Of the lines taken from the Upanishads, quoted nowadays by public speakers of all hues with various backgrounds, the outlook that the world is a family stands out. The lines, drawn from Maha Upanishad translate to: “One is a relative, the other stranger, say the small minded. The entire world is a family, say the magnanimous minded.” We do come across citizens in our neighbourhoods who are living examples of such unalloyed outlook of magnanimity towards all, although their presence in society is not all that glaring. Factors such as physical appearance, faiths followed, tongues used for communication, social behaviour, attiring styles, food habits, professions for earning a livelihood, openly displayed ostentatious living, discourteous responses, unconcealed arrogance, intolerance of others presence, differential prosperity, show of importance as well as influence with disdain and so on play their easy-to-observe role in people distancing themselves from one another, thus shattering the family concept.
Before one dwells on the antithesis of the aforementioned lines from Upanishad namely, not considering people of different countries as belonging to one family, let us take the case of the people of India from different regions (States) which is tell- tale. Demands made by various outfits, particularly in Maharashtra and Kashmir, asking lawfully living residents to move out of their territory mocks at the prescription of “world is one family.”
The measure of restricting immigrants to the United States by denying entry visa stated by the incumbent President of that country has not gone down well among the moderates. Not too long ago, the top brass in the government of Australia did practice the ‘keep-Australia-white’ policy. While such measures surface on and off in many countries, in some cases surreptitiously though, misguided individuals indulge in hate-crime-driven killing of lawfully residing innocent citizens as in the recent incidents of Kansas and Washington. Closer home, we hear reports of some outfits giving vent to their displeasure about influx of people from other regions of the country into the State and perceived threat to livelihood of local populace who have nowhere else to go. Match this with the call of NRI Forum telling Kannadigas in the US to avoid mother-tongue in public places.
Even as the lofty prescription of the magnanimous flock for all across the world to live like one family is well-taken, many governments in the West have been advising their citizens virtually not to take that prescription. In sum, it is wise to “Be like Roman while you are in Rome” in order to keep off from hate-crime-driven killers. Tail-piece: “Be like a buffalo, while you are in Buffalo City.” (That city in USA is close to the world famous Niagara Falls).