Today, for my assignment I read a very interesting article titled Ethics of Political Communication and Indian Secularism by Paulachan Kochappilly. The article spoke about how we Indians were fundamentally secular and how we were manipulated towards fundamentalist ideals by political parties for their vested interests. The article also went on to say how we can revive our secular way of life through our ethics. Very interesting indeed.
Religion today, I feel, is the cause of most of the problems in the world. From the very beginning of civilisation itself, we have read of wars fought over religion. Recently too, we have witnessed communal clashes and cross-border terrorism. All because of religion. But is religion bad?
I would answer that question in the negative. No, religion isn't bad. I feel religion helps people have a way of life, have principles and ethics. Religion is a very important part of philosophy and culture. It was through religion that we have amazing texts like the Rigveda, one of the first texts related to music. It was composition of religious hymns that influenced poetry greatly. The Book of Psalms from the Bible is a great example of this. Religion had influenced human traditions greatly.
Having said that, I do feel one shouldn't take religion too seriously. That's what is wrong about religion, not religion itself. According to me, religion has existed only because man could not find answers to complex scientific and social questions. He created religion to give a universal answer to all those doubts he has in his mind. But that with time has turned this religion into a symbol of authority. We know the case of Galileo and the Catholic Church in this regard. People began to look at religion as the only answer and that has caused all the strife.
Fundamentalism, fanaticism and religious terrorism, all carried out in the name of 'protecting one's religion' are results of taking religion too seriously. We need keep religion as one of the least priorities in life. That way I feel, free thinking will increase. Let's face it, the fanatics can't think straight. We know how easily they are indoctrinated to perform acts of violence. I feel if we leave religion in the back-burner, we can explore more and more avenues for development and freedom. No political entity will be able to manipulate our emotions too.
Only this way can we be a truly secular nation. Otherwise, fanaticism will continue.