Strange how in a country there are people who consider Chetan Bhagat (1) an extremely good writer and at the same time there are others who wouldn’t even trust him with dictation. Such is the country and such are its extremes.
The country boasts of its diversity. Diversity in weather, which goes from freezing cold (almost -50 degrees) to frying heat (above 50 degrees)! Diversity in topography & geography (has Deserts, green meadows & even snow clad mountains). It has Diversity in Culture, Diversity in language, and diversity of Religion. The diversities are so intense and diverse that if you travel in any direction, it seems as if you are watching a nonstop marathon show, with artists wearing colorful dresses, speaking varied array of languages. In short I can say you are in for an entertaining and enthralling ride.
But still it is the same country where Minorities are confused whether they are followers of an independent and unique religion or their religion is just an offshoot of what the majority follows, thus they end up doing what everybody else is doing & celebrating what everyone else is celebrating (2). Some months back leader of a political party publicly called for Muslims to be made to proudly pronounce their Hindu linage otherwise not to be allowed to vote in elections! (3) It is country which is a regional (somewhat international) economic power & strong contender for permanent seat at UN security council and at the same time the condition of women is appalling, second only to Afghanistan! (4) The country has more than couple of people who figure in the list of world’s richest people and still we find farmers who cannot make ends meet and thus are forced to put an end to their lives only. It is the country which has the world’s costliest home (5) when most of its population doesn’t have anything to call home. It is the country with Freedom of speech as one of the six fundamentals rights granted by constitution, countless news channels and news papers seem to validate this and still it is the same country where a whole region is blocked unlawfully for more than 100 days and no one bother to report (6). It is the country which claims to be the largest democracy in the world yet there is uproar in parliament over cartoons in a text book who no one finds offensive, makes us wonder who do they represent (7). It is the country which boosts of its tolerance, of never being the aggressor or attacker yet its most renowned painters is forced into a self imposed exile and there after bids adieu to this world in a foreign country (8). It is the country where a newly born baby girl in the family of super stars (Actors) makes headlines and trends on twitter but discovery of mass graves in the disputed part of country doesn’t raise any eyebrows forget about getting covered properly in mainstream media (9). It is the country where Soldiers are above law and civilians have very little hope of getting justice. It is the land were a person is sentenced to death on mere circumstantial evidence to satisfy the national conscience (10) and same is not applied to it soldiers when found guilty of murdering civilians in cold blood (11). It is the country which boosts to having Unity in Diversity but when it comes to addressing the grievances of its diversity they just don’t acknowledge the presence of any (12).
What else do I need to say than that it is a country where Chetan Bhagat is known as a writer and it is the same country where another writer raises her voice against government and its modus operandi she is declared a traitor and ant-national (13). Once it was this country only that lead the Non-Alignment movement and now its foreign policy lacks vision and spine. That is India shining for you my dear friends and sold to you as Incredible India.
1. Would like to clarify that I am not trying to pass any judgment regarding the writing skills of Chetan Bhagat, in fact have never read him. Used him as an example only due to the fact that mere mention of his name makes people to express extremely different (apposite) emotions.
2. Until Chandragupta’s reign (of Gupta dynasty) Hinduism (religion of majority) did not have idol worship. One more thing to take notice of is that during that period the more popular religions where Buddhism & Jainism and these continued to grow stronger with each passing day because of their simple teachings. So as to counter their growth idol worship was introduced and many scripture (which Hindu’s hold pious) were written, rewritten or edited. Both the founders of Buddhism and Jainism wanted to take their followers as far away from Hinduism as possible, so the question of these two religions being off shoots of Hinduism doesn’t arise. Same applies to Sikhism.
3. Dr.Subramanian Swamy (the party president of Janta Party) had made these comments in a very inflammatory write-up in DNA news paper, which even made minority commission of India to send him a notice. The write-up was so inflammatory that Harvard chose not to renew his contract as visiting faculty.
4. A report on woman welfare, made public last year, ranked India just above Afghanistan.
5. The billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s home, “Antilia” is believed to be the costliest home in the world
6. Last year the state of Manipur faced road blockage for more than 100 days which led to commodities prices sky rocketing, shortage of essential supplies thus endangering lives.
7. Recently there was commotion in parliament over one cartoon published in an NCERT text book. The cartoon by Shankar Pillai was supposedly meant to show the slow pace a which the Indian constitution was drafted.
8. M.F Hussain India’s most celebrated and renowned painter was forced to self imposed exile in Qatar after being harassed by Hindu right wings and died in London in June 2011.
9. In Jammu & Kashmir last year about 3000 mass graves were found and more are being discovered, Human Rights groups are calling for international impartial probe but the government is hiding behind one after other smokescreens. What was more appalling was the way the media took the whole incident, as if nothing had happened. And the same media went gung ho over the coverage of birth of Abishek & Ashwariya Bachan’s daughter.
10. Afzal Guru was sentenced to death in Parliament attack case on circumstantial evidence. Apprehensions have been raised by many over the fairness of the trail, even the judgment reads that he was sentenced to death “to satisfy the conscience of the country”.
11. Army personal were found to be guilty of murdering civilians in cold blood and later branding them as foreign militants in Pathribal Kashmir, but court instead of punishing the guilty left it to the army to take action against them.
12. After the 2010 summer unrest, in which more than 110 teenagers were killed, in Kashmir the central government formed a team (interlocutors) to ascertain the causes of unrest and suggest way forward so as to accommodate Kashmiri aspirations. Recently the interlocutors report was made public and some political commentators claim that the interlocutors didn’t even try to understand the real causes forget about writing them in the report.
13. Miss Arundhati Roy was poster lady of India till she began asking uncomfortable questions and thus was declared anti-national.
Also Appeared in The Kashmir Monitor http://kashmirmonitor.org/06022012-ND-a-country-where-chetan-bhagat-is-known-as-a-writer-27587.aspx and The Kashmir Dispatch http://www.kashmirdispatch.com/others/03068401-a-country-where-chetan-bhagat-is-known-as-a-writer.htm#comments