Religion has been debatable for centuries that have gone by. Many questions have been raised against religion by either atheist or people of different faiths. But the real question here is why has something which has been created to unite, divided us all?
Religion itself was created so that people could come together under one faith and be united. Religious leaders have fought for, and are still fighting for a united world. Some may have tried to do it through crusades, but the basic reason for religion to gain its impetus was unity.
Times have changed for the worse now though as religion has become a reason to start riots. Be it the animosity between Pakistan and India, or Islamophobia in the USA. Religion has divided us beyond reason. In India and Pakistan, we are quick to blame the British for using the divide and rule policy in which the British constantly pit the Hindus against the Muslims and the vice versa. But, let’s be clear here, that was almost a century ago. We have moved so far from then, we have educated ourselves to such a degree that we believed divide and rule was a thing of the past. Then why does the animosity continue?
When the Asifa rape case occurred, people pointed fingers toward religion. Did it really matter if she was raped in a temple by a Hindu? Doesn’t it just scare you to know that an eight-year-old girl suffered to that degree? India says it provides vastly for Jammu and Kashmir and promises it will be a safer haven than Pakistan. Pakistan might not be any better, but what is the Indian government doing other than dividing and ruling within their own country?
You might say that these tensions only rise between different faiths. But let’s look at facts here. The Middle East is still riddled with conflicts between Shi’a and Sunni Muslims. History has spilled blood over the disagreements of the Catholics and Protestants. Today in India, a Hindu cannot even eat what he wants, albeit he will be taught how to follow his own religion. So, are individual faiths really safe from this divide?
The first teaching of any tolerant democracy today is to respect all faiths. This is taught in schools, and even by many religious books and leaders. Even then, we ignore what we don’t feel is right in our own religion. While a person will be willing to go all the way to Kashi for a pilgrimage for the sake of a better life which may or may not come, he will be unwilling to follow the teachings of the same religion which states that you need to respect everyone.
Religious manipulation is also not uncommon. From cults in America to self-styled godmen in India there’s no telling when chaos will ensue. One needs to draw a line when it comes to keeping faith in these ‘preachers’.
The youth of today need to realise that your religion might be your identity, but another person’s religion is their identity as well. Religion shouldn’t be used as a tool to fight one another, instead, it needs to be seen as a culture. Do we not go to other countries and enjoy experiencing their culture? Why can’t it be the same for religion? We have divided and ruled for a very long time and maybe it is now time to unite and fuel a better world.