due to which the ambience of mutual suspect and suspicion has begun to sprawl its menacing tentacles everywhere. The most abominable murderous frenzy is looming as a potential threat in the air all around. It is also stupendously bothersome a fact that a large number of gullible masses have fallen prey to the ruse of these conspirators.
Many commoners afflicted with the malady of credulity are least cognizant of the horrid conspiracy that is hatched in the very name of divinity by this bunch of bigot brutes. If their design is scanned through the lens of wisdom and rationality, they will be certainly caught fishing in the troubled waters. It is an irrefutable truth that only a pseudo religious leader can agitate the masses and electrify them to take the shape of a monstrous mob with his cruel command of lynching the innocent people simply because their customs and credos are different. This very polarization has done a colossal damage to the denizens of our society. Once upon a time India was known to be the land of seers and sages who, unmindful of their predicament and plight, surrendered their entire lives in the genuine service to humanity. They never incited their followers to take up cudgels and massacre the innocents neither did they foment the communal crisis as they were the real emissaries of world peace. But in our times religion has been hijacked by the radicals and fanatics. While witnessing this pageant of blood and fury, God somewhere above the azure firmament must be feeling aggrieved and agonized at heart as a handful of pernicious persons have converted His supreme creation into a veritable hell more horrifying than the mythical hell described in various scripture. INAV