Mumbai, 20 June-2014, IANS: It’s a known that superstar Salman Khan‘s friends and fans fondly…
Pune, Darshan Mondkar: I dropped my book on my lap and looked up with my best WTF look on my face. My 8 yr old Son was standing in the front of me, his hands on his hips giving me an impish look.
“Why do you ask that?”, I enquired a bit hesitantly.
He frowned, “We have this guy Altaf in our class and everyone says he is our enemy because he is a Muslim. No one sits with him anymore and we are going to beat him up tomorrow in the recces.”
Okay !!! This was more serious than I thought it was. And kinda scarier too, especially coming from the mouth of an 8 year old.
“But why do you think that Muslims are our enemies”, I asked him trying to keep my voice calm.
“Dad, we are reading Shivaji Maharaj’s history in class. Muslims came to our country and killed a lot of our people, so Shivaji Maharaj fought against them …. so Muslims are our enemy, no?”
Hmm, this was gonna be a tough one. “Well, Shivaji Maharaj also had a lot of Muslims in his own Army, who fought against the Moghuls. Just like there are a lot of Muslims in our Indian Army fighting for our protection against Pakistan”, I told him.
He seemed to pause for a moment, thinking about it, so I got another chance.
“And British invaded our country and killed a lot of our people, so are Britishers our enemy too?”
He made a face, “No, I like Martin Uncle (a friend of mine from UK who visits often). He is nice. He is not my enemy”.
I smiled at him. “So what do you think now?”
He grinned, “Okay bye bye” he said and started walking off.
He turned and smiled, “Nah !!! Plan Cancel. I am going to sit with him tomorrow.” My smile grew wider, “But, what about your friends? They will think you are their enemy because you are sitting with a Muslim”
He didn’t even spend a moment before replying, “When I was born, I didn’t have those guys as my friends. I didn’t have Altaf as my enemy either. I think I will choose my friends and my enemies according to what I like.”
He turned and went to play. And I smiled a rather proud smile. Innocent Minds can think the most rationally perhaps.
Maybe, tomorrow he will come back with a broken nose. But atleast he is going to stand for what he believes in and not because of something fed to him.
I wonder how many people here have friends or enemies just because of who they were born as…… Me?? I like making them as I grow based on my experiences with an individual. And it appears, so does my Son.
Disclaimer: This Story is absolutely true with no changes made. I wonder, sometimes, how kids can actually teach us grown ups a lot of things. Perhaps we should have all remained innocent loving kids than growing up into Adults filled with hate.