I often prefer the company of birds to people. But I take great pleasure in spreading the love I have for the winged ones. And I reckon that this world of ours could always use more love.
Not today though.
I have neither poetry nor birds to show you. If you are looking for love right here and now, please come back again tomorrow. There will be feathers, songs and happiness.
But today, I am just the bile duct of a disgruntled Indian.
It hasn’t been a good month for us.
On July 30 2015, the Indian government executed Yakum Memom for his role in the 1993 Bombay bombings.
Death penalty isn’t an easy topic to discuss in public spaces. Not even in social circles. People have strong opinions about it one way or the other. Those against it are branded as either crazed liberals or stereotypical contrarians and anti-authoritarians. Fiery accusations are thrown about how it is akin to siding with terrorists, pedophiles and rapists.
Historically though, the death penalty verdict has been implemented in India amid a myriad of social biases and legal guffaws. As Indians, we are privy to governmental buffoonery on a daily basis. A large percentage of the population, I would assume, instinctively doesn’t trust the government. Whether traffic rules, tax deductions or even the electoral process.
Yet so many find it fit to leave the act of taking a human life in a system this corrupt amd biased.
As Billie Holiday once crooned about state-sponsored inhumanity, there’s “blood on the leaves and blood at the root”. At the heart of the Indian legal system, there lies a manipulative monster. One that breathes seductively about nationalism and whispers in our ears that death penalty isn’t murder; that it is merely a perfunctory kill-switch button whenever threatened by particular communities.
Maybe some of us still look at it that way. But I hope we can see the blood on our hands. Smell the death in the air. Sense the hope in humanity slipping away. The monster is not on our side, ladies and gentlemen. It would mean we are monsters too.
N Jayaram, a reputed journalist and a dear friend, has written explicitly on this matter
That’s not all though. In its continued “fight” against sex crimes, the Indian government has banned access to 857 pornographic websites. Yes, pornography. A sticky habit which has kept plenty of perverts – single and married – inside closed doors, is now allegedly banned. Apparently local internet service providers have received notice from the Department of Telecommunications to block pornographic content. And sex is still a very dirty word in India.
Next up, it will solve the national water crisis by asking us to start peeing in public.
A list of things the Indian government will ban in the future
- Any kind of sexual activity without intent to bear children or propagate misogyny
- Employment for candidates with degrees in liberal arts
- Availability of housing facilities for unmarried 30+ year olds
- Books and films which promote freewill
A list of things it will allow in the name culture and tradition
- Patriarchal laws and customs in relation to education, employment and land ownership
- Marital rape
- Marginalization of Dalit communities
- Cultural monopoly of art based on class / caste
- State-sponsored murder
(Photographs – Chennai)