Saturday, December 31, 2005

Paying Tribute to The Departed Soul

Today, there was a condolence meeting of sorts to remember Prof. M. C. Puri who was killed by the terrorist attack of the day before yesterday. At 6.30 PM today, around 100 people gathered in front of the main building and paid tribute to the departed soul by lighting candle. I took part in it. It was something different than usual. Later, when I told one of my friends about it, he regarded it as a farce. According to him, we should go and bang the perpetrators, probably LeT people.

I myself don't very well identify with such formal methods of expressing sentiments. I wasn't brought up in a culture when people send gifts and cards, and give hugs and kisses to show their love. Nor is our sorrow given a very explicit vent. I, therefore, feel hesitent in attending such ceremonies.

A decade ago, I would have declared such things as very mushy. But I realise that these are just various ways of expressing some emotions. They are not the emotions themselves. Just as these gestures don't certify the genuineness of the emotions, they don't prove them false too. I remember the enthusiasm with which I used to sing the National Anthem, and I still do. Is it not a similar gesture? If that's natural to me, why should I shun something quite so similar to it? Such arguments have gradually allowed me to open my mind to different things. The inner resistence to these things that I surely feel aren't due to any actual relation to these things being right or wrong. Just due to the difference in the culture of my bringing up, these methods initially appear rather unnatural to me. That resistence is very natural. But, of course, there's no strong argument in favour of giving in to such resistence. So, against some strong internal resistence, I have been attending parties, sending pleasantries, etc. By and by, I have learnt to accept those ways as my own too.

The condolence meeting was organised by some members of Concern (left) here. The guy who criticised it is surely right oriented. I wonder if his disgust at the concept has its roots in this right-left divide. If so, it's very unfortunate. Differences in ideologies may give rise to arguments; they shouldn't create enemies, everything done by whom is hateful. Even in presence of strongest of differences, we should be open-minded towards everything. If something doesn't have something blatantly wrong about it, we should refrain from criticising it on the basis of our earlier prejudices.

That's all for this blog!


Pritesh said...
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Pritesh said...

Well Sujju, I think all of us have different ways of reacting to situations. Some people are more vocal in their reactions. I think it was a nice gesture to have the candle lighting! In a way, even I thought as to WHO it was whom we were trying to show our solidarity to? But I think about it was about COMING TOGETHER more than SHOW that you are against any violence. We may all have thought in isolation that it was an extremely sad thing that that incident happened in IISc but, the candle lighting was just one way of telling each other that we all are against all forms of violence against humanity!

Sujit Kumar Chakrabarti said...

Well said Pritesh. Agreed fully!