Only the Devil Knows

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"It is undemocratic," said some.

"There is no place of violence in a democracy," said the others.

The party workers went berserk for, their great leader was slapped by an ordinary man, a citizen, a voter of this country.

The parliament denounced the shameful barbarous act in one voice.

Some simpletons are confused and ask, "What is the big fuss about?" "Why such a rumpus?"

"We watch it everyday on the street. People slapping one another. We do it everyday and no body bothers," they add.

No……. but it is really the talk of the town. That a master slaps a servant (legally so defined) is condemnable, particularly when the servant grows far greater in stature than his masters by making them their ladders to rise. Ladders do not rise, the climbers rise; is a simple fact. It was not an ordinary cheek. It was a cheek burnt and disfigured while toiling in the sun in the public service….a great cheek, so to say. Cancer was just there at the wrong time and wrong place.

"But the hand was certainly an ordinary hand. And how dare it?" says a khadi-clad social worker.

"It is their duty, so they say; to beat you, kill you as you have empowered them to do so by making them the 'great' leaders of this country. But by doing so, you should not realize that you have reduced yourself to pigs and buffaloes. It is just a matter of time. It is just for five years, and then the pigs and buffaloes would turn into tigers and lions. Have patience till then," comes the advice from a go-good-doer with a black-rimmed specs.

"Who makes them great?" questions an agitated mind." The people", comes the reply. "And who slapped him?" came another question from a fellow tying the lace of his shoes. "One of them" cooed a lady licking from an ice-cream bar. "Then what is so unworthy? What is so condemnable?" joined a teenaged girl fresh from the college.

"No…. , you youngsters don't understand," says an elderly fellow sipping his hot cup of tea. "There is nothing condemnable," he continues, "when poor farmers are brutally beaten and killed under the command of the power-that-be for, what they only ask for is better price for their hard earned produce and thus, a better future for their progeny. No parliament sits to condemn this. The workers agitate for their wages and the lathis are pushed into their mouths. No political entities budge because they are ordinary workers. There is no shame as the treatment is well-deserved. The 'great leaders' of this country have liberty to coax and coerce the farmers to grab their lands in the name of public utilization and then sell it to good buyers. There is no eyebrow raised… no shame as the farmers' only enemy is their ignorance."

"But haven't we allowed this ourselves to happen to us?" shoots a good gossiper looking at the sky.

"May be, may be not" the elderly fellow resigns the gossip and dips his nose into the newspaper because it is a souvenir from the tea-hawker for the price paid for the cup of tea. He munches on the freebie.

"The lady succumbs to her injury in hospitable," he reads out loud, probably rejoining the gossip, "There is no slur, no government regret, when police charges the sleeping and calm crowd in Ramlila Maidan. No outrage, rather, they vouch for their action. No parliament, no public protest in favour of the public itself. A couple of days will remain the hullabaloo and then forgotten." He sermons as a matter-of –fact.

"It is the question between the life of a commoner and the cheek of a great, however rotten that may be. It is a line drawn between the curable pain of the great cheek and irrecoverable life of an ordinary citizen. It is the question of supremacy of the parliament consisting of public representatives and the public itself who make them so. It is the distinction between the maker and the made ones. It is a choice between a public leader and common gentry."

"We will not vote for them this time," says a half-naked emaciated villager.

"Who needs your vote? U..nhh. They have devised their ways and means to get into the sovereign house, by hook or by crook. You vote or you don't. If they are tired or retired, their sons and daughters are prepared to take their places. Confused?" thunders one philosopher looking at a short, young man, "And so be it."

You are always confused.

Is this democracy? Mobocracy? Only the devil knows.


S. S. Thakur, Guest Contributor, PatnaDaily.Com

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