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Thoughts of Rabindranath Tagore on Hindu-Muslim Relations

Christianity and Islam determined to destroy all other Religions: There are two religions in earth, which have distinct enmity against all other religions. These two are Christianity and Islam. They are not just satisfied with observing their own religions, but are determined to destroy all other religions. That's why the only way to make peace with them is to embrace their religions." (Original works of Rabindranath Vol. 24 pages 375, Vishwa Bharti; 1982)

Muslims can not confine their `Patriotism to any one country' : a very important factor which is making it almost impossible for Hindu-Muslim unity to become an accomplished fact is that the Muslims can not confine their patriotism to any one country. I had frankly asked (the Muslims) whether in the event of any Mohammedan power invading India, they (Muslims) would stand side by side with their Hindu neighbours to defend their common land. I was not satisfied with the reply I got from them… Even such a man as Mr. Mohammad Ali (one of the famous Ali brothers, the leaders of the Khilafat Movement-the compiler) has declared that under no circumstances is it permissible for any Mohammedan, whatever be his country, to stand against any Mohammedan." (Interview of Rabindranath in `Times of India', 18-4-1924 in the column, `Through Indian Eyes on the Post Khilafat Hindu Muslim Riots)

Hindus and Muslims can make a fake friendship: Whenever a Muslim called upon the Muslim society, he never faced any resistance- he called in the name of one God `Allah-ho-Akbar'. On the other hand, when we (Hindus) call will call, `come on, Hindus', who will respond? We, the Hindus, are divided in numerous small communities, many barriers-provincialism - who will respond overcoming all these obstacles?

"We suffered from many dangers, but we could never be united. When Mohammed Ghouri brought the first blow from outside, the Hindus could not be united, even in the those days of imminent danger. When the Muslims started to demolish the temples one after another, and to break the idols of Gods and Goddesses, the Hindus fought and died in small units, but they could not be united. It has been provided that we were killed in different ages due to our discord.

"Weakness harbours sin. So, if the Muslims beat us and we, the Hindus, tolerate this without resistance-then, we will know that it is made possible only by our weakness. For the sake of ourselves and our neighbour Muslims also, we have to discard our weakness. We can appeal to our neighbour Muslims, `Please don't be cruel to us. No religion can be based on genocide' - but this kind of appeal is nothing, but the weeping of the weak person. When the low pressure is created in the air, storm comes spontaneously; nobody can stop it for sake for religion. Similarly, if weakness is cherished and be allowed to exist, torture comes automatically - nobody can stop it. Possibly, the Hindus and the Muslims can make a fake friendship to each other for a while, but that cannot last forever. As long as you don't purify the soil, which grows only thorny shrubs you cannot expect any fruit. " (The above is the part of the article "Swamy Shraddhananda', written by Rabindranath in Magh, 1333 Bangabda; compiled in the book 'Kalantar')

Own religion true-others are false: "When two-three different religions claim that only their own religions are true and all other religions are false, their religions are only ways to Heaven, conflicts can not be avoided. Thus, fundamentalism tries to abolish all other religions. This is called Bolshevism in religion. Only the path shown by the Hinduism can relieve the world form this meanness." (The above is the part of the article `Aatmaparichapa' in his book `Parichaya')

Make your children strong: The terrible situation of the country makes my mind restless and I cannot keep silent. Meaningless ritual keep the Hindus divided in hundred sects. Sop we are suffering from series of defeats. We are tired and worn-out by the fortunes by the internal external enemies. The Muslims are united in religion and rituals. The Bengali Muslims the South Indian Muslims and even the Muslims outside India-all are united. They always stand untied in face of danger. The broken and divided Hindus will not be able to combat them. Days are coming when the Hindus will be again humiliated by the Muslims.
  
"You are a mother of children, one day you will die, passing the future of Hindus society on the weak shoulders of your children, but think about their future." (From the letter to Hemantabala Sarkar, written on 16the October, 1933, quoted in Bengali weekly `Swastika', 21-6-1999)
  




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Raj said…
please add the paper cutting or citation reference of the column

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