LEGACY - A word that represents huge responsibility about a transfer of power, history and achievements in absence of its owner but bestowed by the by will of the owner, hierarchy or just handed down to the next generation in the family. The literal dictionary meaning would be - a gift of property, esp. personal property, as money, by will; a bequest or anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestor or predecessor or an applicant to or student at a school that was attended by his or her parent. I don’t think that this word would be appropriate when its a normal transfer of property which isn’t huge in terms of its value in terms of money or value in terms of work.
Legacy is always taken by pride and maybe sometimes for granted. Many of the times its given by the owner willingly but also many times considered to be the right by their family. A work done with lots of skill, labor and patience is blindly in the hands of someone who might or might not be suitable for such a job, to retain its value and respect. In todays world in most of the cases we must be a witness to hundreds of legacies like this, the most important ones being the biggest ones. The poor are generally cribbing about why some person is rich because of the legacy handed over to him by his parent. The few of the rich who are the lucky ones to handle these legacies by inheritance try to live up to the work of the predecessor, but still there are many of those rich also who spoil those legacy.
Michael Jackson being my favorite lets start with him. A legacy of music left behind with his estate and the beneficiaries being his children and mother. There was also a lot of debt of $450 million involved apart from other debts amounting to $1 Billion. The debt was paid of within one year of his death. Apparently Michael was smart enough to have his lawyers and manager handle his estate business instead of the beneficiaries themselves. His children won’t be getting any money which will be divided equally in them till they are 40, though their needed expenses will be taken care of by the estate. Michael saved his legacy from being explored by the worst enemies and leeches that lie in his own family, fans know it but won’t talk about it.
The real legacy left behind is his music, his HIStory, his business skills & more. His children or his family which is not directly beneficiary of his will are going to benefit from this. Most of them already did from regular media appearances in terms of shows, TV interviews and whatever that was offered to them. Some of them who really loved him tried to keep a low profile. At least one of the children or all (who are in their innocent phase of childhood right now) will be eventually moulded into artists and mean machines to exploit everything that is left behind with just a name that had become a brand - Michael Jackson. Any one of them releasing an album will be swooped up by Michael Jackson fans. Die-hard fans will keep buying the following albums even if they might not like those, but not all would. Would a legacy be safe in such a way. But lets pray that his children also become successful in their forays in music if they do, and protect Michael’s legacy.
The recent order given by the supreme court about uplifting the ban on a controversial book on Shivaji Maharaj also created a lot of ripples within the pro-hindu political parties.Me respecting Shivaji Maharaj is also not going to make me feel that supporting only certain political parties who love and support him is going to prove my love for my heritage, my Maharashtra or my country in all. Who and when gave the rights of protecting Shivaji Maharaj’s legacy to these parties ever? Shivaji Maharaj belongs to every person India as much as he belongs to them. Again no person in the world had a 100% loving following, they all had haters. Today we have dictators who want to tell people of Maharashtra to prove their love for Shivaji by supporting them, in this rule people might not express their hatred for the dictator but they will still hate him inside and might take any opportunity to destroy him even when they love Shivaji. Todays leaders also seem to be stuck in their blind ego not understanding that banning the book in Maharashtra won’t stop people from Maharashtra from reading it. Anyone can import it or simply read it on the internet! Who the hell makes them think that they own Maharashtra just because they love Shivaji, we also do but we don’t support you. There are books that talk about our Hindu Gods portrayed indecently not just as a painting but also in text content, what have they done to stop those publications? There should be some other way to support such sentiments or protect the legacy which is more logical and practical. But then again, can just a political party be in charge of that great legacy of Shivaji Maharaj?
There have been spiritual gurus of today coming under scanners for various charges like sexual molestation and a lot of other stuff. We also have guru’s who themselves are clean and have a huge following behind them. Sometimes the higher management of such ashrams get into indecent acts ruining the whole ashram’s purpose. Who is supposed to be blamed for this? Its not just the ashram involved into illicit things as long as the guru is alive, the worst is expected to happen after the guru’s death who promises to live spiritually with every follower. How can this kind of spiritual or religious legacy continue to thrive on the supporters or followers who just might be appearing sincere to get the reins in their hands. The hands that are supposed to bless then start becoming hands that just molest!
There is more of danger which cannot be called legacy but it is. Aren’t their nuclear and EMP devices which are rumoured to be as small as a beer can and some as suitcases being sold in the Russian black-market after their fallout. The technology got in hands of the people who were more destroyers than protectors. When USSR became just Russia, the broken of peaces retorted to various business including one like this. It is for normal people like us to understand that supporting a person handling a legacy is not about supporting the person behind it. People are hungry for power, money and fame, they might be pretending to offer you what you expect them to just by playing with your sentiments. The success of many extremists lie in the manipulation of the extremism within us, which might be of supporting someone or being of a certain religion or country. Neither them no us really own that legacy. Its done and staying here as a residue and not as the process itself. If we get so much attached to that residue, we ourselves might become a negligent residue than an explosion in process. I would prefer to be the latter.
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Photo credits: Nikhil Gangavane.