There was a ruler who lived ages ago. He was of a particular frame of mind. Some called him a fanatic and some, a patriot. Frankly, no one really cared until one fine day, one person (or party, or community) decided to celebrate his birthday. One birthday changed a peace loving state into a state of chaos and anarchy. To whomsoever concerned: My question is: Was this birthday worth it?
If you think he was a patriot, fine. If you think he was a ruthless murderer, fine. Your thoughts are the product of your history and culture. But there appears a line when innocent people are walking the streets in the middle of the night, with children, trying to get home because there is not one vehicle ready to get them anywhere. This ruler lived ages ago. Was this birthday worth it?
There maybe people who can afford to skip work, go out on the streets and fight for ‘what is right’ and ‘the honour of our nation’. I salute such individuals who do. I think that everyone needs to fight for a cause. But in some strange and rather sad way, the cause has turned into a national farce. Innocent people who rely on the daily bread they earn by working hard every day have no choice but to sit at home and wonder- Was this birthday worth it? Was it worth losing a day’s wage over the wars he waged ages ago?
To the ‘development oriented, people driven’ leaders of our state, there was a ruler who lived ages ago. He belonged to a particular faith. You had to choose as to which side to lean on because ultimately you are ‘people driven’ leaders and the more people on your side, the better (for what I cannot reckon but anyway). So you chose a side that would benefit you. That’s your call.
But your call impacted the lives of a lot of people. This game of chess being played for years now is seeing one too many innocent pawns die. This ruler lived ages ago. He died ages ago. When your people asked you, in more than one way, to let this one birthday go cause it would hurt their feelings, as a ‘people’s party’ I would at least consider. I would question, at least for the sake of my people- Is this birthday worth it?
Today (November 13), the state has been shut down. Children are safely at home excited about an unexpected holiday (I was too, until I realized It doesn’t apply to the working children), parents are eagerly watching the news and cursing the government, communal outfits and the country itself not understanding why this birthday was so important. Some say, “He slayed our innocent people and is responsible for making them slaves”, Others say, “He converted our people and destroyed our places of worship”, some others say, “he was a fanatic” and then there are those who say, “He was a patriot and fought to drive the British out of the country. He is our hero”.
I walk the streets today and see people waiting at bus stops anxiously waiting for a bus with a brave driver who can take them to work. I see our policemen, a day after Diwali, sitting at every prominent place praying that the city doesn’t face turmoil. I see restaurants being shut and hotel owners with desperation on their faces. I see good Samaritans who are picking up people who have unknowingly stepped into the city travelling the night (at least the lamps lit at Diwali helped someone) and dropping them to their destinations.
And then, I see those people, true heroes as some would say, who are fighting for a cause. With fire in their hearts and stones in their hands. Waiting to prove their commitment to the “cause”. Bearing the repercussions of a “people oriented” government, that had a point to prove and a ‘bank’ to fill. They, the protectors of our culture, our heritage and our history are out there on the streets, dwelling in anger over an incident that happened days ago. The birthday of a ruler who lived ages ago. And all I can think is- Was this birthday worth it?
About the Author:
With a background in English Literature and a Masters Degree in Mass Communication and Journalism, Disha is currently working as an associate editor at News Karnataka. She has written several features for various publications and also has to her credit the publication of a national level paper on “Media Ethics and Social Responsibility”. A voracious reader, she enjoys writing songs and poetry as well.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of Newskarnataka.com and Newskarnataka.com does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same