As I hear rumours that the government, if voted to power again, will change the secular nature of the country do realise we will only have ourselves to blame for this future mess as what is being used by these cunning politicians are the very prejudices we have for each other’s race, colour or religion.

"He is a Punjabi," somebody shouts with disdain.

"A Malayali or a Sindhi," another shouts with anger and the chorus of hate goes on.

I doubt we have any choice over the colour of the skin or the caste or religion we are born into and this choice was also not given to the people we treat with contempt.

Here’s a little verse I’d like to share with you, by Elizabeth Hart. It speaks of a religious woman she met:

She spoke of heaven and an angelic host

She spoke of God and the Holy Ghost

She spoke of the Lord's teachings

Of man’s brotherhood,

Yet when she had to sit beside a Negro once –

She stood!

Sad! Just like many of us, isn’t it? I was shocked the other day when a good friend of mine from Goa, right outside a church, pointed to a man and said, "don’t trust him, he’s a Mangalorean". Did he ever realise that the same God he believed in, created not only him but all the others on the earth?

There’s a legend in the Talmud of a traveller coming at twilight to a camping place. As he looked off into the distance he saw a strange object. Through the gathering dusk it seemed to take the shape of a terrible monster, and he resolved to go closer to see, if possible, what it was. Drawing nearer, he saw it was a man.

Much of his fear than vanished. Thereupon he ventured closer and found that not only was the object a man like himself but... that it was his own brother!

                             ...what a monster prejudice is.

The great Voltaire called "Prejudice as the reasoning of the stupid".

In our country of diverse faiths and different colours, let us look beyond this so-called monster, and find a brother instead. Let us stop telling people to subscribe to this ideology or that. Here’s a few lines from a verse to make you think:

If you do not like me because I am ignorant, I can be sent to school and educated.

If you do not like me because I am dirty, I can be taught to wash and be clean.

If you do not like me because of my un-social habits, I can be taught how to live in society.

But if you do not like me for my religion or colour of my skin, I can only refer you to the God who made me!

Before blaming the politicians, look deeper as to who to blame..!

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