Unity in Diversity- The Indian Paradox

  • A man’s ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death. ~ Albert Einstein

Paradox, as the term generally applies, is an apparently true statement or group of statements that leads to a contradiction or a situation that seems opposite. It simply means that the two premises cannot be held as true together.

We Indians used to feel extreme pride in portraying an example of ‘Unity in Diversity’. I used ‘past tense’ because we are not united any more. In the current scenario, ‘Diversity’ is the only word to describe India. It is a land of opposites, where rich and poor stand side-by-side; shanty towns built-in front of 5 star resorts; the beauty of The Taj Mahal juxtaposed to the slums of the Taj Gunj; Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians and many other religions co-exist. This diversification itself has become a threat to humanity. Since past few decades, we are fighting in the name of ‘religion’; religion, that is considered to be our moral foundation. Such an irony!!

There are certain teachings common in every religion like love, compassion, sympathy and gratitude. So if we are actually religious, then why can’t we carry out these principles instead of proving other religions or their followers as wrong? The Holy Bible itself claims: “God has written a law on the hearts of all. Everyone has a conscience, and although the outer ring of our conscience may be influenced by religion, the inner core is universal and unchanging.”

For instance, there isn’t a human being alive who doesn’t know the good and right of love, and there isn’t a human being alive who doesn’t know the evil and wrong of murder. In the Biblical view, if we are confused about such things as sex, selfishness, abortion and euthanasia, the problem isn’t so much that we don’t know about right and wrong, but that we “suppress what we do know” about them.

We consider ourselves to be very open and adaptable when it comes to accepting someone from a different land. Then why can’t the Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen, who was forced to leave her country, is given refugee in India by our politicians? Are they scared of being revolted against by the fundamentalists? Or they want to keep this minority in their favor for getting votes? Even in her worst nightmares she had not thought that she would be persecuted in Bangladesh by the majority and in India by the minority, but persecuted just the same. What good would it bring to kill her? No benefit to Islam at least!!

Why should a barbed wire keep families and friends apart even though they share a common language and culture? What hurts the most is that this wire has been secured by religion. “All religions are ancient monuments to superstition, ignorance and ferocity”, said a French philosopher Baron D’ Holback. Religion has been described as the root of human misery and conflict – that more people have been killed in the name of religion than in any other cause.

Is Politics, a worthy cause to pull out a partition and divide a nation? Is Race, a worthy cause to burn human beings alive? Some may say yes and be proud about it. There is absolutely no way to prove them wrong. But the fact remains, they have become violent and in being so they are violating the natural state of Peace. Gandhi’s non-violence approach may have definitely affected India’s freedom fight, but it has surely saved Humanity.

We talk too much about excellence and we forget to talk about being good. But the word “good” means everything; it means righteousness, morality and perfect alignment. Aren’t these the things we really want to have in our lives? This is an era of globalization and liberalization. So why can’t we liberalize our acceptance and openness to everyone? Why can’t we globalize one common religion, i.e., ‘Humanity’?

We can continue with this madness or we can simply start asking ourselves – is the fight really required? Can’t we let go of our want to fight? The purpose of religion should be love and peace and not hatred and revenge. It depends on us, how we use it and in which direction we take it. Don’t let Humanity become a Monster!

“Tu na hindu banega, na musalman banega, insaan ki aulaad hai insaan banega.”

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