Tuesday, February 28, 2017

ABOUT OUR RELIGIOUS INTOLERANCE











“For the God on the mountain, is still God in the valley
When things go wrong, he'll make them right
And the God of the good times, is still God in the bad times
The God of the day, is still God in the night.”

This song by Lynda Randle is one of my favorites. I have written around its lyrics and shared the song a couple of times before… and, today, as I was writing on the subject of Religious Intolerance, mysteriously, Lynda’s words popped up before me…

“Life is easy, when you're up on the mountain
And you've got peace of mind, like you've never known
But things change, when you're down in the valley
Don't lose faith, for you're never alone.”

Which God are we talking about here? The Christian God or Hindu God? Muslim God or Jewish God? Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, Zoroastrian, or is He the God of the Godless – an atheist's?

Really, the thought simply amuses me.

I was born as a Roman Catholic… My Christian faith – sorry, the ‘Roman Catholic’ faith – came to me with my birth. It took some years to realize, even in Catholics, we have many divisions and groups… leave alone Christianity at large!

And, along with this realization, came more: Not just in Christians, but in every religious faith, there were divisions and groups… in Islam, in Hinduism, in Buddhism, in Jainism, in Sikhism, in Judaism and Zoroastrianism… even in the Godless Atheism!

God made man… and man made Gods!

Honestly, God must be laughing watching all that goes on - here on this planet – yes, all in His name!

To me, the faith in my God is purely personal... just as the faith of my fellow-being is. I cannot and I should not try to push my faith on my fellow-being and the same holds true to my fellow-being…

Live and let live… Hello, we are on a ‘leased land’… Actually, on a trespassed one… We haven’t got a lease agreement, even!

So, when I see this arrogance, this constant friction, hatred, intolerance and bloodshed... all in the name of religion and God, I look up to the skies and throw my hands…  "My Lord, my Lord, forgive us all… For, we know not what we are doing!”

Yesterday, I watched a video shared by my friend, Srikant. It was about 13-year-old  Mariam, who had won the nationwide contest on ‘Bhagvad Gita’. There were over 4,500 contestants… obviously, most of them from the Hindu faith. But, then, for this Muslim girl to win… yes, there must have been a strong reason… In the video, Amitabh Bachchan was talking to this girl and her parents… “I am much bigger than you in age and height,” I heard Amitabh confessing to the little girl, “but, I  feel very small before you, today!”

When I heard father of the girl, Mr. Siddiqui,  saying, “I am a Muslim inside my house… But, the moment I step out of my house, I am a Human Being!”… yes, when I heard this, I said to myself, “Hey, that ‘is’ the definition of religious tolerance!”


God have mercy… Please forgive us, for we do not know what we are doing!

GERALD D’CUNHA
Video: YouTube
Pic.: Azriel D'Souza

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