June 07, 2015

Fearing the Word

G Mamatha

STOP reading. Stop writing. Stop discussing. These are the new three monkeys that our drawing rooms need to be decorated with. Let go off those three monkeys of Gandhi, that old Gujarati. Here we have now a brand-new Gujarati, the 56-inch, decisive, fashion-icon, 'pradhan sevak'. Give way, the dhoti-clad Gandhi, to the monogrammed suit wearing Narendra Damodar Modi.

Forgive me, it is wrong. You can read, you can write, you can discuss...but...here is the caveat. You can read about the great deeds (not to be confused with deals) of 'pradhan sevak', you can write about the acche din (no, not to the Adanis and Ambanis) and you can discuss about his 'historic firsts' (no, not the visit to Israel or the concessions given to the US). You have indeed got a lot of freedom, lot to read, lot to write and lot to discuss.

Poor students of the IIT-Madras! They thought they are very intelligent, as they were among the first 5,000 or 6,000 (let's be lenient) of all the +2 students who had appeared for the IIT entrance examination, which is close to few lakhs. Being intelligent – they did not know – does not give them license to discuss anything under the sun. They can talk about quantum physics, of course with the permission of Mr Sudhakar Raje (don't know who he is? don't worry; he is one of the best in the business, who can identify the theories of quantum physics, mathematics and much of the science in the Vedas. Trust me, if not, you will be burdened with reading the Organiser dated June 7). Indeed they can write about genetics, of course this needs permission from a little higher ranked individual, from the pradhan sevak, himself. Remember his enlightening speech inaugurating the Indian Science Congress. Quote extensively from it in your thesis and get the stamp of legitimacy! You can discuss about our ancient heritage and wisdom (IITs sure have some courses dealing with social sciences and humanities), how we made aeroplanes and flew them, how everybody was so knowledgeable, hard-working and industrious…

Stop it. Don't ask your mischievous questions about Ekalavya and Sambuka. Don't discuss the ills of varna vyavastha. Don't even think about sudras or panchamas, forget about mlecchas.

What wrong did our pradhan sevak do or for that matter our pradhan sevika, the renowned HRD minister do? Are they not trying to establish the Ram rajya? Yes, that very Ram rajya, where Sambuka was punished for hearing vedas. Today, they are so accommodating and lenient that they did not pour lead into the ears of the students organising the Ambedkar-Periyar study circle. They just de-recognised them. They have well-adopted to the Kaliyuga, otherwise beware, what might have befallen you!

Forget the CVCs and CICs. They might have told you not to consider the complaints of anonymous persons and letters. But don't you know this is Ram rajya? Why did Ram send his beloved Sita, who was pregnant with his children, to forests once again? Is it not on learning about the utterances of an anonymous washerman? Remember, the State had eyes and ears all over the place. Whether the news has a by-line or not, might matter for the journalists, but for the State, whatever their eyes see and ears hear, is hundred percent correct and should be acted upon ruthlessly, without any leniency. Well, they are lenient, aren't the students still studying in the very same IIT-M? Thank you State!

Praise the State, its pradhan sevak, pradhan sevika and their team of upa-sevaks and upa-sevikas (no, not to be confused with the UPA, in their DNA they are very much NDA). They forgave the Ambedkar-Periyar Study Circleites. Otherwise, the blasphemy they had committed deserves, much more! First, they had named themselves after a panchama and a sudra. How can this be tolerated in the elite gurukuls of our country? Second, instead of being satisfied that they were permitted to hear the scriptures taught in the gurukuls, they are discussing about the society at large. All the burdens of governance should be left to the pradhan sevak, we are not supposed to analyse them, leave alone discuss them. Above it, one is not to question at all. Remember the fate of Charvakas!

When everybody is happy celebrating the one-year of Ram rajya, how can one think about irritating the pradhan-sevak, with all though factually correct, but humiliating questions? For example, when one is talking about 'acche din', is it correct to discuss about the Global Hunger Report, which states that our country tops the list with 19.4 crores of hungry people? Tell me, will you talk about these things if you are organising a festival or function in your house? No. Similarly you should not talk about these things, when the Shehanshaah, er...sorry, the pradhan-sevak is throwing a grand-gala party!

Yes, few thousands of people might die. But is it nice to raise the issue of death, during the times of celebrations? No. One should not have raised the question of more than 2,000 deaths from sun-stroke during these auspicious times. On the other hand, one should be happy that they had died during the reign of Rama, the righteous one!

Alas, how many can get such a great opportunity, except for the poor, landless, daily-wage labourers, on whom the benevolent pradhan sevak showers his blessings! Did the students in IIT-M discuss about these deaths? They should not. What happens if suddenly one amongst them thinks that what is all this technological advance doing, when so many are dying of heat? What happens if someone amongst them analyses, why the poor should always be afraid of the nature? What happens if they come to know that it is not water that kills, that it is not sun which kills, neither is it cold? What happens if they realise that it is not nature's fury that kills, but poverty? What will happen if they think about climate change and try to find out who is responsible for the destruction of our environment?

They will soon realise that our pradhan sevak is correct on one count – he is indeed the pradhan sevak...not to the people of our country, as he claims, but to the US and rich corporate houses. They will understand the nonsense that they are trying to teach by changing the syllabus. They will understand how technology, which they are developing, is not benefiting the entire society, but only a select few. They will realise that they, as the few 'elites' who got an opportunity to enter such institutes of higher learning should use their knowledge for the benefit of the real people of the land – the poor, the landless, the daily labourers and those who are sweating out in the hot and in the cold, day-in and day-out. This realisation is indeed dangerous.

The balloon of our pradhan sevak will burst, with this realisation. The illusions that are sold will be exposed for what they are worth. People will see through what the real Ram rajya is all about and whom it benefits.

What will happen if this realisation dawns? There might be struggles all over. The foundations of the rulers might shake. This, they do not want to happen. Only this explains the haste with which they had acted to derecognise the study circle, the haste with which they are acting to amend the labour laws in all the states and the country and the haste with which they are acting to snub out dissenting voices.

In their haste, they are forgetting one thing that history teaches. There were times when silence itself was so deafening that its tremors shook the mighty empires. The present is creating the environment not for silences – rumblings are already being heard. Beware its tremors!