Monday, August 31, 2009

About big J and bigger G

Amid the furor that the lotus stamped political goliath called Ba.Ja.Pa is now creating, something about the root based connection of the big J and bigger G – the founding fathers of the unplanned non-anesthetic abortion called ‘partition’ – made me giggle in hilarity. The article, which now fails to remind me its source, mentioned in passing that both J and G belonged to the same western chunk of blood and tear soaked earth that ironically has a hard time seeing a single day of whatever it is either of these two men remain popular for. Be that as it may, the fact that certain big lads up in Ba.Ja are screaming foul about the neighboring J and quoting local G’s views about him furiously is rather amusing. The fact that certain maniacal shadows of our nation’s infamous, and certainly ill timed, birth still continue to loom large is a rather daunting realization. We survived their rath yatras, the mosque demolitions, the riots, the bombs, the rapes and definitely the speeches. O! For the sake of all that is divine – the speeches! Back in the day when the Ba.Ja’s icon Va-Ja was the PM, it would take him a good hour to get through the first paragraph of his multi-hued discourses before lacing it delicately with some poetic essence only he could appreciate. Once the slow moving leader passed on to the back seat at five meters an hour speed, the more irate ones with the busy balding foreheads took charge and now sit on the top issuing dismissal letters to those who even smile at someone from across the barbed wire fence, let alone someone who decides to pen something appreciative about big J! Blasphemy!

Maybe it was the invariable concatenation of these two immensely popular folklore heroes in their own right that had me amused, but I suddenly was reminded of the time there was a giant uproar of a similar nature when a foreigner wanted to auction off some of old big G’s older, albeit worthless, belongings. What a race had ensued by our powers that be to ensure we safely secured what was rightfully ours! My O my! I had in fact read a dozen blogs that discussed and debated the whole issue of why they – as if it was divine intervention – would never allow a single atom of his blessed being outside the land he helped become free! Sigh. Sad but true. We Indians will never understand irony, I remember feeling back then. We put the G on every possible place in the country except in our lives. We put him in songs, in stories, in movies, in ads, in posters, in statues, on stamps and heck, even outside liquor shops. Everywhere but in our own routine. Tch tch. Too much G to sustain, eh? Sorry. Can’t be. We ensured that whatever the heck the man had once mouthed through his toothless voice into the ears of millions of people worldwide was regularly ignored and crucified with aplomb. We’ve now in fact also ascertained that he is religiously garlanded on the only two days that matter to us in his context – birth and death - while going on with our humble non-G lives in between. Will this circus ever end? I have no idea. Maybe it is not supposed to!

I don’t understand politics. Never have and neither am I keen to. But the fact that something as basic as ‘freedom of expression’ is controlled by leading so-called ‘political parties’ in the nation without any regret is just plain silly. And the gall we have to say that we are democratic enough to allow each person to opine. Bah! Keeping G’s context, anyone seems to get the license to fire, threaten, harm or even lynch anyone else. This is what I found rather bizarre considering the people we fight about today are long gone and have left behind so much mess that no amount of in-fighting can help clear. Somehow these visits to the ghost’s lair seem to be rather counter productive.

But well, I am no one. Maybe big J’s mention in the nation is indeed a bigger threat to us than acknowledging bigger G’s long forgotten legacy that continues to plead for our attention. Who knows? Maybe someone who will read this piece will go ahead and label me too as a J supporter just because I didn’t praise G enough? I am not sure anymore. I am really not.


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