An inappropriate attire..!

I wore a black kurta and black pants on Republic Day and went down for the flag hoisting. “Smart!” said my daughter. “Inappropriate!” said a man wearing a white kurta, with a black Modi jacket, who was greeting everybody with a lot of bonhomie.
“Inappropriate?” I asked surprised. “Yes!” he said, “Wear white for Republic Day!” “What about your black jacket?” I asked him coldly. “That is okay!” he said, “It is appropriate!”
I turned away and greeted all my friends but pondered over the gentleman’s remark, “How easily we fooled the world with our appearances!” I thought. In a country where we had mixed cultural roots, where one man’s meat ( and literally so ) was another man’s poison, where we needed to understand that we had to tolerate another’s way of thinking, we had people like these men and women too who had the audacity to tell a stranger they did not like somebody’s dress sense.
“I do not like the movie!” shouts the mob. “Then don’t see it!” says the rest of India. “But we don’t want you to see it too!” I then turn to another group running after a petrified man, “He eats what we don’t!” “So don’t eat what I eat, just leave me alone!” pleads the man, who is about to be lynched.
“No!” shouts the mob, “You eat what we eat!” And this is how my country is changing. A few years back, I doubt I would have met an impolite fellow like this anywhere, but today, it has become the fashion that people expect others to follow what they believe in.
India is made up of a tapestry of different cultures and religions, all delicately interwoven, but put together not with ropes but with sensitive, soft and subtle threads, that add to the beauty of the tapestry because they cannot be seen. But these very near invisible bonds are being broken cruelly and with a purpose by destructive forces. I watched the flag being hoisted and greeted friends and acquaintances who I’d known for years. From the corner of my eye I looked out for the same churlish gentleman.
He sat alone, and my heart beat with joy, for in that aloneness I realized there was hope for my country. These loud spoken men and women, rioters, the mob, had loud voices, shouting, “Inappropriate! Ban the movie! Kill the writer!” But finally, such people would be left alone. By not giving him importance I had stilled his voice.
What they wanted was argument and dissent. What treatment they needed was to be ignored. “Jai Hind!” I cried with the rest of my friends, even as they didn’t mind what I wore and I didn’t mind what they ate..!

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