"Uththishtata Bharatha... (Arise India)"
[This post may seem to be mixing two issues - Deal with it :) ]
"Take a twig and you can snap it between your fingers, take a bundle of sticks and you can't do anything to it" is the summary of the lesson imparted by the ailing old father to his bickering sons. We all know that.
When Alexander the Great arrived at Takshashila (current Pakistan), and was all set to invade India, the entire sub continent was made up of numerous kingdoms. These kingdoms individually were relatively small, save Magadha which was larger. There was still a concept of Bharath, which is modern India, but then they were all individual kingdoms. Alexander was poised to defeat India and kings like Ambhi even sided with the foreigner in his quest to invade Bharath. Chanakya foresaw what would happen if Alexander continued on this path, as you might have too - Each twig could be easily snapped by Alexander. He decided to form the bundle of sticks, an alliance of kingdoms which could together defeat the invading foreigner. But each of the kingdoms had too much vanity and arrogance and they didn't align with one another. Their petty individual problems occluded their vision of the big picture, something that Chanakya could see. They fell like dominoes.
Today's world is not so different from then. I am not even going to play the one string banjo of religion and caste - something that we are fully aware of. India is a country of diversity. We have people who speak different languages, belonging to different castes, subcastes, sub-sub-castes and so on, different religions, different social strata, who work in different fields etc. But there has to be one very important state of mind that has to develop in all of us - That we are all equal. We are all equal. If this mindset does not develop in us, and even if, for a moment, we think we are better than someone else, this unity cannot prevail. If you think that being a Christian is better than being Hindu and that only Christ can lead you to heaven, then you are not being equal. If you think only Allah can deliver you heaven and everyone else is a Kafir (heretic I believe?) then you are not equal. If you believe being Brahmin is superior and you should not touch a "low caste" person, you are not equal. Forget this... If you think a software engineer is better than a mechanical engineer, you are not equal. If you feel iPhone users are superior, then you are an idiot :P It means that you have to respect people and don't try to compare them.
In today's political scenario where the incumbent party is clearly scam ridden and dirty, the one ray of hope is Narendra Modi. There is also Arvind Kejriwal but he's a newbie who still has to prove a lot. Right now, people are being like the smaller kingdoms of ancient Bharath. A lot of AAP supporters are developing a mindset that they are the only clean party. Many other people are busy calling Kejriwal an agent of Congress and so on. Meanwhile politicians are busy appeasing Muslims to get a large chunk of votes and others are cursing Hindus for being divisive on caste. Meanwhile, there are people like this:
There is another lesser known story. Once, a large boulder in the middle of the busy market street seemed to be the source of nuisance for everyone. People cursed it, cursed the government, cursed lazy people and went around it. An old lady noticing the plight of her fellow citizens decided to push the boulder out of the way. On seeing the fragile old lady's efforts, two soldiers who were standing around came to her aid and pushed it out of the way. Once the boulder was pushed out of the way, she found a purse under the rock which had a note that said - To whoever pushes the boulder out of the way. The soldiers smiled and handed the purse to the lady, a gift from their king...
Most of us are the passersby. We look around at the problems, we curse a lot of people, contractors for poor roads, bad teachers for poor education, corrupt politicians for all the scams, etc. But we don't put in any effort towards fixing it. And by any effort, I mean zero. I don't intend to sound like I am complaining. We can actually become teachers, or write software to spread education, or do something to fix these issues. But we are all self involved and trying to make our own lives more comfortable - I am, of course, including myself in this. We should probably think of ways to improve lives of other people - Simple solutions that can ease a lot of difficulties.
Now is the time for us to act. Let us not be like the foolish kings who could not foresee the future. Let us awake and arise and put aside all our differences for some time, gay or straight, Hindus, Muslims or Christians, Upper Caste or Lower, everyone unite and vote together for Modi...