16 Thursday
May 2019

According to the dictionary a terrorist is any person who uses violence against civilians for political gains. So to say that Nathuram Godse was India’s first terrorist is not wrong from any angle. He shot dead the father of the nation in cold blood .That he is a Hindu is obviously being highlighted for political gains in reply to the political rhetoric of a counter view point. I have never understood how anyone can speak about terrorism and religion in the same breath. Does the religion of a person change his act of violence? Wrong is wrong.Whatever the logic behind it may be.

People get into violent conflict across the world. If you delve into their brains they have trained themselves to believe that what they are doing is right. But their belief doesn’t make their actions acceptable. Any violence against humanity is wrong. If anyone’s belief ,religious or otherwise ,asks for hurting or killing others… They are terrorists.

Two people being wrong doesn’t make both right.The New Zealand shooter is as much of a madman as the Sri Lankan bombers.The 1984 riots were as bad as the 2002 riots.All of these were acts of terror.None of them are right from any angle.

Why can’t we accept history as it is? Why do we feel the need to change it, mellow it, alter it and justify wrong actions of our predecessors? We are not responsible for their actions, they were. We are responsible for justifying their actions and glorifying them. We cannot go back into the past and change anything. If we accept what happened and learn from it, maybe we will not make the same mistakes.

All Indians should read the Era of Darkness to understand the level of political, physical and economic abuse India suffered at the hands of the British. We should have detailed chapters about this in our schools. All of us need to know why we lost our freedom. Individual greed:people put their own interests before that of the country. All the princely states which took sides with the foreign forces acceeded them power and ended up making the entire subcontinent a slave. The armies who fought under the English flag for money, the men who shot down civilians in Jalianwala Bagh were Indians acting under orders.They didn’t need to, but they put their own interests before the nation’s and their fellow men.

We must understand history so we can learn from it.Hiding it,changing it, glossing it over is not going to help us. I would much rather accept that Godse was wrong in killing Gandhiji, Savarkar was weak in apologizing to the British in return for his freedom. They were humans, they did what they thought was right for them. We do not have to condone their actions. We however have to take responsibility for our own. Blaming the Mughals or Pandit Nehru and Rajiv Gandhi for wrongs happening in 2019 is just silly. Whataboutery might help confound voters and TRPs but it doesn’t make it right.

Germany had a terrible past. The actions of their madman caused death of more than 60 lakh human beings. They don’t hold him on a pedestal and worship him. India has a history chequered with bloodshed and violence. We must accept what went wrong in the partition, that religious divide caused lakhs of people to be displaced, maimed and killed. They were all human beings.

We cannot afford to play up religious divisiveness all over again. We as a nation cannot afford more Hindu- Muslim, Sikh-Hindu,Christian-Hindu,Jat-Non-jat, Dalit-Non-Dalit or any other kind of violence.

We are in 2019. We are going to become the world’s most populous country with the most limited resources. We have to gainfully employ millions of people. We have to improve manufacturing to compete with China. We have to skill our labour to be employable in an era where AI has already arrived. We have to tackle climate change and provide clean air and water to all 1.35 billion people.

We have so much to do as a nation. Get beyond religion and caste divides and become a global force. The world is looking at us.Can we learn from history and Rise?

Dr.Sarika Verma
ENT surgeon

15 Wednesday
May 2019
You don’t have a choice.

A few years back my life had reached an impasse. I was told I don’t have a choice. That was one of the most profoundly negative and controlling sentences I had ever heard in my life. It took me a few months to wrap my head around it before I decided that I did have a choice and I chose to live life on my own terms.

Everyday we have a choice. We can choose who we want to be, how we want to live, what we want to eat ,where we want to be and what we want to do. We choose whether we want to be happy or sad and what thoughts we give energy to, what feelings we feed. Whatever you feed grows,if it’s a feeling of powerlessness we feel trapped and if we know that we have a choice, it’s very empowering.

Choosing to act and choosing not to act is also our choice. One has to take responsibility for one’s choices and actions. Blaming others is a very sad way to live. For me it is very important to know that I am making the decision and I have the power to change my life.

Happiness is a choice and a decision. I heard that last year at The Happy path workshop. I have applied it to my life and seen a transformation. Everyone feels powerless, sometimes life gives us situations where we have to change in order to grow; and emerge a version of yourself more in sync with what you’re supposed to become.

Instead of blaming life, blaming the people who put you in certain situations thank them for being what they are. These people are triggers to help change your life.They are catalysts to your inner growth.

Love and gratitude are the most powerful emotions on earth. As long as you choose them over hate, victimization and powerlessness you will do alright.

Live today, It’s all you have

Love even when it’s not reciprocated

It is completely your journey

Begin to appreciate it

Dr.Sarika Verma
ENT Surgeon