Dear brother from minority community

I am pained beyond belief to have seen a three minute video of two religious heads of a religious denomination spewing venom on Prime Minister Modi and BJP leader Amit Shah.

One has the right to his own opinion. But as a religious leader, one has the responsibility not to fall prey to crowd induced euphoria and (mis)direct followers in a particular direction.
In this case, the two were asking the followers to chant a certain name for the downfall of PM Modi. All this, in a meeting called to ask for a secular item – water.

One preacher even went to the extent of asking how could Kanyakumari have an enemy of the majority community in the constituency, as its MP? He further said that had the community chosen an MP from its own religious denomination, the Inaiyam port would not have happened.

I know that leaders of minority communities (mis)direct gullible followers to vote in a particular pattern. But until now these have happened inside places of worship and congregation. But a preacher spreading such a message in an open forum is an ominous sign.

My appeal to brothers & sisters in the minority community:

Go ahead and don’t vote for Prime Minister Modi, vote for Rahul Gandhi or even Karunanidhi. But, do so on your own volition. Don’t let devious preachers herd you as cattle, for they are acting to fulfil their master’s wishes – this time it is money, foreign governments and mercenaries.

My dear brothers and sisters in the minority community: We have been brothers and sisters until now. Preachers come and preachers go, but we are brothers for ever. Don’t let the chord of trust break.

When your preacher calls your elected representative an enemy of your community, they are not only insulting the member of parliament, but are also deriding the collective wisdom of the people who have voted the person and made him their representative.

Time to get out of the preacher’s spells and think for yourselves. Your preacher has no business directing your secular thought. In fact, it is your right not to be directed, in a particular way, to exercise your constitutionally given right.

Never were P.C.Alexander, K.M.Cherian, Abdul Kalam, George Fernandes, Varghese Kurien et al seen in their religious shades. They were seen as exemplary citizens and role models for every one to emulate. Let us build more of this lot and less of the preacher (c)lot, for the latter are parasites that feast on communal divisions and societal disruptions.

Breaking trust is easy. Tearing down communities is easier. Rebuilding is difficult. Don’t let our pluralistic society become a polarised one. #VandeMaataram.

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