India, June 8, 2014 (Alochonaa): Before I start this article, I must tell the readers that I loved Mr. Nurul M. Haque’s article under the title of “What is truth?” The way he included the philosophical theories about what constitutes the truth, well his article can only be called a master piece. I have traveled almost the whole of the Indian sub-continent, firstly as a student then as a jobless youth. The circumstances in which I traveled, gave me many opportunities to closely explore the hidden meaning of the truth. Being an engineer, from my experience I can say that theoretical data is always different from the practical discoveries. Now I shall explain the meaning of truth which I perceived through my own traveling adventures.
Truth as a function of belief
We feel pride in relating ourselves with the word “Nationalism”. What if I say the sentence “Nationalism is a good thing”. Most of us would say the statement is true. But can we deny that nationalism can lead a country to be ambitious to increase its political boundaries and thus causing wars? Can we deny that nationalism can cause a feeling of superiority among the citizens of a country against citizens of another country? We are taught in schools that nothing is greater than nationalism and that we should embrace it. None of us have seen “GOD” but we believe in its existence and in such a manner that we are ready to kill each other. I know that the atheist readers would be smiling while reading this but being an atheist I can say even we follow such “unseen things”, it’s “Electron”. We believe in its existence that’s why we study about it and apply its applications in our day today lives.
Truth as a function of victory
For the Indians and the Bhutanese, Maoists are terrorists but what about their status in China and Nepal? It is a matter of fact that “Someone’s terrorist is someone’s nationalist”. If we read the history in detail we can easily observe that even the “first president of US was considered to be a terrorist by the British”. The list doesn’t end here, Bhagat Singh (India), Surjo Sen (India), Auguste Valliant (France), V.I Lenin (Russia) and many more were once called a “terrorist” but are now worshiped for their sacrifices and ideologies. If we try to find out the lifestyle of the people in the 60’s we can easily find the class of people who considered CHE as the ultimate hero of the world while another class of people cursed “Ernesto Che Guevara”. Can anyone name a hero whose ideologies lost but he is sill considered a hero?
Truth as a function of optimism
When I was traveling through out the country I met a woman in Varanasi. A widow in her 60’s who used to sit at the bank of ganges and talk about her son who is probably working in US or in UAE. She used to feel pride in telling her son’s achievements to the tourists, particularly the young ones. She believed that very soon her son would come and take her to his place. I am still in contact with that lady, two years have passed but there is no contact from her son. She considers the home coming of her son is a truth but through her torn clothes I can see the lie with in this truth.
Truth as a function of innocence
While traveling through the eastern part of India, I met a child, a Bangladeshi child who used to work as a cowboy in Bangladesh. I found him crossing the international border, I asked him about his immigration but he was far more confident than me that he was in his own country. He argued that he comes to this side everyday and being an outsider I have no right to tell him where he should go. The innocence of the child was itself a fact and supported his truth. We can draw boundaries on the land, but how can we draw boundaries on people’s heart? We talk about countries, politics and policies, but there are some people who are happy being at their place, for whom the international borders are mere broken barbed wires.
Truth as a function of hidden facts
No one wishes to be called “Backward”. We feel annoyed if someone calls us Asians backward. We all know that every human being is equal, but there are some hidden facts that I’ll like to share. East Berlin and West Berlin destroyed their boundaries and united but we Asians are still happy to call us West Bengalis and East Bengalis, North Koreans and South Koreans. Being a Bengali I have observed that even in our respective countries (India for West Bengal and Bangladesh) we have divided the society on the basis of origin “Ghotis” (people with Indian origin) and “Bangal” (people with Bangladeshi origin). Similar is the case of Punjab, Kashmir, Bhutan (where division is on the basis of Nepali origin and Bhutanese origin), Sri Lanka (division on the basis of ethnic groups), Myanmar, China (Han-Chinese people and Tibetans) etc. with so many divisions can we say that we are not backward?
Truth as a function of love
I remember my aggressive nature during my school times. My teachers used to wait for the parent teachers meeting to complain against me. Once I broke the glass of my classroom window while fighting with a classmate. I was caught red handed, but when my teacher complained about my mischievous nature, my mother didn’t believe her son to be a mischievous child. Here the facts were covered by my mother’s love for me. It is not the matter of mother-son love, even we can see that in every country we can name a politician who was/ is alleged to be involved in some criminal activity or anything undesirable but is still loved and believed to be a great personality. Here love (human emotions) are playing a greater role than even facts in deciding destiny of truth.
Truth as a function of awareness
In modern times we all watch and enjoy movies. I personally like the Hollywood movies. What if I say “Russians are normal people like us”? It is astonishing that Hollywood movie geeks believe them to be spies and would consider my statement to be false. Similar is the case of India and Pakistan, for the Pakistanis every Indian is a R&AW agent and for Indians every Pakistani is an ISI agent. The movies and other means of awareness cause a great change in the understanding of truth.
We cannot explain the inner meaning of truth in general. It is something broader than just a mere word. It depends on many factors particularly on the circumstances. While traveling I met people belonging to different states and countries. I tried to understand their lifestyles and respective cultures but while observing these things I found that Truth and Lies are the two faces of a coin… either exists both or none.
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* Soibal Dasgupta writes from India. In his own words; “I am Soibal Dasgupta, one among the 1,220,800,358 people living in India. This is my identity to the whole world”.
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