Sunday, December 31, 2006

Not Indian

I renounce my Indian identity.

In the last couple of days, the remains of over 25 children have been found in a house in Noida, near Delhi. Those of many more are expected to be found. Most of the children are from poor labourers' families, from Nithari, a migrant workers’ hamlet. Almost a hundred children have gone missing in the last couple of years from Nithari and other nearby places. Children whose parents had pleaded in abject misery to the police to help, only to be spat upon.

This is my India.

The killers will be hanged soon. But what of the whole society, its institutions, its ethos and its mores, its joys and comforts, its preoccupations - which enabled and allowed this to happen, to be condoned?

I wish I could be extinguished.

The mythic hero had only to kill the monstrous beast under whose shadow suffering folk lived in nightmare, delivering a virgin to be sacrificed every full moon. But we have to live with such a monster, and transform it peacefully.

I cannot think of a sadder day for India. I am haunted by the cries and grief of the parents of the children. I cannot stop weeping my gut out; unless I become a stone. Life has no meaning or purpose. To be alive is to be accursed. Why am I alive?

But as long as I am alive, I must stand apart.

If the USA were to walk into this country and wreak havoc, like they have done in Afghanistan and Iraq, then that assault on this nation's sovereignty would not matter a whit to me if this precious freedom means what happened in Noida can take place; if the anthem of the nation is the deafening silence to habitual inhumanity.

5 comments:

b said...

to be alive and have sight...one is doomed already.

aikla chalo

Deb S. said...

This is indeed very sad. I understand why you are crushed.

But you must not lose sight of all you give back to your community. You must not forget about the many gifts God allows you to use on a daily basis - how you make a difference in so many lives every day.

The good news is that each day, we get to begin again.

Happy New Year, my friend.

nirupama said...

Our existence is critical and we must live, without compromising our humanity or love or mercy.

Cruelty is not a matter of choice with most people. For those of us for whom it is, the most important thing is to keep purifying our thoughts and actions of it, and not get distracted or discouraged by others.

Nirupama

chalip said...

Rama, I know how you feel.

Sometimes it is hard for me, an African American woman to watch the news. America as a whole has its problems, but we don't make it easier on each other in the Black community. We kill each other, get each other roped into gangs and drugs, and worse... when we reach a level of education and priviledge we leave our communities behind. Not just physically do we take flight to the suburbs... socially, emotionally we disconnect from "them" and make these problems the problems of the ghetto. We don't give back. We don't help each other anymore.

If I were to condemn myself and my heritage every time a small group of ignorant people who happen to look like me did something ignorant, I would have ended it by now. Who could bear to live?

Be sad. Be outraged, absolutely. But be active. Get involved in a young person's life so he or she won't end up committing atrocities none of us can fathom or stomach.

Stay connected to your heart... That's where humanity lives.

rama said...

Dear Friends

Thank you for your empathy and counsel.

I am entirely one with you.

I remain the same person. The world around me is the same. And yet, something has changed.

Blogger Yves writes:

"If a blog is an expression of enthusiasm to be shared by the like-minded, what is mine? It’s an experiment in living naturally: not eating organically and skinny-dipping by moonlight, but obeying inner impulses and revelling in life’s blessings. To do it we have to throw off certain shackles: “free ourselves from mental slavery”, as Bob Marley puts it."

Some (self-imposed) shackles have been shaken off. Some false identifications have been terminated. A sense of discrimination, and purpose has been gained. I would like to think I will not cavil and condemn and castigate any more. I will simply do what I feel needs doing, and be what I must be. I shall now dwell only in my heart.