Wednesday, February 24, 2010
There was a subject that dreaded me throughout my school life, history. Studying history used to be a nightmare for initial years of my life. People love going to college for several reasons, but I loved it most because it meant getting rid of history. Well, that’s then. As they say, history repeats, I again had to study history and even teach it this time, to my 8-year-old son. This was nightmare revisited initially, but I started enjoying it after few lessons.
I was teaching him part of history that portrays one of the most remarkable events of Indian past, revolt of 1857. While I was teaching him all the events, dates, circumstances of the era, he asked me an innocent question: “Dad, British people tortured us brutally for so long even before 1857, then what do you consider as the major error on their part, that otherwise least bothered Indians, all of the sudden did everything to get themselves free?” Honestly, I never thought about this before, but when he asked, answer came almost immediately to me. “It's religion beta. We are very tolerable breed otherwise. We can tolerate any inhumanity, violence, and callousness but when it comes to religion, we can be worst rebellion, revert back and do anything to take the revenge. We consider ourselves to be Hindu’s or Muslim’s first and after that anything else, even human being. Had British people never used cow and pig fat in their bullet cartridges, they would have been still ruling India. We can endure if someone sneaks our dignity, if he refuses to give us our basic human rights, but we can’t take that on our religion.” And at that my 8 year old son replied, “What a shame dad. And last year they taught us in history that we were the most advanced nation at one time. I am glad that I am born in more civilized society.”
That night I was thinking about my son’s remark, “more civilized society” and wondered how true or untrue it is. We are still same barbaric breed that can tolerate any inhumanity and will hardly fight for what’s right but can claim hundred of innocent lives in the name of religion. Since freedom, India has seen so many small or big religious riots. Our society has no time to convict criminals who do inhuman deeds but we can still kill anyone for religion. Religion comes before anything here. No one's life, no one’s happiness, and no one’s peace are important to us compared to our religion. We still discriminate based on caste, religion and even sex. We still go for kundli match before going for a marriage, and are least concerned about prospects of real match. Inter caste and inter religion marriage is still a taboo in our society. Who says we are free? We as Indians were never free. Caste, religion and superstitions always ruled us. We are completely ruled by these rulers and never tried to free ourselves from these evils. Till we don’t free ourselves from them as a whole, we are still slaves, slave to inhumanity.
Can we wish that at least our future generation would live in real free society? What do you say?