Friday, 5 March 2010

You've won, you always do. Happy now?

Okay, I've decided I'm going to break the pattern here. I'm going to publish more than one blog each year. I vow this New Year to publish a blog everyday. And it starts right now.

Oh hell, who am I kidding? I'll never be able to write a blog every day. I'm not sure I'd be able to write one every week, or even a month(I am too lazy, you see). Maybe once-an-year was right for me. But the thing I had to share with you couldn't wait another day, much less an year.

So you might ask, what was so special that this good-for-nothing, lazy slob hauled his ass off and sat down with determination to write this blog post. Guess what? This month, two of the major religions in India had a festival each. And dangerously close to each other as well. Oh well, you might think, it's the season of communal harmony and all, of religious tolerance, cultural co-existance, all that shit. We've had Muslims playing Holi with matching zeal and enthusiasm, and we've had Hindus hungry for a bit of sewai and brahmin lads sweating over a bit of the bakra at Eid. Plus, these two festivals passed without an incident in years past. In my city, atleast. So, no one would've held you guilty of thinking along the same lines too, least of all myself.

Well, guess what? I'm not the only one breaking the norms, shattering set records, breaching new barriers and all. People sure were feeling inventive back in my sweet Bareilly. Besides, we'd lived in peace for long enough, we wanted some adrenalin-pumping action. Woohoo!

So, some wise guy from one side decided to throw some colour on a Muslim girl, some wise guy from the other side decided it was unacceptable - that it was an insult on Islam as a whole. So, off you go chums, clashing and breaking each other skulls, cutting off each other's throats, all for your twisted morals. And it's all good, you see, because it's in the name of the religion, and all this senseless violence and bloodletting always pleases the Gods on each side (along with their lackeys here on earth), doesn't it? Bloody hell, if we can sacrifice goats and cattle to our Gods, why not up the stakes and kill a few human beings while we're at it? Plus, the rate at which the population is expanding in this country, one or two dead people won't make a dent at our target to dismantle our neighbours China from its perch of the Most Populous Nation (India sure is going places, isn't it? Already a name to be recognized in the Most Corrupt, and steadily climbing up the ladder of the Most Polluted. Feels good, doesn't it?).

Anyway, just one dead and twenty injured won't create the proper furore our attention-hungry rioteers wanted. Neither will a couple of hundreds of broken bones, few dozen split heads and two or three dead. So, kill enough men (and women. And children. About 50 in total would be just about nice), burn about thirty shops (Muslims burn Hindus' - Hindus return the favour), break enough bones, crack open enough skulls, raid a police-station or two while you're at it, and simmer the lot at maximum, and voila! What do you have? That's right! A full-fledged communal riot, right at your door-step. It's the talk of the town, it's in the news everywhere. Give it enough time and space to grow, it might even make it on the national television. Just where you wanted it to be to begin with! There's scene of violence, of blood and broken vehicles, mangled bodies, torched houses. The scenery never got any better than this. It's all lapped up by the news-hungry media - this lot would make a news out of a man wearing an underwear in a movie (they'd have created just a big a scene for him not wearing any. But that's the standard of today's news, you see). A communal riot is a welcome sight for them - it gives them content for talk-shows and primetime discussions for the entire next month. Happened quite the same way with the murder of a 14-year old girl in Noida. They screamed themselves hoarse, crying foul, rallying support for justice to the victim (I wonder who eventually was found guilty. Can anyone recall her name?). Then they'll find something more interesting - a man blowing out bubbles from his arse-holes (yes, in the plural. And yes, it's vulgar. Close your eyes and scream "Bloody murder!" for all I care).

Now this little thing we've got on our hands here has all the ingredients to make a spicy blockbuster on the international news arena, but alas, it's closing time on our end. Belatedly, the government decides enough is enough, that there's been enough violence to keep us happy for the remaining year. The military's called in to finally help out the hapless Police force in retaining control; there's a curfew imposed. Tensions thick here and there, some incidents - but our day in the spotlight is drawing to a close. We try clinging to it, mind - throw dirty clothes in a Masjid, burn a Hindu's house - but things are largely quieting down. We're disappointed - it's a bit like the summer holidays that were the most enjoyable. They also ended too soon for our liking. But fear not, dear friends, for there is always the next year. We'll get our chance to paint the town red with blood on the happy occasion of Holi again - and this time we will go international, I promise.

Till then, let us rejoice in our success - our day in the sun - and ask ourselves this: In the end, who won? Was it Islam who won? Or did Hinduism triumph? Was it the maulvis, the pundits, the babas and the ulemas? Or was it the politicans who stand to benefit from this all, adding it to their agendas to gather more support from their own factions? Who won? More importantly, when it's all set and done, who lost?

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