Mansooruddin Faridi / New Delhi
Respecting every religion is Indian-ism. It makes us feel proud to realize that thousands of years ago we, the Indians, followed the principle of respecting different religions. Religion is an intrinsic part of Indianness. However, these days situation seems to be a bit different, This, however, is because of politics and not religion.
To restore the past, we must teach our youth to include these elements of truth, love, non-violence, and code of conduct in their lives. Sadly, we have lost religious tolerance; restoring it won't be easy.
These were the conclusion of the views expressed by speakers at a national seminar on Muslim-Hinduism and Indianism organized by the Khusro Foundation and IICC in the capital recently. Many prominent personalities of the country participated in it.
Prof Akhtar-ul-Wasey, President of the Foundation said the current distance among different faith and sects of India is a matter of concern. He said the idea behind setting up the Khushro Foundation was to address the rising hatred among different religions.
The Foundation, through its activities like seminars, lectures and literature tried to convey to the people that we are all believers in Ganga-Jamuni culture, and in the inclusive culture lies the welfare of India.
Pro. Wasey said that it is our effort to end the growing hatred and enmity in society.
Prof. Sanjay Dwivedi (Director General, Indian Institute of Mass Communication, Delhi) said that 75 years have passed since the independence of the country, but surprisingly we still say that the British divided us.
The British forced us to fight based on Hindus and Muslims and divided us. How far is it correct to accept this? To accept that the British were making us fight makes one wonder if we had dull intellect. He said that despite these circumstances, India stands tall as an example to the rest of the world. We stand before the world as a leader. If we recognize and understand this, then this situation can change for the better.
He further said that Amir Khusro has described India as heaven. What feelings, love, and respect were there in his words? It must be remembered that Amir Khusro was the first poet of Hindi.
Today, he said, numerous theories are floating around on the reason behind our country’s partition but nobody talks about why we need to be united and together. Some people are making attempts but these are too feeble and scattered to make a difference.
He asked the organizers to give impetus to the efforts for unity.” There should be more emphasis on roads, schools, colleges, and other places than closed rooms.”
In India, all the people are connected. Everyone wants to join, but some people who are a handful don't want to see us as one, but we won't let them succeed.
Quoting the history of Muslims’ contribution, he said that the war of 1857 was fought by Indians under the leadership of Bahadur Shah Zafar, who happened to be a Muslim.
Similarly, he said that the first independent Indian government in exile in Afghanistan was headed by Raja Mahendra Pratap and the Prime Minister was Barkatullah Bhopali. The Interior Minister was Obaidullah Sindhi.
Shamim Tariq, Director, Khushro Foundation, said that humanity has been given status in the religion that Muslims follow. “I will tell you one more thing what Islam says about other religions. The most important thing in religion is that your faith is with you and their faith is with them. That is, there is no objection to any faith. No one can force on religion or faith.” He said that Maulana Akhlaq Hussain Qasmi had written that God has sent prophets to every corner of the world. If the Prophet came to different countries, then surely he would speak only Arabic.
He said that according to Deoband, Qari Muhammad was written by Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Qasim of Darul Uloom Deoband that the religious leaders of Hindu Rashtra in India, Shri Ram, and Krishnaji should not be referred to in negative words.
Dr. JS Rajput, former Director and Chairman of NCERT, said that respecting every religion is a very Indian habit. However, today things are influenced by politics. “Years ago we knew how to respect each other's trust. How can people of different religions live together?”
He asked Khusro Foundation to organize such programs in schools to clear the mind of the children.
Pro. Iktar Muhammad Khan, Chairman, Islamic Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia, said that this initiative of the Khusro Foundation is commendable. “We have to promote this movement at the public level. Muhammad Iqbal and others presented their articles.