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Worm is Turning and There is Gust of Fresh Air, the Times They're Changin'

By the time these lines are printed, New Year would’ve dawned.

Published: 05th January 2014 12:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th January 2014 10:52 AM   |  A+A-

By the time these lines are printed, New Year would’ve dawned. As usual, speculation is justified whether we shall experience something really new or the burden of past will continue to weigh us down.

The ‘news’ continues to be depressing. An insensitive government that claims to be the supreme protector of minorities, we learn, is evicting the victim-survivors of Muzaffarnagar riots. First it failed to control the communal riots despite warning of brewing trouble, then it was extremely tardy with relief and rehabilitation and now this callousness.

Not long ago, Mulayam Singh Yadav was angrily denouncing the helpless creatures complaining of inhuman conditions in relief camps—without a single exception—of being co-conspirators with BJP and Congress to gain electoral advantage. More recently, Akhilesh Yadav—accompanied by his father and other members of the ruling clan—was ‘caught on camera’ enjoying the Sefai Festival, a ‘decade-old tradition’ that electrifies fortunate audiences in the CM’s village with sizzling item numbers. He really has surpassed the much-maligned Nero. This show of brazenness can’t be allowed to go on.

The only ray of hope seems to be the Supreme Court notice sent to the UP government seeking clarification about conditions in these shanties. The apex court has through its judgments expanded the scope of the fundamental right to life and dignity. The UP sarkar has prima facie failed in its duty to protect Indian citizen in its charge. One hopes that the Human Rights Commission shall also take notice of the disgraceful events that are shocking to say the least.

The UPA-Congress combine, shell-shocked by AAP in Delhi, and BJP in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and even Chhattisgarh, can’t think beyond entrapping Modi and stopping his juggernaut. The Snoopgate does appear to be the tip of proverbial iceberg but will this be enough to sink the BJP Titanic? Nor is the consolation provided by AAP upstaging Modi in the headlines going to provide long-lasting relief.

Desertions from the sinking rudderless ship skippered by Doc Manmohan have started. Alka Lamba may not be a heavyweight but the writing on the wall is clear. Rahul’s much-hyped charisma has failed to work its magic. Poor thing is now reduced to advising his followers to learn from AAP’s guerrilla campaign. For that matter, stalwarts from the SP and JDU too have started to drift towards AAP. The BJP awaits the failure of Kejriwal and disenchantment of people with AAP—still in denial that the devastated Congress has managed to outmanoeuvre it in the capital.

What most of us seem to forget in momentary excitement is that Delhi is neither India nor Bharat. The embers of Telangana agitation have not died down. Nor is the menace of Maoist insurgency under control. The euphoria of electoral politics has just pushed images of carnage into margins. Explosions have rocked Assam and reemergence of Khalistani voices of aggressive dissent though muted at present also remains a grave threat. Alas, none of our politicians are bothered about these issues.

The prices have stabilised a little and no new skeleton has tumbled out of the Centre’s cupboard. On the contrary, members of judiciary and media have found themselves in the dock accused of heinous offences. The elected representatives of the people can afford to breath easy for a while. Or so they think.

Their fun and games never cease. Karnataka legislators have contributed to the unexpected respite that UPA has stumbled upon. Their ‘proposed’ study tour to Amazon deserves Anaconda’s Order of the Boot.

West Bengal continues to be a Mamata fiefdom and only the CPM, still smarting under humiliating defeat, keeps making feeble noises about the Trinmool jungle raj there. UPA worried about dwindling numbers has chosen discretion over valour. There is none to challenge Naveen babu in Bhubaneswar.

India’s foreign policy has been reduced to defence of a diplomat made distraught by a delinquent allegedly mistreated housemaid. This incident has punctured once and for all the balloon of Indo-US strategic ties and special relationship. In this cacophony, nothing else can be heard. The rumblings in Bangladesh or diverse slogans in Nepal remain unheard. Pakistan and China too have receded into oblivion.

Politics, it is said, is the art of the possible. But those who practice this in wonder that is India seem to believe that they can manage the impossible. Unfortunately for them, regardless of their hue—red, pink, green or saffron—times are changing. The worm is turning and there is gust of fresh air that is not going to leave them untouched. Happy New Year to all except the crooked lot who rule us!  

 pushpeshpant@yahoo.com



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