To be able to let live, one must first know how to live. Indians don’t really live. We just kinda exist. We go through the motions of living without really doing any “living” through it all.
Because we let others make all the important, life-altering decisions for us — what to study, what career to pursue, who to marry, and so on and so forth — our own lives seem alien to us. This is why so many Indians spend so much time peeping into other people’s lives and homes, hoping to find stories they can fill their days with.
If you know anything about how things stand, you will know how intolerant we are of public displays of affection. Public displays of religious fanaticism and hate, however, seem not to affect us at all.
“Where the mind is without fear, and the head is held high…” Tagore wrote in 1910. Just ask the Dalits, and the Muslims, and the Christians, and the women, and the LGBT community how free they really feel when they walk the streets of an increasingly rabid, homophobic, fundamentalist country and you’ll know that Tagore’s words are nothing but wishful thinking for most of us even a century later. We’re still fighting for so many freedoms that only those in the majority — religious and sexual — seem to enjoy.
As poor as we may be, our true poverty lies in the fact that we are a bankrupt people when it comes to humanity. We are a homophobic, fanatic, selfish people. In the mad rush to be Straight/Married, Hindu/Muslim, Marathi/Gujarati, and Patriots/Nationalists, we’ve lost our most basic, most necessary identity — that of being human.