I first learnt of the Hindu Muslim divide and the story of partition during my 7th grade at school. I still remember my teacher telling us all about that gruesome period when Indians murdered Indians just when we were on the verge of freedom.. Just when the period of struggle was about to get finished. My next encounter with the term partition was when, a few years back, with a firm resolve, I sat back and watched the Ben Kinsley movie ‘Gandhi’ that had won so many accolades all over the world. The film particularly focuses on Gandhi’s disappointment on Mohammed Ali Jinnah’s wish of a partition, a divide of the Hindus and the Muslims on every aspect! After that I read several books on Hindu Muslim riots, on the partition and so on… But not any of these triggered an emotion in me.. Not any of these made me understand the seriousness or the depth of the problem.. Even though it is with great shame and regret , I must confess here that all of these time I was more interested in the war between the ‘blacks’ and the ‘whites’ and the atrocities of the German soldier ‘Hitler’ on the Jews… Now I come to think about it, I guess I had better knowledge about these wars rather than the bloody riots that took place in my country.. I even remember choosing Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech for the declamation Competition at school.. Shameful isn’t it.. ..
A few months back I decided that I go for a course on journalism after completing my B.Tech degree next year.. And for this as in every other course, I have to beat the villain, the entrance test! Desperate enough to crack the exam at any cost I now buy a news magazine every week before boarding my train back to home from hostel.. Right now I am reading my 5th magazine and I must say, I was quite surprised to find a section for ‘communal riots’ in each and every one of these..Well, it was okay when I read the first one, which focuses on the lives of the people who had to leave their houses in fear of attack from people of other religion. But when the same thing repeated every other week I was absolutely bemused.. Cos for me Hindu Muslim riots were over long back in the 1950’s!! Even this last week I read about how some political leaders play the ‘gundas’ in the name of religion! They kill those who oppose them, organises brutal attack on the common man and there is no one to arrest them.. Cos many of them are pretty influential people in expensive khadis and linens and dons the role of perfectly polished politicians. These leaders begins by gathering followers..Most of the followers come from the youth because many in this age group falls for the ‘nation first’ motto of these politicians. And it is the worst when the youth are affected because that is where the feelings and emotions spread like wildfire… cos the youth never steps back once they are in for something..
But then there is also another side to the story which is even more deadlier, even more painful.. And I feel its like…. a hundred times more barbaric.. Sikhs murdering Sikhs, Muslims murdering Muslims, and so goes the list.. but what for?? Just for a moment if they could forget about their caste and religion.. then maybe they would come to their senses and realise that all this time they have been murdering their fellow brothers.. I don’t think even in the stone age have humans behaved so foolishly..How can they murder others in the name of religion when no god and no religious texts have given permission to kill any of His creations! let alone our fellow beings!! Have civilisation ruined us..?? or is it the development and the improved ways of life that has made us so greedy… Here once again I salute the greatest leader of all times, the father our nation, who predicted it very much earlier that earth would have everything to satisfy man’s need but for his ‘greed’!
Being a keralite I’m not pretty much exposed to such riots , and like many of my fellow statesmen I too was pretty much unaware of the things going on in my country. So when I first read about these riots and killings I felt it was like a chapter from the Harry Potter series… Wherein Lord Voldemort gathered followers and came to the rise…His followers adored him, they would even kill themselves for him.. I can very much relate these political ‘gundas’ to ‘Voldemort’! People adopt names such as ‘Bhai’ and ‘Sultan’ to refer to them just like Voldemort was referred to as ‘he–who-must-not-be-named’ and the ‘Dark lord’ by witches and wizards….. Voldemort tried to erase non magical blood from the world whereas these people try to erase those people who are not from their own religion… See its all the same.. But the question is…… there, there was a Dumbledore’s army and the mighty Harry Potter to defeat Voldemort… But whom do we have here?? NO ONE and that is why these people are gaining power, feeding on the common man’s fear and pain..
I say the story, by relating it to the greatest hero of all times for the kids because I believe that it is high time that the kids must be taught of what is happening in their country first.. so that the roots of communalism can be fully plucked out from their innocent minds. I think it would definitely be better and useful than continuing to learn that boring syllabus written a thousand years back and which, to this date no one has any intention of changing…. Till then let us wait for the hero to rise.. for the boy who lived … and LUMOS MAXIMA.. let the light glow bright!!!
DISCLAIMER – True story saturday ,february 9; 19:00 hours Scene - Me casually scrolling through facebook Suddenly – Ping! An ad pops out It is from an online shopping fashion website. On my screen is Read more…