Religion: Perspectives of the Young v/s the Old

Posted on February 18, 2010

Vidhi Kotecha:

India is a diverse country with a mix of caste, creed, race and religion. India is known for its culture all over the world. We Indians don’t leave a single chance of bragging about our nation and the unity we possess in front of outsiders.

But we very well know that India can no more be called a united country. We have been killing each other brutally in the name of religion.

When a person is born, he is born to be a human. God doesn’t send a letter with the new born saying which religion he should belong to or what name should he be called by. It’s we who decide.

Going further to the basics, what is religion? I doubt if anyone can answer this question. Everyone will have their own definitions. We will get at least a hundred odd definitions. Because it is us, humans, who have made the word religion and have defined it according to our convenience.

If you are happy talking about your religion, it is fine. But then talking bad about other religions is not acceptable.

I went around asking about religion to both youngsters (below 25) and elders (above 60). My motive was to try and figure out whether there is a generation gap in the way people think about religion.

Young respondents: (A general view)

They never bother to know about the religion their colleagues or friends belong to. According to them, the person whose thoughts match theirs is a friend. Their religion has nothing to do with it. Some do believe in letting religion be the deciding factor for a relationship, but a majority did not really care what caste or religion a friend was from. All that mattered was if their minds matched.

Elder respondents: (A general view)

But on the contrary when some elder people were asked about their views on religion, and also about what the young respondents thought, they acted furious. Most of them did not seem to be happy with the fact that religion does not matter for a majority. They felt that religion is God like and one must, marry or befriend a person preferably from their own religion. But is this kind of thinking really their fault? They were probably never sensitized about religion the way we were, and probably, they did not have a similar diverse environment to grow up and develop themselves.

People today are much more rational than they used to be in the yesteryears. They believe in what they see and have parted ways from the idealistic approach.

Today, youngsters are touching new heights and moving ahead leaps and bounds. It is us, the youngsters who are changing the way people think. This is the generation that believe in “on the face” commentary, and when in doubt, they do research. This is the reason why the religion jargon has been removed (or being removed).

But the big question still remains, all of the above is true for the urban youth, but what about the majority rural youth? They are the ones who are picked up by the political goons to spread their venom, terror, frustration, and what not. They are the ones who help in the collapse of a Mosque at the command of a single politician.

Well, the debate can go on and on, but are we inspiring others? Are we making sure that charity begins at home? Are we even trying to change the mindsets of people who are our relatives, our workers, our maids, etc.?

Think, and act! Rest is up to you…

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