Sunday, 8 May 2011

Don't Think Like Me

I am writing this post on the afternoon of the World Cup Semi-final match between India and Pakistan, 2011, unable to enjoy the game which holds tremendous potential of entertainment, thinking about sullen matters. As in our lounge, green T-shirts with throbbing hearts inside them flash about, I sit outside in the yard, my laptop in my lap. I feel that there's no place in that room for someone who wants to enjoy a game of cricket between two highly skilled teams without being hugely in favour of one. I hate being left out but I can't help it.

My words might arouse scorn in many readers but I write them still. I write them because I have a right to share my thoughts.

So bear with me and think about this:

Why and when did not hating 'The Enemy' become equivocal to not loving the home-soil? Who decided it was so? Why on a day when, for once, the whole country, anticipating a miraculous win in The Enemy’s Cricket Ground, reverberates with cries of common joy, I am simply unable to enjoy this rare oneness? Is it my suspicious disposition that comes in the way of this exceptional opportunity of flaunting patriotism?

Think about this:
Are ‘being born to be free’ and ‘living with the consciousness that you were born to be free’ two totally different levels of existence?

If you agree, think about this:
If people who belong to this second category of existence prefer to believe and say that nationalism could be (and is being) used as a control tool by certain entitities, should they be immediately dismissed? Should they be judged before they are heard? Should this apparently insipid argument be crushed under the weight of colorful remonstrations of nationalists endlessly putting their throbbing national loyalty and aching religious fervor on public show?

Think about this:
Someone says that August 1, 2009 mob attack on Christians of Gojra, Pakistan was a part of a series of events aiming at transforming Pakistan into an Islamic theocratic state. Is this person necessarily pro-west or pro-India? What if this person thinks that the February 28th, 2002 attacks on Muslims of Gujarat India were backed by the fascist BJP Government and are equally, if not more, condemnable? Would you still label this person,  pro-India?

Do any of the following headlines affect you any less or any more?

Ahmedabad India, February 2002: At Least 140 killed, 60 of Them Burned Alive, in Two Muslim Housing Colonies as Mob Frenzy Reached its Crescendo During the “Gujarat Bandh” Called by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad

Jenin, Palestine, April 2002: More Than a 100 Palestinians Killed by Israeli Forces. Many of the Dead Still Lie Where They Fell

Gojra, Pakistan, August 2009: Muslim Militants Attack Gojra’s Christian Town, Burning Alive Women and Children. 76 Houses Burnt to Ashes

Lahore, Pakistan, May 28, 2010: Gunmen Kill 80 in Attacks on Ahmadi Mosques; More than 100 Injured

In my view, if your thinking is free of national and religious prejudices, none of these headlines would affect you any differently. If you see with a clean eye, these are all stories of atrocities committed by the powerful against the powerless (in most cases backed by states that are wheeled by corporate giants whose magnitude has become too overawing for OUR little ‘Global Village’).

Don’t think like me;
But at least think.