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Communal Harmony is Everyone's Responsibility


India's diversity

Violence in any form is unacceptable in a civilized society. Even in waging wars we have rules of engagement and international conventions to follow. However, when you have a billion people in a pluralistic society, you can expect a few people to disregard the norms or show extreme behavior or intolerance. Such people are an exception rather than a rule, as in case of criminals. No matter how effective a government may be, no matter how good the law and order, there will always be crime and some criminals. You cannot generalize society based upon such aberrations and exceptions.

Religious tolerance in any society is a mark of its maturity and progress. In case of individuals it denotes their education, civility, knowledge and understanding. It is an ideal, which like many ideals people may never achieve complete perfection in its practice. However, we have to see how it is practiced by the majority. In society everyone has a responsibility to keep peace and show tolerance. The responsibility does not rest with the majority community alone.

No one should be condoned for uncivilized and violent behavior in the name of religion. Life is precious and the purpose of any religion is to ennoble it not to undermine it. Politicians have a responsibility not to capitalize on such events. Religious leaders have a responsibility to show restraint and understanding. Media has a responsibility to report such events with caution and objectivity, without bias and vested interest. They have a duty to abide by truth and report facts without taking sides or presenting a distorted version of the events. There are always two sides to communal harmony. Peace happens when everyone ones to live in peace. When every social, cultural, political, and religious group acts responsibly, only then there can be peace and communal harmony.

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