Opinions

Season of false promises beacons us

What’s the latest gimmick of the Modi Government? Reservations and quotas when it’s time to bid goodbye from the masses who are sitting conned and cheated by the bunch of promises held out to them over four summers back! Where are the promised jobs, rations, housing, survival necessities? Nah, just about nothing! All that I can see around are signs of upheavals and civil disorder. People’s anger accelerating to such an extent that there’s come up that dangerous phenomenon where rebellious citizens have started pelting stones at government functionaries; writ large in the recent Uttar Pradesh incident where a mob of angry men pelted stones at a cop…killing him on the spot. You could label that incident stone-pelting. I would prefer to describe it as anger-pelting. So disgusted and disgruntled and dissatisfied are the masses that they have resorted to pelting stones at just about anyone who represents the sarkar of the day! Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath, didn’t dare to say that those killer-stones had been sent or got or couriered all the way from China or Pakistan. Writ large it was, stones clutched in the hands of the angry villagers were picked up from the local village terrain, to unleash their growing anger and mounting frustration.

The junior level government representatives are getting targeted. As the big functionaries sit well-protected by layers and layers of Z+ security, so cannot be reached, nor touched. Can only be heard waxing eloquent, parroting hollow words and bogus promises. In fact, to be honest, each one of the words uttered by the ruling lot hits and injures the very psyche of our people, because those words lack sincerity.

Mind you, if there was even an iota of genuine earnestness to reach out to the masses then by now, in these nearly five years of the Modi rule, job vacancies would have been filled up, ration shops would been well equipped, free-flowing grains and adequate water supplies... Above all, we wouldn’t been provoked to kill each other. Look what’s been happening around. Mind you, the latest quota and citizenship baits are sure to drag along more twists and turns; we are sure to witness many more divisions and rounds of anarchy and bloodshed.

The ground realities are such that instead of milk, children are drinking pesticides! The latest reported incident is from Madhya Pradesh when a child tried to quench his hunger and thirst by drinking poison, more than relays that even those disadvantaged and marginalized, who ought to have been reached out to, are left to die! I fail to understand the complexities involved. On one hand, the much flaunted and hyped declarations claim that we are the fastest growing economy, but what good is this for us, when our semi-starved and near-dying children languish. No, I don’t see signs of any economic growth. Tell me, where are the telltale signs of it?

Let us not get conned into believing that upwards we are going, simply because the filthy rich of this country insist on holding gaudy weddings, followed by hosting gaudier receptions. In the last few months it was nauseating to see tamasha weddings of the rich. What if Anushka Sharma or Deepika Padukone or Priyanka Chopra or Kapil Sharma or any of the Ambanis had decided to host their wedding receptions along a rural stretch or in the midst of a village of our country, then, perhaps, an entire village or a cluster of villages could have benefited to a certain extent. But, nah, they opted to flaunt their money power and whatever comes along with it in front of the super rich.

In fact, each time a celebrity couple announced their marriage plans it got simply disgusting to read those details to their marriage. All possible gimmicks involved to extract as much publicity as possible. Those typical hide and seek tactics to lure the masses to read about their wedding plans complete with those gaudy frills – who designed their dresses, who did the catering, the who’s who wishing them. Seemingly so very bizarre! Provoking one to quip: what happens to all the tinkers, tailors, soldiers and sailors who plan to marry! Wouldn’t their dreams get dented? Wouldn’t it leave imprints on the very psyche of the middle class? What happens when the party gets over? What happens after the honeymoon slides? What happens when the realities of life begin to hit? What happens when the lights begin to dim and fade out? What happens when the limelight shrinks?

I sit wondering what happens as we near the spring of 2019, when elections and electioneering picks up in that frenzied way. How many more baits and fake promises will do the rounds? How many more divisive plans will get hatched? How many more encounters and killings will take off? How many more will be killed in the name of caste and community, in the name of region and religion?

*****

Perhaps, the rulers manning the State machinery haven’t heard this verse of Baba Farid Shakarganj (1173-1265 AD):

"Farid, the earth questioned the sky, Where are the mighty captains gone?

In their grave they rot, was the reply,

And rebuked for tasks
not done."

****

Perhaps, those fighting over the masjid–mandir disputed structure, haven’t read these lines of Baba Bulleh Shah:

Masjid dhaa de, Mandir dhaa de, Dhaa de jo kuch dhenda,

Par kissi da dil na dha vee, Rab dilla wich rehnda hae

(Destroy a mosque, destroy a temple, destroy everything in sight.

But don't break a human heart, for that is where God resides)

******

Perhaps, those hell-bent on dividing us along caste and creed lines have not heard this verse of the patron-saint of the Kashmir Valley, Shaikh Nuruddin (popularly known as Shaikhul Alam Nund Rishi):

"Why are you harping on the caste

His is the only caste

His essence is beyond the bounds of knowledge

The doers of noble deeds all have the same caste

If, O’ brother, you surrender to Him, then alone will you become pure"

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