MERRY X'MAS BLOGDOSTS!!
I've enjoyed a really terrific one this year. As I hope you have, too! Watched Don-2 last night. Check out this space on Tuesday for more!
Santa Sonia Vs. Saint Anna….
Merry X’Mas, readers. What a strange season to be jolly and go ‘ho ho ho’! If we are looking for fireworks on New Year’s Eve, we’ll get them! But for now, let’s see what Santa Sonia has lined up for us in her bag of goodies. Oooops! Isn’t her customary Santa sack really tiny?More like a knapsack than a bulging- with- gifts bag one associates with a generous, large- hearted Mother X’Mas . Let’s blame it on global recession. Santa has had to tighten that belt, and slow down the sleigh. Even the poor reindeer looked lean and hungry this year. Why blame Santa Sonia? In any case, what Santa Sonia needs to pull out of that sack is a jumbo sized fire extinguisher to put out all those fires. It has been a pretty lousy year, duniya ke liye. And by the time 2011 finally comes to an end, perhaps our overcrowded jails will be overflowing - Saint Anna is at it again. And while he limbers up for yet another fast, the flock is getting impatient. Unfortunately, the Lokpal ‘Bill’-ing and cooing marathon has hit a roadblock. If Team Anna’s actual intention was to bring down the government, that hasn’t happened so far. Santa Sonia’s reindeer (read: Pranab,Digvijay and Manmohan) are going to find it tough to drag that sled over this hurdle. Most chimneys and choolahs in India have remained unused in 2011, thanks to the ridiculously high food prices. If Santa Sonia wants to bring a smile to people’s faces, she’d better pull out some loaves .Santa can’t afford to adopt the cavalier ‘Let them eat cake’ approach this time. Somehow, a ‘Cake, Kapda aur Makaan’ slogan doesn’t sound right. The natives are definitely restless, and it’s no use offering cupcakes and hot cross buns, when there is no daal-roti in the kitchen. Kharcha is on everybody’s mind, far more than an abstraction called ‘corruption’. If Santa Sonia takes up Saint Anna’s challenge to engage in a public debate (what’s the bet it will not happen?), at least the faithful will know the true position of her government. As of now, there is full on confusion, where the last person whose interests are supposedly being protected is the citizen.No jingle bells for the aam aadmi, alas. And zero governance for the country.
Young people are dying to ‘bharo’ those jails and sport trendy ‘I am Anna’ topis. That’s youth. Give them hope, package it well, arouse their sentiments, allow them to believe change is in their hands, and they’ll be prepared to fast, march, light candles, shout slogans, throw stones, take to the streets, even lay down their lives. It is a phenomenon the world has witnessed over and over again. It is this very idealism, trust and naivete that leaders capitalize on and exploit. If we are indeed heading for an ‘Indian Summer’, it will be fired up twenty-somethings who will act as the drivers. But drivers for what?Against whom? We are being brainwashed into believing this agitation is about rooting out corruption. And the only way to get that done is to push Saint Anna’s Bill through parliament without altering a comma. No matter how well intentioned his version of the Lokpal Bill maybe, this is not the right tareeka in a democracy. Nor can it work in real terms. As has been pointed out by several political analysts, checks and balances already exist in our system. It is the implementation that fails. Either we shall have to start building hundreds of new jails, or construct gigantic camps in order to accommodate all the crooks who will hopefully be exposed and punished once Saint Anna succeeds in his mission. At present, we are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Team Anna has described the freshly tabled Lokpal Bill as ‘anti-people’ and ‘dangerous’. Team Sonia calls it ‘strong’. A new twist ( minority quota) is being viewed as an unpleasant political game being played by the Congress for electoral benefits in 140 Muslim-dominated assembly constituencies. Which takes us right back to square one.
X’Mas is a good time to reflect and rethink. We are on the brink of a modern day battle of Kurukshetra. Except that this one will be fought electronically over social networking platforms. Words and ideas will be the weapons of mass destruction. It’s all about numbers and public opinion. A timely tweet can change history. Beware! The writing is on the wall, guys. And it is exactly 140 characters long.