When I was 5 years old my parents took me to a conference in Pune, where a God man or a Yoga Guru as you wish to call him was interacting with the earthly creatures and answering their incessant questions on the mysteries of life, death and the human race. After all I was just a 5 years old kid and all this didn't make much sense to me and boredom took over, so after pestering my mother to take me out of the air conditioned hall packed with molecules of celestial energy I gave up and fell asleep on my mother's lap. Later when the conference was over, my parents and I got an opportunity to confront the Guru back stage and I asked him “Where is God?" He smiled at me as though mocking my curiosity. "God is everywhere. In you and me."(I’m not sure whether those where his exact words) he said in his deep charismatic voice. This is my first ever memory of you, dear God. I don't know what made the five years old me ask that, though I didn't have the mental faculty back then to comprehend his answer.
While growing up I have had various instances when my grandma used to narrate the epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata. Slowly my idea of God changed from being a mysterious supernatural being to a Hindu deity who would help me score good grades only if I offered him coconuts and went to the temple every day. When few of my classmates prayed to Jesus and Allah, I realized that there is more to this. I remember asking my grandpa when I was 7 that “How do all these religions co- exist in one country?” He replied that India is a secular country and we respect our Muslim and Christian brothers.
Later in my early teens when I started studying about India’s history in school, I realized that this country has been divided beyond repair by religion. All religion professes peace, faith and appreciates good deeds. So it is only logical that all religions can co-exist under one roof of secularism. But that is not the case in India. Difference of opinions in the name of God has divided this country. Religion has been the reason for death of so many innocent souls. Isn't it hypocritical that the religion that preaches love but leads to hatred towards people of other religion? I think we must ask ourselves whether the fault lies in the way we perceive religion or in the very fundamental ideology of religion itself. Religion to people is identity, belief and faith. They believe that faith in God gives them purpose in life and solves all their problems. They’re so blinded by this faith that religion propagates that they start believe that their religion is superior.
Religious fanatics and fundamentalism is dangerous, it is an evil to humanity. There are so many unresolved issues regarding religion in this country. Superficially we claim to be secular, but how many of us think of Muslims, Hindus and Christians as humans first and then associate them with their religion. Who are these Hindus? Are they the people who wear saffron, go to temples and hate Muslims? Who are these Christians? Are they the people who celebrate Christmas, grant sainthood and lead mass conversions in India? Who are these Muslims? Are they terrorists, do they hate the rest of the world? Religion is a concept that man has created. It has manifested into such powerful levels that now it can destroy humanity. Taslima Nasrin in her book Lajja says, “It is said that peace is the basic tenet of all religion. Yet it is in the name of religion that there has been so much disturbance, bloodshed and persecution. It is indeed a pity that even at the close of the twentieth century we've had to witness such atrocities because of religion. Flying the flag of religion has always proved the easiest way to crush to nothingness human beings as well as the spirit of humanity.”
26/11, 9/11, Godhra riots, Babri Masjid demolition, Indian Partition and the recent Peshwar attacks are all instances of religion destroying humanity beyond measures. Religion was supposed to be a facilitator, a propagator of faith. Since when did religion become larger than humanity? Are we responsible to have bred this evil?
God, weren’t you the supernatural being? The being, that was larger than life. The energy that created the whole humanity. The protector, creator and destructor all bind into one powerful force. If you’re out there, if you’re real would you let religion destroy human beings? Would you let religion kill 132 innocent school children in Peshwar? Would you tell people that you’re much larger than religion? Humanity is heading towards a path of self-destruction, all of this in your name. When will they understand that you’re all about love, peace and harmony? When will humanity shed the evil cape of religion and respect another human being for being a person rather than look at them as Hindus, Muslims and Christians. When will we all unite under the name of humanity and save ourselves from the horrifying future that awaits us if we continue to let religion divide us like this? When will people understand that religion is a shallow and superficial concept? Faith and belief goes beyond religion. If we truly believe in something, it is for everybody’s well being and never for anybody’s misery. Down the line, religion has lost its essence and it hides behind your name. All religious acts are rationalized in the name of God. Doesn’t matter how many people die or lose hope in the process.
I am just a concerned human being writing to you. Horrifying things that happen in the name of religion that I see and hear around me have compelled me to write to you. Today it was those innocent school kids and tomorrow I could be my siblings. This is slowly going to destroy all of us and it won’t discriminate between Hindus, Muslims and Christians. Humanity is in need of some serious help and I write to you so maybe you could look into the fact that religion is bad mouthing you. We need believers in this world. We need saviors and protectors. We need brothers who don’t discriminate. If religion destroys us, then we must annihilate it.
Just Another Concerned Human Being.