The New Normal..!

“The Supreme Court asks for normalcy in the Valley’
Hindustan Times, 17th Sept

Many years ago, my father lay dying in my home of a cancer that had reached its last stages. But to us, his children, everyday was a different day. Somedays, when he was cheerful, we all were cheerful around him, and other days, when he was in pain, we were equally desolate. This situation lasted for a few months, and I realized that the normal days, when we all could function with ease was when he seemed better for that day.
But in the background was the looming cancer. Which means we had raised our level of normalcy to ‘expecting death any day’ and our highs and lows were based on his good or bad moments.
Which brings me to the question, what is ‘normalcy’ in my country today?
I know what normalcy was yesterday! Oh yes, I know.
I was down for my class reunion a few months ago, and while meeting classmates of yore, the conversation turned to which part of the country I was from, and most were quite surprised to find out. I thought about this and realized that the old normal, was that we were not bothered.
We were not bothered what religion a person followed, what language he or she spoke at home, and what was his or her caste. In fact, we did have a daughter of an American diplomat in our class, and it was quite a surprise when someone mentioned at our reunion that she was an African-American.
We didn’t know, because we couldn’t be bothered, and that was the ‘normal’ those days!
Is it so now?
Newspapers, have the maturity, when a lynching takes place or an honour killing, not to mention the caste of the victim, but say that the person was of a different community!
And that is the new normal. Not, one country, or one people as we thought of ourselves a few years ago, but as ‘different’ communities, ‘different’ religions, and ‘different’ languages!
The word ‘different’ has crept into the new ‘normal’!
And as ‘different’ gets strengthened, the ‘different from us’ has got even bigger meaning! But even that isn’t enough, “Let’s take away the difference, and make him just like us!” is the new refrain, “Let’s make him shout the same religious slogan!” “Let’s make her eat the same food!”
One country. One language. One religion. Is that today’s normal?
I’m sure my late father did not have this thought, but what if he, as he lay sick on the bed, thought that was normal, and all of we healthy people around him, should also become as ‘normal’ as he was?
I’m certain he never ever thought in that direction, but if we as a people don’t define our concept of ‘normal’, then we are sure to be dragged into a lifeless state of ‘normal’ soon..!





3 thoughts on “The New Normal..!”

  1. Normalcy as defined today is a black mark on society. Everyone is made different, all have their own ways of living, their own beliefs etc. But, sadly in today’s India people aren’t allowed to be different. We are imposed upon to follow the diktats of a dictatorial regime. Hope achche din comes soon.

  2. Bob,I think the old normal and new normal is same for majority of us. Unfortunately all religions have a very small per cent of disgruntled,psuedosecular fanatics and with media hype,we tend to believe so.
    I have never ever experienced any discrimination on the basis of faith.

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