Tuesday, August 22, 2017

A Tryst With Destiny

Recently, I have been laughing my head off listening to proverbs and quotes with a slight twist... to make some impression, I notice that people add a list of (for no better way to put it,) 'bad' words to their punchlines. I hate being judgmental while at the same time wonder why people call certain words as "bad" nevertheless get offended by them when most words actually are just another way of mentioning frivolous aspects of our lives. What makes us laugh, sure makes us think.

Of all the things happening around that one may laugh at, the chance to laugh at 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan' or rather the idea that cleaning a country's filth left over by the dumping of wastes and irresponsible discharge of pollutants into land, water and air (like many of our politician's speeches that we accidentally listen to,) by giant, greedy corporat(e)s rests on the hands and head of the individuals, is hilarious as it makes no sense. Shouldn't the cola companies and mining companies be cleaning their own mess? Shouldn't they be held responsible for that? Or should the burden be passed on to the citizen's shoulder for the government's incompetency to stop the corporat(e)s from littering?! Anyways, why bother when a broom in the hand and dirt pan on the head can spin a political wheel or should I say, help a political flower bloom in India.

India's tax policy is another joke that drives me bonkers. Just take for example the case where a baker pays GST for the bread, another GST for the olive, yet another for the cheese and one more and another for the meat, pepper and anything else he throws into making a pizza and charges us for all the ingredients, why does he charge us yet another GST for the whole pizza one more time?! Isn't it multiple taxation yet again for a country that is already unbelievably in a double taxation system without going for war?
Concerning concepts for jokes, no one in India dare claim a shortage - the idea of imposing the aadhar down the throat and up the arse of every citizen, the dysmal disregard for privacy and total disregard for personal rights, the soaring prices, the plunging pay scales and when I start counting the jokes one has that can make use of proverbs and quotes with the added twist, the chances of finding concepts for a hilarious laugh are limitless as the issues knock down one domino after the other and one can have a knock-out night of stand-up comedy just by speaking the truth. 

70 years of independence and I am still waiting... like many in our villages and high ranges do as they wait for electricity to light a single bulb while our ministers howl over a digital India and e-payments that will surely brighten the lives of the entire nation, waiting like many who lack a toilet in their home or even the basic sanitation and like the many more who live on the pavements for the lack of a home to begin with - to be saved from our superstars and their kids who run on alcohol who in turn wait to run over them with their super-fast, imported sports car that run on liquid gold for remorseless fun and know how to get away with it too, I am waiting like the scores whose land has been grabbed, whose jobs have been looted and their livelihood pushed off their grounds to give way for some luxury hotel or a chain of resort to come in, like the many whose daughters have been raped, son's illegally detained, father's tortured and mother's abused as they are voicelessly forced to wait for justice as they hide from the stigma cast by their own shadow, I am waiting just like that 70 year old man named independence who has seen enough, with just as much strength, with just as much hope that the 70 years of life of watching the same ruthlessness over and over again can bear before singing the eulogy of an entire nation go down the pits of a pre-dug grave right in the front, left, right, state and center. 

Even death, as I see it in India, is merciless as the poor, innocent migrant worker from Tamil Nadu - Murugan, who met with an accident in Kerala would have experienced it last week as he was rushed from hospital to hospital, pleading with one doctor and another to treat him and finally after being refused treatment by several learned doctors in seven different hospitals, after almost seven hours died helplessly due to neglect of treatment. (These are times when I feel like screaming underwater.) At the end of the day, all that the government needed to do to get away with this inhumane murder was mention a 'sorry' - a 'sorry' that marks the state of our conscience 70 years post-independence for the world to see.  

Meanwhile, Indian politicians have resorted to the culture of silence by learning the art of evading questions in political platforms and have decided to grow fat in silence on their loot. India's freedom struggle kicked off with a debate over the dead fat of mute animals and today's reason to celebrate our freedom seems to be for no different reason. 70 years of independence and I am still waiting like many... for the freedom that was supposed to be.

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