I was chatting with a friend of mine. He is a smart, really friendly person who told me about an experience of his. I asked him to write about it; he being a bit lazy 😉 asked me to pen this down.
He was travelling on a bus from Ooty to Bengaluru some time after the terror attacks. His neighbour on the bus was a Muslim who was holding a plastic bag on his lap. For some reason, my friend says he felt very uncomfortable. He had this sense of fear; prejudice was clouding his thoughts. He felt unsafe and could not sleep a wink through out due to this manifestation of paranoia. When he was telling me about this incident, he felt sheepish. He realised how much he was stereotyping the co-passenger.
How many of us do this? Stereotyping, generalising…call it what you may. All of us know it is not right. Not just in the wake of these terrorist attacks but life in general. It is definitely more prevalent with many of us categorising Muslims as terrorists. There will be many a Muslim for every irrational fundamentalist who abhors such acts as much as we do. The reality though is, we as a herd end up categorising every sect. Muslims do this, Christians do that and so on and so forth. Not all of us are non-violent Mahatmas nor all being hatred spewing Hitlers.
I just hope that we do not fall into this trap. We must be cautious but not paranoid! Let us spread love not hatred ( I sound like a hippie from the 70s probably…but it is what is required.) We must learn to co-exist. Violence is certainly not the answer. Let us not get the terrorists get to us, cloud our judgements, make us live in fear & prejudice. We must not let them win. Condemn these terrorists; we are a lot stronger!
Edit: Anyone interested in lighting the candle sure is welcome to do so and is much appreciated. Thanks Imp’s Mom for reminding me to do this! 🙂