Samuel Paty, a French teacher, was beheaded in the name of religion, just for teaching his students about freedom of expression!
A few days ago, I wrote an article on Youth Ki Awaaz on how our practices during festivals destroy the environment. It was posted on Facebook as well. While I was going through the comments, I figured how bitter religion had made us!
I was born in a Hindu family, and I do pray to the Gods and Goddesses often. However, over the years, I have realised a few things.
I do not burn fire-crackers during Diwali because of the insurmountable fume this releases into the air. Often, I feel my throat is sore for days, and my chest keeps burning. I realised that not burning crackers did not make my festival any less happy.
What more can one want in a festival than to eat delicious food with your loving family? Sing and laugh together? However, every minute that we burn these things, we burden our earth with the air that’s already become unbreathable.
Rivers and lakes; where we often visit to seek calmness and relief, becomes a dumping ground for the immersion of idols of Gods and Goddesses. The is not a lovely sight. For just a second, can we take a step back and make do our festivals without destroying our nature?
When I read the comments like, ‘why am I only pointing out these festivals, why not Muslim festivals like Eid?’ Or, ‘why do people like us only have problems during these festivals? Look at the author’s name—Sharma’.
No matter what, extremists like this have been and will continue to exist. Some go to an extent to killing the voice, like in the case of Samuel Paty, and some feel happy trolling and cyberbullying.
Since the last few years, when people ask me what my religion is, I say, “I do not have any, I do not believe in God.” People are often taken aback by this statement, fearing that if I do not believe in God, then I must be believing in Satan!
It has stopped bothering me now. When I see atrocities based-on religion, I loathe it. How are people capable of committing crimes in the name of their religion? Killing in the name of God or maligning love in the name of love jihad and moral policing; or those so-called bearers of culture and religion who will burn, throw and repeat, believing that their hate is going to make a difference.
My only question to you is; if religion does not make you a better person, why should you be following one?