The feeling of guilt has taken over me yet again, and I find myself looking at the mirror---asking, "What is wrong with you?".
It started like this---as I watched the Delhi Chief Minister, Sheila Dikshit, talk about the Commonwealth games, I remembered the Delhi slum-wallahs who had to be thrown out to make space for the CWG warming-up stadium. Then, my thoughts wandered, the recent Tamizh conference came to my mind. Of all the green paper that was used to fund the grand event; of all the tax money, of all the bank accounts, of all the 'Public' funds...and then I thought of the little girl, whose picture I saw in The Hindu this morning, who needed a hundred thousand rupees for a blood marrow transplant. And in the same country---Mayawati is establishing statues, people are sprinting and jumping in brand new stadiums, I am writing about the beauty of my mother tongue and a conference---and the little girl is suffering without health insurance.
Authoritarian and imperialistic states tend to leave the most solid souvenirs; art has a strange way of thriving under autocracy. For how else can one justify spending on statues and language and sports. What do we intend to make of India? A shiny, glossy, Bollywood dream for western audiences, or a place where all people have a means of livelihood? And I stress, ALL people.
And these are the times, when I almost get swept into the haze of the virtual India---burgeoning, leading the world...then I come crashing down to earth, and cringe---the truth stares me straight in the eye.
The mirror says, "Stop celebrating! There is so much left to do, and how could you let yourself be guiled by veiled politics?". I have no answers.
But the little I can do---contribute, maybe a pence or two, to someone who needs to survive, to ask these profound questions.