Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tolerance- Thy name is Hinduism

We never believe in critisising other religions. It is our opinion that belief is the basis of all religions. Mudslinging on others will not help building any religion. It is unfortunate that people belonging to other faiths have been portraying Hindu Gods and Goddesses in a manner that wound the sentiments of millions of Hindus. A company in Europe took an ugly route to propagate the sale of Toilet covers by printing the pictures of Hindu Gods over them some years back. It had to apologise and withdraw this practice after receiving protests from Indians living abroad. M.F. Hussain, a painter was the other person to wound the feelings of Hindus by drawing the picture of Goddess Saraswathi in an ugly manner. Now it is the turn of U.S. based magazine Newsweek to publish the picture of Obama on the front cover in a dancing posture , resembling that of Lord Nataraja. Many Hindus who live abroad have protested for portraying our God in bad taste. However, we do not find any such protests from India. Does that show that we do not have affinity towards our religion? Do we think that our silence is to demonstrate our tolerance? Protest does not necessarily mean taking the issue to the streets. Yet it has to be done in a lawful manner in order to tell the world that our relgion is second to none which in fact holds the supreme distinction of being one of the oldest religions in the world. You may call it as a"Right to Protest" in order to exhibit our displeasure.

There have been instances within the country when processions were held by atheists by garlanding the pictures of Gods with chappels. Since these people enjoyed the support of the Government, very little could be done to condemn the event. We have even witnessed Political leaders slamming the religion. At the same time, some party workers have even erected cut-outs of their leaders depicting them as Gods and Goddessess. Although they remove them on protest, teasing the religious beliefs continue to occur. Of late, the media has been doing these unpleasant acts unmindful of how it would hurt the believers. Many social movies have scenes showing the Puranic characters standing in queue and travelling in two wheelers and so on. This is being carried out as very few voices are raised against them. As there is no legislation to curb these activities, film actors openly give interviews to TV channels making fun of the religion . Who cares and who will restrict them from speaking such non sense stuffs.? Let them remember that the same people who have put them on top of the ivory towers can also teach them a lesson. All these actors should focus on their job alone and desist from critisising others for the sake of gaining cheap publicity.

Politicians, Journalists , TV and Film makers should be more sensible and responsible. They are accountable for their statements. They should do away from selecting religion, an easily available area where anything can be said to gain popularity.The Press can publish letters from readers who wish to condemn the insult to the religion. It is equally important for the believers to be vigilant and guard their religion. There is nothing wrong to be defensive since affinity towards religion, Mother Land and mother-tongue should go hand in hand as long as we do not permit hatred against anybody. This is exactly we mean by tolerance and Religious practce. It is because of this culture our country has demonstrated patience,peace and non violence for several centuries. May this tradition open the eyes of the critics and set enviable standards that can be followed by every nation .