The Human Cohesion Project — 2 Apr 2022
This is my third year of exploration and reflection during Ramadan. In 2020, The Human Cohesion Project was birthed during the throes of Covid-19, as Ramadan set in at the height of the first lockdown, in a highly polarised environment in India where I am based. Over the last two years, the project has extended to exploring other faiths as well, in a spirit of curiosity and wonder, around how faith could have the potential for human cohesion in our times.
This year, I was wondering if I should continue this reflection in my private space rather than write about it. However, I was urged to continue writing by a university I am currently a teaching a semester in, since the reflections could serve as part of the course work. So, I am back with the requests I usually have of those of you who engage on social media and privately with my reflections: may these writings serve as a mirror to yourself. Please use this as an opportunity to reflect and shift your consciousness around faith and religion, and thus actively participate in shifting our collective consciousness.
Among other things, the backdrop of this Ramadan is the invasion of Ukraine, the Tigray War, the Sri Lankan economic crisis and various breakdowns in other parts of the world, even as we seem to resurface after two years of the pandemic. The new normal has not yet set in; the old world is gone; we are in metamorphosis. It’s a twilight zone in history, in many ways.
While I continue to hold the larger intention of healing our relationship with religion, particularly with Islam, through this process, please do remember that festivals are rarely ever about a religion. They invite us into reflection and celebration of a certain human process, regardless of our religious affiliation. The religion in itself happens to be a mode of transmission of the invitation. In this spirit, I invite you to choose what you wish to fast from, this Ramadan.
Ramadan Kareem. May we reclaim humanity in our religions.
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