A Clarion Call To Be Together As One
It has been 55 years since the promulgation of the declaration by Pope Paul VI on October 28, 1965, titled ‘Nostra Aetate’ (In our time or age). The declaration said that every religion in the world has got “a ray of that Truth which enlightens all men.” Reiterating this and speaking of much more Neil Dcruz, a guitarist and vocalist, released a song on May 9, 2020, ‘Together as one’ on his YouTube channel.
The video song starts with a quote by Neil narrating that it is a sad plight to see the religions along with their beliefs inviting divisions. Through this song, he drives home the message to humanity to come together as one.
Neil Dcruz reminiscences the beautiful glamorous past, but he accepts the fact that humanity is destroyed because it has given up love and compassion. Human beings have forgotten their utmost core. He questions, “Kaise Bhule hum Insaniyat?” (How can we forget humanity?). He offers a solution in the chorus of the inspiring song, “So come together stop this war, love is the only thing we should be fighting for, Jesus Allah ya ho Ram, Ek Ishwar Kai Naam, Chahe Humse Ek hi baat Raho ‘together as one’.”
Although the idea of all of us coming together as one may seem utopian, this is what we must be aiming for. Our every effort must be focused on getting humanity in close proximity to one another. In a recent journey on February 3 – 5, 2020 by Pope Francis to the United Arab Emirates for a discussion, prompted the writing and signing of a document on ‘Human Fraternity.’
The document suggests that human fraternity has to be promoted because it will safeguard the creation, it will uphold and nurture the whole universe. And also support all persons irrespective of one being poor, in need, and rich. As in the song, we hear of violence due to arms race, social injustice, corruption, terrorism due to misunderstood scriptures, inequality, etc. The Pope makes it clear that this is the sad truth and it is due to globalisation, spurious ideologies, capitalist and individualistic culture, distancing oneself from religious values and embracing materialistic philosophies, and the desensitized human conscience.
Having realized that we are different in our makeup the following must be adopted: a culture of dialogue as a path to follow. Because even if a conversation could build up conflicts it would bring us together, it would help us understand the veracity of the problem. We may not accept one another’s viewpoint but it will give us a different perspective in life leading us to live in mutual cooperation. Mutual cooperation as a code of conduct must be the norm. When we have differences of opinion and beliefs it is important that we mutually cooperate instead of fuelling a fight which therefore calls for a reciprocal understanding as to the technique and criterion. If each one would reciprocate love, wouldn’t it be wonderful? Goans have always stayed united in terms of practicing one’s religion, beliefs, and so on. One can see the dialogue, mutual understanding, and reciprocation of concern.
But the news of the pandemic and its widespread has psychologically traumatized everyone, but more so, it has devastated those at the peripheries of the society breaking the already broken. But along with it, the pandemic storytellers have ingrained hatred towards the Muslims and hatred towards the Chinese ethnicity. This song is thus a clarion call to fight for communal understanding, human fraternity, and pleasant peaceful coexistence.
Pope Francis when promising to work for unity and peace emphasised the role of every religion. These tenets assist introspection of our authenticity in leading the state and the nation, and its citizens.
Everyone in the state or country must be the recipient of good health and sanitation, education and its benefits, and support that will empower everyone. Alongside the individual efforts, the government must ensure willingness to be at the back and call. Every person is blessed with free will and freedom. The plurality of thought processes must, therefore, be accepted and respected, plurality and diversity of one’s religion, colour, sex, race, and language because God wills these and we are no one to question. Justice must be aimed at but guided by mercy and compassion. The promotion of a culture of tolerance in accepting the difference in people around us is the need of the hour. Our places of worship must be revered and protected as opposed to leaving them unattended.
The term minorities have been making rounds and therefore it is a dire requirement to provide and establish equal and full citizenship to everyone whether rich or poor. Our societies have always portrayed women as merchandise, objects of pleasure, and financial gain. These mentalities must be eradicated and addressed, to fight for a fraternal nation.
The song ‘Together as one’ has hinted on these issues although not explicitly. But it is now unto us to sing the song and be geared up to live up to these expectations or to brush these ideas under the carpet for generations to come.
First Published on The Goan Everyday newspaper