Friday, September 05, 2008

The war of the liberals

How liberal are you mate? Is being liberal accepting people as they are, irrespective of whatever they do? Is the definition of being liberal a product of the society? Or is it purely an absolute, an abstraction a mirage that you constantly keep chasing. I am extremely liberal, but you step on my shoes I might not remain so liberal after all. There is always an amount of hypocrisy in what is collectively perceived as being liberal. Your nation state, your religion, your community, your family, your favorite cricketer, your favorite musician and the likes determine how much of a liberal you are. If you have no requirements of putting yourself as part of a society or a group or do not believe in anything then you cannot really be a liberal can you? At some point when opposing views come into direct conflict with those of your own your liberalism disappears.

Our media goes through this extremely funny moments of classifying people as liberals/non-liberals. And anybody who is not a liberal is an extremist you know, period. But as always Mr Sardesai raises interesting quetions:

1) Where do Muslims stand in society? They stand in the same line as every other citizen of India.

2) Why arent they part of the mainstream? I havent read any indepth analysis of why they arent - they ruled this country for a long time, are they caught in the warp of time - refusing to join the mainstream? What are the causes for communal tension - a fear of a community losing its way of life. As our lives become faster, the threat becomes a fact of life for every average human being, so that tension is a reality.

3) Are ghetto's a reality? Yes again its got nothing to do with religion, its got more to do with a feeling of social status. Simplistically, you have your club membership right, the ghetto is the replica of the same the lower rung. The comfort of one's own. Is it really good ? I dont know. But the reality seems to be that more and more people want to part of a community that is similar.

More importantly, it is power that can change things. A small time leader can hold a country to ransom, so can a small violent community. Like it or not that is the reality.

Andher Nagri it is.

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