Jai Himachal – II


    So somebody said that I have an Ego… to say Jai Himachal! EGO! Yes, I have an ego. When I say ‘I’ , within quotes, ego naturally comes. And ‘I’ comes from Idest. Then I comes from (I)dentity. We all are human beings… and we have are egos and prejudices. Let’s be honest about it.

    And as ‘I’ said, we war and battle over serious and mundane issues over the net with faceless people, whom ‘I’ have never seen, I direct my answers or my anger, temper, love, sympathy to names those little / big I’s sitting pretty far off or may be just round the corner, which ‘I’ am unaware of.

    So certainly ‘I’ have to have my identity as somebody said… being an Indian… Rajput… Hindu… my name… my family name… don’t we have egos hidden in that. Small egos in fact that… ‘I’ studied at this school… I did that… and that’s what makes us all human beings. and major wars… real ones like the attack on Iraq may be oil reserves be the reason… but they are being continued to appease one country’s or one man (Bush’s) ego.

    There are always to ends of a string… One is ‘I’ am Surender…. the other end is ‘I’ am an ‘Indian’ . One is a smaller end. The other is the larger end or the collective end.

    So when I referred to Indians… Pakistanis, Bangladeshis as South Asians it was in a broader and collective sense and not in a narrower sense. Not today, but may be 10 years ago had you gone to USA and found very less people to look like you… talk your language… you would have been equally happy to meet a Pakistani who would have talked your language, shared your culture, shared your food habits, but as soon as your near and dear ones started pouring in, you would have gradually withdrawn yourself from your Paki friend because he is a Paki after all. So what, he was the only one there to talk to when you were alone. Now you have your people.

    What I am trying to drive is to that I understand well… in a society far away from their homeland, the NRIs are working hard not only for monetary gains but for an identity as well. So they want to preserve what ever they brought along. Their culture, their religion, their language, their customs. Again nothing wrong with
    that… Because back home it was just a part of life and routine. It came easy. You didn’t have to do any effort. Just step out on the street and you find that everywhere. But abroad, you carry it… and unknowingly that is carried to an extent of fanaticism. Where they become personal.

    I am very much aware of the hardships and the attacks on Sikh owned gas stations in the USA. And when I see the letters to the Editors coming in… saying “Islamic militancy”, or racism… when Sikhs are targeted, then I believe… somewhere we have to stop saying… Jai Christian… Jai Osama bin Laden… Jai Sikh… Jai Hindu… Is it that Islam is so bad that you coin the phrase “Islamic militancy”. I haven’t read the Quran, neither have I read the Gita… so can’t say what is better. It is just that I was born a Hindu and followed the practices what my parents followed.

    But that is not the point here I an trying to drive to. What some Hindus are doing today or what it was in Punjab, should we not coin phrases like “Hindu militancy” “Sikh militancy” or what Bush did in Iraq, should we say American militancy or should we say “Christian militancy”. The way Christians are trying to convert Hindus in India, shouldn’t it be too coined as “Christian militancy”. That is why we have to refrain from saying Jai Hindu, Jai Musulman

    Nothing wrong with saying that also. But it should not become a fire that extinguishes everything. It should not become a destructive fire. Rather the fire of Jai Hindu and Jai Musulman should bring warmth and not burn. And when I say refrain from using these words I just try to not let that destructive fire go haywire.

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    A perfect story-teller, who is madly in love with the hills. Shimla is his first love, and probably the last too. Won't get tired reading Rudyard Kipling. Hopes to pick up poetry again soon.

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