Sep 28, 2008
On this beautiful sunny and humid morning, sitting at my desk 2,550 kms away from my home town, following up on the current affairs taking place in Mangalore certainly sows seeds of concern in my young mind.
Jaipur, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Surat and lately New Delhi remind me of only one thing that what ever the dire circumstances we pull up our socks and get back on track irrespective of our caste, creed, religion, etc. During such acts of terror, do we ask an injured person whether he or she is Hindu or Muslim or Sikh or Christian or Parsee or Buddhist? Do we walk up to them and enquire whether they are Dalits or Brahmins or a matter of fact, any caste? We just walk up or run across to help them out!
In the rest past Bihar, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep Islands have been affected by natural calamities ranging from floods to tsunamis and even earth quakes or volcanic eruptions. The volunteers going to these places are from the Indian army or NGO’s or college students who do not go there just to help just a few sections of the affected society but rather all the affected people.
Recently the Times of India, kick started the campaign called ‘Teach India’. This campaign called for volunteers from Schools, Colleges, Corporates, NGO’s and social organisations to spare some of their time to teach and educate children in need of education across 4 cities (For the moment). Now does this mean that volunteers are going out there only to help a certain section of society (i.e. lower caste), the answer from each of the volunteers if queried on this would be a loud, “NO”
Attacks on sacred places of worship will certainly NOT win any accolade in any strata of society. I strongly believe that professing ones faith in whatever manner is acceptable as long as it falls in line with the general norms of society and the religion by itself. As far as I am aware no religion tells its followers that humiliating, killing or even destroying place of worship of other religions is the way out. All religions propagate peace and dialogue and believe that they can co exist in a peaceful manner in society.
The current trend that we have been witnessing in Gujarat, Kashmir, Orissa and lately in Karnataka and Kerala does show a disturbing trend across the country. Our secular fabric which was our country’s most prized asset seems to be slipping away to oblivion.
Politicians can be blamed only to a certain extent because we as voters elect our representatives to fight it out for our needs and wants. We have to ultimately take the responsibility of placing such people in power to do as they desire, here I am only speaking about a few people who misuse their authority for their own interest or that of their community. In hindsight, we do have representatives who fight for our cause it is just that they need to get the facts together before acting on the various problems in society.
We as people have an instinct of pointing fingers at others or rather well known as the, ‘Blame Game’ once we encounter any problem. In the current scenario we were prompt to blame the government, without even looking a little further into the situation. The whole situation arose due to the unethical behaviour and reaction of the civil authorities i.e. the Police. There was certain poor treatment by the cops who went on a rampage by caning innocent people even those attending their weekly church service. This led to people getting aggressive and resorting to pelting of stones. This shows that there was lack of knowledge and information on behalf of the Police who went on their merciless rampage.
Moving over from the national perspective to back home from where I started, in few words, “It does not look Good!!’ It has always been a pleasure to spot any news related to Mangalore in the local dailies being published here in the U.A.E. but unfortunately I can’t say the same of the publications over the past one week. The depressing news of communal clashes between the Hindu and Muslims around 2 years ago and the latest issues between Christians and Hindus, does not show Mangalore in good light.
Mangalore known as a sleepy town along the western coast of India has suddenly been woken up from its deep slumber by Communal violence. Such a drastic change in image has certainly not been digested by many of us in and those away from Mangalore. It is with deep regret that we look up to such news articles which shows Mangalore, the Mangalore that each one of us have grown up with, in such bad light and taste.
I for once fail to understand what runs through the mind of such activists who go around propagating such acts. Those who are brainwashed by their leaders fail to understand that if they are caught in such acts their leaders, the main culprits who instigated such actions, will disown them just to avoid social and political embarrassment. Members of their own community too wonder what runs in the minds of these people when they go ahead with such acts.
This is where media, highly criticised at times for biased and incorrect information, comes into play. The media should refrain from publishing or telecast information that is biased and which could flare up communal tensions. Media be it Radio, TV, Print or the new age web based resources, should be responsible in their conduct and only relay news that would help in getting the message across without igniting any new tension.
Protesting for ones rights is totally acceptable but with the current scenario was possibly the wrong move given the reaction they received from all quarters especially the local police in spite of conducting a peaceful protest. The protest has been highlighted in different aspects and given rise to new issues.
Having said this any organisation or community that feels that there has been wrong doings against their particular groups, should come forward with proof and evidence to substantiate such claims. Merely reacting to word of mouth or rumours cannot and will not be tolerated. One cannot afford to take justice in their own hands and enact law enforcement of their own kind on the streets. Anger if any should be vented out in the right form/manner and in the right place.
And as these thoughts go on I realise that the day, is a day no more and the setting sun gives rise to hope that the next morning it will bring along with it tolerance and understanding for the benefit of Society and OUR nation.