Proud 2 B Indian?
"India is the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grand mother of tradition. Our most valuable and most instructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only.” –Mark Twain
India is the land of multifaceted landscapes. Every state of India has its own distinct culture and has carved out its own cultural niche. Every state in fact is reflection of "India" its diversity and democracy. The natural landscapes and timeless villages shaped by our ancient beliefs and values, palaces, forts, temples mosques and churches, add to the beauty of our country. In fact India is one of the few countries of the world, which can boast of so many rich and diverse religious structures. The hospitality and warmth in relations and euphoria in celebrations makes the country stand out distinctively in the clutter. Costumes, traditions, cuisines, festivals, literatures, dance, music, theatre everything about India is so very special and unique.
Indian culture has never been rigid and has imbibed and absorbed qualities of various other cultures while maintaining its uniqueness. Different communities have been living peacefully and amicably for centuries in India. Communal harmony is the back bone of India. Yet one of the most serious challenges to India's internal security and democratic traditions has come from so-called communal disorders, or riots, based on ethnic cleavages.
Communal riots in India are not caused by religious animosity. They arise due to conflicting political interests, which are often linked to economic interest. Most communal riots start with neighborhood squabbles of little significance, but rapidly escalate into mob looting and burning, destruction of religious structures, historical statues, street fighting, killing of innocent lives, and violent intervention by the police and our so called political elites
Recent communal riots in Mangalore & Bangalore gained media attention, and has again evoked the same question if religion is for peace then why do people fight in the name of god and religion? Our ancestors fought the War of independence, they fought for Undivided India. But in the midst of the violence and communal hatred that we are nurturing today it is important to question – what kind of India shall we give our children?
It’s easy for us to blame religion for crusades and other wars. However it is important to think does any religion support violence? Tolerance is an important lesson of all religions. All great saints, sages and teachers have, through centuries come to earth with only one message- To be tolerant of one another. It is very disappointing to find that religion is being used as cause for destruction and blood shed.
Religion is a way to recognize and respect God. Religion is love. Religion is recognizing the presence of God everywhere and in everything as a living truth. Religion is to instill in human being qualities of love, compassion, kindness, purity, harmony, understanding, unity, selflessness and a spirit of service.
Even a honey bee has a life purpose- to pollinate plants, to keep life on earth going. Whether we get one life or many, our purpose should be to make this earth more beautiful.
Let us all remember that God isn’t far away from us, but in us, within us as well as beyond us. We are all creation of God and the vision of God is not limited. It was limitless, which was beyond the boundaries of human mind, so let us not bind God and religion to our limited thinking and egos.
Are we proud of our country and its cultural diversity? Then, let us take the responsibility of instilling nationalism among our countrymen. Instead of waging war in name of religion and God let us be united and fight against corruption, illiteracy, and terrorism.
By Mrs.Swarna C.Shetty
Lessons from Nature- Migration
The creator has a definite plan for everything. If you observe Nature closely you would realize how kind the creator has been in offering guidance and lessons of life through the Nature.
In my early childhood I was always fascinated with the birds kingdom. I spend hours together watching the colorful birds that adorned the beauty of our backyard in the morning, often wondering what they ate, how they fed their young ones, how they slept? As I grew my inquiries took a back seat, and I aptly turned out to be those grown ups as described by William Henry Davies in his poem "Leisure"-" No time to see when woods we pass where squirrels hide their nuts in grass".
But a very recent incident has inevitably evoked memories of my childhood. I remember those lonely mornings when I waited for the birds to flock my backyard, but not many of them turned up. As a child, I always wondered where these little birds disappeared with the changing of the season. One day, as my science teacher explained to the class – bird migration – I knew my little friends had vanished to find food, and a better and safer place to breed.
As I grew up I realized that migration as in bird kingdom was also common among human beings . I would rather say that migrating to other countries in search of better jobs, better standard of living, better future prospects is a trend that has been followed for decades in India.
But is it right to say that all these people who migrate from India – land in to fairy land of their dreams? Probably a few of them with high degree of qualification do end up with highly paid jobs and fulfilling their dreams and aspirations. But what about those unemployed low class labors who join the blind race of competing with each other to take up menial jobs in foreign countries to support their families back home? Only a few lucky ones are able to send at-least a fair earning to support their family, while majority end up being exploited by the recruiting agencies, or being paid very low salaries and pathetic living conditions.
A very disturbing incident that lately caught attention of the Indians in Kuwait, and I feel that needs to be posted here, was of the Indian labors around 120 of them who fell in track of a recruiting agent. Most of them had paid heavy service charges from IRS 50,000 to around 1.5 lakhs for their so called" foreign jobs". But little did they know that the money they raised by mortgaging their homes and lands on such exorbitant monthly interest would end their journey as captives in Kuwait without proper documentation, waiting for the middle man to transport them to work in US army camps in Iraq.
Even birds who migrate know when to migrate and where to migrate- isn’t it amazing? But human beings, despite being bestowed with brain and faculty of thinking, still tend to blindly believe and pursue the dreams shown by recruiting agencies.
I am proud of Tulukoota committee members who at a very short notice had volunteered in the repatriation process of at-least 7 tuluvas who were victim of one such selfish recruiting agent. Again, this has been possible only with support of the members of Tulukoota.
The government is taking every steps to prevent exploitation of labor in gulf countries, but it is equally important that we spread awareness among our fellow being to stop such instances of exploitation of job seekers. When birds know their destination of migration, shouldn’t we as human beings be more aware and careful of our destinations., and consider it as our duty to spread this awareness.