He was walking down the street, to his regular-boring-unbearable job. As usual he was not in best of his tempers and thus was visibly upset when a roadside crone gave him a shove and ran away. The nearby urchins; to his displeasure started howling and jeering for no apparent reason! Yet he could discern some connection between the two events. He decided he should check his belongings, and there! He was aghast when he found that the wallet was missing from the side pocket of his double-breasted jacket. When he looked up, both the urchins and the crone were out of the sight. In utter fury, he threw away his coat, which crashed with a garbage bin, and made its contents to fall down. Well not so much so as contents, but streams of newspapers tumbled off it. On closer observation, he realized that the whole street, in fact all the streets had been strewn with similar bits of papers. It was as if they were some pre-independence pamphlets, which were thrown off randomly to declare open rebellion. He became curious about the nature of that paper then. He picked it up and noticed it was crumpled up in a ball, as if somebody was understandably disgusted with the contents of the paper. Now thoroughly intrigued, he straightened it out and saw a big photograph of Gandhi on one side and the picture of Osama-bin laden on another side, with a big question mark in the middle. The sheer paradox made him laugh. It had to be a joke, he thought. Gandhi and Osama in one single frame!!!
He started reading the article. Oddly, it was titled,
Gandhism v/s Terrorism
Intrigued, he carried on with it…
Tragedy strikes India!!! Under the veiled conspiracy, the Anti-Indian elements have launched a new virulent attack on the nation. The said forces have perpetrated a threat so strong that it seems to have rocked the peace, tranquil and the calm of our nation. Needless to mention it has been met with unimaginable outrage from all quarters of the society...
He started wondering what in the hell that could be! Nothing that he had heard off. Except perhaps some meteorite crash, which might have been predicted quite late. But he wondered where do meteorites and Gandhi get linked? Or even Osama for that matter… He continued…
But wait… What’s this latest piece of information? Oh boy! Jubilations are in for the call!!! We are saved!!! Yes Friends, Indians, Countrymen! A little-more-than-required-known ‘gentle’-man? called Vijay Mallaya has saved the day, and halted the enemy’s march. Celebrate you fools… Because some liquor baron has finally saved the sniveling nose of a nation, by buying out ancient relics of a severe teetotaler!!! Rejoice... Idiots!!!
Now this was disappointing. He had expected something more mature and real. Frowning, he continued…
Yes that is what the nation and its fabulous ‘wealth’ have come down to. No, it doesn’t make any difference that Slumdog has clinched multiple awards. People just put up banners, trying to steal artificial and unreal glory. No we don’t look at the movie! Who cares whether the slums shown in it are real life stills and not any made-up sets. We do HAVE a serious poverty and habitation issue. But no! Why spend money on feeding and staying poor ugly children? We invest our money wisely, we Indians. Why splurge it on unnecessary things like providing food and shelter to Lacs of those slum-dwellers? We use the money for very precious activities. We save national treasures.
And what are they?
Second hand, worn out objects from the last century; which if not with the name of some chap called Gandhi attached with, wouldn’t have fetched more than 18 rupees (Rupees mind you) and How much change does our King of Good Times shell out? Just 1.8 million ‘dollars’!!! (Yeah call me whatever, but you cant deny, that dollars fetch more money) Now what a trade! And in the times of a global economic recession. And considering we are a third-world (yes, it’s a shame, but lets face it... India is still a third world... Err... If not that then a One and Three quarters world country having no belonging or bearing at all) country! With severe food population education land technology housing and an endless list of demographic problems. But no, we find it easy to pay for rusted pair of spectacles in for exchange of hundreds of family’s lifetime worth of sustenance!!! Great deal, thumbs up!!!
That is why, I think in this modern context, after almost three fourths of a century, we have got two new poles in our country, two new demons of the society, two new Rahu’s and the Ketu’s, two brand new pair of dragon’s head and tail...
One is obviously terrorism, the destructive Ketu
The other is Gandhism, the illusionist Rahu.
Now, this was turning nasty. He looked up at the name of the journo, and was surprised to find that it was some unknown chap called Mann Maheshwari! In fact, when he searched for the name of the paper, he was surprised to find it was an unknown daily, probably he had never even heard of it before. Disturbed, he again pored into what this chap was ranting…
In every house, it is the father who usually cultivates the intricacies of social and ethical conduct. No wonder we have breeded such a populace in past fifty years! When you have the most dumbfounded donkey at the head of the table, surely rest that follows is going to be utter-sheer-crappy-chaos.
Gandhi! One-man-army! Colossus of Resilience! (Well, actually Colossus even of impoverishment and under-nutrition, but hey! We can discount at least that much… after all, he is the father, the big boss of the nation!!!)
Sacrilegious!!! That was the only word that described the thing. Nothing but pure blasphemy!!! He threw the crap away and yet again started to go on his way to office, his frustration and anger redoubled. Such things are not just supposed to be thrown… we should make examples of such people and punish them severely, he thought.
Each turning saw the same newspaper crumpled up and thrown, or used as the fuel for angry bonfires. Smiling with vindication, he went on ahead.
But the phrases kept on repeating themselves in his mind. He was helplessly lured by the temptation to read it, to complete it, but no! it is rightly believed that knowledge is a sin, because a person who never has seen light cannot understand darkness too. So it was better to be in darkness rather than explore light and become blind once again…
To his surprise, he discovered that knowledge too had its magnetic pull. He picked up the half burnt newspaper he saw next, and eyeing to his left and right, he started reading it once again after confirming he was alone.
No history textbook in the world can be complete without him. Yet again, history is after all his-story! Dare you doubt it?
Nay sirs and soiree’s I am not here to debate about Gandhi’s greatness and goodness and hugeness and blah blah blah… I am concerned more about mundane issues of pressing present, rather than doubt a strong man (Yes, looks ARE deceptive) who lived… Err… sorry, who used to survive half a century ago. I wish to talk about the burning legacy that he seems to have left behind, framed, and compact. Unbreakable.
Thanks to sincere efforts of One Mr. Sanjay Dutt, Gandhigiri is a modern fashionable term. Uber-kids don’t fight, they do Gandhigiri!
“Yo man… that bloke beat the shit outta your face man… What are you gonna do mate?”
“Me? I am gonna sit outside his door everyday with bandages to make him remember my pain and sorrow!”
“Hey buddy, your girl left with your best pal… tragic yaara!”
“Nothing yaar. Its ok, I have sent them bushels of flowers with a congratulatory note.”
Sure this sounds Kewl, even convincing. But how about some reality? Haven’t we had enough Masochism during his time to practice more posthumously? I don’t say gouge out the left eye if you have lost the right one… Just that all these tricks and disillusionments seem pernicious and hypocritical to me.
Rahu, in astrological terms is a disillusioner. The one who confuses you and weaves you into that proverbial Maya-Jaal. And Gandhi, on his spinning wheel has weaved out such a fantastic fabric of enchantment, that he should have been accorded Nobel prize in a new category, solely for him.
Take this in your consideration. The whole issue of caste divide did not practically exist before Gandhi frog-hopped on the political scene of the nation. Yes I agree the society was not at all equal, and that Varna system was no less ugly, yet, everything notwithstanding, there was no communal segregation. Even if on different classes, no Git had the idea of difference between gods. And here comes Gandhi! You see the connection? Gandhi-Topi on the politician’s head, His influence with them insured for perpetuity… Oh c’mon, our politicians are like they are, because their idol, their model was like that!
How do I work that out?
An ad hoc characteristic of a politician is tendency to be opportunistic. And Gandhi was the biggest opportunist ever! BIGGEST! No wonder Britons found him threatening… After all, he was the lion of their own jungle! It’s a recorded fact that he shifted his base from Sabarmati, to Wardha just for the lure of money. And I wont go out to outline details of his relationship with his sons. Or even the Irwin pact, which murdered Bhagat Singh et al. Do I clear a point?
It is Gandhi, who has left behind the stinking legacy of divisions, disintegrations, stubborn mule-asses, dirty red tape, thriving nepotism, incorrigible opportunism, and yes, even corruption.
It is Gandhi who is solely responsible for disillusioning our nation.
Ajmal-Amir-Kasab. Sounds similar right? Yeah… It’s the same chap who went haywire on CST station last winter, isn’t it? What about him?
Kasab is a proved killer. He has extinguished many living lives, in broad daylight, in front of many people. He fired at innocent public, who could not even protect itself from the crazy gunshots he pelted in open air. He did not even flinch once while taking aim at unarmed common man. Is there any difference between him and O'Dwyer of Amritsar, 1919? So why should there any difference between the treatments? Or are we waiting for some non-existent Udhham Singh to apparate and solve the problems we haven’t been able to? Fat chance!We have herded terrorists in our nation. Given them food-clothing-shelter. SAFE Shelter, EDIBLE Food, PROPER Shame! Most of the people in our nation find that hard to come by. Man can you imagine the stupidity, and the shame of catering to a man who has killed many Innocent fellow countrymen! We give them protection! We strive for their Justice!!! JUSTICE! To those who have blindly fired at crowds, or blasted bombs in trains, or hijacked temples and parliament houses! We literally swipe their arses for them! And all in the pretext of Justice! All in the name of Equality!
Reservations and Segregations have arisen solely out of the need for justice and equality! Can you dream of bigger paradox! I don’t think I quantitatively need to point out the perpetrator of such non-new-sense...
If Ketu destroys, makes you realize the harsh reality, the inescapable truth; terrorism it is; The dragon’s head… Spouting fire, gnawing at our flesh.
On the other extreme of the palette is Gandhi-Rahu. Forever discriminating. Forever misleading. The ultimate disillusioner.
Which hell would you choose?
Or do we find out the path in between? The road-less-traveled? The path of REAL justice and INDISCRIMINATE equality?
Time will tell.
This time he did not throw it away in disgust. It fell off his hands. He was unaware of everything, except perhaps words and phrases leaping out at him, jeering him, as the urchins had. In an ultimate irony of life, he noticed that there was practically no difference between ignorance and thought. Between good and evil, between sane and radical. The thin boundaries of practicality and reality faded, and he found himself staring at dark recesses of confusion, wondering what to do, what not to do… What to believe and what not to believe…
True he was not true. True it was blasphemy. True, it was unbelievable. But an indent was formed on his beliefs. There was a void, a hole in what he could trust and what he couldn’t. Confused, derelict, and directionless, he moved in his own space, wondering whether it was real or an illusion…
Time will tell.