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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tenants rule, owners are absent

Published on :-15 May 2008,

Dr Do Little issued a strong statement condemning the dastardly act and Mr. Do Nothings shook the media headlines before leaving for their summer vacation. That's how the Jaipur blasts have been dealt with. Like any other blast, like any other calamity inflicted by Osama bin Laden's bravehearts who choose their targets in the thick of night or from among the innocent populace going to temples or markets. This is the level of courage they show in the name of their faith.

The basic malady however remains unattended. Surrounded by failed states and finding it compelling to be soft on terror-shelters in return for votes, a bleeding India tries to see some hope in Gurgaon-Bangalore (IT, call centre) progress barometers which clouds the basic point – is the state willing to take on terrorism full steam.

The half-hearted, fifty-fifty, salt and sweet policy to deal with terror gives us more Afzals and Jaipurs as attacks on Jammu, Akshardham, Varanasi and Parliament continue. A wet paper state is worse than being a soft one which refuses to see issues of infiltration, jihad , Maoism, and growing separatism as part of one big assault against the Indian state and her geographical entity, mind and spirit.

Nations are run by owners, not tenants. The maliks are those who face storms and sacrifice their lives for 'their' motherland without ever dreaming of a return gift. The children of Mother India, the real ones, consider themselves to be infused with the power and sense of belonging to every inch of our holy land, regard the land as a goddess personified, a living entity and not just a conglomeration of rivers, jungles, peoples and buildings. Then the land, India runs in our veins – we live her, adore her, devote ourselves for her service, the chant Vande Mataram is no longer a meaningless word but creates an aura of patriotism around our actions and thoughts. Every bit of her history and culture and people is reflected in the behaviour and actions of Mother India's children. Like an owner. Then the people are not just voters, they are your own kith and kin and any one anywhere who attacks them or hurts them automatically becomes your sworn enemy too. One doesn't have to ask ‘whom do you belong to' either of the security personnel who sacrificed their lives to save Parliament or of some of the unworthy insiders or the Afzals and their co-conspirators. The choice would be obvious.

But that's expected of owners.

Today we have just tenants who use the motherland as a piece of real estate for their personal ends. Tenants consider themselves as beneficiaries. If the rotten system helps them stay longer, they are not bothered to change it. They don't fight the mischievous neighbour trespassing or breaking a boundary wall. At the most a tenant would report it to the owner – look this is happening to your land – take care if you wish to do so. Only owners would have a commitment and strength to safeguard it, change and improve the system and take hard, unpopular decisions. Tenants can have "statement governance" that smiles when slapped and laughs when hit hard for an award or appreciation from New York, or London. Awards for peace and tolerance.

The warriors of 1857 were owners. The revolutionaries and freedom fighters, the Kargil victors and martyrs were too, the inheritors and the children of Mother India.

How can they, who loot national wealth to keep it in foreign banks, shut their eyes to territorial erosion and constitutional corrosion while continuing with election campaigning for the next round of 'money harvesting', call themselves children of Mother India and hence legitimate owners of this land? Anyone, any faith or caste or creed or belief or an atheist can be an inheritor of this blessed ownership if he does something in his life for the good of society without eyeing a free bungalow in Lutyen's Delhi. But not those for whom serving the nation is a rude synonym for serving their own interests.

Scrapping POTA, silence on infiltration, half-hearted responses to continuing terrorism, committees to influence media and the judiciary to free the lecturer involved in the Parliament attack, a colonial attitude on civilisational matters, hate for Sanskrit and anything that relates with the quintessential characteristics of the land called India only indicates an alienated mindset controlling the polity.

Hence M F Husain must be honoured for painting nudes of goddesses but Danish cartoons should be banned and condemned. Reservations for non-Hindus must be announced from rooftops and Hindu icons can be called mythical, unproven, mere stories and fit for demolition while Hindu refuges are condemned to oblivion and de-listed from security conclaves. Can you believe that the largest Hindu organisations in the world like the RSS or their ideological brothers in Vishwa Hindu Parishad have never been officially invited to the President's banquets and Republic Day celebrations at homes and dinners? But those who have a history of working against India's soul and territorial integrity have always been on the list of invitees since Viceregal times. This Siberian-Gulag mindset of the rulers smacks of an alienated sense of perverted history and a vengeful attitude. Not an Indian lineage surely.

Still we say, we are a democracy and we are progressing well.

If wealth and the infrastructure were the only criteria for a nation's growth and happiness index, why did we drive the British out? They were ruling through Indians, creating ICS-es and Raibahadurs and Sergeants and head clerks from our midst. They were benefiting Indians too while depositing their share of loot loyally in British coffers, including our books, ancient manuscripts and the Kohinoor. What was wrong in that if the present loot and Swiss accounts of politicians coupled with tolerance for terrorists is accepted for the sake of secularism?

Patriotic jawans would like to wipe out the scourge of terrorism. They are denied permission. Even if government policies result in frustration and incidents of suicide among the forces come to the fore, the Supreme Court would like the terrorist, who waged war on India, to be hanged till death. But governors, the tenants, would like him to be pardoned. A doctor who saved hundreds of lives was shown the door by a legislation exclusively targeting him introduced by those who considered yielding to a rogue ally more important than saving the honour of a great citizen. When the Supreme Court tears off a bad law, the minister and Prime Minister stare blankly as if nothing has happened.

It shows a disconnect between the soul of the nation and her body. The muscles remain paralysed.

A failure of nerves, making muscles numbed.

In medical terms it is known as myasthenia gravis (MG), an auto-immune disease that affects the transmission of signals from nerves to muscles, described thus: "The symptoms are troubling, yet subtle. You might notice, for example, occasional double vision, drooping eyelids, or the occasional difficulty to chew or swallow food. You may become hoarse or talk through your nose. It may be hard to smile, and people may tell you that you look depressed, even though you feel fine."

The same way the signals from the nerve centre of the state and power to the muscles of the armed forces is missing. See the latest annual report of the Ministry of Home Affairs. It is silent on how many terrorists and their accomplices have been convicted or the number of illegal Bangladeshi infiltrators deported. It shows that terrorism and murders outnumber such incidents in Jammu and Kashmir. Where is the reaction to this?

It is time to throw off the shackles of a colonial mindset and face the cowards squarely.

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