Communalism means a feeling of hatred or ill-will towards the people belonging to other religions. This feeling is certainly bad. We should never be communal. We must have the same respect and honor for other religions as we have for ours. Religious freedom means that we should worship God in the way we like and allow others to worship God in their won way. We must not have ill feelings for other religions, but should be tolerant for them. To be religious is good but to be communal is all together different.
Religions are the way of life. All religions preach truth and good ness. No religion wants us to be evil, wicked and untrue. All religions believe in the existence of super-natural controlling power, which is known as God. The same one God has been named differently by different religions and different people. Ishwar, Allah, Waheguru and God are some of the common names used for this super power by the people of different communities.
In ancient times different civilizations emerged in different parts of the world. The people were amazed at the natural phenomenon around them. They were surprised to see the sun, the starts, the moon, the day and the night. They felt amazed at the regularity of the sun-rise and sun-set. They thought that there must be some superhuman power which controls these heavenly bodies. They named this super power as God. As they lived in different parts of the world and spoke different languages, therefore the God came to be known by different names. They devised their different ways to worship God. These different modes of worship took the shape of different religions.
Place of worship came to be built in different shapes by the people living in different parts. The places of worship were designed in different architectural designs in accordance with the weather conditions and the material locally available. The idols of different gods and goddesses were kept in these holy places. Different religious rites came to be observed and associated with each religion.
A temple is a place of worship for the Hindus, a Mosque for the Muslims, a Gurudwara for the Sikhs and a Church for the Christians. Although the places of worship are different, their architecture is different, the ways of worship are different, yet the God is one. Different religions follow different paths to reach the same destination. Although the ways are different, yet the God is the same.
All religions teach love and service to God and his people. They preach noble qualities of truth, goodness and selflessness. All religions condemn evils like telling lies, stealing, gambling, drinking, selfishness and greed. Although different people profess different religions but the moral code of conduct and mental attitudes of all religions is almost the same.
Though the basic concepts of all religions are almost the same, yet the people following different religions of the world do not know this truth. They have very narrow ideas about religion. They have been quarrelling and fighting over religions for centuries. The followers of each religion consider their religion to be superior to all over religions and fight over trifles. There have been riots, violence, arson and fierce battles in the name of religion. Hatred or ill-will for other religions has given rise to the ill of communalism. It is a slur on the very name of religion. No doubt, narrow religionism is at the root of all sorts of communalism.
All religions are basically good. There is nothing wrong with any of the religions. No religion preaches wickedness or deceit. All that is wrong is with the religious leaders or preachers. They misinterpret the tenants of religion and misguide the innocent people for their personal reasons. These so called religious leaders are narrow minded. They want to keep the people under their thumb. Therefore they incite the religious feelings of their followers against other religions. They speak ill of other religions and for their sordid motive incite their followers against the form of worship followed by other religions.
These leaders are not religious in the true sense of the word, in fact these intolerant and narrow-minded. Instead of religious these leaders are religionist. They regard all other religions to be much inferior to that of theirs. They consider only their religion to be true and far superior to other religions.
Every religion preaches truth and goodness to its people. So all religions are directly related with goodness. One must understand that different religions are the different paths leading to one and the same destination or God. No religion is bad or inferior to other. All religions are equally respectable. Why should one condemn or hate others’ religion, because its way of worship or achieving god is different from that followed by him?
Swami Vivekananda has compared different religions as different letter boxes placed in different parts of a city. He says, “Different religions are like several letter boxes paced in city. A letter posted in any one of them shall reach its destination.” We can achieve our goal if we follow any religion truly.
A true religion never speaks ill of other religions. It respects the sentiments, feelings and the ways of worship of the people belonging to other religions. It urges its followers to do more and more goodness. In order to assess a religion whether it is true and good, we should assess its followers. In case its followers are good and true, their religion must also be good and true.
A person who is true followers a religion must be noble and true in his personal life. He will never do something wrong to others and never incite others to do any evil. He will never do an evil deed in the name of religion. True religiousness lies in being sympathetic and righteous towards others.
You must remember communalism is a bad thing. It is good to be truly religious but it is bad to be communal. Religion teaches us to be good, noble and true. It is not something to create communal walls among human beings. It is something that tends to unite the whole mankind. True religion is the thing that does away the division of mankind on the basis of religion and wealth. True religion creates love for entire mankind. It inspires us to fight the evil forces of communalism and injustice.