The Enemy Within

Movies continue to inspire me to write some thing. I watched the movie ‘Shaurya‘ over the weekend. Although I knew the movie was inspired from ‘A few good men‘ , it is a good watch none the less. It is a story of an Army lawyer (Siddharth Choudhary played by Rahul Bose) defending a soldier (Captain Javed Khan played by Deepak Dobriyal) against a charge for culpable homicide. Javed has killed his senior officer and is charged with a murder and links to terrorist organisations. Javed actually is a victim of racism and hatred. He is targeted because he is a Muslim.

Kay Kay Menon, who plays Brig. Pratap, has very efficiently echoed the hatred most of us have against the people who are always credited for spreading terrorism. He (as in his character in the movie) has lost his family to a conspiracy by his house help, who happened to be a Muslim. This is very identical to some one who has lost a member in the innumerable terrorist attacks in India and abroad. We dislike an Ahmed or a Khan because some other Ahmed was one of the accused in a bomb blast case. There are many other names. So we end up hating every one who is a Muslim. Dont we ignore that the ‘good Muslims’ are equally troubled? More blasts and attacks occur in Pakistan these days.

It is not about one particular caste. I think we are pretty damn selfish when it comes to hating or demeaning a race, caste or a religion. As a Marathi, I have seen fellow Maharashtrians making fun of Gujrathis, Sindhis, Punjabis, Biharis… and I have seen the others making fun of each other just as we do. It is nice as long as done in good faith. But you never know when the fun gets transformed into hatred.

Now coming back to the point of selfishness in hating some one. Consider this, a Marathi will hate a Bihari for spoiling Mumbai, but will cheer loud when Dhoni and Tendulkar are playing together for India. They wouldn’t mind a Dhoni or a Sehwag leading a Dravid or a Agarkar. We fight amongst us as states, but come together for a national cause. So a Marathi or a Gujju will become a Hindu and will despise a Muslim because a Muslim terrorist was caught blasting bombs. So all the Marathis and Gujjus and Punjabis will stick together and you will have a 1993 Mumbai riot or 2002 Godhra riots. Despite this, Hindus and Muslims will come together to fight for India. This has happened in the past during the freedom struggle. Hindus and Muslims wanted to drive the Britishers out of the country together. So both hated the British. But they still helped them in World War II against Germany and Japan. Why? Known enemy was better than an unknown friend. India also has had political conflicts with fellow Asian countries such as China, Sri Lanka, Indonesia… However when you look at the immigrants in Australia, UK and US, the Asian populations sticks together for their rights (Although we Indians are still known as ‘Indians’.) So they try to ward off the racist attacks in Australia together. And I’m sure we all will stick with each other if an alien planet declares a war on earth   🙂

So if we indeed have a ‘Earth Army’ to fight, say Mars, who amongst these soldiers will be a Marathi? A Punjabi? A Muslim? A British? An Australian? I think it is stupid to hate people. It is you yourself who have proved time and again that you can compromise your dislike for the ‘other caste’ on more than one occasions. So why still detest it? Your enemy is not on the roads… the enemy is within you. Why live on premonitions? Forgive and forget. Live and let live. Kill the hatred and half your problems are already solved.

“Courage is not in killing 100 enemies and standing like a brave soldier. Courage is in recognising the truth, adhering it and standing by the last word of it.”