“…. and there will be a place, unlike any other that has been. A place of great resourcefulness, of people who would live as they should, of leaders who will wear a cloak of responsibility, of thinkers who will think of peers. A place of science, of rational acknowledgment, of men and women alike, harboring the perfect blend of socialism and capitalism. A place confining to nature’s aroma, naturalizing in realm an ideal society, a place called Utopia, the answer to world peace.”
Though most would rejoice at an opportunity called Utopia, others would be appalled with the mere consideration of such an idea. Though most would agree that the primitive age that lacked technological aid, was closest to an Utopia mankind every had, others would strike down such an assumption on mere basis of it being a place, that the rest of the world did not know about, nor did they of the world, for the world was as big as their stamina to walk and surf, and their utopia as primitive and uninterrupted as the their civilization. Though there exists disparity in opinions, it requires no asking that the place mankind wishes to reach is an Utopia, with technological marvel, right by the bedside, but then why does it seem such an imaginary thought and classifies as utter ridicule.
The world saga does reflect abundantly as to why Utopia is a far fetched thought. The latest being a likely ban on Bhagavad-Gita, a Hindu scripture, in Russia. What came as a shock to many Indians, who find it spiritual, comprehensive in matters of human nature and purpose of life, was just another extremist literature as per a Tomsk city court in Siberia. It is not known what exact passage from the translation “Bhagavad Gita As It Is” is extreme, and what methods have been employed to determine it’s extremism, but a difference, in beliefs that practiced in Russia is evident to what are in India. And even if there are no moral differences, and reasons for ban are to be believed genuine, wouldn’t abolition of sacred texts of one religious community by another, simply aggravate matters between them. It would be nonsensical to think that Indians would accept such a remark, for culture is mended in one’s psyche, thus it is no more a matter of righteousness but pride. It is rightly said, “Temper gets you into trouble. Pride keeps you there.” Whether it is pride of an Indian, or that of an opposing Russian, it would be better to remind them, that, “no one ever chocked to death swallowing pride.”
The 19th century brought along a revolution of sorts, with the concepts of modernism, advocating deviations from cultural tendencies, trying to fabricate philosophies that would embark upon progress. It was not essentially tradition that was criticized, but it’s obsolesce. Although modernism reflected heavily on freedom of expression, radicalism, it is often condemned by religious preachers. Though morality was guiding every decision, abandoning and amending existing traditional prophesies was not acceptable to many, thus came about the only important question, “If at all the diversity the world is so proud of, can ever adhere to the concepts of polyculturalism?” It is understood that every religious scripture ensures victory of good over evil and appreciates morality but God, the all powerful, is never a common, instead all religions have their own God, and own code of conduct. A nations code of conduct is mostly a reflection of it’s predominant religious sermon, or if there are more, then intra-religious i.e., to follow one’s own religion, and not concern oneself with that of others. The intra-religious practices work best, and has worked for India till date, but what happens when there is a clash, when stereotype and prejudiced clans of one religion criticize other, what answer does one have other than to defend their community, how can one be rational when they are defending, why would they listen to an atheist who does not have a belief system, what if it’s a minority, does then the majority vote reflect morality and many more questions simply crop up with no immediate answer. It is not wrong to bring into view the best practices from all religions, bind them as a whole and establish a Utopia governed by science, right-wrong, and humanitarianism, but then again there exists no basis of such demarcation for religions, to segregate good from bad, for the whole is essential to a community and not just the bits and pieces. It cannot be asked of people to abandon their own, and bestride a newer one, thus polyculturalism not being an answer. It can be multiculturalism but problems are many, and a feud such as todays yet again cannot be solved by religions themselves, and a third person advice would simply not suffice.
The requirement is to not make religious scriptures a way of life. It’s time, scriptures are read to understand what they represent, and to not simply replicate a world they postulate. To have faith in your religion, be it Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism or Buddhism, and at the same time have an open mind about that of others i.e., to accept and not intertwine theirs with one’s own. Since, every religion that exists has it’s own theory of Utopia and how only the purest would reach such a place, it’s time we understand that though morality would never change for religions, expression will, and though all religious forms will reach same end, they shall employ different paths, different stories. Hence, all shall reach there, if only they don’t cross each other’s path, they just follow theirs and let the other be. And if at all they happen to cross paths, they accept the other as if it’s a whole other thing, and move on without complication.
To sum it up, I would have to say that religious rigidity per Se is not barring Utopia, the non acceptance of other is! If Russian court bans Bhagavad-Gita, it would not be because Russia follows Orthodox Christanity and Hinduism is a minority but because it fails to accept Hinduism. It is not true that religions can’t coexist, it’s just they never try to and its always fair to say, “Ignorance is a bliss.”
P.S. Opinion mentioned here are personal, and are not expressed to hurt any community. You can always tell if it bothers you, and I will see to it. Further, other parameters in framing a Utopia are considered fulfilled. Also, practices of religion that encourage human exploitation are not considered, for it would bring upon a whole different issue.