Mike Ghouse, December 26, 2007
Four major towns in the state of Orissa, India are under a curfew to check the communal tensions between the Christian and Hindu communities. Eleven Churches have been razed to ground following a reported attack on Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati, a political party leader. Shamefully this is a normal thing in India and it needs to be stopped before it escalates.
Religion is not the cause of the problems of the world. Religion emerged as a way to bring peace to an individual and what surrounds him (her). Most people get it and some don't. Those who get it, go about living their day to day life, where as those who don’t get it, resort to violence, using the very name of the religion that is to make them better humans.
Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati, an individual and a leader, did not want to see any one to convert from Hinduism to other faiths, this happens on the eve of Christmas when Christians were in a celebratory mood.
Saraswati is one of those individual who did not get his religion. He was indeed motivated by fear that his people may switch alliances and cross over to the other group he perceived to be his enemies. The animal instinct within him wanted to pounce on any one who became an attractive nuisance to his people. That is the kind of fear taught in some of the centers in India and the only way they can reign in is to harass, growl and frighten the others, and certainly not treating others as equals provided in the nations constitution. One needs to grow up and let people eat, dress, and believe what they want without any fear.
The individuals who perhaps threatened or attacked him were not defending Christianity; they were simply warding off the Tiger's roar.
The gang who burnt the Churches was not inspired by Hinduism either, they were just ugly men who had nothing else do to, and were used by the KKK like political parties of India such as VHP, Bajrang Dal and others (nothing to do with Hinduism) to frighten other people to allay their own fears.
The best possible solution to put an end to the rogue elements is to rope in the individuals who were the causers of the disturbance and peace of the community, and punish them to the limits of the law.
I urge the public and the government to refrain from giving a religious label to these miscreants. By giving a label, we are slapping other fellow religionist who had nothing to do with this chaos and shying away from putting an end to this.
Hit the target boldly and not the periphery.
Mike Ghouse is a Speaker, Thinker and a Writer. He is a frequent guest on talk radio and local television network discussing interfaith, political, religious and civic issues. His comments, news analysis and columns can be found at his personal website www.MikeGhouse.net. Mike is a Dallasite for nearly three decades and Carrollton is his home town. He can be reached at MikeGhouse@gmail.com