The national ruling party, a prideful bunch of “honorable” men has been enjoying the spoils at the center for the second consecutive time. They have been doing, what they profoundly acclaim as “Bharat Nirman“.
To these good-men of India – the lot of most “honorable” people in the country, the ones who roam around with red beacons and lead the en masse, I question.
I question not their authority, not their attitude, but their motif. I question. I question, not as a voter, not as a citizen, but as a human. I question.
Most high! Most mighty! O Dear Minister of mine! Why doth thou lie so low?
I voted for thou, and I am no more a happy man. I showed trust in thou, and I am no more a happy man. I hath faith in thy governance, and I am no more a happy man. But of course, I shall vote for thou again, for thou is an honorable man.
Thou proclaimed, “Give me a second chance, and I’ll do wonders. Show me the crown again, and I’ll not be greedy.”
And so doth thou proclaim again.
And so will my fellow citizens show thou the chair again, for thou ain’t a bandit, but a man of honor.
The poor hath cried, but not a single tear shed from thy eyes. The Commonwealth molested, raped and savaged, but not a single tear shed from thy eyes. But I shall vote for thou, for thou is an honorable man.
Thou hath always been ambitious. Ambitious to bring thy family members into the ruling coalition, ambitious to overlook thy own mistakes. Ambitious!
Ambitious to show arrogance to thy member parties. Ambitious to overlook the national good over thy petty profits. But, don’t thou worry, for thou is a man of honor.
And I’ll vote for thou. For I fear, if I wrong the honorable man, the heavens will blaze forth this incredible country of mine.
[This political satire refers to the day of power grid failure in the country. The comments made in the article are fictitious.]
A candlelight dinner on a pleasant summer evening; romantic, isn’t it? Well, that’s exactly what the Government of India thought when it officially enforced such dinners throughout the northern half of the country on the night of 29th July.
Technically termed as electricity blackout, the candlelight dinners,according to the government officials were “improvised” to promote family bonding and cultural values.
“At a time when children spend hours in front of electronic screens and parents are busy with daily chores, it’s our duty to get the family together. And so we intentionally forced the blackout”, said an official.
On being asked why the blackout happened only in North India, the representative answered, “Our party doesn’t discriminate India on regional basis. The blackout area was randomly chosen. Our message to the rest of the citizens is not to worry, the blackouts will be held on a national scale, and on a frequent basis.”
Reacting to the government’s justification, the netizens in India trended hashtags#WeWantElectricity,#blackoutIndia, and #epicfailure on the micro blogging website.
“I hope we have a year-long blackout in the Parliament. Let there be harmony among the senators #blackoutIndia”, tweeted @AamAadmi
Rising to the occasion were parody accounts of Home Ministry and Electricity Department, the most popular being M0HIndia @MinistryOfHomeAffairs. The account had a million subscribers within a few hours, notable among which were the subscriptions of the opposition ministers.
Unable to digest the harsh criticism, the government launched an official complaint with twitter to block the parody accounts.
“We have requested the concerned authority to take down such users as they spread a wrong message in the public. As a precautionary measure, we are requesting our followers to trend #MOHIndiaRocksand #BlackoutForHarmony on twitter”, said a ruling party spokesperson.
The opposition on the other hand was seen bashing the government. “This move is a promotion of the candlelight dining facilities available at ministry owned hotels and restaurants. The government is bluffing the citizens. We need to have a CBI inquiry on this.”
Rubbishing the remarks of the opposition were the comments from ‘teesramorcha’(the third wing). “Government has done the right thing. Such blackouts boost equality among the rich and the poor“, addressed their leader to the media.
Banking on high TRPs generated by the issue, media persons were tirelessly covering the event. ”Aamadmi faces the blackout burden. Electricity shortage rocks North India”, read the headline on a prime time news show.
Various other news channels showed exclusive footage of people trapped in the electricity net. ”Look here!! This man is forced to get a haircut under candlelight”, reported a correspondent.
In certain other parts of the country the situation was even worse. In New Delhi people got stranded in the Metro and were then forced to dine on the train floor by the officials. Special candles were lit for the occasion. As per the government, it was the best display of communal harmony.
At the end of the day, the power ministry released an official statement, “This blackout achieved a large scale success and we plan to organize more such events in near future.”
Going down the memory lanes, I profoundly remember the time spent around playing in the rainy season, basking in the purity of the fresh drops of water, relishing the sweet joy of monsoons. But today, it’s not the same.
Not that I have grown up, but the surroundings that we grow in produce toxic wastes that contaminate the water – both up and below the earth.
Ours is a developing nation, a power to reckon in years to come, but does that give us the right to mar the environment and natural resources? No, perhaps not. And why should it, at the first place? Why must development come at the cost of our planet?
We argue with the developed nations and question if they can produce certain amounts of carbon emissions, so can we. But somewhere down our approach, in our fight to become rich and developed – to become the West, we forget that richness lies in the virginity of our environment and the abundance of our natural resources, which we are constantly exhausting or more appropriately, devouring.
Cities in India are expanding, exclusive societies are coming up, people are migrating – becoming ‘rich’; but all this at the cost of what – the contaminated Ganges (the most polluted river in the world – the cause of 80% of health problems and 1/3rd of all deaths in India: holy, isn’t it??),the irresponsibly disposed solid waste (0.1 million tonnes of municipal solid waste generated in India everyday; only 5% disposed properly), the perennial drought conditions (estimating to an economic damage of 2.6 million USD annually) or the persistent deforestation ( the major cause behind subsequent hotter Indian summers and extincting wildlife species)??
We recite the benefits of Sustainable Development, but for what – only to blabber and do nothing? Our government officials go to Environmental Summits, discuss agendas, come back and then sleep; just to awake fresh before the election period.
Non Government Organisations, Non Profit Organisations and certain good-willed institutions and individuals have been working and fighting for better surroundings and climate, only to find themselves screwed at the hands of government; whose grasp, believe me, is bigger than that of an earthquake.
The politicians in India rule everything. As an analogy to this, I would like to speak of the British rule in India – they came as traders(East India Company) and then became the kings. Our politicians, who constitutionally, are meant to serve the country, but ironically, they rule the country – in none less harsh way than the Britishers. Recently exposed multi-billion dollar scams are a testimony to this.
Second hand earnings – the sweet delicacies after a fulfilling lunch, are a favorite amongst Indian bureaucrats. As if the recent telecom scam (soaring to the tunes of 1.75 trillion rupees) wasn’t enough, the government jet-crashed the country with the coal scam, popularly known as the coalgate (dancing high at 1.86 lakh crore rupees). The most disgraceful thing being, playing with the natural resources of the country – pushing the bruised mother earth into a valley too deep to rise, a valley filled with malice and greed, from where nothing else, but the doom seems near.
The coalgate scam, perhaps, a wholesale destruction of the environment, has shed light on the apathy that the ministry shows towards environmental issues. As a matter of fact, there has been widespread corruption even in the mining area – the state of Karnataka reported illegal mining scam a few months back.
Over the past 30 years, which includes the regimes of both NDA and UPA governments, only 6 percent of the proposed industrial projects have been revoked on environmental basis. Between the years 2007 and 2011, 8000 projects were given clearance. Still, more shocking was approval of 180 mining projects by MoEF, given the situation that most of the projects are designated for critically polluted regions and one-third of the existing mines have been violating the pollution standards.
Adding to the existing foes of environment, the Government of India has tapped the funds allocated for afforestation, citing the increasing green cover in the country.
Hah!! If only our ministers could have been more reasonable.
The reality is that the so termed ‘increasing forest cover’ is mostly plantation of single specie timber trees.
The latest target of the ever-expanding ‘ministry-hit natural resources’ list is Water – chemically H2O, biologically the basis of all life on Earth. The Union Ministry in January this year proposed National Water Policy, encouraging privatization of water, removal of agricultural subsidies on water and electricity, and promoting giving out of incentives to private sector companies for them to recycle and reuse water.
In all this ‘high level‘ policy making, what our ‘extremely intelligent‘ ministers forgot is, water is a common – it can not be owned as a private property or sold as a commodity. The Right to clean water is the most basic Human Right and privatization of water, under this prospective, is a violation of the Constitution of India.
The grim scenario of water and coal highlights the gloomy state of politics in India, and trapped in it, the citizens and their natural resources – brutally vandalized and looted by the government in all facets of life.
Poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, and there “he” is, taking a long peaceful nap on his comfy million dollar couch; unfazed.
Riots, violence, terrorism, and there “he” is, eating voluptuously; relishing the freshly prepared salmon served by his lavishly paid chefs; unperturbed.
Rape, child labor, human trafficking, and there “he” is, enjoying a family vacation at an overseas resort; feeling blissful.
Dear Mr. Minister, for once realize your duty; realize that you are a servant and not the master. Wake Up! Your slumber has been too long. Serve the country; rise to the expectations of a growing economy. Feel Shameful!! Stop treating the citizens of this country as your mistresses.
For humanity sake, as an experiment, treat a single day at your office as an election day and see the miracles happening. For once, shed off the egoistic apathy of yours and see the country progressing. For once, give up your mean psychology and experience the power of truth – the joy and exuberance of being fair and just, and see the happiness spreading to the slender roads of the forgotten.
For Once, Sir, For Once, give in to the demands of the country. Be a human. Realize. Country Matters!