The exact demographics of the colony I live in, in hyderabad, I am not sure, but I can be pretty certain that quite a majority of the people are believers of Islam. This is an account of a curious observation I made a few days back, and it got me thinking about where our country is coming from, and where it is probably headed. Walking through the colony, I came across a group of muslim kids playing cricket, the kind of gully cricket we all used to play when we were kids. The same gully cricket which has given us cricketers which include the likes of Ganguly, Tendulkar and Sehwag. I walk on, and no more than a few meters, and I see a group of Hindu kids playing cricket, however these were kids from a lower social strata. There were no great cricketers amidst them which made me stop and think of this beautiful game, a game which for the greater part of half a century, has united all classes, religions, and communities in our country, and yet the incident has been etched in my memory ever since.
The trickle-down effect which economist and policy makers alike hold close to their hearts, has finally seeped its way through to these innocent children. Two decades of Hindu-Muslim feuds, the Godra Carnage, the Mumbai Riots, the Gujarat Riots, the RSS’s and other right-wing political parties – they have all contributed in separating these small kids, even while they play the same game. We have bred a generation of children who hold the differences in religions closer to their hearts, than what they otherwise should. When we gained our independece, we based our fundamental ideals as a nation on secularity, equality, and democaracy. Now, we find ourselves faced with problems which attack these very fundamentals our nation was built on. Decades of wishful caste and religion based politics is taking its toll on the masses, and dark clouds seem looming. Dream on, but the inevitable will happen. The generation which was bred by these tormented times has turned ripe, their anger is waiting to be vented, and when we in years hence shall look back at these times, we will realise that indeed the time was indeed ripe for something which was on the lines of a civil war.