After completing a year in India, I return back to my adopted homeland Canada. It’s time to look back and see how the year went. Ironic but I see the world mirroring my own personal state as if the nature is in unison with my own self.
The past twelve months has been an era of discontent for both me and this world. I see myself and this world breaking down a bit, aging a lot and despairing more often.
I saw death up, close and personal and so has this world, almost on a daily basis. Only in my case it was of a weary body but is of a weary soul for this world. Every day the earthlings carry their dead souls in their fearful, impotent, all-accepting living bodies as humans-turned-animals kill in the name of religion, caste, nation, lust, greed, even cows. The barbarism of cow-guardians, proudly referred to as ‘gau-rakshakshs’ by the Hindu majority in India is not different from that of a terrorist, slitting throats with knives on the streets of London or that of a disgruntled racist Neo-American ferociously hunting and killing his own countrymen in the name of making America great again. Death always created moments of pain for many while a few rejoiced. Today the tables are turned and death of a few is ‘accepted’ and ‘celebrated’ by soul-less mobs on a mission to cleanse their nations of undesired elements.
I trusted people and believed that a desire for achieving the common good will be the main principle of building relationship and found out that I was wrong. Egos, hoisting of narrow individual believes howsoever misguided and your own narcissistic self over any common goal of an organization or society is fast becoming a standard world over. From Modi who could care less for economists or their financial views and went ahead with demonetization which not only built an undesired road block for the Indian growth story and killed many small businesses but also led to immense hardships for Indian citizens and loss of human lives to Erdogan in Tukey who has jailed and tortured thousands and thousands of his own countrymen to silence his critics and claim victory. From Assad who has brought unlimited misery to his own people in the name of protecting his regime to Trump who is taking his xenophobia and hatred for colored immigrants to a level which is shredding the very idea of America’s creation to pieces. The world has seen an eruption of megalomaniacs even in the celebrated democracies of the world who are hell bent on making their countries lose the agenda and become the very banana republics they once despised.
I believed in freedom of expression and the ability to reason things based on logic, analysis and scientific approach. I thought that the work a man does should speak for itself and that sycophancy and bowing to the authority was not required to rise at work place. I believed in the power of knowledge to be revered than the physical authority. I was wrong. The world of today also proves idiots like me wrong. Today men crawl when asked to bend. The total surrender of Indian political space, its nationals, its corporate, its think-tank to the Great leader speaks volumes not about his skills but more about the weakness of character of his subjects. Anyone who speaks out is muted, marked as anti-national, asked to go to Pakistan or to be dumped in the great Indian ocean. Social media warriors and trolls are ready to pounce on any comment which even raises a slight word of dissent, as even this article may be subject to or this writer has been subject to in the past. Fact is a dirty ‘f’ word. Alt-fact is in! Science is dying, climate change is a hoax, cow dung and cow urine can cure the mankind of all ills, birds and perhaps later animals and humans can cry away to sexual orgasms and produce rollicking babies from their tears, …… One can go on and on with the world which in the eyes of ordinary citizens goes two steps backwards, every day. You actually do not need intellect or knowledge to lead. Even prowess in offloading mid-night 140 letter misspelled tweets can be enough to become the Great leader of a world order which goes more by rhetoric than content.
I came from the old school of thought and believed that doing things right, with honesty, integrity and intellect was the sure way to success. I have been proved wrong. And so is the world. Corruption rules. In some way or the other. Period. Corporations and the rich can buy its politicians and make them dance to their tunes. Make no mistake, Trump pulling out of Paris agreement and denying climate change is not just about the alt-fact but also is directly proportional to the immense contributions given by the fossil fuel industry to Republican senators and leaders. In India, the Prime Minister of the country acts as the Prime sales person of a new cheap SIM card of the currently most powerful corporate company. Politicians, media entities, entertainers, academicians even ex-soldiers, all bow down, respect and honor the wishes of the highest bidder of their soul. In India, corporate governance is a joke and the promoters regularly consider public money as their own money and independent directors are rarely independent. A Raymond like story where Rs. 6.5 billion is going to be written off from the book value and cause a huge loss to the independent investor at the cost of profiting the promoters and their families is just one example of the rot which is well entrenched in the system. Alas with Indians always believing in the master-slave relationship as the model symbol of Indian culture, this will continue for years to come. Kattapa will be respected as he follows without questioning the master’s decision and that is a virtue.
Alas in these times of negativity and disappointments, I would have left India dejected and in despair. To an extent that is the real mood. Also, because the world I return to is also not perfect and carries its own problems of daily racism, lack of opportunities for the outsiders and above all a feeling of isolation which is difficult to remove even after spending decades in that environment. The color of the skin alas cannot change howsoever the soul adjusts.
Yet I carry a bit of positivism along which will last me a lifetime or whatever is left of it. I have seen love, much love from family and friends, a feeling of being wanted and being cared. I have seen people standing up for what is right even in such hard times and not shying up to speak the truth even at the cost of facing immense rebuke, both virtual and real. I have seen people silently respecting honest work, even contributing to its development despite their own leaders merrily playing politics and games to make it fail. I have seen that the light of truth cannot be kept in hiding by any darkness that engulfs it. The rays of light will break free and show us the paths to tread to glory and happiness.
The winds have not been able to break the spirit and the lamp still kindles bright. And so it will, in millions and millions of silent Indians, Americans, Syrians, Turkish, Pakistanis and other world citizens who will one day remove hate, darkness, anger and animosities from their lives, see through the agenda of all kinds of religious, caste or class divisive forces in whatever form they come and walk free again.
The soul used to change bodies earlier.
It is time, our bodies change and remove the dead souls that we carry and live again as ever-accepting, ever-loving, ever-seeking humans! Let the light of knowledge brighten our lives! Amen!
Posted in Times of India on 7th June 2017. Link below-