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Love and non-violence tenets of all religions.

We refer to the letter "The queen of herbs" by K N Singh (GDN, April 12). Tulsi plant and leaves are considered sacred in the Hindu religion. Tulsi plants are worshipped at Hindu homes. Besides its religious importance, tulsi has medicinal values, which have been accepted in all branches of medicine - be it allopathy, ayurveda, unani, siddha etc.

From what Mr Singh has written, it is clear that tulsi is a plant of importance in Islam too. Many people don't know that so much commonality exists among religions.

All religions follow the same basic principles. There are some variations in the dictums, practices and perceptions, but all religions generally insist on following the good things in life.

For example, all religions insist on universal love, brotherhood, non-violence, being true to one's own conscience, respecting elders and learned people, helping the needy and so on. A true follower of any religion will respect all religions and will at no time entertain enmity and hatred in the name of religion. Secularism is an inbuilt system in all religions, if truly understood, preached and practiced.

Alas, human history shows that instead of bringing people together to live in peace and harmony, religions have been used by cruel and senseless people to divide people for their selfish goals.

Millions and millions have been killed in wars fought in the name of religions. This could never have happened if all people were true to their own religions and faithfully followed them in letter and spirit.

Religious leaders must take efforts to educate and enlighten people; they should inform them about the commonalities in all religions.

Religious leaders must stop giving routine sermons claiming that their religion is superior; this can never be true.

They should enable people to learn and appreciate facts about other religions - which will help bring people of all religions closer, thus promoting unity instead of injecting hatred and enmity. We appeal to all religious leaders to work towards bringing peace and harmony in the world, which is facing communal and religious conflicts.

Instead of being a fanatic follower of misleading propaganda, let us become aware of great commonness of all religions and make this world a more pleasant and friendly place.

Bahrain is essentially a secular country, however, of late, violence and terrorism are shattering its fabric.

Efforts to unite people of different faiths is an essential task.

Let us learn to live together and feel the greatness of the principle of unity in diversity.

Chandra Madhavan

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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Date:Apr 15, 2014
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