By Liz Maria Kuriakose

Chocolate, caramel-filled, left-right, Yum! The best-loved chocolate, in its golden wrapper, in bold red letters TWIX. Despite the sweetness, the advertisement puts the viewer at a crossroad. Left or Right? In 2012, the Twix manufacturers came up with this interesting ad, often quipped as the ‘Political Twix ad’. It shows two Victorian inventors who invents a single bar Twix and breaks into two after getting into an argument. They split up, create their own factories and carries on with their manufacture. The similarities between the Left and the Right Twix are glossed over by each other. The ad goes on, ‘Each factory took a different approach. Left Twix flowed caramel on cookie while Right Twix cascaded caramel on cookie. Left Twix bathed in chocolate, while Right Twix cloaked in chocolate.’

Any difference?

Right from the beginning of time, siblings have fought and quarreled against each other. Such battles are inevitable. It begins with a war of words, moves onto the push-pull and slap-kick series, commonly witnessed among the little ones.  But as time passes, if not corrected, the scenario changes into irreconcilability. This phenomenon is popularly called sibling rivalry. The reasons and causes can be googled out. But this disintegration within the tiny units of society, family, is disturbing. Sibling rivalry has been recorded even in the holy books like The Bible. Cain killed Abel. Joseph was disregarded by his ten brothers. And Leah and Rachel fought over their right on their husband, Jacob. Literature pinpoints to King Lear’s three daughters too. This features an obsession to comparison, the rise of envy and competition for parental affection. Society, an amalgam of families reflects the life of every single unit within it. When families fall apart, the society is virtually clueless how to move ahead. The future appears bleak to the young keen observers.  Probably, that is why when these rivalries are reported from among the affluent, they create headlines. Left and Right Twix brought out the same chocolaty wafer, but they were unwilling to accept or unite in their venture.

Martin Luther King Jr’s heirs are in the dispute over their father’s Nobel Peace Prize Medal and his Bible. Sadhu Yadav is contesting the Lok Sabha polls from the same constituency as his sister, Rabri Devi. DMK leader Karunanidhi ousted his eldest son, MK Alagiri from the party and appointed his younger son, MK Stalin to lead the party. Examples abound, but the repercussions are unpredictable. In Mahabharata, the Kurukshetra War sprang up in response to the intense sibling rivalry. Gandhari, the mother of the Kauravas unties her blindfold, only to witness the lifeless bodies of her hundred sons. The Pandavas, though victorious in terms of the war for establishing dharma and justice are pained at the huge loss of their siblings. Ever wondered how India paved its way towards the control of the East India Company? The rivalry within the ruling families in small provinces. Brothers betrayed or enslaved each other. And the result being the country under siege for more than two hundred years.

This phenomenon has been in existence since the beginning of time and has led to the disintegration of not just families, but societies too. Ideologies may vary between family members, but acceptance and tolerance makes a change. Envy and enmity should not creep into our minds. It is this unity which will build up the nation. We run to and fro creating organizations for world unity and peace. But as Mother Teresa rightly said, ‘Love begins at home…’ Let’s begin building the unity within our families and uphold the great virtues of the culture we have inherited.

I am a student of Economics Honors at St Stephen’s College, Delhi. I am interested in singing and compering events. Reading, writing and listening to music are my hobbies. My greatest inspiration in writing is definitely my mother. Family and friends are integral part of my life. I hope to serve the nation and work towards its development.

Posted by The Indian Economist | For the Curious Mind