Just when the nation was recovering from a terrorist attack in Gujarat and its embassy in Kabul, it seems to have another daunting task at hand in handling the religious crisis that has erupted in Orissa (besides the ominous rioting in kashmir)
We seem to have done it again! The Indian brand of secularism is a failing apparatus and needs to be reworked upon with a great deal of conviction and force. With one debilitating blow we have rendered ourselves to be portrayed as uncivilized neanderthals vying for blood all in the name of religion and caste!
While history has been consistent in witnessing bloodshed over religion, in today's democratic system, there is a need for tolerance and understanding that will foster a better and peaceful coexistence which is essential for the social structure to survive and further itself. As a country we cannot afford to be thrust in the face of problems, especially considering the tremendous people and intellectual resources needed to help shape the economy. Political factions and vested interests will continue to encourage factionalism to foster hatred among communities in order to politicize the issue. However, it is extremely distressing to note that people take up cue from such instances and act as savages against their fellow beings. Sadly such communal incidents seem to be prevalent in an environment that is devoid of basic necessities that facilitate a decent lifestyle. People entrenched in such places need to devote their focus on subjects such as self-reliance, food, sanitation, health care, education and most of all tolerance.
Yesterday, a prominent newspaper carried a photograph of a radical someone tying a VHP flag onto a Cross above a church. Such an act does little to help the world understand India better but on the contrary represents the fanaticism of a certain community and labels the country and its inhabitants as mercenaries rather than peace loving people. Taking suo moto cognizance of the ongoing violence, the Orissa high court directed the government to desptach armed forces to take control of the situation and defuse it. It is shameful that we have to be herded like cattle and our movements restricted and monitored all as a result of our own actions. In doing what we did in Orissa we have displayed that despite echoing the need for prosperity and peace across the nation, we live on a fragile platform that can miserably fail at the drop of a feather! We also fail to understand that such incidents result in deep wounds that take light years to heal.
It is 2008 and the world is focusing on development, knowledge management, efficient technological and people resources and above all else an environment to foster good living conditions. Maintaining peace and tranquil is not an option, it is a mandate that has to be followed by the people rather than being imposed upon them top-down by a governing authority. We cannot continue to live in the medieval ages and encourage lawlessness and disdain for that would lead us to a path of certain devastation (if there is anything left to be devastated i.e)
As I close this post, I leave you with a disturbing image that portrays the aftermath of the carnage. Take a moment to notice the poverty stricken family and their misery. Is this how we would want the world to see us? Is this our representation of ourselves coming of age as a people and a nation? Will this be the legacy that we would foster our children to inherit?
Image courtesy: The Times of India