My encounters with religion suggest that to be wrong when everyone is right, sometimes runs you a perpetual danger of risking your life, especially if it is about your belief.
In my country, religion is that pertinent point that could render you wrong if you do not conform to the majority’s interpretation of it.
Sometimes, I wonder how come a people of a country, where 99 percent of citizens belonging to the same faith, could claim their religion is under threat.
Religion, that is a source of inspiration for spiritual direction, is the most justified reason to kill a man or a woman in the country of my birthplace.
I was not born to criticize religion or the people who believe in it; neither am I doing it now. But my early encounters with religion have shaped the way I think about it for quite some time.
In fact, it is the general ignorance that I feel I have the right to lament.
Even the most learned people in my country are afraid of touching the subject, lest they should end up surrounded by a lynching mob ready to crucify them for their profanity.
One such instance that I remember is, while I was preparing for a prestigious examination when my professor asked me not to choose the essay on religion. But perhaps a human instinct that bends on eating the forbidden fruit, or the rebellious nature of my soul, I chose the topic on religion. The topic was “Has done religion more harm than reconcile the world.”
In a way, the topic was itself a leading question: answering itself partially.
Globally, those who believe in God also believe that he gave man religion out of love and compassion for humanity.
Besides, it would be the last thing God would like to see the transformation of the intended compassion into a destructive force. But unfortunately, it is what man has reduced religion over the ages.
Man’s nature has changed and adapted to the changes of the time. But one thing that has remained the indispensable part of his unscrupulous consciousness since time memorial is his right to persecution.
Is it Religion or Human Instinct?
Despite the modern man’s claims of ushering into a civilized world, evolution has hardly been worth-boasting. Not to mention that the general condition of humanity has also been far from satisfying.
Still, humankind is suffering as miserably as it was during the Exodus. The most recent examples are Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians; and, the Indian handling of the Kashmiris.
More recently, it has been the Citizenship Amendment Act that has raised the political temperature in India. In the last two-three days, dozens of Muslims have been killed during the clashes between those who support CAA law and those against it.
Besides embarrassing Indian claims of secularism, these recent trends suggest an even bigger picture: that religion is still a divisive force. It has always been like this.
- What religion has given to mankind?
- What is the history of God and religion?
- If religion were a coin what would be the two sides of it?
But all the atrocities and persecutions taking place in contemporary India are dwarfed by the Chinese treatment of its Uighur community.
In the detention cells scattered around China, over one million Uighurs are detained without any charges other than they are Muslims.
Amid this environment in which I was raised to look down upon all the other religions except for the state religion of my country, the external environment has taught me one lesson: that religions are on a head-on collision.
The State Religion of My Country!
After all the years of my inevitable encounters with religion, having experienced them in a religious environment, I have found out that state religions are different from the religions God gave to men.
Because one thing I am sure of is that God did not give men religions to use as a political tool to beat the weaker portion of society.
Neither did God bestow religion on the man that he should claim superiority on the basis of his faith.
The difference between the state religion of my country and the faith in which I believe is the same. The only difference is that my belief is not corrupted by the politics of the rulers, and the ignorance of the society that is ready to kill in the name of God, but unwilling to follow Him.