Thursday, 16 October 2014

Love Jihad

Swami Gulagulaananda quoted:
"Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are a good person is a little like expecting a lion to not eat you because you are a vegetarian"

While the original quote is "...expecting a bull not to attack you..." but I like the lion one better.

Highly recommended reading - Aavarana - The Veil

It takes all sorts to make a world is an old proverb. There are all kinds of people out there - Good, well behaved, polite, smart asses, witty, dull, dumb, arrogant, cruel, sadistic, masochistic, sadomasochistic and so on.

Then there is a second proverb - Birds of the same feather flock together. We typically see these examples right from our childhood and college. The smart ones hang out together and topics of discussion are studies or study related. People call them nerds. Then there are a group of sports-guys and studs who ace in the field but flunk in exams. It's very rare that you see people from both groups hang out together socially because they want to. People gravitate towards others of the same kind. When this happens, your mindsets are all alike. However, it is very rare that a person of one mindset understands where the other comes from.

I have already written a post saying that one cannot judge another based singularly on your experiences with him because you have no idea about the kind of situations he went through to become what he is - You can find it here. I see a lot of people who make this fundamental fallacy. But this is not a post about judging people - It is about judging situations.

Let me start off by telling you a short story - An eminent Indian journalist is seen talking to a group of people in a major American city. Suddenly, he is seen in a scuffle with one of the men there. Someone records a video and posts it on Twitter saying that Rajdeep Sardesai manhandled by Modi Bhakts. Immediately people spring into action. Modi Bhakts they say... Is this the Acche Din we were promised, they say. Modi and his supporters are all fascist, they say. The Indian hyperactive media does immediately takes a holier than thou stance and starts objecting to such crass behaviour.

A little later, a slightly longer video is released that shows Rajdeep Sardesai provoking the man, calling him abusive names and it was Rajdeep who initiated the brawl. The point here is to not judge who is right or wrong, but to simply illustrate that one must not rush into conclusions because situations are often a lot more complex than what appears at the outset.

I write this point singularly to talk about Love Jihad - With the recent post by Saif Ali Khan who, I must admit has written well, doing rounds, a lot of people seem to be trivialising the issue. They think Love Jihad is a silly concoction created by the RSS. In reality, they say, we are all Indians and we are diverse. These restrictions and claims are suffocating. Love Jihad is not real... The people who talk about it in this way are no idiots - They are well meaning people. But they are the kind of people who are like nerds of the college who hang out with other nerds. In their circle of nerds, there is no guy who gets beaten up by his girlfriend's rowdy ex, because there is no girlfriend to start off with. So the concept of getting beaten up by someone for dating someone simply does not exist in their world. So they do not understand why people beat one another up for a girl - It's absolutely absurd...

But what you find absurd is still a reality of life - To others, to whom the problems really do exist, you sound like the pretentious Mary Antoinette who infamously said - "If the peasants don't have bread, let them eat cake" - because you are trivialising a problem that doesn't affect you. There are real problems out there - Have you actually been on the ground? Have you actually done thorough research? Or are you just sitting in an air conditioned room and running a couple of Google searches and doing armchair debates?

Problems on the ground are a lot different from perceived problems. When we wrote software for our warehouse, we wrote it with good intent. On actually going to the warehouse we realised what colossal mistakes we had made in some aspects of our design, because our perception and reality were completely different.

Think about it - Everybody wants peace - The problem is with our definition of peace... Even the terrorists in the middle East want peace, they just want to establish a peaceful Dar ul islam in the world. Aurangazeb was a peaceful guy according to his Muslim subjects. The problem is with perception - and of sides. I love the line from James Bond movie - One country's terrorist is another country's freedom fighter. While people bombing Kashmir are terrorists for us, they are fighting to free it from India's evil clutches. Isn't it the same in Israel and Palestine? Each one believes they are right and fighting for rightness and righteousness.

Love Jihad wouldn't have been a problem if people who were marrying across faiths said - Hey, you maintain your faith and I shall maintain mine. There wouldn't have been problems if they said - Hey, let us teach our children both our philosophies, you go out and experience the world and decide for yourself what you want to follow. If people were as nice as Saif Ali Khan claims to be, there would have been people sitting lazily around smoking pot and farting rainbows. The harsh reality is something entirely different. So next time, before shooting your mouth off on areas that you don't understand - Don't! Research topics a lot better...

Highly recommended reading - Aavarana - The Veil

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