Friday, 20 March 2020
if not the Corona Curfew) openly to the world.
if not the Corona Curfew)
This story and poem perfectly illustrates the Apostle Paul’s point in Romans 8. As Bessie sacrificed her own body to secure a pardon for her beloved Basil, Paul reminds us that Jesus Christ endured the agony of the cross to deliver us from our death sentence. He willingly sacrificed his body to free us from condemnation and give us a new life.
Unlike the Corona Curfew, the Curfews during 1975 Emergency in India did not present a single such incident where the authorities displayed their compassionate sides. Instead the emergency curfews provided an insight into how meaningful was the saying "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely". Indians were subjected to the dreaded Vasectomy operations, Newspapers and Cinemas had to go through the Censor Board scissors before printing anything. The classical music and dance classes terminated all over the country, people waited at home afraid of being picked and put in jail for no rhyme or reason.
One such curfew memory of my childhood came back when I heard Modiji suggest the Corona Curfew yesterday. It is truly believed that a man becomes what s/he has has experienced in his childhood or youth. The mind decides whether to call a memory pleasant or unpleasant, positive or negative. As a young lass, I used to spend my summer vacations at my aunt's home in Vadodara,Gujarat. In those days, Gujarat was not such a peaceful state and religious riots would spark off for any silly reasons. In fact, reasons were many and easy to find for all who were in this business.
Once when we had gone to visit a friend who stayed far away from my aunt's place; we were quickly summoned back by my cousin hastily on a Lambretta as he said "the Curfew has started" That was the first time I heard the word. For me it meant nothing till I saw for the next few days that unlike the Corona Curfew which is going to be self imposed, that one was Government imposed and there were state authorities roaming out to punish those who broke the norms of the Curfew. It meant we could go out of the house only for an hour in the day time and again for an hour in the evening. So now the visits to the parks and Sur Sagar lake, eating Dhokla, chaat, Panipuri at night was over. The days were spend looking out at the still world sitting in my aunt's house which had big windows called "Baari" in Gujrati.
One day while the curfew was relaxed in the morning and I was just trying to settle down for the day in my throne,I heard my brothers playing cricket in the Gully. Somebody had hit a sixer and they were all cheering him up loudly. Suddenly, their banter stopped. And then I saw a man with a bat running in the street. He was bleeding severely. And then I saw a big group of men,young boys and big men, running behind him with swords in their hands. That ended the relaxation hours and the curfew was further extended for a fortnight. Later on we came to know that the ball which the injured boy had used to hit a six with had landed in the other gully where people of the other community were paying their respects to their Gods.
What followed were actually the best,most memorable summer holidays I ever spent with my cousins. The days would be spent playing chess,cards and other board games while the nights were utilised for learning everything about various topics such as the Oscars, Wimbledon and the FIFA world cups. Aunties pampered us with their cool snacks and drinks. And we entertained them with our tricks and stunts. I could never equate the feeling of joy I had experienced during the curfew with a friend of mine who had just returned from the Kashmir valley facing years of long curfews, identification parades and total black outs during firings.
While the nation ponders at the hanging of merciless Rapists of Nirbhaya and whether curfews should be put on boys or girls to stop them from being victims of such horrendous acts, I am reminded of the old debate about Sins and our Redemption. It is said that for those who have put our faith in the redeeming act of Jesus’ death and resurrection, condemnation has been canceled! We have been completely pardoned—our sins (past, present, and future) are no longer held against us. We have been delivered from an eternal death sentence in hell and have been given the gift of new life here and now and in heaven forever. And now for the same reason that made us believe in the acts of Jesus or any other Messiah for that matter, let us put our faith in this political Messaih who wants us to save our Nation and in turn the World from the Sins inflicted by the Corona virus.
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