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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE

Violence in the name of religion is a burning topic in the world today.

It is so distressing to see the going  of  so many innocent lives with  religion as a central issue.   

We are a nation with great religious tolerance. When I dwell on this subject, I can't go forward without quoting Swai Vivekananda who  who loudly said the Message of India to the world  at Parliament of Religions, Chicago on 11th Sept., 1893 :

I am proud to belong to a religion which has
taught the world both tolerance and universal acceptance. We believe not only in universal toleration, but we accept all religions as true. I am proud to belong to a nation which has sheltered the persecuted and the refugees of all religions and all nations of the earth. I am proud to tell you that we have gathered in our bosom the purest remnant of the Israelites, who came to Southern India and took refuge with us in the very year in which their holy temple was shattered to pieces by Roman tyranny. I am proud to belong to the religion which has sheltered and is still fostering the remnant of the grand Zoroastrian nation. I will quote to you, brethren, a few lines from a hymn which I remember to have repeated from my earliest boyhood, which is every day repeated by millions of human beings: "As the different streams having their sources in different paths which men take through different tendencies, various though they appear, crooked or straight, all lead to Thee."

Religion is purely a personal choice.  To embrace a faith is rather a personal choice and  not by  compulsion.  At the same time, religion is totally insignificant when a person doesn't have  the  luxury of even a full square meal.

The recent conversion drama  that raised emotional turbulence  in a certain part of India need not be looked with magnified glass.  This country is maintaining religious freedom since time immemorial and a couple of stray incidents can't disintegrate the fabric of this nation.

If religion is grasped in a true sense,  I fell that this Hindi tag line which I have seen on a billboard  for a satsang in a colony of my South Delhi home makes full sense :

"Dharm jodta Hai, Todta Nahi " .

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