Eats, shoots and leaves

It’s been a long while since I’ve indulged in a good, ole-fashioned, sarcastic rant against the government – and other assorted villains such as BCCI and Steve Bucknor (who will probably come across my blog because he’s kept a Google alert to see if his name is still mentioned anywhere)… since that time, the Internet has become less private (the Govt now has the right to demand that Google, Facebook and others take down content ‘offensive’ to national interests or security – ignoring, as usual, the fact that its very incompetence and Thugluqian approach is the dictionary-standard definition for being offensive to national sentiment and security), the same government mentioned above has won one more national election by compromising on its few remaining principles and She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Blamed gets her picture in the newspapers for getting a disappointed old man well past his best days to apologize…

Oh, well, come to think of it, things are still pretty much the same…
The media still wants to make a Gaddafi-Saddam-Bush combo of Narendra Modi. The ‘gentleman’ who was once expected to jump off his mommy’s lap straight into the PM’s chair has, thankfully, not yet found his way. The one who occupies it has successfully managed to keep his own claim on it by shooing the one guy who could have legitimately staked a claim to it (on identical grounds as the incumbent – unquestioning loyalty, unflinching obedience, hardly any progress (even in the loosest sense) in the last five years for which they can claim legitimate credit, ability to remain untouched by the chaos caused by inflation, terrorism, bursting-at-the-seams infrastructure, blooming debt, dearer dollars and a general sense of civil unrest) by moving His Excellency on to a bigger, more ceremonial post than the one he used to hold. (A post rendered ceremonial more by inaction than by Constitution, I must hasten to add)
Just so that it is not forgotten years later or dismissed into the footnotes of our glorious times as one more example of history repeating itself, I have to touch upon the recently-announced-and-soon-dismissed scheme of the government promising free mobile phones to all BPL families.
My first reaction – albeit cheesy – was that it was a long-overdue pension scheme for employees and families of the erstwhile BPL corporation. My second reaction was reminiscing about how liberated the French must have felt after they fed Mary Antoinette (never mind the dispute over the attribution of the remark!) her just desserts. Not that this country can afford a revolution, peaceful or violent – there are far too many groups with vested interests, the itties-and-bitties who depend on the benevolent, caste-creed-division-based dole of the current regime, that are so used to state-level spoiling that they would fight giving it up for a solid, equal, equitable state. In any case, there are enough wackos and nutjobs who go around blowing up innocent civilians in the garb of Naxalites (poor, misguided souls, them! Of course, the cops they’ve butchered deserved what they got, didn’t they? After all, these cops left their families and joined on the holy crusade against the downtrodden followers of Mao with a semi-functional gun and a leadership that does not care a whit for them…), terrorists (one of whom continues to live luxuriously at our expense – one can almost hear him refuse to leave the next time they hijack a plane. “Arrey, no baba! Why should I come? Here, they give me AC-room, TV, water, vada-pav… if I come back to Pakistan, what will I get? Goat’s cheese and a bombed-out NATO truck for breakfast…”)
With that statement, I have probably appeared on the radars of NIA, NSA, CIA, FBI, DHS and Riverdale High School Security Service. šŸ™‚ Americans, if you are reading this, do us all a favor and ask for Kasab to be extradited to your famous Guantanamo resort… the poor guy’s probably catching Mumbai malaria…
Do not mistake me for an instant – I am not going to get out of my chair and do anything to change the state of our nation. Why should I? Collectively, we’ve failed. Anna Hazare has literally thrown his khadi-cap into the ring; nobody even cares to respond to corruption. If MS Dhoni breaks a nail while fielding, that makes news. If Salman Khan wears a shirt to a public function, that’s newsworthy too. A porn actress makes her debut in Bollywood (thank God it is not the other way around – imagine the Indian sensibilities that would have been outraged!) and is all but hailed as the face of the ‘new’ Indian cinema… Me, I am content rabble-rousing on my blog and wishing for the glorious days that are never going to come.
‘Cos at the end of the day, even Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar’s gift of piped gas to our Parliament has no effect on us. Not even a joke with the punchline… “to, or from the members’ mikes?”

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