“Hindu, Muslim, Sikh and Christian;
they say we are all different.
But when I see us, all playing,
I don’t understand their meaning.
We might look different,
We might wear different.
But when we stand together,
We can make a difference.
So, here we are, out of all odds,
trying to explain the world
It’s just the way we pray, but what remains the same
IS OUR GOD.”
My 5 years old daughter is often found humming this poem written by me on the occasion of Independence Day. For what I thought to be a school activity, turned out to be meaningful for her. I have always tried to raise my daughter to be gender and religion neutral; a concept I have been a believer of since my childhood. I have always been told to make my child “our religion” centric, for this is what the member of other religions do. “Someone has to start the process of ending this hate-story of religions”, is what I simply say and move on.
Been married in a family of Kashmiris (I mean Hindu’s living in Kashmir), where half of my family members still live there, this time and situation seems to be so tough. Where, with each passing day, I question my belief for equality. The news of killing of Srinagar chemist Makhan Lal Bindroo on Wednesday dropped as a bomb for all of us.
My in-laws know him personally. What started off as a direct consequence of the 2019 abrogation of Article 370, sooner turned wind with the killing of two non-Muslim teachers, one of them a school principal, in the Kashmir Valley. The trigger didn’t stop there and took away the life of 2 more. While the members of the minor community are forced to flee the valley conductive to save their lives, it just forces me to wonder about the mindset of people. How many more years and innocent lives do we need to end this war for land. With a surface area of 510.1 million square kilometers (approximately) on earth, if that is not what’s enough for mankind, I really don’t know what is.
If you have an answer, just do write to me.