“Ever imagined a world without Love, How dark and gloomy it must be, Men like savages, hurting each other, But isn’t that something we already see! The spree of violence and The raging hatred, The seething anger and The Bigotry, Putting Love in Little Boxes! Let’s ditch all labels and set Love Free…” -by Abhishek Sen
But isn’t Love supposed to be free; beyond bonds and conditions? After all, what’s Love if it comes with a cautionary advice “Conditions Applied” It’s a filthy piece of Contract; an agreement if you will, between two concurring sides. How trite and technical it sounds, not to mention; a relationship based on convenience.
You cannot put conditions on love. Love is supposed to be free and unconditional. Sure, freedom comes with responsibility and in love, you’re responsible for mutual respect and care and making sure that you don’t take each other for granted. However, saying that “I’ll only love you if you are successful” or “I will love my son if her grows up to be a doctor or an engineer or if he marries the girl of my choice….or only if he marries a girl!” is another way of saying that “I’ll disown you if you do not meet my expectations!”
The world expects a lot and we as people can’t help ourselves from raising expectations from each other, especially from those we love and that’s where the problem lies. Setting expectations is a subconscious way of taking each other for granted. However, when expectations come crashing down, they turn into shards of disappointment that keep jabbing through our hearts and leaving scars for life!
We as a society, since ages have been setting expectations and assigning roles to each other and little labels of identification so we know who’s who and what can be expected from each. Hence, a “Man” is supposed to go out and hunt for a gullible prey and bring home the bacon while the “Woman” is meant for breeding and looking after the kids and searing the bacon while she herself swelters, standing over the boiling pot of “Expectations” .
It’s a matter of convenience because we love things being served to us on a platter and by “We” it is safe to assume that it is us Men; the founders and the forefathers of this patriarchal society and its misogynist rules and hypocritical diktats that are drenched in duality of standards.
Anything that isn’t easily recognizable or comprehensible leaves us baffled and we as people prefer things that can be easily explained and compartmentalized. We prefer clarity over ambiguity as it makes it easier for us to decide whether to like a situation or detest it…Love someone or Hate them!
We tend to simplify things for ourselves by putting things and people in little boxes and labels of “right or wrong“, “good or bad“, “saint or a sinner“, “straight or gay“, “white or black“…however, what we fail to fathom is that there could be fifty shades of grey between white and black and perhaps more!
In our bid to oversimplify things for ourselves we end up complicating lives of many that do not fit into our definition of what’s right or “pious and saintly” and end up marginalizing many that don’t fit in the pre-approved mould of “nobility” or don’t adhere to the accepted norms of social behavior and conduct.
Anyone who dare deviates from a course set by the society is said to be a social deviant or an abomination and swiftly ostracized. But this kind of conditioning and funneling of thoughts and values into a little bottle can lead to travesty of thoughts and radicalization of individuals leading to untoward incidents of epic proportions, as was seen in the recent Orlando shootings which was no less than a massacre of innocence and the innocent! And it was all because a sight of two men kissing each other, caught in a display of love and affection which is the purest thing on earth, appalled the perverted sensibilities of a subversive man who wanted to teach a lesson to the “deviants” as he was conditioned to believe anyone was, who didn’t adhere to his religious beliefs and preaching.
Was he a Homophobe? he sure was if he was repulsed by the idea of two men or women expressing their love for each other.
Was he a closeted gay himself as per the accounts given by his ex-wife and the authorities? he could’ve been but it would be wrong and rather unfair to cast aspersions on a man’s sexual orientation when he’s no longer among us to confirm the veracity of these claims. And even if he was, it brings us to the larger and more pertinent question “Who pushed him in the closet and forced him to stay in there, curtailing his freedom to live his life on his terms with utmost honesty and pride?”
Was he a radical? he sure was; radicalized by his religious beliefs and perverted notions of what’s holy and what is sinful, that compelled him to resent any idea or act that was considered irreligious or unsanctimonious, including his own homoerotic desires and leanings perhaps. But just because some do not subscribe to the same beliefs of the “Believers” and concept of “Love“, does not give him or anyone the right to take the lives of the “Non Believers” or sentence the “Heretics” to a life of eternal damnation. It could be a motive but certainly not a right to butcher the “Deviants”
He could have been all of the three mentioned above or a psychopath for a lack of better understanding of his condition and his state of mind that compelled him to do what he did, but whatever he may have been, his reckless act of ignorance and sheer hatred ended up ending 49 innocent lives who may have had a promising future and could have changed the world for better and uprooted many more who were attached to these 49 lives and would now be missing a piece of their hearts forever.
But was he responsible alone or should we as a society take a collective responsibility for what unfolded in Orlando and has been happening over centuries. His actions were a physical manifestation of his social and religious conditioning and if so, then we as a society are equally liable for propagating and supporting such subversive beliefs and theological ideologies that does nothing but drives a wedge between humans and humanity.
The only way to lessen this lacuna and bring Humans closer to Humanity is by placing Humanity above everything else; most certainly above every religion. After all, religions were made by men for the mankind and not the other way round. Man wasn’t made for religion. Religions are nothing but a set of collective practices and rules set in customs and rituals that have become age-old traditions…archaic and regressive! practices that can and must to be changed with the changing times and evolving humanity.
Religions came in to existence with the sole purpose to help man lead a disciplined life and that’s all the relevance it has and all the importance it deserves. It’s certainly not above Humanity; no religion is! Religion should not and must not be allowed to get in the way of people living their lives on their terms as long as their practices doesn’t impinge on others freedom.
It’s about time that we stop seeing things through a theological prism and just allow Humanity to breathe for a change. It’s time that we stop putting love in little boxes as “Straight Love” and “Gay Love”. It’s time we stop labeling people based on their cast, creed, colour of their skin or sexual identity.
As I’ve always held, Tags are for salable items and commodities that we as Humans aren’t and Labels are for shoes and their place is under our feet, in the dirt and not on our foreheads!
It’s time to tear away all Tags, throw away every label and pull Love out from little boxes and set Love Free! It’s time to let Love transcend beyond all realms, restrictions and bondage and flow freely between hearts and humans.
And while we do so, don’t forget to read my book Transcending Parallels, available internationally on http://www.amazon.com in paperback, e-book and kindle version.
-by Abhishek Sen