K G Suresh
Courtesy: DNA | September 10, 2012
Once upon a time, a saint was bathing in a river when he saw a scorpion struggling in the current. Taking pity, he lifted the scorpion on his palm and started wading towards the bank.
When the scorpion recovered, it promptly stung the saint. Although wounded and suffering from burning pain, the saint did not drop the scorpion but took him to shore instead, while the creature continued to sting him.
The shocked and enraged disciples, who were watching the scene from the banks of the river, asked the saint why he saved the life of that “wretched and ungrateful” creature. Smiling, the Guru responded, “But he was only following his dharma, his nature. It is the dharma of a scorpion to sting as it is the dharma of a saint to save its life. He is following his dharma and I am following mine.”
Here, one is reminded of Pakistan's deputy attorney general Muhammad Khurshid Khan, who was dismissed from service for cleaning shoes at gurudwaras and temples in India and Nepal as “penance for crimes committed by the Taliban” on Sikhs and Hindus.
Unperturbed by the Pakistani government's decision, Khan said he intends to serve Hindu families in Sindh to promote inter-faith harmony and the soft image of Muslims. He said he intended to serve the Hindu community which was “unhappy with elements in the local Muslim community” in Jacobabad.
Asserting that he would not give up his mission despite the loss of job, he said, “I will visit the affected Hindu families and will console them through my humble service. I have a desire to serve them because my community has done them serious harm and that hurts me. My message is love and peace; my message is a soft image of Islam and a soft image of my country, Pakistan. We are not terrorists.”
He visits Gurudwaras, Hindu temples and Christian churches regularly to reinforce that religious minorities should be protected.
It is important that we do our duty or follow our dharma without fear or favour. It is on the strength of character of such individuals that humanity has survived to this day. May their tribe increase with every passing day.
(The author is the Director of the Global Foundation for Civilizational Harmony, India)