As a child, I was a fervent patriot of India and took immense pride in my nationality. However, as I grew older and learned more about our history and present situation, I began to question the existence of borders. My state, Tripura, is surrounded by Bangladesh on three sides, and I recall how we used to despise Bangladesh and its people, believing them to be our enemies. But what difference did it make?
When you are a bird, you don’t see any borders, but as a human, you do. If you believe in God, Allah, Iswar, or any religion, you should not confine yourself to borders. Borders are created by rulers who choose to divide humanity for their own selfish reasons, such as gaining power over a group of people, resources, or belief in religious superiority. Politicians created borders, and although many believe politics is a “dirty” business, we still choose to blindly follow and take pride in our nationality.
History has witnessed kings and emperors killing millions of people and destroying civilizations to establish their own nations. Politicians created the notion that if you are different from others, you are superior, and others should follow. These differences could be as minor as the amount of money you make, the language you speak, or even the color of your skin. These differences, though insignificant in terms of humanity, are used as the basis for differentiation, creating prejudices that have lasted for millennia and leading to hate, anger, and war.
The British rulers dominated almost everywhere in the world and killed significant numbers of people, altering the world’s environment. In less than 100 years, the British killed over 56 million people in the Americas. In India, they killed 100 million people in their last 40 years of rule, which spanned over 200 years.
It is disheartening to see the wars and tensions that exist between most countries around the world. There are conflicts between India and Pakistan, India and China, Israel and Palestine, Russia and Ukraine, and many more. Politicians have led us to believe that we are different from one another because we live in different countries. They have trained us to be prepared to kill anyone who is not from our country or threatens our borders.
Religion does not unite people. Religions create divisions in their own families and societies, which is quite the opposite of unity. Politics and religion go hand in hand, dividing and destroying humanity.
So, if you take pride in your nation, you have been deceived. Although we are intelligent beings, we still blindly follow the ideology engraved in us from birth by our environment, family, friends, political parties, and media.
It is never too late to stop hatred and recognize humans as humans. We must treat each other with kindness and eliminate the barriers of borders and prejudices.
Edited by: Dr. Soha Sobhanian