Without beating around the bush let me state forthwith how people of different religions can coexist.
- All the communities must develop a serious attitude towards fostering the spirit of amity. There should be no two minds about this. The efforts should be sincere, emerge from the members of the communities and not be superficial.
- The community religious leaders must take up the job instead of depending on political or other actors
- There should be free and frank meetings between religious leaders of all faiths
- There should be willingness to respect the others religion and also trying to know and understand the other faiths and their stance
- There should also be willingness to understand how and why these faiths sprang up. The history is important.
- Once the history is taken up the common path of development of each religion and the thought process behind them will come to the fore and so will the realization that the emergence and end goal of all religions are the same.
- Religions have emerged from various cultures and for different segments of people. The divergence is because of divergent cultures and not because of the philosophy behind religions. The culture also must be respected as it is the path through which populations arrive at the door of their religions.
- Personally when I have taken up this search I arrived at the conclusion that formal religion began due to the efforts of either one person known under various names or different persons having the same mindset and core ideas.
- There is need to intermingle without losing the core precepts of any religion. There is need to participate in each others festivities and programs with respect towards the feelings of the community. In Odisha this is the reason why people of different communities stay together without rancor. We have roles and responsibilities carried down across generations regarding each others festivities. The city of Cuttack in Odisha ought to be the role model as to how people of different faiths can coexist.
- If we look at history we observe how the Hindus and Muslims developed relationships based on the Sufi tradition as the focal point. In Kashmir too the mysticism of Lalla united people of both communities. Sai of Maharashtra is another burning example. Amity comes from understanding the core of each religion and understanding the deep feelings of its true practitioners.
- Swami Vivekananda brought the Hindus and Christians together by highlighting the works of Brother Lawrence and Thomas Kempis.
- Differences can stop only if shrill voices can be tamed, hatred can be contained, and conversions can be stopped. Organized religion is based upon expansionism and greed, not upon faith and the goal of self realization.
- If we study Hinduism we see innumerable strands coexisting amicably simply because purity and self realization is the goal.
I believe strongly in religion as it is the storehouse of philosophy, history, culture, experience and wisdom. Political forces have created differences, evangelist forces have ridden on them. The common man must shun both.