Over the the past few weeks there have been incidences of sectarian violence in this country and more than that there have been instances of political rhetoric that is filled with anger, fear and threats. It has not been just a few crackpots mouthing off but the dominant part of national discourse. Even people who are otherwise intelligent have fallen into the trap of ‘us’ versus ‘them’. I am tired and I have a few solutions.

Everyone must stay in or go back to their native state. If you ever enter another state you will immediately be beaten by the local rowdies for intruding on their delicate native land and culture. If you absolutely must go to another state there will be a lengthy visa application procedure and you will be made to wear an ‘I am an immigrant’ T-shirt through out your visit. You will be a second class citizen and open season for anyone who wants to attack you.

We can then extend this concept to regions within a state as well as to religion,caste, skin color, beliefs and socio-economic status. That way people will only ever interact with people like them, so their precious little sentiments and community feelings are never disturbed.

The only alternative to said course of action is all out sectarian warfare. Every group creates its own militia, militant leader and militant ideology filled with justifications for violence and a list of wrongs done to said community-real or imagined, ancient or contemporary, it really does not matter. And we just …you know…let the cards fall where they may.

A less bloodier way to do this, is for the so called leaders of each community to face each other, one on one, in mortal combat. This way there will be no targeting of the innocent and powerless and the man who says the words will need to bleed by them. It would teach the leaders the price of conflict and I wonder if they would not find peace more attractive, once they can no longer turn their ambitious bottom feeders on the weak and poor. Of course this will never happen, as we all know, extremists never attack each other, they both attack the vulnerable and justify each other’s existence.

Then again, there is another alternative, but it is a little too far fetched. People could look at each other people as human beings, with the same basic desires, hopes and dreams. They could try to connect with each other and empathize with each other’s problems. They could stop seeing ‘them’ and start seeing one big ‘us’. People would still have conflicts but they would have them with specific people or organisations instead of an entire community, most of whom have nothing to do with said conflict. And even when they are conflicts, between the interests of two communities, they would always look for a win-win situation instead of crushing the other to grab everything. Everyday we will become blinder to the things that make us different. They will start to seem petty, archaic and ridiculous and eventually they will fall off like a dry leaf, dead and gone to make way for a fresh shoot. But then again, like I said at the start of the paragraph, this is far fetched.

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