Monday, January 30, 2012

Who is a Patriot?

Sixty-four years passed since we lost Bapu. The patron of non-violence was killed by a ghastly act of violence. But when I saw a few status messages today praising Nathuram and then did a little bit of research on net, I was taken aback. How can anyone call someone who killed the ‘Father of the Nation’ as patriot?! Now someone may argue that Bapu was not that great a person as big as he is projected and perceived. Ours is a democracy and we may think whatever we want to and probably say so as well. But the problem arises when we need to know the truth. Who should I believe the ‘Bapu’ supporters or the ‘patriot’ Nathuram supporters?

If I want to believe that it was Gandhiji who was majorly responsible for the division of the country, then it would mean that he was not a patriot and didn’t have any role to play in our independence. Isn’t it? Then who struggled for our independence? Some might put up Bhagat Singh’s and Netaji’s name as real freedom fighters. But they died (or went missing) long before we gained independence. So did freedom come on its own without anyone’s effort? If yes, then why even worship Bhagat Singh and Netaji? Why pay homage to any freedom fighter?

If I want to know the truth, where do I find it from? If I look at the history books, questions would be raised on the authenticity and integrity of those who wrote it. What is the guarantee that anyone who writes books about historical events and developments is not politically inclined? And anyway, history is written by victors, so it again would not be the complete picture. If I talk to someone to find the truth, what is the guarantee that what would be told to me would be pure and unadulterated truth?

The nature of my work says that I can’t trust unauthentic and non-credible sources and work according to them. But then the credible sources are written by someone whose credibility can also be questioned. All this leaves my mind quite perplexed.

I think that every human needs a role model to live and move ahead with life. For some, this role model is present there in the family, some find it in school and some find it outside in the real world. But when everyone around is in the quest of questioning the credibility of every second person for political or personal motifs, where do young people find a true role model? This is a very dangerous situation for us because the youth is going to go haywire in the absence of a role model. And this process of youth distraction has already begun. And we can see this in the increasing number of youth crimes, suicides and other complications.

And while my quest for ‘my’ truth goes on, let me remember Mahatma today for if nothing else, then these beautiful words which he believed in:

Vaishnav jan to tene kahiye je PeeD paraayi jaaNe re 
Par-dukhkhe upkaar kare toye Man abhimaan na aaNe re!