- Introduction: What is Religion?
- Glorious role of religion in India in the past.
- Religion being exploited by sectarian leaders for votes.
- Personal level: people are moderate.
- Political level: they are aggressive.
- Cause of this dichotomy, being lack of understanding of religion.
- Conclusion: We must be religious in the true sense of the word.
Essay on Religion
“Educate men without religion and you make them but clever devils,” says Arthur Wellesley. Indeed religion is not only a matter of faith but also a way of life. We all believe in God Almighty, the creator of the universe, who guides our lives. God is one but he may be worshipped in the form of Jesus by Christians, Muhammad by Muslims or Rama by Hindus. All religion teach people to be good and pious, shun violence and evil to lead a good and happy life.
India has been singularly blessed for it is the birthplace of many religions like Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Hinduism. Most of the saints and sages who propagated these religions were born in India. It is from here that they set out to enlighten the world. Thus culturally and spiritually our forefathers were more advanced and lived a pious and happy life.
Unfortunately religion has now become a major reason for discord and unrest. Like a double-edge sword, it is being used to incite hatred and inflame passions, to make people behave like beasts, baying for each other’s blood. This evil facet of religion is being fanned and exploited by some religious and political leaders, for their own vested interest. It is shocking to see, that in the age of enlightenment, such people are still living in the dark ages, believing their religion to be superior to the other.
At the personal level most of us are influenced by western culture. The strict moral tenets of religion are gradually being forgotten. One does not find many Muslims offering Namaz five times a day or Christians going to church every Sunday or Hindus going daily to temples for offering prayers. This is for our outlook has become moderate and easy going. However, at the political or social level, we allow ourselves to be exploited by sectarian leaders, who preach hatred for garnering more votes and power for themselves. This contradiction in our psyche is exploited by the unscrupulous leaders, who sow discord that result in communal strife.
The cause of this dichotomy is the lack of understanding of religion. If one understood religion, things would not have come to such a pass. This is for no religion preaches violence, disharmony, and disrespect or harm to others. In their ignorance people fall prey to the mechanisation of conspirators in religious garb.
The place of religion in India is indeed very sensitive and politically explosive. However, it is not too late. We must realise that religion cannot be worn on one’s sleeves, to be used only at will. It is something more sublime and spiritual.