Thursday, September 30, 2010

Marked with shame

A minor portion of today's population has only lived during the days of freedom struggle. Most of this generation know about British ruled India as excerpts from the history classes they managed to stay awake and still listen, or from movies in which the depiction of the then India hit the right chords. A film like Indian where the hero and heroine celebrate their love for the nation by singing "Kappal eri poyaache" (Boarded the ship and left) portrays their patriotism, or so we may think. Yes, the patriotic feeling is definitely there as straight-forward and dedicated characters of that movie.

Thinking about it, how many thousands of couples, families, friends and most importantly Indians would have celebrated their love for each other that midnight, August 15th 1947. How many of those thousands do you think would have thought about the nation as a whole?


No, I wouldn't count on that. Though thats the big picture, don't you think a mother would have been thankful that her children would not have to go through what their forefathers suffered? Don't you think a father would have been thankful that his children, unlike him did not have to think twice about feeling at home in their own nation? Don't you think a teacher would have been happy that he could finally impart knowledge about the diverse and wonderful heritage of the nation without fear of being watched?

Obviously, it would have been a long long night, don't you think, partying and enjoying (in the 1947 style). But, when the nation went to sleep, there would have been the satisfaction of waking up to a free country, something that they had been dreaming for a long time.

The truth is that the satisfaction lasted only for a very short span, in some cases, only that night. I know you are nodding your head if you have woken up today, to the 30th September 2010. Well, what can I say? I'm just quoting "The common man" from The Wednesday (Unnai Pol Oruvan).

What did I do? What did you do? Why should I leave office at 2 PM today, when I have been working hard for the past 3 months? Why should you work from home today, when you've not hesitated to come to work even on weekends? Even if you had a severe head-ache you think twice, you think about the deadlines, you think about losing the job and most of all, your conscience tells you go on with a rub of Vicks on your forehead. True or not? I'm badly in need of that Vicks which will help me get rid of this disease that affected me because I have no choice.

Don't we all have so much in our kitty already? I have a colleague who comes to office leaving her one year old daughter at home. Everyday, she calls up home to check if her baby has eaten, slept, has any problems and so on. She is not working to live like a queen. She has her own ends that should meet. Yes, her salary is way better than the average salary of an Indian, yet it doesn't come to her for free. She sacrifices a lot, definitely more than the loss that came to a "spiritual" person (person is a common noun - any individual ANY INDIVIDUAL) who din have an "official" place to pray.

Whatever be the outcome of today, what is going to be built on a place that, in the name of God, but actually fanaticism, claimed the peace and happiness of an entire nation, according to me does not pass as a place where I can find God (again GOD is a common noun - ANY GOD)! I'm no atheist, yet I think God is someone who gives me shelter. Don't you think this is the other way around?

Every time I see a mail or a mention about why I should be "extra" careful today, it pains me. I feel like my life is taking a big, deep dive into the ocean of shame. I feel like I've not lived here for 23 years. One may wonder why I'm making a big fuss about it. Can't I be a bit alert for one day? I can. If there's a tsunami alert, I'm not going to complain that I'd not be able to spend an evening with my girlfriend at the Marina Beach. Its not that I have a girlfriend, but I'd like to have the options. If there's a cyclone formation alert, I'm not going to crib that I need to carry an umbrella/rain-coat. Well, I'd be happy if the Home Ministry is as good as the MET department. When the MET says its going to rain heavily, it most often doesn't. I always feel that a natural disaster such as an earthquake is nature's way of telling mankind to slow down. Maybe, its trying to convey that nature has evolved patiently over thousands of years to attain this degree of strength and beauty.

Today, we did not wake up fearing a natural disaster. The disaster that we all have been warned, the precautions that we have been advised to follow tells us in simple words to hang-down our heads in shame. And 99.9% of us have willingly come forward to do it. The irony is that some people including me are more worried that if everything did not go our way, we might not be able to catch Endhiran on October 1st, 2nd or 3rd. :(

I know that like me, there are millions of people who claim "If I have 10 people with me, I can bravely fight those elements that is trying to shut me in my home for political and economic benefits". But, there is the issue that has not been fixed till date - "But, who will bell the cat?" I've not written this long post to draw that this is the way things are going to be and that the cat is waiting to pounce anytime now, so its time run for our lives. What difference are we going to make? What can we do about this? I say ignore the cat. Yes, the cat will come after a mouse at a time. If there are 10 rats and only 1 cat? If there are 50 rats, 500 rats, 5000 rats or say 5 million rats and still a considerably less number of cats, its still doesn't matter.

The only thing that counts, no matter how many of us there, is how united we stay. How we interfere to help another, how that every one of us matter to every other person and how each of us try to look upon the other as his friend.

I can't change anything.
You can't change anything.
We can. My point.

Easily said, impossible when attempted is a very valid argument here. How can someone who can't love/forgive another person going to attempt this voluminous change? How can someone claim to be spiritual by fighting for a place to pray and cause harm to a fellow being? We say that the CWG situation brought us shame, where people from other country are worried about the living conditions in the CWG Village. What is happening today? Aren't we ourselves worried about the living situation here? Which is the bigger shame?

Its 3AM already and I'm going to bed, my heart pounding with anxiety and echoing with shame, with a dream, which our forefathers thought came true on 15th August 1947. The words are mine. The voice is on behalf of a billion. Be Safe today! Jai Hind!

1 Expressions:

$ph!nX said...

Well said! I fail to understand how people can claim that they want to worship God by destroying something sacred. Even if there existed a temple or a mosque or a church/whatever, destroying something for immature reasons is no excuse. And splitting ourselves in the name of such idiosyncrasies does not hold good when calling man a social animal.

The sad part is that there are people, our own people, waiting to capitalize on the fickle mindedness of others and profiting from the same.

In my opinion, the snake is nothing without its head. Remove it should be a first in the path to correction.

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