Hate looks like a paltry four letter word. To say ‘I hate…’ may seem natural. ‘It’s common’ many may say, and agree. It is also a ‘natural human tendency’ that which is imbibed in a person ‘since birth’. But once born hate often dies hard.
Leaders are the men who lead the masses. Leaders are required, for without them we have little motivation for growth. If leaders are wise, they transform the society for good and forever, when imprudent he instigates a culture of hatred. That hatred, like wild fire, burns the minds of people and instigates violence to be faced and suffered by not just one but generations after generations.
When Pakistan was born it was simply based on abhorrence towards the Hindus. When Zimbabwe marched in its path to freedom it carried along hatred against the white skinned people. Almost all of the middle-eastern nations were brought to existence out of the hatred for the other races and religions. There is a saying in various Indian (or Hindu) texts, which reads ‘If hatred is thy reason, it shall bring nothing but destruction.’ Great Indian Sages starting from Vedic seers like Jaimini and Veda Vyas until the great exponent of Advaita Adi Shankaracharya until Sufi saints like Kabir have all been great propagators of ‘Love’, for they knew that ‘Hate’ will bring nothing but obliteration. The chaotic state of Pakistan, financial and social misery of Zimbabwe, suffering of people living in Middle Eastern nations, I strongly believe, is a testimony to that truism of our sages.
For a long time now I have been trying hard to understand my nation – India, whom I love so much. Unlike other nations on facet of mother earth, India is immensely exceptional. After its Independence from the British on 15th August 1947, its nationalism was not based on any of the conformist indices of general national characteristics.
It wasn’t, or rather isn’t, united because of one language, Indian constitution recognizes eighteen official languages, and there are thirty five that are spoken by more than a million people each. Ethnicity too couldn’t make its nationalism happen, for India accommodates a diverse pattern of racial types in which many Indians have more in common in foreigners, than with other Indians. For example, Punjabis and Bengalis have more common ethnicity with Pakistanis and Bangladeshi’s respectively than with other Indian citizens. Religion too couldn’t unite, for India was more a pluralistic and secular state that which has been home to, almost, every religion known to mankind. Not even geography, since the nation’s topography was hacked since 1947. Nor territory, forms its bases, since by law, anyone with one grand parent born in pre-partitioned India – outside territorial boundaries of today’s state is qualified for Indian citizenship.
Indian nationalism, I believe, is a nationalism of ideas, the idea of a land emerging from a primordial civilization, amalgamated by a shared past and sustained by a pluralistic democracy. Considering this fact we are all minorities in this country, should we not recognize ourselves as Indians. In proportion to the population of Hindus, presently, Muslims are minorities. Considering the population of Muslims, Christians and against Christians, Paris and Jews are minorities. Hindus again, thanks to the political agendas of self serving politicos, are being divided further. First it was SCs and STs and now it is going to be OBCs (Other Backward Classes).
The reservations for the Muslims, Christians and OBCs are now underway in educational and governmental establishments. The idea is that because Muslims and Christians are minorities they are being deprived of chances to flourish in the government sector. Similarly argument with OBC reservations is that because they are minorities within the Hindus they are underprivileged. Does the argument really make any sense? I wonder.
‘Do you know how we are treated in the past by Brahmins?’ asked a raged friend of mine, who hails from a SC community. He wasn’t the only one to say that there are many Dalit leaders, who are also my friends, taking the same line. So are they asking for reservation as a revenge for a historic ‘wrong’? Well if that is so then it’s again a seed of hate which is being sowed, certainly not virtuous.
For such divisions and subdivisions there will be no end. Every person or family living in this country could be termed a ‘Minority’. It is needless to say that this political division is neither for the benefit of Muslims, nor for Christians nor for the OBCs. It’s for Votes. And let me tell you: there are two ways in which you can win votes. It can be either by doing a good and sensible job or by following the age old, and nasty, trick of ‘Divide and Rule’. Our politicians prefer the nasty ways, always.
Being a diverse nation with so many languages, sects, religions and regions there exists people with diverse differences. These differences when not channelized and negatively harnessed can be transformed into a seed of hatred, a very lethal and potent weapon. This is how the politicians in his country have won their power in elections. It is owing to these facts that for the past sixty years not all Indians have learnt to think of themselves as Indians, and to speak of an Indian identity. And should this trend continue we would foresee yet another partition of this land, for hate begets destruction.
The Congress led, and Communist supported, UPA government at the center is certain that it’s not going to recuperate its power, owing to several factors, in the coming elections, including the Indo-US nuclear deal, High Inflation rate and many others. But they are desperate to come back at any (or anyone’s) cost. The OBC and Muslim quota they plan to implement is for nothing but to woo their vote banks. They seem to be keen to return to power by this. Alas, there’s no one who can remind this party of the state of V P Singh who lost elections even after implementing OBC reservations. History has several anecdotes in it to tell for our better future, only if we show interest and listen. Neither Congress nor Communists are in a mood.
U Mahesh Prabhu | email@example.com | 21th April 2008