Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Remembering Bhagat Singh

Some day this rag tag self of mine will give up its ghost. I will go beyond the immediate and plan to stay there. Until then, I will live each day wishing that the soul of my Motherland awakens from its middle-class slumber. I wish that this ghastly self-acceptance turns into selfless rage.

Today is the 66th year of our independence and I have lived with close to two score of them earlier. There is a striking disquiet from how I remember such days from my past. 

Who is shouting? 
We have pages full of adverts offering super sale, mega sale and super mega sale and so on. We have adverts from Politicians glorifying themselves at my cost. The pages are also splashed with faces of mega celebrities. 

What is Missing?  
Manoj Kumar and Mere Desh Ki Dharthi is missing in the suburbs. Green Gulal and Saffron Abeer is missing from my neighbouring Hanuman Temple. The only flags around are those sold by immigrant two year olds and are cheap Chinese plastic. My dad did not call and wish me Happy Independence Day. Even as I was boarding this flight, only two gentlemen smiled and wished me Happy Independence. 

What is happening?  
66 years on, expectations of ordinary Indians are not what they once were. I wake up depressed and try not to keep my eyes and ears open. The poor are terribly poorer but poverty of the kind I speak of is not an urban tale anymore, it does not matter, I will not read about it in my minister's speech. 
Thirty years ago, my parents earned some 7.5K Indian Rupees per month. Both of them worked, never created any wealth, lived in a rented house, but could afford to educate I and my sister. Today, such families from the lower middle class spend more time keeping hunger at bay. Should the primary bread earner fall sick, the family is driven to suicide.

The Indian diaspora across the world look at its politicians with contempt. Kaurava's disrobing Draupadi in front of an entire nation, even as Lord Krishna, the keeper of justice and life, in our case, the courts of law, looks on. The justice system in India stopped delivering deliverance decades ago. In the Indian Mahabharata of today, Draupadi gets raped on the road-side by the Kaurava's and the Lord looks on. Not sure if the Lord of Kaliyuga is with the Kaurava's, leaving HIS laity orphaned and uncared for.

I was in a Delhi cab passing through Akbar Road yesterday. As we passed through a political parties office, all the four passengers in the cab said together... 'Chor Hai Sab Sale'. The rage in our soul is hurting. F**k Independence Day, there is another war in waiting. The Mahatma of today has given up, now we as a nation need a Bhagat Singh and we are in waiting.

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