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Hey Ram! What all they do for votes?

Posted: October 1st, 2010 | Author: Raj | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , | No Comments »

When a Bangalore newspaper carried tales of Gen Next’s abject ignorance of the Ayodhya issue, many shed tears for the future of this country including my teacher wife who thought it an absolute sacrilege that kids didn’t know about a temple of dubious existence, a mosque that saw no prayers and the bigger mess that it has landed our country in.

It's no laughing matter!

Youngsters in the 18 to 25 age group – in other words those who were either born after the Babri Masjid fell in 1992 or were merrily chasing butterflies in their nappies – came up with answers that raised several hackles and a few laughs. I fall into the latter category and welcomed the total ignorance of this piece of history, especially since you know that it is only ever recorded by the victors in a battle where the vanquished fares worse than a dead snake.

Honestly, does it really matter to me what some communal morons who probably treat their messiahs or gods worse than dirt do on a piece of land that is just about the size of my own house in the Garden City? If one follows a ritualistic path to nowhere, the other is known for their an eye-for-an-eye logic – both completely alien to the religions they supposedly follow. So, in whose benefit is all this brouhaha being raised?

The angry journalist in me may point it as another TRP gimmick. But, given the utter confusion that anchor after television anchor displayed when the learned judges shared snatches of their judicial rock-n-roll, I am bound to admit that the purpose of this exercise in futility was indeed elsewhere. Actually, it was not difficult to fathom who benefited it all – the manner in which every lawyer worth his black dress was displaying the V-sign showed that everyone had won – at least till such time as this learned class of rabble rousers figure out what else the 3-member jury had written in their 10,000 page report.

Of course, there is also the small matter of not just wading through this huge mountain of paper, but also to read between the lines so that they can go back to a higher court and argue once again. It’s gainful employment for the lawyers who, I am sure, will encourage their children and grand children to take up law as the Courts will, at the very least, have this one case to argue for a few hundred years or maybe even more!

Coming back to the ignorance of today’s youth to these matters, I concur with the handful of experts who waxed eloquent on this modern 10K page Ramayan delivered by the judges yesterday. It is time to forget and move on. That being the case, why would I even care about knowing who was responsible for building the original temple, of breaking it 400 years ago, smuggling idols into the place 60 years ag0, before orchestrating the demolition of a nondescript and moth-laden structure 18 years back.

Honestly, how many of us really care about things that don’t concern us? Floods in Ladakh is the problem of the locals, garbage on our roads is the problem of the administration, late trains are the problem of the railway minister, harassment of women is a problem only if we know the victim, bad traffic on the roads is the problem for the traffic police… the list is endless. The only two things we’re bothered about in our own small little world is “uninterrupted power” so that we can watch TV and “potable water” so that we can quench our thirst by mixing it with our evening drink.

Where does a Ram Lalla or a Babri Masjid figure anywhere in the above scheme of things? Somebody somewhere decided that Lord Ram was delivered at a particular spot in Ayodhya and half the country set out to get back his rightful birthplace. On another front, a group of people who never prayed at spot decide that the structure was a symbol for them. They conveniently ignore the fact that in their faith, the only symbol of divine power resides in faraway Saudi Arabia.

A fellow Tweeter summed it up well when he said: “Now that the courts have accepted Ram’s birthplace, maybe it is time he got a birth certificate and showed it to his excellency, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Muthuvel Karunanidhi. While preferring to laugh off this reaction, I want to bring in another from a school going kid little Ananya (my colleague’s daughter) who offered, what to me sounded like the most practical solution: “Why do they want to fight over the land. Let them get rid of all the structures and build a Mall and give the shops to both communities.” Reminded me instantly of Obelix & Co where Caius Preposterous changes the ancient Gaulish village into a menhir making and boar-catching enterprise!

Highly practical and typical of the Gen Next capitalism. Not really! Lord Vivekananda had said in one of his speeches that the true level of spirituality only comes on a full stomach. All else that people take as religion is plain rabble rousing where the puppet has no role but the one assigned by the puppet master. And puppet masters there are many – right from our leader who boarded a chariot to get the Lord his rightful place (Thank Lord Ram that he didn’t carry bows and arrows) to our other leader who stopped his cavalcade midway to win two elections in what was then India’s most backward state.

So what if our children and their children do not know about these unscrupulous and unholy elements? They merely played out a massive charade that brought them a fair share of the loot in the form of votes, power and a chance to clean up our coffers. As for the court verdicts, they have been uniformly ambiguous over the years though one cannot blame them as the issue is probably far more difficult to unravel than a plate full of spaghetti. If the Brits used a successful “divide and rule” formula in the past, our courts have tweaked it into a “divide and fool” policy.

As for Gen Next, I hope and pray that they continue to retain their total ignorance about our history and instead focus on the future. The only place where history assumes importance is when our youth feel like writing the civil service entrance examination. Till then my young friends can safely ignore their history classes, which anyways makes you drowsy even on bright days.

I recall that hilarious Bollywood number sung by Mahendra Kapoor from the 1962 movie “Anpadh” written by Raja Mehdi Ali Khan:

Sikander ne Porus, Se ki thi Ladai; Jo ki thi Ladai, To Main Kya Karoon? (Watch the song on YouTube)

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