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Religion Vs Nation - Write an essay on the harmony and the conflict?

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Essay Contest for UPSC Exam for IAS

The name ‘Religion’ and ‘Nation’, whenever taken together often gives rise to an unending debate where the sole purpose is to establish the superiority of one over the other. History is the greatest evidence of all the chaos that was nothing but the mere result of such debates. This continuous war of superiority between the two has spared none and has ultimately spread its roots in the minds of upcoming generations. Can ‘Religion’ and ‘Nation’ not be sustained together or will we not be able to talk about both without getting into unnecessary conflicts ever? Is the only ultimate solution to leave one and pursue the other?

‘Religion’ means - ‘a system of faith and belief’ that gives a direction to our devotion towards God by showing us the right path. It guides us on the spiritual journey of our lives and acts as a bridge to connect us to our culture and traditions. It gives us a sense of belonging and nurtures our beliefs to boost our faith and motivates us to always do the right thing. There is no ‘Religion’ bigger than humanity and thus ‘Being Human’ is the message that each and every ‘Religion’ is ought to deliver.

The harmony of the society gets disturbed when the ‘Religion’ is manipulated to fulfil one’s personal greed. Now-a-days ‘Religion’ has just become a means to play dirty politics as a result of which the religious polarization is creating a new divide in the society led by none other than our great politicians and religious groups. The same religious groups that were formed to promote the true message of a religion are exploiting it by committing violence and hatred.  Almost every day the news of incidents like mob lynching associated with religions or mob violence between religious groups are found in the newspapers as well as on the media channels. On top of that, to gain the TRP’s and to popularize the prime time shows the media channels link every crime to religion and instead of fruitful discussions again a cycle of petty debates starts which goes on and on. As a result, the hatred towards one religion increases which leads to more violence. The blind race of superiority amongst the religions only leads to more conflicts and unnecessary judicial petitions.

‘Nation’ means-‘a body of people united by a common descent’. A nation is formed when people belonging to different religions, beliefs, traditions and customs live together in harmony and make the society a better place for everyone.  A nation is built on the foundations of sacrifice, trust, warmth and a feeling of humanity towards each other. The father of our nation- Mahatma Gandhi kept the foundation stone on the principle of non-violence. Humanity is the only thing that he used to preach for his entire life and it is because of him and many others that we are living in a free country. This freedom also came at a huge cost as the horrors of partition still haunts many of us who have experienced and to those who have lost their loved ones. One of the prime reasons for the partition of the country was ‘Religion’ and has continued to be for all the conflicts and casualties on the borders every once in a while.

The essence of being called as a nation is only in the colour of unity, not in being divided over religions or customs. Today also it can be observed that whichever nation has kept religion on the top or has given more importance to a particular religion rather than secularism is in some way or the other giving an invitation to disharmony and chaos.  A nation needs an equal support of everyone to become developed in true sense. Otherwise, that day is not far when a particular religion might win but humanity will definitely loose.

‘Religion’ and ‘Nation’ cannot sustain without each other. It should always be remembered that a religion must always bind us together in a strong thread of faith and kindness that can pull the entire nation towards harmony, peace and development.

-Jatin Sethi

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