August 15th, 2017
One of the most talked about controversies in our country is that of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya. The mosque was located on a hill known as ‘Ramkot’ (Lord Rama’s fort) in Uttar Pradesh. According to hearsay, Babri Masjid was created on the orders of the Mughal emperor Babur after demolishing a pre-existing temple. Since the 19th century, the region has been the center of disputes between members of the Hindu and Muslim community. The mosque was demolished in 1992 which triggered further conflicts.
Akin to the Babri Masjid, several other stories of people’s faiths dividing them can be penned down; but amidst all of this, we forget that one of the greatest strengths of our nation is secularism.
We aren’t divided by our faiths but are united by them.
Watch this video story from the same land of the Babri Masjid – Uttar Pradesh.
A man in his 60s wakes up early every morning and gets ready for his routine visit to the temple affixed to his house.
For the last 30 years, he visits the temple, gives flowers to people who come to pray. He stands beside the worshippers, finding solace in their prayers and in the end, he also takes the prasad.
His association with this temple goes a long way back in time. When it was being rebuilt, he gave up a part of his house for its construction. Now, every morning, he wakes up to the chimes of the temple bells.
His name is Noorul Hasan. And he is a devout Muslim.
But before anything else, he is an Indian.
It’s wonderful to see United Colors of Benetton unearth the heartwarming story of Noorul Hasan, a common man with an extraordinary soul who lives by the values of peace, mutual respect and coexistence.
For most people, religion is an uncomfortable subject. The faith you practice, your place of worship and your approach toward your belief (and that of others), affects you on an individual level, and the society on the whole.
The key to coexisting with individuals of different faiths is simple – love and respect for each person no matter what, because in the end, we are all seeds of the same fruit – human being.
We should be proud to belong to a country with diversity. There are many who might want to use this diversity to create division. But protecting the democratic heritage of India and using secularism as a tool to wade off the wrongdoers lies with us.
Noorul Hasan doesn’t follow the same faith as the people he begins his morning prayers with. But instead of enforcing his beliefs on people, he attempts to understand theirs. And even if one doesn’t understand the rationale behind another person’s beliefs, it’s okay. All we need to do is resist the urge to find rightness is a belief different than ours.
We might find this difficult to practise. But isn’t love when it’s difficult to find the best love of all?
United Colors of Benetton has brought to light a beautiful, yet important message and it’s crucial that we take inspiration from Noorul Hasan.