MUSINGS & MALEDICTIONS

Lockdown, religion, migrant, survival, and more

The migrants today, uncared for and not mentioned once by the great leader, sent me scurrying to find a parallel from history

Lockdown, religion, migrant, survival, and more

Unequal world: While migrants walked for hundreds of miles, pilgrims apparently got buses.

Keki Daruwalla

The good thing about this Chinese virus is that it has knocked the stuffing out of religion. Where are monotheism, polytheism, in fact theism itself? What about God, Jehovah, Allah and the three gods of Hinduism? The Holy Ghost has become a little ghostly. One would think that atheism has come into its own at last — like LGBT and gay marriages. I hope I haven’t offended any lobby? The question comes up: where was God 5,000 years earlier? Did He exist? Suppose He existed a hundred million years earlier? The dinosaurs may not have been extinct. I have a theory that if the dinosaurs had got hold of a good pujari and held a yagya, or yajna as it is now pronounced, things would have been hunky dory for them. A decent prayer, with abhishek and aarti to boot, and we could have averted the meteor hit itself. The world would have been a Jurassic Park!

The migrants today, uncared for and not mentioned once by the great leader, sent me scurrying to find a parallel from history. Thank God for Herodotus that we can fall back on history. (No one is more reviled than these Marxist historians in our Aryan land today. Now, of course, as a temporary measure, they have been replaced recently by the Tablighi Jamaat). With my limited knowledge, I came up with examples. Moses was a migrant after crossing the Red Sea? Hanumanji is a conundrum. Was he an invader or migrant as he set Lanka alight with his tail? No, these are not parallels. Hijr, what do you say to that? The nearest I could ferret out from modern history was the great Savarkar crossing the waters, 700 miles of it, to the Andamans to face jail under the Brits. Our poor migrants may have suffered more, but Andamans fits the bill. It is hoped that The Parivar would take extra care of migrants in memory of the privations Savakar must have borne. No wonder he handed that apologetic note to the Brits, after years in the Cellular Jail.

We have made our record on migrants murky of late — Rohingya, Bangladeshis in Assam. We forget that most Aryans in India themselves were migrants once, whatever the rightists may say.

I am told now while lakhs of migrants walked with their women and children for hundreds of miles, and that girl died after walking a hundred miles, just before reaching home, pilgrims returning from so-called ‘holy places’ dhaams, got buses. And in Ghaziabad, migrants had to pay twice the fare to the UP Transport Nigam. Incidentally, while critics are carping about this, did any of the Opposition parties (AAP is an exception) bother to even set up drinking water stands (piaos) on the roads? Did the Congress set up food stalls? Does the Congress, outside Punjab, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, do anything apart from making speeches? I renege, it is good at handing over states to the BJP, after winning elections — Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh are examples.

UP and UP Police always take the cake. The Ayodhya police station lodged an FIR against Siddharth Varadarajan, Chief Editor, The Wire, for some wrong quote attributed to Chief Minister Ajay Singh Bisht, now known as Yogi Adityanath. The error was corrected the following day. An SUV, with no number plate (that is an offence), loaded with cops, came to his residence on April 10 and left a notice — a summons, I presume. The Editor’s Guild has protested. The ‘offences’ seem of a non-cognisable kind. Since when has the docile police started filing criminal cases against scribes for things ‘objectionable’ in khaki perceptions? Let the aggrieved individual file for damages. Incidentally, the BJP is good at filing defamation suits against all and sundry.

One doctor, Amit Jain, owner of a cancer hospital in Meerut, is in high dudgeon. Why? Because he or his hospital came out with an advertisement saying Muslim patients must get themselves tested for the virus before entering the hospital. The innocent ad was not very different in tenor to the various Bills passed by Parliament recently, highlighting Muslims, or highlighting their absence from a Bill. But police register a case, FIR filed. Now, the doctor, according to the press, lays the blame on ‘typographical error’, ‘misprints’ and ‘conspiracy’. Can Dr Jain be blamed when he watches Muslims being excluded in the CAA? Every act has a fallout.

There has been a terrible incident in Palghar, where three persons were lynched, suspected of being thieves, organ thieves, child-lifters. A fine Christian doctor was denied burial by a Chennai mob. Mob rule got encouragement from the government and the right wing when mobs ran amok, killing Muslims like Mohd Akhlaq and others suspected of cow slaughter, or just eating beef. Today, so-called ‘witches’, ‘child-lifters’, and just plain thieves are being lynched. Regrettably, those who sow the wind, do not always reap the whirlwind, if I may say, apologising to Carlyle.

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