Monday, 1 February 2016

Random Suo Motu Rants

It is so random, even I can’t make sense of it.

Sifting through the social media crap that piles up in front of me day in and day out is becoming extremely tedious. There’s so much made-up shit in there, you wonder what makes these people do such things. Bill Maher recently said that, “Somewhere along the line the Information Superhighway became Bullshit Boulevard. And truth was roadkill”. The other day, I received a devotional song rendered beautifully by a small kid, with the caption that she is M S Subbulakshmi’s granddaughter. She is not. Why would someone deliberately add a falsehood to a song? Then, there is the steady stream of proud Indians sending out some proud things about which I am instructed to be proud of. Some messages explain how unscrupulous, scheming foreign forces are collaborating with sickular anti-nationals to malign our ancient land of honey and milk, about which I should be angry and react as a proud Indian.

Recently, there was a story in a friend’s Facebook page about a rich man living in a villa and his watchman.
The story goes like this – Rich man living in a villa. Whenever he goes out in his luxury car our watchman opens the gate and wishes, but the master never responds. One day master sees guy opening garbage bags for leftover food. Next day the watchman saw a bag near the dump filled with fresh food, and this became a regular thing. One day the master dies, and the bag also stops (note: the protagonist, thickheaded obviously, still hasn’t connected the food bag to the master). After some time, our dude asks the master’s wife for a raise, who could not believe this guy needed a raise. However, he tells her the story of the food bag. She started bawling because she realized it was her benevolent hubby. Next day onwards the son started bringing the food bag. Wait, it is not over. There’s a twist. Our guy says thank you, but the son too doesn’t respond. Guy is miffed. Later momma explains that the son is deaf, just like his dad. So, the moral of the story is - don’t judge people without knowing the truth.

A whole bunch of people liked it, shared it and expressed their appreciation at the profound meaning of the story. "Awesome," "touching," "great," went the comments. They were all sympathizing and identifying with the poor, rich, deaf feudal lord who “so generously” left the food bag by the "dump" for his watchman. Not with the watchman who had to scrounge the waste for half-chewed breadsticks, but with the boss who won’t pay a living wage to his employee. And the madam and the son continues with that generosity. The guy, instead of being grateful for that, was passing judgments. The f#$%ing serf.

It obviously is his karma. As it was for Rohith Vemula, the kid who killed himself in Hyderabad. A few days ago I was reading stories from the Mahabharata to my sons and I came across this paragraph about Ekalavya after he severs his thumb as guru dakshina for Drona.

“You may think it was a hard and cruel demand that Drona made, but a very important lesson underlies it. A man is born according to his past thoughts and actions, and his body is part of his karma. He must not forcibly snatch advantages denied to him by his physical condition, but must patiently bear his disabilities till he has worn them out, and the way opens before him. Ekalavya would not wait. He resolutely grasped the fruit that to him was forbidden, and the body that had sinned had to pay its debt.

Rohit Vemula too did not wait. He was, and others like him are, reaching for that forbidden fruit, which is irking some people, who would like to restore that old system and show these upstarts their place in society.

I started writing this post a few weeks ago when the Supreme Court upheld the bar closure in Kerala. The Supreme Court, in its infinite wisdom, deemed that only those mallus who can afford five-star bars or have friends in elite clubs need to booze. I wanted to rant against that verdict but then two words – suo motu – stopped me in my tracks. Suo motu is Latin for “You fat f#$k”. This is used by judges when they throw the book at you. E.g. “Suo motu (You fat f#$k), solitary life imprisonment for you for writing dumb blogs and other crimes”. We live in a “kinda democratic” country. Being “kinda democratic” means you can say some things and get away with it. However, there is a non-democratic institution which can screw your happiness just like that and that is the judiciary. A judge can call you “Oy suo motu” and throw you into jail for anything and everything or even make you write imposition (Judge makes police write imposition).

Though “kinda democratic”, there is one no-go area. Religion. Hurting religious sentiments is a big crime in India, as Sanal Edamaruku found when he rubbed the Catholic Church the wrong way. And there are many other such instances.

But then, what about “scientific sentiments”? What about my scientific sentiments that are being hurt every time I see Mr. Gajendra Chauhan, the FTII head, peddling Hanuman pendants on TV for good fortune?
What about my hurt sentiments when I see that prosperous-looking woman selling a “valampiri shankhu” for prosperity?
O Supreme Court, What about my frikkin scientific sentiments?

In the meantime, our city got a new mayor. I was reminded of the Eagles song “New kid in town”, except that in this guy’s case “Nobody’s talking about the new kid in town.” He is invisible. At the same time, another election is approaching. So, the railway god was brought out for the customary light metro gibberish for the capital city, which is into its fifth year of gibberish-ing. The chief honcho is raining promises on the electorate from dark clouds covering the sun. The opposition is waiting for the sun to come out.

As Chanakya, with his brahminical, stern, constipated look, his stretched index finger poking your eyes, said about democracy, “When the fart gets wet, it is time to change the langot”.