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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2703

Coexistence or co-annihilation?

By S. H. Moulana

I have always admired India’s Kerala state for the peaceful coexistence that prevails among various communities there.

Now my thoughts are with this role model of a state where religions coexist beautifully.

Back in the summer of 2015, the heart of a Hindu man was transported across Kerala for a Christian patient in dire need of a new one.

Funds were raised by a Muslim businessman to pay for the operation performed by the state’s top cardiac surgeon; a Christian.

An Indian Navy helicopter and an ambulance both dispatched by Kerala’s Chief Minister sped the heart from Thiruvananthapuram to Kochi. The entire state plus India celebrated the news as the story unfolded in the media then.

Kerala is home for just over 33 million people 56.2 % of whom are Hindus, 24.7% are Muslims and 10% are Christians. Over centuries, people from many different communities and cultures traveled through and lived in Kerala – Jewish and Christian migrants, Arab merchants, European traders, and colonizers.

The city of Kochi has India’s oldest active synagogue and oldest European, church both from the sixteenth century. Kerala is a symbol of religious coexistence – not simply tolerance – in a world that is struggling with new strains of virulent intolerance and violence.

We think the very high literacy rate of 94 percent, the highest for any Indian state, is also a contributing factor for this, as well as for the lowest crime rate for any state in India.

The people of Kerala have guarded their state very well by not allowing any communal political parties, like B.J.P etc, to make inroads crossing their borders.

On my few visits to this state, I noted that their eating habits plus the dresses and culture are almost similar to ours in Sri Lanka. They also can give us a good run for hospitality.

Except for the unpardonable Easter Sunday massacre by extremist elements and the unrest followed thereafter and the thirty years of war, we too fared well to maintain peace and harmony in our country.

With our high literacy rate, like the Keralites, we too can become a role model for peaceful coexistence in South Asia.

We hope our next president to be elected soon will pave the way to maintain peace and harmony among all communities in our beloved country.

Martin Luther King said – ‘We still have a choice today: nonviolent coexistence or violent co-annihilation. This may well be mankind’s last chance to choose between chaos and community.’ Let our choice be peaceful coexistence!

- Asian Tribune -

 Martin Luther King - Nonviolent coexistence or violent co-annihilation.
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