Dear Readers – You’ll find the tone and tenor of this write up cynical and even negative to some degree, it on purpose focuses on things which are not quite alright. It is my attempt to tell you ..romanticising without reason or results in view will not serve your long term interests well. For larger good sometimes you need to leave the neutral plain and lean towards one of the two extremes. Go forward, only if you’re up for it, too!
A country, that, under arguably most corrupt regime in independent India grew at a rate of 9% has come shattering down to 5.7% under a nationalist who is not only brutally honest, insanely hardworking, reclusively righteous but also sports a 56’ inch chest. Superb schemes likes start up India, skill India, stand up india has forcibly made job creations sit down in a pit that someone unknown seems to have dug quite deep, govt took a target of creating 2 cr. jobs in the formal sector every year on itself, so far as per their own figures they have created just about 1% of their own target. FDI kept headlines hot and brewing for good about six months, but in real terms, those promises have not even transformed in one nail getting driven into the ground for real, as Dr. Tharoor exclaims in his famous talk. A rather healthy and agile country suffered a massive fracture in its right limb when it was hit by a rod that read ‘creative & courageous’ without a reason and inflicted upon itself a wound that’s sore even after a year of the injury. Demonetisation monetised banks and rendered the informal sector crippled. If that blow was not enough ‘one country one tax’ idea that was originally conceived by the very economist who opened India’s economy to the world, was snatched from him made someone else’s and then implemented in haste – resulting in one confused country with 3 taxes and 6 GST rates. Nothing in the recent decades has been known to create perplexity this grave – every businessman is trying to wrap his head around the rates and the filing methods – accountants are spinning their mills like crazy though.
We live in times when dissent is perceived seditious, sloganeering and sensationalism fills the air, cows feel safer than those who even dream of seeing source of protein in its flesh, stories of people getting lynched float with ease and repeatedly. The whole nation is busy, registering PAN numbers, linking Aadhar with banks and SIM cards and then back with PAN, so much so that they have no time to notice that prices of commodities like fuel and cooking gas have been revised over a dozen times in last three year and on an crude comparison basis, prices have gone up 30%. The railway platform ticket which used to be 2 rupees at one time not too long ago in the past is now 20 bucks but we’re so overwhelmed by the news of a bullet train on loan and the idea of hyperloop between already well connected Mumbai and Pune that we have no time to take note of the fact that poverty line that was wrongly defined at 32 rupees per day hasn’t been revised and every year more people are getting added to that lot, helplessly.
Children’s are dying for lack of life saving oxygen but the administration is busy finding ways and means to erect another temple!
God knows what has happened to the quality of discourse, we do not speak or critique jobless slowed growth as much or put our heads together to solve the pollution issue but we are hurt immensely when we do not see a man on a wheelchair stand up for national anthem before a movie screening.We are too busy sending disagreements to Pakistan , glorying Bharat by disintegrating it from its own glorious past, TAJ has suddenly become undesirable. Mugalsarai Jn. has been remanded “Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Jn.”. Not just journalists and writers but also qualified judges are killed in cold blood and no one knows who murdered them or is even bothered finding out. Will you please pinch me and wake me up to the India that I used to be in the year 2013 when I believed my vote for BJP will pull India out of the mess that then seemed unbearable. In reality it has thrown on our faces arrogance and mindless race of finishing first in elections. PM’s love for winning elections after elections in eyes of many Indians has made him suitable for trumping Mr. Trump in next US election.
What is this stupid thing that we’re trying to chase? Why does a Modi postcard on Times square, New York, makes us go swell? Don’t we realise that the money that got our man up on that wall would have fed many kids who die of hunger in world’s larger democracy? Grand respect for Patel doesn’t have to be shown by wasting monumentally in erecting a statue. India would be better served if that money is invested in ensuring timely supply of oxygen cylinders to hospitals where kids die. What kind of India are we living in? Where an elected CM has the audacity of saying criminals will be killed in encounter – where does this man get the courage from? I fail to understand!
Padmavati, yes, an imaginative figure occupies centerstage today! I’m a student of history have read it all my life, I specialise in Indian history – I haven’t read one .. yeah you heard me right, not even one historical account of Padmavati, who is now being referred to by an honourable BJP member as mother of the nation? Can we ask father of the nation his views please?
People have taken to streets, men and women alike, all in no uncertain terms are threatening to create mass ruckus if a director who merely tried to imaginatively and creatively tell a story about a character that never really lived in flesh and blood, is allowed to go live on the 75 MM screen? What saddens me even more is that it is not the first time when we Indian people are behaving unreasonably.. our past is full of such foolish instances. Satanic verses was banned even before the physical book made it to the indian shores, ‘Mohammad, the Idiot’ article by times of India met the same fate. A flick on Jesus was not allowed to get screened in India become handful of people found it offensive. Taslima Nasreen is a living proof of the fact that we are people who have not become intolerant suddenly but have actually never been quite accepting of differences. Our constitution provides us freedom of speech but it unlike the west imposes reasonable restrictions in interest of morality, foreign relations, religion etc – so you can and at the same time can’t express freely – Article 19 (2)!
The Apex court has on innumerable occasions said that it is duty of the Government to provide its citizens with security so that they get an environment to freely express their views but because the government is also the upholder of law and order it often take hiding into that fact and for a perceived threat chooses to dismiss freedom of expression. States like Rajasthan, UP, MP etc have already banned the movie in their states sighting the same reason – but in reality what they care about is votes and just that!
Offending Rajputs means loosing a state .. so even if their demands are utterly rubbish it must be met! This is the truth!
In a democracy everyone has a right to disagree but as the great Mahatma once argued that so long as we agree on the ground rules of disagreement, expressing disagreements will never be a problem! But in present times disagreement has found ‘threat’ as it companion.
So here is what I’d like to say to all of you who are opposing Padmavati or just glorifying any such stupid move without really checking facts.
If you find the director taking liberty with historical facts .. why don’t you make a movie with facts? If you find a book or an article offensive – write one carrying your views! You are free to not watch it but you can’t stop others from watching it!
On that note .. I would say that we really need to become a little critical sometimes to understand what is wrong around us. Unless we scrutinise we would not know how urgent we need to correct our course.