Saturday, October 4, 2008

Should We Let Religion Be Dumped On Us?

by Ayesha Parveen 03 Oct 2008
Category: Others.
This story has been read 302 times.

How often do most of us make the mistake of labelling a person a Hindu/ Muslim/ Christian etcetera, based on his name? Perhaps, we do so every other day. The moment a person’s name is mentioned, most people start identifying him with the generalized characteristics of his community-background and take it for granted that he follows the dictates of what they consider to be ‘his’ religion.

Does a doctor-couple’s son automatically become a doctor? Obviously, he does not; he becomes one only if he decides to be so, works hard, becomes qualified and practises that profession. He may very well choose to be a business-person. The same logic applies to religion, something even more personal than profession. A person may or may not practise his parents’ religion (or any religion) and he certainly cannot be held responsible for the name his parents have given him.

Thus, it is only common-sense, not rocket-science, that a person’s natal-background is not synonymous to his beliefs or ideology. No one is born with either Hindu-chromosomes or Muslim-DNA or Christian-genes or any such thing. Yet, out of sheer habit or thoughtlessness, most people do the labelling, perhaps unaware of how insensitively they are behaving, all the more so if the person they are identifying in terms of religion, is secular in belief or has non-denominational faith.

Thousands of years ago, in India, on the battlefield of Kurukshetra, a voice was heard:

“ Sarva dharmaan parittyajya……”

That voice resonates in the hearts and minds of some select-people, who (regardless of the ‘communities’ into which they have been born), belief and practise what the owner of the voice has said. Would it not be unfair to put religion-based labels on such people?


Ayesha Parveen said...

MSN Readers' comments:

P.V.Vaidyanathan - Mumbai on 10/3/2008 11:26:21 AM
Ayesha, I can see a lot of anger and anguish in your article, and I sympathise with you, for you have echoed my thoughts totally. However, I also want to tell you that in this world, people like me who don't give much value to religion, caste, customs, traditions, rituals, conditionings are far and few; the majority of this world follows what it has been taught, by parents, by teachers, by peer groups, by religious heads, etc. I fully agree with you about what you have stated, but the fact of the matter is that most people are not yet prepared for a world without religion, for that makes them very scared. It needs a lot of courage to get out of this mindset, and start thinking and behaving like what we really and truly are---only human beings. Human beings, who have been created perfectly and equally by nature, by existence, by God, but who have been rendered unequal, who have been divided, who have been turned against each other, by man himself.

sharmishtha - kolkata on 10/3/2008 12:12:58 PM
it will be best for the society if we always remember that first we are human beings then every thing else. nice article. dont be sad, changes at massive scale always come slowly.

Ayesha Parveen said...

MSN Readers' comments:

Ramesh Padmanabhan - Chennai on 10/4/2008 11:02:07 AM
Good writing. Mind is very powerful but majority of the time it malfunctions due to prefix or sufix attached to a person's name. The momeent we refer Captain Sharma and ask people to describe the preson , 99% of them will think that he is from army and all attributes related to that profession will be told. The fact is our mind is conditioned from our childhood to think in a particular way. The same applies to a doctor with a visiting card with many fancy degrees is assumed to be more qualified than a doctor with only MBBS or MD degree. The same thing applies to names. The moment the name is of Muslim-origin the police or even countries like USA , first label him as terrorist unless he prove that he is not. As individuals, we must all respect each other as human beings rather than representatives of a religion. Let us write, talk and exchange ideas at persoanl level to bring out a beautiful world in the near future. Regards . RP

ajaykumar rao - bangalore on 10/3/2008 3:13:15 PM
Birth is by chance. Religion is by choice.

MSheriff - Kolkata on 10/4/2008 11:00:37 AM
Thought Provoking

M.Lokeswara Rao - Bangalore on 10/4/2008 1:23:39 PM
nice article