Religious identity is the most important identity for most of the Indians in my opinion because the whole idea of India was based on the religious lines. British freed India on the condition of creating two independent dominions of India and Pakistan. Pakistan which would be a Muslim homeland and India would be a homeland for Hindus.
Even today in modern India religion still remains an important issue in social, political and even economic life of most of the Indians. Many political parties in India use religion as a tool to meet their ends.
Most prominent parties to name who use religion very well for their political purposes are:-
a. Bhartiya Janta Party led by Amit Shah,
b. Shiv Sena led by Uddhav Thackeray,
c. All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) led by Assaduddin Owaisi.
Many political parties do not exploit religion openly but do it under the facade of secularism and mild Hindutva. Some political parties are:-
a. Congress(I) led by Sonia Gandhi,
b. Samajwadi Party led by Mulayam Singh Yadav,
c. Rashtriya Janata Dal led by Lalu Prasad Yadav and
d. Janata Dal (United) led by Nitish Kumar.
In the course of the political and social history of India, this narrow religious identity of Indians has led to many peaceful ideological and bloody violent clashes among Indians. To name a few are:-
a. Gujarat communal riots (1969), b. Anti-Sikh Riots (1984),
c. Ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Hindus,
d. Religious involvement in North-East India Militancy,
e. Church’s involvement in the insurgency in North-East India,
f. Godhra train burning g. 2002 Gujarat riots,
h. 2002 Akshardham Temple attack by Islamic terrorist outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba,
i. In the 2010 Deganga riots after hundreds of Hindu business establishments and residences were looted, destroyed and burnt, dozens of Hindus were severely injured and several Hindu temples desecrated and vandalised by the Islamist mobs led by Trinamul Congress MP Haji Nurul Islam.
If we take a closer look at these incidents you can notice that the leaders never died. Those were the pawns who died. People usually end up used by politicians or other Jihadi outfits because of their religious identity and their affiliation to a particular group.
Have you ever thought that why do people get to agree to kill others in the name of religion? In my opinion, it is because people in every religion are brought up in such a way that makes them think that religion is more important than anything else.
Example:- Many Muslim groups in India don’t feel it right to sing the national anthem. According to them, it is forbidden in Islam to sing praise to anyone other than Allah, not even to your country. Following these narrow-minded Islamic leaders, many parents teach their kids not to sing the national anthem. So, what morals you are giving to the child? That your religion is more important than your nation.
Country that protects you, which is socialist in character due to which it provides you free medical facilities, schooling, cheap public transport, and the most important its constitution that guarantees religious freedom to you and allows you to propagate your faith.
Friends, don’t get this wrong. Have no faith is not the idea but having faith, not blind faith is the idea. You must have the courage to question the religious authority. Whatever you are, a Hindu, Muslim or Christian just ask once honestly that whatever you are told since your childhood, is it really possible?
Unnecessary attachment to a set of abstract ideas can be fatal. There is no doubt that every religion satisfies certain psycho-emotional needs but it is important for us to interpret religious texts wisely. And draw positive, constructive, and of high morals inferences from them.
You haven’t been asked to become an atheist. Follow what you want to. Believe what you want to. Celebrate what you want. Just don’t attach an unnecessary feeling to it. Feeling that obligates you towards your religion.
“You don’t owe anything your religion but your religion owes you good teachings and high morals. And if it is not doing so then it is the time change it or drop it. This is at you.”