Sunday, May 29, 2011

Beyond the murky waters of religious division - An example from Narayana Hrudayalaya

After one and half months late finally I decided to go to Narayana Hrudayalaya (In fact to Narayana Nethralaya, which is in the same compound - Hosur Road campus). I took the first BMTC bus I saw and and reached the hospital. It didn't take much time to finish the checkup, by noon I was on my way back.

Curiously watching people from different states walking in and out of hospital, I reached the gate. Suddenly I noticed the small concrete building standing on the left side of the path - in to which some people are going in and some others are coming out.

I slowly approached the building, it turned out to be a multi-religious temple. This circular shaped building has four doors, each leads to a different room. First one I saw was a Hindu temple, some people are praying there, the next one was for Christians, a person - in patients dress - was standing there on his knee and praying with full concentration, I continued my walking and reached the entrance of third one - this room is for Muslims, two elderly women - looks like relative of a patient was praying there, next room was for Sikhs.

These type of temple complexes are not so rare in Indian hospitals (outside it is very rare). Some went even further and used to keep a religious book in every room. The noticeable point here is, I am yet to saw any one in these premises criticising the length, breadth, height of the prayer room or presence of people from other religions/communities. In fact they don't have time for that things, when some of their close relatives are admitted in the hospital. If one of your beloved is in operation theatre, what will you do? pray for his/her life or criticising others for being in a different caste/religion/minority/majority?

Nothing in the world limits these type of healthy outlook to the four walls of hospitals. As far as my experience goes, when some of the relatives are admitted in hospital, people are more focused on the praying part of their religion.

Couldn't we encourage this practice when we dealing with other sensitive religious issues? Can't we limit the religious belief to personal level and free it from the individuals political beliefs? Can't the politicians create a development vote bank instead of caste/religious vote bank?

The recent trends of looking into policies, elections etc through religious prism and assessing it on the basis of how it will affect the minority/majority religions, caste groups etc is not an evidence of improvement. In the mad rush of satisfying various religious/caste/majority/minority pressure groups aren't we forgetting the individuals who is standing alone and praying for his/her beloved one's recovery in the temple complexes like the one in Narayana Hrudayalaya?


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