Jinal Vasa –  Perusing MBA at Thakur Institute of Management Studies & Research , Mumbai

“Hatred and conflict are often rooted in differences between people of different races and religions. We all need to respect people of different races as well as people of different faiths and religions. We need to unite by recognizing our common desire and need for a harmonious society — a society in which we and our children and families and friends and communities can all live our lives in peace and harmony. Regardless of our race or religion, we all want and need such social harmony.”

“Without respect for people of different races or ethnicities or religions, how can we have a peaceful and harmonious society or world? And without a harmonious society, how can there be the necessary economic development and atmosphere conducive to spiritual happiness and self-realization?”

What is religion? ¡¥Religion is a great force ¡V the only real motive force in the world¡¦. There is a common misconception that religion means ritualistic religion and nothing else. The word religion actually means laws, both natural and moral, that ensure right living .Religion stands for an integral development of the personality, a comprehensive view of life.

Only human species has the ability to transmit information and knowledge from one generation to the next. This ability has given man his cherished civilization and culture. An enquiring mind naturally seeks for an order, for a unifying principal behind the apparent diversity. It is well known that faith infuses energy and grit, without which no worthwhile progress in any field of activity is possible. Today we all are at the verge of atomic destruction and when everybody is busy in the mad rat race of materialistic pursuit, religious harmony will be a relief .We should make an effort to peep into the prominent religions of the world and find out a secular message for the mankind .Our aim should be to enlighten and educate the masses about all the religions, so that the message of universal brotherhood is spread throughout the world.

Incarnations, Saints, Prophets and Sages have appeared in different parts of the world from time to time in order to teach men how to live in harmony. These great souls, on the basis of personal experience explained the essential ideals and values in life and taught how they can be achieved. In addition to their moral and spiritual teachings, almost all the religious teachers and reformers of the world gave out a plan and a system of their own on which human society would best be organized .It was thus that every faith helped to establish customs and conventions, with rites and rituals, amongst the communities of mankind and gave birth to a particular type of civilization and culture which naturally differed from others. This is how different religions came into existence.

Religion plays a very crucial and central role in everyone¡¦s life. Religion guides us to the path of honesty, integrity, high morals and inspires us to live a righteous life. Many people around the world are driven by their religion to keep themselves away from bad deeds and do good things.

But a closer look at the history of the world teaches us that the religion has been misused by many people for their own vested interest. These people divide the society in name of religion, caste and creed for their own vested interest. Religious intolerance in the society has created many problems¡V millions of people have been killed in riots; many people are discriminated every day because of their religion; many nations have been divided on the religious lines and created discord in the world.

Religious harmony holds the key to a peaceful and progressive world. Religious harmony is the need of the hour because we are the children of the same God. The holy books of various religions are filled with divine knowledge; if we are religiously tolerant and study these holy books and practice in our daily life then our world can be a lot better. Our world is a diverse one where people of different religion are spread across many nations ¡V a religious group many be in majority in some areas and minority in other area. Religious harmony is important to ensure the safety of people in the diverse society.

 Need of religious harmony in business world


 “For building a better world, the transformation should begin at individual level¡¨

Present Scenario:

At present we are living in age of corruptions, greed, conflicts, violence & terrorism, which is known as ¡¥Kali Yuga¡¦ i.e. Age of darkness & impurities, which is an extremely explosive troubled times where the context of human life is changing every moment.

Modern Civilization & Civilization’s Crisis: We have reduced the world to its present state of Chaos, by our prejudices, by our egoistic behavior and by our self centered activities towards nature and towards human being.

Civilization’s Crisis in the 21st Century : The problems faced by humanity are many but the most pressing are or the problems of meeting the basic needs of the vast majority of the people removal of illiteracy and the gap between the rich and poor.

1) Threats to the Environment: The Threat of Environmental Destruction & global warming & climate change are the greatest threat to humanity.

2) The Threat of Increasing Population. : Growing Population, Vanishing Resources. 3) The Threat of Increasing Poverty: The Global food and Intolerable economic inequality are also main threats of human survival.

4) The Threat of human survival: The threat of nuclear war; &

5) The Cultural threat of Human values: Erosion of Human Valves & Ethics due to mind pollution & cultural pollution are also affecting our society.

Solution: To meet these challenges & to save the humanity from further destruction we have to change our attitude from ¡¥Culture of Materialism¡¦ to ‘Culture of Spiritualism,’ & we have to change our attitude of possession to non-possession.

This is a real agenda, ‘Agenda of Social Transformation through ¡¥Ethics & Nonviolence’ and this is a two-fold task of:

1. Creating a Social Ethical Consciousness i.e. ¡¥Social Transformation for Nonviolence Attitude & lifestyle ‘ through self-transformation by the Principles ¡¥Ahimsa¡¦ Nonviolence & ¡¥Aparigraha¡¦- Non-Possession.

2. Creating a Global Peace Consciousness – ‘World Transformation ‘ based on principles of Ahimsa, Compassion, forgiveness, friendship, tolerance& equality etc (jiyo aur Jino do, parasparopragrahajivanam).

  • Let there be harmony in every walk of life.
  •  Let human mind blossom to its full capacity
  •  Let individual & society on one hand, and man & nature on the other, respect & cooperate with each other to achieve world peace & human unity.

Wealth without work, Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character, Business without Ethics; Science without Humanity, Religion without Sacrifice and Politics without Principles are deadly Sins.” -Gandhi Ji

EXAMPLES Singapore is a multi- religious and multi- ethnic country. Racial Harmony Day is celebrated to highlight Singapore’s success as a racially harmonious nation and society built on a rich diversity of culture and heritage

Hong Kong also gives great emphasis on maintaining communal and racial harmony. They established Race Relation Unit to promote racial harmony and facilitate integration of ethnic minorities.

Malaysia has developed early-warning system to maintain harmony A software can be developed which will keep track of news reports and police station database for incidents involving different communities and will give early-warning of untoward situations.

Government can not shy away from its prime responsibility of maintaining communal harmony.

 Both Central and States Government can take following initiatives:

1. Launch aggressive TV/ Radio/ Print campaigning involving famous sportsmen and famous personalities against communalism. Currently government is running Polio vaccination ads on this line.

2. Celebrate communal harmony day aggressively by organizing programs in Schools, Colleges and Office. People should be encourage to take pledge for promoting harmony and peace in India.

3. Ensure school books have sufficient information with pictures about Minorities and their culture and festivals. Minorities names are also used in the course books . Special books highlighting real life stories of communal harmony should be introduced in the schools.

4. Ensure schools and colleges regularly hold programs like painting, debate and essay writing to promote harmony

5. Government should publish information countering negative propaganda about minorities in Newspapers and TV.

6. Inform society about ills of communalism and advantage of having peace and communal harmony in the country.

7. Inform citizens that the discrimination on the basis of religion, is a crime

8. Should also launch special exhibition train promoting communal harmony and our rich Ganga-Jamuni culture of India.

9.Need to develop the monitoring and reporting system so that incident of communal nature are reported and control immediately.

Lets plege to love and respect everyone in the world irrespective of one¡¦s religion, cast, creed, sect, color, ethnicity, language, gender, nationality and any other difference. Let¡¦s plege to work together bringing religious harmony and co-creating a peaceful and prosperous world.