Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Winter's Tale

Kiran Bedi cavorting in public spaces was really hard to fathom. How can there be such a turn around, and how could it be even plausible that she should reinvent herself, in this new "say cheese" girl- of -the moment avatar. As keeper of Tihar jail, she brought about some changes which were indeed extremely interesting. Even the SBI started to use her campaign in their advertisements, since rolling pappads was seen to be a useful occupation for men who were chastised by the state or by their  householders.
There is nothing small about those reforms, nothing petty. Yet, when she spoke in Ram Lila Maidan, in the company of those who wanted to change the system, she was autocratic in her gestures and voice."Chup Raho! Baith Jao!" she kept shouting into the mike. Perhaps, the petty bourgeoisie bases of the Aap Party, which by its very name is synechdocal in its approach to women, has drawn in over time a roster of professionals and the upper middle class.
The idea that Kejriwal jumped the gun and ran off to Benaras, and wanted an eight room house  larger than the  houses that bureaucrats have was seen to be really loathsome by the voters. Now, he is back, and says he can govern Delhi. Let's hope "Aap" stays by its verve to stand in terms of its charter, regardless of its losses.
We are hoping for a clean Delhi, certainly, and a cleaner river. The construction boom in the city is now stable, and living in the dust and lacking nothing has been the lot of the middle class after the Commonwealth games. We get caught in traffic jams, we watch films at ridiculous rates in movie halls monopolised by pop corn eating youth, who spend as much as double the daily wage of the working class in the city. We look away as the sacralised poor, weaned away from the communist party into animistic ideologies, who accept their condition, not as the result of their lack of education, but a consequence of their karma, fix us with angry stares.
Number 1 and Number 2 have taken over the city, and the Gujarat model of development, which is ghettoisation, without compunction stares us in the face. Varun Gandhi, scion of the Emergency power centre, Sanjay Gandhi, who converted the city in its present form, by throwing the poor across the river, and with his tirades  and invectives against Muslims appears on national tv to comfort or compensate Shashi Tharoor, who has not stopped smiling since he was interrogated for the untimely death of his wife by poisoning. What's it all about?
And ofcourse, Republic Day, which is a day of national celebration, celebrating the Constitution, has become a day of jumbled hopes and victories, as motorcycle feats by men who drive faulty choppers as part of their occupational hazards at work, show us amazing tricks we would not want our children to copy. Islamic State promises to take over the skies, and with the rain, fog, and possibly seismic jolts at under 5 degrees,  which are common at this time of the year,Delhi is in for more than perforated eardrums and cracks in the wall plaster, in the winter cold.

No comments:

Post a Comment