We, The People Of India Hold The Power Of Undoing Religious Violence

When a riot occurs, who suffers the most?

The poor who are fighting with their empty stomachs,
or a daily labourer who is unable to find a job in a riot-torn factory, shop or a showroom,

or an auto driver who tries to educate his little girl through his profession but whose only lovely livelihood partner has been damaged and burnt by the so-called safeguarders of a religion,

or an office-going, law-abiding, secular and rational, modern valued, tolerant and diversity believer citizen who does want but is not able to go to their place of work (or worship) to earn their family’s only bread and butter due to roadblocks, curfew and the orders to shoot at sight,

or a policeman who wanted to but couldn’t protect his countrymen from the abuse of their fundamental rights including the right to life and liberty

or a civil servant with a so-called steel frame who ought to but couldn’t preserve and protect the basic tenets including secularism and justice of our nation’s spiritually religious text – the Constitution,

or a child – our future – who would find none of her friends in her neighbourhood from a community different from herself, so that she can write in her essays that she lives in a religiously tolerant and a culturally diverse nation,

or a nation with 1600 plus dialects, 22 plus constitutionally recognised languages, and the one who provides refuge to all the religious communities besides the unreligious ones (including atheists) in a subcontinent,

or a dream that has been envisioned by our founding fathers to make our country religiously tolerant, politically secular, scientifically modern, socially progressive and economically developed?

They all suffer,
but the worst sufferer is religion itself.

Because when you as a Muslim are involved in a religiously (read unreligiously)
fanatic activity you disobey the teachings of the great Prophet Muhammad and one among them is to protect your neighbour and their beliefs.

When you as a Hindu lynch a man in the name of protecting your beliefs, you forget the basic tenets of Hinduism enshrined in the philosophy of “ekam sat vipra bahudha vadanti” (there is only one truth).

Politicians would do what they ought to do, the police officers would do what their political masters want to do.

So who could and should take this dream onto their shoulders?

Yes, ‘we, the people of India,’ must work religiously to preserve protect and promote the idea of India.

For this, we must not fear.

We must say it loudly and proudly that we are the sons and daughters of this great five-thousand-year-old civilisation which not just accepts but celebrate its diversity.

We must ask the questions which our ideologically based governments (whether left, right or centre) do not like to be asked.

We must demonstrate the true power, strength and value of our evolved unity in diversity by celebrating all the festivals of various hues and colours.

We must taste together the harmonious sweetness of sevai (vermicelli) during Eid, ghevar (a traditional sweetmeat) during Diwali and cake during Christmas.

We must hear the fusion of harmonious melodies of love and brotherhood of the bells chiming in churches, of the azaan from the mosques, of bhajans from the temples and of the guruvaani from the gurudwaras.

And lastly, as a true nationalists and true believers of our great religious principles, we must see a dream and work for it – to make a country where the minds of everyone are without fear and the heads are held high.

Jai Hind!

Similar Posts

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below