Having withstood the plunderers from the far north to resisting the wily from the west, perched on the threshold of continual existence, we wonder where we go from here. We have none as our custodian in a sinuous robe or with a flowing beard, nor do we have protectors with guns or philanthropists with bundles of green. We have no country for us or a government that speaks for us. The President of a super power can proclaim his faith to his august audience boldly, a Prime Minister from our neighbouring country can swear by his faith, but our Prime Minister and our leaders have to be discrete about it. The knowledge of our inception is unknown, but the threat of extinction looms ahead. We are fewer than our trillion gods; perhaps that’s what saved us thus far. When some of our friends and relatives donned different identities, some for a more resourceful god, some for just the lure, all we did was shrug. There are also these atheists from our midst who always lurked around the corner and threw potshots only at us and our gods. The intelligentsia mocked our faith, scoffed at our belief and laughed at our rituals. Some among them believed in selective atheism. They kept redefining our faith. They invented source from our countless literature and interpreted it to their convenience. Our trillion gods in different forms, countless rituals and centuries old practices provided them enough fodder to chew, yet we ignored them. Our own rose in defense for them, tolerance was understood as submission. We were never taught ours was the only “ONE”, for we were the only one, and when we travelled to their holy places we never felt threatened whey they said I am the only “One’. We did not have anyone point at the sky and say “There lives our God” nor did we have a messiah who travelled to preach the existence of a “HIM” or read from the book of God. Evangelism did not occur to us nor did we promote our faith in different countries, but we let others differentiate us. We let others canvas for their gods amidst us and we just walked past them, while some of us merged into their crowd. Our country was halved in the name of God and still we let them be. Not anymore, now they want it transformed. Our identity is at stake, our culture at peril and a civilization waiting to have done time.
Our customs are curbed beneath different garbs under the pretext of the new social order. A bull fight tradition becomes cruelty while being ridiculed for questioning cow slaughter. We cannot espouse our faith or our customs for we are shouted down in the name of plurality and secularism. Our fringe elements are touted as our leaders and corporate honchos, historians, scientists, politicians, writers all form the “Intelligentsia” and come together to teach us how to practice our faith. Nothing shakes them collectively as much as a mild assertion of our faith, a faith followed by people who for centuries have accepted other faiths in their main stream. Every incident involving others is given a “saffron” colour and these incidents shake the collective faith of the “Intelligentsia” who spring from everywhere with their bytes. Nothing so far has frightened them. Nothing to them has created a blot on the fabric of our secularism, integrity or security. A motley crowd of around 30 who follow some barbaric methods to protect their faith become the 80% of the population for the so called “Thinkers”. They create a fear psychosis in the minds of the population about their existence while the 80 crore live with the other crore 20 harmoniously. It is these “Assortments” from the different spheres who are a real threat to not just our harmony but also our existence. If the “Extremes” from our faith give us the wrong fame it is the “others” who try to destroy it by clamouring for their importance in public through their “Fear” quotes.
We have a right to follow our faith in the place of its birth. We deserve our space for our faith our respect for our beliefs. We don’t ask for any exclusivity. What we ask for is what is practiced elsewhere. We are much more sensible and charitable than the others. The ones who preach to us “plurality” enjoy the “singularity” when they go abroad. They speak little or nothing against it. They have learnt to accept it. We don’t ask for importance, we don’t ask for priority. We just ask for respect for our faith. We request to let us be. Appeal to be sensitive to our customs and beliefs. We request not to overwhelm us with “Strength” or the “Wisdom”. We don’t want to compare gods or faith. We don’t want to debate who is for real, who is the better. Leave us alone. Practice whatever but don’t tread on our toes. We will outlive their linear forecast for we belong to the cycle. We don’t know our birth and we believe there is no end. We are part of a process, we are “Time”. It is time we got our due, time we reclaimed our faith, our history and its glory. It is time we are proud being who we are and not act ashamed for what we were. To take pride in our heritage that still stands. We don’t want these at the expense of others. We have nothing against anything for we believe we encompass everything. Nothing is new to us. We have seen it all, achieved it all. We see it now in different forms. It’s a cycle we are part of it for we know no beginning or end.
Guest post by B.U.Shreesha (Chennai)
[This Write-up is contributed to Lexpress as Guest post]