Well I never thought of writing such an article by my own. Actually, just the day before yesterday, one of my poet friend from All Poetry asked me to give my views regarding Friendship and Religion. Is it a necessary fact that two hearts can be mate only and only if they have synonymous religious ideologies? She asked the same question to some other poets. Well I don’t know how the other poets replied, but at least this is what I exactly wrote to her….
First of all thanks for giving me the opportunity to express my views over such a consequential topic. However, I want to clear it first that decently I’ve never thought over such a theme before. And it is equally true that I personally don’t pen on friendship much. Most of the so called friends in today’s world are not far to be compared with shadows, they will play with you when there is sun, and flee silently as it turns dark. So, in one sense it is so verifiable to say that if ever your heart aches to see your best friend, then take a look in the mirror. However, don’t think it in anyway that I don’t believe in friendship. Friendship is indeed the greatest gift given to us and it’s unequivocally true that man cannot live all alone, all alone for aye. Now, let me come to the factual theme.. i. e whether religion matters in friendship or not. My answer is ‘No’, No in the sense that if friendship exists under the ascendency of some other criteria, then we have no prerogative to call it a ‘friendship’. True friends are like diamonds which will show their veridical colours only during the darkest nights and vague friends are like coal, which you will be able to see only when there is light. If the friendship you are talking about is sacred in the truest sense and if it has faculty to withstand all the future cataclysms then there is no room for religion in it. Let’s. take the case of our former president Dr. Kalam.. the one who is often called as the “missile man of India”, who spent his childhood in Rameswaram and where his best friend was Ramanadha sastry, whose father Lakhsmana sastry in turn was the head priest of the Rameswaram temple. Now can anyone think standing at that point of time that a Muslim and a Hindu boy can be friends. But as we all know that the contrasting religions made a little difference in their so called friendship. Even it is said that the mentalities of the two friends were to such extent that despite of possessing divergent religious persuasions they desired to know about the religion of each other. One day, however, there was a arrival of a new teacher in their school who was parochial. He could control his inward flame by seeing a Muslim and a hindu boy together. so he asked Abdul to go to the back seat. Such unsayable act on the part of a preceptor shattered two innocent heats so drastically that the two boys determined to narrate the same to their parents in order to reach a conclusion and to pacify their discrimination. Jainulabdden, Abdul’s father narrated that it does not matter to which God one prays, but if one prays with true faith, then he/she can become an integral part of the Almighty. Later Ramanadha sastry, being the chief priest of Rameswaram temple, protested against the teacher in the school and eventually the teacher apologized for his act.
I hope my reply makes some sense now. Happy day to you. Thanks.
~ Poet Pal Shayan