I have this very distinct memory of a certain incidence of my childhood at my maternal grandparent’s village and still remember it in vivid details. At the very entrance to the house just at the threshold there was a small nook of sorts which in the olden days would hold a deeya or a lamp. In the world of electrification, the nook still remained and a broken cup and a dirty stainless steel glass were a permanent fixture in that nook.
I enquired about these to my Nana and he said that these belonged to Nathu and Saku who worked in the house but were not allowed within the kitchen or the pooja ghar. They were not allowed to touch the utensils, the hearth, the water storage or the idols. (Hypocrisy here was that they could clean the utensils and we could eat in those)
They would mop the floors, clean the toilets and make our beds but these were deemed to be fit for use by us only after a liberal sprinkle of Gaumutra.
Cut to, present day. My six year old asks me “Who are Muslims? I said “Khala working with us is a Muslim and so is Rehman Bhai our driver.”
He seemed a bit confused. “But they look exactly like us, how are they different from us?” I said “Ofcourse they look like us but they worship a different God, wear a costume and eat food which is a bit different from ours.”
“Who’s their God?” He asked.
“They call him Allah”. I answered.
“What does he look like, does he look like Ganpati Bappa?” He fired next.
This was getting really difficult.
“They don’t have his picture, they believe that he is present every where and they don’t need to see him in any particular form”. I answered
“But mom don’t you always tell me that there is one God, he may exist in different forms and he is present everywhere then how is our God different from theirs ?”
I had to tread carefully, I explained to him that whatever people may choose to name their Gods, ultimately we all worship that one super power, that one master who guides us all. We are Hindus and our religion teaches us tolerance , acceptance, assimilation and this in turn leads to enhancement of our faith (Not that he understood, he looked further confused). Born into a deeply religious, orthodox and at times fanatic Hindu family it was difficult for me to dissociate from Hindutva and move towards a more accepting Hinduism. This enlightenment came not from any religious scriptures but from what today qualifies as my Geeta “India From Midnight To The Millennium ” by Dr Shashi Tharoor. This is one man who has helped me identify my faith and accept my identity.
Today the need of the hour is not to fight for faith supremacy but to move towards a society which is not necessarily aethist but more accepting and assimilating in its faith. We need to hand over a better India to our future generations, an #Inclusive India. An India which is as much mine as it is yours. An India with an opportunity for us all where we have equal stake in it’s fortune and it’s future.
His books are actually a treasure containing precious pearls of wisdom which could be utilised in administration , governing and poilcy making. Pax Indica is one such book which is almost a text book for foreign services aspirants and a reference book for serving diplomats alike. His tremendous experience at serving top posts in the UN and his sagaciousness make this a must read for formulating foreign policies, no wonder he’s today heading the Joint Partialmentary Comittee On Foreign Affairs.
Another addition to his long list of best sellers is his latest An Era Of Darkness in which he minces no words to describing how the British categorically looted India, amputated its limbs and handed over a crippled nation to the us. It was the Congress Party which then slowly and steadily brought it to it’s current and rather respectable standing in the world as a nation with a unique geopolitical identity and distinctive integrity.
We are all familiar with the famous and overused Gandian Quote “Be the change you wish to see.” Do we implement it in our lives? Doubtful.
There is this trait which is typical to us educated middle class Indians, criticism and idle chatter. We know a lot and do too little. We have an opinion on anything and everything. We are our own economists and we are our own defense strategist and analysts. To site a few examples, come #Demonetisation and we applaud it as the masterstroke of all times a clean sweep against black money, a leveller of sorts which could break the back of money horders and all did in the end was to break the back of the Indian economy. But some closet economists amongst us saw this coming.(#DemonetisationDisaster)
Come in #GST and our trade analysts threw themselves behind it justifying and fighting tooth and nail defending it, but then again GST failed us, it proved a final nail in the coffin to an economy which was already facing the brunt of a sceme gone miserably wrong for the lack of ground work, planning and foresight.
There are technicalities pertaining to each and every profession which are better understood by people formally trained to do that particular job, but they have no say in the policies relevant to their chosen vocation. The know-how could be acquired with experience but why not expedite a decision by consulting experts, this very thought goes behind the wonderful initiative of the establishment of All India Professional’s Congress, again a brain child of Dr Tharoor who had the vision of utilising the professionally qualified youth of this country and we have a whole lot of them from across all walks of life, doctors who are doing excellent work serving the sick and ailing, lawers fighting for justice, engineers who each day strive for the technical enhancement of our country, it is because of them that India is no longer a land of snake charmers but a land of software, bankers and chartered accountants who could definitely foresee the pit falls of #Demonetisation and #GST and help avert disasters that such poicies could entail, scientists whose vocation is to think out of the box and see what isn’t apparent to lesser mortals, teachers who make citizens for tommorrow’s India and a whole lot of urban tax paying professionals who have ideas for nation building and a desire for active participation instead of just fighting Social Media battles, achieving precious little as the voices reach no where and invariably always ending with a sigh & a line “Apne Ko Kon Poochta Hai.”
Congress Pooch Rahi hai, Join AIPC and do your bit for this country and it’s future.
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