In our country, people are fighting over religious beliefs. I cannot understand why. Every religion came into being due to the then prevailing circumstances. No religion is perfect as every religion suffers from dogmas, intolerance, etc. However, every religion wants to convert persons from other religions. What is the point of conversion when we know in our hearts of hearts that all religions are imperfect and in fact need to be updated and modernised?
And we also know there is nothing called Heaven in reality but for keeping the mind happy, we need the concept of a heaven. Ibsen has said that a delusion is necessary for living. So, people who are poor and have nothing to expect in this world and the people who are bored are easily lured by the call of the zealots who want to spread their religion and feel that God would reward them for that.
Even then most of the people just follow the religion of their parents knowing fully well that they would not be able to achieve the higher spiritual goals which every religion demands and are quite happy with performing religious rituals. So, people change religion mostly because of the lure of money.
In fact, 99% of the people are not much concerned about religion and want to get along doing their routine jobs for earning their bread and butter. They just perform rituals required by their religion to be performed. It is the 0.5% of religious intellectuals who are bothered about enforcing their religion on others and whom we can term as fanatics. These people use their intellect for wrong purposes and most of the time by their fixed views, cause misery to others because they are able to incite the communal feelings of their coreligionists.
Then there are about 0.5% people who are also well read and know the reality of "heaven" and want to update their religion so that it is in keeping with the modern ages. Such people are dubbed as agnostics and atheists. All these intellectual people fight amongst each other verbal battles stressing the correctness of their religion. The agnostics and atheists also fight with them and the debate goes on.
My suggestion is that we must avoid communal tensions and a beginning can be made by inculcating the spirit of nationalism and internationalism in the students just in the beginning of their childhood. Now schools are responsible for giving education to the children. So, as a first step, we should not have any school imparting religious instructions to the children. All schools named after religion, caste or region should be abolished.
The schools should be named after national heroes and only moral and nationalistic teaching may be given to the children so that they become Indians in the right sense of the term while retaining international spirit. Let the communal feelings of the masses not be exploited for gaining political mileage when the exploiters know fully well that many people would die if these feelings are allowed to be played with.
It is like playing with fire. So, all the intellectuals should refrain from doing such an act.