Apoorva Joshi

PhD student - Information and Media; Environmental Science and Policy @Michigan State University

Independent journalist -

Environment, Science, International

My Name is Religion and I Am Your Worst Enemy

Yeah, I just saw My Name Is Khan and as usual, I don't care what people across the globe have been saying about it. Here's my opinion : Karan Johar deserves all the compliments possible for even making an EFFORT to shift base from hopeless sad family stories to something so real, so moving and so bloody introspective. An effort well made, in his case at least, paid off very well. Technically, I quite liked both Shah Rukh and Kajol in their respective roles though at time they did seem mechanical. This is not a movie review. This is a "ME Review". 3 hours of Khan and I walked out asking myself so many questions.
It's a movie about something that can happen to anyone. Any one. It's a film that EVERY living "Religious" person should watch. Everyone who has an opinion on other people. Every one who thinks highly of themselves but not of other people. In short, most humans.
For the Hindus that look at every passing Muslim with an eye of suspicion, an eye of disgust and a feeling of hatred - you are the reason the world is in this situation today. Because you spread this disgust. This "dharm-adharm" bullshit. This completely blood-red side of your faith. You give it to your children, who then pass it on, to their friends, neighbours, children and so on. You started a fire. A fire that kills. Not a fire that saves others from freezing to death. If you want to start a fire, I suggest you consider the latter.
For the Muslims who think every Hindu has bad intentions, misconceptions and a bitter heart - you are the reason people like me stop believing in people. I am a Hindu. And I don't care about it. I also, don't care about you being a Muslim. Coz' all I see you as, is human. A body with two pairs of limbs, 2 eyes, a mouth, a nose, and a voice. I see you as I see myself. And if some random person started looking at me like I was a walking talking suicide bomber, I would give a rat's ass. Ignorance IS bliss sometimes.
We use our voices, most often, for the worst things. Insult. Abuse. Curse. Do we ever raise them in support? Of ANOTHER Religion? Do we? Just like Hindus die in bomb blasts, so do Muslims. So do Christians. So do Parsis. Do we ever cry for them? Ever thought why? I did.
For those of you who don't believe in Religion, and accept people for who they are, irrespective of what consequences you might have to face as regards society, family, friends.. whatever - it would really help if you asked yourself WHY you don't believe in religion. Did you always "not believe" in it? Did you once believe but later lose faith in its existence or its actual motive? Did you stop believing in it because others your age are fast losing their faith in it and you don't want to look stupid? Or did you actually HAVE a reason of your own?
For those people who strongly believe in their respective Religion and who also believe that it is your Religion alone that is made up of the world's goodness, for those who believe that all other faiths are made of people who are hell bent on destroying the world - Get up. Look in your mirror. And ask yourself WHY you believe what you do. Just coz your father told you that if you don't you will be disowned from the family? Just because your grandfather threatened you to love honour and respect your religion like it was the Holy Truth? Or because every other corner of every other street in this country has a mandir or a masjid or a church and eventually, someday, you're going to have to get married in one of them so you might as well choose one now? Or because if you don't, you will never have any friends and you won't ever be able to get yourself an identity?
Is your Religion really your identity?? Or is it YOU who makes yourself who you are? Do you have the innumerable experiences you have in life because your are of a particular faith? Does your Religion make your decisions and choices for you? How can you forget so easily, the obvious truth that binds ALL of us? We're called Humanity. Because we are ONE race. We have different colours coz that's how we're meant to camouflage with our habitat. Don't you get fairer when you go to the Himalayas? Don't you get tanned when you lie on the beach in Goa? Does that change your race? Does it MATTER what colour or religion you are??
Dont people around you also feel pain? Dont people from families of other religion also die? Dont they have just as much talent as you do? Then WHY do you want this war to continue? If there is a bunch of misguided people in this world, why should we focus on their religion instead of them!? Islam does NOT teach destruction. If it did, the world wouldn't need to wait for Armagedon. We'd have ended LONG ago. When your son, daughter, grandmother, father, friend, uncle, aunt, cousin, get stuck in a bomb blast, it will be a Sheikh someone pulling them out from under the rubble and rushing them to the hospital in WHATEVER mode of transport available. When tragedy hits us, instead of uniting, the first thing we do, is divide the Hindus and Muslims in teams. And then we stand at the border line and point fingers.
I am against Pakistan. Im not against Pakistanis. Im against the government of the country. Because of obvious reasons. And if you don't understand what those reasons are, kindly email me coz' that's not what this article is about.
All I know is, I am absolutely not proud to be a human. To belong to a race that knows only destruction. And if someone tries to stop it, the sadistic politically oriented ones will go up in arms against that poor soul and single him out and slaughter him.. in the dark of the night and then say it was the other religion who did it. HOW is it religion's fault when we ourselves are so screwed up?! And then people say "...when you have your own children." WHY will I want to bring any child into THIS world? To see the way people of your own species treat each other? And how it is wrong to stand up for what's right? I would be nothing short of an indirect murderer. I sound negative. Horribly pessimistic maybe. But the truth is, I have just no faith left any more. I never believed in Religion. But today, I don't even believe in Humanity. I thought THAT was our main identity.

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