Politically Incorrect

Posted: June 12, 2015 by Arushi in Thoughts
Tags: , , , ,

Some of the smallest things from our childhood can play a big part into who we become as adults – shape our ideologies, our perspectives and our worldview.

I was watching ‘Lage Raho Munna Bhai’ today and for some reason it (combined with an inflammatory whatsapp msg I read last night) reminded me of something my English teacher in middle school used to say. I am paraphrasing:

‘Musalmaan’ means a person with ‘imaan’ and so every one of us who is honest at our core is a musalmaan.

Musalmaan is the Hindi word for Muslim n imaan for honest.

She was not Muslim by religion but a Hindu teaching at a Missionary school. She is frankly not one of my favorite teachers but she taught us to speak excellent English and gave great life lessons. “Sorry doesn’t bring dead men to life,” was one of her favorite quotes.

Somewhere, those words of hers, have insured that I can never be a bigot. It is what she taught me then that ensured that when I grew up, I could dislike for reason but never on principle alone.

And I wonder if everyone gets that chance. The mad race for good schooling I suppose is for this. The curriculum does not change so much so, as the atmosphere, as these little things which may seem trivial at the time but will probably have a far more profound effect in the long term than final exam scores.

On the other hand, just how much damage is done when instead of tolerance and acceptance, another lesson is taught? Because if I can remember those words, others might remember something else.

That is not what this is about. What I do know is that increasingly I hear people speak in absolutes. There is no ‘agree to disagree.’ The fluidity of ideas and beliefs, the identifying factor of our nation ‘unity in diversity’ is not as visible as I thought it would be. And not just India, does this not apply to every nation?

We are a nation of people whose history is as rich as man’s imagination. In fact, culture never lost itself due to invasions, but always gained something from them. It evolved, it amalgamated, it kept on weaving a tapestry that is never ending. Even the lost civilizations have left their stamps upon the ones which are still alive.

Call me a snob if you will but it is beneath us, as humans, to ever think of slashing any part of our history or the people that came with. They are not separate. There is no ‘they’ because without them we would not be who we are today. Every piece comes together to make the complete sphere that forms our planet.

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