Shrinit Badiyani-Bachelor of Commerce (Mumbai University) , Persuing MBA at Thakur Institue of Management Studies & Research , Mumbai

“India terrorist attacks leave at least 101 dead in Mumbai” ,“Terror attacks ravage Mumbai on 26/11” , “The collapse of World Trade Center Building on 9/11”, “Luxor attack, 6 armed Islamic terrorists attack tourists at Egypt’s famous Luxor Ruins. 62 killed, 26 injured.”, “1999 Russian apartment bombing- a series of bombings in Russia that killed nearly 300 people & led the 2nd Chechen War” “Riots in Gujarat”, “The 11 July 2006 Mumbai train bombings” & it goes on & on.

These are not just daily newspaper headlines and articles we read but are such horrifying and devastating events that have changes lives of millions of people worldwide .They are examples proving that there prevails religious disharmony not only in India but throughout the world. More than physical and economical damage they show the kind of hatred mankind have developed in itself through the medium of religion. Are we so narrow-minded that we judge the other person in front of us only through his name, dressing or religion? Is the world only technologically advanced in this 21st century?

The answer is definitely a big “No”. Its high times we understand that after all we are all humans with similar physical and emotional characteristics. When we are made by the same supernatural power in the same manner with the same basic needs of food, clothing, shelter, love & affection then why do we need to differentiate people on the basis of their religion & not on a their nature or actions?

A simple answer to this is “Paint a Globe White” and show it to someone and ask them to think over it. The whole world is our home and not just an area or a piece of land based on nationalities. Ultimately it’s we as humans who need to fight together with various problems like poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, corruption, AIDS, cancer, issues of women safety, domestic violence, malnourishment, etc. and not internally with each other.

What is religion eventually? George Bernard Shaw says ‘Religion is a great force – 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. This is where schools can play an important role.

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. Ultimately religions are just set of norms that guide us on how to live life as humans. It should not become a reason of converting a man into a beast. ‘To be fully human is to be divine’. No religion preaches hatred. A true religion is transformative having the power to create “a new heaven and a new earth”.

All the religions give only one message to its preachers: “Hate the sin but love the sinner”. They never teach to love someone because the person follows the same religion which you do or to hate someone who follows some other religion. Violence and destruction will result in nothing but hatred and further destructions. All we need to destroy is the hatred and jealousy within us .Mahatma Gandhi gave an excellent quote saying that “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind”. He was a true lover of mankind & humanity and a strong supporter of non-violence.

In today’s competitive & stressful life we need to focus on improvement and progress. To achieve progress it is necessary to firstly bring religious harmony so that we as humans can work together in sync with our skills and competencies used to make this world a better place to live in. It is the youth of this world who can do this. In the 21st century today geographical barriers have been overcome to a great extent with the use of internet and social media. Everyone uses Facebook & Twitter to connect to people dwelling in a different corner of the world. Smart Phones & Tablets are a great medium to connect and should be used to spread a word of harmony and peace. The over growing communalism and the need for redefining the concept of secularism for a cohesive society need to encourage our youth to mobilize a group of eminent academics, social activists and prominent citizens to promote and propagate Communal Harmony and Secularism to. We need to accept people as they are and love them for what they do and only then can this world become a better place to live for us & our future generations. Thus justifying a quote by Swami Vivekananda stating: “The Christian is not to become a Hindu or a Buddhist, nor a Hindu or a Buddhist to become a Christian. But each must assimilate the spirit of the others and yet preserve the individuality and grow according to his own law of growth.”