Tuesday, April 26, 2022

"Vision" - An Open Letter to Every Indian

Dear Indian,

We all love our nation. I dearly love her. She is a melting pot of cultures, has an amazing amalgamation of rituals, tastes, festivals, music, attires, and much more! Today I write to you as a fellow Indian who has been subjected to various forms of secularism and nationalism in the past 7-8 years. Earlier nationalism just meant various linguistic, religious and, cultural backgrounds uniting as one nation . In recent years, the nationalism can be defined as a concept used by certain diplomats to fill their vote bank and fulfill their ulterior motives by uniting the nation on the plank of one religion. Whenever an actual issue erupts in the country your focus is diverted towards a freshly created religious strife! Anti social elements are trained and motivated, actors & celebrities are merely bought to speak the Vile tongue! As so many turn to puppets, I feel helpless. So many foods and so many states in my country...the novel tastes we experience in each place are so magical! We used to stick to our food habits while embracing the others' food choices with dignity! Now we lynch saying meat eating is against the culture, where as behind the scenes are the vultures who feed on your raw minds and control you!  

When questioned about major concerns like economic crisis and the unemployment etc., a fresh issue/diversion is conjured out of thin air and you are under its spell. Historical events which happened centuries back are discussed now to push the current issues under carpet. People who are no longer alive are labelled as the root causes for some issues, the invaders who occupied the nation centuries ago seem to be the perpetrators for some. Ads are banned, names of places changed, syllabus in schools is truncated and many more! As you are blindfolded and lead with hatred, do you happen to see that you are not at all clear about what or whom you are fighting for? As we discuss where a temple or a mosque must be built, we are happily over looking the bigger issues the globe is facing on present day - pollution , pandemic, climate change  and such! As you ignore the farmers issues as a fuss and don't even acknowledge them....as you try to shut up the raising voices  (whether they are youth seeking jobs or students looking for better and affordable education, or the middle class which is burdened with evil tax regime) and then create ruckus over who wears what, who eats what and question about the language (Urdu script) written on the products, it does get tragically funny. Hindu Vs Muslim hatred is sowed in all possible ways in all possible places ➡️ when a sketchy bill is  passed questioning the citizenship of a selected sect of people, when a delivery boy is denied as he is a Muslim... a renowned atta company (iD) is defamed by spreading rumors that it has cow bones and meat mixed - just because the CEO is Muslim dude....when meat is banned in some states just in the festival month of Ramadan citing it is sacrilegious...so on and so forth. 

Our culture that comprises diversified population is staying in harmony since decades. When day by day events occur that pedal hatred, segregate a fellow Indian and you stay silent...should I take that silence as acceptance or indifference???  

source : here

There was a time when you and me had no differences whatsoever! I relished payasam , pulihara and arisa (south Indian dishes) during numerous Hindu festivals and you have eaten my sheerkhurma, haleem and biryani...and have waited for Ramzan to arrive soon every year along with me. We blended our cultures and practices …..if you loved putting henna on your hands, I loved putting colors on each other on occasion of Holi. If you loved attending iftar ( event where you break fast in Ramzan), I loved lighting up a Diya on a Diwali. The 6 tastes of your Ugadi have intersected with shimmering chand (Moon) of Ramzan month. Ramzan has "Ram" and Diwali has "Ali". If my daughter dresses up as Jhansi Laxmi bai on an ethnic day, your son played the role in skit as Emperor Akbar. The blend of our hues always was so smooth resulting in an enticing Vibrant shade! 

Now you have chosen to be mum about the day to day news. We both know that things are not the same. We both know that the events happening around us are unprecedented, we both are aware that we have chosen this rule for us! 

Whenever my nationality is questioned, you either stay quiet or laugh it off as a joke, asking me to take it light too. Whenever there is an upsetting news, you respond with the usual reasons for occurrence as weak opposition, mouthpiece media and social media manipulation! How can you not see the planned nationalism surge,  us-Vs-them division, the work towards making India not a happy place for your friends?? 

You still call me a friend, while every time you stay quiet 🤫... and not raise your voice against inhumanly acts. You give an easy casual answer - I don't wanna talk about "politics", when I feel pained by the same politics! Can we be friends if our basic ideologies are opposite? I wonder how you would have reacted if you were me? Are we all not victims of fascism/extremism?

As I feel doomed and walk in silence, I can sense that today it's me, tomorrow it could be anybody! As the hatred is cultured and brains are washed, I wonder if ever our India would shine like before, if ever she would regain her harmony,  if ever love would conquer the war? if ever all the colors would blend in a great hue to exude vibrancy

What is your Vision for future India? Would it be Virtuous and Victorious? or would it be vindictive and vicious

"कबीरा कुंआ एक हैं पानी भरैं अनेक।
बर्तन में ही भेद है, पानी सबमें एक।।"

(The well is one from which we all seek water, only our pots and vessels differ, the water in us is same - this famous doha of Kabir written centuries back projects the equality of humans!)

Lastly I want to embed this beautiful song from yesteryears which depicts the unity in diversity and spirit of India!

A bful song projecting the unity sung by Hari Haran

A very old song but need of the hour - those who understand lyrics must watch it! Sung by Mohd.Rafi

From,
A fellow Indian!

I am participating in Blogging from A-Z challenge 2022  and this is my Day 22 - 'V' post.

29 comments:

  1. Excellent. I love the unity in diversity

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  2. Very well thought out letter! In parts of it, I thought you were writing about the United States and not your country. We face similar issues.

    betty

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    1. Ya sadly situation is similar in many nations I suppose ... :-(

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  3. I can understand your anger and sorrow especially when you feel let down by your own friends when it comes to this issue of sectarianism. Sectarianism is a very serious problem in India now. It is practised blatantly. As you said, when a delivery boy is refused in the name of his religion or a man is beaten up just becomes he belongs to a particular religion... and nobody comes to defend the victim. Something is dying in Indian hearts.

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  4. If you remember I had shared with our group, the circle of control, influence and circle of concern (which it outside of our control). We do what we think is right, best even. Sometimes when driven in certain aspects, we wish others should do it too, because as per us, it is 'right'. Unfortunately for us, everyone thinks the same. And everyone pushes their ideologies down everyone's throats. This is not limited to religion - discrimination can manifest itself in many different ways - as evidenced by the comment that Betty also makes about America. Unfortunately, strength is numbers gets used for very wrong reasons - causing divisive situations.

    Vote banks and politics using religion as a tool are a whole different ball game. However, I do believe equality across communities cannot have a base of being different though - hence I probably concur with some national decisions while abhorring some others. And honestly with social media, I am yet to see one person who might have shown maturity to accept another's perspective on any topic, not just religion. So, I don't waste my breath anymore.

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  5. What a powerful message! And delivered beautifully too! Great going to the A-Z challenge:)

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  6. Beautifully crafted. Love the way you have weaved words...impactful yet subtle. too good...

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  7. You've raised a very important point. Thank you for writing about this. I couldn't agree with you more.

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  8. A profound letter well articulated Afshan. Since ages we have had the common man live in perfect harmony embracing multitude of religions, cultural practices and different festivals. India has always been known as a land of unity in diversity. Like you rightly said all this trivial issues are raised and magnified by parties with vested interests, to circumvent the major problems under the carpet. Everything finally boils down to the vote bank and who fills their political coffers with enough moolah. Sad state of affairs today in our country!

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  9. I think we all should stand up for what we believe in. OK I really just wanted to visit everyone who came to visit me. I know I am breezing through and not really taking the time to think about my comment but trust me when I tell you I am going to get caught up on all the old posts. The annual A2Z is my favorite time of year and I wish it would be more than just one month. I’ll be back to catch up with you in May.

    Cheers,
    Barbie

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  10. Such an important point to talk about, glad you wrote this post! I wish it opens up eyes and softens the heart of a few ppl atleast! I am so sad to see the India of today as compared to how it was in our childhood 😖

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  11. Looks like similar issues are present in different cultures and countries. I think we could all be happier if everyone just minded their own business instead of hating others.

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  12. For some reason my comment came up as "anonymous". It's Tamara, the coffee girl.

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  13. It was interesting to hear your perspective about present day India. I think all nations suffer the same problems to one degree or another and that's too bad because we can all benefit by embracing our differences.

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  14. Sad and frightening. We all know where this leads, but it continues, here in the USA too.

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  15. This seems to be happening everywhere. Scary times.

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  16. Excellent. Thought provoking post. I am very much optimistic, expecting people to understand the situation and act accordingly, taking wise steps. I hope there are many broad minded people who can understand the pain hidden in the post. Well expressed afshan

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  17. A very well written post just sad that there is the need for it.

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  18. Thoughtful. Much needed "to be asked" questions. Thoughts to ponder on and well put.

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  19. What a lovely vision. 😊

    AnjelaCurtis.com

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  20. This letter is a recurring reminder to be set on our calendars to read every now and then we forget who we are. The paragraph "There was a time when you and me had no differences ...... If my daughter dresses up as Jhansi Laxmi bai on an ethnic day, your son played the role in skit as Emperor Akbar. ..." is worth reading n times.Will the lost vibrance be found? Will tolerance prevail in the generations to come? May be If INDIAN wills!

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  21. This letter clearly portrays the feelings and emotions of many Indians. A wonderful message though, people should now understand the difference between who is playing the divide and rule policy and try to break our nation….. as mentioned above we have Ram in Ramzan and Ali in Diwali….no one can separate us

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  22. Then a beautiful and a diverse culture is sucked dry of her creativity, her celebrations, her life...Thoughtfully composed. Sounds sadly like the status of much of our world.

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  23. Your angst and dismay came across powerfully in this letter. Very pertinent questions raised.

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  24. I am so glad you wrote this post. It helps people understand. Thank you for sharing.

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  25. An excellent need of the hour post, Afshan. Currently, tolerance is at an all-time low and a smallest thing can spark a debate that gets escalated to a row and then to mob violence. Beautiful posts through the challenge. I am reading all the posts of people I missed...

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  26. You are spot on, Afshan. I fully agree with you.
    There are very nations that are as diverse and rich as ours. Sadly, a majority of people don't realise that.
    A lot of our problems today, are also very historical problems.
    But that can't be an excuse for not doing anything to resolve those problems.
    Democracy is a big asset for us. But at the same time, the politicians, who make that democracy work, are of very poor standard.
    In spite of all problems we have steadily made progress.
    I only hope that progress is faster and more people get the benefit of that progress.
    -- Pradeep from Time and Tide

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  27. In a strange way, reading your view of your country makes me feel better about the horrible shape the US is in, because we aren't alone in this. It is oddly comforting.

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What do you think about this ? I always love to hear back. A comment or a brickbat boosts me to write more but the mud slinging shall be promptly vacuumed.

Thanks for your time :)