October 4, 2010

What have we become?

You know I wanted to write about whether democracy and Islam are compatible. I wanted to talk about whether they can coexist, or whether they are diametrically opposed to each other. But then, that’s not what makes the world go round is it? That’s not what keeps me alive every day, or every month, or every year. The question of democracy and Islam becomes pointless and meaningless when taken in the larger context. When you see people begging on the roads not for money, but for food; when you see people asking for shelter and not money for medicines; when you have people coming up to your windows and look at you with such envy that you feel ashamed to your core, then you really understand that a democracy or an Islamic theocracy is just as pointless as the mundane routine of life that you’ve become accustomed to.

It doesn’t affect me, and it most certainly does not affect anyone I know. People will do what they have to do, whether we’re ruled by clerics, or by the so-called ‘enlightened moderates’. And by the way, isn’t enlightened moderation simply a euphemism for atheism? But then, that doesn’t affect me either. So what if somebody’s an atheist and somebody’s an extremist? They are allowed to believe in whatever they want. Who am I to judge?

The point is, we have become so retarded and engrossed in the nitty gritty of tedious matters such as ‘my religion is superior to yours, or I am right and you are wrong, or you deserve to die because you do not believe in what I believe’ that we have lost contact with what it really means to be human. So really, did Allah ask us to treat the people around us like vermin simply because they said hello instead of Assalm-o-Alaikum? We have become so engrossed in puffing up issues that in all probability have no basis at all, and yet we go along with the theatrics that pertain to such issues and more often than not, we end up killing someone, or placing someone behind bars.

My point is, instead of blaming the system, there is a need to introspect our own causes for the precarious state of our society. Democracy or dictatorships or theology aren’t the only causes of turning perfectly normal beings into blood sucking bats, there are other reasons for that too. Maybe because we’re selfish and greedy by nature, we refuse to acknowledge the rights of others as we demand them for ourselves. Maybe because we’re so blinded by our voracity and self-indulgence, we break every rule there is to further our own agenda. Does that blame lie on us, or our political systems?

We have reached a socially degenerative state. It is very undesirable but nonetheless, it is still there. We are a godless society because whatever I see around me is not what Islam teaches us. We are not democratic people who accept, digest and live with the opinion of those whose ideas are divergent. We deliver justice mob style and in the process, we murder innocents. These are neither the traits of theology, or democracy. Or even dictatorships. These are the traits of a people who have been ravaged and tormented and have now decided to let out their frustrations. These are our traits.