The Big Question - Who Am I?

Disclaimer: This post doesn't aim to be biased towards any particular community, religion or nationality.

This weekend my husband and I celebrated our seventh wedding anniversary, and of course, we did go out for a lovely meal and enjoy ourselves. Yes, the panna cotta was the highlight of my meal, but the healthy debate we engaged in was the best part of my day. We were celebrating our difference of opinions over the most controversial topic in our home - world politics and religion.

Trump and the immigrant ban/wall has become dinner table conversation in households across the world. Everyone has an opinion on the issue at hand, and I think it's only fair people be allowed an opportunity to express their opinion respectfully and non-violently. A large part of my family lives in America and that's probably why I am so in tune with the political drama that continues to unfold on a daily basis. The protests in America have got me thinking Who Am I?
I'm sure many of those reading this post have asked themselves a similar question at some point in their life.For starters, I know I'm a Christian by religious faith, an Indian by birth and nationality and now an expat living in Thailand. So what defines us? Is it our race? Our colour? Our birth nationality? Our resident status? Our religion?

I come from a country that's no stranger to religious fanaticism, more often than not played out by the politcal parties in power. We've had our share of communal riots; Hindus hating Muslims and Muslims Hating Hindus and Hindus hating Christians and so on. I firmly believe it is mostly political propaganda and I say it because I witnessed it first-hand. In 1991, when my country was torn apart because of the demolition of a mosque and while nearly 2000 people died across the country and the belief was that Hindus hated Muslims and vice versa, I saw how untrue it was. In our apartment building, all the neighbors got together to ensure that the community was safe from unruly mobs trying to incite violence. Muslims and Hindus and Christians and Parsis we were all united. Indian political parties have used the Hindu-Muslim carrot to garner votes for years together and insist that the rift between the two religious communities exist. Can someone then explain how the three biggest Bollywood male stars who are demi-Gods in their own right enjoy the love of nearly half a billion or more crazy fans in India? Divide and Rule policy is being used even today after six decades of independence.
My country has been subjected to innumerable cross-border terror attacks over and over again, and it's made my belief even stronger that it is not a particular religion or race that is the root cause of the evil and abuse prevalent in our world today. It's the obsessive need for power and the blatant abuse of it. History has proven over and over again that power-hungry leaders have done nothing but bring doom to those they intend to lead: emotional doom, intellectual doom, spiritual doom and in many cases economic doom too. Religious leaders have abused their power as much as, or maybe even more than political leaders.

It's time we save ourselves and the generations to come from becoming money-crazy, colour obsessed, over-religious sexists. Who we support and the words we choose to use to support our ideologies in our household certainly influences the young minds in our homes. While our children might grow up to be all of the above, we can only try and do our bit to ensure they don't.

So then let's make small changes to our lives. It's not going to be an easy road to unlearn all we've already absorbed, but it's not impossible. Remember the number of times we reprimanded our little ones for not sharing their toys? Well, all I can say is it's time to share life with those who may never have a shot at it. If we truly stand for justice and equality for all and believe that there is still good left in this world then I say go on, put on your thinking caps and get creative. There will always be people who have lesser than you and are seeking refuge. There is a family not too far from your home that seeks your help. Give it a try. It might just be what you need to help you answer that question Who Am I?




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