“Don’t tell me we are tolerant people, Archana. We can’t stand each other even in our neighboring states. We kill Tamils in Karnataka, Biharis in Assam and Punjabis in Delhi. We are so divided on the basis of caste and religion. How can we call ourselves tolerant people”. This was in conversation with two of my friends yesterday.
I was reminded again of this conversation when I was watching news this morning. There is a big caste war going on between the doctors at AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Science) and patients are suffering in the bargain. Most of the news items these days bring tears of frustration to my eyes. Where is our country heading!!!
So, I was pleasantly surprised to see the next news item which moved me to tears for a completely opposit reason. It was about a poor man called Saidul Islam. He was in big financial difficulty when he came across a newspaper advertisement seeking a kidney for a man called Shyamal Singh. Saidul decided to sell one of his kidneys for money. When he met Shyamal Sigh he discovered he was a very poor man himself. So he decided to donate his kidney for free.
He returned home and did not tell anyone about this. But once the word spread Saidul’s family was ostracized as he had given his kidney to a non-Muslim. Many even refused to believe that a man desperately in need of money had actually donated his kidney. ”When he came back, people taunted him by saying that he had sold his kidney for the sake of extra money. People used to say that he won’t live for long. I was unable to get out of the house. I used to sit at home and cry,” said Ramiza Islam, Saidul’s mother. Soon the truth emerged and the attitude of the villagers changed. His financial situation has not improved but he is looked upon as a hero now.
It was an amazing story of goodness and what touched me deeply was the reply he gave to the reporter’s question on what prompted him to do this. He said, “God does not always give opportunity to save another man’s life. When I got one, I did not want to lose it”. This, coming from a poverty stricken, uneducated man.
I was reminded of something that I wrote very long back. We are so distracted by the loud minority who come across as mean and bloodthirsty that we lose sight of the silent goodness in the majority. World is made up of so many good people. I wish we stop to notice them more.
Here is the link to the news story on NDTV