Secular Diwali

Diwali was coming up and I thought this time I’d make my own lanterns and candles. You know those paper kandils we used to make when we were kids. You can spot them in those hippy turned trendy stores these days. Anyway, so as usual I was a little lost and turned to Almighty Google. As I typed “kandil” in that treasure box space up top the first link that showed up turned around my whole thought process. Here’s what I found:
I had a smile on my face, not out of happiness but more out of the fact that this was yet another sign….. the Kandils, which we so proudly adorn our houses with during the biggest and brightest of Hindu festivals, is actually a Persian word! It literally means candle. And no, no, no surprise at all here… they adorn mosques with these during Ramzan, the biggest and brightest of Muslim months and festivals. If that wasn’t enough, it goes on to tell us that “the five holy evenings on the Muslim calendar are called Kandil” mainly because in the past they’d light candles on the mosques to tell people it was festival time.
Alright so, have I made my point? How can we do exactly what they do, even call it the same name, and yet fight in the name of God? To most of us, Diwali, Id, Christmas are less religious and more fun with all the good food, the lights, the new clothes, the friends visiting, etc, etc…. so why don’t we all turn it into a secular Diwali and secular Id and secular Christmas? There are signs all over the place… festivals are all based around the moon, lights and brightness mark them, we all ask for forgiveness in our prayers and yet thousands die in communal riots! Wonder what they pray for on these festivals…. “I killed a man, please forgive me God because it’s Diwali” … “or Id” …. really???? Does it make even an iota of sense?
Anyway, wish you a Happy secular Diwali from me.