Monday, November 12, 2007

Children of a lesser god

Sometimes, the thought of going home becomes an intrusion. Like when you're driving down the expressway, happy to have lost the road back to the city. The thing with happiness, though, is that it has an evil twin.
Tonight, I will go home and be thankful, for the big house, my two rooms, for my middle-class birth, for every material comfort that I so often scoff at in the name of humility. Because we live in a world where these things matter enough to save your life. Because my parents have two cars, their own house, and comfortable bank accounts, our lives are worthy of being saved. It sounds insane, doesn't it? But when I read about all those lives that are so dispensable because they have no other defence than their tears of anguish and helplessness, whose cries and appeals go unheard - this is all I can come up with to explain how this sort of continuing terror can be perpetrated on the people who have put the present government in power. The people whom the government purports to protect. Instead, children are dying, men and women lie wounded in hospitals, each reduced to a name and number plastered across their forehead with duct tape. The language of diplomatic communication has always been maddening; annoyingly passive. The prime minister has been kind enough to say that Delhi is "concerned". When your child falls down and hurts his knee, you show concern. When your house is full of termites, you're entitled to be concerned. But when the women of your polity get raped and murdered, when you can look at the fear on the faces of the men and children, and still shoot them to death to make a sham of all your promises, a mockery of the democracy you claim to ensure - I'm thinking there needs to be more than a show of "concern" and "direct interest".
Nandigram embarasses me. On the way to work, when I see a group of foreign tourists wandering aimlessly near Raj Bhavan, looking appalled at the empty streets of a city whose charm lies in its people, its overwhelming crowds, I am ashamed for the anxious alertness in their body language. When the police crack down on artists raising their voice against the atrocities, the complete disregard for the democratic rights of the people in my state embarasses me.
My city's silence, and my own, embarasses me. My 'education', the 'awareness' and 'exposure' that has cultivated for me and for those like me an ostensible 'voice', embarasses me because of the way in which it is being threatened and systematically quashed by my government.
And when I go back home, and think of all those people who have been rendered homeless, landless, and, in so many cases, without a family, I will be embarassed for the comfort I was born into and for the inability to do much else than to wallow in it.

9 comments:

Rapid I Movement said...

What else can you have when you have a single ruling government for over thirty years?

Trina said...

toke phone korar cheshta korlam besh koekbar, pelam na. budhbar rallytate ashish...asha kori office-e apotti korbe na...please try and make it. 1pm, college square.

Anonymous said...

http://www.petitiononline.com/rspcpifb/petition.html

online petition ta sign koris...

Trina said...

http://development-dialogues.blogspot.com/2007/11/citizens-statement-on-nandigram.html

rainbeau_peep said...

stuntmaster,
Hmm. We both know that is not a reasonable defence.

trina,
ashbo mone hochhe apatoto. thank you for the invite.
aar oi statement ta porechhi. amader office e patthano hoyechhilo. kalker letters to the editor column e thaakbe, kintu, ektu edited, karon oto boro ta newar jaayega ekdom chhilo na, honest.

anon,
sign korechhi, thanks for the link.

mojo said...

more shame than embarassment really

panu said...

I feel Nothing. Its so enraging that I feel nothing.

Sphinx said...

its a nice read. really. Democracy was never a part of the agenda of our constitution, its an over-used word that the politicians refer to from time to time.
I could relate to your post, in the sense, that it feels weird to know the atrocities around us and yet be gratified for all the material comfort we possess and, so often, take for granted.

Sam said...

everything in the name of democracy is a sham!! sometimes i seriously wonder how on earth did this entire situation take up such magnanimous proportions!! wot teh govt has done is succesfully make a mockery of Democracy, The Indian Constitution adn finally the Bong Intellect... yup!! the last one too... for it is now after protesting against atrocities all over India... we have stuff going on in our own backyard... and we are bloody helpless for the most part!! things are going haywire.... the question one hears, "you guys are so sensible that your backyard is being burnt to ashes!!"
Like WOW!! thnx to the left front and all those who have contributed to this mess!!
THANX....