Sunday, September 13, 2015

Mr. Modi, please spare our plates!

Respected Sh. Modi, this is the second time I am writing an open letter to you. The last time I wrote one was on the eve of the much touted Legislative Assembly Elections in Delhi. Since then, I have been watching things unfold. The Delhi government led by Sh. Arvind Kejriwal has had a mixed response, and the same is with your government at the center. Both having some good and some bad for me to weigh both the governments. I believe the Delhi legislative assembly elections had become a question of pride for you and your party, so much so that they had to bring in the Prime Minister of the country to do election campaigning for them. Such was the effect of Arvind Kejriwal that even after a lot going against him and his newly formed AAP, that, as much as I can comprehend, Kejriwal singlehandedly defeated all of you political heavyweights, including you, the posterboy of the 2014 Indian General Elections, who singlehandedly got the kind of majority your party got back then.

Cutting across to the present day, today, we are being ruled by you and your party. It's been more than a year since your party, after getting the largest political mandate in quite some time formed the government at the center with the promise to take India to the next level. A slew of announcements did show us some rays of hope, but everything has come back to normal. Nothing moving as was shown to us in your election campaigning during those times. It was as if you were the magical fairy from the fairyland with a magic wand in your hands and once you are united with the Prime Minister's chair, your powers will be complete and you will transform the country overnight. Forget about overnight, it can't even be a tenure of 5 years that will be enough to transform the country, as according to one of your party members, Modi will have to rule us for more than five years to bring 'achche din'. And here I thought, that even if I haven't voted to bring Modi to power, when he comes to power, I too will be able to taste 'achche din'. Appears that the achche din has turned out to be another "chunavi jumla", as was the promise to bring back black money and deposit a share of it in the bank accounts of all Indians.

There have been many incidents which showed increased religious intolerance among cadres of the government and supporting parties. A many of such people, for whatever their reason of voicing such an opinion, are sitting in chairs of ministers, holding important positions, and are regularly engaged in doing badmouthing for something or the other. Since I have already written about all this in the last open letter to you, I think I should now come up with what was my main motive for writing this open letter to you was. This time around, the issue is not just about some illiterates, criminals, foulmouthed fools ruling us. It has gone beyond what I as a citizen of world's largest democracy could ever accept. It's a question about my freedom. A freedom that I have as a human being. A freedom, that is not expressedly imparted to me by the constitution of my country, but one that I guess, no one has the right to impart it to me. A freedom that makes me all powerful to do anything and everything for it. It's the FOOD! Yes, the very food which, has inspired a lot of bollywood movie heroes to become thieves in movies in order to fill the empty stomachs of their hungry brothers and sisters, the very food which, according to one learnt politician turned actor was available for as low as 6 rupees in a metropolitan city like Mumbai.

The nightmare surrounding my food started with the BPJ-Shiv Sena coalition won the Assembly elections in Maharashtra. You put up a ban on sale and consumption of beef. I guess this had something to do with "gaai hamari maata hai". So, entire state of Maharashtra was devoid of beef. Did you or the BJP leadership or the RSS ever cared so much for the cows? I guess no. Had it been the case, we would never have face cows sitting on the roads jamming traffic. We wouldn't see them eating polythene bags which choke their stomachs, killing them, and we wouldn't have seen hordes of animal lovers sweating out there in milk farms of Mumbai, struggling to save cows from drowning in the rains and subsequent flooding in Mumbai this monsoon season. I believe beef is almost a staple meat food item for rest of the world. If I am not wrong, beef in the rest of the world, barring a handful of countries like ours, is just as common as we have chicken or fish. This, I believe was a step inspired and forced by the parent organization Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh. I agree that in Hinduism, cow is worshipped, so you put up a ban on sale and consumption of cow meat in an entire state ruled by your party? What about pigs? Did your government ban the sale and consumption of it? Why is it that in the interest of your community, or I should say, to fulfil the motives of some self proclaimed savers of Hinduism did you not consider the natural right of human being? The right to food! The right to eat whatever they please (ofcourse, sans other human beings, since there are laws in place prohibiting it). Why did you not consider that you are beginning a whole big debate, something that would bring in a storm wherein you and your government will be in the eye of it? What gives you the right to control what we would eat? Is it the chair of Prime Minister of the country that you think gives you immense power to make us eat whatever you feel right?

Since that one decision to ban beef in one state, this has become a norm. There have been PIL's and for the first time in my life, to me, it appears that the judiciary too has become biased towards achieveing the nefarious motives of the government and the people who rule the government. There has been a sudden spike in such bans being implemented throughout. Some time back, we had a ban on Maggi, a near staple food for whoever was in a hurry. I miss my Maggi, especially since I have no one to cook for me these days. Maggi has been there for decades altogether, and the FSSAI just woke up to find excessive contents of lead and MSG in samples of it? Good that they woke up. But the question is, why now? And why ban this seemingly harmless thing, when there are dozens and dozens of things available for our consumption which are many times harmful than Maggi? Ever heard of Alcohol? Oh, I forgot. You have heard it. That's why you enacted a law in the state you ruled for so long to prohibit alcohol, making Gujarat a "dry state". But what was the bottomline? Well, I found it out quite late. Alcohol was not banned in Gujarat. It was just made illegal for the common men and poor who couldn't pay the government to get a license to drink it. Great. What a plan! You are selling liquor with the help of vendors who are paying you for license to sell liquor. Then you ask people who want to drink this slow poison to dole out money for them to get a license from the government to kill themselves, and you and your government ban Maggi? Do I need to say anything about cigarettes and gutkha and tobacco and pan masalas (oh, I had forgot this one completely, I don't know if you ever noticed this or not, but ever since there came a ban on gutkha, there's a tremendous increase in advertisements of pan masalas, that don't contain tobacco, and advertisement wise, they contain all the good materials, gulab jal from himachal pradesh, kaththa from somewhere, ruh kewda from somewhere else, elaichi from somewhere else, and something from somewhere else, and oops, I almost missed this one, saffron, which makes you drown in it's taste), pan masalas being sold by bollywood stars and non-stars as well, acting as NRI's who came to India just to have pan masalas and go out of India with their pack of pan masalas, and reach the heights of success and celebrate with pan masalas. And there seems to be some invisible source of money that is being pumped in these products which now have advertisements spanning anything between 20 second to a 40-45 second advertisement running in multiple times during a prime time show on national television channels, with small unseeable text showing a warning that "chewing of pan masala is injurious to health". I guess if Nestle comes out with such a label on the pack stating "eating maggi may be injurious to health", the FSSAI would have no problem with its sales. Nestle, are you listening to my brilliant idea? I believe this idea of mine is worthy of some royalties, isn't it?

Ok, skip it. I was on the meat ban. Well, in case you are wondering why my emotions are flowing out? Am I one of those who, according to one political party, should move out to Pakistan? Am I one of those who are fearful of the meat being snatched away from their plates? Am I one of those who sit in the opposition just to Oppose, just like you did when you were in opposition? The answer is no. Oh, sorry, for the first one, I guess the option to move out to Pakistan is more of a hate based than it has anything to do with my religion. Well, if Pakistan has politicians better than what we have here, I would happily move out to Pakistan, or any other country these fools want me to go. They seem to have forgotten that maybe, the ancestors of the very people whom these morons want to move out to Pakistan today, given the good lifestyle they have achieved, might have slained themselves to save the unthankful arses of their ancestors. They seem to have forgotten the soldiers who laid down their lives to save the country these fools now want to rule, sacrificed themselves for their motherland without even caring once that the ones they will save by getting themselves killed might be from another religion.

What I am afraid of today is, the smart plan that is being implemented. It had always been between Hindus and Muslims and Sikhs and Christians. The other religions somehow got ignored and thus out of the loop. So why not entangle Jains this time claiming a ban on all non-vegetarian stuff, meat, in the name of Jains? Why not widen the scope of hatred to include the followers of other religions that have traditionally stayed out of this business of hatred? The more divided we are, the more easy we are to rule. So we are here! On the pretext of a Jain festival, enforce a meat ban in an entire state(s). Try to guage the temper of people. This will come as a learning, to how to tackle them?

Sir, we are common men and women of India. We do not have a Parliament Canteen which provides us with a plate of Chicken Biryani for Rs. 51, or a vegetarian thali for Rs. 12.50. For us, even the cost of getting the ingredients for preparing a plate of chicken biryani will cost us atleast 2-3 times more than the cost at which you are having it. And tea is definitely not available for Rs. 1. More than anything else, our plates are already under a lot of pressure from the hordes of blood sucking hoarders and middlemen who choose to bite into our monthly expentidures by selling onions at Rs 60 a kilogram or sugar at Rs 45-50 a kilogram. Please don't ask about the pulses, and milk which, has become a new way to turn rich overnight. Every three months, we see a hike of a rupee or two in the prices of milk for no apparent reason. The milk producers from which, the world's largest co-operative acquires milk are still there only. Nothing has changed for them when compared to what all has changed for the cooperative. Yes, I am talking about Amul (Anand Milk Union Limited). It's Amul which decides to hike prices, which has a domino effect on all others, Mother Dairy in NCR regions, Verka in Punjab, Parag in Uttar Pradesh, Govardhan, and all other milk brands, as if they all are distributors of Amul, and are forced to hike prices because Amul hiked it.

I know this is not going to have an impact on you or your government or the decisions you take, since policy decisions are to be taken by elected representatives like you and your ministers, and I being a powerless, useless, usedless, needless, common man doesn't have a right to tell you, suggest you, or warn you, for what I or my neighbours did on the election day made me all I am today. But I would really like to request - Mr. MODI, PLEASE SPARE OUR PLATES!

2 comments:

  1. I was disturbed more (and angered too) by the release of that religion based census by the Govt. The move was obviously aimed at stoking up communal feelings. It seems to me as if these politicians, rather than trying to bridge the communal divide and strengthening ties between people of various communities, are hell-bent on fanning their insecurities and can stoop to any level for political gains.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It indeed was disturbing, and I guess is among one of the firsts the country has seen since independence. A democratically chosen government is acting like a fascist regime which thinks it can and will control people in world's largest democracy. I think Mr. Modi and gang are trying to test the patience we have, to see to what extent can they stoop down in supressing us and ruling over us.
      Thanks for stopping over and sharing your thoughts here.

      Delete