gatineau morning.

gatineau morning.
photo by douglas mcarthur.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Observations of a Gas Jockey.

Bigotry is handed down from generation to generation.  It’s as old as the hills and completely insane. 
A lot of the racial strife in this country dates back thousands of years to when, due to climate change, the light-skinned Indo-Aryans filtered down into the Hindu Kush from the Caspian Sea area, allegedly around fifteen-hundred B.C.  It was the beginning of the caste system in India.  They pushed the darker, indigenous people, later known as Dravidians, south.  Aside from not really liking the look of them, and needing the land for themselves, the Aryans did not appreciate that the Dravidians kept pilfering their cows.  The Dravidians had never seen animals like that before and were strangely drawn to them.      
The Dravidians, on the other hand, didn’t appreciate being pushed around and have been firmly holding onto the grudge ever since.  They largely ended up in what is known as Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka today, where the Tamil Tigers have been fighting for a separate homeland for many years.  In general, the darker-skinned peoples of the land became the lowest caste, the Untouchables, Shudras, even though they were here first.  And, of course, that has been a hot-ticket issue over the years, sometimes leading to horrid violence.  Foreigners, by the way, called Malecha, are even lower on the totem pole than Shudras, although not really in practice.     
I won’t bore you with details of why, historically, Sikhs tend to hate Muslims or why Muslims tend to hate Hindus or why the Hindus tend to, well, be wary of just about everyone.  Suffice it to say, Indians have suffered many foreign conquerors and have become just a wee bit cranky.  It is note-worthy that the Sikhs, for example, started with Guru Nanak preaching oneness and ended up vowing to never cut their hair until all Muslims are driven from the land, agitating for a homeland of their own, Kalistan, in what is the Punjab today. 
Now, one of the attractions for me to move back to Canada, in ’98, was to live in my own birth-culture once again.  I was certainly one of the most integrated into Indian society by then.  I loved and love India.  However, I just felt an overpowering desire to be with my own people, so to speak, at least for a while.  So I went to Canada and, with my customary sound logic, decided to settle down in Quebec.  What’s wrong with that picture, you may ask (?) 
As soon as I fell off the proverbial turnip truck and landed in beautiful, downtown Wakefield, I needed a job.  So I applied at a local Garage where I saw a help wanted sign in the window.  I was immediately rejected because I could not speak French.  The owner, a good old West-Quebec boy, larger than life, who could put the fear of God in anyone, visibly trembled at the thought of the so-called Quebec language police.  It seemed that I could not even get a job as a gas jockey in Quebec.
Everything worked out for me.  Eventually, I even had my own business in Quebec.  But, even then, as an Anglophone business owner in Quebec, there were times when I felt the next logical step was for the Quebec government to round me up and cart me off to a camp somewhere, and not to go paddle-boating.  It became clear that some Quebecois hate the English, some English hate the French.  It’s well known that some people hate the Jews and the blacks, the Irish, the British.  The Sunnis and the Shias have a nasty habit of massacring each other.  Catholics and Protestants have a difficult time of it.  The list goes on and on.  It’s truly enough to give a decent, thinking person a headache.   
Yet, this goes way beyond who is right or wrong, justified or not.  We all breathe the same air, our hearts all pulsate with the same desire for love, all our minds can indeed be turned to Oneness.  And it doesn’t take thousands of years.   

1 comment :

  1. Some discerning readers may notice, upon returning to this posting for a second look, that i have taken out a small portion of it. the reason is simple; it was based on wrong information. i may add something else in its place later on, or not. i may just move on. peace and love; hansraj.