Thursday, February 27, 2020

When we fear...

They say age is just a number.
As I get to the big four O, I both agree and disagree.
I don't feel forty but I'm not as fearless as I was. 

It's all in the mind they say. But is the mind weary or are you willing to celebrate the glass half full?

The decade that just passed has been tumultuous. As someone who follows politics, regional and otherwise, I've been getting sicker.

Modi with his unique brand of statesmanship has done a fair enough sleight of hand tricks to retain the voting majority. 

We have morphed into a nation where freedom of speech has become a precious nonrenewable resource.
Like slow-cooked frogs, we neither have the muscle to rise up nor the money to keep our fight focused. 
As politicians openly campaign for violence against those who don't share their political enthusiasm, I lament.

I've stayed quiet for the better part of the past decade fearing frivolous lawsuits and death threats from people who don't believe in the basic tenets that made up our great country. 

Politicians will beat their chests with fervent patriotism and claim India has never invaded another country in history, but why invade when we can implode from within. 

To be fair, I like Modi's style of brute force statesmanship. 
I like how he is the hugging saint of politicians. 
I like how he has got people talking about India. 
I like how he can rally his troops just by using words. 
I like how he has the political will to get what he wants.
I like how he has the political majority to do what he wills.
I like how he is fiercely loyal to Gujarat.
I like how he is conscious of his image, political and otherwise.
I admire the Chanakya in him. 

But that's about it.

I don't like how he has dismantled our society, which was delicately held together by common complaints and joys of daily living. 
I don't like how he destroys his political opponents.

But that's not all...

I intensely hate how he can allow people to die. Yes, I have a strange sense of deja vu knowing how Modi feasted with Trump when barely a few km away, the city was burning. 
I am aghast at how he could allow people to kill each other and be silent about it. 
I am appalled at how he could allow politicians within his party to openly call for genocide and not flinch. 
I am surprised we haven't removed politicians who feed us with hate, while we arrest citizens who call them out.
Image result for delhi violence
As the country burns in pockets and patches of violence, our Premier is busy getting ready to win the next election, preparing for the next luncheon meeting with a foreign leader, or trying to schmooze another billionaire.

As Modi grooms his successor and India looks like it is doomed unless we rise in a way we haven't in 70 years, I am overcome with a sense of dread. 

The silver lining in the cloud is - Modi isn't the worst. We've got Shah coming in next. 
We've got golden girl Pragya Thakur.
We've got stud muffin Yogi Adityanath.
Can India survive the onslaught?

The irony in closing:
I am amused Modi had to build a wall to cover up slums from the sacrosanct gaze of the Don. After all, we were always told tall tales of his Gujarat model of progress. 

Well, atleast Don got his wall.

And I step into 40 with a sense of pending doom. With the way things are going, I may soon become the religious minority that our PM is trying to prosecute shield. 

“Where the mind is without fear
and the head is held high,
where knowledge is free.
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls.
Where words come out from the depth of truth,
where tireless striving stretches its arms toward perfection.
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost it's way
into the dreary desert sand of dead habit.
Where the mind is led forward by thee
into ever-widening thought and action.
In to that heaven of freedom, my father,

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