What would RTH do?

That is the question.

If I were in a highschool yearbook, they would vote me most likely to die of a lynch mob. That does not prevent me from opening my mouth and serving a warm hearty cup of STFU to people who deserve it. My dark scathing humor will leave no matter of existence untouched. My innocence will touch your soul.

Welcome to a warped world turned inside out and upside down. All sorts of discretion advised.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

I'm ecstatic he is dead

Yes, I said it, I expressed my joy over the death of Bal Thackeray. What I really do mourn is that it was not slow and painful. What I really do mourn is that his life was celebrated and his loss lamented. What I really do mourn is that throngs of loving followers gave him an honorable state farewell. I cannot think of a human less deserving of such love and honor.

My loathing for him stems at a tender young age. While all around people adored and respected him, my heart learned to hate him. It is quite surprising how much darkness even a young child's heart can gather. I was born and raised in Bombay, a city I will forever be in love with. The true beauty of Bombay is its hodge podge melting pot. Cultures, languages, religions from all over India come in here and melt into a different culture of its own. Bombay is that city where old Victorian legacy of the Raj seamlessly melds with the distinctly traditional Indian heritage.

Bal Thackeray was everything that Bombay is not. He wanted Bombay to be distinctly Maharashtrian, Hindu Maharashtrian. He wanted to erase the multicultural influences from all around. He wanted to subdue the other languages and religions. He wanted to erase the legacy of the Raj. He wanted to rebuild a Bombay or rather rebuild a Mumbai and the entire state of Maharashtra for the sons of the soils - native Hindu Maharashtrians.

Although historically from Goa, my family has been in Bombay for eons. We are counted amidst the ethnic Hindu Maharashtrians, a typical Marathi Brahmin 'kar' family. Bal Thackeray is supposed to have been our champion. I should have loved him and been grateful. I should have been thankful for him trying to preserve my culture, protecting our rights to the land, its bounty and its jobs. I should have been part of the throngs of followers. But it is something I could never do. To me he was this terrifying monster, a Godzilla of sorts hell bent on destroying the city I loved. A monster of terrible nightmares and frightful futures.

I'm usually a pacifist. I rarely dislike people, let alone loathe them. No matter how hurt or upset I am, I have a hard time wishing ill of people, let alone death. I'm one of those children who had a lively imagination of rainbows and ponies and all sorts of pleasant thoughts. But if there has been anything violent, twisted or demented in my childhood is that I have fantasized of Bal Thackeray's death several times.

Living in the United States has given me a lot more perspective. I'm much more tempered and thoughtful now. I'm no longer a foolish child loathing a terrible monster and dreaming of slaying it. I've grown up and developed a moral core that human beings should have. I have a sense of ethics, compassion and humanity. And it is this moral fiber within me that prevents me from mourning his death.

As an immigrant I have been very fortunate not to face racism or discrimination. The path to citizenship was easy, and I've assimilated as an American citizen. However, the hateful rhetoric against immigrants and minorities hurts and cuts to the core. It hurts when right wing tea party extremists spew their venom. It hurts when you are considered and outside intrusion in a country you have sworn allegiance to. It hurts when they say our people are destroying the culture and values of America. It hurts when they accuse us of stealing jobs and livelihood. It hurts when you are blamed for everything that is wrong in a country you love so much. That is why immigrant and minority rights is something near and dear to me. These values of liberty, equality and justice for all human beings is at the very core of my being. And you cannot stand for immigrant and minority rights in one country, and mourn the loss of an oppressor of immigrants and minorities in another.

The brutal truth is that there is no difference between the ideals of 'Marathi Manoos' 'Hindutva' and the ideals of white supremacists like Neo Nazis and the KKK. Extreme right wing white Christians are anti-immigration and minority. They want to erase the multicultural influences and create a white Christian America. Bal Thackeray's desire to create a Maharashtra for the Hindu Marathi people is no different. When people back home celebrate him as a hero of our people, I cannot help but hang my head in shame and remorse.

I realize that I may come across as a heartless soulless beast to some people, but it is against my moral fabric to have any sort of sadness over Bal Thackeray's death. I understand the whole sentiment of respecting the dead and resting in peace, but there are certain exceptions. I cannot bring myself to compromise with the ethics, morals and ideals that define me. And while it may come across as rude and unsympathetic to be glad someone is dead, please try to see it from the eyes of the victims, the immigrants and minorities. To expect sympathy in this case is viler and crueler, it is like asking black people to sympathize with the KKK or for homosexuals to sympathize with the Westboro Baptist church. Sometimes hating and loathing is the ethical thing to do.

No comments: