One of the most striking things about Indian culture is that we rarely resist. For hundreds of years we have been ruled by the Mughals and the British, but apart from the independence struggle early in the last century and in 1857, there’s not much record of resistance from the masses. A few rulers did resist foreign rule but those weren’t people’s movements.
I am currently reading Jawaharlal Nehru’s book ‘Discovery of India’ in which he says (Page 62, The Quest)
“There was poverty and the innumerable progeny of poverty everywhere, and the mark of this beast was on every forehead. Life has been crushed and distorted and made into a thing of evil. And many vices have flowed from this distortion and continuous lack and everpresent insecurity. All this was not pleasant to see; yet that was the basic reality of India. There was far too much of the spirit of resignation and acceptance of things as they were.”
60 years later, it’s still the same thing. The spirit of resignation now manifests itself not just in poverty but also the apathy of people towards many other matters that are crippling the nation.
Today is Dassera, the day the Pandavas from the epic Mahabharata took up their weapons again. We don’t need to take up weapons like the Pandavas, but we do need to stop accepting things as fate and try to change things for the better.
Wish you a very happy dassera!