Praying with helpless rage

As I see the exit polls on Indian news channels, predicting an outright win for the fascists and their running dogs, I feel a sense of helpless rage. Empty. Angry. There is a difference between rage and helpless rage. The two are nothing alike. The former, in the words of the immortal Maya Angelou, “is like fire” and can fuel, even “burn it all clean” but the latter is just hopelessness.

I find myself actually praying. Not to God with the big G. I will always be uncomfortable with the idea of an omnipotent, superhuman overlord who silently oversees oppression and brutality like some kind of Nero in the clouds and, in the words of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, was created by man when “he realized his weaknesses, limitations and shortcomings.”

No, I’m praying to god with a small g – the spirit within all of us, which makes us human, which connects us all, which is always seeking liberation. It is a spirit that often makes itself apparent in the voice of my resplendent baby brother who left this earth nearly 10 years ago. I find myself praying for the day when evil will not be allowed to rear its ugly head so easily, that our memories of gratuitous oppression grow longer and not shorter, that our ever-present struggles for liberation strengthen with every passing day, that the greatest features of the human condition always triumph over our basest instincts.

And as I pray, in the back of my mind, a beautiful truth emerges that rings true despite the dawn being so far away – those in love with tyranny may have today, but tomorrow is always up for grabs.

(This post is dedicated to the memory of Mukul Sinha, who stood firm against the Hindu fascists in Gujarat when many tucked tail and ran. My deepest condolences to his life partner and fellow-revolutionary, Nirjari Sinha. For more informarion on comrade Mukul, please see this beautiful article: http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-my-baba-the-revolutionary-mukul-sinha-1988388)


[Visit Sriram’s blog here and check out his recently published autobiographical novel about the 2002 Gujarat pogrom: Across the Sabarmati]

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