The land between the Himalayas and the Indian ocean identifies itself as the home of a culture of co-existence. ‘वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम’ , meaning the whole world is a family has been taught and practiced across the nation since centuries. The feeling of oneness and acceptance led to the formation of a population in which all religions were practiced and nourished. But today the accusations of being an intolerant state create a big doubt in the minds of all Indians about their own culture and traditions. Have we forgotten our own values or have they become irrelevant in today’s world.
Two words come into picture when we think of cultural harmony, ‘Tolerance’ and ‘Acceptance’. The difference in the meaning of these words defines the whole structure of the society. Acceptance is when something is not interrupted or condemned if not practiced. This emotion is derived from mutual respect between members of different beliefs. Beliefs of one sect may not allow its followers to practice something that the other sects follow but when there exists a mutual acceptance, it does not allow followers of one group to interrupt practices of others but teaches them to co-exist. But acceptance is always mutual. The concept may become vain if not practiced by all sides.
Tolerance comes into picture when one or more groups disrespect or disregard the beliefs of others. In this scenario the later will be forced to either tolerate the activities of the former or initiate an unending struggle and claims of being true.Even if the latter chooses to tolerate mutual respect is lost which creates instability in the society. The instant we are talking about tolerance we have already done lots of damage to our society.
If a society has to exists peacefully mutual respect and understanding become a primary requirement. The moment we start to disregard each others beliefs we can not exist peacefully and be beneficial to mankind. Hence the only message that must be clear to all my brothers and sisters of India is to accept, respect and learn from each others ideas. If we stop fighting among ourselves we can achieve a good life for our people and generations to come.
सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः।