Darshan Shah, a senior airman on F.E. Warren Air Force Base in U.S. Air Force was granted permission to wear ‘Tilak Chandlo’ in uniform. An Indian origin U.S Air Force personnel was seeking permission since June 2020 and finally, February 22, 2022, marked the first day when Darshan Shah first wear the ‘Tilak’ in uniform.
Belonging to an Indian Gujarati family Darshan Shah said, “My grandparents had a big influence on my religion.”
When Darshan Shah was three years old, he used to live in Gujarat with his grandparents and at five he move to the US. Darshan Shah carried there his religion and mother tongue with himself which helped him in developing his personality.
Hinduism – A way of life
“I’ve been through a lot, and I feel like my religion is helping me through a lot as well in life”, said Darshan Shah. One of the oldest religions of the world and has been followed for centuries.
Whether you follow it in a definite form or a formless form, you worship a god statue or real source of energy, the Sun. Hinduism accepts people as it is. It helps in developing moral and spiritual values. The greatness of Hinduism lies in the fact that it makes a person complete.
Acceptance of religious identity in the business of uniformity
There are people around the world being persecuted for their religious beliefs but at the same time, you are not only allowed to wear it in public places but at the place where uniformity and discipline are the core thing to manage. That’s what makes a country great.
Indian unity in diversity
Accommodation of every religious belief, culture and language is the foundation of a great civilization. India is the biggest example of the importance of religious acceptance. Where almost every religion of the world is practiced and coexists peacefully. With change in time, the change in beliefs is also welcomed.
In the Article 25 of the Indian constitution, religious freedom has been guaranteed. Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion is a fundamental right in India. Further ‘Essential religious practices’ of various religions have been allowed in public and private places.
Moreover, the Indian defence forces also allow wearing essential religious identity of its personnel. Like Sikhs are allowed to wear the turban, Kada and to keep long hair.
“It’s who I am. Wearing it is special. It’s my way of getting through hardships and difficulties in life. It provides me with guidance. It’s given me a load of great friends and an overall understanding of who I am in this world.” said Darshan Shah.
The decision to allow Darshan Shah to follow his religious identity in uniform is great news. His firmness in following his identity and pride in his culture and origin is an inspiration for all of us.