Sunday, February 15, 2009
Sitting here in my hostel room, and watching all that's is happening in my country, I am ashamed to see how badly we are struck between the two extreme identities – a modern citizen of a global family or an orthodox Indian who always carries with himself the misinterpretation of his religion.
Today - 14th of February, the day for Love turned violent in India, thanks to men wearing saffron clothes and calling themselves "moral police", and taking it as their responsibility to teach the modern Indians, the true Indian culture.
Bajrang Dal activists harassed siblings at Vikram University, Ujjain assuming them to be couples. Here in Pune, Shiv Sainiks have forcibly married off two couples near Khadakvasla Dam right opposite the National Defense Academy.
In Bhopal, police rounded up Bajrang Dal activists for causing trouble for couples celebrating Valentine's Day. The saffron brigade was threatening to marry off lovers found in public places. Thirty Shiv Sainiks were arrested in Gwalior, for creating a ruckus in a park with couples.
The worst was the incident where a Sub-Inspector dragged a girl (along with her boyfriend) by her hair to the police station. Jind Superintendent of Police B Satheesh Balan said "SI Moola Ram has been suspended and a departmental enquiry will be conducted by the DSP. The enquiry is suo-moto and the complaint has been filed by the SHO. Abuse of power and misbehaviour with the woman are the charges. The couple is ok and have been sent home. The inspector has committed a grave mistake and will have to face the music. This is an isolated case where a police official was involved and for that he will have to face the music,".
These are just some of the incidents that I got to know through news channels, so not sure how many more innocent people were tortured and harassed just for loving another fellow human being.
When I was trying to find out the root cause of all these incidents, all I could think off are the videos I saw in National Geographic about Taliban and how women are ill-treated in Afghanistan and parts of Pakistan, but then suddenly something struck in my mind and I happened to recollect a famous incident in one the greatest epic of Hindu religion – The Ramayana.
It is rather the reason because of which, Shri Ram and Ravan ended up in a war and eventually Ravan was killed. The incident goes like this –
"Shri Ram, Sita and Laskhman had spent close to 10 years in the Panchavati forests during their exile, but one day Surpanaka (Ravana's younger sister) disguised herself as a beautiful woman and proposed Shri Ram to marry her. Shri Ram called himself happily married and asked her to approach his brother, Lakshman.
Surpanaka went towards Lakshman and made the same proposal. Lakshman said - "I am merely his servant and remain under him. Marrying me, you too will have to be under him. So you have no chance here but you can marry my elder brother since he is a king and a king can have many wives."
She again went back to Shri Ram but was again sent back to Lakshman. Lakshman became irritated and said only such a man could marry her who has abandoned shame. This got her furious and Shri Ram signalled Lakshman who acting quickly severed her ears and nose."
So here are our own Hindu scriptures telling us about the treatment given to lovers and people who propose love to one another.
I was so dumbstruck to note that such an incident quoted in an epic which is one of the foundations of my religion. And now, we have people foolishly following only this part of the story and not all the morals that the story teaches us.
In the technology era, we needn't get driven by our scriptures. With increased interaction and information through various sources, we all get to know what is right and what is wrong. In this free world, one can chose what they want to do in their life; if someone is going directionless, then it should be the responsibility of their parent, friends and relatives and to the max the police force to get a person on right track. Its an individual's choice whether they consume alcohol or not; no one has right to stop him/her as long as he is not creating trouble. We don't need moral police in our country, that too taking violent steps against people who are committing no crime. There are so many criminal and terrorist activities which are happening in our country, violence can be used against them and to stop further damage and bring back peace. What is important as an individual is that, each one of us should understand our duty and be accountable for all our actions. Rest of the things would just follow...