Reservations at the fag-end of Modi’s tenure, celeb weddings overshadow the real issues

From PM Modi’s 10% quota gimmick to woo general category voters prior to general elections to celebrity wedding and reception gimmicks are the real issues getting lost in such futile publicity?

Photo Courtesy: PTI
Photo Courtesy: PTI

Humra Quraishi

What’s this latest gimmick of the Modi Government? Reservations and quotas when it’s time to bid goodbye to the masses, who are sitting conned by the bunch of promises held out to them over four summers back! Where are the promised jobs, rations, housing, survival necessities? Nah, just about nothing! All that I can see around are signs of upheavals and civil disorder.

People’s anger is accelerating to such an extent that rebellious citizens have started pelting stones at government functionaries like the recent incident in Uttar Pradesh where threw stones at a cop, killing him on the spot. You may call it stone pelting. I would prefer to describe it as anger pelting. So disgusted, disgruntled and dissatisfied are the masses that they have resorted to pelting stones at just about anyone who represents the sarkar of the day! The Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath, didn’t dare to say that those killer-stones had been sent or couriered all the way from China or Pakistan. They were stones clutched in the hands of those angry villagers, who unleashed their growing anger and mounting frustration.

Junior-level government representatives are getting targeted. As the big functionaries sit well-protected by the layers and layers of security, they cannot be touched. They can only be heard delivering one speech after another, all of them riddled with hollow words and bogus promises. In fact, to be honest, each one of the words uttered by the ruling lot hits and injures the very psyche, because the words lack sincerity.

Mind you, if there was even an iota of genuine earnestness to reach out to the masses, then by now, in these near-five years of the Modi rule, job vacancies would have been filled up, ration shops would been well-supplied, free-flowing grains and adequate water would have been available...Above all, we would not have been provoked to kill each other. Look at what’s been happening around. Mind you, the latest quota and citizenship baits are sure to cause many more divisions, rounds of anarchy and bloodshed.

In fact, each time a celebrity couple announces their marriage plans, it gets simply disgusting to read those details: all possible gimmicks involved to extract as much publicity as possible

The ground realities are such that instead of milk, children are drinking pesticide! The latest reported incident where a child tried to quench his hunger and thirst by drinking poison, shows that the most disadvantaged and marginalised have been left to die! I fail to understand the complexities involved. On one hand, we have the much flaunted and hyped declarations that we are the fastest growing economy. But what good is this for us when our children are semi-starved and near-dying? No, I don’t see signs of any economic growth. Tell me, where are the telltale signs of it?

Let us not get conned into believing that we are moving up simply because the filthy rich of this country insist on holding gaudy weddings, followed by hosting gaudier receptions. In the last few months, it was nauseating to see tamasha weddings of the rich. What if Anushka Sharma or Deepika Padukone or Priyanka Chopra or Kapil Sharma or any of the Ambanis had decided to host their wedding receptions along a rural stretch or in the midst of a village of our country? Then, perhaps an entire village or a cluster of villages could have benefited to a certain extent.

In fact, each time a celebrity couple announces their marriage plans, it gets simply disgusting to read those details: all possible gimmicks involved to extract as much publicity as possible. Who designed their dresses? Who did the catering? Who all attended? Banal and mundane.

I sit wondering what happens as we near the spring of 2019, when electioneering picks up and reaches a frenzy. How many more baits and fake promises will do the rounds? How many more divisive plans will be hatched? How many more encounters and killings will occur? How many more will be killed in the name of caste and community, in the name of region and religion?

Perhaps, the rulers manning the State machinery haven’t heard this verse of Baba Farid Shakarganj (1173-1265 AD):

"Farid, the earth questioned the sky, Where have the mighty captains gone?

In their grave they rot, was the reply

And rebuked for tasks
not done."

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Published: 12 Jan 2019, 1:03 PM