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- Religion has never advocated non-violence yet people have been taught otherwise
- Terrorism in the name of God starts by forcing “those who are wrong” into the “right” faith or killing them
- We will never lose our humanity if we listen to our conscience
Maria Wirth is a German saadhak who has adopted India as her abode. She often writes on issues related to society and religion. In her latest blog post, she analyzes how terror is being spread in the name of religion. Here is the summary of her thoughts:
Maria begins by stating that terrorism in the name of one’s faith is not something new. From the ancient times, people have fought countless battles and waged wars killing millions in the process. Where torture, imprisonment, beheading and genocide seemed right, these people of God have wrecked havoc on these lands. From the invasion by Muhammad bin Qasim and his army which assaulted and enslaved Buddhists and Hindus, and destroyed temples and monasteries in the early 8th century to the recent shooting in Orlando that left 49 killed, innocent people are victims of a war that has no meaning. The world has seen enough deaths in the name of God.
Religion has never advocated violence yet people have been taught otherwise. In spite of the many differences among Christians, Jews, Muslims, and Hindus, they share a fundamental belief in God as compassionate and just. Then, has God asked them to terrorize and murder masses of innocent people? It is never Religion or the teachings of various faiths that have asked people to engage in such atrocities but the men who have taken certain writings literally to suit their own agenda, says Maria Wirth.
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In today’s world, where science and technology are creating a “religion” of its own, one must look into this issue with a broad and unbiased mind, to see things for what they really are and realize what have become of us.
According to Maria, the root cause for all such fanaticism is that they are made to believe that everything taught to them is true. The founders and subsequent authorities of those belief systems claimed that God himself has revealed it to them. By doing so, they prevent any criticism of the whole system. Even those acts that go against common sense are now considered to be God’s command.
Terrorism in the name of God starts by forcing “those who are wrong” into the “right” faith or killing them. The notion of superiority of one’s religion and the forceful conversion of helpless victims has started a chain of mass murders.
Christianity claims that God himself has given the full truth only to the Church and everyone must believe it at the cost of their lives while Jihadists believe that they will have a better status in paradise than those who did not kill non-believers. Similarly, every religion claims to be the only path of in life, said Maria.
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A pious, young, hot-headed man can be easily misled or can come to the wrong conclusions on his own and engage in atrocities that he believes is right. But these young souls are not cowards. The attacks are shocking and repulsive, but they are not cowardly acts. They are just blinded by what they think is right. This is the pitiful state we find most of the followers in.
This is a big problem and needs some soul-searching to live in reality again. We need to ask probing questions. All religions worship the same one God. No religion can possibly condone killing others. Then how do we know when we have lost our way?
Maria says that we should never stop questioning and analyzing the facts. We will never lose our humanity if we listen to our conscience. Our inner conscience is the holy voice that comes from deep within. We are inherently good and just. By listening to our inner voice, we can only be doing what we are naturally meant to do, love. Anyone, who demands that we ignore our conscience and instead believe blindly what he tells us has a motive of his own and plans to use us for that purpose, she added further on in her blog.
We need to realize that human beings are one big family and we are all bound by that one life source, invisible yet eternal.
- The original blog post of Maria Wirth has been summarized by Ajay Krishna, an intern at NewsGram. Twitter: @ajkrish14
The city of Delhi has seen it all; from sultanate rule, to dynasties, and to colonial rule. From monarchy to democracy, Delhi has gone through its phases. But, in order to know and explore the nuances of Delhi, you must read these beautiful books.
1. City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi by William Dalrymple
This book was written while Dalrymple was still flirting with his love for the Medieval India. The author writes, "Moreover the city- so I soon discovered- possessed a bottomless seam of stories: tales receding far beyond history, deep into the cavernous chambers of myth and legend," and just like this, Dalrymple takes you in a tour to discover Discover Delhi.
2. Delhi by Heart: Impressions of a Pakistani Traveller by Raza Rumi
This book explores how the author explores his identity as a South Asian Muslim and how his city of Lahore is a mirror image of Delhi. Rumi, in this book, tries to co-relate the past with the present by comparing its festivals, streets, and markets.
3. Delirious Delhi: Inside India's Incredible Capital by DavePrager
This book is quite interesting. The story of this book revolves around the lives of Dave and Jenny who have recently moved to Delhi when their firm began to go down. The city of Delhi in this book is shown through their eyes as they try to make their way in the city that holds together a very large population.
4. The Heart has its Reasons by Krishna Sobti, Translated by Reema Anand, Meenakshi Swami
The original title of this book is "Dil - o - Danish". This book tells the reader about the streets of Old Delhi and almost transport the reader back in the past. This book is basically set in the 1920's, and tells the tale of a man's extramarital affair, his children out of wedlock, black magic, and Chandni Chowk's rich culture of sweets and the perils of being a widow. Interestingly, many have compared the author of this book to Jane Austen.
5. Delhi: A Novel by Khushwant Singh
Who would talk about Delhi and not remember Khushwant Singh? This amazing book is just like a narrative of the author's fulfilled love affair with the city and with a eunuch. The narrator in this book is an aging man who is trying to discover the city. This book is truly a masterpiece, where it takes the readers on the history of Delhi glimpsing at what makes the city what it is– simply beautiful.
There are some of the Indian cities which are older than time. Therefore, we must know which cities are they, and what has been their history!
1. Varanasi (1200 BC–)
Varanasi is one of the oldest cities of India, and has been a center of religious and cultural activity since the Bronze Age. In fact, this city might have been in existence from a very long time, since it finds mention in the Rig Veda. It is believed that the city of Varanasi was thriving for more than 1600 years before the fall of the Roman Empire in Europe. This city is one of the holiest places for Hindus and Jains, and even Lord Buddha gave his very first sermon here in 528 BC. In Hinduism, it is believed that dying in Varanasi brings salvation, which is the reason why the city is always brimming with pilgrims.
2. Ujjain (700/600 BC–)
Ujjain was once considered as one of the most prominent cities in the Middle India. In fact, the name of this city is repeatedly mentioned in the literature of that period, i.e. in the works of stalwarts like Kālidāsa. This city has seen the rise and fall of numerous empires, from the Mauryas to the Avantis, Nandas, and even the Guptas. This city, just like Varanasi, is also considered as one of the holiest cities in India, and hosts one of the officially recognized Kumbh melas, the Ujjain Simhastha Kumbh, in which people across the world take place.
3. Madurai (500 BC–)
Madurai been a major center of culture and trade for more than 2500 years. In fact, the name of this city has been mentioned in the writings of the great traveler, Megasthenes, and has been ruled by several empires from the Pandyas and the Cholas to the Karnata, and finally the British. Interestingly, ‘'Koodal,' was one of its ancient name which means 'a congregation of learned men'. There is no doubt that Madurai was an epicenter of scholars and religious teachers in the southern part of India.
4. Thanjavur (300 BC–)
Thanjavur was formerly known as Tanjore. This city is pretty famous for its Tanjore style of painting, which is a traditional style that is characterised by the use of gold foil, religious imagery, and simple compositions. This city is best known for being the home of the Great Living Chola Temples, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Till date, people across the world visit this place in order to experience its rich history and heritage.
By- Digital Hub
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Human hair wigs on display at a store Image source: Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash
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