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Thursday, September 28, 2023

Helpless before history

Helpless Before History !
Let me tell you upfront: I am not a right winger. I am not a left winger either. I may also add that I am not a Muslim hater nor am I a Hindu baiter. I was not at the hot gates of Ayodhaya wielding crow bars and axes, nor was I leading the lynch mob clamouring for 'death to Kamlesh Tewari ' or rejoicing at the beheading of Kanhaiya Lal. The grief was mine, on all those occasions. So was the opprobrium for saying so. Painfully aware that to be ideologically uncertain in times of single truth constituencies is to court the enmity of both groups. I have all but given up joining debates where front-line fighters in the mental wars of our times are slugging it out. The gesture would be quixotic. We are a society which now lives by an old ditty that I came across during the Black Panther movement , “They say in Harlem Country / There are no neutrals here / Whose side are you on? / Whose side are you on?”
This question was put to me a couple of days back for the umpteenth time, whose side am I on ? I am on the side of my country. Till yesterday to be an Indian in India was the end of the matter. But unfortunately the times are out of joint ,that country has ceased to exist. Now you have to be the right kind of Indian. You have to love the authorised icons in a certain measure and you have to hate with the right degree of intensity objects and people who are not of the right kind. Between loving and hating there is no half way house. But hate does not go unrequited and in recent times there has been a frightening and competitive expansion of trained ignorance and malicious feelings . A sudden spread of impenetrable moral and spiritual darkness has engulfed us all, where you can no longer say right from wrong, but the pall of darkness provides hate mongers on both sides the cover to do their thing. They are inflicting by turns , one wound at a time , an wound for an wound , drawing blood for blood. I dodge the draft . That leaves me – and many other people like me – shipwrecked, stranded, marooned . Stateless refugees, castaways, drifting aimlessly, unwelcome at either shores because we cannot show our papers of allegiance. We are the new boat people.
PS :There is a context for these musings which I will share some other time

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