Not my country

It’s been a while since I have aired a political view on this blog. I think the last time I did was on the grim day in 2014 when the dark forces that be, came to power. But yesterday, I felt broken. I spent a large part of the day keeping up with the updates following the airstrikes that began day before yesterday, and I just can’t fight the feeling of overwhelming disappointment and disgust at just how despicably low the greed for power can make this government stoop. I had been simmering all day, but watching the video of Wing Commander Abhinandan in captivity, making a statement with stoic and brave composure, just completely broke me.

It’s been a veritable shit-fest from the word go. And my disgust began yesterday with news of raucous celebrations across the country at our brave show of retaliation. Since then there has been a deafening silence from the government. This is a time to be available, accountable and respond with alacrity. But the silence and the absolute lack of urgency in making available the right responses available is appalling. Delayed updates, delayed confirmation, lack of clarity and no urgency to respond to the news of the captured pilot or where we will go from here. With this heavy air of being at the brink of war looms large, all I’ve felt again and again is crushing defeat.

I’m not even the slightest fan of the current government in power. But if there was even a glimmer of optimism in me, a silent, small possibility to “give them a chance, change takes time” like people keep asking of me, it has all but vanished today.

It’s 2019 for fucks sake. All this progress, development, evolution has got to count for something. As if the religious fundamental rhetoric and the Hindutva hard-lining weren’t enough, theres is now this new catastrophe in the making, guaranteed to drag us down. I didn’t think I’d live to witness a time where my country, the largest democracy in the world, a super power in the making, would be at the brink of war. A war we cannot afford, a war we have no business bringing on ourselves. I’m just so angry at the thought.

I don’t own a TV, but the clips of the blatant war-mongering going on on prime time news in the wake of the 14 Feb attacks has churned my stomach every time that I have encountered one. They’ve been shrill, hyping the government, fighting the cause of revenge, using the heavy word so brazenly. No amount of muting the card carrying right wingers in my phonebook and on whatsapp seems to help, they’re crawling out of the woodworks with their boxes of laddoos and what not, to celebrate would you believe? The unbridled hate I’ve seen online, on my whatsapp stories and in the news has been heartbreaking. And for what? It’s not like we’ve fought the war and emerged victorious. Premature celebrations, much?

I hope some day they’ll come out of their saffron coloured castles in the air and see the truth. This is bad timing. This shouldn’t have happened. It simply shouldn’t have.

One wonders about the timing of it all, the urgency to retaliate and to seek revenge. One wonders about the classified nature of such surgical strikes and how quickly publicised these were. One wonders about when we turned aggressive, rather than defensive, and which is the more powerful position to take. One wonders about the inflating 56″ chest and that mad glint in those eyes. One wonders about the futility of it all, just for another inevitable election win, but the impetus to win it while soaring even higher on the frenzied sentiments of a nation baying for blood.

I’m just so helpless and enraged by my helplessness.

I had a moment of severe dissonance while I was at the supermarket today, buying vegetables and chicken, while imagining forces getting ready for combat. How can the two realities coexist?

War shouldn’t be this easy.

A war at a time like this? What of the farmers whose hunger remains to be addressed even after the budget? What about our cities that are crying for thought and attention, where little really reaches? What about the the 87% slash in teacher training that’s bound to impact education in India? What about the exodus of workers marching to Delhi to protest the plan to weaken labour laws?

Meanwhile the prime minister in the last 24 hours has experienced the Delhi metro, launched a Bhagwad Gita app along with some fitness or something or the other app and is busy promoting and prepping for his Guinness world record breaking largest video conference ever to be held soon. And this, when we’ve had absolutely no confirmed legit updates, except for three very disturbing videos of the captured wing commander. Again and again his brazen display of blind power and greed with no fucks to give cuts too close to the bone.

How do more people not see this? How do they not feel this?


Surely we have bigger priorities to throw our money at. And no, I don’t mean another statue. I know this isn’t the most nuanced opinion, but right now I’m just mad, so filled with rage and bitterness that one mans greed for another electoral win, to emerge the hero, to make a damn point, can drag an entire nation to these lows.

As I have been wondering about karmic cycles, at a personal and a national level (yes I’ve wondered about the karma of my nation), and in my own life I see the benefit in healing the present as the only means to break cycles of hurt, I wonder about retaliation and what good it holds. I wonder about the futility of war. I wonder what hope this leaves for tomorrow.

Today, all I feel is hopeless.

This is not the country I want to call mine.

One year ago: Pretend like there’s no world outside

3 thoughts on “Not my country

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  3. Jayanti Dutta

    Perhaps the lack of updates is because they want to keep their strategies and plans close to heart and bring pressure on pakistan. During Kargil, Naawaz Sharif was asked by Clinton to withdraw. He did (and was ousted). In this case, £uck knows what the US will do. War will be unequal and lead to the inevitable use of nuclear weapons, which is not something the RoW will allow. So war is pretty much out. I am glad in a way that the Abhi videos are out – with this on public record, they have to return him safely otherwise the results will be catastrophic. What a mess, what an absolute, shoddy mess.


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