All heroes are heroes of adversity, calamity and disorders. There are no heroes of peace, equality and justice. In peace, equality and justice there is no need of courage, valour and magnanimity. What makes a hero?
Having lived in India heroes for me were Rama, Hanuman, Krishna, Arjuna, Vivekananda, Gandhi, Tipu Sultan, Akbar, Chanakya, Pandavas, Nehru, Ambedkar, Tilak, Mandela, Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln, Edison, Einstein, Meera, Chaitanya, Nanak, Kabir, Jesus and many others.
What makes these people different from ordinary people like me? I live peacefully and I am ordinary. I don’t have any aspirations of leaving any legacy and I am happy to be ordinary. These people were born in extraordinary circumstances with extraordinary destinies. Maybe you need not agree on circumstances, but they made extraordinary choices which were full of courage and based on great human values of kindness, love, justice and sacrifice. Take Rama or Hanuman, for example, they are heroes of epic Ramayana. They are also among most worshipped deities in India. What makes them so revered? Their extraordinary love for truth and indomitable faith and courage along with sacrifices they made for these. Rama lost his father, kingdom and then wife; wandered from place to place in dire circumstance; fought with so many demons and had so many difficulties to tackle all his life. Krishna killed 5 demons when he was barely 5 months old and kept fighting battles–small and big all his life. Krishna’s life was most adventurous of all–so this might make another post–why he was greatest of avataras of Vishnu or Swayam Bhagwan.
Pandavas had to bear innumerable pains and they barely enjoyed fruits of the grand battle of Mahabharata which was a plan of Krishna-who was time(death) the greatest devourer who came to lighten the weight off the earth. Gandhi is a recent event and a historical figure, unlike Rama, Krishna and Pandavas, his life account is quite authentic, yet you see him fighting against difficulties all his life. Jesus had a small life in which he kept fighting against darkness and sacrificed himself for the love of mankind. His sacrifice is considered to be the foundation of the greatest religion on planet today. Lincoln had to fight against so many difficulties all his life. He was born in indigent circumstances and strived hard towards top echelons and became one of the greatest and most inspiring figures ever.
Heroes live difficult lives. You might have wondered sometimes that in best superhero films some of the cities live peacefully until a superhero start acting against evil. It seems that things were quite normal before he came into the picture. It seems he attracted evil towards the city or country. It’s a twisted idea and the truth which was to be portrayed is that heroes somehow synchronize with adversities. You can’t find a Gandhi in India today because there is no colonial british empire to fight against. Someone who tries to mimic Gandhi and follow his lifestyle blindly will not be considered a hero but rather a follower who might not be as wise. Today’s problems are different. A Gandhi is created by a giant oppressing regime and Martin Luther King is needed when there is discrimination based on skin color. Heroes don’t live peaceful lives. Maybe they are at great peace in their hearts because they fulfil their destinies and serve mankind but they have to keep fighting and working all their lives. Heroes are people who are mostly born in difficult circumstances and work their way against all odds. Some of us are born in favorable circumstances and yet instead of lending a helping hand to our fellow human beings who need it, we keep complaining about state of affairs, about why world is such an unfair place. This is what differentiates heroes from me. Though I don’t complain, I don’t have the courage to fight against all odds, to make world a better place to live!