Once upon a time Bharat Ma (Mother India) was sleeping on a bed.
The eldest son came to meet her, and saw her sleeping. So he sat at her head. Later, her second son came, and seeing her sleeping, he sat at her feet.
When Bharat Ma awoke, she saw the second son first.
“Beta, what do you want?” she asked the second.
The eldest son was upset.
“Ma!” he cried, “I came first. I should be given the right to talk first to you.”
Bharat Ma gently turned to the eldest.
“What do you want, my child?”
“I’ve come to ask for your something,” said the eldest.
“Even I’ve come to ask for something,” said the second.
“Whatever this man has to ask you, don’t give it to him, Ma! Only the first-born should have the right to you. I ask that you remove him from your presence.” said the elder angrily, pointing to the second.
“Ma, you have always treated me as your child. You have never shown favouritism. Please don’t send me away from you. He’s forcing me to go.” said the second, pointing to the elder.
Bharat Ma lifted both of her sons to each lap.
“Look my dear children. You know that I cannot take away any of your right of being my children. You were always my children, you will always be my children.” she said both, but especially to the younger. And to the eldest she said, “Son, as the elder son I offer you a boon. Anything you want from me, you can have. Only, you can’t take away the right of the younger of being my child.”
“Then I want everything,” the eldest quickly said, delighted.
“Everything?” asked Bharat Ma.
“Yes everything,” said the eldest. “I want the right over your land and waters, I want your power and your identity, I want your prestige and your wealth, I want your culture and your people. I want everything.”
“But what about me?” asked the younger, concerned.
“Once I get everything,” laughed the eldest, “you will get nothing. And then you either work for me or you can leave.”
“But I don’t want to leave, Ma, I don’t want to leave you.” cried the younger brother, visibly distraught.
“Don’t worry, my child. I give you a boon too.” said Ma gently.
“I want some land…”
“Sorry, it’s all mine.” said the eldest, delighted.
“I want your identity…”
“That’s mine to fashion.”
“I want to take some of your culture and…”
“Culture is mine as well…”
“Ma, it’s not fair. He’s taken everything.” complained the younger, in tears.
“Not everything my child. Because you are my child, there is already a part of me in you. No one, not even I, can take that away from you.”
“What does that matter? I have the power and the authority to use Ma’s identity for whatever I want. I can discount her image in you by discounting anything associated with you.”
“Ma, I know I am your child. But I am scared. I am scared of my brother,” said the younger shaking. “What use is your image? I can’t do anything with it?”
“You can, my son, you can. You can serve me.”
“I have everything,” said the eldest to Ma. “You can’t give him anything!”
“I am allowing your brother to serve me,” she said to the elder. “His service is not my right to take, but his to give.”
“But if I serve you, Ma, won’t my elder brother exploit my service? I would end up serving him.” said the younger, a little scared.
“When you serve me, my child, you will serve me. What your brother does after that, may not be in your control. You do, what you think is best for me, because I am in you and you are in me.”
“Then I agree, Ma. I want to serve you. And that’s what I want.”
“Fool! I’ve got everything from Mother.” laughed the eldest.
“And I have Mother,” said the younger, finally understanding.