I have been living in BHEL township (in the NH 5 area) at Hyderabad for the past two years and 8 months (since when I joined M/s BHEL as Finance Manager). Despite living here for such a substantial period, I have yet to explore the locality properly. Quite a few months back, I spotted a temple within a distance of one kilometer from my residential quarter (in the old MIG area). Titled as ‘Ramalayam’, it’s the temple of Lord Ram and Lady Sita with a deity of Lord Hanumaan therein as well. Once spotted, I started visiting there regularly. However the most interesting thing that came to my notice was that a Catholic church is located just adjacent to the temple. A couple of months back when I visited the temple with my wife, I drew her attention towards this fact that the temple and the church were just adjacent. But she surprised me by telling an even more interesting and significant thing that a mosque was also located in the same line lying adjacent to the church. Upon her pointing out, I checked and found that indeed the temple, the church and the mosque are in the same line, one after another. From one end, you visit the temple first and from the opposite end of the lane, you happen to visit the mosque first.Now upon seeing this status of the three structures belonging to three different religions with my own eyes and witnessing it everyday thereafter (because now I visit the temple almost daily), I can do nothing but hail the great secular tradition of India which teaches to live and let live, which teaches to respect all the religions while keeping your own religious faith intact. I can now imagine that the locality echoes with Azaan for the Muslim brothers, prayers of the Christian brothers and worshipping of the Hindu brothers (sisters included in the expression). That’s my great nation which is a cut above the nations soaked in communal bias.
I have come to know of certain religious places in India (and some other countries as well) where non-believers are either not allowed at all or forced to sign some declaration / undertaking in this regard to enter the shrine. Well, these things are undesirable but happening at high profile places only where money rules and not the true devotion. I don’t want to visit such places anymore and am happy by visiting the place near my house everyday which teaches all and sundry to respect others’ faith and uphold the spirit of religious tolerance and co-existence.
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