I am very tolerant towards all religions and their practices. I never really bothered to think if people of different religions should be treated the way they WANT the others to treat them or if they should be treated like every other citizen of the nation. But this particular email from a friend prompted me to think if we should also be pulling up our socks and saying "This is our country. If you do not want a DEMOCRATIC rule then you better leave!"
My statement above is not applicable to one particular religion or one particular caste. It should be applicable to all Indians who do not want to follow a democratic law. We claim to be a secular and democratic nation but have different laws for different religions. WHY???
Our laws are clearly tailored for one particular religion and "the rest of the religions". A follower of one religion is legally allowed to marry four times claiming that the holy book allows them to marry so. Most of the Hindu Gods are depicted to have two wives. So should the Hindus now argue that since their Gods have two wives, they should be allowed to marry twice? People of one religion are allowed to give and take "MEHER" while followers of other religions are put behind bars for accepting or giving dowry.
I am not arguing in favor of polygamy or dowry. Both are social evils. What I am trying to highlight here is the fact that we should NOT have laws that are different for different citizens. If our preamble says all Indians are equal, why should the law treat us different? Here is the mail that I received from a friend.
Prime Minister John Howard - Australia
Muslims who want to live under Islamic Sharia law were told on Wednesday to get out of Australia , as the government targeted radicals in a bid to head off potential terror attacks.
A day after a group of mainstream Muslim leaders pledged loyalty to Australia and her Queen at a special meeting with Prime Minister John Howard, he and his Ministers made it clear that extremists would face a crackdown. Treasurer Peter Costello, seen as heir apparent to Howard, hinted that some radical clerics could be asked to leave the country if they did not accept that Australia was a secular state, and its laws were made by parliament. 'If those are not your values, if you want a country which has Sharia law or a theocratic state, then Australia is not for you', he said on National Television
'I'd be saying to clerics who are teaching that there are two laws governing people in Australia : one the Australian law and another Islamic law that is false. If you can't agree with parliamentary law, independent courts, democracy, and would prefer Sharia law and have the opportunity to go to another country, which practices it, perhaps, then, that's a better option', Costello said.
Asked whether he meant radical clerics would be forced to leave, he said those with dual citizenship could possibly be asked to move to the other country. Education Minister Brendan Nelson later told reporters that Muslims who did not want to accept local values should 'clear off. Basically people who don't want to be Australians, and who don't want, to live by Australian values and understand them, well then, they can basically clear off', he said.
Separately, Howard angered some Australian Muslims on Wednesday by saying he supported spy agencies monitoring the nation's mosques. Quote: 'IMMIGRANTS, NOT AUSTRALIANS, MUST ADAPT. Take It Or Leave It. I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture. Since the terrorist attacks on Bali , we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Australians.'
'However, the dust from the attacks had barely settled when the 'politically correct' crowd began complaining about the possibility that our patriotism was offending others. I am not against immigration, nor do I hold a grudge against anyone who is seeking a better life by coming to Australia ' 'However, there are a few things that those who have recently come to our country, and apparently some born here, need to understand.' 'This idea of Australia being a multi-cultural community has served only to dilute our sovereignty and our national identity. And as Australians, we have our own culture, our own society, our own language and our own lifestyle.'
'This culture has been developed over two centuries of struggles, trials and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom'
'We speak mainly ENGLISH, not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society . Learn the language!'
'Most Australians believe in God. This is not some Christian, right wing, political push, but a fact, because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented. It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture.'
'We will accept your beliefs, and will not question why. All we ask is that you accept ours, and live in harmony and peaceful enjoyment with us.'
'If the Southern Cross offends you, or you don't like 'A Fair Go', then you should seriously consider a move to another part of this planet. We are happy with our culture and have no desire to change, and we really don't care how you did things where you came from. By all means, keep your culture, but do not force it on others.
'This is OUR COUNTRY, OUR LAND, and OUR LIFESTYLE, and we will allow you every opportunity to enjoy all this. But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about Our Flag, Our Pledge, Our Christian beliefs, or Our Way of Life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great Australian freedom,
'THE RIGHT TO LEAVE'.'
'If you aren't happy here then LEAVE. We didn't force you to come here. You asked to be here. So accept the country YOU accepted.'
Read http://www.snopes.com/politics/religion/australia.asp for full details
I am sure most of us will agree that it was indeed a bold announcement from the prime minister. I am not totally in agreement to what he had to say, but what I admired the most in his speech was the fact that Australians have woken up from a deep sleep to say "This is my country. You live by our rules OR pack your bags and leave to a land that can be partial to you!"
If Australia could do it, so can the other nations. Do not impose your religion on them but make them understand that they cannot be treated differently. They can only enjoy the previliges that the other citizens of the nation enjoy and nothing more than that!