Incredible India III
India, often known as the mother of the world by the historians, and the jewel of the crown by the Britishers, leaves every visitor wanting more of this exotic and magical place.
One can often have a love hate relationship with India. You can love it for its ‘freedom’, for its beauty, unity in diversity, religious tolerance, variety, etc, and hate it for its corruption, backwardness (Despite its advanced technological status) its lack of hygiene, and despite its characteristic of remaining stubbornly in its comfort zone!
At the moment there is a huge debate going on about not killing cows. Cows have always been considered sacred in India. Cows give milk, their dung is used as a fuel. Moreover, cows are gentle, non-aggressive and non-violent. As you all know about me by now, I love animals, so my preference for not killing them is not religious, but purely based on compassion.
Corruption has always been on the cards in India. Very few things seem to work without a bribe. If only they would wake up to their age old philosophy of karma! To take bribes, and to encourage it, is theft. It’s daylight robbery. It doesn’t create a fair, safe and justice system which India claims to own.
Rape is rampant. It’s the old as well as the young who are guilty of this crime. “Lust is the greatest enemy”, is a major teaching of the Brahma Kumaris. Here you can see how the greed for it, strips another of their human dignity. I don’t think there can be a more debasing act than this!
On a lighter note, India is developing fast. Airports and infrastructures are improving rapidly. India is becoming cleaner as more become conscious and aware of the “Swach Bharat Campaign” – Clean Bharat Campaign! Mind you, there are still the odd ones who throw garbage from their balconies and into the streams and lakes!
I experience here a greater sense of freedom. People can play loud music ’til early morning hours, dump rubbish anywhere (and almost everywhere!), drive in any direction down the road, and set up home almost anywhere. Well maybe I am exaggerating slightly, yet without a doubt it is definitely a “FREE” country!
Indians love their images and idols. They can turn any stone into a deity, paint it and clothe it, and offer it fruits and sweets. Even by highways and along steep mountain roads where very few may ascend to see it.
Whether out of love or fear, everyone loves God greatly. There is a joke that everyone reached the pearly gates of heaven. To some God was saying go to the left meaning into Heaven, and to some to the right, meaning to Hell. The rich who had donated generously were waiting in line, when a taxi driver came along. God said to him, ahhh my worthy son! Welcome. You may go to the left! When the rich man reached God, God simply said, and you may go to the right. He said, ‘but God, I have donated so many crores of rupees. What about all that? And you let that stupid taxi driver go to heaven, on what account’. God replied calmly. ‘That taxi driver infused so much fear in people that everyone remembered me the most when they were with him!’
Their love for God is paramount. Nothing begins without first the name of God. You inaugurate a car and God’s pic is there. You open a shop or business and God’s worship is first. Send your son to school and again he has to go to the temple first. Your first salary is also given to charity. Sitting for an exam, tell God to pass you!
India remains an enchanting country. So liberal, so chaotic and so diverse and yet… somehow it works!