20 Aug 2005
Independent India is 58 years old. Time for retirement. More than anyone else, India needs it. It resembles an old man who had spent his youth in slumber and has now lost his way in a thick wood. With priorities having gone utterly wrong, he is now destitute of sanity. His only reason for pride is his glorious past.
The fuss about Independence Day, year after year after year, makes any sensible person puke. It's very predictable, so absolutely predictable like that march of soldiers. You know what movies they will show on the movie channels, you know what kind of imagery they will flash on the music channels, you know what the prime minsiter will say in his address to the nation, you know what cover stories the newsmagazines will come up with, you know what questions the half-cranky anchors will ask the three-fourth cranky teenagers on the streets, you know what symbol will be most flashed at your eyes, and you know what they will blabber in all those useless talk shows.
For kids, it's another holiday. For adults, it's entertainment day at home. For jingoists, it's a festival. For politicians, it's another day to kick on the old man's ass. For media, it's a day for big money. At the end of the day, after having watched in silence his birthday celebration, the old man is tired, beaten, abandoned and sick. But, heck, nobody cares! I have three meals a day, a nice job, good bank balance, so the old man can go to the dogs.
The old man has been rendered spineless. The whole system of politics, juidiciary, legislature, and media sucks. The specimen called politician was dead and gone with Gandhi and gang. They may not have had practicable ideals and were not sharp at anticipating the consequences of their decisions, but they at least had appreciable missions and commanded good amount of respect by virtue of their education and personality. After them, we have been ruled by goons and people don't mind it! Worse, they still go and vote, fueled by incorrect understanding of franchise and the so-called sincere citizen!
Amid all this hopeless chaos, we have these high-adrenaline, impatient, and vain youth (am also among them) - the future of the nation. Flash some skin, pierce at some places, speak in a bastard accent, use four-letter words at your will, talk of brands and places, begin or end every sentence with 'cool', 'man', 'dude' and other such non-expletives-but-expletives-actually, blame everything on Gandhi and Nehru, gyrate the hips at a pub with booze beside and loud music in the background, and flaunt everything. To complement, learn the tunes of om jai jagdish... and aye malik tere bande... If you are a girl, also learn how to - and where to - put a bindi and how to wear a saree. That's enough, and the media finds in you the rightful mix of tradition and modernity. East meets West. Crossover. My foot!
Civil servant is extinct. We are ruled by the gun. Try to speak truth and you will be a statistic. Everybody knows what happened to a certain 'Tehelka'. The real goons are out there in the Assembly halls, while thousands of innocent people are behind bars. Media doesn't have guts to find out real stories. Government is a bunch of cranks playing football with you and me. Surprisingly, neither of us minds! As Coetzee says, "Man gets used to anything. Anything." Soldiers kill civilians to meet their 'weekly targets' and frame them as militants, and the rest of the country hails them as saviours! Human rights? Show me something 'human' and we can talk of rights. A small rumour effects a riot. And I am still sold the concept of India being a 'democratic and secular nation'!
To go one up, one always meets these chaps who come along and say, "hey buddy, don't be so cynical". Oh yeah! why should it bother anybody anyways? Why not enjoy another round of gossip at the coffee table and let the old man, as we said, go to the dogs? Come on, he is just 58 now, and he can go on for centuries. Chill!
I don't know what the old man thinks, but I feel it's time for retirement. Enough of experimenting with goonocracy. Renounce. Let go. Begin anew!
On second thoughts, it's just asking for the moon. Tagore prayed to let his country awake into the 'heaven of freedom', and nothing happened. So, what the hell would happen if some 'cynics' and idlers write useless reflections in diaries or blogs or magazines? For modern man, taking out time for reading itself is a monumental task. Anything beyond is unthinkable. So, shit happens, papers polish it and print, we read, and get on with our lives. Reminds me of the sentence in The Fall: "A single sentence would suffice for modern man - he fornicated and read the papers."
Old man, happy birthday anyways! 58th.
Current Mood: Happy
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