Continued from previous issue
TDP leader and former Union Minister P Ashok Gojapathi has said Lord Rama’s idol was vandalized and Goddess Sita idols were desecrated in Andra Pradesh. Moreover, according to a police report, more than 25 Muslim mosques were attacked in India. But the media showed only part of the truth, which led to a feeling in foreign countries that only Christians are in danger in India.
It is clearly seen that all these uncivilized and unjustified discriminations are inflicted not only on Christians, but also on Hindus, Muslims and others, regardless of the religion to which they belong and, at the same time, they were not the work of the political parties of India but by certain individuals and groups of religious fanatics for their personal interests and beliefs.
Everyone obviously wants respect for their own religion, but making efforts to spread religious enmity is a threat to liberal society. A man can call himself a Christian or a Hindu or a Muslim and he can strictly follow the rituals of his religion. But that will never save him from sins. You may wear your religious label proudly, but you still have that passion. You have little time to seek the truth.
You talk a lot about peace but your behavior proves the opposite. Religion does not consist of an act of outward practices and ceremonies, but true religion is the purification of the inner spirit and love is the essence of all religion. Spirituality as expressed in love, forgiveness and compassion has no creeds, creeds, sects and divisions.
No one has the right to coerce another in matters of religious belief. It is a personal matter between a man and his creator. We all know that India is not a theocratic state but a secular state.
Religious neutrality is the very basis of a secular state. Secularism implies a deep respect for all religions. For example, the postponement of the poll from February 27 to 28, 2022 at the initiative of the Honorable Chief Minister of Manipur clearly indicates that the BJP believes in secularism as enshrined in the Constitution of India and respects the sentiments of minority Christians.
In this age of science, as stated by NK Kundu, secularism should be based on the science of religion from which the system of social, political and ethical values should flow spontaneously in all spheres of life, leading to a peaceful and harmonious coexistence for mutual benefit. Let us also remember an Ashokan inscription which says: Honor another religion, for in doing so you strengthen yours and that of the other.
As we live in a pluralistic society, there will always be problems of all kinds throughout the ages. We have issues like integration or disintegration and development, social welfare or economic sustenance, etc. Political freedom can be meaningless without the economic betterment of the people. It would therefore be discreet to opt for a holistic vision according to which all aspects of people’s psychological, physical and social needs must be taken into account and considered as a whole. Soon we will go to the polling stations to choose and decide our future. A good choice on this day can make our future bright, while a bad choice can ruin it.
It is true that each act has a consequence. Today we face the consequences of yesterday’s choices and tomorrow we will face the consequences of today’s choices. So let’s not choose to be poor. We should not be poor because poverty is the greatest enemy of humanity. There are conflicts between nations because of poverty, while on a personal level man hates himself so much that it seems that the whole human race drives man to hate and hate himself. Due to poverty, the joy of family life is shattered, the sacred bonds of family life are broken, and with the collapse of family life, moral degradation occurs and also reinforces the lie.
Poverty robs most people of the will to fight against adverse circumstances. Poverty causes discontent – discontent against the established order of society, discontent against God and discontent against one’s own life. In an underdeveloped state like Manipur, where the vast majority of the population is steeped in poverty, the power of money still reigns supreme in elections and as a result, our electoral system is deteriorating.
Further, a poverty stricken family or society hampers the progress of children’s education and our future generation is doomed to collapse without a proper educational foundation amid the confusion and chaos created within the society.
Education is the only key to the solution not only of our political problems but also of our economic and social problems.
United States Attorney General Ransay Clark bluntly stated in 1960 that poverty is the cause of crime. Former US President Jimmy Carter echoed the same view when during his tenure there was a blackout in New York and widespread looting took place.
President Jimmy Carter said it was poverty that drove people to loot. Let us therefore be aware of the purveyor of false propagandists. Let no one make an effort to spread religious enmity. Let no one use the name of religion as a weapon to garner votes from innocent and reckless voters.
Let no one sow discord by telling only half the truth about the incidents. Let no one spread unsubstantiated and false propaganda to steal the hearts of ordinary men and women and let no one try to harvest the precious votes by coercion of any kind, so that the people of Manipur can get the government they truly deserve.
The author is Councillor, BJP Ramva, Ukhrul District, Manipur.