Open Doors And Closed Minds…

Dear Readers,

Marking a milestone in India’s socio-cultural and political history, on 22nd January, 2024, PM Narendra Modi inaugurated the consecrated Ram Temple, amid loud cheers in Ayodhya, dedicated to ‘Ram Lalla’ or the child version of Lord Ram, in a grand ceremony in the presence of thousands of guests, comprising top industrialists, sportspersons, politicians, film stars, journalists and sages. Innumerable devotees from across India thronged the temple celebrating this momentous occasion. The PM’s passionate speech was another highlight of the day.

As always, not all were feeling as celebratory and were quick to point out various agendas behind the event – with the ruling party having fulfilled one of its core electoral promises, leaving a strong footprint on India’s socio-religious and socio-political grounds.

Of course, some of our not-too-happy community members also passionately unleashed their (mostly unsolicited) opinions on social media, being the eternal Whatsapp Warriors. Some said it was a bit rich to comment on the nation’s leaders when the leadership of our own community in India, is in a rather precarious position. Others bemoaned India’s supposedly declining secularity. Some said that God lived in our hearts and such an extravagant display for an abode had little spiritual semblance, while others applauded the move fortifying ‘Hindustan’s sovereignty’. We even went on to create our very own little controversy (of course!) castigating celebratory religious ceremonies performed on the occasion, in a show of nationalistic ‘solidarity’. Ironically, some of the proverbial sugar chose to retain its ‘solid’ crystalline form and not dissolve in the proverbial milk!

And that’s alright – we live in a democracy; we have a right to our opinions. What is not alright is the dogged refusal to accept or even consider opinions which do not align with ours. To have conflicting view-points which do not conform to others’ philosophies or sensibilities or ideologies, is more that alright – it’s even healthy. It’s unhealthy to become disrespectful in the face of contradiction. A closed mind is a dying mind. If only we could, as a nation and as a community, be more open to accepting alternative perspectives, instead of feeling threatened by them, we would all be in a much better place. A closed mind is one of humanity’s greatest woes, it brings to mind the famous saying, “The problem with closed-minded people is that their mouth is always open!”

Have a lovely weekend!

– Anahita

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