Edit Corner

The Ram Mandir Imbroglio – An Indian Religious Tourism Wonder

I am not going to comment on the religious connotations of the Ram Mandir issue. I am neither a history or a religious expert.

The Hindus have a belief in the importance of Ayodhya and I respect it just as I would about Mecca being for my Muslims sisters and brothers, Vatican being for my Christian being for my Christian sisters and brothers or Jerusalem for my Jewish sisters and brothers.

Keeping our religious sentiments aside for a moment. Let’s look at the immense potential of a religious tourism initiative around the beautiful history that surrounds Ayodhya that will uplift most villages and towns in the area, currently under strain from the turmoil and anxiety around the issue, making it economic and socially sustainable. This was an idea a good friend of mine from Dubai Sameer Sharma has shared with me and it made absolute sense to me.

I personally feel that the Muslims and Hindus must come together and build a fabulous tourism initiative in Ayodhya and grand Ram Mandir. The economic activity around the religious tourism initiative would benefit Hindus, Muslims and those who are non-believers in any religion alike.

Think about the potential of economic activity that surrounds a religious tourism initiative. It combines a religious activity with a tourism economic activity. Look at the Vatican – there is a immense tourism economic activity devised around a visit to Vatican besides the religious piety.

From the hotels to restaurants, from tourists taxis to a mini-airport and many such direct and indirect industries that can flourish around this region and turn into a global economic activity with museums, yoga centres, Ayurveda hospitals and much more.

For years Hindus and Muslims are fighting for the right to the land. It has helped only politicians milk the situation for its political benefits but the people – Hindus and Muslims alike have only been made victims of promises and fear psychosis.

It is a shame today that a place of religious significance to our Vedic roots is adorned in a mere tent like dressing because successful governments and courts know the issue is extremely sensitive and will delay the making of the Ram Mandir. But to me, in face of economic depravity should not religious tenacity be kept aside to benefit all.

I fear to even think what would happen if the court order benefits either the Hindus or the Muslims. The violence will benefit nobody except of course the politicians and the external forces deliberately keeping this burning issue alive.

At the grassroots level I dare any politician to ask the people Hindus and Muslims alike that if we create a huge Global Religious Tourism initiative would not both Hindus and Muslims in and around this contentious location benefit from such an endeavour.

The problem with us Indians is that we fail to see the true nature of God in our religions. Muslims, Hindus and Christians will fight under the garb of religious tolerance or religious rights but will fail to see that in all our religion neither structure or nor book can replace God’s greatest work of learning and that is human existence and nature.

I believe that both the Hindus and Muslims can work together to resolve the issue while respecting each others religious beliefs. Let not humanity be lost in our quest for religious dominance.

I am sure some Hindus and Muslims reading my article will not appreciate my thoughts because I am Christian by my faith but it does not matter because I am a Human first and Indian second and my religion – that’s a distant 10 or 11 place in my life. I see all Hindus, Muslims and Christians as one. The solution lies with us all, if only we choose to see it without our eyes of love, respect and honour for each other’s religious sentiments but moreover beyond the realms of religion.

Savio Rodrigues

Savio Rodrigues Founder & Editor-in-Chief GoaChronicle.com

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