India has been projected as an epitome of peace, having no racial or religious discrimination towards any ethnicity, whatsoever. But the turn of events lately show how hypocritical and un-idealistic the notion is. What happened in Assam or Maharashtra (Mumbai, to be precise) or Bangalore was an absolutely uncalled-for incident and it rightfully raises the question- Is India really a Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic and Republic country? Are we ‘actually’ independent after 65 years of Independence? It’s no-doubt a debatable statement!
The Bodo-Bengali Muslim clashes in Assam, which affected lakhs of people, directly and indirectly, questions our integrity and humanity. And that gave an impetus for further clashes and riots that spread up to the southernmost quarters of Bangalore & Chennai where hordes of north-east citizens where attacked and murdered. Provocative SMSs, MMSs, speeches and pamphlets were circulated by communal, anti-social elements in Maharashtra leading to the unscrupulous riots and violence that wrecked the nation during the month of Ramzan, ironically the holy month for Muslims.
Where are we heading to as a nation? Where have those idealistic principles that our freedom fighters had inculcated in us during our fight for independence, gone? Inciting violence and communal riots through rumours and SMSs and MMSs are utterly disdainful and acts not expected from an educated society like ours where excerpts from Holy Scriptures are taught to us since childhood. We have encountered this gruesome face of communalism at periodic intervals, be it the 1984 Sikh riots in Delhi or the 1992 Babri Mazjid demolition or the 2002 post-Godhra riots in Gujarat and recently the violence in Assam.
On the flip-side, if we are to adopt a rationalistic point of view, it would be wrong to corner a particular religion or sect and accuse it of spewing communalism as has been our incumbent nature. As a nation, as a society, crippled with religious insecurities and social evils, the Indian society is caught deep in the vicious circle of irrationality. The upcoming future is going to be a herculean task dragging ourselves back onto the track of communal harmony.
“The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof.”