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An Adjective of Eradication

Monday, March 25, 2013


An Adjective of Eradication - My iDea for iDiya

          With a grin on face, rambling across the road; bemused in thoughts and hands consumed with a huge pack of tea and a large tank of cooking oil. A rickshaw following me, carrying crates of sweets and fruits. It's my b'day and I'm overjoyed, not for the party, but for the celebration; celebration with the ones bereft it! I'm on my way to Goudiya Mathh, a commune comprising hundreds of hapless people living in a small enclosed area, supporting each other throughout their lives. It’s the homage to those rejected by the society. Some of them are beggars, cobblers, leather workers and so on…

          Long back when my dad first took me there, I was dumb enough to ask him the reason why we spend so much on the ones we don't even know. It was a question that changed my way of thinking forever…

         He replied, “Life will never be what you expect of it; neither will it be convincing always. But leading a helping hand to those in need will not only render serenity and calmness, but a confidence to tackle all the hurdles that come your way. Then, you'll know what it is 'to be for others.” I was left stunned by his answer. That day I realized it isn't the aesthetics of a person that resembles his status, but the ideation he possesses. Its 15yrs now and I never missed a chance to visit there; neither do I need to be reminded anymore, be it a b'day or some special occasion or even my mom’s barsi.

          No matter a million times I visit them, there's always a feeling of oppressiveness in my heart. Why is it that they had to pay off such a huge value to be a human? It wasn't a choice to be in a family where dreams are just dreams and they have no right to be fulfilled. They aren't the choosers. They were made to live such a life by the same God who made others a mod {modern guy} standing in front of the mirror for hours getting ready for the Saturday night discs, spending thousands on counterfeit masks (cosmetics) hiding from thyself.


          Every beggar has a story. So, even in the hectic schedule of sessionals, assignments and seminars, I took some time to peer into their outworn lifestyles. So, I took a friend of mine along with me. We began our bandy conversation from some kids rolling a tyre with a stick. We just called up and started chatting with them. All was going fine until the conversation got to their studies and the future and a splendiferous reply basted me. He places his stick on the ground, stretches his hands to their maximum, “This much I want to study!!” I could see the love for studies in his gleesome eyes. He further counter-blasted, saying, “I will one day, but not now”. His words seemed louder than his voice, clear and intermerate as the sky. But seized in the darkness of responsibilities, studies seemed too expensive and they lacked sizable amount of money needed for that…

          While snooping around, I heard a voice, “Each day abbu gives us 12 rupees, Rs10 is the fare of where we go to beg and the remaining 2 rupees are the ones we are left with, to have our lunch. Things were getting tense and every word was a bitter pill for me to take! In a city where we won't even get a chapatti for less than Rs 5, he manages his whole day in such a small amount. “I love the toffees we get at the street corner shop, the red ones, orange, green and due to limitation of money we buy only 2 of them; one for the afternoon and the other for the evening” he included. His words were more than we could digest. So we unfroze them to get back to their play.


          Getting forward heavyhearted, we went on to a jubilarian old man. He seemed to be well experienced so all we wanted to ask off him were the chores he ever tried. “We are the socially retarded ones; the societal patricians won't accept us. When poverty comes in at the door, love flies out of the window; so we don’t try.” The reply had sheer reflection of the dominance of social influences in their mentality. We also found out that they drank and slept every night, for potvaliancy gave them a restful nap, free from afflictions and daily suicide thoughts. Isn't it weird? It was their 'Namaaz' time and we decided to leave now. Next was the Obeisance ceremony, we bid each other farewell and left.


          It's a surprise how they've made their own colony, a world amongst themselves. Why are they not a part of the society? Who are we to prohibit their existence? What’s a life worth of? Is it just the penny we give to the poor, or people eating the leftovers from garbage and junks or is it worth your million dollar business?

          Sometimes, it feels a shame to be a part of this self-centered and self-seeking society where all one cares is 'my life' 'my reputation' & 'my happiness'. We talk of global unity and respect of one and for all, but within all this, lies a drear reality. They are the ones neglected and their very existence is nothing but a burden for them; a non-existent for others.

          A life without adoration is a life wasted. Spending thousands on b'day parties, aesthetics and for leading a selfish luxurious life is really antipathetic to taking off a 10 rupee note that seems to be a brutal task. It’s time to stop living like a selfish jerk and do what we were meant to, because the time once gone will never be back again and in the end all that will matter is the goods done here in your lifetime. It's never too late to be a savior!


          Abraham Maslow and other theorists have suggested that the need for love and belongingness is a fundamental human motivation. According to Maslow, all humans, even introverts, need to be able to give and receive affection to be psychologically healthy.


Do you care?

          Off your luxurious and reposeful sleeps, do you ever wake up and wonder how hard it would be when half of our life being spent in bowing and begging in front of those people who don't even give a damn shit whether others 'live or die'.. Those having acerbity of speech for these too are an accomplice in this crime. They too are the culprits!

Here's another illustration of a real life experience that happened to me few years back...

          “Aw! The bag is too heavy” I uttered while getting off the bus. After a week's holiday I was back to Patiala. Suddenly, a lame rickshaw puller started wailing in front of me, begging to go further by his rickshaw. On querying, I learned that his son died of pneumonia and he needed money for his cremation. I found his wife crying and a corpse beside the rickshaw. On our way to my PG, he started howling, “It was my mistake to bring him to life even after such bad times. We suffer and made him suffer too!” The worst off was yet unto him. In a downcast voice he sounded out, “In the hospital, the door was kept open but none came to visit him while I was busy trying to earn some money for his treatment”. The incident stir up my conscience.

What I feel...

          Let this article be a surging wave for the people to awaken and eradicate filthiness in their thoughts as well as actions. We need to change our perspective against these people who are least responsible for situation they are in. Preaching is a nobody crowd thing, until you yourself don't act on it. Still, I’m pondering with a hope for a cure to this epidemic disease because a way can surely be penetrated through. One thing is obvious that they don't want any apologies...but a lifetime genial and the oneness of all!


Mahatma Gandhi, the father of nation, once said “Untouchability is the hate fullest expression of Caste System and it is a crime against God and man”. Further he lovingly called the untouchables as Harijan means the people of God.

          The basis of everyone's rights lies not in their religious identity or affiliation but in their humanity. As victims of superstition, they need exposure to rational thinking. The problem of untouchability is more than an issue of law and order - it is a deep rooted, millennia-old malady that afflicts society. Unless they have belief in themselves and are empowered to assert their own humanity, unless they themselves discover their inherent human dignity, they will continue to be where they are - on the extreme margins of society.

          Emancipation is a personal achievement, and the victim needs to enact his or her own emancipation. Others, be they Humanists or Hindus or Christians or Muslims, can only help as facilitators. And the facilitators must remember that they need education, not pity, justice, not charity.

Conclusion....

          In a society comprising 1.22 billion people of which 166 million being the untouchables, lucrative thinking is prevalent in major quantity. Every day, we come across hundreds of kibitzers who have no desire of doing anything for them but to gain attention of others. Though taking them off this yawning abyss may seem irrefrangible in nature, but each riddle has a solvent for it. The example of a well-known disease Cancer which once was well known as the most deadly disease has now a cure for the self serves as an epexegesis to the preceding lines. No matter they may look like beggars, but they have feelings and a working mind just like anyone else.



          Writing for iChange has been of intense pleasure and gratitude to me. First of all, I would love to thank iDiya and Indiblogger for their selfless efforts in rooting out social ills in India and giving bloggers a chance to show their potentialities and a chance to work for the well-being of all. Your effort surely deserves a salutation. Hope you carry on with such great ideas and restless efforts.


That I could say a bit more
Than everything,

By the perspective of my silence
In lieu of the put out
Panoptic of a language,
Never designed to unfold
The intangible.
For how better to indite
Non-existence,
Than with the untouchable chill
Of a downcast weaponry against
An arched brow,
Not deceiving the
Complexity of human emotion
Designated with
"disappointed".

 However mean your life is, meet it and live it: do not shun it and call it hard names. Cultivate poverty like a garden herb, like sage. Do not trouble yourself much to get new things, whether clothes or friends. Things do not change, we change. Sell your clothes and keep your thoughts. ~Henry David Thoreau


PS. A fact of this post: This post has been written sitting at the upper floor of the train during my journey from Ambala to Bathinda and I read atleast half of my 'pocket travel dictionary' for that!!