Devidas (Dev) Tahiliani was 7 years old when India got independence in 1947, and the country was divided by religion into Hindu India and Muslim Pakistan. Dev was born in Pakistan area. His parents being Hindu had to leave their property (Land & Buildings) and become refugees in India.
Decades later Dev personally felt the destruction of the 9/11, 2001 attacks on World Trade Center, because he was working as project manager for The Port Authority of NY&NJ (PA), across the river from WTC. PA/NYNJ lost about 86 workers, including some of Dev’s friends. This resulted in his Heart attack in January 2002 and Dev had to undergo quintuple bypass surgery. He then spent time sitting at home and wondering what prompted extremists to act. He started reading religious books and collecting material.
Dev retired from PA/NYNJ in 2012 and before settling in Natick MA, close to his five grand children, he was living in Boston close to where Marathon Bombing took place in April 2013. That attack prompted him to quickly finish his newly released book.
Our whole world at present revolves around Body Consciousness and no one cares for Soul Consciousness. That is why less and less people go to religious places everyday. Everything we teach in our schools is about building your career, as to how to earn money and take care of your body; and the spiritual teachings are left to the local churches, temples, and mosques, where the extremists take advantage and brain wash the children with their ideas.
Our children spend dozen years in school, then go on to college or professional training for several more; they work out at the gym to stay healthy; they spend a lot of time enhancing their comfort, their wealth and their social status. They put a great deal in to all this and yet they do so little to improve the inner condition that determines the very quality of their lives. What strange hesitancy, fear or apathy stops them from looking within them, from trying to grab the true essence of joy and sadness, desire and hatred? Fear of the unknown prevails and the courage to explore that inner world fails at the frontier of their mind. In pinning all their hopes on the external world, however, they can only end up being disappointed.
Our world today is dominated by religions that require blind faith and obedience. Humans will continue to abuse each other until we understand that we share a responsibility to ourselves and to each other. The power of our inner spirituality is called Humanism.
We can each follow our own path and share our faith with others without Hatred, Scorn, or violence, and accept other paths as equally valid to our own. It is good to have some kind of faith, but we must follow it with reason.
When we speak of the role of faith in cross-cultural conflict resolution, our challenge is to honor the diversity of the world’s humanistic and spiritual traditions while seeking common ground among them, that common ground is that we are all same GOD’s creation, he is our Generator, Operator and Destroyer. What we need is an agenda for research, dialogue and activism that is global in conception and responsive to common challenges of peacemaking and coexistence within and among the world’s many traditions.
Education of the masses about different religions is the key in resolving conflicts. With Guns and Bombs you can kill terrorists, but with education of Universal Religion (Humanity and Spirituality) you can kill the terrorism.