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I Differ

I Differ

I differ with you, Mr. Politician. Whoever you are, whatever party you belong to, it does not matter. The way you propitiate the deities during election time hurts my sensibilities. The way you make a show of it, I mean! Just like, you take the broom before cameras and under public gaze to grab headlines. 

Your action is intended to mesmerize the gods and goddesses, wanting them to look the other way and to hoodwink the gullible public to coax them to vote for you. You may even offer a fat donation to bribe the divine beings in order to buy their benevolence. Your largesse to people, hours before the voting, is meant to have an instant cappuccino effect!

Will you succeed in your attempt to make the deities close their eyes on your myriad doings which spelt disaster, to say the least? Or, those actions of hoodwinking the public after you were elected by not fulfilling the election promises? Your demonstration of piety may appear to have a temporary window dressing effect on some prospective voters. But, will they forgive you after knowing your backstage performances or underworld dealings?

It is unfortunate that the Indian public is enamoured of more pietistic tendencies rather than living in the genuine world of spirituality.  That is why populist politicians cash in on such popular moods. Not just pundits, pujaris and priests! Just like the Indian movies which pander to people’s emotions rather than their sense of values. And, there are religious heads eager to take advantage of the fluorescent situation with a communal glare.

If you are spiritual enough, go into the sanctum sanctorum of your home and heart where you have established your deities, close the door, and commune with them. Seek their blessings after asking their pardon in true repentance, if you have any conscience. 

Your god is not in the manmade structures called temples, mosques, churches or gurudwaras. He is there in the sanctum of your heart and home. Meet him there. Ask him if you are worthy of facing the electorate. Examine your heart and see if you are honest enough in wanting to advertise your unmixed election promises. Search and find out if you are capable of fulfilling people’s genuine aspirations.

Promise your deity that you will not bend your knees to insolent might or curry favour with the corrupt and the criminal. Will you keep in mind before your deity that power may corrupt and absolute power may corrupt absolutely, and promise that you would be alert about it?

The nation has had enough and more of unworthy politicians sullying the republic. The mockery of it all is that, after making a public demonstration of communing with the deity, they come out with vile tongues to shower abuses on the opposing candidate or to spread lies and canards against their opponents. It looks as if they sought the blessing of the deity to get empowered to go visceral against their opponents or pick holes in the dissenters.

I dare say that it will be in the fitness of things to declare a fatwa against all politicians going to spiritual shrines during election time. We all know that their demonstration of piety in public is only for public consumption. There have been even such politicians who were agnostic or never had any trace of belief in any deity. But, on their official or motivated visits to some places, they would make it a show of the visit to the nearby holy shrine or temple. People who knew them well would gulp down their surprise with the usual words: ‘Kya karega?’

It is this ‘kya kargea’ attitude that has made us all idiotic. And our politicians are well aware of it and rightly take us for a ride. We do not want to put on our thinking cap. Rather, we like to remain in our own niche without wanting to think critically or ask sensible questions.  We are afraid. Afraid of the minions of the Big Brother lying in wait to lynch us, shoot us down at our doorsteps or eliminate us in a so-called encounter. Hence, we have sold out our idea of national development to scatterbrained politicians for whom politics is mega business.

Are the deities happy with this brood? Are they that blind that they do not see the goings on in the lives of these politicians? Can these gods and goddesses be bribed with gold-plated crowns or fat donations? Can the corrupt politicians put dust in the eyes of their deities through public displays of visiting temples or mosques?

They say that in India ‘anything goes.’ That could be the reason why our politicians ride roughshod on us. Isn’t it time to expose them? Where is investigative journalism in India today?  It appears to have taken a nose dive into limbo. Today, much of the media world is playing safe by fiddling with the buffoons and supping with the scoundrels.

Times are hard. The blood of Kalburgis and Lankeshes is staring us in the face. How long, how long should we tolerate those responsible for the pall of gloom hovering over us Indians?

(Published on 06th November 2017, Volume XXIX, Issue 45)