Friday, August 19, 2005

Inheritance

For the past few days I have been reading news items and blogs (my own too) about events that have happened a long time back and their after effects. These after effects are just not mere scars that reamin from wounds sustained in a war. It's something far more serious. These scars have penetrated so deep into our heart that our mind ceases to think and we lose the capabilty of making informed decisions.Well, the purpose of the post is not to discombobulate (finally I get to use this word, 2 years after my GRE...I think it means 'confuse') you. I perhaps should get to the point right away.

The last post was about how I like history. But HisStory could also be a pain in the butt. Every one has their own versions, made up versions that can suit ideologies and ego's, not minding the repercussions of such tales. The Jews will have a version and the Christians will their own,the Indians will have different things to say about Kashmir than the Pakistani's. These things are just not limited to being at such a broad level, a relative of mine is contesting a court case for some thing that happened eons back ( well if he wins the case, I could be a millionaire's nephew).

I wish inheritance was just limited to getting the good stuff from your ancestors. You know what I am talking about right, the Ravi Verma paintings and the antique chairs. But sadly those aren't the only things that are forced down the family chain. If you have seen a dozen Indian movies from the 70's and 80's you would have come across the concept of family feuds.
"In 1846 your great great grandfather was hit by your great great grand uncle for not sharing his toys. Since then we have been sworn enemies and I don't want you ever to talk with their family ever again. Its a matter of honour." The chances of getting to hear dialogues of such kind in your own house are extremely bright.

Similarly when you see an Indo-Pak cricket match, you will invariably get to hear these words from Shastri
"...emotions are running high in this encounter."
We go out of our way to remember the partition, Kashmir conflict and the wars to be emotionally charged for a sporting event. I got a crash course on why hating Pakistan is important to every Indian from one of my cousins during an Indo-Pak match. Its easy to influence a teenager when Shoaib Akhtar resembles the devil while he is bowling menancingly quick.The Indian batsmen really didn't last long enough for me and my cousin to admire the Indian batting skills. Quite predictably the conversation veered from cricket to politics.

I can understand personal vendetta but avenging for things that have happened centuries ago is stupid.Similarly the atrocities that the Jews have gone through for something their ancestors did a long while back is absolutely stupid.Among the many gifts God has given man, the ability to forget is one of the most important one's. I think we are not using this gift as much as we are supposed to. Forgiving might require a lot of emotional maturity but trying to forget about such sour incidents could probably save a lot of lives.

What prevents one to forget events of the past?
I think it all boils down to pride. I think we are just too proud to step down from the imaginary tower that we create for ourselves. The family honor could go for a toss if I would go up to someone and tell him that his grandfather owed me some money and so I am forced to confiscate his ancestral home.

Its heartening to see people like Ariel Sharon taking the bold step of evacuating the Gaza strip. I do not know if there is a hidden political agenda, it seems genuine. You can read his speech here. RB's post questioned the motive for Sharon doing such a thing? The only thing that I can think of at the moment is that probably political leaders are finally realizing that humanity is something beyond pride and honour. Probably everyone can take a cue and realize that History doesn't have a place for people who do stupid things to insure their political future. And on a more personal level we should let the future generation form their own conclusions about the past. It really doesn't make sense to impose our beliefs on them.

10 Comments:

Blogger Rathish said...

"What prevents one to forget events of the past?
I think it all boils down to pride. I think everyone is just too proud to step down from the imaginary tower that we create for ourselves" - totally concur with you! And I do hope Sharon's intention is benevolent.

2:22 PM  
Anonymous Chitaranjan said...

Being the eternal pessimist (comes from attending so many VLSI Courses- "considering the worst case scenario.....") I think the only reason Sharon is doing this is to strengthen Israeli grip on the West Bank. Politicians rarely do things for charity, its almost always has something to do with national security or trying to increase their approval ratings by 0.05%.

7:23 PM  
Blogger karthik durvasula said...

good post.

only thing i didn't quite understand is Similarly the atrocities that the Jews have gone through for something their ancestors did a long while back is absolutely stupid ...Jews...ancestors...?

10:09 PM  
Blogger pagala'k' said...

Ancestors.....the jews during the BC (before christ) times.

10:59 PM  
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11:53 PM  
Blogger karthik durvasula said...

WTF!!!

dude, what's happening man! trust me, i had nothing to do with these!

good post, again. Far removed from the mush u specialise in. lol.

11:56 PM  
Blogger PS said...

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