I rarely let my firmly ingrained cynicism spill over into this blog but what’s a rule but dead boring without its exceptions. About an year back hope ran amok in this country as new government took the reins of states (a few that went to the electorate around that time) and the nation. There were cynics back then and a stunned yet vitriol spewing opposition. Months later cynicism reigns supreme. One hears the bureaucrats at the Centre have finally been sorted out and that red tapism and corruption have come down. But what would we know? Only what we see. This. Governments have shown alacrity in resorting to banning beef when an alarmingly increasing rate of farmer suicide rages rampant. In the battle of holy cow and sinning humanity, we are clear who wins. A ‘Swachh Bharat’ (Clean India) campaign blares loudly while garbage overruns the streets. And now the politicians want to take over the one Central Institution that provides hope – the country’s Reserve Bank which has largely been responsible for this nation not falling into the economic folly of so many other supposedly developed nations. Some things don’t change. One of those times when I’m wholly with Punk On Toast’s furious “Democracy Is A Lie”, when I feel The Who got “Meet the new boss / Same as the old boss” spot on but not the “Won’t Get Fooled Again” bit.
Nothing new but there’s a reason I’m writing this piece today of all days. A truly great man passed away yesterday. A rare man who was looked up to by almost everyone in India irrespective of divisions of religion, caste, language, wealth, education, political affiliation. Teacher, scientist, musician, perhaps the greatest President of my country, a wonderful person – Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam was all of that but more than all of these he was an inspiration to a populace almost bereft of hope. The greatness of a nation lies in its people. But how great can we be when the masses’ greatest ‘concern’ is if such a man’s death earns them a holiday from work or school? This instance is not the illness in itself but a strong symptom. Is it any wonder we get the governments that we have?
With such a majority we will get fooled again and again and democracy will remain a fuckin’ lie.