(Illustration by Rajat Goel)
But the point is, none of this brouhaha is a recent phenomenon. Rome was not built in a day; the same holds for scandalous happenings. Yet, the ConGreat party has been voted to power 2 times in a row now. Do you know, why?
My mannequin 1 here answers it for you. In a country where emotions outweigh science, all you need to build a zillion years of blind trust with people across the country, are two things: 1) their favourite surname, 2) the “secular” image. So what if you do not justifiably use your power, so what if you are a weak, misguided leadership, so what if you are wasting your time that should have been used in dealing with burning issues in looking after things as worthless as internet censorship, or scrapping exams etc, so what if you come across as an utter disgrace in the name of “national development”—that, in spite of the position you have been raised to—you still are loved for the secular IMAGE that you, or maybe your ancestors, won in people’s eyes. And guess what, that is all what matters.Not getting deeper into the way we voters are fooled in this country, I’ll conclude my demonstration of mannequin 1 on this note—the choga of secularism works wonders in the electoral schema, no doubt. But, you cannot escape the criticism that comes your way when your inactivity and worthlessness begin to come out too strong to handle, into the picture. This is precisely the reason why in spite of all the love it gets, in spite of the gimmicky marketing strategies it devises, in spite of the mighty surname that matches with that of the Father of the Nation in its backing, the ConGreat party is being cursed and abused by almost all today. Because there is NO DEVELOPMENT. So yes, that way, this choga designed by me isn’t really the most infallible one. It isn’t criticism-proof, not debate-proof too. BUT, it will still help you stay in the race as the longest running horse ever. This is the nation where people know that you are useless, they are really upset with you, but feel helpless when it comes to casting their vote on the election day. They feel they do not have a lot of options, when the children of a man who shook hands with them some time in the 1980s, are alive and begging for votes. Even if these children in question are a total disgrace in the name of “able leaders” or even speakers, for that matter. And thus the hand with it palm-face up becomes a tight slap on our faces, hands down. That, my dear friends, is how strong this cloak is.
BUT, it hardly is any competition for the cloak that my mannequin 2 is wearing here:MANNEQUIN 2: Undoubtedly the more protective of the two, you can always—and that really means ALWAYS—use it as a shield for yourself. Hundreds of innocent people got killed in riots in a state under your supervision? Has your state witnessed one of the worst forms of communal violence and discrimination to have ever taken place in the country? Still never did anything for the victims? Been in the middle of controversies ever since, including those centred around suppression of witnesses? Is a major part of your state’s population living in sub-human conditions—sans good food, water, shelter or education—as a marginalized strata, well, possibly because of their religion? All of these aside, are the tribal minorities too not worthy of your mighty concern and attention? To sum it all up, are you a biased leader? Yes? No worries! This cloak called DEVELOPMENT can help you actually compensate for all such malice and controversies!
Tie up with industrialists, bring forth some new constructions… roads, industries, schools or whatever… schemes named this and that to symbolize your work in the direction of providing more employment and facilities and the like; my dear friends, you might or might not be surprised to hear, that all of this can actually cover up for your atrocities to humankind, or if I better be more subtle to not draw any attention that could be fatal, for your ‘lack of interest’ in your state’s strewn-apart peace and order. You know why? Because: This is a country that would never admit, but in reality is not as secular as it claims to be. Thus, the Hindu groups do not mind that their Muslim fellows suffered at the hands of one Mr. Narendra Modi. Some even have the audacity to ask them to “leave the bad days behind” and take pride in the present state of their state—fondly called, “vibrant Gujarat”. So what if Mr. Modi has still not steered clear of the ghastly charges upon him; so what if the developmental model he and his able party in the backing—the “Hindu Janta Party” (HJP)—clearly use as their favourite propaganda, is still a widely debated and questioned one; so what if he has taken forward a state that was already on the rise before he entered the scene, he is still, in spite of all, in the eyes of most Indians, the most fair and honest leader, their favourite politician and the “undisputed best” Prime Ministerial candidate.
Do you realize now, how strong the choga my mannequin 2 here stands wearing, is? I may say more on this… err… example, but need I? I don’t think so.
Hence the picture is clear. Secularism or Development—just one of these is enough to strengthen the roots of your existence in this nation’s system for an eternity. The funny part is, they still don’t have to be real! I took two perfect examples to prove this fact, and I am sure, by the end of this speech I will be hated by one and all. Half the people would want to burn my effigies for the way I cited the first example, and the other half would want to burn me alive for my choice of the person to attack. More so since the bone of contention of my talk today circled around two opposition parties of our political architecture. To them all I wish to say, suit yourself. For all of you are as much hypocritical as the able men or women I mentioned here. I have sustained enough silence of the intelligence so far, but, no more. To make the youth speak, I had to take up this initiative. I want you, if you’re listening to me, to accept why you do what you do, and why you don’t do what you ought to do. Curse me, call me a fool, counter-attack my points, fine, all I want is that you come out, discuss and debate upon these issues, because that is the only way to at least instigate change.
Till that happens, mannequin 1 would continue surviving each time with their false claims, and mannequin 2 would continue escaping the brunt they ought to bear for their misdoings. But the bottom-line remains, they will all remain mannequins after all… emotionless, unchanging, shameless and inhuman.