“On the whole, the small society of Rameswaram was very rigid in terms of the segregation of different social groups,” says the author.


(i) Which social groups does he mention? Were these groups easily identifiable?

(ii) Were they aware only of their differences or did they also naturally share friendships and experiences?

(iii) The author speaks both of people who were very aware of the differences among them and those who tried to bridge these differences. Can you identify such people in the text?

(iv) Narrate two incidents that show how differences can be created, and also how they can be resolved. How can people change their attitudes?

Snehal, Subject matter expert at Edumarz

(i) Kalam has described Hindus and Muslims as two different social groups existing in Rameshwaram. They had  different ethics, dress codes and solemnity, like Kalam used to wear a cap having the print of his Muslim identity while his friend Ramanadham used to wear the sacred thread.

(ii) Kalam has stated about his three childhood friends who were all Hindu. He said that they all have grown and played together like brothers and never let our religions come amid us. This shows the Hindu Muslim cooperation in most parts of India. Moreover, his mother and grandmother used to tell him the tales of Ramayana and the Prophet Muhammad.

(iii) Ramanadhan’s father was the first person who tried to bridge these differences. After hearing about the descrimination based on religion has been endorsed, he demanded an apology from the teacher and asked him not to discriminate against any caste and religion

The second person was Shivasubramania Iyer, the science teacher, who never discriminated and treated everyone equally irrespective of caste and religion. 

(iv) The new teacher in Kalam’s school tried to fabricate communal differences after seeing a Muslim child sitting next to a Hindu priest’s son. Science teacher’s wife did not want to serve food to Kalam as he was a Muslim boy.

In both incidents, the persons who are trying to change their mindsets stood firm on their ground. They did the straight talk and practiced what they preached. This created a change of attitude among people who were of old thoughts.

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