The Community’s Charter of Co-Existence For Peace And Harmony
A long time ago, in the year 1914, some of our stalwarts from the community joined hands for a worthy cause – to bring peace and harmony in the community, by proposing to draft a ‘Charter of Co-existence’. That was a great idea, but somehow it fizzled out or was shelved, perhaps due to the orthodox lobby opposing it.
Witnessing the rising trend of chaos, confusion, strife and conflicts within the community, we urgently need to draft that proposed ‘Charter of Co-Existence’ and frame rules to give a free hand to the community. Those worthy stalwarts and the great legal luminaries of the community should come together now and frame a constitution to serve in the best interest of the community. Today, our community is like a rudderless boat, drifting helter-skelter in the stormy seas. Once we find a right direction, we can reach a safe destination.
Much damage is caused to the community by bringing issues related to religion in the ambit of BPP. Doongarwadi is our prized property, donated to the community for the special purpose of performing the last rites of the dead. Denying prayers to the dead and not allowing them access to Doongarwadi bunglies was the worst decision ever made. It has caused a permanent rift in the peace loving community. What gains have we achieved by such unethical dictates taken in haste to retaliate are punishing those who refused to abide by such dictates. Legally, one who is a member of the community, cannot be denied access to the amenities provided for the community. Trustees are the chowkidars, their duty is to protect. They are not the owners to keep hold on the property.
Freedom, at any cost, is beneficial to an individual, to the society and to the community. When an educated disciplined community is denied freedom to exercise their rights, it causes pain and anger. A legally approved Charter of Co-Existence will provide freedom, allowing people to exercise their free will without any pressure from others. Live and let others live is the way to live in peace.
It is surprising and unfortunate, that this very important project conceived in 1914 and welcomed by the community has not come into existence as yet. Once a settlement is reached, we shall set aside our differences or learn to live without conflicts in spite of having differences.
Besides the disposal of the dead bodies, there are issues on inter-caste marriages and initiation of the children of intermarried couples in our faith. As much as we all wish and try to control our children into marrying within the community, we cannot stop the rising trend of inter-caste marriages. Just as we have accepted children of intermarried males, for over the last hundred years now, we cannot deny the same rights to the intermarried ladies, provided their spouses agree.
Live and let live is the way forward – the way of coexistence. Let us live together, pray together, party together, wish well for each other like a loving family. Let us practice religion with reverence in our hearts and not bother about how others practice their religion. Most importantly, let’s cultivate good thoughts, speak kindly to others and never hurt anyone. A heart filled with love shies away from causing hurt to others. When we are concerned about others’ wellbeing more than our own, we make a better world.
We all share a fundamental wish to live a happy life with peace and harmony. Thanks to our kind and loving forefathers, we have the opportunity to progress in all walks of life. It is a shame that our minuscule community – so well known for its great unity, wisdom and virtues, which inspired others to live a meaningful life – needs to revise its own lessons!
– Piroja Homi Jokhi
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