J. Salahudin Mirza's letter (March 10), in response to the article “Relegate religion” (Open Page, March 7), should serve as an eye-opener to like-minded, unbiased people who believe in truth and humanity than in the precepts of any religion or sect, organised or otherwise.

Those who think along the lines of Jemila Samerin or Mr. Mirza, I am sure, are very few in number. Why, in spite of the progress mankind has made in almost every field, it has not been able to relegate religion to the backseat? Especially when, instead of becoming compassionate, people indulge in wicked acts in the name of religion?

Kshama Shashidhar,

Udupi

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Ms Samerin's article emphatically exposed the irrelevance of religion in the modern times. Aggressively propagated religious doctrines are the main source of inspiration for those who kill innocent people around the world today. History is replete with crimes against humanity in the name of religion. Man invented god out of fear, and religions evolved thereafter. One need not be a follower of a religion to be good.

Abraham Lincoln said: “When I do good, I feel good; when I do bad, I feel bad, and that is my religion.”

C. Masthan,

Chennai

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If we look at history, we find that it was only because of religion that man imbibed the qualities of kindness, mercy, love, affection, charity, service and respect. Imagine the world without religion. It will be anarchic, with no moral binding on man.

It is not religion that is to blame for our problems. Man has used religion as a tool to settle scores and rule the world.

J. Fareed Ahmed,

Chennai

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The purpose of religion is to streamline our thoughts and deeds towards a noble purpose. Unfortunately, it has been abused and misused. Dogmas and strictures constrict free thinking, making one parochial and fanatical. A person who understands religion is broad and cosmopolitan in outlook. He or she will not submit to the unnecessary dictates of religion. Such an enlightened person will rise above everything and will be humble and simple as personified by none other than Mahatma Gandhi.

R. Ramanathan,

Coimbatore