Monday, July 2, 2007

Same game, different name

I just finished reading the book 'To kill a mockingbird' by Harper Lee, and i have to say it is one of the best ones iv read. Although the setting is in the early 1900s upto the 1930s , it is surprisingly relevant today. The story is set in an imaginary plave called Maycomb im the state of Alabama, and basically focusses on the shocking amount of racism prevalent just a few decades ago. Through the eyes of a small girl, it provides an intriguing insight into the world as the little girl sees it. The main character who really gains your respect and sympathy is the girl's father, Atticus, a lawyer by profession. In a conservative town like Maycomb, he does the unthinkable: to defend a coloured man . The story is narrated with expertise, which makes you see the world through the girl's eyes. It is an engaging narration, one that is bound to have you hooked on for more as the story progresses. Mainly, the writer has brought out the meaning that he has wanted to convey very clearly : That a few people steadfast about their beliefs, can bring about a change in the entire attitude of the society that they live in.
The intresting thing is that it is very relevant in todays world also. All around us we see caste politics being shamelessly played by the Politicians. Even in that greenest of grasses yonder, The United States, there is a distinction between blacks and whites, although unoficially. They have their own way of living, and are generally expected to adhere to it.India is an epicenter of caste politics. Everywhere we go, religion comes into play. A muslim is always regarded suspiciously in the UK and the US. An asian is not that easily allowed to blend with the native american people, regardless of his background and potential. All this is still the same as the blatant disregard for the blacks that the whites had during the penning of this book. Only today it has a different name. The game remains the same. Still hope remains. There will always be people like Atticus, who will bring a ray of hope to the oppressed. There will always arise a hero for the downtrodden. That is how a society progresses. Things are slowly changing, as the world continues to shrink, and people get closer and closer. But the point is, why do we need to wait for such a hero ? Why do we need to depend on a person to do what we all can together achieve ? All it needs is a bit of compromise and understanding. And of course a little common sense. Some may argue that recent events have led to a wave of paranoia that is primarily responsible for hostile behaviour. But paranoia was never a solution, caution, perhaps, but never paranoia.
Inspite of such obstacles, the world moves on. Who knows, someday may arise a hero, who, like Atticus, will bring this Maycomb of a world to light. Till then, we shall move on...


vinaya said...

Love, love love the book!
Not much hope for the world though, not until people learn to accept different as neither good nor bad, just different.

kniOledge ( Oink ) said...

sad, but true.