Madding crowd

The Pionieer
July 13, 2001

Swami Chaitanya Keerti

For more than fifty years, India and Pakistan have been fighting because they did not listen to the wisdom of the “mad” people. Life is a mystery: Sometimes mad people prove wiser than the so-called sane people. Now as the Vajpayee-Musharraf meeting date nears, I have chosen to tell them a story (told earlier by Osho in his discourse on Sat Chit Anand) that proves the point and also should help both of them draw a reasonable agenda of discussion.
Thus goes the story. When India was divided into two nations, India and Pakistan – a rumor was heard that there was a madhouse just on the boundary. Neither India nor Pakistan was interested to take the madhouse. But something had to be done. It had to go somewhere. Finally, the chief superintendent of the madhouse called all the mad people and asked them, “Do you want to go to India?”
They said, “No, we are perfectly happy here.”
The superintendent said, “You will be here. Don’t be worried about that. Just tell me do you want to go to India?”
They all looked at each other and they said, “People think we are mad! Something has gone wrong with our superintendent. If we are going to be here, then the question of going to India does not arise. Why should we go to India?
The superintendent had a tough time explaining the matter to these insane people. He asked if they would like to go to Pakistan.
They said, “No, not at all. We are perfectly happy here. Why should we go anywhere?”
“Actually you are not going anywhere,” assured the superintendent,” and added, “You will be here, whether you choose India or Pakistan.”
“It seems to be very strange. If we are not going anywhere, then why should we even be asked about it? We are here,” said the people.
It was impossible to convince them that it is not a question of physically moving to India or Pakistan. It is a political question: Under which country, within which boundary do you want to remain?
Finally it was decided by the officials that the madhouse should also be divided into two parts. One will be in India, one will be in Pakistan. They raised a huge wall, just dividing the whole madhouse in two.
And I have heard that the mad people still climb up on the wall, talk to the people on the other side and say, “We cannot figure it out. We are here, you are here, but you have gone to Pakistan and we have gone to India just because they have raised this wall. And the strangest thing of all is that they think we are mad.
It is a mad world. All boundaries are absolute nonsense. Anything that divides man from man is inhuman, uncivilised, uncultured. But nobody asks whether nations are fiction, and because you never ask you start believing in the reality of nations. Then arise the question of responsibility towards the nation. You even have to sacrifice your life for the nation, which is a piece of fiction. No such thing exists anywhere. There is no India, no Germany, no Japan, no America. It is a single planet, one humanity.
But because of the fiction, people go on killing each other. Real people are killed for an unreal idea. Responsibility towards the nation has been the cause of all the wars. If all those people who had gone to the wars had refused: “We are not going to kill anybody for a piece of fiction and we are not going to be killed on that account, there would have been no wars, no politicians.” The world would have been a peaceful, beautiful place to live in.

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