Satire in the Age of Letters and Technology- more than just a pinch of it.
India celebrated its 63rd year of being a Republic and I could not help but feel proud when the grand parade was on in full swing and our honorable President hoisted the national flag as the lights emanating from the television set kept my sleepy eyes open. As I ventured outside, freedom was in the air and the happiness on the faces of the people who could sense it was beyond comparison. The temperature had no intention whatsoever of rising, but the warmth exuded by the merrymakers was enough for me to give my jacket a miss. There were tinges of saffron, ruby, pearl and aquamarine wherever I looked. They mingled with several hues of crimson, khaki, cream, turquoise, lemon and fuchsia to produce shades that colored the surroundings and made them look vibrant like they had never looked before.Women with their dazzling smiles- akin to the jewelry that adorned their bodies walked past men who had joy and contentment written all over their faces.The tiny tots could not have enough of their tricolor balloons in one hand and candy floss in the other. Paper flags formed a canopy over my head and words that glorified our nation greeted my ears with the soothing tunes that accompanied them…
I opened my eyes to the blaring of the television and realized that I had been dreaming all the while.
”So this is what Republic Day should be all about” I said to myself.
26th of January may be a very significant day in the history of our motherland, but if the times we live in are to be considered, it is just another reason for people to relax and unwind themselves with a warm cup of coffee or maybe catch a movie in the coolest theater in town. The bustling crowd, the cut-throat competition and the undying thirst to make a difference has reduced us to being selfish souls who cannot spare time for things that do not directly concern us.Where is the patriotism? Where have the martyrs gone? Do people know what our national anthem tries to convey? Can they decipher the beauty it beholds? Do they even know the man behind those wonderful words in the first place?
Our independence may have been declared and the upholder of our democracy may have come to force on this day, but for you and me, Republic day will be anticipated because it means a taking day off from the hectic schedule at work, in college or at school. Saffron, white, green and blue are just names of colors if you ask an average Indian. The virtues of courage, truth, peace and justice that they symbolize are lost in the bylanes of the rapidly growing metropolises, only to show themselves during times of adversity and then be forgotten. Mahatma Gandhi is merely our deceased Father of the Nation who as a matter of fact needed a Bollywood blockbuster to become a household name. He was no Badshah or Shahenshah after all. Our Government will continue to be construed as a slap on the face of the nation and politics will always be termed as dirty by the millions of aspiring engineers and doctors. Few will endeavor to provide a cure for the problem and get down to clean up the dirt.
The youth shall continue to fight against corruption by shelling out 30 bucks for an ‘I am Anna‘ cap and simultaneously ‘donate’ a few lakhs to a private university in order to attain a degree in business. They will always want to do something for the nation they owe their identity to, but they shall do so by settling abroad and contributing to a capitalist economy some 50 times more powerful than ours. The uncouth and uncivilized group of men shall march with tricolor flags in their hands and paint their faces to go with it; they shall dance to the popular tunes of the day on a makeshift stage, indulge in all forms of revelry without knowing the actual reason behind it and wait for their families to find them lying in some ditch in an inebriated state the next day. I shall probably be writing another such article for you to read and you shall be scrolling through the post the way you are doing right now.
63 years of being free and some hundred more such years to go, India shall sure rejoice on every 26th of January- the scams, the million deaths, the poverty and the filth will never be a deterrent. Neither will the fact that the same day commemorates our status as a constitutional democracy be an incentive. Maybe the new shopping mall across the street and a sale in a luxury clothing store will be. It is a holiday after all and we are independent citizens. Aren’t we?
”So this is what Republic Day is all about” I say to myself yet again.