What meaning can life or freedom have if it destroys us morally, socially and spiritually? In our mad chant of secularism we have outlawed all religious and ethical teachings from the school curriculum, resulting in a generation of a morally degenerate and spiritually dry society. Knowledge of and respect for all religions and a sympathetic understanding of what each believes, honest and healthy discussions on the why and the wherefore of it all would be true secularism.
An elementary inclusion of all religious texts in the curriculum, with the option of choosing any two for study would gradually promote great understanding among the country’s growing generation , enabling their minds to expand beyond the narrow confines of their own religion. They would learn to appreciate and accommodate the good , ethical, uplifting and the socially just in other religions. Marriage, family, respect for elders, duty towards the young and old, service to society and brotherhood should all be rightly understood and valued. The merciless breaking down of these sacred societal values by the propagation of selfish,individualised and materialistic thinking will be the destruction of the sacred and important first unit of society, the family. This would in turn breed a race of self-centred, psychological aberrations in loveless, insecure and homeless children. The political exploitation of religion and the degeneration of true education as mere information on enabling livelihood, is the cancerous ulcer oozing the pus of doom. Instead of a media slug-fest on religion, supposing the media for once played fairy godmother to bring peace, harmony, beauty and ethics into our strife torn lives, what a service to the society it would do. Religion has almost become a tabooed dirty word, and in divorcing it completely from young minds are we not throwing out the baby with the bath water?
Prarthna Saran, President, Delhi Chinmaya Mission can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org