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In God We Trust

In God We Trust

With terrorism having become a constant global threat, the Prime Minister’s earnest appeal to nations to join hands and unitedly fight the scourge if we are to have world peace assumes significance in the backdrop of Hafiz Saeed’s release from ‘House arrest’ in Pakistan.

That the mastermind of the ‘war on Mumbai’ could walk out a free man on the very eve of the anniversary of the dastardly act, observed so very religiously by the nation, speaks volumes for Pakistan’s sincerity in addressing the issue of terrorism from which even it cannot claim immunity.

Torn asunder by the ravages by separatist groups, Pakistan is today paying the price for endorsing terrorism and allowing it to breed unchecked on its soil. Yet, the country seems to show no remorse, at least when it comes to relations with India!

Seen as a threat which could obliterate its presence on the global map, Pakistan’s ‘anti-India-obsession’ keeps it so busy plotting mayhem across the border that it hardly pays any heed to the conflicts within that’s already sounding doomsday warnings for Pakistan.

The manner in which audacious terror operations are planned and executed by state players within Indian limits gives indications of Pakistan being preoccupied with anything else but its proxy-war with India.

For a country that is in the throes of anarchy, the arms-race and the haste to pile up its nuclear arsenal comes as a huge surprise especially considering that it has so far been incapable of extending protection to its own people against the aggression by insurgents and splinter terror groups within its territory.

Having been on the global radar for its infamy as a breeding ground for Islamic fundamentalism for so long, empty rhetoric and lip-syncing has been characterizing Pakistan’s response to global conferences on anti-terror initiatives.

For us Indians the heinous carnage of 26/11 has as much relevance as the 9/11 tragedy for the Americans in that in showed the world that no country is absolutely secure against terror perpetrations orchestrated by lunatics who justify their vile acts as adherence to religious tenets that assures them spiritual salvation.

It is however a shame that chaos and destruction which remain the sole intention of those spreading a reign of terror across the globe is always attributed to the call of their God. As if the Supreme Being sanctions the unnecessary bloodshed being carried out in its name!

Somehow, globally, religions have found favour as the most appropriate medium to be exploited to incite the public. It comes as a huge surprise though that people have not been able to see through the thin fabric of lies which give a colour of sincerity to the deception purportedly carried out in the guise of crusades that discredit religions more than they honour them.

While staunchly believing that all religions preach the gospel of truth and love, it is sad to note that the concept of universal brotherhood has never been understood in its true sense and continues to be flaunted as a term only meant to garner applause wherever used.

For, if we are to believe in the teaching that all human beings are brothers and sisters, whose parent is God, religions merely become the spiritual path which teach us veneration of that single entity.  So  Ishwar, Allah and Isa Messiah are all one and the same! But we have learnt to symbolize the Supreme Being by different names.

In spite of the avenues that have opened up for knowledge seekers, there are many who still prefer living in ages where religion had an enigma about it and could be understood by only those who were entitled to decipher the holy texts.

Probably those dabbling in religious affairs wanted to maintain their superiority over the commoners and pursuit of this common goal pushed them further into the dark pits of religious ignorance. But religion is no more taboo and is easily ‘accessible’ to laymen. Even then, people getting easily stirred by religious emotions and instigated into assuming hostile postures is not a rare occurrence these days.

Yet in the haste to establish religious superiority fundamentalists forget that the various sets of belief that differentiate mankind in today’s world are but different paths leading to that lone supreme being whom we call by different names.

However, it is a really a matter of concern that as against the violent acts that were typical to the uprisings that were attributive of the struggles against tyrannical rules across the world in the past ages, modern day rebellions have religious ideologies featuring as a major source of motivation.

But nothing could be more sinister than the realization that politics as that art of governance which is all about resolving provincial differences or conflicts between nations through negotiations, conciliations and compromises may at times also entail the infusion of the ‘religion factor’ into these exercises to exploit the situation.

It becomes all the more bewildering to have religions being thought of as a convenient tool to bolster sagging images of political parties and to further political agendas of ruling factions. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that almost all the communal clashes that happen in the country today have their genesis in the exploitation of the religious sentiments of the masses. But then that is politics!

 “Fear, a despotic state’s most potent weapon, keeps a population compliant. It will be lavishly supplied as we are thrust into a new dark age.” How apt is the observation under current circumstances!

This fear has manifested itself in so many forms that at times certain communities appear apologetic over the actions of a few from their brethren who bring the whole community to disrepute with their vile deeds. Besides, are we morally justified in condemning a whole community for the actions of a few estranged members!

Extreme reactions have typified responses to terrorist acts with that tinge of religious connotation in India. Otherwise there is nothing called ‘saffron’ or ‘green’ terrorism. The ‘red’ colour however remains reserved for the Maoist insurgency that has been taking its toll in the tribal belts of the country.

Fearing threats to their religion, retaliatory moves by members to safeguard their system of belief from being overwhelmed by other faiths can only be seen as a scenario that has all evidences of political manoeuvring written all over it. It is a sad state of affairs that politics has aggravated the unsavoury situation vis-à-vis terror perceptions the nation is trying hard to come to terms with.

When will realization dawn upon us that religions are but paths leading to the omnipotent!

(Published on 04th December 2017, Volume XXIX, Issue 49)