Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam

It is a Sanskrit phrase which implies that whole earth is one family. The above phrase is made up of three Sanskrit words—Vasudha, Eva and Kutumbakam. Vasudha means the earth, Eva means emphasizing and Kutumbakam means a family. It is a philosophy that tries to foster an understanding that the whole of humanity is made of one family and emanates from a spiritual understanding that the whole of humanity is made of one life energy. If the divine source is one, then how we as individuals are different? If the whole ocean is one, then how a drop of the ocean is different from the ocean? If the drop is different from the ocean, how then it can ultimately be dissolved in the ocean?

From the above explanation it is comprehensible that oneness in diversity is exhibited in nature with the appearance of a rainbow which is an aggregation of diverse synchronous colours in the ethereal sky. In the same way, our culture is a beautiful amalgamation of diverse languages, diverse traditions and diverse existence.

As Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibet said “India is an illustrious example of human values and religious harmony. Positive human values and ethical principles have been cultivated here for thousands of years’’. It is the only country where all major religions exist together not only in modern times but for the past over 1000 years. Further Dalai Lama said that any killing in the name of religion is condemnable and there is no justification for fights over faith. He also referred to Islamist terrorists engaging in violence in the name of “Jihad’’. There is a wrong interpretation of this holy term which rightly connotes the fight against one’s own impurities rather than taking the lives of innocent people in the name of “Jihad’’.

One’s religion should be kindness. First, we should transform ourselves from “Human Being’’ to “Being Human’’. There is a huge difference between being human and human being. Being human simply connotes that one needs to be compassionate and sympathetic in his/her behaviour, understanding that others are humans too and they have equal rights, same as you and you should treat them as you would wish they treat you too. “Being Human’’ means the responsibility of aspiring and achieving self-realisation. The very first aphorism of Vedanta Sutra says: “athato bramha jijnasa’’. No religion preaches hatred and enmity. Religion is wrongly perceived to be the root of all evils but it is not the religion which causes communal hatred. The main cause is the interpretation. Our religion should be kindness, our religion should be humanity. The following quote explains the correct meaning of the above explanation: “There is a huge difference between human being and being human, only few really understand it.’’

‘Unity in Diversity’, said our former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, and it defines India’s richness and diversification in culture and tradition.  India is described as a pigeonhole of more ethnic and religious groups as compared to other countries in the world. Indian population is polygenetic and is an astonishing merger of various races and cultures. It is the rich tradition of tolerance, perseverance, plurality and assimilation which has kept the identity of the country intact and civilisation thriving.

India has been described as a secular country in the Constitution. Secularism in India provides for an equal treatment of all religions by the state. With the 42nd Amendment of the Constitution enacted in 1976, the Preamble of the Constitution now says that India is a secular nation and it does not have an official state religion. Despite precautionary, preventive and positive measures,  the communal disturbances keep recurring. Statutory, administrative, economic and legal steps have been taken by the government to fulfil its commitment towards maintaining communal harmony.

Gandhiji, the Father of Nation commented : “Communalism of the virulent type is a recent growth. The lawlessness is a monster with many faces. It hurts all in the end including those who are primarily responsible for it.’’ The government has enacted The Religious Institutions (Prevention of Misuse) Act 1988’’ with a view to maintaining sanctity of religious places and to prevent their misuse for political, criminal, subversive or communal purpose. The Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act 1991, is the law to prohibit misuse of a religious institution for promotion or propagation of any political activity. These provisions or legislations alone cannot be fruitful unless the people of this country understand this fact that “Religion is not above humanity’’.

All the religions have the fundamental teaching of love and the feeling of brotherhood towards fellow beings.
But some people misconstrue or misinterpret the religious teachings for their selfish, egoistic and short-term gains and sometimes provoke communal feelings. Usually, communal disturbances sprout from small, trivial incidents but with vested interests, they take the shape of a giant.

India is a developing country and it is currently the fourth largest economy in the world in terms of purchasing power parity as projected in International Monetary Fund 2018 database. Our Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi has given the slogan of “Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’’. This objective of development for all cannot fructify unless the internal security of the nation, particularly communal harmony is kept intact. Only an ambience of trust between various communities would lead the nation on the path of development and economic advancement because “Strength lies in difference, not in similarities’’.

The communal harmony is a sine qua non for the internal security of the country. Once the communal tensions inside the country subside and India becomes internally secure, then the problems in the bilateral relations between the twin nations of India and Pakistan can be smoothly dealt with.

Guidelines to prevent communal disturbances:

•  The guidelines specify that stringent action should be taken against those involved in communal clashes.

•  Special courts should be set up for expeditious trial and disposal of the cases. Proper schemes should be made for imposition of curfew and prohibitory orders to deal with the law and order situation.

•  Peace committees consisting of prominent citizens of all communities, representatives of political parties, public representatives and office bearers of prominent associations and unions should be formed in all communally sensitive areas. There should be fair representation for women in such committees.

•  Police stations or police posts should be set up in all trouble prone areas. At the slightest indication of communal trouble, contingency plans should be put to use immediately without any hesitation.

When communal incidents occur, immediate steps should be taken to rush medical and financial relief to the victims. Ministers and office bearers of political parties should exercise maximum restraint and self-discipline in making utterance on any issue concerning the communal disturbances. Mediapersons should be advised to discourage tendentious reporting. Strict action should be taken against writers and publishers of objectionable and inflammatory material aimed at inciting communal passions.

Therefore, the need of the hour is to fight the forces of disunity and disharmony and to work ceaselessly for the achievement of national harmony and peace. We should sink our personal difference in larger interests of the country and adopt a common approach to national problems if we want to achieve the laudable goal of national integration and communal harmony.         

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