"I am sorry that certain things happened last year and you have been brought to these camps. But you must go back to your villages. I am here to tell you, don't fear, whatever happened was wrong. Build your churches and practice your dharma," ( P.C.Chidambaram, Indian Express, June 25, 2009)
To me, these lines and not 6% GDP growth or Nuclear Club membership makes India a great nation worth living. If a nation can not guarantee life, liberty and pursuit of happiness to its citizens, it has no business to be called a nation with thousands of years civilization behind it.
These lines should have been spoken after mini holocaust of 1984, 1987, 1991 and 2002 so on, but its never too late. The very fact that the home minister made these statements without any political necessity of an upcoming election or so speaks volume about the coming of age of Indian democracy and its politicians. This comes like a matter of fact, honest apology from the government that had failed to safeguard not only Kanhdamal victims, but also the attack on the person whose murder was considered as licence to kill by some people.
I always joke with Mullah Luis that when you guys go to elect the new President, make sure you realize how much influence he or she is going to have on other parts of the world. It is like politician all over the World take cues from the US President and react accordingly.
I don't know how much the man in white (Rahul) or the man in the White House (Obama) is responsible for a different kind of politics in the World today, but one can see the same mindset reflecting through the statements of Mr. Chidambaram.
At the same time I don't want to discount the credentials of Mr Chidambaram, as he has been a great statesman who never indulged in the poliitcs of caste, race, hate and division.
I hope India enters the new era where differences are debated respectfully, where inclusivity is the new mantra, and where each man is looked as the mirror image of God, irrespective of his or her religion, caste and status.
I am sure this is what the great Vedas brought to us thousands of years ago, but we never fully understood and practiced it!
It's never too late...