My day started with reading a prominent intellectual liberal’s Facebook post on the degradation of plastic, one of the greatest polluters to ever appear on Earth (I mean plastic and not the liberal. But wait, I am not sure now).
The problem with plastic is, it is almost non-biodegradable. Once it is produced, it is very difficult to get rid of. Unfortunately for us, before we could realise its ill-effects, it is mass produced and has started clogging Life on Earth, as it is refusing to die a natural death. And yet, we are still churning more plastic in all forms because it is a wonderful packaging material.
When I look closely at the Facebook wall of the liberal gentleman working hard to spread peace across India through his posts, I am struck by a strange metaphor.
Politically inclined intellectuals; from right, left and now the even more fashionable middle reminds me of dispensing machines we see at the airports. They dispense drinks, but in plastic bottles.
Attracted by the tasty drink, we end up purchasing these bottles, but once the drink is over, what is left with us with a plastic bottle, just as the tasty social media posts written by these great communicators that we lap up, without realising that it is packaged in hate.
The momentary enjoyment that a cartoon abusing Ram-bhakta is forgotten soon, but we fail to realise that what is left behind in our mind is a polluter lot worse than plastic.
On this Earth Day, let us understand that the real threat to this planet is not plastic. It is hate. Hate is polluting Earth and it will kill us well before global warming or climate change caused by actual pollution.
Where humanity is poised today, it is critical to figure out if hate is biodegradable or not, and if not, what is the way we are going to stop it from clogging our minds; because the world armed with an interconnecting network is now getting full of hate-dispensing machines working overtime.
Thankfully, unlike plastic, hate is not new to Earth. It has been around since the birth of civilisation, and hence it allows us to look back at history to understand prognosis of hate amongst humans.
As I look back at the history of India, I have some good news to share, as hate appears to be biodegradable, and also bad news, because it appears to need a lot of conscious efforts to make it happen.
Modern India is full of hate, but the prime contender is religious hatred. Though using the H or M word is almost a sacrilege today, I can stick my neck out and be candid enough to say that Hindu-Muslim hate is central to our nation today.
The Hindu-Muslim hate is claimed to be stemming from a long history of co-existence between both religions. Even today, Hindus and Muslims can be pushed into frenzy mode by referring to a distant past that is not even well recorded in history books. So, it appears that we can hate across thousands of years, making hate lot worse than many non-biodegradable materials.
But, there is something from a recent, better-recorded past that brings forth a question that prevents me from accepting the non-biodegradability of hate.
India was occupied by an alien culture borne of a religion that firmly believed that we are pagans and lowly life forms that they had a religious and natural right to rule. Less than a lifetime away, and well after Timor, Babur and Aurangzeb had tormented India, British ruled us with an iron fist.
The horrors of how they treated Indians are well documented. From how 1857 “mutineers” were made to lick the floor of Bibighar before they were hanged to how infamous General Dyer forced Indians to crawl on all four if they wanted to cross a street, British Raj on Hindustan is full of tales that evoke deepest possible hate.
If you are not moved by the tales of inhuman torture and feel that they lack religious flavour that we Indian really enjoy, you can also check out the methods they used to kill captured “rebels”. British opted to tie “mutineers” in front of a canon and blast their bodies into smithereens to ensure that body is not available to relatives to perform last rites as per Hindu or Muslim religion.
Though above narration would have moved you and even made you hate British momentarily, I invite you to retrospect. Would you be able to hate British through even a day?
The fact that a mutineer’s kid standing on the road of Kanpur just outside Bibighar today will greet a British tourist with a wave has a lesson for us all.
Hate, my fellow humans, is a completely bio-degradable. We can hate only if we are constantly manipulated by hate-mongers.
As fear is a great tool to induce blinding of your rational ability to degrade hate, it is the tool used by those who benefit from your hate.
The modern world is full of opportunities to prosper and even get wealthy or powerful by using people. So, it has opened up a great market for those who are in the business of politics.
Hate, that was once a natural product and hence scares, is now possible to mass-produce using new technologies. So, the business of hate is booming.
The only way we can bio-degrade this massive quantum of hate that is floating around Earth right now is to apply reason to hate. Reason destroys hate in seconds.
It is highly unlikely that, just like plastic manufacturers, hate manufacturers will stop producing what they are earning from. But, just as we have become aware of polluting power of plastic, we need to become aware of pollution caused by hate.
If we want hate to stop before it destroys the planet, we need a global awareness campaign against it and its suppliers.