Sunday, January 19, 2014

Deadly cocktail!

It's funny how a book affects one more than a movie made on the same book. Well, that's the case at least with me. I've seen the movie 'Kai Po Che' based on Chetan Bhagat's "the 3 mistakes of my life" and was moved. But that was nothing compared to what I feel now, having just finished the book. It shook me up, questioned my beliefs, made me want to change the world and to write this blog post!

I'm not going to write about the story or the characters, rather about the one thought that relentlessly hits me time and again, not letting go. Why do we, intelligent and rational human beings most of the times, fail to keep the deadly cocktail of religion and politics separate? Instead of keeping fuel and fire away from each other, we try to keep them in the same room, same drawer, right next to each other and do not shy away from a few fireworks, even if they go out of hand at times!

Yes, religion is a part of life, in India it is a way of life, but it doesn't need to overshadow all other human emotions. Aren't we human beings first and foremost and religious beings later? Shouldn't religion comfort and console and help one direct one's energies towards becoming a better person? Why is it being allowed to instigate one community against the other? More importantly, why are WE allowing it in the other spheres of life that should be handled with a humane touch?

We have to take the blame - for letting our foolish emotions take hold of our little minds and for believing that the others are evil (only an evil mind sees evil in everyone else!). Kabir, the wise one, knew it all along:

बुरा जो देखन मैं चला, बुरा ना मिलिया कोय 
जो मन खोजा आपना, तो मुझसे बुरा ना कोय

(Loosely translated: When I went in search of evil, I couldn't find any. But when I explored my own mind, it turned out to be the most evil of them all!)

That brings me back to the burning topic in my head:

Can we please separate religion from politics?

An administrator should be objective and fair. That is the need of the hour, to put it mildly. By this time we should've learnt enough lessons to make us comprehend the drastic outcomes of an unfair leader! Our human sensibilities and our sense of reason and rationale leave us, as soon as the religious melodrama is played out. Let's please keep religion, where it belongs: In our hearts and our souls. Let's please not let its purity be muddied by shortsighted, powerhungry individuals. A leader is the one, who leads by example.

And an example doesn't need to come at the cost of anyone's life!

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