To the ears of a deaf Elephant

The latest invention of the Al-Qaeda lab is an ‘Intestine Bomber’. Wow! One of the greatest wonders in the history of terrorism. A plot to blow up from gut level where all hatred comes from! Naxalites beheading a Cop, Taliban style! Kidnapping of journalist by hooded men with AK 47s! Mess in neighboring Pakistan with bombs going off like Deepavali crackers and the invasion of the Red Dragon in the North-east! a failed attempt by the Sanathana group ending up in a mission impossible case. Besides these, our men in blue bring disgrace as usual. All this keeps the uncommon man of this country busy wondering what is going on. These are part of the package for a mind searching for something to write about on an idle day. I agree with all of you. But what really bothers me and many others is that, being aware of such situations and waves of tragedies why is the country hitting the same button making millions deaf to reality.

Often when one turns to the business page of the newspaper there India is pictured as an Elephant, China as a Dragon and America like Uncle Sam. Elephants have large ears. But in a country where problems are multiplying every day, why are we failing to listen to them?

Listen ,I would mean not just appoint an committee which submits its report after 15 years, but try to know what is really happening as soon as possible from the grass roots. Lend an ear to the rising cry of millions around us for freedom, justice and peace. Half of our problems would be solved by this act of charity. We blame (politicians) saying that they are supposed to listen ask, why they do not.  The fact is true but as responsible citizens, why are we not doing something. Let’s get straight into the matter.

One of my hobbies is to watch people, their behaviour, reactions and talk. Nearly 75% of people busy themselves in convincing people that they are right and the other must listen, be it in a market, class room, temple, church or in the parliament. Everyone thinks that by talking we can solve all problems. Are we aware that the threats we are facing are just because we have failed to listen to those on the verge of madness, for they have found only deaf ears everywhere.

Let us take the menace created by the Naxalites. When the poor talk and raise their voice, the Government sends choppers to bomb them and soldiers to hunt them down. Why this brutality? What happened to the hundreds of committees sent to make a study of the problem? The Government has failed to listen to the cries of the tribals and Daliths. Their oppression in the name of developmental projects and tourism perks has reached a point where they have no option than to take up arms. Why don’t they have faith in our elections? Because it’s all of empty promises, politicians act like blood sucking leeches and democracy is a Utopian dream. So even if hundreds of Rahul Gandhis visits them it will be worthless.

Take another piece of land torn by violence, Kashmir. There bomb blasts and encounters have become common affairs. Their cry for peace, justice and against military atrocities is met with tear gas and rubber bullets. Their voice is lost as two countries quarrel. So they hide the Lashkars and Jihadis in their backyard to see their tormentors killed. What has happened to those treaties and steps taken towards peace and stability? They have melted like the snow of the valley. Why don’t we listen to the cry of the valley?

What of the North East, a land of rich culture and beauty today threatened by fear and death. Every hill today resounds with gun shots and blasts. Successive Governments have only divided the tribes in such a way that they kill each other and die. Their cry for identity is heard by China more clearly than India as the former has decided to intervene. Again are we listening to the SOS?

There are millions out there, wanting to be heard. They include Daliths, Gays, the poor, women, children, labourers, and the sick, unemployed the list is endless. Their cry is systematically swept under the carpet of progress, IT and SEZ. all these may be good but at what cost? Do we need this holocaust of millions just to raise our GDP by 10%, make our cities beautiful, our food cheap, our cars better, our boundaries stronger and our future ‘secure’? . So failure to listen to these voices would make them invent Guillotines for which millions of head would roll. So next time if anyone enjoys a Pizza be careful there isn’t a bomb in it and before such millions go off, India better listen up. 

Author: Rohan Sequeira- Pune