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Sunday, August 5, 2018

India Together - Fostering a cohesive India

I am a volunteer like each one of you, wanting, among other things to do my share of work in contributing towards a cohesive India, where no Indian has to live in apprehension or fear of the other. 

Given the divisiveness we are witnessing in India, we have to take steps to restore the Dharma, the righteousness in a society where people trust each other, live their lives and let others live theirs.

Here is the preamble for an India together Campaign;

India has an impeccable history of welcoming the stranger and giving refuge to the oppressed, rejected and the evicted. She has welcomed Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians and the Baha’is. Indeed the very first mosque built outside of Arabia was in India by a Hindu King in the state of Malabar. The Tibetan Buddhist refugees found a home in India; the Ahmadiyya Muslims felt secure, so were the displaced Bangladeshi and Afghan refugees.

This beautiful pluralistic 5000-year-old tradition of India is in peril now.  A few politicians are hell-bent on destroying that heritage. They want to force minorities into obedience and tell them what they can eat or believe, and whom they can marry or live as 2nd class citizens.  We can ignore this if it is a random individual screaming on the streets, but it has the backing of many members of the ruling party.  We cannot compromise on our integrity to satisfy the short-term urges of the radicals.  We cannot let this continue even if someone has pulled a joke, this fire will envelop everyone, and in the end, it will destroy our civilization. 

Make no mistake about it; the problem is not between people of faith, but the radicals. A good Hindu, Muslim, Christian or other will never hurt another individual, let alone kill. As a society we need to invest our time and energy in finding why a few people hate the others so much, much of it is injected by their parents, teachers, friends, and politicians, poor souls need to be free from such influences. 

India together Campaign

When you are watching a movie, invariably you go through a range of emotions, but at the end, there is a sense of joy when you see the family members making it up to each other, or when a couple is reunited or when justice is served. It is because you are inherently good and the sense of goodness is evoked in every human with a few exceptions.  

The new routine for many of us is to watch short video clips on WhatsApp or Facebook. Is there anyone out there who does not feel good when the Indian Army personnel is talking about treating all soldiers fairly, when one needs blood, he does not care if the blood is coming from a Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Dalit, Jain or a Parsee. A good video example;-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5XptU6-Vm0

Don't we feel good when we help each other? When you support a disabled person crossing the street, don't you feel good? Don't you share that clip with your friends?

If you are a Muslim stand up for the rights of Dalits, and if you are a Sikh stand up for the rights of Christians, and if you are a Christian stand up for the rights of Hindus..... in the end, it opens our hearts and minds to stand up for each other. We have to kill the selfishness in us to serve our own, and instead server others for the long-term good.

On the other hand, when you watch a clip full of hate, what does it do to you? Does it make you angry, hateful and revengeful? It zaps your energy. Being at peace is a natural state, getting worked up ain't. 

Humans are drawn to greater good, and they feel good when a family comes together, they feel good when they can stop a bad guy from beating a child or a woman, they feel good when you prevent a woman from being harassed. 

We have a responsiblity now to encourage what is right, not because it is noble or God wants it, but because it makes us feel good and secure and live in peace with each other. 

Dr. Frank Islam has chosen to encourage good news, every week I see an article promoted by him that awakens a sense of goodness. I see Nupur Sharma, Vinod Dua, Ram Punyani, Arfa Khanum, Acharya Laksmishankracharya, Acharya Pramod Krishnan and a whole lot of them committed to bringing about a change.  None of us would know everyone, but those whom we know, we must be appreciated.    I am sure there a many of you out there who are doing great things. If we can pull our resources and invest our time, energy and money in shaping the society, we will find purpose and meaning in our lives, at least it will bring relief from apprehension. 

Social media has become the most powerful medium to communicate ideas, and Whatsapp and Facebook have become the vehicles to carry the chosen message. 

We have an opportunity to mitigate chaos spread by a few and flood the market with excellent videos and positive news to build up positive energy. If the people around us are secure, our security is guaranteed. 


Produce one to two minutes videos and share it on the social media - and see how you can bring about the change.

It's easy to produce videos that we can cheer, but the purpose is to for the angry ones to see the goodness. We can cause them to dig in their heels or we can work on having them see another point of view - that of getting along and live their lives and letting others live theirs.
You can bring a gradual, sustainable and positive change through this campaign

It takes thinking, commitment,  effort, and money to do this, if you can, welcome. Come up with ideas, write the script, discuss with friends and produce it.  

Mike Ghouse

Thank you

What do we do at the Center for Pluralism
Pluralism studies in Religion, politics, society, culture and workplace

Mike Ghouse
Center for Pluralism
Washington, DC
(214) 325-1916

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