Friday, October 24, 2008

INDIANs and the temple of DOOM

Well, just this week, I was boasting to my American friends at work about ‘how secular India is!’ and about ‘how Unity exists amidst the diversity’…blah blah and blah. Now, I am just glad about one thing. This is the weekend, and I get a couple of days to hide my shameful face from them! Shame shame!!!

India .…. “WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC” (The Constitution of India). Is this just a boring sentence from a one of our high-school social-science textbooks… ! Is this just an imaginary concept that our national leaders dreamt for us when we got our freedom… ! Is this just a ridiculous cock-and-bull-story passed on from one generation of complacent seniors to the next generation of gullible kids… !

There is a news report of a nun assaulted, raped and paraded semi-naked by a Hindu mob in Orissa. I have always believed that one’s religion should be like their bank account….very personal and not to be talked about. But, at this point, I do feel like talking about it. Being raised as a Hindu, I have been very proud of the values instilled in me. Hinduism talks about how all religions are equal, and how all religions preach the same thing. It teaches tolerance.

How some people have proclaimed themselves as the sole protectors of the religion, brandishing orange flags on the streets, burning buses and public property, raping, killing men and women, and engaging in atrocities that are too disgusting to be mentioned! And then, they call themselves leaders? What do they lead us to? They are the misleaders, who are creating a new generation of misled youth, who kill and burn in the name of religion they hardly understand. To what end are they fighting? And do they even know anything about the sacred Hinduism they are corrupting everyday with their heinous acts. They slash others just because someone told them that that is the right thing to do. Oh, do we even see where this is going!!

This is the creation of next generation in-tolerant, un-secular youth of our country.

Where do we even attempt to begin solving this mess? Is it one religion against another… that would have been something less perplexing than the new ‘developments’. Here is the story of a power and publicity hungry social demon who takes a shot at chopping the nation along its geographical boundaries. Clever!

The recent rampage created by SarkarRaj. Jr is a slap on the face of modern India. He is a national threat to be shunned. There was quite an intelligent attempt at tossing him in from one police custody to another, although his lawyers did manage to bail him out for a couple of days. Now, he can get home, and peacefully scheme in his air-conditioned room, about which train to be burnt next, and which exam to be attacked next. This should be serially planned, lest he fall out of (? repute….ha ha, you would think!!) the new found limelight.

Now people from one state in the country treat a person from another state like an alien (perhaps a ‘Foreigner’ seems like a more friendly being here). Maharashtrians against North Indians… North Indians against South Indians, South Indians against East Indians….Indians against Indians….lets rip shred and burn each other, and call ourselves a Democratic country, where all of us have the fundamental Right to equality; misinterpreted by our so-called gone-astray ‘leader’ as the dumb-a-mental Right to superiority. These evils are to be ‘nipped in the bud’ and not be given ‘disproportionate importance … for indulging in pure lumpenism(sic)’.

This is a crucial point in time where Central government took notice of this issue, and did something swift and prompt about it. This man is a threat to our national integrity.

It’s a pity, that for a major part of my life, I thought ‘Mumbai was in North India’ (just like most ‘South Indians’ would believe). Then, and even now, I do not know how being located in the north or south or east of west of this great country mattered to this magnitude.

In both these issues being discussed here, of ‘religion against religion’, and ‘state against state’, we need to notice the common thing. The ones partaking in these endeavors don’t even know to what end they are fighting, and are like the sheep with just an instinct to follow the (mis)leader blindly, no questions asked!

Now, all said and done, I firmly believe we will be safe and secure, and remain the wonderful nation that we are, if we recognized ourselves as ‘INDIAN’. Against all the religious barriers, and geographical borders and multicultural diversities, there is a deeply etched identity that we can never lose. Do take a minute at this point to think how momentous this lineage is that we have inherited, of being an Indian and experiencing the richness of ‘Unity in Diversity’.

As I write this, what is gushing into my mind all along, is what the Nun outraged in Orissa said at the end of her press statement, it is so poignant and so relevant.

“ God Bless India”….. God Bless you all”.