Is Humanity Dead?
We are just into the fourth month of the year and the world has already witnessed several cases of barbarism. Coming on the footsteps of the recent oppression and migration of Muslim Rohingya people in Myanmar at the hands of the Buddhist majority, the attack on mosques in New Zealand and the blowing up of Christians at their places of worship in Sri Lanka, the developing trend of religious intolerance has shook the world. It is time to seriously think where things have gone wrong. It is time to carry out deep soul-searching and ask if humanity is dead.
The world currently has hundreds of distinct religions in existence. The problem begins when each religion believes that it is the one true religion and has the sole authority of the divine. This belief in the one true religion has been the cause of conflict the world over. Religion has been misguidedly used for death and destruction.
Religious tolerance has been in existence for centuries and this is an undisputed fact. In India which has a history spreading over several centuries, Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, Jewish, Muslims and Christians have co-existed peacefully for decades on end. Such has been the case in China, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Africa and several countries also.
While secularism has gradually seeped into some countries such as in the world’s largest democracy India which guarantees religious tolerance, the problem begins when religion gets used for political gains or for grabbing onto power. Misuse of this power against others who do not follow the religion of the major political party usually controlled by bigots, leads to hatred building up and grounds for retaliations. Such retaliations whether by an individual or by groups result in unwanted death and destruction. These barbaric acts get labelled as terrorism. Terrorists have a mindset believing what they do is correct.
It is essential that the development of such forms of hatred be controlled both at the grassroots level and at the state level. But when in a major secular country which is also the world’s largest democracy, Muslims get lynched on just rumors that a cow was slaughtered by him, seeds of hatred get sown. Added to this, when a Muslim gets branded with the symbol “Om” which means God in Hinduism, with a hot iron by jail authorities inside a prison for refusing to convert to Hinduism, it simply fuels the fires of revenge.
Such brutal acts of branding humans with hot irons spell the death of humanity.
But on the positive side, steps are being taken by many governments to save humanity form total destruction. Hatred and terrorism are being tackled on a worldwide level. Recently, a minister got sacked in Pakistan for his speech spewing hatred against Hindus. New Zealand’s prime minister attracted world headlines for her bold steps when mosques were attacked in her country. In the US where anti-Muslim and anti-Semitism are on the rise, laws exist with immediate actions taken against spread of such feelings.
All major religions of the world speak of love and collectivity and humanity. The RigVeda of the Hindus says, ‘No one is superior or inferior; all are brothers; all should strive for the interest of all and progress collectively.’ Buddhists are taught, “Hurt none by word or deed and be consistent in your well-being.” The Torah reminds us, “Deeds of love are worth as much as all the commandments of the law.” Christians are “Bound to love one another as I have loved you.” And the followers of Islam are taught, “Whosoever kills an innocent human being, it shall be as if he has killed all mankind, and whosoever saves the life of one, it shall be as if he has saved the life of all mankind.”
With all major religions in unison on love and peaceful co-existence, humans and humanity will continue to live on and soon we shall see peace on earth.