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Sheep don’t live in peace anymore

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Once upon a time there lived a flock of 40 sheep. The sheep were gregarious and lived happily. They used to go out grazing in the neighbourhood prairies together. The sheep feasted on the juicy grass and took a long afternoon nap back at the shepherd’s place. Each sheep could give as much as four litres of milk everyday which was on an average fifty percent more than any other sheep worldwide. No one, far and wide, had ever heard of any untoward incident of a single fight or a riot among them. The stories of their brotherhood were known far and wide. Everyone who heard their story would fill with admiration and fall in love with them instantly. The sheep inspired a feeling of awe and envy at the same time. There was a feeling of camaraderie among them that helped them live as a cohesive tribe without ill-feelings of hate and jealousy among them. There were no discrimination of caste, colour or creed that would create ripples and cracks of persecution. Stories of their unmatched hospitality, harmony and peaceful coexistence were known all over. All of them used to celebrate their festivals together, congratulating and hugging each other. There was so much love among them that when one of them would fall ill, others would care for the sick to any extent, providing food and other essential items for days together until the sick recovered. There was a feeling of common brotherhood that ran down in their blood.

sheepThen one day as they all were going to the grazing grounds through an uncharted territory, as luck would have it, there came deep gorge filled with dark coloured thick liquid. A few sheep could not hold ground and slipped into the quagmire. Soon the remaining sheep organised rescue for those in distress. When they were retrieved from the pool, their outer coat had acquired a different kind of grey colour that was visibly and distinctly noticeable from a distance. These few sheep had suddenly started to look different in many ways. Apparently, there started to appear some cracks in their friendship and viewed each other as adversaries. The two groups of sheep called each other with different names and teased each other. The peace and harmony that was the hallmark of the past was lost in one stroke. Over the years, apart from their looks the two groups seemingly and apparently dressed differently, behaved differently, spoke different languages and ate different cuisines. They even started following different customs, traditions, wore different costumes and prayed different Gods. Only now, their differences stood out conspicuously.

Black sheepConsequently, there were frequent fights among the two groups over ownership of pieces of land, places of worship, foods they liked, superiority of one over the other that later with time turned out to be more frequent as well as violent. Many lives were lost but they did not give up their animosity and hatred for each other. Time flew as it does, years turned into decades and decades turned into centuries, but there has been no respite from distrust and ill-will that they harboured for each other. Their clashes and riots continue to this day. Each group is intolerant towards the other, conveniently forgetting their common ancestry and lineage, how both had unitedly fought the battle for independence against the British sheep.   

The reality was that the colour of their blood was still red. Both the groups prayed for happiness and prosperity of their loved ones. The country belongs to both of them and both call it their home. Both live and die for their country’s honour. Then why should they have mutual dislike, distrust and ill feelings?

Why is it so? 

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