A Tune of Harmony

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There has been a huge uproar about the speech by Akbaruddin Owaisi. The hatred-filled content by itself is shocking enough but what is alarming is the applause that he got from his audience. This shows the danger of isolation of a community in our ever-expanding society. These misinformed and misguided mindsets are there because they remain in their own community. When they live in isolation, they promote only one mindset and there is no open mindedness. They may not have friends from other communities or participate in other festivals. Such thoughts that have been expressed by Owaisi are poisonous to the idea of India even in a drawing room, let alone a public platform.

Therefore, religion based universities must be shut down. Universities are the only place where people work and grow up with people from other communities. But the government starts promoting religion based institutions for their vote banks. Such institutions will only create more Owaisis who remain in their own island. They will never get integrated with the rest of society and this is not good for the country.

Now who can change this mindset? It’s certainly not the law. If he is put in jail, he becomes a hero for his own people. Hindus cannot say anything to him because it will further polarize the two communities. So who can correct the mindset that he stands for? Such elements can only be changed or addressed by liberal and successful people of their own community. And it is time for those liberals who spend their time in their drawing rooms to reach out to people, address the youth, change their mindset and make an impact.

When I made efforts in the Ayodhya negotiations meeting VHP, the Muslim Personal Law Board and Babri Masjid Action Committee, what I saw there was more a vested interest than a genuine care for each other’s communities. It was more stubbornness than a willingness to come to a solution. Therefore, people who are mature and have the interest of a larger good at heart must step forward and educate others for sense to prevail. Otherwise, people like Owaisi end up becoming people’s representatives by evoking anger and hatred.

In stark contrast to the walled city of Hyderabad, Kadapa, also in Andhra Pradesh, is a pole apart. Every year thousands of Muslim devotees celebrate the new year by offering prayers to Lord Venkateshwara on Ugadi. This has been a 300 year old tradition at this temple. Similarly, many Hindus visit the Ameen Peer Dargah on Thursdays and Fridays.

Over the centuries, India has absorbed many different faiths in her culture. It is some people blinded by political ambition, greed or just plain ignorance who claim to be the voice of the people and seek to make gains out of creating chaos. They need to be drowned out by voices that make sense and personalities that display character. We owe it to both our glorious past and promising future to maintain our harmony as a nation.

More Comments

  1. Lee Patrick

    Dear Rajaque,
    I was so encouraged by your post. I do get confused with Islam. It seems it is similar to Christianity…the fanatical minority evangelise division, the pure evangelise peace and love.

    It is so difficult to understand, that even taking into account the sheer numbers who advocate for peace and love …why do we not rise up and overshadow the darkness that exists.

    It’s almost like the good and caring people are impotent to do more than use rhetoric. We do have power, and we must stand united. I agree, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is someone with true pure intention, and so much more.

    May we as individuals answer with YES as he calls us to physically be involved…not just on paper, not just in word…but in action.

    With deep respect
    Lee Patrick

  2. Raghunath Cherukat

    Guruji’s comments on ‘Owaisi’s mindset’ is to those who are still like the frog in the well. Great !

  3. jugal tandon

    Rajaque Rahman
    You hv done yeoman service to the cause of Hindu Muslim Unity by being upright in your comments and recommending wholistic view of religion. No religion teaches hatred and enemosity with other human beings. Only people having vested interest distort the religion and preach hatred and exclusiveness. It is high time that both right thinking Hindus and Muslims should come under one Leader like SrI Sri to bring togetherness and understanding of each other. This way only we can move forward.

  4. Rajaque Rahman

    As always Sri Sri has come up with a simple but fantastic solution to a complex problem of rising fanaticism among Indian Muslims. As a Muslim who is concerned for the community’s future, I totally agree that the government is making the younger generation play with fire through these regressive acts. Isolating them from the mainstream will only reinforce the victim consciousness and promote fanaticism.

    The India of tomorrow must belong to all Indians irrespective of their caste, creed and religion. This can happen only when every Indian start taking pride in being a secular Indian. The shortsighted political class has missed this and is being driven by narrow vote-bank politics.

    People like Owaisis have done nothing that will make them command the respect of the community. So they have to resort to rabble-rousing. Sadly, Akbaruddin isn’t an aberration. There is an organized network of self-serving leaders who are exploiting the masses for their personal gains. Their survival depends solely on polarization on the basis of religion. They will without a constituency the moment the larger Indian Muslim population gets integrated with the mainstream. Hence, they are playing all the dirty tricks to ignite polarization. This was apparently visible during the recent communal clashes in Assam. Instead of working to end the sufferings of the victims, they tried their best to escalate the conflict and turn it into a pan-India Hindu-Muslim conflict. The disastrous outcome of their plan is still fresh in the mind.

    Their designs have assumed a worrying proportion as they have successfully tapped into the fast expanding network of Tablighis. In the name of preaching Islam, Tablighis travel across India and lure people into Wahabism, or orthodox brand of Islam copied from Saudi Arabia. In the last one decade or so, they have systematically destroyed the Indian brand of Islam which existed from the time of Khwaja Garib Nawaz of Ajmer.

    It’s a known fact that theTablighi movement is no more confined to spreading awareness about Islam. They have become a pseudo-political movement patronized by leaders with a divisive agenda. Until this network is broken, fanaticism will continue to rise. As said by Sri Sri, liberal Muslims alone can deliver on this.

    1. arun

      Thats great Rahman , really we all belong to one and only one. Right, we all have to come up to be one and for better India.

  5. Rajaque Rahman

    Dear Aamir

    I hope your love is for the Truth and not of an ignorant evangelist! In Islam there is no room for people who use religion to foment hatred. I hope you love this principle of Islam more than your blind allegiance to Zakir Naik.

    I can’t but pity Zakir Naik for the perverted head he carries on his shoulders. There can’t be a worst act than acquiring knowledge with the intent of putting someone down. Zakir Naik is good only in that. He wouldn’t qualify even as an evangelist as his understanding of Islam is too shallow. I am not even sure whether he is interested in preaching Islam. He just thrives in the Satanic act of belittling others. Jut by memorizing a few verses, one doesn’t become a scholar!

    The biggest enemy of Islam today is the brand of faith that people like Zakir Naik represent and preach. In the true sense of the religion, we are out of Islam the moment we don’t stand by ideals of peace. By that yardstick, it’s debatable whether he is still part of the umma of Islam as Zakir Naik’s actions are aimed disturbing peace and fomenting hatred. Will you please enlighten me where in Islam this sort of hate-mongering is permitted?

    Thankfully, many Muslim groups have finally come out against his mainipulation and distortions. The hope of Indian Muslims lies in our ability call the bluff of these self-proclaimed evangelists. We are duty-bound to the Creator to understand the essence of His words and live by that. Let’s not allow ourselves to be laid astray by perverted interpretations.

    The very fact that you had to invoke an old and unconnected debate between Zakir Naik and Sri Sri to comment on the latter’s refreshingly fresh articulation to save Muslims from fanaticism and isolation shows the limited world majority of Indian Muslim youths live. It will be no arrogance to say that Sri Sri and Zakir Naik shouldn’t even be spoken on the same page, leave apart comparing the two. One represents the hope for humanity and other the peril. Sri Sri is one leader who has endeared himself to millions of people across countries, regions, religions with his unconditional love and concern. That’s why he has been revered in unlikely countries like Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, etc.

    Even when he advocates shutting down of religion-based university he doing that out of love for Muslim population of this country. In these regressive acts of the government, he sees the danger of younger generation of Indian Muslims playing with fire. By isolating ourselves and reinforcing the victim consciousness, we will only harm the interest of the community. Only a farsighted visionary like Sri Sri can perceive that raise a voice against it.

    It’s time younger generation of Indian Muslim junk the blinkered thinking of outdated and self-serving religious and political leaders. This is the only way to save the community.

    1. Mukesh

      Nice thoughts… Let us rise above petty issues and know that we all are part of one community… human community …

  6. gaurav vashist

    Very Well said, these type of bad elements should be teated with well mannered civiv senses so that they feel what they are and doing

  7. Jayashree Patnaik

    Thanks to Guruji for his thought-provoking words. This issue can have dangerous implications for our country. The time has arrived for all of us to wake up from slumber and increase awareness to address these negative elements of our society.

  8. Resha

    Its a refreshing perspective – the solution to such fanaticism lies in the hands of liberal-minded people from the same community. Our country has such a rich tradition, as illustrated by the shining example of the Muslims of Kadapa. We need to know of such instances, take pride in them and stand up for what is true. A secular, democratic and all-encompassing attitude is woven in the fabric of this country. Should we lose this, we will be doing great injustice to our tradition, the next generation and who know, perhaps irreparable damage. Let’s wake up before its too late.

  9. Manjunath Hegde

    Conditioning is such a powerful tool where one can be made to believe anything as good or bad ! Guruji’s idea of creating ” vasudeva kutumbhakam” can happen if we stop these systematic conditioning and creating such mindsets. In that direction, I liked his idea.
    About Zakir or Aamir, they are not majority , they follow once they realize truth of what is good for every one.
    Weak minds sway and become narrow; strong ones think logic and understand foe themselves.

  10. sugam singla

    today we all have become a machine who agree with anything which come in our way we have forgotten our own power of logic and are just copying what seems to be correct. today our mind are so soft to accept any impression without using our own brains. this thinking must be changed. we should never agree on anything just because it is written or said by some influential person. work your own brains. and finally the truth will dawn upon you………… as my yes teacher prachi mahajan says put shradha and logic in your every work. it will be done

  11. Muthu

    Our country and world needs leaders like Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji who can stand up for what is not right and also guide people in the right direction uplifting them by all means and working tirelessly for love and peace in our world.

  12. Harish Ramachandran

    I couldnt agree more. I have Muslim friends and our neighbours in Mumbai and Chennai are Muslim and they are most gracious and open minded, articulate, patriotic, respectful.

    But of late I have come across several of these other kind of Muslims – narrow minded, indoctrinated, unwilling to see other points of view….and it is worrisome, I really didnt know what to do.

    Recently I met with an Indian film director who practices Islam. His take on the life of Sri. Krishna stunned me (because of the sheer ignorance he conveyed). With full conviction he said that there was no person called Krishna who lived in India. All his childhood stories are similar to some stories about Moses – about the King ordering that all male babies are to be killed, and something about a river turning red with blood etc. I thought maybe that was a one-off statement, but when I shared something about what Guruji had spoken, he would imply that this is copied from the Middle East… This made me realise the level of indoctrination these people are subjected to in their schools/Universities. There is no room for debate/discussion and absolutely no respect for anyone professing a different point of view. No wonder the likes of Zakir Naik and Owaisi are heroes for these chaps. It is a huge challenge to really make them open their eyes (and hearts) and what Sri Sri has suggested is a crucial step in that direction.
    It is equally important for liberals within the Islamic community to speak out loud and clearly against people like Zakir Naik and Akbaruddin Owaisi – so that the youth of the community realise that to be successful you dont need to have the same mind set as the Z’s and O’s.

  13. vindhya

    Guruji, you are person who is so centered and speaks what’s right and what is needed without any kind of bias!

    Your initiative Volunteer For Better India seems to be fantastic…want to be a part of it! You are a spiritual leader that I admire for having impacted so many lives so positively!


    1. Aamir

      Dear Madam,
      please see Ravi shankar debate with Dr, Zakir Nayak, It is available on You Tube. it will really guide you to the reality that what Ravi shankar actually is. Hope you will come out from this illusion and get the right way. I really care about you being a human. for further information you can contact me.

      thanks and regards

      1. Ananta

        Enlightened Aamir,

        While also on YouTube, you can also peruse Sri Sri RaviShankar’s talks on the Bhagavad Gita. Please listen with both ears wide open.

        Your ‘reality’ unfortunately has a huge cataract in both eyes.

        Wishing you well.

      2. Paresh

        Yes Aamir, If you talk about debate between Sri Sri Ravi shankar and Dr. Zakir there is difinitely so much to learn from Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. He is not a Glossary like Dr. Zakir Naik who only memorizes the pag nos. of the book without really understanding the essence of the saying. Second thing I learn from Sri Sri is that how to handle the ego of person like Dr. Zakir Naik who has got some fixed idea and not open to any other idea and thinks that only he is right. In this situation only way is to say that Yes I made mistake and come out without creating conflict. Sri Sri’s goal is always to unite the people by bridging the gap and not create conflict and if you see the debate he was only trying to do that. Instead of getting into argument he was trying to bridge the gap and unite both community. For this one has to be very broad minded and big hearted like Sri Sri Ravishankarji.
        Third thing I learn from the debate is that when you invite a Guest we should not try to put him down as Dr. Zakir Naik was trying to do where Sri Sri was guest. This is not the culture of our country.
        We should not be mistaken that Sri Sri accepted the mistake in the debate because he feels so but because that was the only way to get out of fools debate without creating conflict. Its true that sometimes we also learn from Fools like Dr. Naik about what not to do. Its a blessing from Divine to have Guru like Sri Sri in the current time.

        1. sohini

          Yes we are so blessed & ever grateful to have Guruji in our lives. Those who know God only as a subject of debate & head is really very unfortunate. I wish Dr. Naik comes out of his personal agenda and thinks for the greater good of his fellow country men. This is high time we should try & unite all the hearts from various communities instead of creating conflict. If knowledge is not giving rise to LOVE then it is no knowledge but a burden, one should self introspect. God bless!

      3. Harish Ramachandran

        Dear Aamir

        Your definition of care and concern needs to be broadened.
        I am not sure if you attended that so called debate that Zakir Naik had with Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji. I did. And the day after the debate there were several Muslims who had travelled from Tamil Nadu for the ‘debate’ – they came to see Gurudev, and said that they were touched by the dignity and love that Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji displayed and said that this is what they were looking for in their life!!
        So yes – Truth will prevail and Love will conquer 🙂 Best wishes for your journey of self discovery.

        1. Nikhil Nair

          Well said Harish. There is a lot of hatred that is being spread against Sri Sri by projecting the Zakir Naik video which I have seen myself on many forums. The govt. of India has done the right thing by banning his Peace TV and Facebook.

          I am not a follower of Sri Sri but he definitely makes more sense to me than what hate mongers say. Good initiative and I hope to read more and more of such honest articles from Sri Sri.

      4. J.P. Samala

        Dear Aamir,

        I have watched few other programs of Dr Zakir Nayak. He is nothing but a man with a inferiority complex trying to project it as superiority complex!

        He asks people of other faiths to come to the mike to ask questions and with trickery and quickness almost like a hipnosis, he spell binds the person and makes the person recite muslim verses and says that now you are muslim!! They go innocently to ask a question only to realize that they have been converted to Islam!! These are just characteristics of a cheat whose agenda is to promote islam and trash everyone else.

        Look at Sri Sri. Anywhere goes, he promotes brotherhood, love, harmony and peace!
        In fact, he came to that discussion to promote harmony between Muslims and Hindus. What Dr Zakir Nayak did is project his inferiority complex as superiority complex. Realizing this Sri Sri, a wise man that he is, showed compassion on this man!

        Please wake up and see.. Don’t get marginalized by believing in the hate philosophy of the people like Dr Zakir Nayak, Owaisi. Follow good muslim leaders, glorify good muslim leaders who work for brotherhood as opposed to hate.

      5. vindhya

        Hello Aamir, Thanks for your concern. Yes, I’ve seen that video on youtube and read much more about both Sri Sri and Zakir Naik. Suggest you do that too without any bias or preconceived notions. You’ll realize that Sri Sri is someone with such a broad vision for the world and speaks things that make perfect sense.

        I was a non-believer in spiritual Gurus myself, but my views changed when I went through Sri Sri’s talks on various subjects. He really knows what he is talking and he genuinely cares for humanity.I have great respect for him today.

        God bless you & all the very best.

      6. Pardeep Singh

        Dear Amair, Yes, I’ve seen the original video. Few days after that video only, I decided to explore more about AOL, and today, I’ve become Shri Shri follower (not officially, I actually work in an MNC based in the UK). I am a monotheist Sikh, Shri shri’s organsiation never questioned or interfered with my religions. I’ve seen some muslim brothers writing hate comments about Shri Shri but I feel its bit unfair because they havent tried or realised the power of ancient meditation techniques his program teaches. Shri Shri never spoke a word against Islam and I know many devout muslims are following AOL program too. I agree Dr Zakir Naik is a great debater but in that video, I felt bit disappointed to see his supramacy over Islam and some of his sarcastic statements he made at the end of the video out of the frustration. Never mind, shri shri had reasons to stay calm. Now, maybe because you are not connected with AOL and mistakenly assume him as enemy of Islam (which I promise is not at all true), you do not realise the social reforms he has done all over the world. Infact many muslims nations has benefitted from his work.
        We hindus, sikhs and muslims are creation of the same god, which makes us brother. Unfortunately, not all of us realize it.
        I didn’t mean to make any statements to hurt any sentiments. I hope you understand the essence of my point. Best regards!

  14. pushp dant

    This mindset, propogation of which is getting financed by petro-dollars, can only be countered by such liberal people reaching out to educate their communities. The proposal to shut down religion restricted universities will have a far-reaching impact.

  15. hetal

    Dear Guruji,

    This is “Brilliant!” Totally agree!! What an insightful write up!

    Owaisi has lived here in India, and now he says such harsh and hatered-provoking things about his own country?? This is so so bad!! He must be taught a lesson so no one dares to ever do/ say such things! It will never be tolerated in U.S.A , if anyone says anything against the country!!

    I absolutely love India and am a proud
    Indian. What hurts most is that, there are some anti-social elements who are disturbing the “Harmony” every now-n-then. Most often these are selfish people whit very narrow mind sets and have only personal gain as agenda!! India, as always, keeps welcoming and including all cultures and all kinds of people! Do we need to take some firm steps and action to not let people walk over India, because we are so good? Isn’t the goverment much more responsible for the present day situation? There is hope as there are good people, but all good people need to take action!

    “The Volunteer For A Better India” initiative , is an amazing platform created by your inspiration! Urging people to join in!!!! Just sms to 8080801010 and register today!

    Thank you!

  16. divya

    Absolutely Brilliant! Universities are a place where people learn a lot about others cultures and taking away that experience from someone just makes biased and closed to different viewpoints. What an amazing insight!

  17. Balamurugan Krishnan

    In Guruji We See An Infinite, Incomparable & Complete Hope.
    When An Individual With Virtues Or A Hopeful Group Is On A Path Of Love, Peace, Non-Violence & Is Disciplined- There Is Very Little Space For Insecurity or Fear Which Tends One to Aggression.
    History Has Ample Proofs That Aggression Only Resulted In Hatred & No One Won Till Now. Also Nature & Human Values Were Only Degraded.
    It is High Time The Realization Of One Consciousness, One God Or One Nature Dawns In These Small Minds For Universal Well-being !
    With The Powerful Nature As The Inspiring & Driving Force Behind Us- We are Very Much Hopeful That A New History Is In The Making !
    We Are Part Of That Even If It Costs Us To Sacrifice Self or Our Life-Time !

    Jai Gurudev ! Joy Gurudev !

  18. Devotee

    No doubt this harmony will come when the two communities mix into each other. But problem here is that negative element in Muslim community are powerfully brainwashing their people against all other communities. Don’t we know and even foresee that? Why the community is so closed to outer world? Why they don’t allow other communities to mix up with them.

    Some people are certainly interested in isolating that community and certainly for benefit of a few people. But ironically their followers are strongly uneducated or educated in a strict pattern that they don’t see any other thing.

    They are unable (and don’t believe) to find true happiness in giving happiness to other people.

  19. sohini

    Pranam at your lotus feet Guruji. I am so grateful that you shared such a wonderful post and enlightened us about the root cause of such communal disharmony in our society. It is high time for liberal muslims to come out openly and educate those living in isolation & darkness. Felt so good knowing about Muslim Devotees praying to Lord Venkateshwara on Ugadi! I wish all the good people in every community who have been silent till now against all these injustice do not remain silent any more. Time is flying. May God bless all of us with goodness, strength and wisdom at this dark hour…Lots of love & pranam. Jai Guru Dev!


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