On Thursday, 26 of September 2002, I walked to work.
I walked because a national bandh was called by the so-called powers that be;
And there were no buses, trains or taxis to take;
Because two ‘terrorists’ had entered into the Swami Narayan Temple and killed several innocent people;
The ‘terrorists’ claimed that they did it to take revenge on what happened in Gujarat post Godhra,
Where ‘terrorists’ of the VHP, RSS and Barang Dal combed the streets of a Gujarat killing, raping and maiming people spreading hate and sending the economy of Gujarat in a downward spiral;
I walked as my own personal protest against the ‘terrorists’ who claim to rule our country;
I see very little difference between Bush, Osama, Musharraf, Modi, Advani or Thackeray;
Each one claims to offer retaliation as a form of retribution.Retribution where only innocent people’s lives and livelihoods are irrevocably hurt and futures threatened.Where Singhal’s threat to replicate the ‘experiment of Gujarat’ hangs over us all;
I walked, because I wonder whether it would be easier to die in a communal frenzy or in a bomb attack of a suicide bomber and I wonder whether the ‘Government of India’ has any plans to fight
the terrorists within its institutional folds or do they feel that they can guard every temple, car or public place from future ‘revenge bombers/ terrorists’;
I walked, because I know that the Constitution of India assures every citizen equality, fraternity and justice and because I believe that the Rule of Law and the idea of a Secular, Democratic state is what the Tilak, Gandhi and others fought for and if this is not what the present leaders elected or otherwise believe in, they should not be allowed to stand for election or represent the people
of India and need to be tried under the very laws they have created for disturbing law and order and threatening national peace and security.
I walked also because I know that in the face of all this violence and hate, that the humanity of the ordinary Indian is still alive, maybe hidden like a tuber but very much alive,
Even as I walked the few cars on the road stopped and asked if I needed a lift;
But I continued to walk alongwith hundreds of others – ordinary people like me who refused to be intimidated and who know that a future for our country, our people and our children lie in health, jobs, education and conserving our environment,in justice and equality, not in wars, arms or yatras.
Rich -Vs- Poor
Too many times we forget what we have and concentrate on what we don’t have.
What is one person’s worthless object is another’s prize possession.
It is all based on one’s perspective.
Makes you wonder what would happen if,
we all gave thanks for all the bounty we have,
instead of worrying about wanting more.
Take joy in all you have, especially your friends.
Life is not measured by the breaths you take
but by the moments that take your breath away.
Instance of how poor we are:-
One day a father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the firm purpose of showing his son how poor people can be. They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family.
On their return from their trip, the Father asked his son, “How was the trip?”
“It was great, Dad.”
“Did you see how poor people can be?” the father asked.
“Oh Yeah” said the son.
“So what did you learn from the trip?” asked the father.
The son answered, “I saw that we have one dog and they had four.
We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night. Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon.We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight. We have servants who serve us, but they serve others.
We buy our food, but they grow theirs. We have walls around our property to protect us, they have friends to protect them.”
With this the boy’s father was speechless.
Then his son added, “Thanks dad for showing me how poor we are.”