Four very close friends of the locality united against the riots. Incidentally, the four friends were believers of different religions. He got himself a banner made, “Have mercy on humanity, end the riot.”
All four started walking on the road with raised banners raising slogans in unison. The fear of rioting in the city was still there. So despite the easing of curfew, no one was risking getting out of the house. People are still sitting in scared houses. Do not know when from where, who to be attack? Humans no idea even know where the stray dogs of colony were missing? Everywhere sighted burning houses… dismantled shops… broken vehicles! Scattered mirrors of vehicles. The remnants of the burnt trucks and buses… the whole thing was telling the painful story of the riots.
“Stop the bloodshed. Have mercy on humanity End the riot. ” Suddenly all four friends started shouting slogans.
“Who are you guys?” The voice of a man injured on the road emerged.
“I’m a Hindu… my name is Ram Singh.” The first person said.
“I’m Rahim Khan… a staunch Sunni Muslim.” The other said.
“I’m Sardar Khushwant Singh… amritdhari Sikh, Vahe Guru da Khalsa, Vahe Guru di Fateh.*” Sardar ji said while fixing the turban.
“And I’m Christian John D’Souza, a follower of Jesus Christ.” The fourth man said and kissed locket. There was a picture of Jesus hanging in the cross in locket.
“Sorry, none of the four of you are human,” she said dispassionately, “Not a single one of you has said—I am a human being. My religion is humanity. ”
“what do you mean?” Ram Singh startled, “See this banner, we have raised in protest against the riots! Only to save humanity, and you say we are not human beings. Despite the different religions, all four of us stand together only for the sake of humanity. ”
“It is religion, because of which the existence of humanity is in crisis today. As long as the man is wearing a religious chola, he can never become a human being, ”he said groaning painfully.
“how did attack on you?” Rahim asked.
“Some religion contractors asked to me, who are you? I said, I am a human being like you. He then asked, what is your religion? I said – humanity … and they hit me! they having said that, bastard you are over smart?” he changed sides, “See my wounds…!” More than half the knife was penetrated in the stomach and the earth beneath it was red his blood!
“Oh God ,take it to the hospital soon…” but half the words remained in Ram Singh’s mouth as humanity was dead and the four friends turned the banner into a shroud.
These lines of Hindi poet Gopal Das “Neeraj” started echoing in Ram Singh’s mind, which he had heard in a poet conference—
“Now, any religion should be run in which a person can be made a human being….”
*Punjabi Sikhs speak in remembrance of their God “Vahe Guru da Khalsa, Vahe Guru di Fateh.”
(Hindi short story of Mahavir Uttranchali “Manavta”
English translation by Abhishek Bhandari)