A Hero - The Honest Truth By Ajit Dayal
Investing in India - Honest Truth by Ajit Dayal
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16 APRIL 2008

"Why can't you write something positive", queried the wife, "Something nice. You rave and rant too much"

I thought about it. She is right - she is always right - maybe I focus too much on what is not correct.
But there are many things that are correct.
And bring out the wonderful positives of the world we live in.

Take the case of Mohan Redkar. He was taking a stroll along the Bandra seaside. Probably watching young couples walking hand in hand. Probably wondering when he would have the chance to walk hand in hand with someone he loved. And then fate took over.

Mohan saw a young couple on the rocks surrounded by the strong waves of the incoming tides. They were yelling for help. He did not know them. But, yet, he leapt in and dragged the young girl and the young boy to safety. Mohan was apparently a good swimmer but he did not survive. He drowned under the weight of those he rescued.

I never met Mohan - or had never heard of him. It took an act of selfless courage for us to know whatever little we now know about him.

And it is these acts that give us the courage and the optimism to move on.
Mohan - I am guessing from his name - was a Hindu. The young couple that he saved - again, I guess from their names - were not.

Before jumping in to rescue the young couple, Mohan could have asked them:
"Are you Hindu?"

He could have also asked them: "Do you belong to any Backward Caste or Class?"

And also the all-important question: "Are you from UP or Bihar?"

And another final question: "What will you give me if I save you?"

Mohan did nothing of the sort.
He saw people in distress.
He went to save them.
He gave his life to ensure that they lived.

That is the essence of humanity.
That is the India which Mahatma Gandhi fought for - and died for.
When Muslims were killed by Hindus in riots or when Hindus were killed by Muslims in riots, Gandhi's prescription for healing was simple: a Hindu family should adopt a Muslim orphaned child and a Muslim family should adopt a Hindu orphaned child.

The world survives because we have people like Mohan.
Individuals who live normal lives and - with their acts of sacrifice - show us the true path.
Nothing will lighten the loss of their son and no words may console Mohan's family.
But their son was a hero and his act should shame all those who put boundaries and build borders to divide our humanness.
Over the next 12 months as India heads into a general election, more boundaries and borders will be built.
May Mohan live on to rescue us.

Note: Ajit Dayal, the author is a Director in Quantum Information Services Private Limited and Quantum Asset Management Company Private Limited. Views expressed in this article are entirely those of the author and may not be regarded as views of the Quantum Mutual Fund or Quantum Asset Management Company Private Limited or Quantum Information Services Private Limited.

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