Friday, October 24, 2008

The writing on the wall

The idyll is a little ragged at the edges right now. I haven’t read a book since Sunday. Seem to be all out of literary enthu. The days are punctuated by tonics, medicines, meals, the occasional movie. Besides, I feel irritable when my body gets slack, and I haven’t had ANY kind of exercise in 3 weeks. It’s been 17 days since I stepped out of the house. Cabin fever is a distinct possibility. Oh damn.

Meantime, all that happens, happens for the best in this best of all possible worlds. After the Singur imbroglio, “Dr.” M. Banerjee and the head of the Left Front agree on something. To wit, that the very basis of a democratic polity is endangered by the Election Commission’s ban on graffiti (better known in devout circles as “the writing on the wall”). Given a choice between, on the one hand, giving your consent and having your walls re-decorated in avant-garde mode, and on the other, NOT consenting and having your features re-arranged in Neanderthal mode, which would YOU choose? The democratic option, of course. The greatest good of the greatest number. It’s so heart-warming when our leaders agree on a matter in the public weal. Leaves me all saahgy wiv emoshun and teary-eyed.

On the other coast, there is a patriotic movement. No, not saffronised bowel movements (though those may be happening in Utkala Desh – more of that later). The Western movement seeks to intensify nationalist sentiments. Think global, act local types. If you start with beating up people who are “Not Us” (and not armed), you may eventually get good at beating up people who are REALLY Not Us AND shooting back at you. Practice makes perfect and all that. Score so far – 4 dead, a few dozen injured, vehicles burnt, man-days lost. All in the great tradition of democracy. I am loving it.

In Orissa, Diwali came some months early. There were bonfires and merriment, there was good religious sentiment which involved killing real people (so much more fun than burning effigies). This has led to Parliament making wise noises (not too loud, since A Particular Religion is still the Religion of the Majority). It has also led to friends (whom I had hitherto considered rational) sending out cyber-whoops on the lines of “THAT will laarn ’em!” Organised religion is such a sweet thing. It must be so comforting for all concerned to read Nice Things about Love Thy Neighbour, Humanity is the Ultimate Creed etc. and then, spiritually uplifted, go out to rape and kill and burn. I love Organised Religion. In my book, it is one of mankind’s finest experiences. You know, in terms of enrichment, somewhere between an acid enema and a boil on the scrotum.

Say after me – I Love My Country. I Love My Faith. I Love My Fellow Man (AND My Fellow Woman. ESPECIALLY My Fellow Woman). I Love Our Peaceful Tradition. And I Love Killing Anybody Who Disagrees.


SimblySonu said...

I could almost hear you hissing (with anger) in that post. As it should be.

Its gotten to the point where I've stopped telling people WHERE in India I am from and have started to declare myself a Bong (my mom is one)...

Have been toying with agnosticism for a while (You've read Argumentative Indian I assume).
.. the chain of events is a good enough reason to make the leap.

Lazyani said...

I dare not disagree with you lest you start a protest movement against me.

It's galling that in the times of such severe economic crisis we are so bent on self destruction through other means.

I feel shocked that in a country that traditionally suffers from various defficiency syndromes people have the nerve to introduce such divisive factors.

km said...

Acid enema and a boil on the scrotum

Anyone feel a little chill in the Crotchular region after reading that?