Priya Dutt writes a moving story……

Had to share this story of hope with you all amidst the sad and depressing news each day.
One of my staff members left for his village in jharkhand 3 days ago. He was fortunate to get a car and 4 or 5 of them left. I asked him to call me once he reaches or on the way if he needed anything. I got a call from him today he had reached safely home, but was so overwhelmed and taken aback with what he saw on the way specially after they crossed bhiwandi. He told me that from bhiwandi on there was a massive crowd of people walking, taking rickshaws or tempos or buses . They were being given hot food, water by all the locals.
He said that during their 3 day journey they never once had a problem for food or didnt have to buy food. All kinds of people were out feeding migrants who were walking or were in vehicles, he said he had never ever seen a sight like this in all his years, there was hot food and water available for everyone, muslims, hindus, jains, Sikhs all were out helping and distributing food and water. Locals of the area too.
This was the time all came as one to help humanity, they didnt see their religion, cast or colour what they saw was a human being in need.
This is what India inherently is we come back to who we were at a time of crisis and all become one, I only wish we didnt need a crisis to be one. Forces within will always want to divide and rule but we allow it to happen and the gain is only theirs and the losses ours.
This whole scene he described to me took me back to when I went on the padyatra with my father walking from Mumbai to Amritsar. We realised what our country was and how loving and compassionate our people are. We were walking and the people were waiting on the highways with food and water for us, as we passed different states and small villages and hamlets they didnt even know who sunil Dutt was but came because they had heard a man was walking for peace. At that time there was no media or social media. Word spread village to village by mouth.
I always wished to see that India again, where there is love and compassion and no hatred against any religion or caste, where our diversity becomes our strength. I am sick and tired of using the term secularism, we have abused it enough.
The dictionary definition of secularism is
“the principle of separation of the state from religious institutions.”
We definitely havent been able to do that, when we see politics being fought keeping religious demography in mind in that itself we have disregarded secularism. So let’s accept that and move on let’s accept diversity and respect it see our strength in it instead of a weakness. Once we accept that there is no one that can divide us in the name of religion not even the state.

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