By Mike Ghouse
15 August, 2014
My dear Fellow Indians,
Congratulations! As we proudly celebrate our 68 years of independence, we must com mitt ourselves to genuinely free ourselves from pettiness, free ourselves from our prejudices towards fellow beings, free ourselves from treating a fellow Indian less than ourselves and we must certainly shelve the arrogance that God favours us and not others.
We must also commit to defend the freedom of others, we must cherish the otherness of others and let everyone freely breath, drink, eat, wear or believe whatever suits them, and crush the thoughts of forcing others to behave the way we want them to behave. No one shall be a slave in free India.
An Indian Is An Indian Is An Indian, Period.
As a nation, collectively we are Adivasis, Atheists, Bahais, Bos, Buddhists, Christians, Dalits, Hindus, Jains, Jewish, Muslim, Sikhs, Tribals, Zoroastrians and every possible grouping. We are Brown, Black, White, Yellow and green with envy, Magar Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani.
Our Motherland is represented by every race, nationality, ethnicity, language, culture and religion. We see God as one, none and many; and in every form; male, female, genderless and non-existent, being and non-being, nameless and with innumerable names.
We are proud of our heritage - a mulch-faith, multicultural, multi-regional and multi-linguistic society, where we have come to accept and respect every which way people have lived their lives. For over 5000 years, India has been a beacon of pluralism - it has embraced Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Baha’i and Zoroastrianism to include in the array of the indigenous religions; Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism.
We may want to consciously start thinking and acting as one people, one people within a nation and a community and one people globally. It’s like home when we are conflict free. I do hope each one of us purges any bias towards the other, there is joy in being free from ill-will. Try to be free from it this day forward… free from anything that prevents you from being a part of the whole.
Our combined philosophies believe in one world ; Hinduism describes the world as Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, the whole world is one family, the idea of Ek Onkar(one) in Sikhism, you are all created from the same couple as Quran puts it and Jesus embraced every one regardless of who any one is... similar philosophies are grounded in all our religions.
A few don't follow their own heritage and resort to thievery, loot, murder, terrorism, rioting, rapes, infanticide and other evils that destroy the fabric of the society, but a majority of every group goes about their own way, living their life with struggles and ease and don't even bother others. We should build upon the 99% of population and not on the less than 1% that does not follow any principles.
On this day, and every day from here forward, make a pledge to yourselves to talk about in terms of we Indians - and not Malyalee, Gujarati, Bengali.... or Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Isaee. Don't expect others to jump and say the same, give them the time and if you are consistent for at least a year, you will see others emulating you.
India led the way to the freedom movement, since 1947 every country has been liberated from colonialism. Indian democracy is a shining example to the world, where the people have peacefully transferred the powers.
We are inherently secular and economically capitalistic. We believe in "live-and-let-live" life style, which is the essence of capitalism.
Through the years we have expressed the highest degree of maturity on handling extreme situations; the more divergent opinions we hear, the larger our heart grows, the bigger our embrace would be and we can cushion more differences. Let’s continue to honour the concept that there is always another side to the story, as finding the truth is our own responsibility. I am proud of my heritage and am proud to be an Indian-American.