The Tolerant Face of India

The AC mechanic came when I was doing my puja. He had come earlier than the time he should have. When I opened the door to him, still saying the mantras, he apologized and asked me to complete my puja and that he would finish his work in the meanwhile. Nothing unusual, right? Except that he was a Muslim.  Later he explained that he had come early because he had to go for his Friday noon prayers after completing the work at my place. I nodded, both of us deferring to each other’s call of faith.

Such incidents are common in households, neighbourhoods and public places across the country. Don’t we see Hindus and Muslims living together in peace, doing their respective work, praying at their respective places of worship, even socializing? There are so many dargahs that have a large number of Hindus offering worship. In the deep south of the country, there are shops owned by Muslims outside big temples, which sell puja items. They even offer helpful tips about the kind of items that should be offered to a particular deity! It is their trade, and neither the pilgrim nor the shopkeeper give a second thought to the other’s religion.

As a young girl, I remember making offerings to the Muslim pilgrims when they carried the tazia through the streets of Nagpur during Muharram. I love the tranquility inside a church as I pray.  I remember going with my father to his Muslim colleague’s house as a young child – I used to call him Ghouse mama. Another of his good friends, Robert Uncle used to heartily wish us Merry Christmas every year. When I asked my father why he wished us when we were not Christians, he explained that the spirit of any festival transcended its religion. And that is the secret of the religious harmony of the people of this country.

Muslims offering namaz on Eid in a Ganpati pandal in Mumbai

Muslims offering namaz on Eid in a Ganpati pandal in Mumbai

Former President A.P.J.Abdul Kalam in his autobiographyWings of Fire recounts his father’s friendship with the chief priest of the Shiva temple in his hometown Rameswaram. He has written how the two would discuss matters of God and spirituality – his father sporting the prayer cap worn by Muslims and the chief priest wearing the sacred thread and long hair coiled at the back. The two friends not only retained the respect of the people of their respective communities, but also remained friends.

The truth is that those who are really devout, whether Hindus, Muslims or Christians – respect  those belonging to other religions, even if they don’t agree with the tenets.  For the rest,  religion means vote banks and publicity stunts. They should be condemned, ignored, even shunned.

The key words here are really devoutThe British had started the whole thing of divide and rule and the power hungry politicians, the media, social media, celebrities from all walks of life, and fringe elements from various communities have joined the fray today to tear the fabric of India asunder. They magnify some local skirmish and blow it to national proportions furthering the divide. And worse, don’t issue a clarification or apology when the story is proved false or had nothing communal about it.

It is about time to focus on positive stories of harmony to make people of all faiths feel proud of their upbringing and culture and ignore such provocations. And we, the people, have to do it, for such stories are buried deep inside the paper in a single column centimetre of space, that is, if they are published at all. And of course, no TV channel worth its colour will ever air them. For then, where will they find their TRPs? And what will happen to the vote banks of their political masters, pray?

Time was when journalistic ethics demanded that the communities involved in any skirmish, including a riot, was not named, even though everyone and their aunt knew the names! Today, in times of ‘transparency’, they have to be not only mentioned but also highlighted to serve someone’s agenda. And we have debates about intolerance that are nothing but shouting matches. One would think nothing positive is happening in our country, be it some path-breaking global agreement or the Chennai floods. (Read a hard-hitting post cloaked in humour on Chennai floods here).They of course will look for communal and political angles even to them if they deign to look at them at all.

Isn’t it about time we called the bluff of these mischief mongers? Isn’t it about time we told them:

Thank you dear sirs and madams, but we the people of India are not playing ball. We, of all faiths and communities are wise to your vested interests, vote bank politics and popularity boosting techniques! And oh, we are not going to be scared by your threat of a bloodbath in the country or of invitations to neighbouring countries to overthrow our government. So there!

So when I saw this heartwarming collection of stories of intercommunal harmony with pictures from Better India in my mailbox, my spirits lifted and I felt fresh hope for our country. A Muslim man performing the last rites of his Hindu friend; a Muslim translating the Hanuman Chalisa into Urdu and a Hindu translating the Quran into Marwari….

Stories to warm one’s heart and inspire the spirit of unity, aren’t they? Read them all here.

Then I remembered a post written in 2011 on the topic of communal harmony on the eve of the SC judgement on Babri Masjid. The TV channels only saw communal conflict and chaos, willing them to happen. Typically nothing had happened then despite their ‘best’ efforts.

I am sharing some stories largely ignored by the TV channels and other media, from my post of April 2011…..

President of Akhil Bhartiya Akhara Parishad Mahant Gyan Das and Mohammad Hashim Ansari during a meeting at Hanuman Garhi Temple in Ayodhya (PTI)

President of Akhil Bhartiya Akhara Parishad Mahant Gyan Das and Mohammad Hashim Ansari during a meeting at Hanuman Garhi Temple in Ayodhya (PTI)

  • In the supposedly polarized state of UP, Pandit Amar Nath Mishra, the chief of the Brahmin Sansad was acting as the convener of the Imam Council of India and fighting for higher wages for the Imams of that state. I wasn’t surprised. Imagine! The state that witnessed the Babri Masjid demolition and the subsequent communal disturbances was that day witness to the miracle of a Hindu priest convening a council of Imams to fight for the latter’s rights!  (Read news item here).
  • Not just that, but it also brought together the rival factions of Islam – “the historic achievement of bringing together all the rival factions of the minority community — Shia, Sunni, Barelvi, Nadvi, Kichchochwi and Deobandi on the same platform for the first time”. He was also hopeful that the Imam Council would support the Sansad’s campaign to improve the poor state of Sanskrit schools and universities in UP. And why not? As he said, they were all in the same profession and should be supporting each other! Do read the story here.
  • Elsewhere, on the internet was the story of some maulvis trying to bring about awareness of the development work being done by the RSS in UP. Unbelievable?
  • Mohammed Hashim Ansari of the Sunni Wakf Board and Mahant Bhaskar Das of the Nirmohi Akhara, the two oldest litigants of the Babri Masjid case met after the Babri verdict and embracing each other. The former was over 90 and the latter 83 at that time. As recently as Feb. 2015, Hashim has gone on record pleading to set Ram Lalla free, as he was suffering in a tent, while the politicians responsible for it sat in their AC bungalows! But the vested interest groups have their own axes to grind so don’t listen to such voices.
  • A Muslim businessman Ashiq Ali Nathani has renovated a Ganesh temple in Ranathambore in Rajasthan in a goodwill gesture to promote communal harmony.
  • Going back in time, the Phoolwalon ki sair celebrated in Delhi during Oct/Nov every year, is a festival that started as a secular festival celebrated by both the communities, offering floral tributes at the Hindu temple of Yogmaya as well as at the Dargah of Khwaja Bhakthiar Kaki in Mehrauli. The tradition of this Hindu-Muslim festival was started by the Mughal King Akbar Shah II.

So why don’t we begin a campaign – of spreading positivity and trust among communities by sharing such stories to counter the narrative of intolerance set by the media and vested interest groups?

Homepage image courtesy: incredible-india.sanjeevnitv.com

This page Top: http://www.thebetterindia.com/

Bottom: http://www.thehindu.com/

64 comments

  1. Found In Folsom · · Reply

    Like always, a wisdom pounding post. Most of us have no issues with Hindus/Muslims on a personal level. It’s only the politicians and media that create all this ruckus. The other day; Sarath’s friend’s son was rejected immigration when he landed in U.S. That boy is a Muslim. But it didn’t matter to us to feel his pain as if it happened to my son or nephew. We invited our neighbors for lunch on New Year’s eve. I made sure I got halal meat as they eat only that and they were very happy about my thoughtfulness. These are not big stories to applaud but these small things are what keeps us together in harmony.

    Like

    1. What you call small things add up to make a large, very large picture, Latha. Just when the celebrities and media are putting on a holier-than-thou act about intolerance, if we bombard them with small stories like this, they will shut up. Instead, we feel guilty or we blame, depending upon which community we belong to. It is a shame, isn’t it, that we are letting these agenda-driven people to set the national narrative?

      Like

  2. shanayatales · · Reply

    This is my first time here, and this is the best thing I read today. I agree with everything you have written – in word and in sentiment. Thank you for writing this. This needed to be said.

    Like

    1. Welcome to Cybernag, Shantala and thanks for sharing this post. It needs to be shared many times over to be read by as many naysayers as possible who would then retreat from their regressive agenda of creating fissures and chasms.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Absolutely brilliant post! At a time when everyone is hell bent on being polarization figures, this post comes as a strong reminder of how people of different faiths in India immerse and indulge themselves in the faiths and traditions of their friends and neighbors and live together in so much harmony and happiness. And the stories are extremely inspiring as well. Such an awakening post.

    Like

    1. Great to see you back here, Raj! Yeah, we Indians are a harmonious lot and were it not for the vested interest groups headed by the media, we would all be living happily and improving out lot in life, with more development, jobs and education. Hope good sense prevails soon!

      Like

  4. Great post Zephyr. Newspapers dont spread much positive vibes these days. It’s either some communal clashes or rapes or murders etc. It magnifies the bad and downplays the good. We badly need a narrative on the “good” coming out. That all is not going to the dogs. That there are good people too. And by bringing out specific cases which highlight these, it certainly keeps the faith in the basic goodness of most people.

    Like

    1. I would suggest that all like-minded people share such stories, much like the 1000 voices for compassion. They should be such inter-faith stories, like the one Bhagyashree has shared. We can do it, if we put our minds to it. After all aren’t there fake tweeple creating ‘trends’? We are genuine bloggers, and so carry more power to even bring about a change not just create a momentary trend. Else the media will run away with creating stories on intolerance and being out crimes and parade them as communal clashes, like Dadri and like so many other cases. And if only the media celebrities and ‘intellectuals’don’t fuel to the fire!

      Like

  5. I agree! I personally am proud of how cosmopolitan and inclusive my city was and how religion never mattered to any of us in my childhood! I’m quite irritated with the way the media has become, always trying to scavenge for the worst tales of humanity and blowing them out of proportion!

    Like

    1. Media is driven by an agenda — a political one, and that is dangerous for a democracy. I have stopped watching TV except for cookery shows 🙂 There is no one screaming in those and one can see lovely foods 😀

      Like

  6. I agree with you completely on the really devout part. People first of all should know religion and then learn what the teachings of their religion and not blindly follow rituals and sermons of their respective prejudiced priests, because it is only then they can appreciate and respect other religions.. they will comprehend the essence.. half knowledge and little truths.. that’s the trouble, the reason why R’s mom has pointed it out as an utopian idea.. if only!

    Like

    1. You know, most religions demand implicit faith and obedience or else…..So it is understandable that they tend to look down on others with superiority. Even this is ok, if the vested interest groups don’t interfere and create trouble among the followers of different faiths. Today media is the main culprit followed by vote bank nurturing politicians for this chasm deepening. That is why such posts and stories are needed to make people realise that the world is a family. Thanks for reading and commenting, Pins and Ashes 🙂

      Like

  7. These days media channels flare up even the tiniest of squabbles to gain TRPs and if there is a religion angle to it, they ensure they go deep into that and create a mess. I wish people on Christmas and they give me cake, I wish people on Bakrid and Ramzan and they give me Briyani. When other wish me for Diwali and other festivals I share my festive-snacks with them. We might not celebrate other festivals with much zeal but we do respect other’s faiths. To a large extent people are tolerant and of course there are people who think they are better off than the rest. Instead of portraying how people coexist peacefully, sometimes the focus shifts to fights, because that is what might garner more views.

    Like

    1. Most sane people are like you and me Ashwini, but we have the mischief makers who want people to look at each other with suspicion and fight. It is very sad that the media is the leading player in this, threatening to push even politicians behind.

      Like

  8. Last month was Damodar. As you know we go from home to home narrating the Damodar katha and offering Him a ghee lamp. One day we were late and there was no parking space and so the husband double parked the car and rushed. Before leaving however he left a note on the front mirror that he was late for a puja and so if someone wants to remove a car, they can call him at the sprcified phone number.
    he did the invocation prayer and just then he receives a call, the person on the other side says he is removing his cariso can he ( my husband) come and park his car in his place.
    the husband rushed down . The person was a ‘hajji’.
    He was waiting guarding the empty slot. He just said u r doing the Lords work, you deserve the best.:)

    i

    Like

    1. That is so heartwarming, Bhagya!! See, this is what I have said in my post. The truly devout understand and respect each other’s faith and so will live in harmony and peace. That is what Pandit Amarnath Mishra, who was fighting for better salaries for Imams is also saying. They are all in the same ‘profession’ and should work together! Thanks for sharing this lovely story, and in a Muslim country too 🙂

      Like

  9. Faith is- or should be harmony. And we Indians have a history of harmony. Just look at that example of the Parsi community. Persecuted in their homeland, they found safe refuge here and freedom to follow their faith.

    As you have mentioned, politicians, and nowadays the media, are creating rifts between different communities for their selfish ends.

    Would like to mention the much-used word ‘tolerance’. How sad if we are expected to merely ‘tolerate’ one another’s faith! How much better if we respected one another’s faith.

    Like

    1. Not just Parsis, but also Tibetans in recent times and all refugees from Bangladesh and other places have found safe haven in India, not just for their safety, but also to practice their religion and flourish. Yes, Manju, I agree that the word tolerance itself is condescending and insulting. That is why I have emphasised the respect aspect where religion is concerned. True Indians, without an agenda all respect each other and their religions as their main concern is to make a living and bring up their children in a peaceful atmosphere.

      Like

  10. great post….the few people having extremist ideas shout so much that we only hear them….the stories of tolerance gets lost….would be great if we can out-shout (as i call it) them….thanks for sharing

    Like

    1. Good to see you here after a long time and also thanks for sharing the post, Subhrashis. You are right, we are allowing some extremist voices to dominate the scene, even while muting others like those of Owaisi who are spewing hate in equal if not more measure. You are right. We need to out-shout these people with good stories of love and peace and collaboration.

      Like

  11. Feel so happy to read these positive stories. Definitely, the media doesn’t like people to be happy. Very well narrated post. I haven’t read some incidents mentioned here. Thank you, Zephyr!

    Like

    1. Media not only doesn’t want people to be happy, but also wants to divide us into small groups so that their masters will give them more favours and rewards for saving their vote banks. Thanks for reading and liking Sandhya!

      Like

  12. With politicians of all hues proving that they are worthy students of the British in adopting ‘divide and rule’, the only hope left was the media. NOW the media, in its mindless pursuit of TRPs, is giving the politicians a run for their money in dividing people. Social media has its rational voices but is too full of people who scream before thinking OR scream instead of thinking, thereby drowning out the voices of reason. Thank you for being one of the few voices of reason.

    Like

    1. Media was the only hope as long as it was free, as in the days of Sadanand and Kasturiranga Iyengar. They were men of integrity and upheld the highest standards of journalistic ethics. Today it is all about quid pro quo and favours for each other, so the media can influence policy decisions and even appointment of cabinet ministers! So how can they be impartial? They have to toe the line of the people whose payrolls they are on. Social media has its own set of rewards for people who help set ‘trends’ and so it behaves the same way as the MSM. That is why, we have to collect more people to set the counter-narrative which will reverse the intolerance debate to one of harmony stories.

      Like

  13. While reading this post, and the many memories you shared, I remembered the exact kind of harmony that I experienced growing up. Our milkman was a muslim and my father had taught me to greet him not with a namaste but a salam vale kum. As a kid I didn’t understand what it meant but what was important was the way Salim chacha’s (that’s what we called him) face brightened everyday on my greeting. It came naturally then and it comes naturally now to respect the differences because beyond those religion tags are just people like you and me who have the same lives, same challenges, same joys. Sensationalism can’t break these ties and yes, as you said, we shouldn’t let them be broken. Thank you for such an important post.

    Like

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your experience here, Atula.We need more and more stories to flood cyberspace and influence the thinking of the people. My father was very orthodox and yet we visited Ghouse mama and their family came to our place and my mother gave her haldi-kumkum too 🙂 This was more than half a century ago. I wonder why such a loving people that we are, we have allowed the mischief mongers to hijack the harmony and turn it into a narrative of intolerance. If we can ignore or not blow up an Owaisi saying that he can decimate the Hindus in 10 minutes, why should we blow up another crackpot asking Hindus to produce more kids? Why the selective and biased reporting that unmistakably creates fissure? The common people of this country are united in love and war and natural calamities 🙂

      Like

  14. Superb, and timely post, Zephyr. like your ac repair wala, my electrician is a muslim, and he looks forward to our bommai kolu every year.. he comes just to see what we have made, and enjoys the trains chugging around like the other kids do! there really is no difference. the differences only crop up when egged on by politicians and the like, which we have seen enough of. what surprises me is that we somehow refuse to learn from past experiences…

    reading through the comments, brought up some thoughts that have been going around in my head for a while now… it might not be politically right to say so, but when it comes to disasters, we forget our differences and come to help… during the bombay riots, i experienced that firsthand for myself… later, we experienced it again during our floods. now, during the chennai floods, we hear of so many such instances.. why is it that we only come together when things are bad? of course, it is good that we do so,but when things are normal, we go back to fighting over petty things, which dont really matter. is this why these days, we keep getting challenged in terms of natural disasters? is it God’s way of somehow showing us that intolerance only happens when we have nothing better to do? is it eventually the same old thing – an idle mind is a devil’s workshop?

    Like

    1. Very true, Anu. When we were young we used to say that a war unites us and now with natural calamities becoming so frequent, it is their turn to unite us. Only, the media is playing the evil divider even here and refuses to share stories of harmony, politicising even suffering. It was my complete disgust at the intolerance brigade that made me share the Better India article and add my own stories from my old post. Then as now, my only grievance was the callousness and apathy of the media, which has become so influential now that it can easily turn the tide in favour of the good.

      Like

  15. satpal malhotra · · Reply

    People like Mr. Nathani should be highlighted in the communal interst of India.

    Like

    1. My sentiments exactly. But unfortunately the media plays into the hands or is hand-in-gloves with the politicians and is hell bent upon highlighting only unpleasant things about the various communities.

      Like

  16. “The truth is that those who are really devout, whether Hindus, Muslims or Christians – respect those belonging to other religions. It is only those who want to exploit religion for political or other reasons that create tension between the communities for their own vested interests.”

    You said it all in these two lines. Nothing much left to say 🙂

    Like

    1. Thanks Prateek. Let’s spread the message of harmony, which we encounter everyday in our lives.

      I can’t call you Snow Leopard lest the real one comes roaring at me from its Twitter page! 🙂

      Like

  17. Hey Zephyr, Firstly congratulations and thanks for sharing this story – it is indeed so obscure that i missed it too. It is heartwarming to hear these developments. I hope that they continue and become an example to emulate. I am not necessarily a religious person in any sense and for me faith is a very personal issue and doesnt rest on the stated religious practices and rituals. I believe to each his own and differences in views and beliefs is something to be not just accepted but celebrated.
    Religion is NOT only one of the ways we differentiate us from others and I would in a bit cynical way assume that herding together and fighting another group is probably part of our animal genes. But then much of it is ignited as rightly pointed out by you by the politicians most of who are hardly religious ever since any true spiritual (i use the word interchangeably) person would at the minimum follow principles of good human being. If only more of us believe in Being Human.. I live in hope!

    Like

    1. Well said Mayank. If we believed in being human beings things would become truly Utopian in India, nay, the world.

      Like

  18. India is complicated.Period.We love each other but then when one power hungry,wicked,cunning politician instigates us,we burn down homes of our brothers.Extremists!Is that an excuse to being inhuman?

    Like

    1. One thing I have notices about the comments to this post is that the anger over violent acts is overshadowing the positive things that are happening around us. There are more comments condemning them than those commending the good deeds. Why is that? Is it like Anirban says that we are caught in a vicious circle that we watch such news because they are telecast or they are telecast because we watch them? Let us look for the positive and try to build on that. Two negatives might not make a positive, but two positives WILL ALWAYS make a positive. 🙂

      Like

      1. Honestly,I wanted to write something positive..But I don’t know how it ended up like this.If I could I’ll shake some sense into the extemists.. 😀

        Like

        1. The best thing we can do is to hold and build on the positive things around us. Have you heard of ostracising people? By doing this, we can ostracise the fanatics. There was another news which I read on many websites — of Muslim maulvis spreading the word of the many development work being done by the RSS! Can you believe it? And this too in the same state of UP!

          Give people a chance at peaceful and harmonious living and they will. Someone should start a movement to this effect. I am sure millions would join in. After all everyone regardless of their faith want to live in peace and prosperity.

          Like

  19. Utopian would be no-religion. Let’s not blame the politicians when there are so many people ready to slaughter, kill and maim in the name of religion. Why do people feel that it’s not the individual responsible for his actions, but some politician/leader/media/god? When a man hacks down another because they belong to a different religion, it’s HIM doing it, not a local politicians. A hundred leaders spewing a hundred messages of hate would not be able to do a single thing if no one listened.

    Like

    1. My point exactly. It is because people listen and they listen because they are being dinned into their ears and psyches by the media and the politicians and vested interest groups. You have no idea what constant dinning of hate into minds can do to people. Then they become beasts. So let’s pause to see the good things happening around us. Let us share such news when we come across them, instead of simply flagellating the wrong doers. As you mentioned in your post, let us acknowledge the heroes, whether it is Pandit Amarnath Mishra or Nathani.

      If negative emotions can be planted into people’s minds, so can positive ones. And it is happening everywhere around us. Only we don’t care to see because it doesn’t make good copy/video. And if there is harmony how can the politicians thrive?

      Like

  20. Nice post. Our media and politicials are responsible for creating the fault lines and breeding sectarian strife. Even when I was young, I was educated in a christian school, have had great friends from all communities. As children nothing mattered to us and we saw everyone as equals. Why are grown-ups so narrow minded and divided?

    Like

  21. so refreshing to read about harmony…..
    thank you.

    Like

    1. We need more such news and they are happening, more than the strife, believe me.

      Nice to see you here after some time 🙂 I was wondering if I had lost a friend and reader 🙂

      Like

  22. hie maam! how r u doing..its been a long time..somehow i get disconnected with ur blog due to the lack of following option on wordpress..i ll make it a point that this time i connect with u firmly and forever 🙂 how do i do tht?
    as for ur post..I suppose the very seeds of this religious hatred was planted by the Britishers under the ‘divide and rule’ scheme. and since then we have been living as victims of it, victims of petty politics and hypocrites who call themselves the ‘people of God’! and y would media show it? This aint any ‘masala’ news for their channels and moreover it restricts loads of such in-harmonious and breaking news coming onto their way!
    very well written…As always:D

    Like

    1. Nice to see you back here Sarah. The problem with us Indians is that we let such unscrupulous politicians and others manipulate us and let them get away with it. We are like kids who need to be constantly kept in check by someone. Unless we mature as a nation, there is no hope for us.

      As for following, why don’t you join the Facebook fan page of Cybernag? The posts are all updated there. And while you are doing it, do recommend it to your friends too 😀

      Like

  23. Awesome post ma’m! Not only well written, but a lesson for guys like me who wants to write good…Thanks! 🙂

    Like

    1. Hey Punit, I commented twice on your blog but somehow they kept disappearing. What I had said was that you have great ideas and write pretty well. Keep blogging 🙂 and welcome here again. How about joining my fan page on FB?

      Like

  24. I may sound skeptical but vote banks based on religion and caste will continue to exist in our country.

    It just takes one matchstick or one stone or a brush of paint to stir up a section of our religion crazed people.

    Like

    1. The point I tried to make in the post is that given a choice, the common man is not going to enquire about your religious preferences but would happily interact with you if you are a colleague, neighbour or service provider. It is only when a politician or vested interest group goads them to think otherwise that passions are ignited. And since goondas can also be bought, they are bought to spread mayhem.

      We can always say no to such sentiments and be friends with everyone can’t we? We might not be able to remove corruption by individual efforts, but this is something that is possible and can bring a change in the scenario.

      Like

  25. If a Hindu and Muslim bonhomie is terrible news for TRP ratings, it spells doom for the wicked politicos who thrive on fomenting hatred between the two. No wonder your blog is the first place I came to learn about the story.

    Like

    1. The reason such heartwarming news is reserved for the print media is because less and less people are reading them, though the circulation figures would say otherwise. So it is relatively safe to publish them. what would happen if millions actually see that the two communities are getting on well with each other? What would happen to the vote banks then?

      Like

  26. Now this is a step in the right direction and at the highest platform no less. Is it an utopian scenraio? No, I don’t think so. I would say its a real, achievable situation. It’s more beneficial than one filled with animosity (no brainer really), from any point of view.

    The good news, most I know do not really care about the religion anymore. Religion is but a social practice. Quantification of that which is unexplainable. And hence, any differentiation based on religious practices need to be discarded and if propagated by the more “responsible” people of the democracy – should be openly denounced. That’s my point of view.

    Thanks for bringing up Phoolwalon ki Sair. I had forgotten about it. Do remember reading an essay about it back in school. Not the contents though.

    Like

    1. It is indeed achievable Sumit. That’s the point I am trying to make. But knocking religion is not the way to go about it. Faith is crucial for humanity. But one need not become rabid about it, which then causes tensions and passions to rise high. about three decades ago in Bangalore, one newspaper had published a short story that had some derogatory comment about the Prophet. There were sporadic incidents that automatically were dying down after the paper published an apology. but politicians jumped into the fray and started arson and looting. Still, they could not incite the passions of the peace-loving populace for more than a couple of days. Today, one can’t say the same thing. All thanks to the ‘concerted efforts’ of the politicians, we have a tinderbox of a situation at the drop of the hat.

      Like

  27. This post was like a whiff of fresh air. Open a newspaper and all you read is about strife, fake CD”s being circulated, a state trying to charge an activist with sedition. Why is it such wonderful gestures are not highlighted?

    Caste, creed, illiteracy, prejudice will continue to fester for the sake of vote bank.

    Again a wonderful post Zephyr.

    Like

    1. The pic that is featured in the post should have made it to all the ‘breaking news’ of the channels, but did it? the story of the temple in Rajasthan was featured in a You Tube video, not in any paper or channel. At least the media can do a good deed by promoting such stories on prime time since our leaders both political and spiritual are not doing anything.

      Like

  28. How true. Religion is all about loving God, loving humanity… and the most amazing thing is that all religions say the same thing! Our politicians and other vested interest groups seem to or rather purposefully fail to notice that!

    Like

  29. Such heartwarming news…in our hearts we know that there is no reason for any acrimony or misunderstanding, and yet we allow the media and vested interests to divide us.Great post.

    Like

    1. Such news should be featured in Breaking News, if you ask me. But even here vested interests would smell a rat and create tensions if they can. What a millennium of invaders and British could not do, our politicians have done within half a century — created a divide among the people.

      Like

  30. Well said. If each of us is true to our faith, then tolerance automatically follows. As for policiticians, they have no faith other than money and power for which they can do anything. Media bothers only about TRPs, who is bothered about the real news?

    Like

    1. Real news is what the media makes. If they gave such news prominence, then automatically awareness about good things will increase. There should be features about such incidents and people, instead of concentrating only on the communal divide that is increasing because of such coverage.

      Like

  31. Very well said ……………..

    Like

  32. Definitely Utopian! I think in India we are too wrapped up into religion to even think about supporting, accepting or tolerating others..though I do remember during the riots in Gujarat, my dad ensured that mom’s rick driver who was a muslim and our ironing man who also was a muslim were safe and sound…we stayed near a muslim dominated village and though some shops were burnt, no lives were lost because the muslims and hindus in the village were extremely tolerant to each other and refused to allow any political figure influence them..the burnt shops were by miscreants from outside!

    Like

    1. Your family’s example proves what I am trying to say — that the common man lives in harmony with his neighbour no matter what his or her religion is. It is only when the vested interest groups come in that communal passions rise and hatred brews.

      Like

Enter the discussion

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: