A Vivid Example of Religious Tolerance and Intolerance in India

“For you is your religion, and for me is my religion."

“For you is your religion, and for me is my religion.”

Perhaps some readers will wonder the title of this article because it combines tolerance and intolerance at the same time. But the wonder will disappear after reading the following event. A compassionate Hindu opened the door of his house to some Muslim thirsty guests and gave them water to drink. Also the guests were allowed to make ablutions and perform prayer in his home.

Another group of the same religion spread false news raising a case against the Muslim guests and their Hindus host using all kinds of lies and slanders. It can be said that it is an event that represents the situation of religious tolerance amongst the Hindus as whole. Perhaps the behavior of the Hindu host depicts the morality of the Hindu religion more than the behavior of another group who created the religious tension and hatred.

In fact, communalists in many parts of India have polarized the atmosphere to such an extent that one cannot even express the natural human sympathy toward other people of a different faith. Helping others out of humanity is becoming improper in India.

A Hindu Host and His Muslim Guests

The incident happened in Aligarh, India where seven Muslims were arrested for allegedly trying religious conversion.

When investigated, it turned out that they had asked a Hindu for drinking water, who not only offered them water to drink but allowed them to pray in his house as well, as it was time for their prayers.
The atmosphere became tense within moments when the news spread across the Uttar Pradesh state.

What in fact happened was that half a dozen of Muslims who, from their appearance and attire looked quite religious were passing by Menth, a village few miles away from Aligarh. Thirsty and exhausted by the heat they knocked at the door of Hindu person named Surajpal and asked him for some water to drink. As a gesture of human brotherhood he made them sit and offered them water to drink.
It is worth mentioning that it was the time for prayers and they asked for Surajpal’s permission to offer their prayers. As they were praying a villager happened to see them praying and then spread the news that some Muslims were staying with Surajpal and were teaching Islam and how to pray and perhaps Surajpal was about to change his religion.

For the mischief mongers this was enough. They immediately rushed to the police station and filed a complaint that in the village of Menth, Muslims are converting Hindus to Islam. Displaying exceptional efficiency, some police officials rushed to Surajpal’s house and brought the Muslims and the host to the police station. Surajpal explained the whole story, but the miscreants continued insisting that police should register a complaint against the Muslims. In order to pressurize the police, they also called the Mayor of Aligarh Shakuntla Bharti.

Bharti, who is a B.J.P. worker, pressurized the police to push the case to the higher authorities.

Finally, the case against the seven Muslims was registered. They were charged with the offenses of creating animosity between two groups on the basis of race, region, religion and place of birth. With that, the police also registered a case against Surajpal for causing tension. This case was registered on the complaint of the village head Sateesh Singh. Afterwards a group of Muslims arrived at the police station and informed the police that the detainees had nothing to do with the business of conversion of religion. All of these seven are the resident of the area that comes under the police station that happens to be in Aligarh.
Later, Samajwadi Party M.L.A. Zafar Alam phoned the police station and told them that all of the seven detainees were innocent.

Finally, they were released. However, police has been deployed in Menth village. According to the in-charge of Mandrak police station, the allegation of conversion of religion being labeled against them looked baseless at the very outset.
Surajpal had himself stated that he knew these seven Muslims and they had gone to his house because of extreme heat and thirst.

When asked by the media, the mayor said, “The villagers had called me, reporting that some people are trying others to convert their religion and when they complained to the police, they refused to file their complaint. That is why I came here.”
This gives an idea of how much even humanitarian relationship is abhorred by the miscreants. They do not want any Hindu to be sympathetic toward a Muslim or a Muslim to be friendly with a Hindu.

The Negative Effects of Religious Intolerance on Indian Society

The real question to ask here is how long can the Union of India preserve its strong unity, religious pluralism and cultural diversity in the perfect balance and impressive harmony? India has been characterized by religious tolerance, especially in the days of Muslim rule and Hindus occupied top positions in the state in the reign of Muslim rulers because Islam recommended equality, charity and righteousness to all people.(1) The Union of India cannot survive very long without addressing such core issues. We need to revive the principle of “Live and Let Live” or the principle of Qur’an “For you is your religion, and for me is my religion.”

The Hindu generosity was an example of humanity and kindness that had existed in India for ages. There was not a single communal riot when Muslims were in power in India. Muslims and Hindus co-existed in India, everyone followed his religion with full freedom and free will and religious invitation was exercised freely but now things are changing very quickly and religious intolerance is rising. This is because of political religion which never tried to implement the teachings of Hindu scriptures and this mentality is now prevailing in India everywhere. Hindus generally had a respect for religious men even for Muslim saints.

Allah does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes - from being righteous toward them and acting justly toward them.(The Glorious Qur'an)

Allah does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes – from being righteous toward them and acting justly toward them.(The Glorious Qur’an)

Indian people cannot bear further riots caused by Hindus against minorities like Muslims Jains, Buddhists, Christians and Sikhs who were killed and butchered mercilessly who could not raise their voices. Hundreds of temples were broken and countless women jumped into the funeral pyre of their husbands to save their innocence and chastity until Buddhism became minority in its own birthplace.
India has witnessed over times many bloody events and riots, sometimes attacks were launched from the Buddhists on Hindus and from Hindus on Buddhists and from Jains on Buddhists and from Buddhists on Jains, every sect wanted to exterminate the other depending on their political strengths and weaknesses. It happened in Gujarat when the followers of the three religions have religious and cultural competitions.(2)

"Live and Let Live"

“Live and Let Live”

It is more important for the people of India to fight the poverty, illiteracy, ignorance and backwardness than fighting Islam, Christianity, Buddhism or Jainism. Why do they dispel strength in sabotage and demolition that should be used in the construction and building the country.

If you pollute the brain of the people with religious hatred, it will create communal clashes between the followers of different religions in India and the unity and strength of the country would be spoiled.


(1) See: Moulana Akbar Shah Najibabadi, Aainah Haqiqat Numa, Hamdard Press 1920, vol.2nd, p.131 where a lot if examples have been presented with authentic references and quotes.

(2) Munshi Muhammad Sa`id Ahmad, Umara’e Hunood, Nami Press, Kanpur 1910, P.23.
Source: This article has been taken with modifications from: http://www.arabnews.com/world/news/737701.

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