Spirited effort for communal harmony

Any small step towards fostering communal harmony needs to be appreciated at a time when there are orchestrated attempts to keep the emotional cauldron boiling.

Published: 01st July 2022 04:24 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st July 2022 04:24 AM   |  A+A-

Representational image | Express

Any small step towards fostering communal harmony needs to be appreciated at a time when there are orchestrated attempts to keep the emotional cauldron boiling. Gatherings of cross-sections of society convened in all the 14 districts of Kerala by Panakkad Syed Sadiq Ali Shihab Thangal, state president of the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) and the spiritual leader of the Muslim community in the state, should count as one such effort. Thangal, along with other leaders of the party, sat patiently for hours listening to suggestions from Hindu and Christian leaders, writers, activists, and representatives of various organisations during the gatherings that began on June 2 and concluded in Kozhikode on June 23. 

While irresponsible remarks from some political leaders and provocative slogans raised by extremist elements have transformed Kerala into a powder keg waiting for a spark to explode, Thangal’s active intervention at this stage is a welcome step and could prove vital in dealing with the emotionally-charged atmosphere. For, the members of the Panakkad family, which traces its ancestry to Prophet Muhammad, are known for their wisdom and piety and not for rabble-rousing speeches that appeal to the emotions of the audience. Sadiq Ali Thangal’s calm, yet assertive voice seems to have had its impact amid the cacophony of the hawks.

He asked the state and central governments to set up ‘ministries for tolerance and happiness’ on the lines of those that exist in some Gulf countries. He directed his party workers to spread the message that hatred cannot be countered by hatred and convene similar meetings with the active participation of the people from all sections. The best lack all convictions, while the worst are full of passionate intensity—the words of English poet W B Yeats best describe the times we live in. 

So, the task ahead is enormous. Thangal’s biggest challenge will be to rein in the misguided elements within the community. He will then have to work hard to win the trust of other communities. That is easier said than done, especially because political parties and organisations see communal discord as an opportunity to further their cause. The mission to sideline the hate-mongers and keep the secular fabric intact will succeed only if there is wholehearted support from all sections.


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp