My Enemy Within Me
...I still believe that people are really good at heart. Anne Frank, "Diary" (14 yrs)
|My Enemy Within Me, graphic by Remigius de Souza|
In the second half of 1960s I witnessed riots and their effects in parts of Gujarat - cities and villages, particularly Vadodara. During that period I wandered through street and lanes of Vadodara (Baroda).
Vadodara, then, was called 'City of Culture', and Gujarat – a peace loving state.
There were also atrocities taking place against women, low caste and tribal people.It was too much to bear.
The graphic is a collective effect of all the torments. During my travels, I had seen some relics of earlier riots; but that was out of sight!
From childhood at my village I have been moving among people of different castes/classes/creeds/communities. I was interested in their traditional crafts or vocations, and their way of life.
Their vocations had helped the people to sustain, rather than the ruling powers helped them (with exceptions) in India for about thousand years. We speak here about peasants, not elite, social etc. castes, classes and powers.
It was the saint-poets — men and women — of different castes and creeds and vocations, who gave solace and moral courage to people during this period. They were there in many regions of the country.
Now with wide spread industrialization, all that is changing, fast.People are loosing their self-reliance, their identity, and with that their surviving social values too.
The riots between different social identities, too, is a fall out of the economic change with its arms — industry and market. It is not limited to any region, but almost all over the country, and all over the world. The recent uprisings of commoners is an added dimension.
There is, however, no 'social rehabilitation' in sight, anywhere! Agencies think of 'Financial' rehabilitation!! I can identify myself only with People, not dogmas, not Agencies!
Note: The experiences haunted me for long time. Poem writing came to my help, which appears in the following poems.
2. Maroon Veil
3. A Million Incarnations Now!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
© Remigius de Souza. All rights reserved.