Preserving religious and communal harmony

Published On: September 23, 2023 08:00 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

In a world where religious strife often grabs headlines and divides communities, Nepal has stood as a beacon of religious tolerance and coexistence for centuries. The rich tapestry of traditions and beliefs woven into the cultural fabric of this nation has fostered a unique harmony among its people. However, recent events have raised concerns about this harmonious coexistence being under threat. The incident in Malangawa, the district headquarters of Sarlahi, where clashes erupted during a religious ritual, leading to the imposition of an indefinite curfew beginning Thursday night, is a stark reminder of the delicate balance we must strive to maintain. In response to these alarming trends, Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Narayan Kaji Shrestha demonstrated timely leadership by convening a meeting with various stakeholders to address the issue and chart a way forward on Friday. 

During this crucial gathering, Deputy Prime Minister Shrestha rightfully emphasized that Nepal's strength lies in its religious tolerance, a fundamental tenet that has been the bedrock of our society. It is disheartening to witness attempts to sow discord and disharmony under the guise of religious beliefs. The Deputy Prime Minister's belief in community-driven solutions over administrative measures resonates deeply. Indeed, lasting harmony can only be achieved when communities come together in understanding, respect, and solidarity. The meeting saw the participation of religious leaders representing Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, and Christian faiths, a testament to the inclusivity and diversity that Nepal cherishes. These religious leaders, recognizing the gravity of the situation, issued a joint appeal for religious harmony. Their collective stand against unconstitutional and illegal activities carried out under the guise of religion is a clarion call for unity and mutual respect. The appeal rightly denounces actions that seek to undermine Nepal's history, traditions, and the longstanding spirit of harmony.

It is concerning that disturbing incidents have unfolded over the past few days, where individuals have propagated hatred based on religion, caste, and sect. These actions not only disrupt social harmony but also challenge the very essence of Nepal's pluralistic society. It is imperative for every citizen to unequivocally condemn such actions and work diligently to bridge the gaps that have surfaced. Police administration also needs to take appropriate measures to discourage elements that are bent on disturbing religious and communal harmony subsisting in our society for ages. Religious and communal unity aren't merely an aspiration; they are a necessity for the stability and prosperity of our nation. We stand at a pivotal juncture where our actions today will define the trajectory of our society tomorrow. Let us heed the call for unity, understanding, and cooperation. Let us reaffirm our commitment to the age-old values that have made Nepal a unique and harmonious nation. It is our duty, as responsible citizens, to preserve and fortify the religious and communal harmony that has been our legacy for generations.

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