Shruthi Shetty –  B.com , Perusing MBA at Thakur Institute of Management Studies & Research , Mumbai

Various factors divide mankind, such as, race, ethnicity, colour, language,
nationality, ideology and religion. Among these, religion is most emotive.
Scholars propound that religion is responsible for making man a civilized being,spiritual growth and for taking mankind nearer to God. But it is a sad fact that more people have been killed in religious conflicts and battles than in wars for conquest of territory. Religion has been misused for political and personal gain. Religion is an organized collection of belief systems, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to spirituality. On the other hand Harmony means agreement. So in simple religious harmony is nothing but an agreement of different set of people having a different perception about beliefs, culture, and views. Religious harmony is a philosophy which includes the basic truths of all religions. It preaches a universal message, a message of harmony and peace. The sum total of all religions does not mean that all people on earth have to come under aspect of God. If Christ is true, Krishna and Buddha and Mohammed are also true. Let there be teachers, many scriptures, let there be churches, temples and mosques. Every religion is a path to reach the same.

 Some things have bought people together as in technology, rapid transport, instant communication, IT and E-mail, Computers and associated gadgets have enabled peoples all over the world to know more of each other, thus removing ignorance and opening up their minds to facts. Globalization of business and trade has compelled industrialists and mangers to focus on growth, profits, raw materials, markets, talents etc, and to ignore all the divisive factors. MNCs are operating in many nations where their managers are drawn from all over the world. Narrow loyalties to nationality, race and religions are waning. 200 million tourists leave their home and travel all over the globe every year. They see for themselves how others think and live. Finally, education levels are going up which removes rigidity and opens up the mind. Genuine secular and democratic governments try to reduce religious conflicts. The need to separate religion from politics is being recognized.

We have approximately 4200 religions followed in 196 countries around the world . Which are not same thought there are some teaching or some beliefs which are the same. There is a diversity of religious beliefs in our world simply because there is a corresponding diversity of mindsets. Even two random adherents of the same faith are unlikely to have totally identical views. We need to respect this worldly reality – before arguing on any spiritual reality. Major problem is that nations remained aloof from each other with their own distinct religion. In this evershrinking global village, there is increasing interaction between adherents of various faiths.

However, in today’s close and inter-connected world there are so many differences amongst various religions. We must obviously resolve these problems. A harmonious relationship is required to be established amongst societies and religious beliefs in today’s multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural world. Religious Harmony holds center stage for the peace and prosperity in our multireligious and multi-cultural 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 practise 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 – 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. Lets work together to create religious harmony in our world by knowing and practising our own religion ; respecting other religions ; integrating closely with the people of different faith and believes , not interfering in the religious matter of other people and opposing any attempt to misuse the religion and create disharmony in our society.Communal harmony as such is highly sensitive an issue and cannot be soft pedaled any more in view of our traditional value, com cultural heritage and secular character of our state.

“Growth in essentials can be done in different ways, but all of them have as their root restraint in speech, that is, not praising one’s own religion, or condemning the religion of others without good cause. And if there is cause for criticism, it should be done in a mild way. But it is better to honor other religions for this [or that] reason. By so doing, one’s own religion benefits, and so do other religions, while doing otherwise harms one’s own religion and the religions of others.”

It is the reality of the time that our world is now like a global village and so is living and existence moving along that line; i.e fashioning out a life of multicommunal, multi-racial, multi-religious and multi-cultural co-existence. Though there are differences as regard the definition of religion between various religions, which arises from their perception about God and divinity, this bring about differences in worship forms and rituals; not withstanding we find similarities and commonness in the social items of these religions; i.e in their “classification of what is right and what is wrong or what is good and what is bad”. Every religion teaches its adherents to be good and to do good deeds. This shows unanimity in issues of doing well to humanity though there might be some variations in some details; summarily, we all concur in social relationship even if we differ in faith and their practices.

When learning about a certain faith, we need to be wary of its misrepresentations by those not of that faith – since outsiders often generalise other faiths in inaccurate ways, albeit accidentally. While being open-minded to hear outsiders’ views, the insiders’ should be heard too – for balanced and right understanding.

Religions exist to benefit humankind, may all religions co-exist harmoniously in the light of true mutual-understanding!